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Mtbr Founder
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Ok, I've convinced myself that I need a commute car. My commute is about 70 miles a day.

I love my VW Passat but I'm afraid I'm killing it. It's modded now and I'm afraid I'm quickly making it worthless on my boring commute. Also, I'm thinking of saving some money with a 30+ mpg car that runs on regular unleaded.

Good news is there seems to be some great affordable cars out there. I've started test driving these puppies but would like some opinions from anyone.

Not in any special order are the candidates. I like hatchbacks so it's gonna be a hatchback:

Scion XB - The box. I actually like the way this looks (wife hates it). It's really nice inside and drives awesome. It's got the power of a lawnmower. Price is about $15k. It does 32 mpg on the highway but that quickly goes bad if you drive over 70mph.

Can you fit two bikes inside this thing??


Mini Cooper - Cooler than cool! About $17k and 35mpg on the highway. Will a bike fit in the back??? This is so cool that it's hard to get one. There's a one year waiting list in the bay area. I think I found a way to get one though. Does it come in orange?


Toyota Yaris - This car is sweeet! This only available in Canada but will be in the US soon. Any Canadans have one? Again, will a bike fit inside?? Price is $12k and highway mileage is 41mpg.

Look, you can mod it too.

Those are the 3 real options. A couple notables are:
Honda Element because they finally painted the dammmm panels. $21k though and the mileage is around 26 mpg, I think. So it's not a go.


Check out this freaky new Civic Hatchback. It's only available in UK right now. I'm sure it's super efficient and all that.



francois
 

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beer thief
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shiggy said:
I love that new Civic! but you need one of these:
Seems like francis would be pushing the limits of that thing, partcularly the top speed. I like the concept, though.

The gizmo Neighborhood Electric Vehicle (NEV) is a safe, affordable, environmentally effective mode of transportation. It is a single passenger vehicle designed for commuters traveling under 45 miles per trip, or 75% of all drive time.
gizmo - America's only street legal EV faster than 25mph and a top speed of 45 mph
 

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Rollin' a fatty
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I drive a Matrix and you can put up to 3 bikes inside whitout the front wheel and seat tube using a fork mount to hold them.

I did it for a while but eventually installed a roof rack.

The Scion is considered one of the most fuel efficient cars out there and it's backed by Toyota, you can't go wrong.
 

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Kill the Passat and enjoy the ride......

I put about 55 miles per day on my 2000 Passat and will have the 100k service done in two weeks. "I" average 33 mpg city/highway on the 1.8 turbo with manual. You didn't say what engine you had.

In the long, short or in between, it will be cheaper to keep what you have and use it up than to get a second car and all that involves. Even cheap insurance is not cheap. Realistically, getting something a little more fuel effecient doesn't save that much money even at $3.00/gallon. That is why a hybrid makes no monetary sense at the moment.

I figure to replace the Passat in two years or so when I hit 150k. What next? Who knows, I'm still shopping but the soon to be released Acura RD-X (CR-V on steroids) is pretty appealing. Damned hard to beat a Honda product for reliability unless you go Toyota and until Toyota hires some real designers (Scion excepted) they don't make a product I want to be seen driving, including most Lexus.

You could also wait a year for the One Series BMW being brought over from Europe. Nice, somewhat affordable (25K) and has some style, although I've said it many times, style is so subjective it is a useless criteria.

Confused? Me too. I will have changed my mind many, many times before my next purchase.

Shopping is more fun than buying anyway.
:)

Merry Christmas!

PS: Plan on replacing the timing belt for the tune of $750 around 75k miles if you have the turbo. Don't know about the six.
 

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occupation : Foole
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I'd say go with a Toyota , or Honda, perhaps....Yeah, I dig the new Yaris', but we don't get them stateside yet (guess they're selling off the last of the ugly lil Echos...;)
Corollas get good mpg - we have an '05 s with an automatic, and get 33+ mpg in everyday around town driving, and 38+ mpg on long cruise-controlled highway trips. Power is decent - would be more than adequate if you got a 5 speed manual. I love Toyotas (this being my third in 30 years...LOL...had a '75 Celica, traded on a '91 Tercel, traded on the '05 Corolla.....rock solid reliability, I say - more than I can say about a certain Ford and a certain GM model we've also owned:rolleyes:
 

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i 2nd the mazda 3. i got one back in june and was also considering matrix. but for the same price or less, the mazda blew it out of the water in terms of performance, styling, etc. with 5 speed manual, i'm getting around 25 mpg with my usual mix of (non rush hour) new york city and highway driving. should be able to get one with the 2.3 engine for around 18k.
 

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Now that you're into tunner cars, get a Toyota Yaris and customize it lke this one.



