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No, not the awesome public radio show, but a question about cars.

 

What have you driven? What have you enjoyed? What has treated you well? What did you feel handled the snow well while saving you on mileage? Hybrids (depending on the kind): worth it? 

 

Throw down.

Tags: cars

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I love these little stories.

 

My first car was a chick magnet but in a weird way. None of the chicks wanted to date me. None of them were remotely attracted to me. All of them knew that I was immediately their friend and loved the car. It was this ugly, rotting, 1971 Mercedes Benz with a diesel engine that rarely ran in the winter and when it did, it would keep going but offer the worst traction possible. Awesome. My father had won the lottery back in the day and had bought it used in 76. I actually drove it to the junkyard, that's how solid that car was.

 

My parents Jeep Cherokee was awesome with snow but horrid with girls. 

 

The Honda Accord I had handled well in the snow.

 

The Toyota Camry too.

 

The Sienna is okay in the snow but a solid car.

 

BTW, never owned one myself but I have only ever heard good things about how the Subaru Outback is on snow.

Here is the order of cars I purchased.

1---- Used 73 Vega (major lemon)----  Drove it from 1976 - 1980------- Some people are still laughing at my first car.

2---- Used 74 Plymouth Duster---- Drove it from 1980 - 1982  Cleveland flat 6, it was a decent car.  I should have kept it longer...   traded it.

3---- used small ford import---Drove it from 1982 to about 1985 when my wife blew the engine.

4----  some used  "K" car (forget the model)  --- decent family car... drove it from 1985 to 1994 when my wife hit a stone wall.

5----  used F100 Pick up----   (2nd vehicle in family) drove it around 1992-1995 when my wife smashed it.  Bummer, very cool truck.

6----  used Dodge Caravan----   "Moms soccer van"  1994-2009    Did OK, replaced the transmission when on warranty, then later had to get a new engine.  Raise the family mainly in this van.  Traded it in after the kids were out of the house.

7----  used Chevy Luv  (2nd family vehicle)  drove it from 1995 to 1996

8----  3 separate S 10 pick ups.  I purchased them from another guy that buys brand new S10s, runs them to about 150k and then sells the S 10s for next to nothing.  I bought the last one for $900 3 years ago.  I usually put another 100k to 135k on the truck.  I sold 2 of the 3 because they had body rust.  I am still running the 3ird one.  I started doing this in 1996 for our 2nd vehicle.  I never paid more then $1200 for the truck.  The S10 is a very dependable truck.  I never had a major repair on any of the 3.  The worse is I had to have 2 clutches installed and that part was nasty.  Only mechanics can do that because you have to pull the engine to put the clutch in.  I recommend automatics, but never had one.  All S10s I had were standard.  In my opinion, the S10 is just so dependable, I hate to not have one.  I would not get one new, that cost too much.  The old ones never quit, so get a used S10.  (No, I am not a salesman).

9--- A new 2009 Ford Fusion---  We have had it for 2 years.  No repairs and always dependable so far.  We did a lot of testing and comparison.  2009 was the perfect year to buy.  Prices for Fusions were below $15k at that time.  My wife drives it mostly, I drive the S10.  Its drive feels a little sporty.  She even ordered a standard 5 gear tranny.  She should have gotten the SE model with the air foil in the back, but she went with low cost and chose the S model.  The suspension is stiff and holds in the turns, but also is slightly rougher then a Toyota Camry.  But the Camry swayed in back road turns more.  The Fusion has a quiet ride.  We notice very little outside noise.  The car is so tight that I am surprised it does not scrape the paint when you close the door.  The worse noise comes not from the outside, but the engine.  It seems like there is more engine noise, and nearly no outside noise, but it is a very quiet ride.  Gas mileage is from 27mpg to 32 mpg.  Most fill ups range 28-29.  We do more city driving.  When we purchased the car, we had all the consumer reports.  We tested the Fusion, Camery, Accord.  We rode Hyundai, Malibu, the Mitsubishi car, Nissan, and a few more.  We compared each car in Comsumer Reports.  It was the very first new car we ever purchased, and so we wanted to do our homework.  We are still not disappointed.  The Fusion still usually undersells the Accord and I would still rate the Ford Fusion as one of the best value for mid sized cars.

10----   There is only one other vehicle I owned.  I still own it.  It is a 1955 Ford Fairlane.  I had it running a year ago.  It has PA antique license on it.  I am ashamed how much money I have invested in it and not willing to admit it in public.  It is just too embarrassing.  It still needs a lot.  There is lots of chrome parts missing, there is still an oil leak from the gauge, it is missing the part that runs the window wipers.  The interior needs work.  The interior needs maga work.  It simply needs reupholstered and re carpeted.  I just cannot bear investing more money in that money hole.  About one year ago I changed my mind and decided antiques are stupid, get a Fusion.

Currently I'm driving a 2004 Ford Crown Victoria ex-police car purchased at auction. It's paid for, and it's quick, comfortable and reliable. Handles well for such a large beast too. A little fuelish though. I've been thinking of trading it for a new compact SUV, maybe a Toyota RAV4 or Subaru Forester, but times are tough and my finances can't handle the change, so I'm staying with the old Ford for a year or two longer.

Too many cars to list.

My best have been a Toyota Camry that I traded in April, and a 93 Taurus that I drove to 296k miles before selling it.

I am now driving a 2009 Taurus and am quite pleased with it. I do wish for something that gets better  mileage, but it's so comfortable, and such a nice fit for my family that I think I'll try to drive it until about 300k miles. The mileage is not bad, however. I get 26-28 unless I'm in town, which is seldom. Last week, on our vacation, I got a call while returning. I set the cruise on 80 and it still got 24. Nothing to sneeze at, I guess.

My wife has a 2004 Expedition. It's dependable and comfortable, has one note left to pay, and guzzles gas.

I've never owned a car, but for the past few years my partner and I have shared a 7.5 ton truck. A Leyland Daf ex-postoffice vehicle, we have toured the UK Ireland and Europe in her, working for a circus (Me as a routabout, GF as an aerialist).

The truck trundles along placidly, at about 50 mph, whether unladen or towing a 2 ton trailer. She gets through her govt test most years without problems, but this year had to have new front brakes because we'd driven her so little the discs and calipers had corroded!

The truck does about 3-1/2 miles to the litre, which I reckon is about 16 mpg. Not great for the planet. But apart from the two touring years, we don't do more than a few hundred miles a year.

sort of off topic as I have not owned one, but I have a real thing about the odd shape of the Toyota Yaris Verso - I sometimes think that I will be challenged by their owners as I gaze at them (the cars that is, not the owners)! Oddly enough, "Autocar" magazine called the car "pig-ugly, and knows it" - it just goes to show that "chaque a son gout"

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