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#307518 - 05/21/10 12:15 PM Re: Small Car recommendations... [Re: BlueJays1]
Adrian Offline
axiomite

Registered: 12/27/08
Posts: 6613
Loc: It's all about the location.
Are there any Altima(2.5) owners here? I know it's considered a mid-size car, but seems to get similar economy to many smaller cars. I've read mixed reviews on the reliability of the CVT.
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#307524 - 05/21/10 02:01 PM Re: Small Car recommendations... [Re: Adrian]
medic8r Offline
axiomite

Registered: 02/05/06
Posts: 6396
Loc: Fredericksburg, Virginia
I can't say anything about the Altima in particular, but I love my 2001 Nissan Maxima. It is at 103,000 miles and drives just like it did when new. I've only had to do expected maintenance - brakes, struts, an O2 sensor. The V-6 engine made Ward's 10 Best Engines list that year. In fact, Nissan's VQ-series V-6 made the list every year from the list's inception in 1995 through 2008. Last year, it got bumped out by newer competition, I guess.

Anyway, I love Nissan like my wife loves Honda. She's had a 1995 Civic and a 2002 CR-V.

I think you would do well with any of the mentioned Japanese products - the Altima, Mazda 3, Honda Fit or Civic, or Subaru Impreza. Have fun test driving!
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"The Universe is the game of the self, which plays hide and seek forever and ever" - Alan Watts

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#307528 - 05/21/10 02:48 PM Re: Small Car recommendations... [Re: medic8r]
FordPrefect Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 07/05/02
Posts: 1334
Loc: Ancaster, Ontario
I've got the Altima coupe 2.5 with the CVT, no problems at all (knocks on head) , currently at 45k. Good mileage and respectable performance. Best dealership I've ever dealt with so I'll probably going to end up in a 350 or 370Z. Or C5/C6 or Z4. decisions decisions.
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#307530 - 05/21/10 03:00 PM Re: Small Car recommendations... [Re: FordPrefect]
medic8r Offline
axiomite

Registered: 02/05/06
Posts: 6396
Loc: Fredericksburg, Virginia
Wayne, I like the way you think. I would love to have any of those two seaters.
_________________________
"The Universe is the game of the self, which plays hide and seek forever and ever" - Alan Watts

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#307539 - 05/21/10 03:45 PM Re: Small Car recommendations... [Re: medic8r]
jakewash Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 12/26/03
Posts: 10398
Loc: Calgary, Alberta
To me it boils down to the same considerations we give avr's, pick the one with the right features and cost you like and go with it. Chances are you will be very happy with any of the cars you are looking at.
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Jason
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TTTHHHPPPPPTTTT!

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#307566 - 05/21/10 05:19 PM Re: Small Car recommendations... [Re: Adrian]
pmbuko Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 04/02/03
Posts: 16277
Loc: Leesburg, Virginia
I have a rental Altima right now. It took me a little while to get used to the shiftless CVT. It's a bit sluggish off the line, even if you turn off the overdrive setting, but once you're moving, it can be pretty zippy. I've had it since Monday and have been doing about 5 miles of city driving daily since then, but the gas gauge still shows full.

I had four people in the car yesterday and it didn't act too weighed down.
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#307598 - 05/21/10 08:15 PM Re: Small Car recommendations... [Re: PeterChenoweth]
St_PatGuy Offline
axiomite

Registered: 03/07/05
Posts: 7405
Loc: Glendale, Arizona
 Originally Posted By: PeterChenoweth
Miata's are great. They're a blast to drive, reasonably afordable, and reliable. The manual transmission in a Miata is one of the best in the world. Just a joy to drive. Miata's are very good cars.

But do make sure you drive one *with the top up* before buying. My wife & I took one for a test drive one on a lovely spring day with the top down. Perfect! But then we decided to be thorough and flipped the top up. At 6' tall, I didn't fit. With the top up, I have to drive with my head tilted to the side. 6 footers can fit in a Miata, but it's all about the individual leg-to-torso ratio. I have a longer torso and shorter legs, and so I really just don't fit in a Miata.



I test drove a Miata back in '03 and agree with you on the fit. I have the short legs long torso body ratio and just couldn't quite fit in the car. I'm 5'11" and felt cramped. I wanted the seat to go back one more notch. The thing that killed me was top of the windshield was directly in my line of sight--i had to duck to see the streetlights.

*sigh*

It was really fun to drive, though, and I did enjoy the way the transmission felt. I want to test drive one of the newer models to see if the fit has changed at all.
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"Nothin' up my sleeve. . ." --Bullwinkle J. Moose

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#307601 - 05/21/10 08:51 PM Re: Small Car recommendations... [Re: jakewash]
fredk Offline
axiomite

Registered: 12/06/07
Posts: 7047
Loc: Canada
 Originally Posted By: jakewash
To me it boils down to the same considerations we give avr's, pick the one with the right features and cost you like and go with it. Chances are you will be very happy with any of the cars you are looking at.

Thats pretty much how I bought my car. I never expected to end up with a Matrix, but it ended up with a few features I really wanted at the right price.

Take a look at Hyundai as well. They have consistanly improved their quality over the years and offer a lot of value for the money. Without extra Toyota discounts, I would have ended up in an Elantra Touring, despite the few features the Matrix has.
_________________________
Fred

-------
Blujays1: Spending Fred's money one bottle at a time, no two... Oh crap!

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#307620 - 05/21/10 10:26 PM Re: Small Car recommendations... [Re: St_PatGuy]
JohnK Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/11/02
Posts: 10395
Sean, the MX-5 which arrived in '06 is somewhat bigger and has more room for the driver. So yes, I'd suggest that you try both the convertible and the retractable hardtop.
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Enjoy the music, not the equipment.



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#307622 - 05/21/10 10:49 PM Re: Small Car recommendations... [Re: JohnK]
St_PatGuy Offline
axiomite

Registered: 03/07/05
Posts: 7405
Loc: Glendale, Arizona
That is good to know! Thanks, John.

I like the hardtop. I think the Arizona sun would destroy the ragtop in one summer.
_________________________
***********
"Nothin' up my sleeve. . ." --Bullwinkle J. Moose

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