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December 19, 2018, 01:35:09 AM
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Author Topic: Smart commuter car decision help  (Read 1776 times)

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Offline madlife

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Smart commuter car decision help
« on: January 19, 2018, 10:37:15 AM »
I am seeking some life / financial / car wisdom from you guys.    I'm also trying to be financially smart

I am most likely moving back into my rental property in Rome in a couple months.  This will give me a 100 mile a day commute.  I am looking at getting a 3rd car and since  slighty used Mazda6 is out of the question right now, I am thinking about a simple Civic like this one here. There seem to be lower mileage than most for the price.  but usually 125,000 or more miles.

https://utica.craigslist.org/cto/d/1998-honda-civic-ex-coupe-5spd/6439186814.html

Good MPG. 
Plentiful parts at pick & pull
Cheap everything
Reliable?

The reasoning. 

This is a temporary move.  The rental house is for sale.  It could sell in a couple months or it could take a year as Rome is well...... Rome. I plan on buying a place <10 mi from work, at which point the OBXT can go back to being the daily.

The outback is overall reliable,  but has 130k miles on it and needs a little love here and there. This is the commute that was brutal on my 6-speed bugeye.  Also even though its a 5eat,  the OBXT has grown on me for fun, nice interior, and overall versatility and as a work truck.  Also,  they aren't too common and the 5-speed 08/09s  often sell for $5000 more than I paid for mine.

Gas alone will save me $100/mo.  So it will pay for itself in 2 years.
https://i.imgur.com/VflauFP.jpg   {4-day work wk possibility.}

After 1 year and 20k miles I'm sure I could probably turn around and sell the civic for $1000 or more.  A newer more expensive car would depreciate more.

If the Civic is down for a couple days for work, or weather is terrible, I have the outback as well.

Overall budget < $3500

Celica, tC, Mirage have been considered as well but are priced a bit higher.  Civics seem to be the best combo of reliability, mpg, yet something i might enjoy somewhat?  I don't want a rust bucket either.
 
Impreza / Legacy n/a have been considered as well, but it seems like I would have to raise the budget $2000 for comparable reliability and yield worse mpg.  Though it would like become a rallyX car after all this.

Writing this all out has actually lessen my anxiety as life has been stupid crazy the last year




Offline 20 BLK WRX 04

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Re: Smart commuter car decision help
« Reply #1 on: January 20, 2018, 12:22:44 PM »
Seems like a pretty sound idea. Of course I'd recommend a pre-purchase inspection before getting any used car for a little more peace of mind.
Mike

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Offline idipskoalmint

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Re: Smart commuter car decision help
« Reply #2 on: January 20, 2018, 07:03:28 PM »
When I read the title (before reading thread), I came in here to post Mazda6...

What about a Camry / Corolla? A Corolla is more evenly matched with a Civic, while Camry is closer to Accord.
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Offline madlife

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Re: Smart commuter car decision help
« Reply #3 on: January 20, 2018, 09:59:58 PM »
When I read the title (before reading thread), I came in here to post Mazda6...

What about a Camry / Corolla? A Corolla is more evenly matched with a Civic, while Camry is closer to Accord.

I would love a newer Mazda6 for road trips and such.  Brown,  touring,  6speed...    I have little love for the normal Toyota.  Probably shouldn't be so picky though.

Seems like a pretty sound idea. Of course I'd recommend a pre-purchase inspection before getting any used car for a little more peace of mind.
My buddy said that at the price range have them at least get a fresh inspection.


Last weekend I hit up a few open houses.  Since it was scorching -5F outside I was about the only person going to them.  The realtors were bored and kinda chatty so I learned some useful things.   Bummer though because one of the houses would love to buy.

Offline WRXer

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Re: Smart commuter car decision help
« Reply #4 on: January 20, 2018, 10:52:41 PM »
I have a friend who’s father worked in NYC his whole life. Crazy thing is they moved here when we were in elementary school so the guy commuted to the city every single day. I thought it was crazy. He would buy an old used civic almost every year and just drive it until it died. Drove hundreds and hundreds of thousands of miles in the things and swore by them. I’ve never had one but wouldn’t think twice about getting one for that type of situation.
« Last Edit: January 20, 2018, 10:54:13 PM by WRXer »
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Offline deadlydave

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Re: Smart commuter car decision help
« Reply #5 on: January 22, 2018, 07:53:52 AM »
Quote
Celica, tC, Mirage

I'd axe all of those.  Celica's drivetrain is solid but the body's don't hold up too well.  tC and Mirage are garbage.  Most of these 3 cars weren't owned by anyone who gave a crap so they'll be really beat.

