June 22, 2005

Honda vs. Toyota

We have to buy a new car soon, and our passionate love affair with Saturn has come to a screaming halt (long story, but it did us wrong).

The new car will most likely "belong" to my husband for a year or two, after which I'll adopt it as my daily drive.

V-6: probably not; we're getting stingy with gasoline in our old age, and the House of Saud doesn't need my money.

Manual transmission: I'll probably have to sacrifice this. We're between two model years, so if we want to cut a good deal we need to buy what's in stock from the 2005s. I'm inflexible on the sunroof and a decent sound system, but I think I can survive an automatic. That way I'll have a free hand for slapping Junior/Juniorette when he/she misbehaves. (Can't you guys take a fucking joke? Sheesh.)

And it's not that I don't love cars. I do. But until I get rich and can afford to tool around town in a '68 Mustang convertible, I just don't care much what sort of econo-box I drive. If it gets me to the Bay Area every few months, I'm a happy girl.

Bottom line: we're almost certainly going to get either a Honda Accord or a Toyota Camry. And I'll probably end up driving it well into its dotage, as I'm now doing with my old Saturn SL.

Your thoughts?

Posted by Attila at June 22, 2005 10:56 PM | TrackBack

Between a Camry and an Accord I'd take the Camry every day of the week.

But, I just bought my wife a Nissan Altima and she and I both love it. It's fun to drive and gets 29 mpg on the highway.

Posted by: Chris Short at June 23, 2005 05:40 AM

Venezuela doesn't need your money either. Well, they might, but until they de-unionize a bit and get a reasonable market economy going... but I digress...

Posted by: Ciggy at June 23, 2005 08:08 AM

Both are great cars. From Toyota my mum had a Previa van from 91 and she just sold it a month or so ago with well over 250,000 miles no major problems at all. She also had a Carrolla from the early 80's that handled 200,000+ miles no problem major problems either. I have a Honda Civic from 95 and its been across the country twice and all over california for 100,000+ miles with only routine mantainance (did have to replace the O2 & MAP sensor for the emission system and fix a radiator crack) its been great. Ether car wll be quite fine just take the best deal for what you want.

As far as smaking the kids while driving......just put a fly swatter in the car. Or you could just tap the breaks.

Posted by: the Pirate at June 23, 2005 08:53 AM

Sorry, can't do either of the imports.

I support the Pontiac Sunfire - a good friend has one at this time with about 125,000 miles on it. Four cylinders, zippy and sporty but still a "compact sedan" for insurance purposes. Good brakes and she has only had to do oil, brakes (40K miles), and coolant since she got it. She bought used at 40K miles. Cheaper than the other two, parts are plentiful and cheaper by far. Good mileage (she gets about 28/35 Hwy). I drove a couple Pontiacs for years; a Grand Prix that was sold at 110,000 and a Grand Am that died at 140,000 hard miles after a tire slasher/vandal hit our neighborhood - it wasn't worth the 1200 to fix her up since I will be out to the sandbox in September.

Anyhow, good luck with the car -
SGT Dave, Ft. Leavenworth, KS

Posted by: Dave at June 24, 2005 05:40 AM

Dave, thanks for your service to our country. We'll look into the Sunfire.

Posted by: Attila Girl at June 24, 2005 12:11 PM


We just bought our first Honda Accord EX a few months ago. Matter of fact we got it fully loaded, with the touchscreen nav and XM radio. Yes, it's addictive. The only complaint is that the buttons on the steering wheel don't light up at night.

Most important is that we got the 4cyl V-Tec engine. EXs typically come with a V-6, but we couldn't tell the difference. The V-Tec has the same power and pick-up, with better gas to boot.

Go Honda! The Camry is not doing well right now. If you go Toyota, look at their new Scion TC. That car comes loaded but it's more affordable.

Posted by: El Capitan at June 24, 2005 12:22 PM

We've had two Camry's in recent years and have been very happy with them. Though these were both older cars (the one we have now is 1990), the ongoing total cost of ownership has been quite reasonable.

I do not subscribe to the idea of buying new cars. Ever.

I can't see throwing away that much money in the first year's depreciation. Even as a car gets older, if you bought it carefully enough in the first place, the cost of ongoing repairs is almost always substantially lower than what payments would be for a new (or newer) car. To me a car is a tool with a utilitarian purpose. Flashy snazzy next-year's-model-new is a pure luxury that I just can't see the sense of paying for.

Posted by: Desert Cat at June 24, 2005 05:31 PM

Well, in general I agree with you. But my husband and I are both independent contractors, so we do get to write off the interest if we finance.

My father's never bought a new car in his life. I bought one once, and I think I'm done for the reasons you stated.

However, I believe my husband should have anything he wants. If he wants a new car, then that's what he should have.

Posted by: Attila Girl at June 24, 2005 11:13 PM

True, but it's only a deduction, not a tax credit. That is to say, whatever you pay in interest only reduces your taxes by whatever percentage your marginal tax bracket happens to be. Which means that at least 3/4 of the net expense (or more) is still on your dime.

But if you have other reasons, well...

(who am I to argue with a woman who wants to give her husband whatever he wants? Could I have you talk to Daisycat?)

Posted by: Desert Cat at June 25, 2005 12:07 AM

The rule is, "what you want, when you want it, and how you want it. Unless I disagree."


Posted by: Attila Girl at June 26, 2005 12:44 AM

We loved our Camry--no real problems. My wife now has an Avalon and loves it. I have an Echo and it is great (and gets good mileage). We recommend Toyota; they last virtually forever.

Posted by: chuck at June 28, 2005 02:49 PM

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