Sunday, October 27, 2013

A Car Buying Story - Part Three - Models and Makes

Generally, I wasn't too blessed with the array of models in Canada. If it comes to ancestors cars, the choices are absolutely simple - you go for a mini van or, as of lately, for an SUV. No big deal. But I anticipation that mini van is a decay of money if you accept alone two kids and don't run a adjustment business. SUV has a fun, all-terrain alluvion to it, but it too is a decay if you don't use it. What I was searching for is a abate multi-purpose, single-volume vehicle, and there aren't abounding of them here. Domestic makes are bigger in that annual than imports. I about got to anticipate that the alternative is such that it armament you to either buy a big car or two cars.

I'm mostly adage this because I've apparent affluence of such able models in Europe. For example, you can acquisition a new Civic in 5 aperture trim -- diesel!

Or a awful unusual, but allegedly actual able and applied Fiat Doblo (a avant-garde ample crossover) that looks somewhat like Honda Element, alone it's a bit abate and proportionally wider.

Wagons and about individual aggregate cars are actual accepted in Europe. Bisected of Fiat's agile are such cars. And of course, the agent advantage -- everybody has it. I was absolutely apologetic I did not acquisition a adequate one here.

Anyhow, that is what it is. This is my overview of altered models I've looked at:

Honda Accord

I collection Accord '89 for years, and I can affirm to its quality. The engine was just great, even with 230,000 km on it. Every year if I charge to accomplish Air-Care, all I'm cerebration is: "Is it traveling to be hardly bigger or hardly worse than endure year?" In the aboriginal brace of years I acclimated to drive a bit afore the air-care to balmy up the engine, but afterwards alone that convenance -- it was artlessly unnecessary. Anyhow, Accord was my aboriginal thought, and consistently a advancement plan: "if I don't acquisition annihilation I like, I'll just buy Accord".

And the latest Accord (model 2003) was in all aspects a actual adequate choice. Adequate space, adequate quality, safety, ammunition economy, ambrosial abundant everything. It wasn't that glassy and ambrosial as I would hope, but that's absolutely not big a deal. Also, it did not accept the absolute assurance array (in brace of tests it had 4 out of 5) -- and I was affectionate of assured accomplishment from my favourite make. In the end, the accepted archetypal was just about to be replaced, the 2008 is absolutely redesigned, and I was assured aloft improvements with the new model. So the accepted archetypal seemed somewhat an anachronous choice.

Honda Civic

Haven't absolutely anticipation of Civic afore -- to me it was a city-limits car for singles or a aboriginal ancestors car that you alter quickly. However, the new Civic (model from 2006) fabricated a able consequence on me.

Pros: A lot of new features, some absolutely advanced. Top safety: impact-absorbing body, all 6 airbags, ABS, sensors, and all of that in the abject version. Accomplished ammunition abridgement -- just hardly worse than Corolla (which is top in that respect). Although a abate car, it grew over time. The commuter amplitude is actual adequate even for a taller person. I even approved affective the disciplinarian bench all the way aback and afresh sitting abaft it, and it was ok. It's absolutely avant-garde central -- it's no minivan, so don't apprehend wonders, but altogether acceptable.

Also, the options are created reasonably, so all I had to add was AC -- it had aggregate else. The architecture is sleek, the autogenous actual pleasant, and actual agreeable for a driver. Active a Civic (manual transmission) is just a admirable experience.

Cons: The alone blemish I begin was baby block space. Block is abate than a lot of of the cars I've looked at. Corolla has 40L bigger block which is not negligible abnormally in abate cars. The actualization of the block is adequate which agency you can put in altered able-bodied pieces, but the absolute aggregate is artlessly small.

Honda CR-V

A absolutely new archetypal (2007), bigger than before, and actual accurately designed. I about did not shoot for SUVs, but if I absitively to get one, CRV would accept been a austere candidate. The alone blemish for me was that it doesn't appear with chiral transmission.

Honda Amalgam

I accept aswell advised amalgam cars, but gave up about for one reason: the batteries absorb a adequate allotment of the block space, and that was already an affair with non-hybrid models. And with the price, I absitively to canyon on those nice avant-garde things this time.

Toyota Corolla

Towards Corolla, I had agnate activity as to the pre-2006 Civic -- seems as a city, young/small ancestors car, alone even added than Civic. For my accepted situation, I was actively because it. What I didn't like was the way it was sold: the abject archetypal did not accept ABS, alone foreground airbags, and about some added nice assurance actualization were missing. Now the options are managed in such a way that if you add those things, you aswell get affluence of those that you don't charge (e.g. sunroof), and it's not that affordable anymore.

On the added duke it had a lot to offer: adequate amplitude for a abate car, the best ammunition economy, accurate quality.

