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Car for commuting 43m one way/day

Suppose my commute is 43miles one way and I shall be commuting 5 days a week, and I am in a mkt for a car, what would you recommend?

Also, if it is a new car would it be lease or just buy?

Me, I’d get an intermediate 4-dr 4-cylinder, Accord, Fusion, Malibu, Altima, that kind of car. I’d never lease unless I had a specific need for short term use. I keep my cars 10+ years.

Many cars would be fine for that. What features are important to you? Do you want ultimate fuel economy or is comfort also important?

Leasing has been discussed here a lot. Search for the previous discussions. However, it looks like you’ll be putting on well over 20,000 miles per year, so it’s likely that leasing would be especially expensive in your case.

Any 4 cyl Honda would be my weapon of choice. No trucks or SUV’s unless I had to have one.

I Live In The Sticks And My Wife And I Have Always Commuted At Least That Far, In Opposite Directions, At Least 5 Days A Week.

How much do you want to spend ? Do you have to finance ?
Do you have some cash to “cash out” in a certain price range and eliminate payments altogether ?
Do you have another car to use when you’re not commuting ?
What type roads are you traveling ?

My wife’s Intrepid just exceded 300,000 miles and I wanted her in something newer (The Intrepid hands down to my 16 year-old daughter). Since my wife drives mostly in the dark for half the year and usually is the only person in the car, I took those things into consideration.

If you’re going to do this for quite some time then you really don’t want to start with a car that already has a ton of miles on it. I recommend that you look at “Certified” slightly used vehicles that come with a good warranty. If financing, be sure that with interest you’re not paying close to what a brand new car would cost.

I went with “Certified” used. With only 10,000 miles on it, it’s got good warranty coverage and a lot of life left in it so that I’m not doing this over right away.

For a commuter vehicle I consider the car to be more of an “appliance” to get you to work and back.


Lease is probably your most expensive option. Buy a car and run it for 200+K miles. My wife has done that with two Corollas and two Subarus, over the years. Leasing fees at those mileages accumulated will eat you alive.

300K ON AN INTREPID? Holy Moly…did you do the maintenance on it yourself. Any real issues?

Thanks for all the tips.

Interesting no one suggested a Nissan Leaf, Insight, or a used Prius?

I think we’ve assumed these are mostly highway miles, in which case a hybrid doesn’t really pay off.

Leaf? Only if you have guaranteed access to a 240v charging station at each end. I wouldn’t do it even then, you’ll likely exceed the range at some time, then you’ll be WAY up a creek. Used Prius? Sure, if it’s some stop and go, otherwise a small gas engine would be more $$ efficient overall. But a recent (2 year old Prius) wouldn’t be a bad choice.

Yes its highway miles, mostly.

I thought that Leaf will do 100 miles on one charge.

How about a used Prius? or an Insight.

Again, a hybrid doesn’t make financial sense for mostly highway miles.

“How about a used Prius?”

A 2008 Prius starts at about $15,000 and a 2008 Malibu 4-cyl starts at about $12,000. It will take you about 115,000 miles to break even without accounting for the opportunity cost of the $3000 initial price difference.

100 miles/charge for the Leaf is an estimate. I would never trust it to do 86 miles per charge day in, day out. Nooooooo way!

And I’d even be leery of recharging it at work. What if the charger’s down? What if somebody else is using it? You’d be in a bad spot, real quick! Ignoring cost, the Leaf makes sense for urban commuters, say 5-15 miles each way.

40 MPG in a new Ford Fiesta. The 2012 Ford Focus should be able to get 40 MPG too.

Take a look at the rental return 09 or 10 Pontiac G6. Usually 30K on them with 100K warrenty and selling for 13K at 3% interest. Drives like a larger car, well equipped, V6, 30 mpg, and you can put a 6 foot 2x4 in it and close the trunk.

I would buy a Consumer Reports New Car Buyers’ Guide, find the ones with the good reliability data that were within my price range and had mileage acceptable to me, go for good long test drives in all of them, and buy THE MOST CONFORTABLE!!!

I’ve been commuting for many, many years. Many years ago I could be comfortable in just about anything. As the years have passed, comfort has slowly risen on my list of priorities. It’s now right up there in third place under reliability and affordability. In 2005 I actually had to return a brand new Corolla LE after only two months because it was causing me too much pain.

Whatever you decide, you’ll want to BUY. With 11,200 miles a year in just commuting, not including ‘other-then-work’ driving, weekend driving, and vacation driving, a lease will cost you much more in over-mileage than it would be worth.

Definitely buy since you are driving 400 miles/week which is 20k miles/year. You pay dearly for excessive mileage upfront or in the end.

Having been there/done that. My advice is get a 4 cylinder mid size (eg Camry, Fusion, Accord, Malibu, etc) that YOU are most comfortable in. A smaller car like Civic/Corolla comes to mind but they get tiring and old fast. The MPG is not huge between the ve

83 miles/day is not fun in a small car like that. Commute gets old fast…Been there done that. Also renting Fiesta was misery on longer trips.