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Subcompact commute car you’d recommend.

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by ldi, Feb 12, 2019.

  1. HorizontalHunter

    HorizontalHunter NES Member

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    I didn’t read all of the 150 replies but FWIW I will add this:

    Buy something you really like. Don’t just buy for economic reasons. You will end up hating it and getting rid of it.

    When I was in the reserves and working in Connecticut I bought the Nissan Sentra Sport Edition for the same reasons you are looking to. I ended up dumping it after a few years to buy a 4WD truck. I’m a truck guy and don’t like driving cars in general though.

    Bob
     
  2. Coyote33

    Coyote33

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    Not sure what you mean by "pinnacle toaster", but are you saying there is a Honda Element with V6? I just thought they were all I-4's. Still, the utility is huge with these, and they aren't fancy, but more like an army truck, only Japanese.
     
  3. drgrant

    drgrant Moderator NES Member

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    Yeah it should be comfortable I agree, or you should establish a baseline for what you are willing to withstand/tolerate. This is important.

    Beyond that basic level of tolerance though? Meh. Over time, heavy duty commuting literally changes perceptions. Idi would likely not have even posted this question if he wasn't distinctly in this class. Joe McAverage does not even know what this is. This is an alien planet for him. Joe does not sit in a car for 20,000 miles a year. (and thats only on weekdays) As long as I can afford it I will rarely drive my better car back and forth to work because it's literally beating the thing up for nothing and exposing it to what I would call daily commuting risks, which far outstrip the risks posed by occasional use.

    I was actually pretty annoyed at myself that I didn't come up with a commuting car first before buying the better one. So I drove my nice car to work for a year and a half, and got pissed about the fact that it was taking on lots of miles for a nearly meaningless, not fun, task. Now the current arrangement on the other hand is a lot better. I drive the loafmobile 95% of the time and not care. If some a**h*** hits me, I'm not going to get concerned about diminished value, or
    any of that crap, or get worked up over it, I'll just take the insurance payout(s) and roll it into another used car.

    There's nothing "fun" or "exciting" about being trapped in traffic or a rate limited highway situation. There's no utility to burning up extra gas, or having tons of horsepower, if you literally can't drive very fast/hard. The whole situation literally demands an intentionally boring car, and actually makes anything else frustrating or even more nerve wracking. A commuting vehicle should be set up to maximize long term cost savings and reduce your costs of operation as much as you can, while offset with enough internal comfort features to keep you from completely going insane.

    -Mike
     
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  4. T-Unit

    T-Unit

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    Geo Metro, but if you're not looking for something over 25 years old, then I'd say look at Toyota Corolla or Ford Focus. I would recommend Hyundai Accents or similar Kia, but their automatic transmissions don't hold up to long term city driving and I assume you're not looking to buy a car under warranty since you want something "easy to work on."

    Idk how easy Hyundai's and Kia's are to work on.
     
  5. Wickedcoolname

    Wickedcoolname

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    If my choice was driving that car or walking I'd have sore feet.
     
  6. T-Unit

    T-Unit

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    Totally agree, but it's not about actually driving as fast as the car is capable of, it's the potential to do it that make people pay the money for them... that and to show off/feel superior.

    Of course these people will justify buying such a car under the guise of "safety" or "reliability" but you can't BS me saying a Corvette is safer than a Camry, nor as reliable.
     
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  7. T-Unit

    T-Unit

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    Last time I had my rear drums done was 5 years ago and they've got many more miles of life on them.

    If it's every 4 or 5 years you'll be doing them, I don't think it's that big a deal to have rear disc brakes. They do look nicer tho.
     
  8. widnerkj

    widnerkj

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    024AB934-75C6-434A-AB41-D24F61AEDD27.png


    Joking aside when I started working in the mine. My commuter was a flat out basic 2000 Nissan Frontier. With no options. 2wd, 4cyl, 5speed, crank windows, and air conditioning. Little bastard didn’t have cruise control, or intermittent wipers. But it averaged 35 mpg. I sold it for $2,000 when I picked up my 1999 Miata. Not as good mpg, but so much fun to whip to work.
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2019
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  9. ldi

    ldi NES Member

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    You’ve nailed it there ^
     
  10. kope

    kope

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    So, what'd the OP end up buying?
     
  11. ldi

    ldi NES Member

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    Nothing really.
    I’ve invested twelve hundred bucks into the steeleship Sunday special water pump replacement and went to work on following Monday.
    I thought that the car with 60K miles on it is up to the challenge and might as well use it up and when time comes buy something more comfortable for the rest of the driving.
    What are your thoughts ?
     