But I gave up on it mainly because of the abridgement of assurance features.

Toyota Matrix

Similar to Corolla, with actual agnate and annoying advantage structure. I mean, it goes up to $28,000 if I add actualization I wish (ABS, Airbags, AC, ...). That is because you aswell get covering seats, sunroof, and some added options.

Now Matrix was conceptually absolutely what I capital -- a single-volume, not too big, but practical, multipurpose car. But it has been congenital on Corolla chassis, and to me it had a assertive "incomplete" activity to it. And about some cheapness as well.

Toyota Camry

I did not like it actual much. I mean, it seems to be a abundant car -- it's big, spacious, amazingly bendable and comfortable. It's a bit abundant which you can feel on acceleration, but again, it's a bigger car, so it's no surprise. Generally, Camry is starting to attending and feel as a approved 6 butt ample American car, which is conceivably absolutely what they are aggravating to do. I did not like that abundant -- I like cars such as Accord better; it's sleeker, added dynamic, a bit harder on the road, added sporty.

Anyhow, except for the actuality that I did not charge a big limousine-like car, I accept annihilation absolutely adjoin it.


Nissan is an accomplished car that artlessly did not blaze any accurate absorption with me. This is of advance just a claimed taste. Altima is in accurate actual nice, able-bodied fabricated and affordable car. Sentra is beneath so -- I begin it beneath agnate sized cars. Maxima is a abundant abounding sized car -- but agnate to Toyota Camry it was a bit beyond auto that I'd go for.


Now this is a puzzle. Sonata has a admirable and actual affected style. It looks adequately high-end by appearance. And it has accomplished actualization and affluence of them. For example, a latest trend -- Shiftronic chiral or CVT (Continuous Variable Transmission) that pairs the best attributes of chiral and automated mechanisms. I've heard that the ammunition abridgement with CVT is about as adequate as in the chiral one; in fact Volvo claims that in one of their models, on a highway, CVT performs even bigger than manual. But to me, active a car with CVT was not that absorbing experience.

Hyundai acutely has a lot of latest actualization for a awful affordable price. And although it does attending good, you can still acquaint that it's an affordable car. If Hyundai entered the American bazaar it was accepted as the affliction car -- humans say it would endure you for about a year. But in the accomplished 5 years they accept fabricated such a adequate progress, that in some absolute ratings (Such as Consumer Report's) they amount bigger in some aspects than Honda or Toyota.

All in all, I did not absorb abundant time on it, although I've advised both Sonata and their SUV Tucson as an option.


I was searching mainly at Mazda 3 Sport. By the way, the name is absolutely ambiguous -- for a continued time I did not even accede it because I artlessly anticipation it's a action copy not adequate for a family. But if I did looked at it, I was afraid to apprentice that it in fact isn't -- the appellation "sport" allegedly came up alone because "hatchback" was too "boring". Silly -- I don't anticipate they absolutely anticipation this one through well.

Anyhow, I abstruse it has about all I needed, and on analysis drive it acquainted absolutely good. The banker told me they advertise mostly chiral versions because it's a achievement car. I agnosticism this is absolutely true, but it is accurate that the car is ambrosial adventurous -- actual responsive, adequately strong, and in accepted a amusement to drive. Nevertheless, it has adequate amplitude inside, and about is adequate for a family.

But the block was small, i.e. narrow. The amplitude of the block is around the aforementioned as the amplitude of the block door. This I artlessly don't accept -- seems as if they advisedly did not use all the accessible space.

In addition, its blast ratings (from the tests) were not the best. And as a abate blemish the bench covers acquainted a bit unpleasant.

But it is about a actual adequate car and I was because it actual seriously

Mazda 5 aswell bent my absorption because it was a bigger ancestors car, yet not a mini van. I was comparing it to Matrix. However, it looked to me that the ambition with an abnormal "crossover" architecture was not absolutely accomplished (or completed), at atomic to my claimed taste. The third row is too baby for anyone except kids to use for any best drive. With the third row up, the block is too small. Although not a mini van it is still adequately abundant and "lazy" on the road.

It's about a actual absorbing vehicle, annual searching at.


Ah, Subaru...

Subaru was the a lot of affable analysis for me. I didn't apperceive abundant at all about this make, alone a few ambiguous facts. But afterwards I abstruse a bit about it I ample that this accomplish is artlessly excellent. And they accept afresh been accepting added and added popularity. Afresh I went to US for a weekend and saw that there are as abounding Subarus (mostly Outbacks) on the alley there as there are Honda Civics in Canada. Every added being owns it!

So I explored the models a bit and ample that Forester and Outback are a lot of appealing. Forester as a abate and cheaper advantage and Outback as a bigger and added expensive. Impreza was too baby and a bit too abundant adventurous -- it's a achievement car acclimated for racing. Legacy, congenital on the aforementioned anatomy as Outback and actual agnate as able-bodied was ok, but Outback artlessly looks better.

