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Safety and Fuel Economy for a Newbie?

Hi everyone,

I’m looking to buy my first car, and of course, I’m full of questions, and frankly, a little more than just a tad confused.

I’ve managed to narrow it down to a few that I think match what I’m looking for. I want a car that is safe, reliable, and good on gas, all in a small package. Also, I’ve heard that the VW frames are very sturdy and will fare better in the case of an accident. Is that true?

My top choices are:

Toyota Echo

Toyota Yaris

VW Golf

VW Jetta

I’m looking to spend about 7000-10000 on a used car.

So what do you think?

Thank you!

GIven your choices skip VW. They lack in the reliability department sadly as they are really nice fun/safe cars otherwise.

The VWs were designed for the high speeds in Germany. The high speeds make it more likely that single vehicle accidents involving rolling over will be one of the most common types. We prefer demolition derby type accidents in the U.S.A. When VW says that the entire front end will collapse and you will not be crushed, then, by golly, that’s exactly what they mean. I have driven the Echo and the Yaris. I like the interior of the Echo a lot more than the Yaris. Once I get the hidden seat belt of the Yaris fastened, thay’re about the same. I like the Echo shifter better too. I don’t have to move it side to side. They both have silly dash vents.

Also look at Honda Civic. I wish you could afford the current generation Civic (2006 and newer) or a Honda Fit.

Honda Fit! I love my 2001 Civic, but they’re not small anymore. The Fit (my wife has a 2008) is a great little car, and feels big when you’re in it. Excellent safety as well, except for side impact in the back seat.