Edmunds Answers

Voted Best Answer

  • avatar boomchek 07/11/09 12:38 pm PST

    If you are on a budget and don't want you or your daughter to be stuck with any large repair on maintenance bills then you should avoid used European cars and stick to Japanese.

    Here would be my recomendations in no particular order:

    Honda Civic
    Honda Accord
    Toyota Corolla
    Toyota Camry
    Toyota Matrix
    Pontiac Vibe (identical to a Matrix, but with Pontiac badges and less expensive).
    Toyota Echo
    Toyota Yaris

    Personally I'd also go with an Accord as it has good amount so space, good fuel economy, and is fairly reliable.

Answers

  • Stever@Edmunds 07/11/09 1:33 am PST

    No kids here but maybe these links will help until some parents (or Volvo owners) respond.

    Best Car for a new teenage driver (CarSpace forum)

    Choosing the Safest Car for Your Teen Driver

  • 19kansas55 07/11/09 2:46 am PST

    sorry but for my money id look at somthing other then volvo ..they were once a great car but i feel its the wrong choice today

  • karjunkie 07/11/09 8:51 am PST

    Volvo pioneered a lot of safety features that are now standard on much more reliable cars. So, you don't need to buy her a Volvo anymore to get those safety improvements. I would look for a good clean 2001 Honda Accord 4 cylinder EX that will give you safety AND reliability. In 2001, the Honda Accord got new safety features. The Accord’s front airbags were improved to the dual-stage type that deploy at one of two levels depending on crash severity and whether the seat belts are buckled. Side-impact airbags for the front seats are standard on four-cylinder EX models. The side airbag next to the passenger seat will not deploy if sensors detect a child or small adult is leaning into the deployment path. Antilock brakes are also standard on EX models. Kelley Blue ook prices are $7-9K so you can get a very good example for about $8K you intend to spend.

  • morin2 07/11/09 11:16 am PST

    If you have a Volvo mechanic nearby, ask him about the 240/740/940 series of cars - but these are a bit older, much slower, and hard to find in decent shape. Other makes are just as "safe" today. With a 16 year old, a concern would be the much higher incidence of single-vehicle crashes due to inexperience. I like the idea of AWD because it will help to keep that driver on the road when weather conditions change. An Accord is a great car, but often not a great value when buying used because everyone is competing for them and driving prices too high to make good personal fiscal sense. Cars that hold their value very well are best bought new, not used. If you do find one that you like and if you are not a highly skilled negotiator, do you have a friend who is retired car salesman or professional negotiator? A 2001 Subaru Impreza with the bulletproof 2.2 motor would cost thousands less than a 2001 Accord and would have AWD for increased security in rain & snow, as well as the lane-straying forays onto the soft road shoulders. It would be as likely to be as reliable - if fully checked out by your mechanic before you begin negotiations. If you don't have a regular independent mechanic, I have had great luck with this site:

    http://www.cartalk.com/content/mechx/

    My son found a terrific mechanic just 2 miles from his college using this site.

    In addition to the Subaru Impreza (my favorite for a new driver but with 2.2 liter motor only!), keep an open mind to any extra-clean Mazda Protege, even an 06 Ford Focus, Mitsubishi Galant 03-04, Buick Century 04-05 (yes - boring, but cheaper to insure). Run a few models past your insurance agent & see what she has to say (that might rule out any Korean cars).

  • 19kansas55 07/11/09 11:55 am PST

    yes please stick to toyota youll have less problems and be in a safer car

    Source: 

  • boomchek 07/11/09 12:38 pm PST

    If you are on a budget and don't want you or your daughter to be stuck with any large repair on maintenance bills then you should avoid used European cars and stick to Japanese.

    Here would be my recomendations in no particular order:

    Honda Civic
    Honda Accord
    Toyota Corolla
    Toyota Camry
    Toyota Matrix
    Pontiac Vibe (identical to a Matrix, but with Pontiac badges and less expensive).
    Toyota Echo
    Toyota Yaris

    Personally I'd also go with an Accord as it has good amount so space, good fuel economy, and is fairly reliable.

  • shrpram 01/21/11 9:20 am PST

    I’d think twice about this. I had an 83 Turbo. Ran great but each time it went to the dealer, it was minimum $400 - tune up, front brakes, O2 Sensor etc. The O2 sensor was reset locally at no cost. I had it serviced prior to a vacation trip. When checking the oil on the trip, I felt something was missing. I took it to a Volvo dealer in Rhode Island about 1 pm and asked them if they would just look under the hood to see if I was right and if something was missing, let me know if it was harmful. The service writer told me to come back the next day. I told him I just wanted a look and opinion. He told me to get the car out of his shop – he didn’t have time to deal with me. I also felt that my local dealer’s service people were quite arrogant. Bottom line – the most pleasant day I had with that car was when I traded it for a Grand Marquis. Bottom line - maintenance is expensive

  • scanman1 01/21/11 10:37 am PST

    Chevy has come a long way I suggest you check them out before you buy Import. Maintenance is diffenitly a thing you need to look at. Import parts are the worst thing about maintenance work on vehicles now a days. Scanman

  • isellhondas 01/21/11 1:17 pm PST

    The others have given you excellent advise.

    If potential repair problems have you "spooked" a Volvo should be one of the LAST cars to consider!

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