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      02-10-2008, 01:48 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by spacedogg View Post
Thanks for the suggestions guys.

So I test drove the Honda Fit LX, Honda Civic DX-G and Nissan Versa S today. As this will likely be the family beater, I only test drove the cars equipped with automatic transmission. Manual tranny will be for the next "pleasure" car I get on the next lease.

All cars were equipped with A/C, power door locks, power windows.

Honda Fit
The reviews are right...the Honda Fit is a very good product. It has a clever interior (all seats can fold flat and in various configurations). Rear space with two adult passengers is actually roomy enough. The Fit manages to feel somewhat upscale despite all the plastic inside...good use of a large and legible radio display. The throttle response is excellent. While you can't say it is "torquey", it is very eager while starting from a stop (0 to 20 mph). It also has the best mileage of all three cars because it has the smallest engine. For a mass market car, I was surprised that the ride was rougher than I expected--it had the roughest ride of all three cars. This problem was probably compounded by its short wheelbase.

A couple places where you notice where they cheaped out. No keyless remote (only available on the next trim level "Sport"). No telescoping steering wheel. WTF? How much more would have that added to the price? $30? Paddle shifters for the automatic are only available on Sport level.

Honda Civic
The Honda Civic is the grand daddy of all compacts. And frankly, I think they totally screwed the pooch on this one. Honda has bloated the Civic. The dash is too wide and far forward--likely they designed to make the cabin feel more spacious. In reality, it makes you feel you are piloting a boat of a car with 6 feet of hood (much like a 1970/80 American car). Throttle response is definately is not snappy as the Honda Fit...but similar to the previous generations. I was disappointed to say the least. Obviously, it is slightly more spacious than the Fit and also provides marginally better ride comfort.

Definately does not feel sporty. Disappointing to see Honda meddle with a recipe that has worked for over 20 years and not get it right. I'm sure the Si version with a manual tranny drives way better...but that's quite a bit more than the other cars.

But even the base Civic comes with a telescoping steering wheel. Gee...thanks.

Nissan Versa
Jeebus...this thing is cheap. When you do the calculations, you can drive away with $0 down for 60 months @ 2.9%. Payments will be approximately $370 taxes included. (And you Americans get even better pricing than us Canadians). How cheap is that?!? You could get 7 of these cars and drive a different colour for each day of the week!

And that's even before negotiation. And the Versa comes more well equipped than either of the Hondas. It also has a softer/smoother ride than both the Civic and Fit. Servicing will likely be cheaper too given that it doesn't have a rubber timing belt--it is metal so the first required tuneup is past 120,000 kms. Rear leg room is probably more spacious than the Civic and definately more spacious than the Fit. There is acres of headroom too. Although the seats are not as clever as the Fit and do not fold flat into the floor.

From the driver's seat, you definately feel like you are driving a smaller car than the Honda Civic. Yet, despite having the largest engine and most horsepower, it feels no faster than the Civic. Still no telescoping steering wheel. Sigh. This is what Jeremy Clarkson would say about the Versa: given the Nissan-Renault alliance, it's no surprise that the Versa's engine reminds you of a French surrender monkey.

A lot of noise shouting "vive la France" as you go, but really a wuss when you actually beat on it. Not exactly a sporty feeling car...but likely the car your mom would be happy to drive.

Honda v. Nissan
Bottom line...the Nissan Versa comes much better equipped and the sales people are much willing/eager to cut a deal than Honda. Honda sales do not even want to negotiate on pricing. Basically they want MSRP...especially on the Fit, given how popular it is. WTF? Are you BMW?

Honda doesn't even include any floor mats in the Honda Fit so you have to throw that into the negotiation. Bloody penny pinching.

The cost conscious side of me would likely buy a Nissan Versa. It has the most features (for the money) and feels very spacious.

But I wouldn't buy the Versa.

The eagerness of the Honda Fit just won me over. Sure it costs more than Versa (especially if you factor things like keyless remote). It also has a harsher ride that jostles you up and down on bumpy roades. But it has a more clever interior. It looks slightly more attractive too.

Sure it costs more...but I would say just work that little bit harder at your job so you can pay for it. The Honda Fit is the best of these three.
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      02-10-2008, 09:50 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spacedogg View Post
Sure it costs more...but I would say just work that little bit harder at your job so you can pay for it. The Honda Fit is the best of these three.
When you look at resale value, the Honda will not end up costing you more. Nobody does the sub-luxury range like Honda, and it shows in their fantastic residuals (projected resale value).
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      02-10-2008, 01:53 PM   #25
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This is a great post. I am looking for a beater car while I'm down south. But I am only going to spend $5000 or so. Probably a 2003 Lancer. I would go with the Fit.
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      02-10-2008, 01:56 PM   #26
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Used 2005-2006 Mini Cooper S might be like $19,000
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      02-10-2008, 03:31 PM   #27
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      02-10-2008, 07:21 PM   #28
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I liked the Saturn Astra that I drove last week. Don't worry it's not American. It's German. Ok, really Belgian( is that really a word? ) since it is built in Belgium next to the Opel Astra.
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      02-10-2008, 07:50 PM   #29
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that astra looks the part!
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      02-10-2008, 07:51 PM   #30
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      02-10-2008, 08:54 PM   #31
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I'll never understand the concept of a commuter car. Why buy a car if you aren't going to drive it? Use the money to maintain your good car and screw the shitty one. I couldn't stand driving on the highway every day in a Fit going slow and knowing I had a new 3er sitting in the garage at home.
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shit, if i had that kind of money id buy a gtstreet for monday, an ascari a10 for tuesday, a DBS for wednesday and id just ride jessica alba the rest of the week.
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      02-11-2008, 02:19 AM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FirstClass View Post
I'll never understand the concept of a commuter car. Why buy a car if you aren't going to drive it? Use the money to maintain your good car and screw the shitty one. I couldn't stand driving on the highway every day in a Fit going slow and knowing I had a new 3er sitting in the garage at home.
Well here's my situation...