<img src=https://www.tuningshop.co.uk/bodykits/yaris2frontside.jpg width="600">
[/center]

<img src=https://img10.exs.cx/img10/8738/YARIS1.jpg width="600">

<img src=https://www.irancar.com/images/Gallery-larg-1024-768/toyota/toyota_yaris_turbo_2001_01_m.jpg width="600">

<img src=https://img231.imageshack.us/img231/4938/toyotayarisvt2qo.jpg width="600">
 

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Okay, here's my take...

If you can still find one I would HIGHLY recommend an 05 Honda Civic SI. Hatch back, 30 to 33 MPG on the highway at 70 to 75mph on regular unleaded fuel. Pretty Snappy, 0-60 in 6 seconds, I've only been able to get 6.8 out of it, but I've noticed that my shifting prowess has suffered a bit as I've gotten older. 2.0L DHC IVtech engine, 160hp, ralley mounted 5 speed manual. 16 inch alloy wheels, sport tuned suspension. And a freaking BLAST to drive. Rides a little rough, but hey you have a choice, handling or cushy ride. For my part I'll go with the handling. I haven't found a highway entrance ramp yet that I couldn't get up to speep on before merging into trafic. You can still find them at some dealers, they haven't been moving real fast lately. Thus the redesign of the Civic for 06. So you can get some KILLER deals on them. Anyway for somebody that doesn't like underpowered lookers and wants a little grunt to go with it, you could do allot worse than the SI. Just my 2 cents. Here are a couple of pics of mine when it was new. Great car for the person that wants a commuter with a little style and some snap to the thortle.

Good Dirt
 

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Elitest thrill junkie
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francois said:
Scion XB - The box. I actually like the way this looks (wife hates it). It's really nice inside and drives awesome. It's got the power of a lawnmower. Price is about $15k. It does 32 mpg on the highway but that quickly goes bad if you drive over 70mph.
That's true for pretty much any vehicle.

Drag goes up as the square of velocity, so the drag at 80mph is 4 times the drag at 40mph, and as soon as you start going faster, you're going to loose mpg like crazy.

There's a ford dealer on our corner. They have the "mpg" numbers in the windows with big numbers. There's no way most of the numbers are right. 31mpg in a pickup? Sure, if the tailgate is down, in 5th gear at 45mph.
 

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occupation : Foole
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Those are sweet - I test drove one when we were car shopping this spring.....was a blast to drive (and it had the sweetest shifting manual that I've ever had the pleasure of rowing through the gears on...vewry slick !!) wife liked it, but wanted a car with a lil more room (i.e., trunk).....we didn't like the interior of the "regular" 4 door civics...pretty bland, for being nice compact cars....the new civics look sharp - haven't seen the interior yet (hopefully improved ;) )
Squash said:
If you can still find one I would HIGHLY recommend an 05 Honda Civic SI. Hatch back, 30 to 33 MPG on the highway at 70 to 75mph on regular unleaded fuel. Pretty Snappy, 0-60 in 6 seconds, I've only been able to get 6.8 out of it, but I've noticed that my shifting prowess has suffered a bit as I've gotten older. 2.0L DHC IVtech engine, 160hp, ralley mounted 5 speed manual. 16 inch alloy wheels, sport tuned suspension. And a freaking BLAST to drive. Rides a little rough, but hey you have a choice, handling or cushy ride. For my part I'll go with the handling. I haven't found a highway entrance ramp yet that I couldn't get up to speep on before merging into trafic. You can still find them at some dealers, they haven't been moving real fast lately. Thus the redesign of the Civic for 06. So you can get some KILLER deals on them. Anyway for somebody that doesn't like underpowered lookers and wants a little grunt to go with it, you could do allot worse than the SI. Just my 2 cents. Here are a couple of pics of mine when it was new. Great car for the person that wants a commuter with a little style and some snap to the thortle.

Good Dirt
 

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Is it play time yet?
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I use my Mini Cooper S for fun/commuting and my Subaru for dirt activities. I'd say you wouldn't want to do both in the Mini. Not enough room for gear or the kiddies either. The regular Cooper is not very fast. You;d be dissapointed after driving yr modded Passat.

Sweet ride though! Pimp my whip:

 

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Sofa King We Todd Did
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Cars are meant to be driven, mate, and that Passat is no exception. You plunked all the hard work and effort into it, what better way to enjoy it than on your 70 mile commute? If you're *killing* it, then it really can't be too good of a car, can it? I have a similar unmodded Passat and if I had to commute 70 miles a day, and if I could drive to work each day (I take mass transit), I'd definitely want to do it in that car.

Personally, I never understood the fear some people have of really using the stuff that they paid their good hard-earned money for. It's the same thing as building up a sweet burled-out Pugsley with all the bells and whistles and then taking it on beer runs only.

C'mon, drive the wheels of that Passat.
 

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My votes for an allrounder..

a truck/car/wagon i can haul; stuff, bikes camping gear and something thats comfortable to sleep in. Ive been eyeing the element but i just cant justify dumping the 4runner because its serves my needs so well and only has 83K on it....

Didnt you have a MB SUV you used tyo haul bikes in and slept in at races?
 
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