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Long distance commute, keep current car or buy new

I commute to work about 3 times a week (160 miles a day, or about 500 per week) from WV to DC. The WV part has lots of hills and average speed is 75-80mph for 50miles. The DC part has crater size potholes and stop and go traffic for 20miles.

I currently drive a 2000 corolla that has 75k miles. It hasnt given me any major problems, always starts up. I dont care about luxury, just want a workhorse car.

I can get a brand new 2015 automatic mitsubishi mirage for $8000. Should I buy it or keep the corolla? I dont like getting into debt but the $8000 is a good deal. But on the other hand, I already have a capable car that hasnt given me any problems.

What do you guys suggest?

Keep the corolla. Plan for days in the shop, brakes regular maintenance stuff, I use a shop within walking distance of my work

I’d keep the Corolla. It’s a better highway car to me.

The Corolla is one of the most reliable cars on the planet and has only 75000 miles on it, I would bet on it outlasting the Mirage which has the distinction of being the lowest rated car on the market by Consumer Reports. All this presupposes that the Corolla is structurally sound rustwise.

Also, there have been rumors about Mitsubishi pulling out of the US market.

I’d keep it too. When I started commuting 100 miles a day, I just decided to rack the miles up instead of trading. So I did 240K, 350K, 480K, 530K, etc. on the various vehicles. Way back though I was told by a salesman to drive the biggest most comfortable car I could for long commutes so I usually drove Olds and Buicks and never regretted it. A little puddle jumper for that kind of trip would be a big mistake and a pain in the back in my opinion.

The Corolla has low miles but a bit old. I would just drive it, fix and maintain as needed without going crazy. You should put it to some good use.

Personally, I’d keep the Corolla. At 75K, you’ve easily got another 200K in there waiting for you. Just do the services as required, and remember some things will need to be repaired at certain intervals. It’s not always a failure, but just part of long term ownership. Ex: just rebuilt my front driveshafts for the second time on the 4Runner…the boots wear out every 100K or so.

Plus, if you keep the Corolla, you won’t have to break in the Mirage. :wink:

My vote is for the Corolla. Have it checked for rust, as that is what will most likely kill this car long before the mechanical components wear out. Do your regular maintenance and check your oil weekly to make sure the heavy highway miles don’t cause additional oil burning or leakage. That Corolla will go 200,000 miles or more if it doesn’t rust out on you.

Thanks all, Ive decided to keep the corolla.

This is a no-brainer. Keep the Corolla, maintain it well and just wear it out. The Corolla probably has more miles left on it than a new Mirage and is much more comfortable.

If you really want a super reliable and frugal car, get a Toyota Yaris. It’s light years better built that the Mirage.

Keep the Corolla, use that $8000 toward a newer Corolla when the time comes.

In the interest of full disclosure, I suggest @GeorgeSanJose states what he drive, what year it is and how many miles it has :smiley:

I drive an early 90’s Corolla with a manual transmission and 4afe engine, 200 k miles.

Definitely keep the Corolla.

I drive a 2005 Scion, 235,000 miles and still running great. It could use a new valvecover gasket due to seepage and a new serp belt tensioner, but those aren’t at all serious problems. I’ll get a round tuit at some point.
I’ve had numerous Toyotas for hundreds of thousands of miles. My best was an '89 pickup, I gave it to my daughter at about 295,000 and it got hit at 338,000, still running great. My '79 Toyota pickup I drove for almost 11 years when it had to be retired due to body rot… the powertrain was still running great. My first Toyota, my '76 Corolla, ran perfectly for six years until a growing family made it necessary to get something bigger. '76 Toyota coupes were, well, tiny. But very cheap to own and fun to drive.

I have never had a major problem with a Toyota beyond having to put a new timing chain on my '79 pickup at 200,000 miles.

I could go on, but you get the picture.


I noticed something amusing about your cars, and the way you refer to them . . . :sunglasses:

You refer to your early 90’s Corolla

And you refer to your early 70’s Ford Truck

If I were telling the story, It would something like this

I would talk about my 1992 Corolla

I would talk about my 1972 Ford F250

I’m curious . . . why don’t you mention the exact model years of your vehicles . . . ? :confused:

Everybody else mentions the name of their car minus the model year, or the name AND the model year. But you are always a little vague about the model year

Please don’t get offended . . . it’s all in good fun :wink:

And please forgive me if I got the exact models and model years wrong :smiley: