Corolla v Civic v Hyundai/Nissan moeds

Discussion in 'Civic' started by RPS, May 12, 2008.

  1. RPS

    RPS Guest

    Our old Camry is showing its age (~12 years) and we have decided to
    look for a new car but budget down to "Corolla level". I said "level"
    as I am open to competing models from Honda, Hyundai, Nissan, etc.

    I would appreciate your help in choosing the model, as well as the
    "sub-model" (CE, LE, DX etc.).

    Most of our driving is city or regional: round trips to places 10-50
    miles away. A few times a year we drive 300-500 miles trips.

    I would like basic safety features (line anti-lock brakes) and comforts
    (4-door, AC). Very high priority running cost (mpg, reliability). I can
    live with manual or automatic. I would consider new, or low-mileage
    dealer demos etc, but not "really used". (Like everyone else, I thought
    about Prius but it looks too expensive.)

    A few questions:

    1. Which make/model would be the best fit?

    2. What is the best site for reading up on these and well as comparison
    reviews? (Bought my last car 12 years ago and online resources must
    have come along since then.)

    3. Would you go to a local dealer or Carmax, Carsdirect etc?

    4. At this point would you buy a 2009, or 2008?

    5. When is the best time of the year to get good deals on last years
    models, dealer demos, loaners and like? (These I'd imagine are only
    available from dealers.)

    Thanks for all help.
    RPS, May 12, 2008
  2. Well, you may be thinking that it's "too expensive to buy". It may or
    may not be too expensive to operate.

    The up front cost is only one of the many costs. You buy it once, but
    you operate it over and over again. You must look at an overall cost,
    per mile, to come to any conclusions.

    Don't dismiss any car simply because it looks "too expensive" to
    purchase up front.

    I'd compare similarly equipped Corolla and Prius. Just use the base
    prius; it has everything you need. Then compare ongoing costs--fuel,
    maintenance, and so on--and come up with a per mile cost across 12K,
    24K, 50K, 100K miles and so on.

    A buddy of mine has a mid 90s Corolla, coming up on 300K miles. Still
    looks and runs great.
    Elmo P. Shagnasty, May 12, 2008
  3. RPS

    Elle Guest

    I think the best resource is the April issue of Consumer
    Reports. CR has matrices for every year and model of car for
    about the last ten years that show the reliability of
    different car systems. It jives IMO with what generally
    hears: Honda and Toyota are the most reliable. OTOH, certain
    Toyota models, like the Tundra, are doing very poorly for
    reliability. See .
    Still, you might be fine with a Corolla.

    I plan to use email to negotiate the price of my next car.
    This is based on reading reports here of much success with
    Makes no difference. It's a new vehicle, and that's what
    Elle, May 12, 2008
  4. RPS

    RPS Guest

    : Well, you may be thinking that it's "too expensive to buy". It may or
    : may not be too expensive to operate.
    : The up front cost is only one of the many costs. You buy it once, but
    : you operate it over and over again. You must look at an overall cost,
    : per mile, to come to any conclusions.
    : I'd compare similarly equipped Corolla and Prius...

    Just using round numbers, the price difference appears to be $6000.

    If I drive 12000 miles per year, Corolla (30 mpg) would need 400
    gallons of fuel. Prius (40mpg) about 300 gallons. Difference is 100
    gallons, let's say $500.

    That would mean 10-12 years to merely recover the extra money you pay
    upfront. So, I am not saying Prius is not a good car, but it has become
    something of a fad/fashion too and I don't see the economy: I give them
    $6000, and hope that maybe I'd earn it back by 2020? :)

    So, I am inclined to stay with the best of conventional cars. Trying to
    figure out which one!
    RPS, May 12, 2008
  5. RPS

    paulgyro Guest

    RPS I've been wondering the same recently and am still researching.
    For what's its worth Consumer Reports (CR) has picked the '08 Elantra
    SE as it's best small car.

    Here is their summery:

    "The Elantra is a pleasant small sedan. We found the ride comfortable
    and road noise low, but the Elantra still isn't as agile as a Mazda3
    or Honda Civic. The engine booms at high revs but returns good fuel
    economy. Cabin access is fairly easy, and the roomy interior is put
    together nicely. It also has more standard safety equipment than some
    competitors, including ABS and curtain air bags. Electronic stability
    control is standard on the SE trim and, combined with wider tires and
    a tighter suspension, makes the car very secure. IIHS offset-crash
    results are good. First-year reliability has been much better than
    average. An Elantra Touring hatchback model will arrive for 2009."

