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Anatelostaxus's avatar

Which second hand automobile would you suggest me to buy?

Asked by Anatelostaxus (1418 points ) December 2nd, 2010

I live and work in the city at the moment. But I intend to commute to the mountains frequently (especially on weekends.) so I can let my dogs run free as I breathe in some pure air and climb a few rocks, etc…
I live in Europe… so my necessities do not really reflect american realities. In Italy, precisely. I don’t know much about car brands, etc.. just how to fix some problems (a bit).
What’s a good price in euro I could expect?
Since I’ll be travelling a lot (long free-way distances and off the road), what sort of car is advisable..considering consumption, durability, space…
Help me out on a bit of everything, is really what I’m asking..
cheers

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7 Answers

john65pennington's avatar

If you can locate a used Honda or Toyota in Italy, i highly recommend either one. both are dependable. i own a Toyota and my wife owns a Honda. we love both vehicles.

Anatelostaxus's avatar

@john65pennington I see.. thank you for the suggestion. Are both these types suitable for off road trails?
What name do you use and enjoy?

Fred931's avatar

@Anatelostaxus By “off-road,” you mean “flat-ish dirt trail,” correct? Or is where you take a car a little more dramatic than that?

I’m sure several biggish vehicles can take care of more than that, but if conditions are even less severe, nearly any car could cut it.

Just be sure to maintain whatever you get well, since you’ll be, apparently, traveling across dirt more often than normal.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

Subaru Impreza wagon.

Harold's avatar

A Subaru Forester would be ideal. Get one with a manual transmission, as they have low range for the off road experiences, but can still be very comfortable on the road. Quite economical, too.

Sorry to say, but Italian made vehicles are notoriously unreliable, as are French. If you want something European, try a Volkswagen Tiguan.

jerv's avatar

Having lived in New England, I know a little bit about mountains and dirt roads in various states of (dis)repair.

For “mountain goats”, I have had the best luck with the older Corollas. I have an ‘85 and used to have an ‘87, and both were comfortable on long trips, could handle NH Spring, a.k.a. “Mud season since most dirt roads (like the one I lived on) went from hard-pack to something that will swallow most cars up to the rims. They are also awesome in the snow and ice; perfectly controllable. They are a little short on space, though that is by American standards so take that complaint with a grain of salt.
The old Corollas like mine only had 70 HP though. While easily capable of going fast enough for me to invoke my fifth amendment rights against self-incrimination since @john65pennington is here, they take a while to get up to those speeds and are not good at sudden surges like those needed for overtaking. They also don’t get the greatest gas mileage, but the newer ones have fuel injection rather than carburetors so they have better MPG (by about 50%) and considerably more power (almost double) while mostly retaining the handling and reliability of the mid/late-80s models like mine. And when I say “reliable”, note that mine is over 25 years old ;)

Hondas are generally great cars but I would not use one anywhere where it gets really muddy. They tend to sit kind of low and they suck at mud-bogging; been there, done that, got the T-shirt dirty shovelling out. The handling also tends to be a little slippery in the winter. They are reliable, economical, and comfortable on long trips, but not something I would take up into the mountains.

Subarus are also great, and my faorite is the Legacy Wagon. However, they have one major failing; fuel economy, They get abou thte same MPG as my old-tech carbureted Corolla. We’re talking about 23 MPG, or ~9.7 km/liter. They are made for mountains and comfortable and roomy (I’ve hauled a full-sized couch in one), but the AWD system is heavy and caused driveline drag, and the fuel economy suffer accordingly. Also, their reliability is spotty in certain years and the cost of repairs just sucks.

The older VW Golfs are a perennial favorite of mine as well. While not quite as sure-footed in the snow as an AE82 Corolla, they are great in the mud, on the highway, at the gas pump, and are quite reliable, especially the second-gens. The newer ones are better on gas but considerably worse on reliability (mostly electrical issues) and far worse in deep mud; they are a few hundred pounds heavier than the 2nd/3rd-gens and that hurts them there.

Overall, I would say Corolla or Golf.

Scooby's avatar

I’m also looking for a new second hand good all rounder, I’m currently thinking about the Audi
ALLROAD 2.7 T Quattro 5dr Tip Auto Estate, I’m looking to spend about £10,000 max, check it out see what you think….

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