Update April 29, 2014: I ended up buying the 2013 Honda Fit – wish me luck!
My Chevy Aveo is a cheaply constructed car. I knew it when I bought it brand new for not much in 2005. And now I am new car shopping.
My Chevy’s History
I bought my new, bright blue Aveo in June 2005 for $11,200 and have discovered a lot of “cheap” about it since then:
- In 2008 at around 24k miles, it developed a small brake fluid leak that wasn’t worth tracking down according to my mechanic. I just learned to add new fluid every 6 months.
- In November 2009 at around 38k miles, the 02 sensor busted and my serpentine belt had cracked. That cost $540.
- In April 2010 at about 42k miles, my PLASTIC thermostat housing cracked in half. That cost about $350.
- I then called GM’s customer service to ask why there wasn’t a recall since it was a problem with EVERY 2004-2006 Aveo model and they completely blew me off. That was the day I decided never to buy a Chevy again. They won’t back their crappy cars.
- In 2013 at about 58k miles, I needed my engine mounts replaced to keep my bottom from falling out. I remember that costing around $400 (but I don’t have a blog record, lol).
- And now, in 2014 at 63k miles, I needed to replace my brake main cylinder since the fluid leak had gotten bad. That cost around $300 too.
According to my mechanic, despite my super low mileage, my car is simply cheap. It’s time to move on.
I’ve spent the last 5 days narrowing down my options to the automatic hatchbacks below. I like manual transmissions, but it makes more sense to move onto a car that my husband can drive in a pinch too. Plus I’m driving more for pet sitting and traffic stinks in a manual. Hatchbacks will make hauling stuff around, like the cages for dog fostering, way easier.
Here are the cars in the running and their new and used prices (low mileage for the used quotes):
- Honda Fit – $18k New, or $12k Used
- Toyota Yaris – $17k New, or $12k Used
- 2014 Mitsubishi Mirage – $14k New
- Hyundai Accent – $16k New, or $12k Used
- Toyota Prius – $19k Used
I dropped the Nissan Versa and Kia Rio off the list since a couple of the others had better reviews and similar pricing.
What’s in My Brain
The 2014 Mitsubishi Mirage is the one being promoted the most by my parents. It is about the same price BRAND NEW as many of these cars used versions, but I’m slightly leery of their awful reputation with everyone but my parents (they LOVE this car in the manual version). And it makes 38-44 MPG, which is better than everything else on the list except the Prius.
When I drove my parents new Mirage, it was amazingly easy to drive, maneuver, and was fun overall with way better included options than my Aveo. But it is apparently really noisy in the automatic version – even my parents cringed a little about that. I don’t want to skip out on a great deal, but I also don’t want to make the mistake of having another car that will give up on me in less than 75k miles. My parents last Mirage was 14 years old when they sold it, still running fine, with 150k miles on it. But this new 3-cylinder Mirage is completely different. And the automatic version is simply worse than the manual version.
The Honda Fit was brought onto my radar by two people – my friend, Kersten, who LOVED her old one and a new blogger, Brian at Long Term Mindset. I remembered that our other friend, James, really enjoys his as well and has had his for more than 6 years. It apparently feels a bit like entering a TARDIS – bigger on the inside. 😉 Plus, the seats fold completely flat without much effort to make hauling stuff way easier. It just stinks that I can find a great deal on a new one. I will end up paying $18k drive-out, which is right around the used Prius price. And I know I like a Prius. If I buy a used Fit, it is simply cheaper to do it from an individual than a dealership, but I won’t have any warranties to lean on.
I know I like the Prius since that is what my husband drives. Tons of hauling space, 47-51 MPG, easy to drive for me, and Toyota really backs up their products. Our Prius is 7 years old, has 130k miles on it, and has had 3 problems. Toyota covered the most expensive two automatically since they had recalled that part. They even covered a rental car for 3 weeks since one of the issues needed a part that was back ordered. The expensive hybrid battery has never had any problems, which everyone is scared of. And I know many stories of people getting 250k+ miles without working to hard at it. It’s a car that has impressed me.
I need to actually see the Yaris and Accent to test out their fold-down seats and the way they handle.
Waiting to Pounce Since I Broke My Brain
I am overwhelmed by options. I could get a brand new, zippy Mirage for $14k right now ($12k if I continue using a manual). I could get a new, fun Fit for $17k-$18k with some haggling work or a 40k mileage used one for $12k without much work at all. I could get a used Prius with less than 60k miles for $18k pretty easily. I could look into getting more info on the Yaris and Accent.
So for right now, I am going to keep my eyes peeled for deals and just keep driving along in my Aveo. I can’t make up my mind and I’ve broken my brain with trying to make the “right” choice. No matter what, I am looking at spending $12k-$19k in the next year, so I’m a little grumpy about that anyway.
Whine, whine, whine. LOL. How are you doing? What would you suggest?
FYI: I worked at a dead end cubicle job from 2005-2011 for about $30,000 per year. I went self-employed in July 2011 and make between $80,000-$100,000 through blogging, professional pet sitting, hubby's reffing, and our rental home. If you’d like to start your own site (link to my free step-by-step guide), I highly suggest checking out Bluehost (my referral link with a nice discount for you, PLUS a free custom header banner from me!). I even have all of my favorite tools on a resource page - I hope they help you too. Please contact me any time at budgetingfunstuff*at*gmail*dot*com with questions or just to brainstorm! I’d love to help!