    Another interesting new feature CR has is under "Price and Costs"
    They calcuate the overall cost of owning the car for 1-8 years to be
    $0.46 a mile which they rate as "Excellent" which is their highest

    I'm going to check the other car site and see how these cars you've
    mentioned fair.

    paulgyro, May 12, 2008
  6. Hmmmm. The Prius will get, over a year's time, no less than 45mpg. And
    that's without any freaky driving techniques.
    Elmo P. Shagnasty, May 12, 2008
  7. Don't forget the size. The Prius is larger than the Corolla; if you
    think you'd want something larger that also gets good gas mileage,
    that's the Prius. If you think you're stuck with a Corolla-sized car,
    you're not. Not necessarily.
    Elmo P. Shagnasty, May 12, 2008
  8. RPS

    RPS Guest

    : Hmmmm. The Prius will get, over a year's time, no less than 45mpg. And
    : that's without any freaky driving techniques.

    I realize that Prius would do better than 40, Corolla than 30. These
    are just the nearest nice numbers I could work with without a
    RPS, May 12, 2008
  9. RPS

    SMS Guest

    I'd first narrow things down by safety, reliability, depreciation, and

    What are the top four compacts in each category.

    Subaru Impreza
    Honda Civic
    Nissan Versa
    Toyota Corolla (assuming 2009 model ranks highly in Side & Rear tests)

    J.D. Power Long Term Dependability (3 year)
    Only Toyota and Honda rank above the industry average

    Longevity (11-20 years) (of companies making small, non-luxury cars)

    Honda Civic
    Toyota Corolla
    Mazda 3
    Nissan Versa
    You can buy the base Corolla with a manual transmission very
    inexpensively, but most people in the U.S. don't buy manual transmission
    Buying a slightly used Corolla or Civic rarely makes sense because these
    models are highly discounted by dealers, yet have very high resale
    value. As a result, a good deal on a new one is often less expensive
    than a bad deal on a used one.
    Once you narrow down by tangible factors, that's really up to your
    Consumer Reports is a start, though they tend to emphasize reliability
    and value, less on handling and performance.
    It depends on where you live. Carsdirect can at least give you a
    baseline of what to expect, but they tend to be a bit higher in price
    than what you can get on your own, or through a non-profit buying service.
    The Corolla is new for 2009, so be careful. I've been burned by the
    first year of a new model (though it was a Honda).
    About now, if they have any left.

    We're also in the same situation. A 12 year old Camry that while still
    reliable has some issues. I don't like the lack of rear headrests, and
    most new vehicles seem to have full rear headrests (3 of them). Now that
    my kids are bigger I want something more suitable for them, but I'm
    thinking of going down to the Corolla instead of another Camry if the
    legroom is sufficient, just for the better mileage.

    Bottom line is that if you're looking for another vehicle that will last
    12 years, and still work well and look decent, get the Corolla.
    SMS, May 12, 2008
  10. RPS

    rigger Guest

    I'd agree the Corolla is a good choice. I have been enjoying the heck
    out of my '09 Matrix S (Corolla with more interior hauling capacity).
    has the Camry 2.4l engine and moves along pretty quickly. If you go
    this route I'd suggest selecting an upgrade on tires as the stock 16"
    stock tires don't do anything for performance (as tested in the June
    Consumers Reports).

    We looked at the Prius and were told the battery had a 10 year/
    100,000 mile warranty but no one seemed to know If the terms of
    the warranty specified what amount of lost battery capacity would
    be considered unacceptable.

    The other thought I had was the fact that your resale value would
    depend highly upon the cost and availability of a new battery 10
    years down the road. No one at the dealership could accuratly
    speculate on future battery availability.

    Good luck with whatever you choose.

    in nca
    rigger, May 12, 2008
  11. RPS

    Tomes Guest

    "Elmo P. Shagnasty" ...
    Yep, well said, and with the freaky driving techniques over 50 MPG (it is
    just a way of using the foot is all).
    Tomes, May 12, 2008
  12. I'd put insurance costs in there, toward the top.
    Elmo P. Shagnasty, May 12, 2008
  13. On the other hand, a slightly used American car--let's say a Ford
    Focus--is an incredible deal, with most of the big depreciation already
    paid for and yet most of the car's life remaining.

    If you can stand a Focus, a slightly used one is your best bet.
    Elmo P. Shagnasty, May 12, 2008
  14. My concern is still the batteries. The OP had his present car for 12 years
    so I'm going to assume he wants long life from the next. Will the batteries
    become a nightmare or just another expense? Just something to be factored
    in for the total cost of driving over the years. I keep hearing about a
    five year life, so that would be two changes for the OP if he keeps the car
    that long.
    Edwin Pawlowski, May 13, 2008
  15. RPS

    Justbob30 Guest

    Before you say you cant afford a hybrid, lets take a look at the web site,
    base Prius $21,100, base Corolla auto (apples to apples) $17,110, difference
    $2,715, City epa for Prius is 48, Corolla 26 Presuming that is the best you
    could do in either car (not likely) the Prius would use 250 gallons of gas a
    year, the Corolla 461 presuming your 12,000 per year driven....@ lets say
    $4.50 a gallon you would save $949 per year/ 2715=2.8 years for break even,
    then you would save oh I don't know $1000 a year in gas, not to mention be
    driving a MUCH cleaner car and doing your own little part to reduce the use
    of fossil fuel.

