Monday, March 23, 2009

Time for a new car

The shop quote is in and it looks like we'll be buying a new (or new to us) car. According to the mechanic:

$1,000 buys us 4-6 weeks of life
$2,700 fixes the problems that landed the car in the shop

If we were going to try to make the car last another year there's an additional $1,000 worth of work we'd need to put into it. So at almost $4K and more than 200,000 miles on the car we'd rather get something new.

The question is what. I want something that:
  • gets decent gas mileage
  • is kid friendly
  • looks nice enough for the outside sales job he is vying for
  • less than $25K, though I'd be happier in the $10-15 range
  • can handle snow

The combination of the three makes things interesting. We haven't had kids yet, but like the house it's something on the horizon and we don't want to have to buy something else once we do have them. If they had better gas mileage I'd be all over a crossover. I go back and forth on hybrids- good for earth, but expensive. There's a good chance we'll buy something preowned if we don't do a hybrid or crossover, but then this morning I heard that some new cars are costing less than their preowned versions. Decisions, decisions.

No matter what we're going to need to do some sort of finacing and shake up our financial plans.

All and any car advice is welcome! Going without a car is also not an option. I work 15 miles east of our house, he work 25 miles south. The round trip would take 2-2.5 hours if we try to do it with just one car.

1 comment:

JessicaW said...

Sarah, I've had a Toyota Matrix for about five or six years now. I've got 130,000 miles on it, and I've never really had trouble with it. I took it in a little while back because the computer failed. That was the first real "work" we've had to have done aside from tires, brakes, etc. The usual stuff.

I used to commute a mountian pass every day to work, and faced snow, ice, and elk. It's a super car for snow, and my husband prefers it to his car for snow. We just put snow tires on it in the winter (we only did this after I began the pass commute though--otherwise it did fine with chains). It's heavy and wide but low, so handles beautifully. The gas mileage is excellent. I get 32-38 mpg. (I have the 2WD model)

I've been rear-ended in high-speed collisions (interstate) twice, and it's repaired beautifully and I walked away unscathed. It's good for kids too--we have a 3 year old and a ten year old.

Truly, this is the perfect family car--it's been so easy and incredibly reliable, despite what we've put it through. I'd recommend it to anyone.

Also, it's got a lot of extra features even on the stock (base) model like running lights, and a CD player, and Air Conditioning!

You should take a look at these family-friendly sport wagons. Like Suburau wagons but cheaper to repair and cuter in my opinion.

Jessica W from Pennywise Family