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Thread: About to get a new daily driver but which one?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2011
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    Central Texas
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    3,299

    Default About to get a new daily driver but which one?

    My current daily driver has served me well in the 2 1/2 years that I have owned it. Paid $2700 cash for it and it has never left me stranded. However, it is now 13 years old and has 150,000 miles on it. It also has started having a lot of problems that could lead to a break down if I donít stay on top of fluid levels.


    So I am looking at replacing it. It is a 2005 Dodge Neon. The requirements for a new to me car is that it get at least 30 mpg on the highway, be affordable, and not break the bank on maintenance costs. This vehicle will primarily be my daily driver to and from work. My wifeís truck is our BOV as it is a full size 2017 model that has 4 wheel drive and can still get 25 mpg if driven carefully.

    So the 2 vehicles are either a 2011 VW Jetta station wagon with the diesel motor, auto transmission, 2 wheel drive, and 47k miles on it or a brand new Fiat 500.


    To be honest, I really like both cars. The maintenance history is questionable on the VW due to the front tires being 2 years newer than the back 2 tires. This is common when routine maintenance is not done. So if the previous owner did not rotate the tires properly, what else did they not do? The Fiat 500 is smaller, but has good power and would be wonderful in the city and/or getting somewhere in a hurry as it can squeeze through smaller gaps than what the VW could do.

    So which one to get? The monthly payment on both would be the same, and insurance costs are the same on both of them as well. Maintenance would be more expensive on the VW, but it may(depending on past maintenance) last longer due to the Diesel engine. Fuel economy is a wash between the 2 as well since the VW gets better fuel economy, but diesel is more expensive than what premium gas is.

    I dunno. Just donít know.
    Prepare for the worst, hope for the best

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
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    Sweet Tennessee
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    3,865

    Default

    Neither. Nothing on a neon is hard to work on except the belt tensioner ........ my 16 yr old daughter replaced the radiator in hers with a little guidance from me. If you were like I've got 10 grand to spend on a new car different story..
    Don't bring skittles to a gun fight.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Location
    NW Ohio
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    Default

    How about a nice Ford Ranger pickup with a bulletproof 4 cylinder ? Dodge Neons are disposable cars, and have very light duty components, I would sell while it is still running. VWs can be expensive to maintain, but a diesel will last a long time, assuming you give it what it needs. The Fiat 500 seems like a nice little car, but you will get taken to the cleaners on buying new, and resale.

    I had a 1996 Saturn SL2, (which was also a disposable car), and ended up trading for a 2004 triple black Mustang GT convertible with 140,000 miles....the guy wanted $2500, and we made a deal for the Saturn, and $1000...which has turned out to be one of the best deals I have ever made. The 4.6L V8 runs really strong with 4.10 gears, and a shift kit (13.9 @ 101 mph in the 1/4 mile), and still knocks down 22-25 mpg. I have been driving it for 3 years through all 4 seasons, and 35,000 miles with very few issues.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    5,026

    Default

    Fiat = fix it again tony
    Common sense is so uncommon nowadays it ought to be reclassified as a super power

  5. #5

    Default

    I've always heard Subaru's are good cars with good MPG and low/cheap to maintain. I don't know first hand but my brother had one and raved about it. He passed it down to his son and he still drives if after many many years, as a back up. He says they have never had any issues other than normal wear and tare. I have an old 1991 4WD covertable Geo Tracker I keep as a back-up.
    Remember what Einstein said:
    ďI know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones.Ē

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2011
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    Central Texas
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    Quote Originally Posted by Camouflaged View Post
    I've always heard Subaru's are good cars with good MPG and low/cheap to maintain. I don't know first hand but my brother had one and raved about it. He passed it down to his son and he still drives if after many many years, as a back up. He says they have never had any issues other than normal wear and tare. I have an old 1991 4WD covertable Geo Tracker I keep as a back-up.

    A new Subaru is my preferred choice, but are out of my price range right now by about $10k.
    Prepare for the worst, hope for the best

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2011
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    The Neon is definitely a disposable car. The main reason why it has not broken down is because of sinking money into it to prevent a break down. That amount of cash is now getting close to a car payment. So instead of continuing, itís time to sell it before it gets too bad. My wife also does not feel comfortable driving it, and I can see why. So itís time to get something new(er).
    Prepare for the worst, hope for the best

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
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    East TN Smokey Mountains
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    personally I like diesels
    easier to store fuel for them
    and of course they last a lot longer than gas powered vehicles.
    you would have a lot more room in the jetta wagon, those fiats are tiny.

  9. #9

    Default

    Cav, is this going to be a primary car for you to drive to work? I was wondering why you would want a new one.
    Remember what Einstein said:
    ďI know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones.Ē

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Lakeside, CA
    Posts
    903

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    I would personally never own a Subaru.....not because they aren't good cars, but because (at least out here) they are considered a 'liberal' car....just like Prius's.... Much the same way that Trucks and Jeeps are usually owned by 'right-wingers, errrr I mean thinkers'. Take a look at the next Subaru you pull up next to.....it'll be a lib, I guarantee ya....

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