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The Right Car for Me | TrueDelta


I've obsessivelty been comparing the IIHS death rate list, reliability indexes and other safety features/ratings of all cars. All I want is a remarkably safe car. Some cars have incredible safety ratings but do not predform well in real life scenarios.

Here's a link to the spreadsheet I've made up but don't think i'm set on these cars. I'm open to a ton of options - I just want safety.

Car Needs: Daily commuter / Family transporter / Errands about town / Long trips

Will consider both new and used cars
Maximum mileage: 100000
Maximum age: 10 years

Maximum price: US $ 7000

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Response from xevious

11:16 am March 19, 2015

I noticed that no one else has responded, so I'll just throw my 2 cents in.

Unfortunately as I'm at work, I can't open the google drive doc. However. I have a similar tactic when shopping for a car (checking IIHS).

Try these and see if any clear winners come out on top:
1. Check EuroNCAP ratings, they may vary slightly as far as glass, or door bracing (US vehicles have better versions on both fronts). But it's another extensive test that is performed differently, More crashes = Better testing? 2. Look at specifications. Though tire compounds can change this greatly, I look at 60-0 stopping distance as well. A car may have a 4.5 star rating, but if it stops 40 feet shorter than a 5 star rated vehicle, it's clear who the winner truly is.

If all else. Compare reliablility here, estimated cost to own (can't remember the site I used to use), and Fuel economy (fueleconomy.gov) with YOUR driving preferences placed into the formula, check the "Compare cars" link on the main page.

Good luck!


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Response from mwcten

11:20 pm March 21, 2015

You've got kind of an diverse mix of vehicles you're looking at. If you're serious about the 10yr 100k $7k limits, an 05+ Honda CR-V will probably be your safest bet. I say 05+ because if you're concerned about safety, you absolutely want electronic stability control (only on 05+). A pilot will be a little safer just because its bigger, but it's going to be overbudget. You can probably find something slightly safer that's larger, domestic and less reliable, but they're probably not worth the extra you'll pay to have them on the road.

I don't know what you mean about complaints - usability complaints, reliability complaints? The Volvos can be a bit expensive to maintain; not that many folks drive them so probably it's harder to find complaints about them than something more ubiquitous like a CR-V.


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Honda CR-V

Response from mkaresh

6:22 pm March 22, 2015

Don't focus too much on the IIHS death rate data. When it comes down to it, nearly all of their results are based on overly small sample sizes, even though they have access to data on a very large number of accidents. The problem is that, once you divide the number of traffic deaths by all of the different makes and model years, you're not left with many for any particular car. Then you've got many other variables at play--ages of drivers, road conditions, was one of the parties drunk, etc. These variables would even out with large sample sizes--but it's impossible to get large enough sample sizes. This leads to huge random variations in the 30-40 point range. So there's not necessarily any difference in safety between cars scoring zero and those scoring 30.

I similarly wouldn't make much of any car complaint counts that aren't reached through a structured process, like the one used for our reliability survey. With a complaint site, once someone posts a complaint other people then find it when searching online for information about a problem they're having, and the number then snowballs. Especially if it's a car many people own (as noted by mwcten).

The problem is ultimately your budget. Cars have gotten much safer in recent years, but you won't find a recently designed car for $7,000. I'd focus on the IIHS crash tests for safety, keeping in mind that larger tends to be safer but that taller means more likely to roll over, and our reliability stats for reliability.

The best combination, if available with decent miles in your price range, could be a 2007-2009 Ford Fusion or the larger, Volvo-based 2009-2009 Ford Taurus. The latter would be somewhate safer, but also somewhat less reliable.

A Chevrolet Malibu also had good crash test scores (after revisions made in the middle of 2008). Like the Fords, it depreciates more quickly than a Honda or a Toyota, so you can get a much newer one within your price range.


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Ford Taurus
Ford Fusion
Chevrolet Malibu
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