>Off the Beaten Path>Should I get a car/which car?
My wife thinks we need a car. I think we're fine without one. I see some merit in having one now that we have twin babies though.
-Double stroller, double extra stuff in general. Lots of crap x2, plus two little people.
Previously (pre-babies) we took the subway, walked, biked, ran, you get the picture. It's been 10 years since I owned a car. Occasionally we rent for trips that needed a car. But we're renting more, and it seems like this trend is upward, not temporary -especially with holidays coming up and the kids are starting to seem to like their grandma, who lives in NJ (we're in Brooklyn). That means more trips and a car would make those trips much easier.
Each time we rent a car it's about $300. That's a car payment down the drain. I realize there's much more to owning --insurance especially (I estimate $150+/month, which blows). Gas. Headache/hassle of parking in my packed neighborhood. Worrying about a break-in (had that happen 4x in the past when I had a car). Ug.
But, if we DO decide to get one, what do you think we should get? New or previously owned? If I have to have a car, I want something I'll enjoy driving and I'm a snob. I'd want something relatively modern, within a few years. I don't want something big (see parking in my packed neighborhood) but it needs to carry 2 adults, 2 kids and all their crap. I'd like something sporty, but it needs 4 doors.
HTFU? Why not!
In your shoes (and I've been there in the past) I would opt for something like a VW GTI 4-Door with a 6-Speed manual.
Fat old man PRs:
No Talent Drips
I'm currently obsessed with the VW Golf TDI. As it stands, I own my truck free and clear...and I live in the fecking hinterlands, so I can't justify giving up the plow and the 4wd. Alas, if my world were different, I'd have a manual trans Golf TDI. Sunroof. Towing kit. Maybe a roof rack. Not that i've thought about this much...
Needs more cowbell!
I REALLY like and hear good things about that new Subaru...Cross-Trek, or something like that. Wagony sort of crossover thing. Nice size for a family of 3-4, from the looks of it. The Ford Focus hatchback looks great to me, too, though I expect it could be a bit cramped with 2 kids worth of stuff. Loved the Ford Escort I had years ago and would kill for something even half that reliable and cheap to own.
I'd avoid any Mazdas...unless you like spending a lot of time and money on near constant repairs. We've had a few (2 used ones and my current car, purchased new). They've all been quirky money-pits. Current car is, by far, the worst of the lot.
• Keep doing stuff.
Ha, I was also going to suggest a Jetta wagon. My MIL and her icky boyfriend each have one and really love them. Tons of cargo space and great gas mileage, but not a cheap car.
I recently traded a 350Z for a Jetta TDI. It's not as much fun but it has 4 doors, 5 seats, loads of storage space and I'm averaging 43MPG (above what they quote for highway). What it lacks in HP it makes up in torque; I never have a problem getting on the notoriously short on-ramps around Boston.
I have a Mazda6 ('09) and I haven't had any issues with it, I find it more roomy and sporty than similar sedans such as the accord, and it has a really big trunk (relatively speaking). The RX-8 I had previously, on the other hand, had a dead engine before reaching 20k, I'll never trust another rotary.
MTA: The MPG on the 6 is crap though (I have the V6)
The new Tesla is looking good, especially with two trunks. Lot's of room for your junk. Get the one with the bigger battery.
If you're gonna go German, diesel-electric hybrid, I say look at Liebherr T282B. Tons more trunk space than VW. Parking could be an issue.
Come all you no-hopers, you jokers and roguesWe're on the road to nowhere, let's find out where it goes
If you're gonna go German, diesel-electric hybrid, I say look at Liebherr T282B. Tons more trunk space than VW. Parking shouldn't be an issue.
Liebherr T282B -- Parks wherever it wants!
And you can quote me as saying I was mis-quoted. Groucho Marx
Yeah, my 3 averages about 28...with a 2.3L 4. That blows. My 3 was the best car ever...until 55k miles. I've had a permanent CEL (major evap system leak that we're ignoring, since the car runs fine -- I would fail an emissions test in states that do that) ever since. Just rolled-over 91k and have had a continuous stream of issues (the A/C started having issues by about 4 years and totally died about a year ago). We've spent thousands on the brake system and the parking brake (entirely new last Summer) still won't hold on most hills, so I end up parking it in gear. The stock tires didn't even make it 25k before they were worn. By comparison I got 70k out of the first set of tires on my Escort. Granted, those were all-seasons and the 3 has performance tires, but sheesh.
I've been thinking VW GTI (though that Leibherr would be easy to park ON other cars). I actually based my insurance quote on the new Subaru X thingie. $168/mo insurance. It's in the running though, should we get a new car. Plus, a hybrid comes out this year, that might be cool.
I agree the ford focus looks cool, and it pains me to admit Ford now makes some cool looking cars. I don't want an American car (I do own Ford stock though). Just haven't been pleased with their design and reputation -maybe they're getting better. Maybe I'm a commie pinko bastard (hey, I did say I liked the idea of a hybrid, lol).
I want a tesla.
My mother in law used to have a jetta as a second car. She got rid of it for a song when she decided her volvo was all she needed. I regret not taking it from her when offered. It was older but ran well and would have been free or nearly free. Oh well.
I love my truck, but my wife's RAV4 has been a great family car. We have to have four wheel drive here in the mountains if you don't want to take chains on and off all winter. If you are worried about theft a sedan with a trunk may be better than an SUV though. The times my car has been broken into is when I have left something valuable out on the back seat where it was visible.
MTA: Since you are renting cars frequently anyways, you can request a specific car for an extended test drive (probably not a Tesla though).
Look at Ford reliability for about the past 15 years. I think you'll be surprised. When we bought my '97 Escort it was based in large part upon liking the dealership where we purchased, but also because I was hard-pressed to find anyone with major criticism of the Escort. From what I've seen in recent years they're long-term repair records across the brand are still really good...like up there with Honda.
A Fit might not even be a horrible choice, at least while your kids are small. DH loves those things, even though they *look* small. They have surprisingly efficient use of interior and cargo space. He's 6'2" and fits well in them.