What to get?

I am looking to trade the old Buick (with less than 73,000 miles on it) after the '09’s come out. I want to spend $10,00 or less, 2005 model year with no more than 40,000 miles on the vehicle. Here’s the hard part, fuel economy! I have read the pro’s of Honda, Toyota, Hyundai. I lean toward Volkswagen, but I remember when a new Super Bettle was less than $3,500. Now you know, I’m older than dirt. I still want to upgrade, so give me credit for that. Hey, did I tell you I want to drive this car for at least 5 years? I haven’t got a clue except, I want the best fuel efficiency and mileage I can get on the open road. Please do not suggest the Smart Car. I’ve seen one up close and it scares me and no little bitty wheels either. Thanks for the help.

Stay away from Volkswagens-the mileage isn’t that great and the reliability is inconsistent. Your price range though presents a problem-you’re not going to get a decent car made in 2005 or sooner for $10,000 with under 40,000 miles. You do realize that the average new car costs almost $30,000 now right? I mean you might be able to get a stripped down economy car, but that’s it.

If you don’t mind expanding the options to model year 2003 you open yourself up to more options. You’re used to a Buick-which is comfy and quiet, so economy cars probably won’t suit you anyway. Try a Honda Accord or Toyota Camry with a 4 cylinder engine and you’ll be happy.

I would suggest a TDI VW like a Passat, but I don’t think you’ll be able to find one as new as you want for that low of cost. Try out a Hyundai Sonata or Azera, their horrible resale values should help you get a like new one for the price you want. Like Dave said, you’re used to the Buick ride, which is why I’m not recommending a Civic or Carola or Accent. Another one to look for would be an Impala or Malibu, they get pretty decent highway mileage

Jeanine; fuel cost is about 1/3 of car owning cost. There is depreciation (1/3) and maintenance & repairs (1/3). I’m leaving insurance out, since it applied to whatever you buy.

Your overall lowest driving costs for 5 years would likey be by buying a used Hyundai Elantra (low mileage) without too many options (avoid sliding roof, etc.). These cars are inexpensive to buy, get good mileage (much better than yor Buick), and are inexpensive to maintain and repair.

I would avoid any Volkswagen model. Over a 5 year period you will spent a great deal of money on upkeep, and any gas mileage benefits will be miniscule. Before the price of Civics and Colollas skyrocketed, I would have recommended those. Another good choice could be a Mazda 3 (not the Speed Model); it is a tough car and easy to maintain. My son has a 2004 model and it has been bullet-proof for the 50,000 miles he has put on it so far. Just oil and filter changes.

Happy shopping!

Neither Toyota or Honda can be beat in the dependability category. That being said, you will be lucky to find the base model of either a Civic or a Corolla in the current market. You are not the only one scooping up older fuel efficient cars you know!

That being said, if you are going to keep the car, look at a Hyundai Elantra. They are pretty good cars - based my experience - and you will be able to get one with your budget.