Sick of mini vans & economy cars!

My husband & I share the family mini van and a Ford Focus, both of which have served our family well. But after 20 years of such vehicles, I am sick of them! I want to replace the Focus with a nice car for my daily trek across town to work, etc. but I can’t afford a new one. I need something with some miles on it so that it is near-Focus-like affordable. What is “nice”? A quiet, comfortable ride with a little zip & handling would be great. Not a real big thing, not an extremely low rider either. Something with front wheel drive or such that doesnt float across a half an inch of snow (or randomly catch on fire, etc). Add in a sunroof & heated seats & I would be in heaven. My question: What type of used car should I look for? What would fit this criteria, yet would still be a good reliable value even with lots of miles on it? All suggestions appreciated!!

The car of your dreams does not exist, unless you are willing to accept doubling or tripling your cost per mile to own and operate…The luxury car toys you crave all start to crap out by the time you can afford them…The new mileage standards means EVERYBODY gets to drive Focus-like cars in the future…

Lexus, Infiniti, Acura, Audi, Mercedes, BMW, etc., etc.


How about something like this?

You might want to look at the Chevrolet Impala, the Chevrolet Malibu and the Ford Taurus (was renamed the Ford 500 for a couple of years). You may be able to find some available from rental fleets, but be certain to have it checked out by a mechanic.

I don’t buy the idea that higher mileage standards will force people to drive Focus-like cars in the future.


Because the mpg that counts for CAFE and what you see in the windshield are not the same. The standard 2010 Ford Fusion with an I4, for example, gets high enough combined mileage to meet the much-ballyhooed 2016 CAFE fleet-wide average of 35 mpg.

The Ford Focus is a notoriously noisy car and the ride is nothing to write home about. However, you can get a very smooth and quiet ride in a 3-4 year old low mileage Hyundai Sonata. This is posible the most underrated car on the market. A friend of mine who is semi retired, got rid of his Crown Victoria Ford ( a big car) and now has a Huyundai Elantra, a smaller version of the Sonata. He loves it and finds it very civilized.

To get a quiet ride you need to avoid minivans and many compact cars. A Honda Civic is a good car, but quite noisy.

I would stay away fron older luxury cars since they will force you to moonlight to pay for the upkeep.

thank you for the suggestions! I will look into some of the models suggested above & will check back for addtional comments too.

A used Honda Accord…they served our kids well through college when each bought used with 50 and 100 k miles. Each got well over 220K miles before power windows and air got the best of them. Still ran great otherwise.

How about something like an Acura TSX or TL?

How about a used Ford Mustang or Camaro or Pontiac Grand Am or Bonneville? Very affordable and fun to drive.

Pick up a Consumer Reports Used Car Buyers’ Guide at the local bookstore. That’ll give you far more information than will fit here.