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Best Car I've Ever Owned, and My Next Car Will Be A...

hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,600
edited March 2014 in Toyota
What's the best car you've ever owned, and why?

What make and model will your next car be, or, if you won't be in the market for a while, what would you buy today?


  • milo57milo57 Posts: 16
    The "best car" question comes to a tie between my '89 Camry or my '95 Civic, both of which provided 130,000+ mostly trouble free miles.

    As for my "next" car, I brought it home today -- an '08 TSX. Unlike my Civic -- which didn't even have a radio -- the TSX is definitely not stripped. I just hope it does as well mechanically.
  • bruce6bruce6 Posts: 29
    So far, at least, is my current one, a 2006 Mazda3 5-door. While I don't put a lot of miles on it (about 14,500 right now after 2 yrs 5 mo) and can't definitively speak to reliability, it's quick, agile, comfortable, has piles of space and is generally terrific. I'd owned 2 Mazdas in the '80s, when I was driving more, and both were trouble-free, so if this one follows the pattern I will have a hard time being talked into buying anything other than a Mazda.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,488
    which of my cars has been the best overall, since all of my cars except one have been acquired used. Sometimes, VERY used, as I've owned cars that are older than me!

    However, some of them have been handed down from family members who purchased them new, so I had a good idea of their repair history.

    So I'd say the best overall was a 1986 Monte Carlo that my Mom had bought brand-new. It had about 179,000 miles on it when she gave it to me in March of 1998. I delivered pizzas back then, and racked up the miles pretty quickly. In just three months, I had it up to about 192,000. It was still running strong when I got t-boned one pleasant Friday night, in the parking lot, with three pizza orders in the car. It had been a very good night...up to that point! :sick:

    That car was still on its original 305 engine and THM200R4 transmission. Air conditioning still worked. The only real problems were the paint fading on the hood and roof, the power antenna stuck in the up position, and a stand up hood ornament that had broken off and was in the glovebox. The car did get a new waterpump at some point in its life, and I think a new radiator too, and those metal tubes that pump air into the exhaust manifold had been replaced. And when I had it, I had to replace the windshield wiper motor. It was a nice car...not too big on the outside, but roomy enough inside, comfortable, easy to maneuver. Decent handling and performance. As for fuel economy, I'd get around 15 delivering pizzas, lower 20's on the highway. The valves were getting a bit carboned up though, and it was getting an appetite for higher octane.

    My grandmother's '85 LeSabre, which had about 144,000 miles on it when she quit driving in 1999 and gave it to me, was a pretty good car, too. Other than routine maintenance items, brakes, stuff like that, I don't think that car needed much of anything up to that point. I remember the lockup torque converter refusing to disengage, but I think that just required a new switch. It needed new lower ball joints when she gave it to me, but they were actually pretty cheap on that car. I remember buying the parts myself and when the guy said they were $52, I thought he meant apiece. My jaw almost dropped when he said no, total! My only other experience with ball joints was on a Dodge Dart, and I remember they were about $45 apiece, and this was in the early 90's!

    We got rid of that LeSabre in 2002, around 157,000 miles, when the brakes went out. I had too many other cars by that time, and just didn't need it anymore, otherwise I would've gotten it fixed. It had an Olds 307 and the THM200R4 tranny. It never had any failures with the power windows or locks, or seats, although the antenna did fail, again stuck upright, like the Monte Carlo.

    Now I've had cars that have gotten to higher mileage than these two. I have a '68 Dart that I'm about to get rid of that has 338,000 miles on it! But it had 252K when I bought it in 1992, so I can't vouch for its repair history before that. And I had a '79 Newport that I bought from the junkyard for $250, in late 1996. It had about 230K on it when I bought it, and about 250K on it when the water pump failed and I got rid of it. I wanted a newer, more reliable, better equipped car, so I bought an '89 Gran Fury ex police car that was pretty well-equipped, and only had about 73K miles on it. Unfortunately, it wouldn't prove to be as reliable as that Newport had been! In retrospect, I probably should have just replaced the Newport's water pump!

