What Car to Buy?

I am a 30 year old single mother with debt out the whazoo from my lovely ex-husband. I am currently driving a 97 Honda Accord that is on it’s last leg at around 250,000 miles. I can’t afford the repairs, and am shopping for a new car (or at least new to me). I have found four cars that might work for me, but I am curious what you think would be my best bet:

New 2008 Honda Fit (Base Model, Manual Transmission) - Drive out quote $15,260.00

New 2008 Toyota Corolla (Base Model, 4-DOOR CE SEDAN, Manual Transmission) - Drive out quote $14,429.00

New 2008 Chevy Aveo5 LS (5-dr Hatchback, Automatic Transmission – with Auto pkg, Stereo, spoiler and fog light upgrades)- Drive out quote $14,945 BEFORE employee GM discount (could be close to $2000)

If I were going on price alone, the choice would be clear - BUT, when I review safety and performance, the Toyota (or the Fit) might be my option. If I look at the total package (all inclusinve “perks”) the Fit tops the list. Is it worth spending the $3000 more for the overall package of the Fit? Will this pay off in the long run?

Other facts to consider - I have financing for $15,000 from my credit Union with 5.45 interest rate (which is great considering I have a less than 600 credit score) and I have someone willing to purchase my current car for $1500.


Although I personally prefer Hondas, I think the Corolla is the better deal for you. It’s a larger car than the Fit and is comparable to the Civic. Gas mileage is about the same for all three.

One thing worries me. If you can’t afford to fix your old Accord, can you afford to buy any new car? Another, cheaper alternative would be a low mileage used Honda or Toyota about 2 or 3 years old.

I think you should also check out the Nissan Versa and Hyundai’s line of small cars.

I’d buy the Aveo. Edmunds says that the expected repair (not maintenance) cost in the first 5 years is $890. It’s $797 for both the Fit and Corolla. Does the Aveo seem significantly less reliable than the Fit or Corolla in that light? Plus you get $2000 from GM. Consider the $2000 your insurance fund against extra repairs, which seem unlikely.

Does the drive out quote include taxes and registration? Once again, Edmunds.com says that people near me (MD) pay about $14,115, including the destination charge, for that car before taxes and registration. And there is a $500 rebate from GM on the Aveo. Do you qualify for that? The rebate is after taxes. Is your employee discount before or after taxes?

I don’t like the way our 07 Corolla would jump out of its skin when we used the gas pedal. It was good enough though and the trunk was big enough. Don’t get the Aveo.

As I suggested on the other thread you started. You should probably fix your current car. The price of fixing it will probably be less than 6 new car payments. Cheaper in the long run to keep and fix what you have.

No, I disagree. Her car has 250,000 miles and it’s 10 years old. She’s driving kids everywhere. It’s worn, it does not have ABS or proper airbags, and it is just plain done. The front suspension is undoubtedly shot and loose. Her choice of cars is pretty good, but I’d definitely go with the Honda or Toyota. Since you are financing through a credit union ask them if they participate in used car sales from time to time. They might finance a 1 year old car like a new one and you can get long warranties if that’s important. Look at the new Scion xB, too. If you like it, it looks like another interesting choice.

You can not go wrong with a Toyota or Honda, My preference is the Honda, I have put over 250000 miles on two different Hondas with only the recommended maintenance. Look at the web page http://www.nhtsa.gov/ and click on Recalls, Defects and Complaints Databases check out complaints that have been registered for the car models you are looking at. It is a real eye opener who makes a good car. Since you are looking at new cars look at the past history of older models for the brand. My preference is to buy a used Mercedes Benz; you can get a C class I paid $16,000 for a five year old C280. With 60,000 miles, it now has 210,000 miles with only maintenance, and is still worth $5,000 and runs and looks like new. It is twice any other car. Best of all, your friends will rag on you as being so rich for driving a MB with they paid twice a much for there SUV?s. Stay away from the junk GM, ford or Chrysler makes.

Ps; the nhtsa.gov complaints for the MB model I have number 7 minor issues. The last ford I owed had 3200 major complaints of which I could have written most of them

You could also try Hyundai Elantra. With AC and a CD player, its about 15k

my wife has the aveo and can not be happier. She got the LT for 15300 out the door with all the options, besides the sunroof. i also like the fit. The corolla is to base model and is not worth the money at 14.5k with no power windows, abs and nothing else. For price and finacing options i would go with the aveo. It is also reliable for the year we had it.

You will also have to consider the cost of the full coverage insurance that your credit union will make you have for the new car. Cost being an issue and all, I would advise buying a couple year old used car.