I am currently leasing a base 325i with manual tranny. It's on a 36 month / 60,000 km lease. I am on month 20 right now with 40,000 km. That means for the next 16 months I have 20,000 km to drive. If I return the car, every km over 60,000 will be dinged at 15 cents per km. At my current driving rate, I will be over by at least 12,000 km (or $1,800).

However...I am starting a new job in a new city...which means I will change drastically how much I will be driving each week. I will basically be putting on about 1,000 km per week. This means I only have about 20 weeks worth of driving left on my lease before I start getting dinged. And if I drive like that till then end of my lease, then I will be 64,000 km over (or $9,600).

So the ultimate question I need to ask myself is do I keep this car? Or do I return the car on lease end?

Here are the pro's for keeping my 325i:
1) Obviously km overage will not matter. I can just drive as much as I want without penalty. No need to get a second car.
2) Naturally aspirated six and manual tranny will likely last up to 300,000 km with proper maintenance
3) It is a nice daily driver.
4) I've already spent money to mod this car the way I want it.

Here are the con's (as I see it) for keeping my 325i:
1) It is only a 325i. Even Accords have more horsepower than me. Heh. Besides...it is nice to upgrade to a new car with new lease every few years...especially since I can write the lease payments off.
2) German cars generally have higher than average maintenance costs...especially if I have to maintain it often and drive lots of km's on it.
3) Being a German car...higher than average likelihood that there will be electronic problems with car.
4) I will overpay on the residual value of the car. This is because our Canadian dollar was not as strong when I signed the lease. Next year, if the Canadian dollar remains as strong as it is now (which analysts say it will) then I will probably be able to buy an equivalently equipped 325i for much less than what I will pay on my residual. And that used 325i will likely have much less mileage on it. So basically I will be overpaying on the value of my car.

A commuter car does not make sense if you are financing or if you are on a lease and drive very little. But if you rack up the km's as I will be doing...then it starts to make sense. Because I could buy a cheap commuter car like the Honda Fit for around $17,000. Drive 50,000 km on it in a single year and it will likely only depreciate in value by about $2,000 or $3,000. The BMW will be depreciating by about $10,000 each year...perhaps more given the high mileage...and the aversion people have towards German cars with high mileage.

And if I had a cheap daily driver...I could justify leasing a more nicer (impractical) weekend car...like a two seater...instead of a four door sedan.


Just curious...for those of you who are leasing...how many plan on returning their E9x? And how many plan on keeping their E9x for five to seven more years? How many plan on keeping the E9x until the wheels fall off?
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      02-12-2008, 12:52 PM   #33
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why no toyota snail car?
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      02-12-2008, 01:27 PM   #34
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civic si or gti, i just got an r32 as a second car and am extremely impressed
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      02-12-2008, 02:17 PM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bimmer Loyalist View Post
Guys, if it's a beater or a commuter, gas mileage should be a top priority when you're giving out suggestions. A Civic Si and a GTI aren't what I'd call the economical models of the range. A plain Civic or a Golf is a much better choice. Smaller cars are much better. Hence my reasoning for the Fit.
GTI and Rabbit/Golf have almost the same EPA numbers in the US(21/29 vs 22/29 with the manuals)...GTI is more fun, but requires higher grade fuel.
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      02-12-2008, 04:34 PM   #36
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VWs are cool, but one of the requirements of a commuter car is great reliability. VW is no where close to Honda in that regard.
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      02-12-2008, 06:09 PM   #37
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Quote:
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new corolla FTW!!
Too expensive at the moment probably. The thing is probably selling like hot cakes. I also heard that, being the typical Toyota it is, it's devoid of any driving pleasure whatsoever. All show, zero go.
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      02-13-2008, 11:54 PM   #38
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since you will be driving ALOT, you def. want reliability, good on gas, safe, yet still a good drive. nothing is better than a honda when it comes to all that.. and i mean NOTHING. i wouldnt even touch a VW.. nice cars dont get me wrong but reliability is not strong suit.. u can drive a honda as hard as u want for as long as u want and it wont complain a bit.. amazing cars.
toyotas are on part with reliability, safety and gas.. but it's not a fun drive and most are ugly.
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      02-13-2008, 11:57 PM   #39
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sorry, forgot to mention Scion.. that be the only toyota in that price range i would go with. i think u can get a nice scion XC for a good price..very reliable car, decent looking, decent power, and its a freakin toyota.. reliable as hell..lol. i guess it be down to civic vs. scion.. honda fit is very nice too.
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      02-14-2008, 07:03 AM   #40
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used new generation honda si? I loooove the way those cars drive.. cheap maintenance and great gearboxes.
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      02-14-2008, 09:11 AM   #41
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The ultimate commuter car, made by Daimler Benz..... and Brabus has tuner parts for it!!

http://www.smartusa.com/index.aspx
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      02-14-2008, 04:56 PM   #42
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The ultimate commuter car, made by Daimler Benz..... and Brabus has tuner parts for it!!

http://www.smartusa.com/index.aspx
lol, the Brabus edition has like 93hp.

It's too much money for too little car imo. You're paying for "safety", maneuverability, and uniqueness.
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      02-15-2008, 07:08 PM   #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bimmer Loyalist View Post
You're paying near Fit-price and getting a car that's about half the size (exaggerated of course).
Isn't that kind of the point? Small car great gas mileage and its unique/"special"
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      02-18-2008, 11:16 PM   #44
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Get an F430 Scuderia.






Oops, wrong thread....
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