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Car Talk

So, I'm in the market for a new vehicle. I'm completely overwhelmed by the idea and have pretty much no idea where to start. So, in lieu of actually starting, I thought I'd put these question out there:

What do you like about your car?

What do you not like about your car?

What features/things do you frequently wish your car did/had?

Feel free to be as brief, or as, uh long-winded as you like. :-)



( 34 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 2nd, 2008 10:51 pm (UTC)
I love my Jetta.
I know guys who love them
They last a long time
Maintenance is cheaper than on a lot of cars (unless you have turbo)
Fun to drive!
It's maneuverable and fits in small spaces
Apr. 3rd, 2008 01:13 am (UTC)
I like:
  • Heated seats
  • Thermostat for heat/air (pick a temp and forget it)
  • Driver's seat remembers preset position for each keyless remote
  • Trip computer (miles driven, average economy, instant economy, fuel range, outside air temp, compass)
  • (Auto-)4WD
  • Cruise control
  • Moon roof
  • Auto-headlights (I only need to touch the switch when it's technically raining but too bright to trigger the darkness sensor)
  • It's paid off :)
I don't like:
  • Poor fuel economy
  • Can't turn auto-headlights off in the dark while engine is running
  • Squirting washer fluid auto-activates wipers no less than 4 times (can't cancel)
I wish I had:
  • Electric or hybrid
  • Remote starter
  • HD Radio
  • Free lifetime maintenance (oil changes, tire rotations, something)
  • GPS navigation
Apr. 3rd, 2008 01:53 am (UTC)
A thermostat would be fabulous.
(no subject) - thwack - Apr. 4th, 2008 03:07 am (UTC) - Expand
Apr. 3rd, 2008 01:42 am (UTC)
My car is awesome. I can reach the petals and see over the steering wheel and sit comfortable all at the same time. Here are some of its other awesome features:

- a button that locks and unlocks the doors
- power windows
- sunroof (which I didn't think I'd like, but I do--oh, so very much)
- when I wash it, it looks clean and shiny (a feature I do not take for granted after my red prizm)
- fabric seats (leather is overrated)
- It has enough horse power to accelerate uphill
- LACK of that awful, stomach-wrenching new car smell
- the defrost actually defrosts
- Twink keeps me company

There are a few things I don't like about my car:

- It doesn't have a line-in for audio, so even if I bought an ipod I wouldn't be able to play it.
- It randomly locks itself sometimes, so I'm afraid to leave my car running when I am clearing snow off of it.
- It's not a Geo because Geo no longer exists and there is no newer model to anticipate buying someday because the car does not exist anymore (this makes me very sad because it is my third Prizm).
- I need to get it fixed because the wheels aren't aligned properly.

A feature I wish my car had is better gas milage. Sure, it's a small car, but you can always have better milage. Perhaps my next car will be a hybrid.... we'll see. Another feature that'd be cool is a back windshield wiper.
Apr. 3rd, 2008 01:52 am (UTC)
Oh yeah! How could I forget cruise control. I love cruise control. I also like that the steering on it is looser than in some cars (like that Cavalier I pushed off on Kristy after driving it for a few months). The wheel should be easy to turn and have a comfortable sensitivity; it shouldn't fight you and then turn really fast for just a little movement so that you have no fine control. I'm very picky about that sort of thing.

Dan's SUV is making my car look featureless and sad, but that's okay. I forgive him and his fancy schmancy car. :-)
Apr. 3rd, 2008 02:53 am (UTC)
Does it have a cassette player? You can get a headphone->tape adapter that works great with iPods.
(no subject) - tenthz - Apr. 3rd, 2008 03:46 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - quantumduck - Apr. 3rd, 2008 04:40 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - tenthz - Apr. 3rd, 2008 01:18 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - mountainheather - Apr. 3rd, 2008 06:47 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - tenthz - Apr. 3rd, 2008 06:51 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - mountainheather - Apr. 3rd, 2008 07:25 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - tenthz - Apr. 3rd, 2008 07:27 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - mountainheather - Apr. 3rd, 2008 08:24 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - tenthz - Apr. 3rd, 2008 08:26 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - quilynn - Apr. 4th, 2008 01:37 am (UTC) - Expand
Apr. 3rd, 2008 03:41 am (UTC)
2007 Honda Civic 4-door sedan
* I fit in it. My head does not touch the ceiling (no sunroof). The steering wheel tilts and telescopes to make room for my knees.
* Manual transmission. Feels good to drive -- similar to the old Accord I drove in high school.
* 29.5 miles per gallon, and it takes regular gas.
* Looks hella cool both outside and inside.
* Has an audio input jack for my iPod.
* Has a remote control for the locks built into the key, but the key is not huge and bulky.
* It's new, so A/C, windows, starter, etc. actually work, unlike my old Passat.
* Honda maintenance is cheap, again unlike my old Passat. Service is good, though I haven't had to use it yet except for one oil change.
* A/C and stereo controls are easy to use.
* Wasn't cheap, but wasn't overly expensive, either.
* Has all the advantages of a sedan -- closed trunk, pretty comfortable, etc.
* Roomy glove compartment. (Does anyone actually store gloves in there?)

