I have two autos -- 2011 Prius which gets 52 MPG, and 2011 Ford Edge which barely get 20 MPH. I leave the Edge sit in my driveway most of the time, it's over 2 years old and doesn't even have 18,000 miles yet.
I have never needed a car (living abroad and/or in a big city), except for borrowing or renting on occasions.
The closest I got to owning a car was having custody, for one summer, of my brother's 1973 Toyota Celica, one of only three that were still in driving condition at that time in all of Canada. That was an interesting car to drive, and especially cool to have around that time (summer after high-school). It made lots of noise and back-fires, often broke down, had a truck-style shift-stick, would only have enough power to turn on the radio when hitting the gas, and had a built-in "feet warmer", i.e., holes in the floor (under the dash) would let all the engine heat into the cabin. Oh, and let's not forget, it's quite an interesting / scary experience to drive a rear-wheel drive car in the Canadian winter, even with a trunk full of sand bags. My brother eventually drove all the way to BC (across the country, about 4,000 km) with it, but it didn't survive very long after that. :(
I think the best car I ever owned was a 1986 Ford Torris, 5 speed manual. I finally retired it 12 years later when it has about 350,000 miles. The only reason I got rid of it was because the floorboard was rusting out. Remember how Fred Flintstone put his feet through the floor to peddle his car? That's how I felt in that car.
My first car was a 1959 Ford Sedan that I bought in 1971 for $1 from an uncle who was too old to drive. It lasted me through University. I sold it for $75 to someone who wanted it for parts. In terms of percentage profit I made a killing. In terms of actual dollars, not so impressive. Like AD's, the floorboards were almost completely rusted out (I had laid in a piece of sheet metal to cover the holes).
just bought 20K kms citroen C4, 50mpg all mod cons and absolutely meets all our needs. perhaps the answer to the question has to be a car that suits your needs best at a price equivalent of value for money!
I have 3 Camrys: A 2000 CE, a 2006 Solara SLE hardtop (2 door) and a 2010 Hybrid. I bought them all used. For the last two, I started out by looking at other cars (not Toyotas) but I ended up buying another Camry because the size, comfort and reliability was a fit for what I needed.
I am 6'4" and my younger son is a couple of inches taller. Headroom and legroom are key factors for me and a lot of cars get eliminated pretty quickly because of that. I tend to keep cars until they're ready for the scrap yard so long-term reliability is also very important. I haven't had a reason to regret buying Camrys. They don't have the pzazz of a BMW or Mercedes but if you give them regular maintenance, they just keep going and going. The Hybrid gives me 35mpg (up to 40 for highway driving with a bit of hypermiling) and despite all the extra technology, they have an excellent reliability record (as does the Prius).
A 2005 SEAT Cordoba 1.4 TDi Sport, which will probably confuse people outside of Europe who have either never heard of SEAT or who wonder how a car with an 80 bhp, 3 cylinder, 1.4 litre diesel engine can drive at a 100 - 120KPH on my daily commute of 100 KM and fit four people. In terms of fuel efficiency, I laugh at you 3.8 L/100Km on the highway and 6.1L/100km around town in other words I do 30-40mpg in town and 60 -70 mpg on the open road all on lovely cheap diesel
Not in USA you wouldn't -- diesel here is more expensive then unleaded gas. My Prius gets about 52 MPG, and on occasion (such as going down hill) it gets in excess of 100 MPG. It has a gauge that indicates current fuel consumption. I know of no US made autos that run on diesel, just pickups, large trucks, farm equipment, and heavy earth moving equipment. But I have never seen anyone drive a bulldozer down the freeway :)
There are some. At least, cars that are sold in the US. As for being made in the US, well, even cars from US companies are often not made in the US anymore, so, that's rare either way.
Volkswagen has had diesel cars (or a diesel option on many models) for a long time (I don't know how popular in the US, but very common here, north of the border). My father has a fairly new Jetta TDI, and it runs like a charm and makes good mileage (I don't know the exact number, but I think it is around 5L/km, or around 50mpg).
