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TheCarConnection.com's Six Best Bang-For-The-Buck Cars Page 3

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GREEN: Toyota Prius

Likes:
- Fuel economy
- Roomy cabin
- Hatchback utility

Dislikes:
- Digital gauges
- Price premium
- Steering feel
- Midgrade interior materials

2009 Toyota Prius

2009 Toyota Prius

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The Toyota Prius has done nothing less than convince the American public that hybrid cars are a good thing. It's in its second generation--and next year, a third version is in the works--but today's Prius blends 48-mpg fuel economy with a roomy package that's usefully sized to carry four adults, or with the rear seats folded, more gear than you imagine. The space-age dash takes a little getting used to, as does the Prius' somewhat artificial steering and braking feel. The Prius won't win any awards for a luxurious interior, either. At $23,375, it's changed forever the notion of what a family car should be. As an alternative to this highly alternative vehicle, Honda's Civic Hybrid takes a more conventional approach to its body style, but offers similar fuel-economy ratings.

Other Choices: Honda Civic Hybrid


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Comments (12)
  1. THESE are the "best bang for the buck" cars?
    You MUST be joking.
    Either that, OR you have no clue about the difference between the FIRST COST of a vehicle and the TRUE, TOTAL cost of OWNERSHIP, including FUEL, MAINTENANCE, and DEPRECIATION.
    You have also omitted several HUGE, MONUMENTAL Bang-for-the buck cars in almost every one of your categories.
    Just a few Examples: The OUTSTANDING, 46 ACTUAL HWY MPG JETTA DIESEL, in the first category, where it ties with the ACCORD in MY book, and the CIVIC HYBRID that is even BETTER "bang for the buck-wise" than the SHOWOFF Prius.
    In MINIVANS: All are inferior to the Honda Odyssey since its 1999-00 debut, even the new Chryslers, and as for the VW ROutan you mention, it is a sickening FRAUD REBADGED Chrysler. It is SHAMEFUL how some pretend it is a "NEW" car.
    You do not even MENTION the Odyssey and the Sienna, but do mention the silly HYUNDAI??? DO you EVER read reviews of these vehicles? did you learn anything from them?
    Pickups: i could care less.
    SUVs-Wagons: Subaru is sure the UGLIEST looking, and has been for decades, BUT I agree they are good bang for the buck value.
    2-doors: GTI: RELIABILITY? This may be fun to drive, BUT NOT a good bang for the buck car. Owners I know personally call them "DAMNGTIs" (one word!) so frequently do they fail.
    And the MALIBU may have nice styling BUT its transaction (actual) prices are way up there at $25k! You can buy a Chevy IMPALA with a bigger, srtonger engine and much, much more room for LESS. THAT Impala is indeed a far better baNG FOR THE BUCK, but why would you know, right?
     
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  2. 1) Try to find a Jetta diesel at under sticker.
    2) Civic Hybrid isn't a whole lot cheaper than the more functional Prius.
    3) Have you priced an Odyssey lately? Also, no stowing seats.
    4) Have you ever sat in an Impala for more than a minute?
     
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  3. OK what did someone put in Ed's breakfast this morning?
     
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  4. "Marty Padgett
    October 28th, 2008 - 2:00 pm
    1) Try to find a Jetta diesel at under sticker.
    I am not. My commute is 1.5 miles and if I walk it, which I frequently do, it's a 20 min, 1 mile shortcut.
    And you cannot find a Jetta diesel either at or above sticker, they are such bargains that they are all GONE. Of course, an unscrupulous Dealer will always try to profit...
    2) Civic Hybrid isn’t a whole lot cheaper than the more functional Prius.
    I think it is. The Prius, even USED copied, were sellign at ludicrous prices. The civic has the disadvantage that it looks just like the non-hybrid, and the de Caprios of the World need to show off their pretend-greenness.
    3) Have you priced an Odyssey lately? Also, no stowing seats.
    You still focus on first cost. Have you checked the RESALE VALUE of Chrysler minivans lately? Plus their higher operating and maintenance costs?
    But one addition you could make to the Minivan list, for those that do not need a full size van, is the Mazda 5.
    "
    4) Have you ever sat in an Impala for more than a minute?"
    I have even sat in the back seat of a cheapo rental Impala for half an hour and it felt absolutely fine. I did sit on the older and execrable Lumina driver's seat a decade ago and it was indeed bad.
    (But here you are talking bang for the buck, not looks or ergonomics?)
    ALSO, glaring omissions in 2-doors: You include the flaky Volvo 30 and forget the massive successes that are the Accord and Civic Coupes? I owned an Accord coupe for 14 of its 18 years. You can guess it was GOOD. I still own an excellent Civic 2 door hatch 1992 (use it only in my summer home.) with lo miles and 44 mpg highway. And NOT a hybrid.
     
