Cars for the megacommuter

tiderstiders Member Posts: 13
edited March 2014 in General

Hello all,

So I have just taken a job that requires ~130 mile/day (all highway) commute for the next 3 years. My 1999 nissan altima is just not going to cut it. I was looking for some suggestions on cars. My only requirements are:

  1. really good fuel efficiency
  2. cruise control
  3. budget friendly

I don't have a lot to spend... still waiting to hear from my bank but under $18,000 and preferably under $16,000. I've never bought a new car always drove used ones into the ground but with this commute I need something reliable that won't always be in the shop.

I know there probably aren't a lot of cars out there that fit the bill but... any advice?

Answers

  • Karen_SKaren_S Member Posts: 5,092

    My son recently bought a used 2009 MINI Cooper (Paid $11,500). It has cruise and even though it uses Premium fuel, it's proving to be very economical. And he loves driving it.

    This article may be helpful:

    Top 10 Least Expensive Hatchbacks and Wagons for 2014

  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonMember Posts: 20,350

    Honda Civic or Toyota Corolla.

  • MarkHolthoffMarkHolthoff Santa Monica, CAMember Posts: 101

    If you are looking at new cars, you might want to check out the 2014 Ford Fiesta with the optional 1.0 liter Ecoboost engine. It comes only with a manual transmission, so that may be a deal breaker. However, you should be able to buy a new one in your price range, and it gets 45 MPG highway! It also comes with cruise control standard.

    You can click this link to find some for sale near you. Note that you'll need to update the ZIP Code to your area.

  • bpeeblesbpeebles Member Posts: 4,085
    edited April 2014

    For highway MPG, you can NEVER beat a diesel. Our VW Jetta TDI went on many "road trips" (Prince Edward Island, Across the USA.... etc) With 3 passengers and the AC blowing for 16 hours... it still returned over 50 MPG. I maintain a spreadsheet for all of my vehicles and calculate COST-PER-MILE (which is the ONLY way to compare disparate fuels)

    The COST-PER-MILE of the VW diesel is less than my motorcycle!!!

    After you experience over 750 miles per tank...you will never want anything less.

  • kyfdxkyfdx Moderator Posts: 197,587

    I agree with @bpeebles . Think about your total cost.. Pretty sure you can get into a 2010 Jetta TDI for well under $20K. Being able to drive all week on only one fill-up would be nice, as well..

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  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonMember Posts: 20,350

    Except....how much more do you pay upfront for a Jetta TDI compared to a gasoline model?

    And how much more does diesel cost than gasoline?

    I think it's like buying a hybrid. You may break even after 150,000 miles.

    I agree. cost per mile is what really matters.

  • bpeeblesbpeebles Member Posts: 4,085
    edited April 2014

    @isellhondas said:
    ... how much more does diesel cost than gasoline?
    I agree. cost per mile is what really matters.

    These two statements are contradictory. The very reason one uses COST-PER-MILE is to IGNORE the raw cost of the fuel and compare what really matters in the end.

    In other words, The cost of the fuel is IRRELEVANT if your COST-PER-MILE is lower.

    Oh - and the resale value on TDI often recovers any additional cost you paid up-front.

  • bpeeblesbpeebles Member Posts: 4,085

    @isellhondas said:
    I think it's like buying a hybrid. You may break even after 150,000 miles.

    I am not so sure there is a 'break even' with a hybrid.... After you pay to replace the batteries.

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