Here in Canada, diesel is often a little bit more expensive than normal gasoline. Sometimes less expensive. But overall, it works out better in terms of the power you get, the mileage you get, and the price at the pump. In other words, you pay around the same as you would for a small compact gasoline car, but you get the engine-power of a mid- to high-end sedan.
Yes, it's true that diesel is often a bit more expensive than gas, but it also takes less diesel to get the same energy out. It actually ends up being cheaper, when considering things on a equal-power basis. Diesel fuel is 11% more dense in energy than gasoline fuel. And diesel engines are usually quite a bit more efficient than gasoline engines (this is due to the fundamental principle of the engine, which results in higher burning temperature and higher compression, which results in a higher efficiency, this is a result of thermodynamics, you can look up the calculations). Overall, modern diesel engines will consume between 20% and 40% less liters of fuel than modern gasoline engines. This is why they have been used for years in trucks and busses and stuff, it's because it's more economical, and it has always been (only now is the technology good enough to mitigate certain problems with older diesel engines, such as the smell and the large and heavy engine blocks required for the long / high-compression cylinders).
Fuel is much more expensive in Europe. Given the demand for diesel; in England, it isn't cheaper any more ($2.12/L for gas $2.24/L for diesel);
The UK has the seventh-highest petrol price and the second-highest diesel price in Europe. There may still be a price advantage for diesel in other countries.
US gas price is $3.35/gal ($.88/L). Diesel is $3.89/gal ($1.03/L).
Oil companies are exporting diesel from the US to Europe because they can get a higher price for it there.
Since oil is priced in US dollars the exchange rate makes a difference.
Older diesel's could run on vegetable oil. Imagine, 20 litres for £15.00. Which is very cheap for fuel in England. We didn't need to modify it, or treat it, or add anything to it.
Your point about the selling of oil in dollars, this proved to be a useful weapon for Iran when they changed and began selling oil in Euro's. I have no position on politics, so this was just an observation on the economics associated with fuel.
@Mike Askew you've got a Z4 and you're not even 25! that's good going that is!.
I've got an 07 place 1.6 Ford Focus I've had for about 3 years and should be getting myself a motorbike in April-ish. I was supposed to get one last year but I moved in with my partner instead. The things you do ay?
If Diesel is more expensive where you are than petrol thats usually down to your countries tax, I'm living in Ireland and diesel is cheaper than petrol, I come from the UK though and I was aware while I lived there that the government taxed diesel at a higher rate hence it was more expense than petrol.
However, diesel cars tend to be more efficient than their petrol equivalents especially for those doing higher mileages (they also have superior torque). The snags with diesel are more frequent servicing, lower rev range (you get used to it and adapt), can be noiser (more of a roar than a petrol growl as well), vibration - not so much of an issue as was in the past.
I'd also consider LPG if I knew I could get a reliable supply (not sure where they are any LPG stocked filing stations) The LPG gives way less CO2 emissions and therefore less tax on it, the conversion can be done aftermarket on petrol cars but it's only real advantage is while LPG is so cheap. Basically the car runs on petrol until the engine reaches operating temp then switches over to LPG - there is a slight drop in horsepower and actually the MPG goes down too but because the LPG is so cheap it doesn't matter.
My car is probably a generation behind mordern diesels. e.g. BMW, Mercedes and Hyundai are three companies I can think of just now that offer a kind of hybrid system where an electric motor is put into the transmission to boost performance and ecconomy (Efficient Dynamics, Blue Efficiency & Blue drive respectively)
The best car I ever owned was Toyota Corolla al-trac; bought it in 88 (in fact the manual called it 1988 and a half) I had it until 2006 when it was essentially totaled. I now drive a 96 Buic MOM-car; I hate it but I refuse to buy a new car until I am debt-free. I plan on buying something like a Leaf. I no longer drive to Montana ( I used to go home 3 times a year; there are 4 mountain passes between here and there which made Christmas travel pretty 'exciting') and if I really want road trip, I can rent a car or take the train. Since I broke up with my ex, train travel is back on the table.