Automotive

First car advices

  • Last Updated:
  • Aug 10th, 2017 3:00 pm
[OP]
Newbie
Jun 14, 2017
22 posts
6 upvotes

First car advices

Hi all,

I'm currently in the research stage on my first car and soliciting advice from the "internets".

My target is $10k or less with 100,000km or less, the car would ideally be
1. Reliable
2. Cheap to operate (fuel efficient and cheap insurance)
3. Safe

Currently, I'm leaning toward a subcompact, a Honda Fit/Toyota Yaris.

Any advices? Make, model and year?
31 replies
Deal Addict
Jul 21, 2005
1376 posts
480 upvotes
Pontiac Vibe, practical hatchback with a Toyota engine and most parts. Easily will get one in your budget and will last you for years. I had two myself, and just sold one off as I wanted a new car, but the wife still drives the other. They also come in AWD if you can find one, great in the winter.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Oct 16, 2007
1106 posts
368 upvotes
I think a 2nd gen Honda fit or a 2nd gen Mazda 3 would be good cars to get.
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Deal Guru
User avatar
Oct 5, 2008
10850 posts
3831 upvotes
Toronto
Corolla. end thread
Sr. Member
May 26, 2005
642 posts
320 upvotes
Go for RFD's Official Vehicle of Choice - beige Corolla.
Newbie
Feb 17, 2017
73 posts
20 upvotes
With that budget, you can get almost any mid-range car so you'll have to be more specific with your criteria. Does it have to be a compact? What's the oldest age you're comfortable with?
Deal Addict
User avatar
Mar 3, 2011
1485 posts
3457 upvotes
Go to Trader.ca, go to advanced tab and enter max budget of $10,000 and and max km to 100,000 and hit search and I am sure you will find thousands to pick from.

As already mentioned, you can't go wrong with a Corolla (not just because common but because it's pretty much true that they are extremely reliable and cheap).
Deal Addict
Apr 22, 2013
1799 posts
982 upvotes
Markham
Honda Fit and Toyota Yaris are great for 2 of those criteria. Both are reliable, and the Yaris particularly is really cheap to operate. What makes the Yaris very reliable is that it uses very old components that are tried tested and true and buying it used is great its just an awful new car.

However, you have safety as a criteria and here both are kind of bad on safety even back then, the Yaris is worse than the Fit in this regard. Safety is also something the Corolla has never been perfect on, the 2009-2013 has done fine on crash safety but was recalled for dangerous steering particularly for 2009-2010s and having driven those when new I agree, those were scarily bad. So yes, based on your criteria I would fail the Corolla, Toyota for the longest time has made do with industry standard safety, basically if that part of the car that crashed wasn't crash tested it probably failed hence why Toyota struggled so much to deal with small overlap. With the small cars unfortunately you often have some trade-offs to make going with those 3 criteria with costs in the mix.

The best car I can think of as the best balance of all 3 is a 2nd gen Mazda 3 from 2009-2013 where its got good safety ratings, reliability is good and particularly Sky-Activ models are less expensive on the fuel economy side, and unlike the Corolla its enjoyable to drive too.

Shockingly, another good one is the Mitsubishi Lancer from 2007-current, a horrible new car purchase like the Yaris but when it comes to your specific criteria its not only cheap, its actually reliable, it legitimately is safe(passed the small overlap test when many other cars failed) despite its age and the 2.0L CVT combo was actually above average for its time on fuel economy so running costs aren't high, a great bonus is it even looks good. Now, what sucks about it is people don't like the CVT very much, also the interior is unquestionably low quality. Mitsubishi has a 10 year-160,000 km powertrain warranty too, so if you find a newer one with low mileage, you still have a factory warranty left, something nothing else can claim.
[OP]
Newbie
Jun 14, 2017
22 posts
6 upvotes
JeganV wrote:
Aug 9th, 2017 8:23 pm
...
Thank you so much for taking time and writing so much to answer my question, it is much appreciated! Since so many people are recommending Mazda 3, I'm now seriously considering it!
Thanks for all who contributed so far, will to listen to any further suggestions
Deal Addict
Apr 22, 2013
1799 posts
982 upvotes
Markham
lianghaochen wrote:
Aug 9th, 2017 10:03 pm
This is a interesting case:
So this car was totaled in in 2012 with just 6500km on it and rebuilt in 2013, it looks like it has been on the road since.
Would you consider this is a viable purchase or any rebuilt vehicle is a no-no?
http://www.autotrader.ca/a/Mazda/MAZDA3 ... up=1_15_10
As a first car buy, no. This is your first purchase so you're guaranteed to be very green in the car buying part. Lots of problems can arise and only an experienced car buyer can navigate and avoid the cars that shouldn't be on sale which is where the risk is very high. As a first time buy, the last thing you want is a car that you can't insure and a salvage/rebuilt car increases that chance substantially. Some accident damage could result in the car never running in top shape, other damages could result in the car never being safe. You'll have a hard time telling on your first go at it. An experienced buyer who either themselves or know someone who can verify the quality of the repairs are the only ones suited to avoiding the worst pitfalls. The only time a totalled car isn't so bad is on extremely old cars with nearly no value where they're written off for something minor but not worth it for the insurance company to invest fixing it.

Remember, the seller will say anything to get your money. Your objective is to buy the best car you can. Their job is to sell it to you for as much as they can. You'll have to do everything in your power to protect yourself and this can be difficult the first time around if the person selling to you is really good at selling. Best way of protecting yourself in the used car market, have a trusted mechanic who will help you verify the car's condition. A test drive can help you weed out the good and bad cars even of the same model so that when you're narrowing the candidates list you don't waste money constantly inspecting bad cars. You'd be surprised how different a car even of the same model can be driving them back to back.

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