    The only car I ever bought new was a 2000 Dodge Intrepid. It currently has about 141,000 miles on it, and has been a pretty good car. However, it's had issues with the air conditioner. This past weekend was really hot, and naturally it picked that time to start going bad. :mad: It's also had some suspension bearing hubs on both sides. Also, things like a $210 thermostat housing, which back in the day would have been a $5.00 do-it-yourself type of repair. And also things that you just didn't even have to think about back in the day, like the cooling lines that run from the transmission to the radiator. Once upon a time they used to be metal, and I guess could rust eventually. Nowadays they're rubber though, and I've heard that sometimes Intrepids would practically start leaking tranny fluid on the showroom floor! I didn't have to get mine replaced until about 130,000 miles though, so I shouldn't complain. For the time being, I think I'd still rate Mom's old Monte Carlo and Grandma's LeSabre above the Intrepid, quality/durability-wise, at least. If the Intrepid makes it to 157,000 miles without any major failures, then I might place it above the LeSabre. I dunno if it'll ever reach the Monte's mileage, though, simply because I don't drive like I used to. I'm probably only doing about 4-5K miles these days, so it would take at least 3 years to get to the LeSabre's mileage. And to get up to the Monte's 192K, that could easily take another 10-12 years! I'm sure old age would get to the car by then!

    As for my next car, I really don't know what it would be. Chrysler really doesn't make anything anymore that interests me, except for the Charger and, to a lesser degree, the Challenger. I like the Challenger in an overpriced toy sort of way, and like the Charger for being a large-ish, comfy car that has some sportiness about its style, as opposed to the pimp factor the 300 seems to exude. But in these times, I don't know if I'd want to buy something that thirsty.

    And speaking of thirsty cars, I like the Pontiac G8. Which actually gets pretty good economy for what it is. I guess if I'm only driving 4-5K miles per year, fuel economy shouldn't be a concern for me, but I have a feeling I'd lean towards something like a 4-cyl Altima, or maybe even a Civic!
  • andys120andys120 Loudon NHPosts: 20,289
    I've owned a lot of cars in 48 years so it's tough to choose which one was the "best", it kinda depends what you mean by best.

    Best All-Around- my current ride, an '00 BMW 528iA (E39),does everything well and looks good doing it. It's a balance of luxury and sportiness, fuel economy and pace. I paid around what a CamCord costs new for it when it was 4 yrs old but there's no question it was a better car for me and it's still going strong at 106K.

    Best-looking- 1998 Audi A4 (B5), (5 sp/V6) pearl white sedan with light beige/black interior, one of the best looking four doors I've ever seen, let alone owned

    Most practical-1986 Saab 9000Turbo, a hatchback sedan that could haul like a wagon and provide luxury and room on a car trip.

    Most reliable-A lot of people won't be surprised that it was a Honda, an '85 5 speed Prelude that we kept in the family for 12 years without any major problems and few minor ones (water pump every 35K miles). Almost as reliable were a pair of Audi A4(B5s), I had to swap the white sedan for an automatic wagon due to disability,. Neither car ever had to make an unscheduled garage visit except for a failed cooling fan motor at 85K and a failure in the Climate control system caused by mice chewing on the wiring(!). :mad:

    Most Fun it's close between my '71 Fiat 124 Sport Spider and my '83 Volkwagen Rabbit GTI.

    My Next Car
    I've had five convertibles but I've been without one for too long so I'm thinking E46 BMW 3 Series and eventually a new Boxster. I've just gotta have a Boxster. :P

    2000 BMW 528i, 2001 BMW 330CiC

  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    ever would have to be my '97 Outback Sport. You could rocket that thing down dirt roads with such precision, it was a blast. It was perfect for camping, ski weekends, highway trips, or just driving around town. Had it for 115K trouble-free miles, never needed a single repair. However, if I had kept it I probably would have replaced the clutch - Subaru had a lot of problems back then with chattery grabby clutches.

    Even today I think it looks attractive, although its design was obviously 90s and therefore looks a bit dated now. But I kind of wish I had never sold that car. I just saw it the other day, as the buyer is local. It has 220K miles on it now, she told me she has had no problems beyond replacing the alternator, and a valve cover gasket that is leaking a little. I asked her if she was thinking of selling, but she said no. :-(

    I have played around several times in the intervening years with buying another, but the gas mileage is low because of the AWD (and relatively high power for a car its size) so I have always decided against at the last minute.

    Just like andy above, I have had other cars that I liked more in a few particular aspects, but for best all-rounder the Subaru is the one I remember most fondly.

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • fezofezo Manahawkin, NJPosts: 10,357
    Now Andre probably puts on 20K per year but when you average it out it only comes to 1K per car. :P

    I'll vouch for the look of Andy's BMW. I would never guess it had that many miles on it. Beautiful thing.