I took Forester on a analysis drive -- although it has earlier look, and is boxier, jeep-like, I admired it somewhat bigger than Outback. In fact this allegory is a bit like comparing apples and oranges -- both attending actual nice and are conceptually altered in exoteric design. Conceivably I admired Forester a bit bigger absolutely because it looks like a baby SUV. It drives just beautifully. It's not absolutely an SUV, because it's abate and lower than, say CR-V, but it does feel like one because you sit college aloft the alley than, say, in a sedan. This gives you an accomplished afterimage of the alley in foreground of you. The amplitude was good, but not too adequate -- in accurate the accept and hip allowance is commensurable to even Corolla and Civic. So two car seats and an developed can fit in the back, but it wouldn't be too adequate on a longer, hour%u2019s continued trip. Added ambit including the block admeasurement are just fine.

An absorbing little ancillary affection of the Boxer engine (horizontally adjoin pistons): If you about-face the agitation on, Forester "shakes" just a wee bit, just as if you were sitting in a truck. This is not too noticeable, but it gives you a bit of a nice activity of strength.

Security with Subaru cars is the one of the arch points. Their cars accept beeline 5 on all tests (front impact, ancillary appulse and rear impact). This is not adventitious -- they accept systematically developed this quality. They've been accepted in the accomplished to put a lot of accomplishment in security, so abundant that even they accepted they did it on annual of the style. Thus, even the Forester that does not accept the blind airbags at all, protects rear commuter bigger than some cars that accept the blind airbags. However, I begin that abridgement of those airbags was too austere blemish for me -- as I mentioned, my aboriginal antecedence was assurance and I did not wish to accommodation in that annual even a bit. Outback on the added duke has all 6 airbags, but it's aswell appreciably added expensive.

Another aegis affection consistent from the engine design, i.e. the Boxer style, is that it has actual low centermost of gravity, lower than accustomed engines. For this reason, the accident of rollover with Forester is commensurable to a sedan, rather than any SUV.

Subaru cars are not accurate gas-savers. Specifications affirmation they absorb 10.7L/100km. I collection Outback for 24 hours, and it spent 12L/100km. This is understandable; you'll never get the ammunition abridgement from the spec, abnormally with cast new car. However, compared to Corolla's 7.1 or Civic 7.8, it is about 50% more.

I didn't accept Subaru for a brace of reasons, although I was so abutting to affairs one. Forester does not accept blind airbags, and new Forester archetypal is planned for 2009. Outback is not bargain -- with taxes and PDI and the blow of the fees it comes up to $38,000. Affairs Outback in US would amount me somewhat aloft $30,000. Forester would be somewhat beneath $30,000. So, I'd accept to pay adequate money, and wouldn't be blessed with either abridgement of airbags or not the best ammunition economy. But I anticipate my next car ability calmly be a Subaru.


No charge to say it's a abundant make, and one of my claimed favourites. However, affordable or abutting to affordable Volvo's (such as S40, V50) are small, and beyond ones (S70, XC70) are expensive. If it wasn't for the amount I anticipate I wouldn't even assay it -- I'd just go and buy it.


I apperceive VW was consistently a adequate car -- if I was a kid bisected of my hometown was active VW. I apperceive actualization of Golf models from Golf I to Golf IV. And I collection it a bit too. But my capital absorption in VW was that I was searching for a agent car. I was aghast to acquisition that VW dealers in Canada do not advertise affluence of agent models. There is TDI (here and now it agency Jetta TDI) -- that's it.

Then I aswell apparent that City-limits Golf and City-limits Jetta are amazingly affordable -- they are cheaper than Civic and Corolla. And they are adequate cars! I about absitively to go for one of them!!

But Golf is baby for a Canadian family, in particular, the block is too attenuated -- I can't even put the kid's adventurer in straight, but accept to acclivity it a bit. I started apprehensive how did the bisected of my hometown accession kids with a Golf? (And the added bisected of the boondocks collection abate cars.) But those were altered times...

City Jetta is bigger in that respect, but not too much. It is an old Jetta model, aboriginal advised several years ago. It's still the aforementioned with all the baby improvements fabricated over the years, but annihilation major.

Major redesign of Jetta went into the Jetta archetypal (without "City") that is some 8 admirable added big-ticket and looks added like a Passsat (actually so abundant so that on the alley I accept agitation cogent Jetta from Passat). Jetta is an accomplished car, has accomplished aegis features, lots of amplitude (very, actual adequate inside). And there is agent (TDI) option.

Generally, an accomplished advantage -- alone a arbitrary of all actualization and amount absitively adjoin it, and not by far at all.

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