T Nation

Car Recommendations


I recently inherited a car from a relative who passed away. It's a 2003 BMW 325ci with 42K miles. It's a sweet car to drive, but not super practical. Insurance costs a lot, it only takes premium gas, mpg isn't great, and when it starts to break I know it's going to cost a ton to repair.

I'm interested in selling or trading in this car to buy something that's better on gas, cheaper to insure, and cheaper to repair. I'm thinking about something along the lines of a Hyundai Elantra with the hatchback so I can fit some shit in it when I take trips. I'm estimating my car to be worth around $10K, and would like to avoid spending more than that if possible.

Any recommendations? What do you guys drive?


The two most practical vehicles I owned was a 97 Ford Ranger, and a 93 Acura Integra Hatchback. The Integra got 35 mpg, and had plenty of storage space. I fit everything I owned into it a few times when moving (minus furniture).

I was pleasantly surprised with the overall experience of the Hyundai Sonata, but not sure how well that works for storage. I never drove an Elantra, but I'd imagine it's comparable.

The hatchback is a nice option, although over time as the seals break down, you might experience increased wind noise and possibly even water leaks in the trunk.

Personally, I drive an Infiniti G, and my girlfriend drives a Mercedes SLK, neither of which are particularly practical by your definition. But, um, if you're ever in the market, I recommend test driving both of those.


Buy a Toyota!


Or Honda.

Or Nissan.


lol at a 325 with no miles being unpractical. get a beige camry, or a beige minivan, i hear those are super awesome.


Doesn't seem like a terribly impractical car.

Seems you may be overestimating the value, though that is pretty low mileage. http://www.edmunds.com/bmw/3-series/2003/


I had looked it up on KBB and looked at Carmax and Ebay motors, but since I haven't actually tried selling it or taken it to a dealer, who knows.


Drove a Nissan Xterra for a while and totally loved it, but while it made a lot of sense when I was teaching at different college campuses, completing a second grad degree, still hitting the gym each day, and shuttling my 2 dogs around town (I was basically living out of my car), it's been far from practical for a while.

I just recently picked up a Subaru Crosstrek. Great gas mileage (~35 hw), great safety ratings, great storage, and drives smooth as hell. Now the wife and I keep joking that we need to take more weekend trips and really emulate the "subaru-people" in all the commercials.



I had a Camry for a while. It was a pretty solid car. A minivan would be dope but tough on gas mileage, and probably more car than I really need right now. Thanks for the advice!


I'll take a look, that sounds like what I'm looking for. Thanks!


I had a Camry for a while. It was a pretty solid car. A minivan would be dope but tough on gas mileage, and probably more car than I really need right now. Thanks for the advice![/quote]

A minivan dope? what kind of blasphemy is this??!!


Can't go wrong with Accord or even Civic.


If you're looking for a hatchback, don't forget the Mazda 3 or VW Golf.

You're car is definitely worth $10k to the right person, try listing it on a BMW enthusiast site like Bimmerforums. For the right person, a low mileage, unmolested 3 series coupe is a good find.

A dealer won't give you anything for it, they'll turn it around and sell it at auction.


Repairs on a car you own outright are almost always cheaper than payments on a car you don't really own.


Not Nissan, blown head gasket at 116,000 miles....Slightly costly.


It depends on what you want. Do you want a cool car or just dependable transportation. Are you a car guy? If you don't care what you drive then don't waste your money on the bimmer. If you appreciate well engineered cars with power and excellent chassis design then you cannot go wrong with a bimmer.
It depends on who you are. I like bitchin' cars, so I would be willing to absorb the extra cost for the joy of the drive. But if you are an a to b kind of person, get an a to b kind of car.


A 42K BMW just might go for 90K miles before it needs anything big and no car payment all that time. Give you a couple years to save up a good down payment on something else.

I'd skip the Nissans too. I have 2 Altimas, which were good until about 95K and 125K miles. Then everything breaks.

The new Civic looks great. If you can wrap your head around a Hyundai, look at the Kias. They were bought out by Hyundai.



2014 Mazda 6 - 40MPG (advertised Highway, but they really do get close to this), bigger than an elantra, and way cooler.

Nissan - My parents both have 08 altimas with the 2.5L 4-CYL/CVT, they are really nice cars (I'd pick it above honda)
Honda- Always Solid, however due to their reputation, EXPENSIVE
Toyota - GTFO, pedestrian cars!! you will fall asleep while driving it and kill yourself. OVER-RATED reliability/longevity wise!

I have an 06 Mazda 6/ V6 and I feel like a million bucks everytime I get in it (every bell/whistle available), shes been great!I had a 98 Camry with 150K miles and It had WAY more problems than my old 96 MAzda 626 had with 180K on it.

Get a car you will love (standard brand with all the options, holds its value best) and keep it as long as possible.

American cars don't count....uh oh here come the torches!


yup, ELANTRA = OPTIMA with different styling...I think the optimas look prettycharp/futuristic...it's all about those ACUTE angles


I like my Nissan Rogue. I actually bought it because if its excellent safety ratings as I was in a pretty bad car accident in 2007. It has plenty of storage, decent gas mileage, good in snow, and dependable thus far (only at 50K miles though).