    Now it may not have been my best car but the one that stands out is that old 80 Accord because it was my intro into what Honda could do. Before that I'd had a Volvo 142 (slow but steady), a Saab 99 (great when it worked) and a VW Rabbit (see Saab 99) oh - and a 78 Nova.

    The Honda was a real revelation because it was a pretty good fun to drive car and you could kick it around all day forever and it did not need work. It got up to 167K and spent four years on a barrier island before the salt air did it in. There still wasn't a thing wrong mechanically and had the original clutch. The Volvo went through three of them in less time - though some of that was incompetent mechanics.

    Next time out I'm going to break the Honda habit. They've moved further away from the fun side every time they release a new one. If I can swing it I'll do a CPO 3 series convertible. If I can't I'm thinking Mazda, though the lack of a four seat convertible might shift me elsewhere. Maybe I'll bite the bullet and pick up a used Saab 9-3.
    2013 Mazda 5 Grand Touring, 2010 Toyota Prius IV. 2007 Toyota Camry XLE, 2004 Toyota Camry LE, 1999 Mazda Miata
  • lemkolemko Philadelphia, PAPosts: 15,306
    It's hard to say what my best car is/was. From a technological and quality standpoint, I'd say my new Cadillac DTS is my best car. My most attractive car is my 1989 Cadillac Brougham. My 1988 Buick Park Avenue is turning out to be my most durable car, and my 2002 Cadillac Seville STS was my most fun car.

    As for what my next car will be? Most likely another Cadillac or Buick.
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 25,709
    Lots of folks saying its tough to choose. I'm kind of surprised by that, to be honest. Just on sheer math, my '98 S70 T5 is by far the best car I ever owned. Why by math? Because out of my 10 daily drivers and my wife's 5 (since we've been married), the T5 was a welcomed addition to the fleet for 4.5 years and 85k miles. The closest to that number was my '87 4runner, which I owned for 4 years and 45k miles. And that only stayed that long because I was in college and thankful for what I had (it was a good truck, too, don't get me wrong).

    Plus, the T5 was very comfortable, very powerful, very sporty, etc. Which I guess explains why I kept it so long.

    Next car? Well, I just bought a G35x a couple of months back, so I hope I'm satisfied for a long time.

    '18 BMW 330xi; '67 Coronet R/T; '14 Town&Country Limited; '18 BMW X2. 47-car history and counting!

  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,600
    "...I just bought a G35x..."

    Coupe or sedan? I presume the latter, if you bought it new, since the newest coupe is the G37, but many dealers had a lot of left over G35 coupes when the G37 was introduced.
  • kendahlkendahl Posts: 3
    Best car: 2008 Infiniti G37S coupe. Fast, handles well, quiet, comfortable.
    Next car: A wheel chair. I hope to keep the Infiniti until a wheel chair is all I can drive.
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 25,709
    Its an '04.
    Only the sedan comes with AWD (the "x" in G35x).

    '18 BMW 330xi; '67 Coronet R/T; '14 Town&Country Limited; '18 BMW X2. 47-car history and counting!

  • adamb1adamb1 Cookeville, TNPosts: 122
    Best vehicle I've owned is my current 2003 Dodge Ram 1500 QC HEMI. I enjoy the power, convenience, practicality, flexibility, safety, and style.

    Next vehicle: My wife gets the next new vehicle. She wants a 6-7 passenger crossover.

    If I had a windfall tomorrow, I would by something sporty like a Challenger, 350Z, or maybe a G35 since I've got the truck and grocery getter covered.
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,600
    "Only the sedan comes with AWD..."

    Yup, I should have thought of that. Good choice!
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,600
    "If I had a windfall tomorrow, I would by something sporty like a Challenger, 350Z, or maybe a G35..."

    While you wait for your windfall, you could buy a used 350Z or G35, like gbrozen did, or a '09 Challenger in a couple of years.
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 25,709
    Yup, yup.
    my '04 X with only 34k miles was $18,800. Pretty cheap, methinks.

    Forego the AWD and a similar sedan can be had for around $17k.

    Thanks, hpmctorque, BTW. I'm enjoying it. Folks have been impressed by what I've been able to do with this 3700lb tank at the autoX. ;)

    '18 BMW 330xi; '67 Coronet R/T; '14 Town&Country Limited; '18 BMW X2. 47-car history and counting!

This discussion has been closed.