Welcome! Log In Create A New Profile Recent Messages

Advanced

Might just be time for a new vehicle...

Posted by Archeo-peteriX 
October 28, 2011 11:31PM
Since I've been back in the high tech business and commuting every day; it has become blatantly obvious that I need a more suitable and reliable means of transportation.
While I love the little S-10 truck; I'm finding it very tedious to drive in stop and go(think 'jammed parking lot' type stop and go) traffic. It's an old truck and the on idle to off idle transition isn't as smooth as it may have been 250,000km ago so it tends to be a bit of a pain to drive in first gear at idle...lots of lurching.
Add to that, the dismal fuel economy I'm getting; about 27mpg vs 32+ mpg before having to commute and it all adds up to new car time.

I'm not likely to go back to the wood working business to make a living so the truck is rather unnecessary.

That brings me to a juncture. I am approaching 64 years of age and don't anticipate driving much past 80 years young.
I have had a couple of cars that I have owned from new and gotten fairly good mileage out of. I had a Ford Pinto wagon that we managed to extract 233,000+ miles; a Toyota Corolla that was still going strong at 300,000+ miles(even if it did leave a blue smoke screen behind it) and our recent Honda Civic wagon that was just a few weeks short of 400,000 when we traded it in on my wife's new Nissan Versa.

My rationalization is that depreciation probably becomes moot when I consider that I will own this next car for 15 to 20 years and know exactly how it was treated and what it will have had done to it. So, new will most likely be the better investment than near new; slightly used; lease return or any of the other than new options.

With the price of oil and thus; fuel; I am looking at economy over hp/torque.

There are many cars that fall into the category that my requirements dictate but one seems to keep coming to the forefront...the Chevy Cruze.
I know; it's not a BMW...but then none of the new BMWs will ever measure up to the E30 sad smiley
So; apart from the FWD in the Cruze; what do we find but E30 style rear suspension! Yep, it's got a nice Z-Link set up smiling smiley
I have no delusions that this car could measure up to the E30 in the twisties but if it feels even remotely like the iX, I would be very happy.

This week end; I hope to test drive a couple; auto and manual; to see if my expectations are realistic or not.

Do any of you have any experience or stories about the Cruze to share...good, bad and ugly are all appreciated winking smiley
Peter,
If you do the math, even at 15 years ownership, the depreciation is going to exceed savings on gas. I plan to drive my E-30 till I cannot drive any more. I hope it is more than 15 more years but it is not out of concern for cost. It is just that I enjoy the car more than any other I have ever had. I still have other cars but do not find much of an excuse to drive them very much. I agree with you that in a commuting situation, the automatic trans is a definite labor saver. I do not have to commute far so it is not much trouble to shift for myself.

There are some E-30s with autos for sale once in a while. I saw one just last week. In good shape and low miles. It was a Baur too.
[www.dreamautollc.com]

Good luck with the search for the new ride. Hope you find the car that will last as long as you want it to.

Bob in Everett



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/29/2011 03:10PM by Bob in Everett.
That is a fine looking car. Usually when the owner keeps everything in a binder, it is a good sign the car has been meticulously maintained.

I drove by a park today that had an all BMW car show going on. There were tons of E30's (Peter, I looked for an Ix, but couldn't see one). There were also a bunch of 2002's. Now those were really fun cars to drive.

alan
Well; after doing a little research, I find that the Cruze is just another GM lemon being foisted on the public sad smiley

I would really like to have another E30 but to be honest, my interest in fixing stuff is pretty much limited to the Internet now.
My next car needs to have a decent reliability quotient and the potential to last me, with relatively little fuss, for a long time.

It looks like I will simply have to find a good Japanese car that is built in North America. I don't care where the profits go so long as North American labour gets the job of building the cars and a good portion of the parts.

The Nissan Sentra 'CVT' is looking pretty good. My research, so far indicates it is a contender. Best part of this car is the CVT and how a lot of people don't like it because it doesn't shift! It gets much better fuel economy than even a manual shifter.

I'll have to do more research and maybe a test drive to see if there is a fit.
Even if the CVT works well, I'd avoid it on a car I was planning to keep for 25 years. At the risk of sounding like a luddite, these fancy gearboxes have all kinds of gizmos which can fail (look up "Alfa Selespeed") and they can cause such problems that people decide the best fix is to replace it with a manual (very common for E46 SMGs). Also, the CVT design is likely to become an orphan, looks like dual clutch is where the industry is headed.

