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mkt

Deciding which car to get

37 posts in this topic

Since I'm living in Puerto Rico (US Carribean Territory... kinda like NWT, with a much larger population, sunny tropical weather year round, and a thriving arts scene), and it seems that we get everything 2 weeks - 2 years after the mainland, I've resigned myself to the fact that I probably won't be able to get a smart here until 2009ish (unless I import one from the mainland).

What should I get? I'm presently driving a tank; an Acura MDX that is on loan from a cousin who's spending a year in Europe; and I'm not thrilled at spending $50-60 to fill the tank (regular unleaded is USD$0.647/liter here). We have a 96 Jetta in the driveway, but it's not insured, and I can't wait till November when its owner returns and insures it.

I've broken it down to several cars, each with pros and cons.

Toyota Yaris

Pro: Reliable, economic, easy to park

Con: Drives like a pig, too common on these roads, no personality, UGLY

Scion xD

Pro: Should be Reliable, economic, easy to park, should have a personality, if the xA is any indication- it should be fun to drive as well

Con: new model (dealer markups.. ugh)

Mitsubishi Lancer

Pro: Look at it! It's attractive, should be reliable, relatively economic, fun to drive, amazing value

Con: common on these roads, frequently stolen here

Hyundai Brio (Accent) Hatch

Pro: Reliable, nice ass, easy to park, somewhat economic

Con: Drives like a pig, face like a pig, too common on these roads

Nissan Versa

Pro: it could be reliable, has a huge personality, amazing value, economic, fun to drive

Con: The hatch is ugly as sin, the sedan looks like a first gen Prius

Other things to note, we do not have Saturn here, so I can't get an Astra (phooey!) and our roads are shot to hell. Think of detroit... but worse.

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I can't believe you ended up with an Acura - but the price was right. ;)(the xD looks INCREDIBLE, I so wish Scion would branch into Canada!)-Iain

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My choice would be the Versa Hatch, which I don't find "ugly as sin". Roomy interior, good mileage, and I've had good experience with Nissan products. Also a 5 star side impact crash rating for that Puerto Rican traffic.

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Wow, I think the Nissan's front end is hideous too....quite awful really. The rear is quite OK however. Too bad a Clio nose couldn't be grafted on.....

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I'd like the Versa more if it were styled more like the new Altima (like the Sentra is) rather than trying to be a baby Murano. I think it just looks stupid.Dunno... i'd probably go with the Scion or the Mitsubishi.

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A friend at work as a Versa and they love it. However, they have a steep driveway and one day he drove down the driveway and then he remember that he forgot something so he decided to backup the drive way. But, when the car hit the driveway's incline the car stopped dead. The CVT transmission would not transfer any power to the wheels. He moved the car into Park and then back into Reverse and the car worked fine.He has repeated this scenario a few times and it always behaves the same way. He called the dealer and they tried 3 cars that they had on their lot and they all behaved the same way. Currently, this is a "Technical Service Call" (or whatever you want to call it) in at Nissan Canada for them to fix this problem. Another friend has one of the first Nissan Murano with CVT and he doesn't have that problem.So, this is just a warning if you take one out for a test drive, find a steep road and trying to backup the hill. If the car stop on the hill move the transmission into park and then back into reverse and it should work fine.Or just get a 5 speed, if you can.

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One little thing like that probably is no big deal, its just like how quirky our transmissions are. Just watch anyone who doesn't drive a smart to get in our cars, they haven't a clue what they're doing and get stuck all the time.-Iain

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The B Class I test drove earlier tiis week had CVT and I did not like it either. I didn't try the hill test though!

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The amazing thing about the way the B's CVT is programmed is when you have it on cruise. I had it set to 60 km/h (I was on back roads) and came to a steep downgrade. It changed the ratio such that the engine speed rose to over 3k r/min, to facilitate engine braking. Fantastic! It will not do this out-of-cruise. I really think the way the CVT is programmed on the B is very close to flawless.-Iain

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The B Class I test drove earlier tiis week had CVT and I did not like it either. I didn't try the hill test though!

I believe the Reverse Hill problem is limited to the Versa since there is no problem with the original Murano.Just on another side note. My friend that has the Murano had to get the transmission replaced at 58,000km. I guess they don't fix the transmissions they just replace them with a rebuilt one and then return the used for the core charge back.

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alrighty, so the CVT Versa has been scratched off the list.We don't get the B-Class here :(I'm also considering Suzuki SX4 AWD

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alrighty, so the CVT Versa has been scratched off the list.We don't get the B-Class here :(I'm also considering Suzuki SX4 AWD

You don't necessary have to scratch the Versa off of the list just be aware of that problem. His problem occured when there was less than 2000 kms on the car.However, now that you have mentioned the Suzuki SX4 that is nice possibility. I love the look of the car. I have never owned a Suzuki but there are some smart car owners here that just love them. I think RichHelm is one of the guys that has owned many Suzuki over his years. Send him a PM and ask him about his experiences with them.

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smartzuuk is the other Suzuki fan here. The SX4 looks OK too.

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USD $0.64-0.67 for regular. I'm paying USD $0.74-0.77 for the premium fuel the MDX so happily guzzles.It's not the cost of the fuel that I'm unhappy about. That's cheaper than what fuel costs in most of the US mainland. It's the fact that I've never paid USD $50-60 to fill up a car that wasn't a rental.

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74 cents a litre!?!?!? what a deal!Id drive a tank if the fuel prices went DOWN to 74 cents a litre!

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I should mention though, fuel in Puerto Rico is subject only to local taxes. We don't pay any of the federal taxes included in the price of mainland fuel.

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another thought. Mazda3 Hatch or a new body style Scion xB (or a used first gen xB). There's a 74 Beetle in the classifieds that is tempting (if anything because it's cheap), so that's been added to the consideration list.

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update. I test drove a Scion xD this morning... put a deposit on one. It'll be here in 3-6 weeks.

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That actually looks very good! Congrats!

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I ordered it in Barcelona red, 5 speed manual, with a rear spoiler, Pioneer Avic D3 (slightly cheaper than the factory AVN system), 17" OEM Scion TC wheels + rubber (I like em!), cargo cover/mat/net, scuff plate, lojack, TRD rear sway bar, and TRD strut tie bar. That should be fun on some of the mountain roads here. Total price, USD $24,685. Up USD $8,000 from the PR base priceUnfortunately, there's no satellite radio signal on the island, so I gotta listen to my ipod and an FM rock station from the Virgin Islands.

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Update... I've cancelled the order for the xD on two grounds.1- Backlog... it's gonna be more like 2-3 months (WTF?!?!)2- I'm dating the owner's daughter at the local VW/Audi dealer :D Let's see what kind of deal I can score on an A3 or a GTI

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