Those civics tend to be quite reliable.  A co-worker of mine went from Audis to an Infinity G35, then went to a civic with this kind of thinking.  It worked really well for him.  As always, inspect the car carefully.  You missed a good chance for a great beater/fun civic.  A local SCCA guy was selling his rust-free '90 or '91 Si hatchback for $2500.  More money, but limited slip diff and a few tasteful performance mods.

Offline madlife

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Re: Smart commuter car decision help
« Reply #6 on: January 22, 2018, 08:38:02 AM »
I'd axe all of those.  Celica's drivetrain is solid but the body's don't hold up too well.  tC and Mirage are garbage.  Most of these 3 cars weren't owned by anyone who gave a crap so they'll be really beat.

Those civics tend to be quite reliable.  A co-worker of mine went from Audis to an Infinity G35, then went to a civic with this kind of thinking.  It worked really well for him.  As always, inspect the car carefully.  You missed a good chance for a great beater/fun civic.  A local SCCA guy was selling his rust-free '90 or '91 Si hatchback for $2500.  More money, but limited slip diff and a few tasteful performance mods.

LOL... really the point of the mirage was you can get them used under warranty still for $5500.  Stupid high MPG, and I've actually had fun driving them.   Holly has had 2 Mitsubishi's  {2010 lancer GTS and 2015 mirage} and both were rock solid..........  short of her trying to fuse the Mirage to an Audi.       

Offline idipskoalmint

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Re: Smart commuter car decision help
« Reply #7 on: January 22, 2018, 08:12:06 PM »
I have little love for the normal Toyota.  Probably shouldn't be so picky though.

From the OP, this is just a temporary inexpensive DD car that's reliable and gets good gas mileage that you will sell when the commute situation changes. Therefore, what "love" is needed? I would pair Toyota/Honda pretty equal in terms of reliability, MPG, and part availability/cost.

Do you have a mechanic that you go to for bigger jobs? They often know of other customers who are interested in selling a vehicle, and that could give some peace of mind in the purchase knowing that work was done properly and it wasn't neglected. My family went that route years ago with good success.
« Last Edit: January 22, 2018, 08:13:41 PM by idipskoalmint »
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Offline deadlydave

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Re: Smart commuter car decision help
« Reply #8 on: January 23, 2018, 02:10:15 PM »
From the OP, this is just a temporary inexpensive DD car that's reliable and gets good gas mileage that you will sell when the commute situation changes. Therefore, what "love" is needed?

Pride.  Even when I drove Junk, it was interesting Junk.

Offline 20 BLK WRX 04

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Re: Smart commuter car decision help
« Reply #9 on: January 24, 2018, 01:31:26 AM »
I have a friend who’s father worked in NYC his whole life. Crazy thing is they moved here when we were in elementary school so the guy commuted to the city every single day. I thought it was crazy. He would buy an old used civic almost every year and just drive it until it died. Drove hundreds and hundreds of thousands of miles in the things and swore by them. I’ve never had one but wouldn’t think twice about getting one for that type of situation.

Not the first time I've heard of this situation, and it still blows my mind. HOW. WHY. With a commute that long, you have about 5 minutes to eat dinner before you go to bed and go back to work. Seriously, i thought a 40 minute commute was bad. Some people spend their whole life just driving to fuckin' work.

For those keeping score at home, that's conservatively 52 days each year spent driving to and from work. Wow.
Mike

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Offline madlife

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Re: Smart commuter car decision help
« Reply #10 on: January 24, 2018, 01:29:43 PM »
Not the first time I've heard of this situation, and it still blows my mind. HOW. WHY. With a commute that long, you have about 5 minutes to eat dinner before you go to bed and go back to work. Seriously, i thought a 40 minute commute was bad. Some people spend their whole life just driving to fuckin' work.

For those keeping score at home, that's conservatively 52 days each year spent driving to and from work. Wow.

Cliff Notes:  Its a 2- family house I bought 10 years ago and I bought it in to live in it.  Economy tanked, company closed and I have spent the last 5 years at a current job.   It's not an ideal "investment" and more of an owner-occupied type home, so 1 unit has been vacant since Oct when I put it on the market,  While I continue to pay rent where I live.   So,  move back in and save on rent until it sells.

I did the commute for 6+ months when I took the job.  It was brutal, but I did it to make sure i liked the job and made it past probation.  Don't want to go back,  but financially the smarter move.  Late summer I was driving there 3-5 times a week anyways to clean it up/prep for sale so there is that as well.         Also, my boss said I should be able to work from home 1 day a week.



