Post # 1
I am in grad school, live in the snowy northern part of New England, and my 21-year-old car is in need of replacing. 🙁 It has reached the point where there is ALWAYS something broken, and because I have a 160-mile (one way) drive to and from school once a week, it is starting to stress me out.
I’m thinking about getting a used car– a small, efficient one, that is decent in snow. Toyota Corollas have been recommended to me twice now, and I have driven my friend’s Corolla and really liked it. I also like Subaru Imprezas (the hatchback ones). I need something less than 10 years old and not very expensive– I am poor, though because it is something I have to have for school, I am considering using the living allowance I get from my loans to pay for a car all at once (which would be possible if it is not expensive).
So, any ideas? Recommendations as far as low-maintenance, fuel-efficient cars go, that a student could afford? Specific model year suggestions are welcome. 🙂
Post # 3
i drive a 2004 chevy cavalier, and i love it. simple, easy to drive, low to the ground, and affordable. and gets good gas mileage
Post # 4
- Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL
Loved and now miss my Toyota (RIP; died in Hurricane Charley.) My Chrysler has been a pain and most of the electrical is on the fritz.
Post # 5
Thanks for the suggestion! I looked it up and I guess the design of it is not really my look :/ but it was very nice of you to help out!
OK, duly noted. Thank you!
Post # 6
I have a 2009 Pontiac Vibe and really love it. It’s kind of a soccer mom car (hatchback) but I can haul lots of stuff in it and it has been really reliable! The newest one you’d be able to get is a 2010 (or 2011?), as they stopped making the Pontiac line after that, but I’ve had mine for 3 years and it’s been great.
It’s built on the same base as a Toyota Matrix, and has a Toyota engine, so I imagine Matrixes are pretty much the same car. Plus, they are probably more readily available on the used car market since they’re still being made.
Post # 7
I just bought a used 2012 Focus hatchback. Don’t know how it handles in snow. But I LOVE it. I had a ’09 Mazda 3 hatchback (that got ‘totaled’ in car crash) and loved that too. I had to drive that ONCE in the snow when VA got pounded by like 3 ft of snow and I wasn’t about to stay at school. I think it handled really well on the highway with compacted snow and ice and once I got to my neighborhood that hadn’t been plowed yet, it survived.
Post # 8
- Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL
My mom also loves her Hondas (she’s on her fourth and only because she wants a new one every 4-5 years!)
Post # 9
You live in Vermont, right?
Can’t go wrong with the reliability of a Corolla, but I have driven several of varying generations and they are very light, which is not good when you’re driving in snow. If you want something that’s going to get you home when the snow is 3″ deep on 89, you need all-wheel drive.
How much are you looking to spend? My Fiance and I are kind of into cars so I would be happy to help you find one.
Post # 10
Yes, indeed I do live in Vermont. 🙂 I did notice when I tried driving my friend’s Corolla that it gets blown around a lot. My SO’s brother drives a Corolla and it is apparently fine with studded snow tires on it, but he is a more aggressive driver than I am, sooo. . . . yeah.
I can’t really spend more than $6,500 at the absolute most.
I’d be delighted to have some help finiding a Subaru Impreza or some kind of Subaru sedan that’s 10 or fewer years old. Thank you so much for the offer!
Post # 11
we have an impreza hatchback and loooove it! it’s been great and fun to drive. we don’t live in snow country but DH grew up in an area that got snow and his family always had subaru’s.
Post # 12
check out autotrader.com to find subarus in your area
Post # 13
A couple of questions-
Can you drive stick (or willing to learn)?
Do you have a mileage limit? (Most cars in that range will probably be over 100k)
How far are you willing to travel to get your car? There are lots of used subarus in VT but the prices might be better in southern New England or NY state where the demand is a bit lower.
Post # 14
Same here, though we do live in a snowy area. Fiance and I both have Subarus (I have an ’06 Impreza hatch and he has an ’02 WRX). The biggest thing is to check and make sure it doesn’t have shitty tires. Mine came with an almost new set of OEM tires (Bridgestone Potenzas) that are effing awful, and EXPENSIVE. They retail for $250/tire! I can get a much better entire set of tires for less than the cost of one.
Post # 15
I can drive a stick shift, but honestly I kind of hate it. . . so I definitely prefer automatics, even though I know the mileage isn’t quite as good.
I actually go to grad school in southern New Husband, so looking around in Massachusetts and Connecticut, for example, would be fine. My present car came from the south shore of Mass. and it was (and amazingly still is) in good shape. I guess I’ll expand my search a bit.
110 K miles is the most I’ll consider since I hope I won’t have to get another car for a number of years. 90k or so is much better. 🙂 I have found a few in my searching already, but I’m not going to be ready to actually go ahead and buy one for a couple months (I have to figure out the money situation).
Good point about the tires! I always get good tires on sale, online actually (Tire Rack) and I agree, $250 a tire is ABSURD!
Post # 16
Subaru if you can afford it. Hyundai Elantra or Hyundai Accent if you can’t. If you can’t afford AWD for the snow, might as well get a very reliable and gas efficient hyundai!