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Time to replace my car

I’d appreciate any and all suggestions for a “USED” replacement vehicle. Specifically I need: a car that is durable (I travel a lot of back roads in my sales job.)I need fuel efficiency, and something that is reliable and relatively maintenance free. If possible and I hope I’m not asking for the impossible I need to stay under 10k.

Someone recommended the Pontiac Vibe and while it certainly fits my needs and I like the looks, I’m told they have “front-end” problems. The source on this wasn’t specific on the year or if it was a problem for all years.

Thanx for your consideration!

Well, no vehicle will be maintenance free. Well technically every car could be considered “maintenance-free” but you’d have to expect costly repairs and a dramatic decrease in reliability along the way. However, for a good balance of what you want, I would highly recommend any Honda (accord, civic, fit, or insight) they are great solid cars that are reliable, easy to maintain, they have great resale values, so finding one in your budget might be tough, but not impossible. Also, despite all the recalls made by Toyota, I would not hesitate to buy any toyota product. They are just as good, if not better, than Honda. Also, because of all the “hoopla” in the news, a toyota product might be cheaper.

Subaru, Honda, Nissan, Toyota (yes), Lexus, Infiniti, Acura, Hyundai are all great vehicles. Cars are like shoes, what fits me may not fit you. I suggest going out to your local dealers, sit in and drive as many as you can. Once you have found the one that fits you best, start looking for a 3 - 4 year-old, one-owner, low-mile used car with all the service records. Pay an independent specialist for a pre-purchase inspection. Drive and enjoy it.


I’m told they have “front-end” problems.
Unless it’s a documented source from a respected publication or a survey or the manufacturer itself, it’s subjective and based upon a very limited sample.
The relative good repair record may lead one to say the model has front end trouble because it’s average. Personally, I wouldn’t believe it and if the model and it’s twim the Toyota matrix serves your needs, buy it. If you’re staying under $10k then you preferences are secondary to getting the best bang for the buck, which would include a Ford Focus and models from Honda, Toyota, Scion, Subaru and a few others that are recommended by CR. Word of mouth is subjective…start Googling.

Take a look at a 2007 Hyundai Elantra SE. It should be right around $10,000. Comparable cars are the Corolla S, Honda Civic LX, and the Cobalt LT. The Civic has the lowest estimated repair and maintenance costs, but its a couple thousand more to buy. The Elantra M&R cost is almost the same. The Corolla and Cobalt have about the same M&R cost estimate, and they are only 15% more than the other two. In this case, 15% equals about $1000 over 5 years. We have a Cobalt LT and it rides nicely. It is also the least expensive of the 4 to buy, but the Elantra is not far behind. On just a dollars and cents view, I’d go for the Elantra, Cobalt, Corolla, and Civic in that order.