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reliable use car for a single woman

The Right Car for Me | TrueDelta


I bought my 1997 Nissan Sentra GXE in January 2000. I have done all of the regularly scheduled maintenance, and it has given me 17 years of reliable service. It has never left me stranded. Now it is 20 years old, and I'm starting to have unscheduled repair costs. I'm deciding whether to keep repairing it or buy another car. I wish I could just clone it! I LOVE my car. It's perfect for me. RELIABLE, compact, easy to park, good gas mileage.

I would like to repeat my experience: Buy a used car, 2-4 years young, do the regular maintenance on it, and drive it reliably until it's 20 years old.

I would automatically buy a Sentra, but the newer ones appear to be a little bigger on the outside. I don't like that. So I'm also considering a Toyota Corolla, or maybe a Honda Civic, although the Civic seems to be more expensive for the same years and features.

I'm looking for recommendations on which of the 2 is best for me. Or is there a third make and model that I should consider? I'm primarily looking at reliability and then price.

One more thing...I've read that the Continually Variable Transmission on some Sentras is not good for city driving. Is that true? I mostly drive around my small city, not much on the highway. Should I avoid a CVT?

Priorities: Reliability & durability / Safety & braking / Fuel economy

Need minimum of 4 seats

Will consider both new and used cars
Maximum mileage: 80000
Maximum age: 4 years

Maximum price: C $ 12000

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Response from zcd1

9:19 am July 11, 2017

A Honda Civic or Toyota Corolla would suit you nicely, I'd think. Both are reliable, quality automobiles, and neither has a CVT, which is something I'd avoid given how long you plan to keep the car.

You might also consider a Kia Soul - remarkably practical, easy/fun to drive, should prove reliable, though it certainly doesn't have the 30+ history of the other 2...

Good luck!


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Honda Civic
Toyota Corolla
Kia Soul

Response from LectroFuel

9:29 pm July 12, 2017

The 2014 and newer Corolla LEs and Civics come standard with only CVTs or manual transmissions. It's great for improving MPGs, but in the long run might not be the best transmission. IMO, I wouldn't worry because Honda and Toyota especially have had reliable CVTs (Toyota has experience with the Prius CVT).

The Kia Soul is another great choice, but the earlier ones were a little tinny and cheap. Reliable and very practical nonetheless.

Avoid the Sentra.


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Mazda Mazda3
Toyota Corolla
Honda Civic

Response from eabpmn

11:21 pm July 13, 2017

I said what do you think about a CVT to the transmission repair specialists who care for our cars.

I barely got "those transmissions that are Continuously Varia" out before they were all shaking their heads and saying Noooooooooooo


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Response from LectroFuel

2:08 am July 14, 2017


Yeah, I get what you mean. They are definitely hit-or-miss with different automakers. In my two Prii the CVTs have been perfectly fine as expected. Prii are made for the CVT and thats fine, but Civics should have an option between Honda's new 10 speed auto, the CVT, and manual. Aside from Toyota with the Prius, I believe Nissan has been making their CVT the longest. And it's a piece of junk! I applaud Hyundai/Kia and Mazda for sticking with their 6 speed autos and 7 speed dual clutch (Hyundai). Also, if you've been driving for a long time, you're used to traditional gears, not a loud, constantly revving CVT. Your mechanic is probably a car enthusiast and I feel his pain with the new wave of boring CVTs (even though I have two myself).


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