Corolla v Civic v Hyundai/Nissan moeds

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I'd put insurance costs in there, toward the top.
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On the other hand, a slightly used American car--let's say a Ford Focus--is an incredible deal, with most of the big depreciation already paid for and yet most of the car's life remaining.
If you can stand a Focus, a slightly used one is your best bet.
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If you keep a new car 10 yrs, as I usually do, depreciation is almost the same for most similar priced cars. Very little value after 10+ yrs.
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Most automakers are making pretty reliable and durable cars these days.
1) Regarding fuel economy, the EPA numbers for 2008 and later model years should more closely reflect real-world numbers so you can compare. I do not know if this is still the case, but in the past, Hyundais have had poorer fuel economy than a comparable Toyota, Honda, or Nissan and tend to be a little noisier. A friend traded in a Honda minivan for a Hyundai minivan, and while the Hyundai has good performance and comfort, it is noisier on the highway and gets noticeably poorer fuel economy.
I recommend that you test drive each candidate to see if they are comfortable for you, if you like how they drive, road noise, convenience, etc.
Also price all of the vehicles with the equipment that you want. Hyundais tend to have more content than comparable Japanese vehicles.
2) Edmunds.com seems to have pretty good car reviews.
3) I would purchase the vehicle from the dealer that sells the vehicle new because dealers that do not have that particular brand's franchise do not have access to the factory training and equipment that the new car dealer has.
4) You will probably get a better deal on a 2008 than a 2009, and if you are going to keep the vehicle for 12 years, depreciation won't make that much of a difference.
5) Factory and dealer demos (vehicles that have never been titled) are generally available only through franchised dealers. A "used" vehicle is one that has been licensed and titled, and are available pretty much anywhere, although the vehicles in the best condition are most likely to be at the franchised dealer.
The best time to buy a vehicle is generally at the end of the model year, especially if there is a major model change like a new body style. Since new models are introduced throughout the year, the end of the model year will vary depending on when the vehicle was released. The 2009 Corolla is new, so you will probably get a better deal on a 2008.
Besides the time of year, there is a best time of the month, generally the 1st or second working day of the month, when automakers have their month-end close. If there are factory incentives on the vehicle, they will tend to be better at the end of the incentive period because incentives are generally stepped up towards the end of the period.
--

Ray O
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wrote:

Here many are used as cabs, even to the airport. I've been told by the cabbies they go about 200k miles before major repair, the Camry goes about 150k miles for the same.
Unfortunately for me it needs a telescoping steering wheel as I sit far back. The car is designed for drivers much shorter than my 5'-11".
Also unfortunately there are just too many of them here, mostly beige, one would have trouble finding one's Corolla in the parking lots.
The best deals here are on off lease cars.
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lots of discussion here, my additions: at this point, it's clear that side airbags are a significant addition to safety, i'd tend to make them a must. diseases of japanese cars, toyota and honda included, tend to be more age related than mileage related. as such, "easiest" way to own them might be to buy new or maybe one year old, then sell around the time of the "big service" where you have to change the timing belt. repeat as necessary. as pointed out, the depreciation on toyota or honda is pretty low, so a good deal on a new one is as cheap as a bad deal on a one year old. either way, it'll depreciate less while you own it than other makes, so a little more expense up front ends up saving you over the long run. if you are more into keep it until it rusts away, as with the 12 year old Camry, that's obviously less of an issue. in which case, you might want to consider a hyundai along with focus, mazda, nissan, because the cost of entry is less for them. hyundai quality has come a long way lately.
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In article

Well, that gives the nod to Honda--with its Safety for Everyone campaign, where every car gets every safety feature that was available at the time the car was introduced. Where the manufacturer does not put more safety features into the higher end cars and fewer into the lower end cars.
(There's a big discussion about run-flat tires on the Odyssey, though; for years, many argued them as a safety feature, but since Honda has since made them optional and not mandatory, I think that shows the lie that people told themselves about it being a safety feature.)
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On a Goodyear test in the UK for 5,000 miles on run flats, they changed those tires every 50 miles. Kind of useless for highway drives in parts of NA I'd say.
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