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the story of an invisible girl
Car Shopping
Should I buy this car? It's a 2001 model, with all the bells and whistles possible I believe. Under 50000 miles.

Or I am thinking about a 2007 ION Quad Coupe. I've wanted one of those for years. Huge storage capacity for such a small car. Free onstar for a year. Cool backdoors.

Also in the running is Ford Focus 3 door. Nice, comfy, has heated seats and mirrors.


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aiela From: aiela Date: January 23rd, 2007 12:09 am (UTC) (Link)
Promise to get it painted? :P
renniekins From: renniekins Date: January 23rd, 2007 12:28 am (UTC) (Link)
Really? :(

I think yellow would be a fun color. Plus, easy to spot on the road, which might possibly mean less people running into me....
jeffreyab From: jeffreyab Date: January 23rd, 2007 12:16 am (UTC) (Link)
The Beetle seem to have the same reliability problems as the VW Golf, check with MJO about how he has done with his, although its hard to check and see what a previous owner has already fixed on it.

Lemonaid also does not like the reliability of the Ford Focus.
Car and Driver although has put it in their Ten Best Cars for 2007, they do not like the 2008 though:


Here is the most recent review of the ION:


It is nicer than the Lemonaid review which rates it below average.
johnridley From: johnridley Date: January 23rd, 2007 02:10 am (UTC) (Link)
Are these reliability problems with the Focus historic or recent? I understand they had some serious issues the first few years, but I thought they'd pretty much fixed that.

The one thing they apparently haven't fixed is for some reason Ford uses a crappy DP sensor in the EGR system on their smaller cars that fails regularly. A friend with a Focus says he goes through them like candy; he's on his 4th one in 5 years. On their larger cars they use a more sturdy model.

You'd think they'd fix the stupid thing since it seems everyone knows about this problem. But they're pretty cheap ($40 or so) and easy to replace (10 minutes with a ratchet and a pair of pliers), and the dealers need something to do I guess.
specialagentm From: specialagentm Date: January 23rd, 2007 12:41 am (UTC) (Link)
The ION coupe is definitely something I looked at when car shopping. I really liked that car, I came very close to getting it, and I know many happy Saturn owners.

My sister and brother both got the Focus when their leases ran out a few months ago. They were touting it over the weekend when I saw them, so there's at least two votes for it :-).
From: jer_ Date: January 23rd, 2007 12:49 am (UTC) (Link)
I loved my Saturn, and if I can possibly manage it, I will get one when next I buy a car... but that's because I can't afford a Beetle! (Oh, and I'm a guy, but mostly the afford thingie)

So one vote for the yellow Beetle over here!
jenx From: jenx Date: January 23rd, 2007 01:02 am (UTC) (Link)
Am I the only person who had not one, but TWO unhappy Saturns? I had a '95 that threw a rod bearing, and my 2000 started burning oil last year, so I replaced it.
jenx From: jenx Date: January 23rd, 2007 01:00 am (UTC) (Link)
I was really disappointed in the quality of the Saturn ION I drove. Maybe it was just the price point, but it seemed cheap and smarmy.

C loves his Beetle.

Are you interested in driving the MINI, just for comparison?
hannunvaakuna From: hannunvaakuna Date: January 23rd, 2007 02:25 am (UTC) (Link)
Beetle? sure. six year old Beetle? not unless you have a really good relationship with a mechanic. [ahhhh, how i miss Pro Auto sometimes!]

good luck making a decision (:

renniekins From: renniekins Date: January 23rd, 2007 02:54 am (UTC) (Link)
Yeah, six years old... but under 50k miles! My 2003 had 47k when it died. Also, it was driven in West Virginia mostly, by a little old lady. No really! Okay I don't know if she was little, but she was definitely a grandmother-age. The guy is selling the car for his mother-in-law. I'm not sure...but it's CUTE!