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  5. Reece
    October 28th, 2008 - 5:44 pm
    OK what did someone put in Ed’s breakfast this morning?
    Full Disclosure:
    I just had a glass of skim milk before driving to the office, where I take my coffee.
     
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  6. I'm not sure if I love hearing about, or don't want to hear more, about Ed's day.
    I rarely think first about resale value--I hope with what's going on out there, people are planning on driving any new car until the wheels fall off.
     
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  7. For once, Ed makes some good points. But GODDAMN is he annoying to listen too. Maybe you should start your mornings with a Valium, dude!
     
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  8. Actually, this article should be titied "best bang for the buck when you restrict it to buying NEW cars"
    This will NEVER be as good bang for the buck if you instead buy a certified used car from a dealer, with a good warranty,
    And even that will be far inferior, $-wise, than doing what I always do, regardless of my budget:
    Buy a USED car from a PRIVATE SELLER.
    You will do FAR, FAR better, no matter what your budget.
     
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  9. The only legal pharmaceuticals I take every morning are a 100% daily vitamin or two, and on occasion an aspirin, not because of any pains or aches, but because it is touted as such a wonder, for preventive heart care etc.
    I don't even know what a Valium pill looks like, and same with the PROZAC that so many of you out there are addicted to.
     
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  10. I find these squabbles between posters and Ed to be quite comical, only because Ed points out very valid statements, and is correct in much what he writes. However, I do agree that a Honda Odyssey can cost up to 10,000 more than a Caravan, and I do not think that the cost of ownership of ten years would yield better results.
    There are so many good cars on the market these days, that it has become ever more difficult to compare them. Our bias tells us that the Malibu is inferior to the Accord (and I own an Accord), but in reality, had GM built solid, reliable, good looking, value Malibu's as they have with this version, I would agree that GM's resale, reliability and value would be increased. Here Honda is really strong, because they focus their resources on every car they release. But hey, they also had some duds, like the first Odyssey, the Insight, Element. So Honda isn't perfect, nor is GM. I do see hope for GM though, but the hardest part for them isn't building better vehicles (which they are) but to capture customers from other automakers.
     
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  11. "However, I do agree that a Honda Odyssey can cost up to 10,000 more than a Caravan, and I do not think that the cost of ownership of ten years would yield better results."
    But are you comparing apples to apples? The Odyssey will be a far superior vehicle, with a luxury interior, comfortable seats (unlike the Chrysler) in all rows, and far better fuel efficiency due to its cylinder deactivation (28 MPG highway Old EPA, I usually got better than EPA with all my hondas), far better resale value, and far lower cost of maintenance and repairs.
    "There are so many good cars on the market these days, that it has become ever more difficult to compare them."
    While it is true they are far better than they were in the 80s and even the 90s, they have also become very expensive. I find it ludicrous to pay $25k for a basic family midsize boring sedan with a v6 or even an I4! Especially when you can get 10 year old "Magnificent 7" BMWs (it would cost you $100k to get one new today, all included) for a THIRD of that! ($8-9k!)
    " Our bias tells us that the Malibu is inferior to the Accord (and I own an Accord),"
    I own both an accord and a civic ( I recently donated the 18 yr old accord to charity), and I think the new Malibu has far better exterior styling than anything in its class, even the new Accord, and esp. the Camry and Altima and the execrable Hyundais and Kias. But I have not driven it, not even sat in it.
    " I would agree that GM’s resale, reliability and value would be increased."
    The thing is, the old Malibus, and assorted other domestics, were sold new at deep discounts, and the new retails for an actual average transaction price of $25k!. So even if it retains some value, the old ones retain even more due to their low ACTUAL purchase price.
    "Honda .. also had some duds, like the first Odyssey, the Insight, Element. "
    I agree with the Element being a weird dud. The Insight would have been a HUGE Hit if it appeared when the execrable "Smart for two" appeared, ie, when gas was $4 instead of $1. The original Odyssey was like the Mazda M5, a small van based on the civic, and failed again because people could afford a large van when gas was $1!
    "So Honda isn’t perfect, nor is GM."
    Sure is not. And styling-wise, most Hondas after 1993 were real dogs. Ans toyotas were even worse, but people do not buy them for the styling.
    " I do see hope for GM though, but the hardest part for them isn’t building better vehicles (which they are) but to capture customers from other automakers."
    I believe GM will now be able to buy Chrysler, keep the Jeeps and the Minivans, destroy all other (largely losers) Chrysler makes, close down 2/3rds of th ecompany and fire 2/3 of its workers, and have a NEW, BIGGER, Streamlined GM that will compete far better with the Toyotas of this world (just the addition of the extra sales will make Toyota struggle 10 more years or so before it exceeds GM's US sales)
     
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  12. I am surprised how come Chevy AVEO isn't there on the list,,,,Car with probably the lowest Lifecycle cost across all the sedans which comes with decent overall product sastifaction
     
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