Howzabout a 1 series diesel, as a balance between economical and fun in a similar size to the E30? (dunno if they sell the diesel in the US though)
Quote
nomis3613
Even if the CVT works well, I'd avoid it on a car I was planning to keep for 25 years. At the risk of sounding like a luddite, these fancy gearboxes have all kinds of gizmos which can fail (look up "Alfa Selespeed") and they can cause such problems that people decide the best fix is to replace it with a manual (very common for E46 SMGs). Also, the CVT design is likely to become an orphan, looks like dual clutch is where the industry is headed.

Howzabout a 1 series diesel, as a balance between economical and fun in a similar size to the E30? (dunno if they sell the diesel in the US though)

That would be a suitable option except for one small matter...$$$ :doh:

I will have to finance any new vehicle, no matter how inexpensive it is but I do not intend to be dealing with car payments for more than 5 years, tops. With the amount of money I can put towards car payments, any BMW would have me paying for 10 to 15 years...this is not an option sad smiley
CVT
October 29, 2011 09:02PM
I rented an Altima with the CVT on a business trip. It worked well and had a setting that simulated shifting gears, but it was a new car. Have no idea how it would hold up to a daily commute.

As low maintenance as E-30s are, even if you did not do the maintenance yourself, it would still be affordable. That new car is going to need maintenance too.

Bob in Everett
rkj
October 29, 2011 10:01PM
I know what you mean Peter; I was looking for just the same thing- a good strong, reasonably priced fuel sipper that was worth buying/driving. I'll be following your hunt cause I'd love to see what your research comes up with. I've decided to keep looking for a later model E46 for Janet, 1997 or so with reasonable history/condition.

I just bought a 1994 E36 for 3,500.00 with 45k for a friend of mine. To my way of thinking that's a good value.
If you intend to drive the car for 15+ years, bear in mind that within a couple of years you will be less flexible, so try to find one you can easily get in and out, with most controls placed ergonomically. Would be a shame planning things financially and then have to change the plan due to having looked over that.
Quote
Michiel 318iS
If you intend to drive the car for 15+ years, bear in mind that within a couple of years you will be less flexible, so try to find one you can easily get in and out, with most controls placed ergonomically. Would be a shame planning things financially and then have to change the plan due to having looked over that.

That is a very good point and one which I am reminded of each day.
As it turns out, the Nissan Versa is perfectly designed for easy ingress and egress. The engineers made the interior high enough that when you get in or out, it is pretty much like sitting down on a regular chair. That is not the case with most of the small cars I've sat in; because you tend to have to drop down unto a bucket then climb back up and out of it.
I haven't sat in the new Nissan Sentra yet but I'm hoping it is designed similarly to the Versa.

Another thing that is big on my list is visibility. I still haven't gotten used to the limited visibility in the truck(it has a canopy on the back with tinted windows).
My new vehicle will have to have good rear and side visibility. I have sat in the Nissan Cube and it has perfect visibility; especially with the asymetrical rear door with the wrap around window!
Hard to beat the visibility of the cabrio.

Have to bundle up a bit for the commute though. Rain is the problem more than cold.

Bob in Everett
Attachments:
open | download - logan pass1.jpg (138.3 KB)
Quote
Bob in Everett
Hard to beat the visibility of the cabrio.

Have to bundle up a bit for the commute though. Rain is the problem more than cold.

I'm not a cabrio kind of guy but the E36 318i or 318T1 are looking pretty good to me right now.
Just came back from looking at the dealers for Nissans, Hondas and Toyotas...nothing decent under $12,000 and that's for 3 to 5 year old cars!

Maybe I'll just have to have two or three more cars before I traded in the old driving gloves for 'Depends' grinning smiley

After all, we got 400,000km from our used Honda Civic and I got over 10 years of happy driving from my iX; so maybe life will be more interesting if I drive a couple more luxury cars...it takes a lot of fuel savings to make up the difference between a brand new car and one that sells for 3 to 4 times less.
Peter, that is why I drive the old cars too. Although it has been an interesting hobby for the past 40 years keeping my fleet of old cars running. I like the E-30 so much I bought a spare just in case my daily driver gets damaged again. Once these cars get over 20 years old, you can get antique car insurance that is not so costly. It has pretty good coverage too.

Bob in Everett
Peter, just a thought....that E30 mentioned at the top of this thread, if you buy it, service items aside (tires, brake pads, belts etc which you have to consider with any car you buy), do you think you would end up putting $10K into it over the coming years for repairs? Coupled with the driving pleasure derived from an E30.....just thinking out loud.

alan
rkj
Quote
Archeo-peteriX
Quote
Bob in Everett
Hard to beat the visibility of the cabrio.