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  12. SKumar

    SKumar NES Member

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    Absolutely. Take your time. Keep the thing running and ditch it when you're ready to buy. I'm driving a car right now currently valued at $3500. Saving shitloads of money keeping it going until I get something new or recent and making that thing last as well.
     
  13. whatluck

    whatluck

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    If you can find a pre-2006 honda civic, especially an HX with the SOHC 1.6L you'll have a bulletproof car that every auto store in America has parts for. The ricers usually don't buy them because they're slow. Bought mine for $250 at 120k miles, put $1k into it, put 150k more miles into it with not much for maintnance, and sold it for $1500 with a bad clutch with almost 280k miles. Basically the block can make ~200HP with crazy mods but it's factory detuned to 85HP, making it dead nuts reliable. Thing would start every day and hauled my ass all over new england for almost 4 years. Only negative was it was light enough to get pushed around by semi turbulence, and was geared so 65mph was like 4500 rpm, that car really only wanted to do 55. But with some minor mods, intake exhaust ignition and tune the thing gave amazing mpgs, in the 40s at the worst.
     
  14. SKumar

    SKumar NES Member

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    That would drive me absolutely nuts.
     
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  15. ldi

    ldi NES Member

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    Thanks for the advice but there’s no way in hell I’d drive a stick in that kind of traffic for ones and I’m not sure if I’d want to dedicate the weekends towards doing the mod’s on the car.
    When I was younger I’d welcome it but now would rather fish/hunt/range time instead if there’s no other plans with the family .
    Happy wife - happy life LOL
     
  16. whatluck

    whatluck

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    It sure did. Eventually I got used to it, you never get traffic tickets.
     
  17. ldi

    ldi NES Member

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    There’s one thing going for the RAV4 v6 is that it does move if needed.
     
  18. whatluck

    whatluck

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    Lightest clutch I've ever felt, the flywheel is so small that I would just rest my foot on the clutch and it would drop, and it's geared short enough that it will pretty much roll in 1st in traffic with a foot resting on the gas. The mods are super easy bolt on right on top of the motor, and an exhaust is just a open header drive to the shop (BRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRAATTTTTTT)
     
  19. ldi

    ldi NES Member

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    Not to long ago I took a new one for the test drive and to say - It’s a dog is an understatement.
    As SKumar said, it would really drive me bunkers and if I’d started modding I don’t think I could stop.
    Well - she made me LOL
     
  20. whatluck

    whatluck

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    I modded a bunch of Hondas over the years, but you really wouldn't want to change this car too much, it's spirit is too much like a slow happy japanese mom for me to ever want it to change. They are SLOW, but if you're getting paid by the hour to travel PLUS mileage reimbursement cruising in the right lane on the highway and at 25 in 3rd on surface streets it seems OK. You could always put an auto slushbox on it, but i'm not sure if theres an ECU for the SOHC 1.6 with auto. If you wanted more power you could always drop a cheap H22 GSR Trans and LSD into a grandma owned accord. If you do work yourself that's a dead-nuts reliable car for less than $5. Or just go HAM and build a 600HP K20 motor and shoehorn it into a civic with Odessey AWD parts.

    The point of that car was to get me all over new england to work, and it did that perfectly. Even with a blown clutch I was still driving it, and a friend bought it out from under me. It now has a cage and does autocross.
     
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  21. jron

    jron NES Member

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    Toyota.

    The reliability is truly unbeatable.
     
  22. mikelawtown

    mikelawtown NES Member

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    I don’t know this is the second Hyundai I bought for my wife and this is a 2014 I bought it leftover at eight months old and have had zero issues with it .
    I have done all four rotors and pads, stabilizer links ( 20 bucks ea) changed oil with syn at 4K miles and even has the eco-mode Which gives you between 38-40 mpg’s.
     

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  23. jron

    jron NES Member

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    There was a recall on the Yaris power steering. I highly doubt any production car is being sold without power steering.
     
  24. ldi

    ldi NES Member

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    I’d be lucky to get 20mpg
     
  25. SKumar

    SKumar NES Member

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    Even their automatic transmissions are bulletproof.
     
  26. Engineer

    Engineer NES Member

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    Another vote for the Honda Fit, nice drive, amazing flexible interior for haulin stuff to the range
     
  27. Varmint

    Varmint NES Member

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    That makes sense, it was quite challenging at times but kinda fun. Probably the power wasn't working.
     
  28. Mr.E

    Mr.E

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    Jeep trackhawks make great commuting vehicles :cool:
     

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