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Old 04-13-2012, 05:46 PM   #1
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Humble but functional/reliable vehicles

Overall cost is not much of a factor, within reason compared to like vehicles. I am looking for a very humble yet functional vehicle for my brother and I to use. It will be "his" since I have the Tacoma but I'm the one with the dough and good credit and plan on sort of sharing it too.

Factors to consider:
No need to be eye catching, flashy trim/body style, etc
we live in the Midwest so capability in the snow and any adverse weather is a huge buying factor for us
Decent to great mileage would be preferable(obviously) but paying my own bills as well as helping him through college will mean gas mileage is a factor too.
Reliable reputation as well as good factory warranty (looking to buy new to newish and have it last through college and hopefully many years to come!)

Basically vehicle options that are very functional/reliable/economical without wasting a dime on anything "extra"

Yes, before anyone is rude, I am doing a ton of research on my own every single day in my free time. I do however appreciate the suggestions of fellow TWers and like getting a fresh perspective. Any leads as to something I hadn't considered or found yet will really help with my search. I felt like, humble yet functional was a good description but any questions that would help narrow are welcome.

Don't wanna be living in the stone age with no AC or something, but don't need anything extravagant either. . .

Thanks for any input fellas. I'm sure some of yalls siblings kinda rely on you too and you understand my plight. And no flamers please, if you don't have some positive advice I'd appreciate some self-control. I know it's hard, I put my foot in my mouth too

Thanks in advance
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Old 04-13-2012, 05:52 PM   #2
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I know a couple folks who have Hyundai cars. No mention of problems with them. I think the newer Hyundai product is similar to the Toyotas of the late 80's and early 90's. They have supposedly caught up quite a bit. And they have that 100K warranty as well.

I know its a Toyota forum. But lets be honest, you pay a lot for the Toyota name. I bought mine over a Dodge Dakota simply because of the resale value. If I was going to keep it forever that wouldn't matter.
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Old 04-13-2012, 06:00 PM   #3
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second the hyundai or kia idea

unless it snows real bad FWD cars usually do pretty good

whatever yall do dont buy a fuckin volvo ... my mom has a 98 xc wagon and its a POS
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Old 04-13-2012, 06:13 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 97T View Post
second the hyundai or kia idea

unless it snows real bad FWD cars usually do pretty good

whatever yall do dont buy a fuckin volvo ... my mom has a 98 xc wagon and its a POS
I don't know much about snow, but I have family in the Denver area. They all have front wheel drive cars with studded tires. They also have 4x4 trucks if needed, but the trucks are mostly summer toys. The cars do great with the studded tires in the winter.

And yeah, Volvos suck. There is durable (Volvo), then there is reliable (Toyota). A Volvo won't just up and fall apart, but it will have a bunch of stupid little problems that constantly piss you off.
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Old 04-13-2012, 06:21 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joes06tacoma View Post
I know a couple folks who have Hyundai cars. No mention of problems with them. I think the newer Hyundai product is similar to the Toyotas of the late 80's and early 90's. They have supposedly caught up quite a bit. And they have that 100K warranty as well.

I know its a Toyota forum. But lets be honest, you pay a lot for the Toyota name. I bought mine over a Dodge Dakota simply because of the resale value. If I was going to keep it forever that wouldn't matter.
This^
I had a 03 Tiburon beat the shit out of it for 7 years no complaints. Might not have a great resale value on the Hyundai though.
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Old 04-13-2012, 06:36 PM   #6
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Thanks a lot fellas. I've been looking at Hyundai. Their cars I'd buy, its just that snow factor worrying me. Keep the suggestions coming, as always, it is much appreciated!
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Old 04-14-2012, 06:44 AM   #7
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Old 04-14-2012, 06:49 AM   #8
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If your worried about snow then Subaru would be my first choice given your parameters - either an older wagon (no AC and no bells!!) or an outback. We have owned both and they were workhorses. One caveat though - in the newer models pay attention and get a year/engine that is not zero clearance valves