Have to bundle up a bit for the commute though. Rain is the problem more than cold.

I'm not a cabrio kind of guy but the E36 318i or 318T1 are looking pretty good to me right now.
Just came back from looking at the dealers for Nissans, Hondas and Toyotas...nothing decent under $12,000 and that's for 3 to 5 year old cars!

Maybe I'll just have to have two or three more cars before I traded in the old driving gloves for 'Depends' grinning smiley

After all, we got 400,000km from our used Honda Civic and I got over 10 years of happy driving from my iX; so maybe life will be more interesting if I drive a couple more luxury cars...it takes a lot of fuel savings to make up the difference between a brand new car and one that sells for 3 to 4 times less.

I have a visibility thing too (after driving old cars and 2002's for all those years) Peter. Seems the new cars suck because new safety regs I think: thick A pillars and such. The 318ti, as much as I loved it didn't have great rear vis either, but I would live with it any day :heart:

In the last few years or so I've been in more perspective buying situations, both on the street and at dealers and the prices never fail to stun me... eye popping smiley Happy Hunting Bro
If you were an happy Honda driver, and you want to go automatic, ever considered the Insight?

[automobiles.honda.com]

The toyota Prius is way more expensive, but the electric mode could be good on the road conditions you mentioned above.

If you don't want to do mechanical repairs yourself, a newish car still with warranty from the factory, is the way to go.

Anything older come with reliability issues and more or less expensive repairs that show up when you least expect...
Over here, it is no big deal to buy a car to pay over 8 to 10 years.

If you like the 1 series, I think the small engine versions are not available in the US, defeating the purpose of having a small affordable BMW for a daily driver.
Usually a 6-8 year BMW still drives a long way over many years, and can be within your budget, but will consume more and be more expensive to maintain than a newer economical car.

As for the Cruze, they came out with a 5 door "Cruze Sport" that sorts out the odd looking rear of the 4 door car, designed to the taste of Amreicans, perhaps.
[www.chevrolet.pt]
The car looks all right, it delivers hones fuel consumption, and over here it is offered with LPG bi-fuel version, making an ionteresting alternative to hybrids (LPG is half the price of gasoline). Why do you say they are no good?
October 31, 2011 07:27AM
Quote
Bob in Everett
I rented an Altima with the CVT on a business trip. It worked well and had a setting that simulated shifting gears, but it was a new car. Have no idea how it would hold up to a daily commute.

As low maintenance as E-30s are, even if you did not do the maintenance yourself, it would still be affordable. That new car is going to need maintenance too.

Is interesting how people is obsessed with shifting gears. It is a "side effect" of the lack of flexibility of the IC engines, and any elegant way of eliminate or automate that function is looked with some suspicion... I am guilty too, I prefer to do my shifting than let the thing devcide for me!
Finally got off the pot and bought a replacement for the truck.

After a lot of soul searching, car research and financial wangling; I have purchased a 2004 Toyota Echo hatchback...with the 5 speed manual transmission.

It is a small car with a big heart. The 1.5L engine is a treat to drive and it is silky smooth.
I was a little worried about visibilty to the rear but as it turns out that is a non issue.

The offset instrument cluster will take a little getting used to but it really only has the speedo and a gas guage to look at and they are pretty visible.

The steering is tight and quick making it fun to drive. The clutch is light and I had no problem adjusting to it on my test drive.

The rear seat is adequate but a little awkward to access since this is a 2 door car. The trunk is not overly large but will hold several cases of beer; three or four big bags of groceries or a decent sized suit case. If more romm is needed, the 60/40 split rear seat backs fold down to provide a very generous cargo area.

Fuel economy is rated at 42mpg(IMP) city and 54mpg(IMP) highway. I'll be happy if it gets 42mpg on the hiway :clap:
No more $80 fillups :cool2:

This is the car...

Peter,
I was convinced you were going for an automatic for the commuter car...the 42 mpg has to be a plus. My wife is getting about 16 mpg around town in her car and the fillups are too painful for her when they get over $40 so she sends me the 3 miles each way to do the job for her...like that helps things much. I guess the mouse clicks to pay online are less painful than pulling out the credit card and putting it in the machine. Who knows.

Did you part with your truck too? or get an additional car?