* Lots of road noise. Makes it hard to hear podcasts and sometimes other people talking. I may be able to add soundproofing to the car to fix this later on.
* The roof slopes in such a way that I can't see much above the horizontal, which often forces me to hunch over to see street lights across the street.
* Seat isn't quite as comfortable as my Passat's was, but I've gotten over it.
* Side mirrors are a little distorted. I may try to warranty them at some point.
* Only one seat-back pocket.
* The storage space in between the front seats could stand to be organized better. The natural place to put my iPod is in the drink holders. There's also a smaller space in front of the shifter for coins, one of those compartments with a lid on it, and a space under the radio. The lidded compartment is too deep and hard to access while driving.
* The hood tilts down sharply, so I can't see the front of the car. This is pretty minor since the hood is very short, but it's still sometimes awkward when turning into and out of narrow parking spaces.
* Tinted side and rear windows (a nonstandard feature that happened to be on the only car left in town in the color I wanted). They keep the car cooler, but the tinting slightly distorts colors, making them more yellow. Probably a better feature than I give it credit for.

* None, really. Maybe an iPod dock. Or those fancy tire pressure sensors the '08 models have. Nothing serious,though.

Do you intend to buy new (from a dealer)? If so, it's not too hard. I don't know much about buying used cars. After the bad experiences with my last one, I decided that I wanted reliability and was willing to pay a premium to get it. But I've often been in situations where there's not anyone I can (or will) call for help, whereas your support base is much more stable.
Apr. 3rd, 2008 03:49 am (UTC)
Re: 2007 Honda Civic 4-door sedan
I'm either buying new from a dealer or new-to-me from a dealer. Either way, I'm going through a dealer because, a) I may be interested in financing, and b) I want a warranty. I'm using these lists to compile one of my own (needs, wants, etc) and then go from there to figure out which makes/models to start test driving.
Re: 2007 Honda Civic 4-door sedan - memeslayer - Apr. 3rd, 2008 04:24 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: 2007 Honda Civic 4-door sedan - quantumduck - Apr. 3rd, 2008 04:48 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: 2007 Honda Civic 4-door sedan - memeslayer - Apr. 3rd, 2008 05:31 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: 2007 Honda Civic 4-door sedan - tenthz - Apr. 3rd, 2008 02:16 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: 2007 Honda Civic 4-door sedan - tenthz - Apr. 3rd, 2008 02:30 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: 2007 Honda Civic 4-door sedan - memeslayer - Apr. 3rd, 2008 04:41 pm (UTC) - Expand
Apr. 3rd, 2008 03:01 pm (UTC)
What kind of car?
I guess my recommendation would depend on what kind of car you want.

If you're interested in a small SUV, I love my Dad's Ford Escape, but they are pricey. I have a certified used Honda CR-V that I ADORE. Why?

-I am higher up from the ground
-I feel MUCH safer than I did in my little Chevy Cavalier
-The gas mileage is pretty decent
-Cruise control
-All Wheel Drive (important here in Michigan)

I was in a very bad accident in a Pontiac Vibe, and that car saved my life (even though the airbags didn't go off.) And I seriously considered the Jeep Compass, if only we had some in our area that were used and being sold at the time.

If you want a *car*, the the Chevy Malibu is pretty sturdy (that's what my Mom has.) But I would strongly suggest you check out safety ratings, of course.

Good luck!
Apr. 3rd, 2008 03:58 pm (UTC)

When I was in the market for a car, I went for a systematic approach. First, make a list of basic "must have" features.  Most cars come with "the usual" but good to have the list. Next, go through the various maker sites and note which cars you like based on body style and appearance. Then add in pricing info and eliminate those outside of your price range. Next, practical issues. Check miles per gallons and eliminate the gas guzzlers if that's a concern. Check the safety ratings and eliminate those that are below the threshold you would be comfortable with.  By now, you should be down to a workable handful of vehicles, so time to visit dealerships to test drive and compare vehicles that have those features you want. Note I have this here instead of while searching manufacturers sites. The reason being, that while a car may have that option on the site, I've found that whether such a car is findable for you is totally a regional thing. :P  With your first visit to dealerships, do NOT go with the idea to buy, but solely to test drive and feel out prices and available options. With that information gathered, put it aside for two days to get over the test drive guidelines, then compare and see if a clear winner emerges. If you like two about equally, see which one you can get the best deal on and go for it. :)

Now, with that long-winded advice done.  For me, I have a 2003 Chevy Malibu that I bought in February 2004 slightly used.

