More on Cars for College


#1

Our 21 year old daughter attends college in MN and this summer will work on campus. We currently own a 2007 Honda Fit Sport with 23K miles which is now parked in our Texas driveway while she is at school. She would like a car to use this summer and possibly keep on campus next year. I am concerned that the Fit may not be the best choice for an all year-round vehicle where winters can be so brutal. So, should we 1) ship her the Fit and ask that she limit driving in next year’s snow, 2) sell the Fit in Texas and purchase a 4WD vehicle like a CR-V or a RAV-4 in MN, or 3) try to find a short-term lease swap with a more winter-worthy car? If we sold the Fit, I’m guessing we could get about $12-13K as private sellers. We might be willing to put in a bit more $$ for another car, but not much. Thanks for your input!


#2

The Fit would be fine for her to use here, provided it has proper tires (non-summer/non-low-rolling-resistance) on it.


#3

Fit should be GREAT, as long as you get a set of winter tires and wheels for it (see tirerack.com for them, they can send a set to a tire dealer in MN at the appropriate time). FWD does fine in snow with the right tires. I used a Rabbit GTI for 12 years in Anchorage and did not get stuck. Ever.


#4

The FIT is great in the snow IF and only IF equipped with winter tires or decent in the snow all-seasons (Continental Extreme Contact DWS, Nokian WR G2).

The stock sport tires are dreadful in the snow.


#5

The Fit would be fine here in MN as long as she uses good judgement about when to drive and doesn’t drive too fast for the conditions. Roads here get plowed quickly, you don’t need 4WD. 4WD will just make her think she can drive faster than she should. What college?


#6

Thanks! She’s in Northfield.


#7

No problem there. Unless she drives up to Minneapolis a lot, she probably will put very few miles on the car.


#8

Up in MN she should have an easier time getting around in the snow than in Texas. MN has equipment already ready for the snow when it gets there so it can clear the roads, TX does not. A good set of all season tires, or a dedicated set of winter tires on their own rims will be the best setup for her.


#9

My vote is for keeping the Fit with maybe another set of tires better suited for that area.
With only 23k miles on it the vehicle is near new anyway.

If it ever gets into a situation where the weather turns off very brutal then she could throw in the towel and stay in her dorm, apartment, etc. and save the travel for a better day. I doubt she would be the only one to “get sick”. :slight_smile:


#10

When I was in elementary school, I thought Minnesota was in the Artic circle. Our family started making trips to Minnesota to visit relatives and go fishing. I was very disappointed that the residents of Minnesota drove cars–I had hoped that they had dog sleds. The cars at that time were rear wheel drive just like the cars we drove in the midwest. I would bet that there are Minnesota residents that drive Honda Fit automobiles today.