Bob

Bob in Everett
Congrats Peter. It looks like a breeze to parallel park as well.

alan
Hi Bob,

Yeh, I surprised myself to with the 5 speed. But it just has so much more oomph than the auto box.

I used the truck as a trade in and was given double what it's KBB value is; can't complain about that. So I figure I probably got the car for about 5% below KBB.
The main thing is that it was half the price of the other cars I was looking at; Honda Fit and Ford Fiesta smiling smiley

With an 11 gallon(IMP) gas tank, I won't be able to the $75 to $80 of gas I was feeding the truck and I should be able to drive twice the distance on the same amount of fuel :rally:
Quote
alanrw
Congrats Peter. It looks like a breeze to parallel park as well.

alan

If I'm in a really tight place; I can get out and just lift the front then the back into place grinning smiley
Cmon Peter, everyone knows you keep 4 skateboards in the trunk. You just lift the nose and rear of the car, slide the skateboards under the tires and slide her right in.

grinning smiley

alan
Quote
alanrw
Cmon Peter, everyone knows you keep 4 skateboards in the trunk. You just lift the nose and rear of the car, slide the skateboards under the tires and slide her right in.

grinning smiley

alan

That's an excellent idea smileys with beer
rkj
Quote
Archeo-peteriX
Finally got off the pot and bought a replacement for the truck.

After a lot of soul searching, car research and financial wangling; I have purchased a 2004 Toyota Echo hatchback...with the 5 speed manual transmission.

It is a small car with a big heart. The 1.5L engine is a treat to drive and it is silky smooth.
I was a little worried about visibilty to the rear but as it turns out that is a non issue.

The offset instrument cluster will take a little getting used to but it really only has the speedo and a gas guage to look at and they are pretty visible.

The steering is tight and quick making it fun to drive. The clutch is light and I had no problem adjusting to it on my test drive.

The rear seat is adequate but a little awkward to access since this is a 2 door car. The trunk is not overly large but will hold several cases of beer; three or four big bags of groceries or a decent sized suit case. If more romm is needed, the 60/40 split rear seat backs fold down to provide a very generous cargo area.

Fuel economy is rated at 42mpg(IMP) city and 54mpg(IMP) highway. I'll be happy if it gets 42mpg on the hiway :clap:
No more $80 fillups :cool2:

This is the car...

This seems like a good buy Peter, and it's a stick thumbs up good luck with it Buddy smileys with beer
That's a smart choice for a commuter car. Small, cheap, inexpensive, and it's a Toyota so you know it'll be reliable.

I don't understand the appeal of those expensive, heavy, overly-complicated, electric/gasoline hybrid cars when something simple like this car gets every bit as good fuel mileage.
Quote
Ferdinand
That's a smart choice for a commuter car. Small, cheap, inexpensive, and it's a Toyota so you know it'll be reliable.

I don't understand the appeal of those expensive, heavy, overly-complicated, electric/gasoline hybrid cars when something simple like this car gets every bit as good fuel mileage.

Very true. A smaller simpler car is allways cheaper to run than a larger and complex one.
I read an article somewhere on how the Chevrolet Volt helped the sales of the Cruze, people go at the dealer to Test drive the Volt and ends up leaving with the much cheaper Cruze.

Those cars sold over here as "yaris" with a 1L engine, they are not the fastest thing but very economical a practical.
I used to drive one (rental) and I hated the design, specially the central display behind a lense, but the car handled right, good brakes, everything felt like it should.

Good luck with the new car!
I think the Volt is about to become GM's Ford Pinto exploding gas tank.

alan
Is so easy to destroy a reputation!
Some Volt caught on fire AFTER side crash tests. Is not like "some people died inside a burning Volt"!

Anyway, they promised to fix it and the Volt is meant to be a technical innovation showcase to help sell more ICE cars.
Just a way to say "Toyota and Honda have, so do we!".
I picked up the car this evening after work.
Holy crap; who knew these little peanuts had so much gusto?!?

Compared to the truck; this thing is like a rocket; the throttle response is very nice and if you're not careful, the front wheels break loose :whistle:

This car is probably more like a Mini in the handling department than an E30 but it's still fun and I know I'm going to have to be careful as I've already found myself driving way over the speed limit...it's so easy with this motorized rollerskate.

I've never named a car before but this one will be known as 'Zeke The Streke' :dance:
Sorry, only registered users may post in this forum.

Click here to login

Online Users

Guests: 3
Record Number of Users: 3 on September 29, 2015
Record Number of Guests: 116 on November 11, 2017