2 wheels good, 4 wheels easy

3 days before our wedding we bought a then-new 1996 Saturn SL2.   It has served us very well, including protecting my wife very well in an accident.  It took 7 years for things to start breaking.  The family is growing, and now we might replace it. 


I want our next car to be safe, comfortable, very reliable, and get excellent gas mileage.  I want as little hassle as possible.  I don’t mind an expensive car, except that I don’t like feeling nervous about breaking it, and extra features = extra things to break.  I don’t need a sexy car; I’m sexy enough as-is.

Comments (11)

  1. Erik says:

    If you can live with a minivan, the Honda Odessey is really nice (two co-workers love theirs). Plus it is a Honda and therefore is safe, comfortable, reliable with great gas mileage. [http://www.hondacars.com/models/model_overview.asp?ModelName=Odyssey&bhcp=1&BrowserDetected=True]

  2. Matthew says:

    I would actually second that about the Honday Odyssey. It’s reported to be the best mini-van. However, if you are looking for an actual car I would check out the Accord EX-V6, very safe and drives wonderfully (I own one). Oh yeah, and it’s fast (at least faster than the other cars in it’s class).

  3. Upcoming Honda Accord Hybrid will definitely fit your bill. If you want to go upscale, Lexus RX400 Hybrid SUV will also do. Both should be available this fall.

  4. jaybaz [MS] says:

    Consumer reports agrees with everything else you say, except that the Honda Odyssey has "great gas mileage". CR says 18mpg overall. The Toyata Prius (a hybrid) gets 44mpg by their tests. It’s right in the middle of the 8 minivans they tested.

    I don’t think I could own a minivan, just because they’re much more car than I need. My dad & wife #2 owned a minivan, which she drove solo 99% of the time. What a waste.

    Well, when my family grows some more, it may become practical. But until then…

  5. If you don’t mind diesel, VW Jetta TDI has practically same mileage as Prius and diesel is cheaper than even regular gasoline. I have read that diesel exhaust produces 30% less greenhouse gases than regular gasoline. By 2006 all diesel fuel in US should be sulfur-free as it is in Europe where are lot of passenger cars are diesels.

  6. Jeremy Marsch says:

    Just about anything Honda is probably a good bet.

    I have a new Pilot (Honda SUV), and a really old Civic (1993).

    The Civic is almost up to about 176,000 miles, doesn’t burn a drop of oil, and still gets about 30Mpg. I drive it to work every day. Given hard daily use, and high mileage, it has required very little maintenance (a new clutch at 145,000 miles, a new timing belt every 90,000, and just recently 2 new sensors (at 175,000))

    I think that all of the new Hondas (even the Pilot) is either a LEV or a ULEV (low emission or ultra-low emission vehicle), and they all get pretty good gas mileage for their respective classes.

    They also hold their value really well. There’s just a feeling when you are in one that they (honda) really had quality in mind when they built it.

  7. Timbo says:

    I love my Altima: tons of room, the most powerful V4 that I’ve encountered, nice smooth ride, excellent factory sound system. The mileage is great. According to the computer, I get up to 24 mpg in the city & 34 on the highway. I think the sensors are a little off when the tank is all the way full: my gauge goes above F and my mileage goes below 20. I’m going to do a test with external numbers Real Soon Now.

    I’ve been looking into diesel as well. One of the most intriguing things on that front is <a href="http://www.journeytoforever.org/biodiesel_make.html">Biodiesel</a&gt;, made from vegetable oil, alcohol, and lye. Diesel cars can use biodiesel without engine modification. If you and your diesel engine are really hardcore, you can burn unmodified vegetable oil. (Not recommended for most engines because it will gum up your valves.)

  8. jaybaz [MS] says:

    I had forgotten about Biodiesel. Time to learn more.

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