I miss Professional also. ):

I hate decisions! But I'll be figuring it out soon.
From: numignost Date: January 23rd, 2007 02:31 am (UTC) (Link)
We have a 2001 Golf, which did need a cylinder job recently but has otherwise been reliable. My father in law has a 2004 Beetle which I also drive; it's a lot of fun once you get used to not being able to see your own hood. The ESP adaptive anti-lock braking works quite well in the snow -- not sure what year they added that.
renniekins From: renniekins Date: January 23rd, 2007 02:58 am (UTC) (Link)
How many miles on your Golf?

Cool, thanks for the input.
bunjamin From: bunjamin Date: January 23rd, 2007 02:51 am (UTC) (Link)
Can i ask .. why the focus on 2 door vehicles?
renniekins From: renniekins Date: January 23rd, 2007 02:57 am (UTC) (Link)
I like small(er) cars. I'm a small person, and I'm usually driving by myself. It seems silly to surround myself with enough machine for a family of five, when it's just me... plus, they are cheaper (or you can get more options for the same price), they tend to get better mileage, and I think they are generally better for the environment.
susmadel From: susmadel Date: January 23rd, 2007 03:05 am (UTC) (Link)
OK. I have to root for the Ford, cause well, I work for them. Just make sure that you have any used car checked out for things like rust and stuff. I wouldn't even know what to look for, but do you know someone that knows loads about that stuff? New cars are nice too, but then you have to worry about them all the time.

Take your time. I know you will find something you really like.
thatguychuck From: thatguychuck Date: January 23rd, 2007 04:47 am (UTC) (Link)
I like the beetle. :)

(Ok, I'm totally biased. It's really cute and befitting you. I can't think of a cuter/better/neater car with you in mind.)
cannibal From: cannibal Date: January 23rd, 2007 05:39 am (UTC) (Link)
I disagree, the new beetle was cute in the late 90's, when Yan and Mike got them, but someone said they're tired of it now, the old classic beetle looks better.

I can think of lots of cuter cars... the new Saturn Sky / Pontiac Solstice, though it is too small and I want to see her in something safer... the MazdaSpeed3, the new Miata MX-5 with the retractable hardtop, the RX-8... and that's just new cars. The Austin Healey Bug-eyed Sprite, the Ford Anglia, the MGA MarkII 1600, the Fiat Spyder, the Sunbeam Alpine... and overseas the StreetKa and my Microsport.

Of course, if you just want the cutest thing ever, you can take a Focus and put an incredibly cute paint job on it... Susan wants a Speed3 with a Hello Kitty paint job, I know it.
radiantsoul From: radiantsoul Date: January 23rd, 2007 11:07 am (UTC) (Link)
Looks pretty good.
netmouse From: netmouse Date: January 23rd, 2007 11:55 am (UTC) (Link)
When I bought my VW Jetta I was deciding between it and a Beetle, and I still find myself wistfully watching a Beetle go by from time to time. I really like the look of them. I also like my Jetta, of course.

I think the color on that one quite suits you. :)

good luck deciding!
jebra From: jebra Date: January 23rd, 2007 12:29 pm (UTC) (Link)
Beetles are very Jebra-friendly. And MJO-friendly. They have amazing amounts of headroom, due to the nice, arching roof.

In other words, "Yes."
pi3832 From: pi3832 Date: January 23rd, 2007 01:47 pm (UTC) (Link)
Very cute. I think you'd enjoy "all the bells and whistles."

Talk to a mechanic that specializes in VWs about the 2001 Beetle to see if there are any known issues. If you're still interested after that, take the car to have the mechanic do an inspection. He/she can give you a better idea of what kind of repair costs/hassle to expect.

For example, find some place like EuroTech Motors. (That's in Ann Arbor--may be a little far for you.)

If the current owner won't let you have the car inspected by an independent mechanic walk--no, RUN away.
From: (Anonymous) Date: January 23rd, 2007 05:22 pm (UTC) (Link)
Heh; we're both car shopping at the same time! ;)

(How about the Honda Fit?)
operatic From: operatic Date: January 23rd, 2007 05:23 pm (UTC) (Link)
Whoops! That was me. ;)
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