    As for the batteries, Honda has had Hybrids since 96, Toyota about 98 (not
    positive) if there were massive battery failures, don't you think there
    would be a public outcry by now? why do you think no one really knows what
    it would cost to replace them? could it be not many are replaced? If it were
    a common item, I can assure you, there would be a price attached to it. By
    the way, Brakes last much longer in a Hybrid due to the fact that much of
    the forward energy is converted to electricity when stopping.

    So, Lets recap, 10 years ownership, Prius, car and fuel only $32,350,
    Corolla, car & fuel only $37,855, so, looks like you can't afford to save

    I am not a fan of the Prius BTW, I prefer the Honda Civic Hybrid, it, to me
    is a far more comfortable car.
    Justbob30, May 13, 2008
  16. RPS

    Newbie Guest

    : Before you say you cant afford a hybrid, lets take a look at the web site,
    : base Prius $21,100, base Corolla auto (apples to apples) $17,110, difference
    : $2,715,

    ONE, the difference between your own numbers is $4000.

    TWO, I am not sure if "apples to apples" is as fair a comparison as you
    make it sound. Corolla is available in cheaper versions, Prius is not.
    A manual CE would not only cost less but also have better mpg.
    Newbie, May 13, 2008
  17. RPS

    Tony Hwang Guest

    Cost of battery pack when it needs replacing?
    Tony Hwang, May 13, 2008
  18. RPS

    Ray O Guest

    Most automakers are making pretty reliable and durable cars these days.

    1) Regarding fuel economy, the EPA numbers for 2008 and later model years
    should more closely reflect real-world numbers so you can compare. I do not
    know if this is still the case, but in the past, Hyundais have had poorer
    fuel economy than a comparable Toyota, Honda, or Nissan and tend to be a
    little noisier. A friend traded in a Honda minivan for a Hyundai minivan,
    and while the Hyundai has good performance and comfort, it is noisier on the
    highway and gets noticeably poorer fuel economy.

    I recommend that you test drive each candidate to see if they are
    comfortable for you, if you like how they drive, road noise, convenience,

    Also price all of the vehicles with the equipment that you want. Hyundais
    tend to have more content than comparable Japanese vehicles.

    2) seems to have pretty good car reviews.

    3) I would purchase the vehicle from the dealer that sells the vehicle new
    because dealers that do not have that particular brand's franchise do not
    have access to the factory training and equipment that the new car dealer

    4) You will probably get a better deal on a 2008 than a 2009, and if you are
    going to keep the vehicle for 12 years, depreciation won't make that much of
    a difference.

    5) Factory and dealer demos (vehicles that have never been titled) are
    generally available only through franchised dealers. A "used" vehicle is
    one that has been licensed and titled, and are available pretty much
    anywhere, although the vehicles in the best condition are most likely to be
    at the franchised dealer.

    The best time to buy a vehicle is generally at the end of the model year,
    especially if there is a major model change like a new body style. Since
    new models are introduced throughout the year, the end of the model year
    will vary depending on when the vehicle was released. The 2009 Corolla is
    new, so you will probably get a better deal on a 2008.

    Besides the time of year, there is a best time of the month, generally the
    1st or second working day of the month, when automakers have their month-end
    close. If there are factory incentives on the vehicle, they will tend to be
    better at the end of the incentive period because incentives are generally
    stepped up towards the end of the period.
    Ray O, May 13, 2008
  19. RPS

    Some O Guest

    The Corolla is a very well put together car.
    Here many are used as cabs, even to the airport.
    I've been told by the cabbies they go about 200k miles before major
    repair, the Camry goes about 150k miles for the same.

    Unfortunately for me it needs a telescoping steering wheel as I sit far
    back. The car is designed for drivers much shorter than my 5'-11".

    Also unfortunately there are just too many of them here, mostly beige,
    one would have trouble finding one's Corolla in the parking lots.

    The best deals here are on off lease cars.
    Some O, May 13, 2008
  20. RPS

    Josh S Guest

    The cabbies here tell me they get:
    -9 l/100 (26 mpUSg) with the Corolla and
    -6 l/100 (39 mpUSg) with the Prius.
    This is all urban driving.
    Josh S, May 13, 2008
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