Best of Deals Car Reviews Repair Shops Cars A-Z Radio Show

Most efficient cars?

I’m just seeking some knowledge on cars that are more ‘reliable’ as I’m currently looking for a car after a bad experience with my recent car.
My demands are; under 8k pricing, petrol efficient, model year to be 2007+, and that would be considered as a safe buy? basically which car would you recommend your grandma to be driving?

This question does not have a real answer from the internet. We all have bias opinions. $8000.00 for a used vehicle is gamble territory. Simply put a person has to find what they want , have a trusted mechanic look at for a fee and hope for the best.

Besides if I say model XYZ is the most reliable vehicle ever made how would you know if I even knew what I was talking about.

I understand what you’re saying, but, I’m very confused as to what to buy and my mechanic told me to ask him for advice on my next car purchase, so I thought perhaps someone out there would have an answer? For example, would you recommend a Holden Barina in a sense of what the chances of it reaching the 200km target; obviously that also depends on how well it’s taken care of but still.

At your price point, forget efficiency. Overall ownership cost should be your criteria.

If you live in North America, the choice is different from where else you live. Please tell us.

A used Hyundai Accent with low mileage would cost much less than $8000 and provide economical and reliable transportation.

A good 2007 Toyota Corolla can be had for less than $5000. A Honda Civic would do as well. Both Kia Forte and Hyundai can be had for $8000. A Mazda 3 would be a good choice as well.

Grandma would be perfectly happy in a Honda Civic or Toyota Corolla. The Corolla is the world’s most bullet-proof car, but it may be called something else in Australia, like “Auris”.`

In North America I would stay away from any Volkswagen, any Nissan with a CVT transmission, or Ford Focus.

Don’t buy a used hybrid car, no matter how tempting.


Cheers for the reply, I live in Australia.

Isn’t this an Australian made vehicle that has closed it’s factory? Most of the regulars here are United States based. Your mechanic gave you best advice you are going to get.


Toyota Corolla, Honda Civic, or Mazda 3 or maybe a Camry or Accord if you want something a bit bigger.

Ford Crown Vic or Mercury Grand Marquis. My grandparents (on both sides of my family) drove those cars exclusively. They didn’t give a rats arse about fuel economy though.


Any thoughts on;

  • 2011 Hyundai Getz S Auto MY09

  • 2008 Hyundai Elantra SX Auto

  • 2015 Mitsubishi Mirage ES LA Auto MY15

  • 2014 Mitsubishi Mirage ES LA Auto MY14

Yes, they are all vehicles.

1 Like

Actually, it is an even bigger gamble that you thought, owing to the difference in the value of the Australian dollar vs the US dollar. When the Australia-based OP states that she wants to buy a reliable vehicle for less than $8k, that would translate to a US-based buyer stating that he/she wants to buy a reliable vehicle for less than $6k.

Yes, a major gamble–no matter what make of vehicle one is considering.

All I can say is to seek a vehicle–no matter what make or model–that comes with hard copies of its maintenance records that you can compare to the mfr’s maintenance schedule. A vehicle that has been very well-maintained is likely to be the most reliable, but even then, it would need to be inspected by the OP’s mechanic prior to purchase.

1 Like

Isn’t the Holden a GM vehicle?


Now who knows what parts were actually used so that would be one issue, if it is a Daewo or a Pontiac, etc. But seems to me if you find a nice one, and the mechanic checks it out, and the parts don’t seem to be trouble prone, you could be OK.

I believe Holden is now built by GM Korea, formerly Daewoo. The high cost of manufacturing in Australia led all, and I mean all, auto manufacturers to announce that they would close their Australian operations. Toyota might be the only one left, and they will close in about a year.

Don’t know what to recommend, but If I needed to replace my daughters car (college kid) I was looking at a 2007 Ford Focus, 80k miles, manual trans, dealer had done front wheel bearing and breaks, $5700. Luckily her car survived a timing chain failure for $1200.

What kind of breaks ?

Hopefully, they were the type of “breaks” that aren’t very expensive to repair…

And I thought to myself I am not going to misspell brakes, and I did. I hate getting senile, but get to meet brand new people every day!

1 Like

There is a relatively old saying that tells us…The only good thing about dementia and Alzheimer’s is that you get to hide your own Easter eggs.

A friend’s father used to say, ‘no more re-runs for me!’, after he got old.

Consumer Reports has reliability ratings for used cars.

Consumer Reports might not be much help in Australia ,

1 Like

They still rated my Pontiac bad and I’ve been happy with it since 2010. So gotta take their ratings with a bar of soap. People rate them bad if there is a body squeak somewhere or the radio went out or had to bring it to the dealer for something. In 125K no problems except spark plug wires and a smashed headlight housing.