Offline madlife

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Re: Smart commuter car decision help
« Reply #11 on: January 24, 2018, 01:33:38 PM »
Pride.  Even when I drove Junk, it was interesting Junk.

Strangely,  interesting to a car person vs interesting to a normie can vary.  Outside of the car world I get weird looks when I tell people I want a 2014+ mirage 5-speed. 

Offline deadlydave

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Re: Smart commuter car decision help
« Reply #12 on: January 25, 2018, 07:49:32 AM »
Strangely,  interesting to a car person vs interesting to a normie can vary.  Outside of the car world I get weird looks when I tell people I want a 2014+ mirage 5-speed.

Some of the autocrossers on the Mazda forums really had a boner for those things.  Their reasoning was just the sheer lightness of the Mirage.  It was more of a theory, as i don't think any one of them actually went out and bought one.

We do have oddball opinions.  I've been almost exclusively attracted to cars that are odd since the Baja.  These days "enthusiast" cars that don't fit a certain criteria tend to depreciate quick.

I'm thinking of going the opposite: a nicer/quicker car.  My commute is pretty small.  Was eyballing 2014 Caddy ATS 2.0T, since my fiancee works for a Caddy place, but i was specifically warned off due to the CUE infotainment system dying, which is an $1800 part + $500 labor.  You can find these for like $15k-20k.  Curious, I priced out some used AMG's, and the CLS55's (06-07) and CLS63's (08-10).  Auto-only, but some of them have sunk into the mid-high teens.  Weight and Size of the E-class but interior room of the c-class and a funky sloping look to them.  Original MSRP's were near $100k.  Some of the '63's engines fail horribly, but the '55's seem reliable, aside from air suspension leaks.  Still, too big of a potential 'project', even as enticing as a 500hp sedan is.

In reality, i'll probably give a few cars a test drive in the summer. 
-BRZ (cheapest but least practical option)
-Buick Regal GS FWD/6mt (nicest, most powerful option)
-Ford Fiesta ST (probably most practical)

Sorry for the tangent.  If my mazda was worth less i'd sell it to ya.  I just got 37.5mpg on a trip to Baltimore.

Offline 20 BLK WRX 04

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Re: Smart commuter car decision help
« Reply #13 on: January 27, 2018, 02:24:48 AM »
Cliff Notes:  Its a 2- family house I bought 10 years ago and I bought it in to live in it.  Economy tanked, company closed and I have spent the last 5 years at a current job.   It's not an ideal "investment" and more of an owner-occupied type home, so 1 unit has been vacant since Oct when I put it on the market,  While I continue to pay rent where I live.   So,  move back in and save on rent until it sells.

I did the commute for 6+ months when I took the job.  It was brutal, but I did it to make sure i liked the job and made it past probation.  Don't want to go back,  but financially the smarter move.  Late summer I was driving there 3-5 times a week anyways to clean it up/prep for sale so there is that as well.         Also, my boss said I should be able to work from home 1 day a week.

I'm sorry dude, that tangent wasn't directed towards you at all. It was really just a rant about people that commute to NYC from Albany. Hell, a 100 mile/day commute isn't that bad!
Mike

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Offline deadlydave

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Re: Smart commuter car decision help
« Reply #14 on: January 29, 2018, 07:17:30 AM »
I'm sorry dude, that tangent wasn't directed towards you at all. It was really just a rant about people that commute to NYC from Albany. Hell, a 100 mile/day commute isn't that bad!

He's definitely made out of tougher stuff than me.  I could barely handle a Utica-Syracuse commute 2-3 times a month for my internship in college.

Offline madlife

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Re: Smart commuter car decision help
« Reply #15 on: January 29, 2018, 09:43:13 AM »
I'm sorry dude, that tangent wasn't directed towards you at all. It was really just a rant about people that commute to NYC from Albany. Hell, a 100 mile/day commute isn't that bad!

nah,  100mi/day blows...  That's why I don't want to sell the OBXT,  because its a temporary thing. 

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Re: Smart commuter car decision help
« Reply #16 on: February 07, 2018, 04:18:04 PM »
I commute 100-140mi/day and an additional 1000ish miles per month in a 2009 Accord 5 speed. Its far less boring than its predecessors, comfortable, and I get anywhere from 28-33mpg depending on traffic or whether I'm on the highway or not. With snow tires, I haven't had any issues on the ice and snow of downeast Maine.

Driving long distance is a requirement in this part of Maine if you dont want to spend 600k+ on a house, so here I am.
Eric

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