Car for daughter who is moving to Chicago


I am purchasing a car for my daughter who is graduating from college and is moving to Chicago. I want a car that is safe in the snow and ice and ideally is a hybrid. Suggestions?


to me it would depend greatly on your financial position.

if it were me, i would get her a toyota corolla. (i got my daughter one when she graduated, then i inherited her daewoo!) they are bullet proof.

i mention the toyota, since it has high resale value. if your daughter is like mine she is going to trade it in for what SHE wants once she starts making $$ anyway. that is not such a bad idea, but if you are going to spend the money for her benefit, at least make it so she can get full trade in value from it later.


What kind of car does she want?


What does she want? Seriously, have you asked? Think about how you would feel if your mother/father gave you a car that was not really what you wanted, with all good intent, but not really to your liking. How would you feel if she traded or sold it in 6 months? As long as you have good answers for the above questions, then fine. I’m just trying to point out the pitfalls.


I agree, a Corolla. Or a Civic. Both are reliable, economical, and both will retain value. Both get in the very high 30s mpg in standard trim, so a hybrid may not be necessary.

And put some good snow tires on it.


There is no car that is safe in snow and ice. The driver has to be made safe by learning how to drive in the stuff. Ideally, the training will include sliding around in a big empty parking lot or some kind of training course.


I think that my friend, Mountainbike, intended to say “winter tires”, the technology that has replaced snow tires. And, unlike the snow tires of old, winter tires are mounted in sets of four.

No matter what you and your daughter decide on for a car, having four winter tires will allow her to get going, to stay on course, and (more importantly) to be able to STOP much more effectively than if she did not have winter tires.

The combination of a set of winter tires and a driver who drives SENSIBLY (big following distances, doing everything in slow motion, driving slowly) is more important than the make of car. However, if you want to give her an extra edge of safety, be sure that the car in question has at least ABS, and perhaps also an anti-skid system–which goes by several monikers, such as VSC, VDC, etc. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has found this bit of technology to be the most important advance in accident prevention of the past few decades.


Check out the Subaru line if you want something that can handle snow and ice and has a good crash test rating.


Trying to meet all goals seems difficult. There is the ford Escape hybrid


Having said that I suggest a ford Taurus, Because its safe, and good in the snow. It may not be the most reliable or fuel efficient, But it is your daughter.


Any front wheel drive car with fairly decent or better tires, antilock brakes and front and side air bags will be fine. She has the option of staying home during a really bad snowstorm of which there are only a few each winter if that many. The snowplows and salters get busy even as a winter storm begins. I’d rather be in Chicago during a blizzard than Florida during a hurricane. Winter in the upper midwest is nothing to be fearful about to us who live there.


Just register it in Illinois or it will be towed away. People who lived in Chicago tell me that the police and the tow truck people work together on this. They say it’s good cop, bad cop, but without the good cop. No way I would know but there are old stories that still go around.


Just buy the same car you would buy her where you live. They have snow plows in Chicago and you can buy winter tyres for any car.

As for hybrids, I would suggest that you compare them with other cars. Compare the mileage (both city and highway) and features. There are cars that get better mileage than hybrids. There is no need to fear hybrids. but don’t assume they are better or cleaner just because they are hybrid.


If your concern is snow/ice make sure to purchase a set of winter wheels/tire. Also make sure the car is equipped with electronic stability/skid control. That feature can be a true life saver. See >>>


Ether subaru or volvo are both the best to chose from.
Subrau is good for snow and fairly safe.
Volvo is all about safty and they are slow.


Yes that is true to some extent, but that has a lot to do with the complicated parking, street cleaning and snow laws. There are some great things about Chicagoland specially the economic opportunities and the great social scene.

Be informed, be tough and always look for the best opportunity and you are fine in Chicago.

Regarding the car I would agree with a small car like a Corolla or a Civic, if that is what your daughter likes. Gas is usually about 10 cents higher if not more in the city compared to the burbs. There are a lot of good mechanics. I would recommend winter tyres and obviously you have to get an IPass.


I have had a Toyota RAV4 (2 wheel drive version) and it has been a great car it gets decent gas mileage, and very minimal service. (oil changes, brakes and tires only)


The salt eats the cars in Chiago real fast. Consider living close to a train stop so when weather real bad for go the drive.


IF you are stuck on a hybrid, just do it if you plan to keep it for 5 years to pay off the additional costs. Snow and ice driving for ultimate safety requires a bigger vehicle for the highest safety factor. If your daughter is trustworthy and will drive in a safe manner, just get any Toyota, Honda front drive car with snow tires on the front during the bad season. The same may apply to many American cars, but they have not proven out to be as dependable as the imports, so sorry America. Why? !! Keep her off the road during a storm if you can. If you have the cash for a hybrid, (or sorry… an hybrid) how about a jeep? (an jeep)
Hope you had a happy Easter, OOps, an Happy Easter. Have a Merry Christmas as well. (an Merry Christmas)
I know, I can be a (an) real pain. Good luck. Why do I do this?


my dad taught me in a Jewel parking lot right in the 'burbs of Chicago right after I got my license. One of the best driving lessons I’ve ever had.