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Old 04-14-2012, 06:53 AM   #9
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Subarus - Outback, Outback Sport (NOT a WRX), Forester....
They get decent gas mileage (my Subie would get upper 20's regularly), can't beat AWD in the snow, reliable (in 7 years of ownership my only major repair bill was for timing belt, etc at 102k miles). Downsides are that they tend to be a little noisy (not a lot of insulation so you get a lot of road noise) and rough riding.
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Old 04-14-2012, 07:13 AM   #10
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I would also suggest Subaru. I owned a Ď96 Legacy L that I picked up from awrecking yard for $1300, it got me thru college and many snowboarding trips andabout 80,000 mi later I sold it for $750 still running strong. It had a 2.2Lnon- interference engine so the timing belt was not an issue. The only problemI had with it was the CV joints at 170k and the water pump a little later. Idonít know if they even make the 2.2L engine any more, but it would be worthlooking into. Best snow vehicle for their price.
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Old 04-14-2012, 08:42 AM   #11
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Another vote for Subaru. I had a '87 GL wagon back in the day and loved that hideous pile! Bought it for $800 and beat the snot out of it. It finally bit the dust to to frame rust from too many Vermont winters. The motor however was still running strong and I sold it for $500 to the local postman as a parts car. I drove that car through FEET of snow with snow coming up over the hood and never got that thing stuck. I also owned an '06 Impreza wagon. Another great car but not nearly as snow capable. The newer Subies sit too low and are prone to get belly hung. I also owned 3 Honda Civics: a '95, '98 and '02. With a set of snow tires they do very well in snow also and are very reliable.
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Old 04-14-2012, 11:54 AM   #12
"Pick up some speed.. You'll make it."
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Thanks guys, looked into the Hyundai elantra for cheap and good mileage and the Subaru impreza for that awd and mileage combo. Don't trust a "Car" in the snow since I've always owned trucks/suvs but I might give it a chance. We're not pressed for time or anything either, just in the market for a more reliable upgrade.

Thanks again guys


On a side note, I had a guy try and buy my tacoma today, said he would like to talk numbers cuz he likes exactly what I've done with it ha. About to say sure, 40 grand and I'll just build another one. . .
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Old 04-14-2012, 12:08 PM   #13
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Hey,

I will chime in with another toyota product if you can find a quality used RAV4 4cyl AWD they do very well in snow, I am originally from Maine took my Rav there quite a few times it performed in 8" to 10" of snow with no problem. I Bought it used with 75k on it drove it for another 100k and just sold it for a little over half what I paid for it. With normal maint it will go another 100K I am sure. They get very good mileage for an all wheel drive and have a fair bit of cargo room for the college dorm / apt moving.

Cypher
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Old 04-14-2012, 12:13 PM   #14
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Old 04-14-2012, 03:09 PM   #16
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I had a 91 Corolla that I took on 500km trips in the dead of winter. One time I froze the battery solid. There was a pile of snow under the hood and if I shut the car off I couldn't start it again. I had to jump it and let it defrost.

Battery and engine still worked after that...no issues.
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Old 04-14-2012, 05:38 PM   #17
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Old 04-14-2012, 05:54 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BuzzardsGottaEat View Post
Thanks guys, looked into the Hyundai elantra for cheap and good mileage and the Subaru impreza for that awd and mileage combo. Don't trust a "Car" in the snow since I've always owned trucks/suvs but I might give it a chance. We're not pressed for time or anything either, just in the market for a more reliable upgrade.

Thanks again guys


On a side note, I had a guy try and buy my tacoma today, said he would like to talk numbers cuz he likes exactly what I've done with it ha. About to say sure, 40 grand and I'll just build another one. . .
Subies are built for the snow. They handle the winter weather up here very good - probably the most popular vehicle in this area.
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