I drive 50000 miles a year


#1

what car to buy? ford,chevy,ect,4cyl,v6,need good mpg,long engine life ,few breakdowns on the road or hopefully none.initional cost is a factor,maintence will be normal, any suggestions will be appreciated.


#2

In your case a slightly used car may hugely advantageous especially if GM/Ford. With your high mileage/year likely highway nearly all vehicles(except for bad luck with one) will have a long engine life as long as maintenance performed.

IMHO your big thing is comfort vs MPG. Small cars do not have the comfort of larger counterparts and also get “old” faster as they cannot absorb the impacts of road as well so they rattle earlier. There is a drastic difference between at 250k between Corolla/Civic/Cobalt vs Camry/Accord/Malibu. Smaller cars turn “old” faster.


#3

50K miles per year has to be a lot of highway miles. How long do you want to keep the car? 2 years is 100K miles, 4 years 200K etc.

I’d stay away from anything with exotic wheels and tires. You are going to go through a set of tires a year, $50 per tire is a lot better than $200 per tire. A 4 cylinder in a Honda Civic would hold up fine. For gas mileage I’d get the most basic Honda Civic with steel wheels, and standard size tires. Honda’s don’t need tune ups until past 100K miles, timing belt past 100K, and coolant change past 100K. At 100K you can decide to replace the timing belt and go another 100K or sell it and get an new Civic or something else.

With all these highway miles you don’t need a hybrid. Any new car should hold up for 100K. The main factor might be how much mpg you need and how much size you want in your car. Smaller is more fuel mileage, larger is more carrying capacity and more safety in general.


#4

How important is your comfort? That’s lots of hours in the saddle. I’d get a 2 year old Lexus ES350, about 28 mpg highway.


#5

Is this constant driving, like commuting, or does it go in spurts? If it is long distances occasionally, you could do it with one car. The time in between trips can be used for maintenance and repairs. If this is more like commuting 100 miles one way, I’d think about two cars. You could save on initial purchase price by buying something with a lot of depreciation worked out already; about 4 to 5 years old. A 2004 Ford Focus might be about $5500 and have around 60,000 miles on it. If you bought 2, you’d spend $11,000. A 2008 Focus would be about $1000 more, but you still need to consider what to do when it eventually needs maintenance and repairs. With 2 cars, tis is much less an issue. If you alreay have a car for occasional use, then one of these might be fine. Look for low mileage and excellent condition.


#6

Assuming the majority of this 50,000 miles is on the freeway, get a larger car. Larger vehicles with V6’s get almost as good mileage on the freeway as their smaller, more uncomfortable counterparts. And since this is a workhorse I agree to stay away from exotic size wheels and tires, stock will be less expensive to replace. If you want to get really nit-picky get a car that has a timing chain rather than a belt, that’ll be one less $1000 service at 90-105k miles. I believe Nissan uses chains in all their engines, so an Altima or even a Maxima would be nice.


#7

Find a new-ish Crown Victoria, Grand Marquis, Tarus, or Sable. Used, these are great bargains and should have tons of life left in them. Taxis, rental fleets and police cruisers can’t be wrong in keeping these as the main work horses.


#8

If you drive this much you need the best combination of long life, low noise level, fuel economy, and comfortable seats. My choice would be a 4 cylinder Toyota Camry.


#9

I had a job that I drove about the same miles per year. I drove about 200-350 miles a day with city and highway.

I had 3 cars but the best I had was a used Taurus that I bought with about 75,000 miles. When I let it go it had 288,000 miles and the ONLY things I did to it was 1 rebuilt starter and 1 used alternator. This does not include brakes, tires and other maintenance items. It never burned, leaked or used any oil at all and I was still getting 28-30 mpg.

Get a V6 for the acceleration. That extra power is a safety concern IMOO when getting onto a highway. As far as power goes, it is better to have and not need than to need but not have.

On the right car the mpg’s are not that bad on a v6 versus a 4.


#10

I have one and currently due to a job change am driving it 3750 miles per month. We are going to move soon, hopefully. One thing though is the seats on the Camry. Not that comfy for long ride. At least not for me. Might fit someone else. Which raises another concern. The OP should take the future car on a long test drive.


#11

OK, this might be ridiculous, but if you could rent cars by the week for $200 or less, could you be better off? Look at Hotwire or Orbitz for rentals for a week. You wouldn’t need to do any maintenance, you wouldn’t need to spend anything for taxes or registration. You would always have a pretty new car. You could rotate between two or three rental companies. This would only work if you were near a bigger city or airport, I think, and it varies a lot across the country.


#12

Good point about the seats - OP would do well to find a car with electric seats to allow for a better fit.


#13

OK, this might be ridiculous, but if you could rent cars by the week for $200 or less, could you be better off?

That would have to be with UNLIMITED miles…Do you know any that have option?


#14

There are years where I was averaging about 40k miles. Right now I’m averaging about 30k miles. Unless you want to keep replacing cars every 2-3 years you want something reliable. Comfort is also a big factor since you’ll be sitting in the car 2-3 hours a day. After 6 years you’ll have 300k miles or more.

There are some 4-cylinder cars that are very comfortable. The Camry for one. Very comfortable…and very reliable. Can easily reach the 300k mile mark with minimal repairs if properly maintained.

A good point the V6’s and highway driving. There’s not much difference in a V6 cruising on a highway and a 4-cylinder in the same vehicle.


#15

We LOVE our 07 ES-350. Excellent ride comfort…Great for long commutes. The EPA rating is 31 highway…We consistently get 32-33 highway.


#16

Good to hear about the 32+ mpg. I get 28 in my '96. Those mpg numbers make it hard to justify a 4cyl. for this kind of use. If an ES is too much $$, a Camry v6 should do as well.


#17

Most rentals I have had were unlimited miles. I actually don’t rent if they are limited miles, same reason I hate a lease. My sudden job change was proof that one can not live with these type of restrictions.


#18

CAUTION! Most “unlimited mileage” rentals that I have seen also say you can’t take the car out of state, or maybe just to adjacent states. Seriously, check their limitations carefully if going this route.


#19

I have a Honda Accord V6. It is quiet, comfortable, and gets 30-31 MPG on highway trips averaging around 75MPH. Honda builds really solid engines. Their 4 cylinder engines are very reliable. Of course, so is Toyota.

The good news is that almost any car will last a long time with a lot of highway mileage. My father had a 1971 Dodge Polara. He went over 300,000 miles in that car with just regular oil changes and tuneups. Lots of highway miles.

I would look for something comfortable first, and then make sure it has at least average or better reliability. Average these days is darn good.


#20

I’ve done a LOT of car renting due to business trips…YES there are unlimited miles…HOWEVER…everyone I’ve seen comes with a catch…

. Unlimited miles UP TO 500 miles.
. Only for the first week.
. I’ve NEVER EVER seen it on a long term rental…OVER 2 weeks.