Edmunds Answers

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  • texases 04/02/09 9:26 am PST

    Many choices-go to a newsstand and get the new Consumer Reports car buying issue or guide, lots of info. If it were me, I'd seriously consider a Honda Fit.

  • karjunkie 04/02/09 11:10 am PST

    I'd second the vote on the 2009 Honda Fit. It ranks at the top of every review of small economical cars over the last 2 years. Consumer reports also top ranks the 2009 Hyundai Elantra in that category. The 2009 Mazda MAZDA3 is also a top pick by most and comes in a 5 door hatchback that is very practical. It is a bit less fuel efficient than the other two, but more spacious and fun to drive. Good luck on your decision!

  • autobroker2 04/02/09 6:24 pm PST

    I'm going to disagree with the Fit. It gets good mileage, but if you're driving that much, I expect you must be on a highway for some of it.

    For a lower price range, I'd pick a Toyota Corolla, for 2 reasons. First, with a manual, it gets BETTER highway mileage than the Fit (35 vs 33), and you only lose 1 mpg in the City with the Corolla (26 vs 27). The second reason I'd pick the Corolla is that it is a more substantial car. It will be easier and more comfortable to drive at 65+ miles per hour.

    If you are willing to pay a little more, the Prius is the obvious choice -- 45 mpg highway, 48 city. It is spacious, comfortable, has a decent back seat, and there is plenty of room for storage with the hatchback design. It drives great at highway speeds.

    Note that dealers have lots of Prius models on their lots right now, but gas is heading back up. There are incentives on them now, but if gas goes up another $0.50 per gallon, watch the incentives and inventory disappear.

    Good luck!

  • morin2 04/02/09 9:44 pm PST

    I have a 107 mile commute & was doing it with a 02 Prizm (=Corolla) until I gave it to my daughter as a reward for getting all A's her first 3 years in High School. I'd hope that the newer Corollas would be more comfortable. If the seats are comfortable, a Corolla could be a very good choice.

    Will you be doing anything else with the car? In my case, I wanted to haul a small trailer and also easily carry kayaks on the roof. Because I needed more utility, I got a subaru outback 2 weeks ago and I am very pleased with it. I know that I could have gotten a more fuel efficient car, but my first 2 tanks have been over 28 mpg while varying speed during break-in. I'm willing to sacrifice some mpg for better overall utility. And insurance on subarus is very reasonable, reducing the overall ownership costs. If you are in snow country, the AWD can't be beat.

    The elantra gets slightly better fuel economy but the insurance cost is very high and defeats any savings from higher mpg. A few years ago, one of the magazines ran a story showing the insurance costs of an elantra were higher than that of a Mercedes. Also the depreciation is extremely high on Korean cars.

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Top Car Comparisons Experts View More

Rank Leader Points
1. texases 2515
2. Stever@Edmunds 2005
3. MrShift@Edmunds 1885
4. karjunkie 1820
5. morin2 1630
6. zaken1 1220
7. tony78 580
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