What do you like about your car?

  • Had only 24,000 miles when I bought it, and still has less than 50,000 now
  • She's completely paid off *grin*
  • She fits me well; I'm 5'1 and one issue I often have with most is that I can't see over the wheel even with the seat all the way up. In near cars this isn't as big an issue (see below)
  • Very high safety ratings and, at the time, she had good MPG
  • Low maintenance costs thus far
  • Four door, so works well for hauling the dogs and she has a good sized trunk, which works for hauling my goodies :-P
  • Since I bought her from a Saturn dealership, she came with a lifetime of free car washes *grin*
  • Good size overall. I hate subcompacts (feel too squished and insecure), so she's a nice full size sedan without being the big hulking thing that a Town Car or the like would be.

What do you not like about your car?

  • Hmmm...most of the time, I do not like the color gray), but it was like the main color of Malibu's at the time. I debated painting her, but it would cost almost as much to paint her a new color as she's worth
  • Being an American car, she's already gone from being worth the $10k price before extended warranty) to being around $5k despite being in excellent condition

What features/things do you frequently wish your car did/had?

  • Adjustable pedals and the ability to adjust the seat up; this was added in the 2004 models and would be a safety boon for me as right now, even though she fits me well, I still have to sit up on the steering wheel to safely see
  • A GPS navigation system and the ability to play MP3s working on that one LOL)
  • Wish she was blue see above)
  • A spoiler...I love the factory spoiler on 2003 Malibus
  • Two cup holders in the front...seriously...why only one? That was one quirk I never understood
  • A trunk organizer, as the nice roomy trunk almost means stuff slides all over the place :-P


Edited at 2008-04-03 04:00 pm (UTC)
Apr. 3rd, 2008 04:10 pm (UTC)
Re: trunk organizer: Get some laundry baskets. Either the regular plastic/rubber kind or the collapsible kind. They are great for organizing and also for carrying groceries! I have a huge trunk now in my Buick, so stuff always slides around, but having a laundry basket makes a bit difference.
Apr. 3rd, 2008 05:15 pm (UTC)
You could fall in love with a very specific and hard to find car and then just search online until you find one within a few hundred miles of you. (Not that I'd know anything about that! My Honda Insight came from Geneva, NY when I lived in NJ...)

I think getting a brand new car is just throwing away money, it loses a lot of value as soon as you drive it off the lot. This doesn't mean it has to be used, sometimes dealers have the previous years model still around.

As for used cars, sometimes people go for older cars with low miles driven and sometimes they go for newer car with higher miles, either combination lowers the price a lot.

Manual transmission is usually cheaper.
Apr. 3rd, 2008 05:19 pm (UTC)
I'll probably be looking at pre-owned or last year's models. I'm really not interested in all the fancy new features that are being touted this year.

Also, my dad has a theory that there are going to be lots of deals this spring/summer due to people not buying at the same speed they usually do because of the state of the economy.

I can't drive a manual, so that is out. Sadly. :-(

What do you like/dislike about your car?
(no subject) - sajego - Apr. 3rd, 2008 05:34 pm (UTC) - Expand
Apr. 3rd, 2008 07:15 pm (UTC)
--Decent amount of auto-radio channels, I used to have one set for each state!
--I can reach and see, etc without having to sit on anything :-p (Which I did have to do in the Ford Taurus I learned to drive on.)
--Not sure if any cars come with it, but auto-starters are great

--not sure about fuel efficiency, because I don't have much to compare to
--I don't think I have anti-lock brakes, which it occured to me may have been the reason my car was so jumpy when I had to slam the brakes Monday
--window issues! You've been there too. Auto-windows are nice, but... I cannot put my driver's side down (because it'll get stuck) and it's been since about October.
--wish I had an integrated adaptor for my ipod
--wish I had a better sound-system
--wish my glove-compartment were bigger

My G'father says any/most Japanese-made cars should get you over 100,000 miles these days. So while I'd be inclined to buy American-made for help out the US reasons, it'd be over-shadowed by the importance of other things like dependability, cheaper costs - maintenance as well as initial purchase, and just a better car. Sorry US-mades. :( And I do have experience with Ford since I learned on one and drove it for about three years. I'd say my Nissan, my Gm's Toyota, and my Gp's van (Honda) all drive nicer and are more comfortable, etc, than the Taurus felt/was.
Apr. 3rd, 2008 07:34 pm (UTC)
fyi: you're not going to pass inspection with your window not working. at least, you wouldn't in pa.
(no subject) - mountainheather - Apr. 3rd, 2008 08:24 pm (UTC) - Expand
( 34 comments — Leave a comment )



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