good engines

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43
Location
Florida
The oil fanatics here could probably offer some good advice on this topic... I'm thinking of buying my GF a new econo car: Corolla, Echo, Elantra, Matrix, Civic. With all of the oil analysis going on, I figure some of you have opinions on which of these sorts of cars have engines that are very solid and potentially long lived. Most reviewers talk a lot about the cheapness of the plastics on the interior, the less-than-perfect ride, and imprecise shifters....very little is said about the durability and reliability of the car. Any ideas? Kelton
 
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10,830
Location
Nokesville, VA
With very few exceptions, if you simply change the oil and coolant (EDIT: timing belt too) on a regular basis, the engine will last well beyond the point at which you are sick of the car.
 
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34,146
Location
Southern NJ
All of the above from Toyota/Honda are as tough as they come. The new Hyudai's are supposed to be very good, but I woudn't count on one to hit 200k miles as trouble free as a Toyota/Honda. I bought a Corolla (2001) when I was driving 50,000 miles per year. Car held up so well that at 175,000 miles, it ran like new. Amazing little car. Same can be said for Honda as well.
 
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6,424
Location
New Braunfels
I am a big fan of Toyota but you need to ask a question. Is this car a stepping stone are is it in the habit of the owner to keep it and drive it until the doors literally fall off? (or at least 8 years?) If it is a stepping stone I would look at the Toyota's or Honda for the residual value. IF it is to be kept for a long long time I suggest something different. such as what is at the end of this link. http://www.mitsubishicars.com/lancer/index.html The initial cost is less, the warranty and service contract is better (hey free oil changes if you want them) and to be honest I have had a good track record with them myself.
 

pbm

Messages
8,875
Location
New York
July 05 MOTOR TREND does a comparison on this type of car. I think they liked the Mazda 3 best. I would probably get the Corolla myself because of its durability. Honda's are great too but I believe they have an interference engine while the Corolla does not.(That means if the timing belt breaks it can wipe out your valves.)
 
Messages
275
Location
Florida
My last car was a 88 town car with the 5.0.I put on over 200k miles on it with little maintence.Mostly oil changes using 10w30&10W40 dino only.I now have a 99 marquis with a 4.6 and have over 101k and climbing.It used in Miami heat eveyday and A/C is never ever off.I use 5w20&5w30 semi synthetic.OCI every 3k due to nightmare traffic in this heat.So enough with toyota&honda PLEASE
 
Messages
472
Location
Cleveland, GA
quote:
Originally posted by MIAMI-DADE: My last car was a 88 town car with the 5.0.I put on over 200k miles on it with little maintence.Mostly oil changes using 10w30&10W40 dino only.I now have a 99 marquis with a 4.6 and have over 101k and climbing.It used in Miami heat eveyday and A/C is never ever off.I use 5w20&5w30 semi synthetic.OCI every 3k due to nightmare traffic in this heat.So enough with toyota&honda PLEASE
His question clearly states the type of car (economy) which eliminates a 1988 Lincoln Town Car. He also clearly states what he is considering, again...a 1988 Lincoln Town Car is not in the list. So enough with irrelevant posts PLEASE!!
 
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10,830
Location
Nokesville, VA
Not irrelevant. It supports what I said above. If a 17-year-old engine made with the precision and engineering that was common 17 years ago can last 200K, it seems reasonable to expect that just about any engine made with the precision and engineering common today will last 200K too.
 
Messages
472
Location
Cleveland, GA
quote:
Originally posted by brianl703: Not irrelevant. It supports what I said above. If a 17-year-old engine made with the precision and engineering that was common 17 years ago can last 200K, it seems reasonable to expect that just about any engine made with the precision and engineering common today will last 200K too.
Yes, it is irrelevant. Any of those cars SHOULD go 200k+ miles. What is in question is the reliability and durability of the CAR!! An engine going 200k does not define reliability and durability. I definately feel that the Honda Civic or Toyota Corolla will go to 200k and be a more solid and reliable car than the others. I had a 1995 Corolla that I sold with a little over 150k miles that was honestly as solid as a new Corolla and had NO problems other than maintenance and tires. I've had a Mitsubishi, that was not the case. Granted, it was a 1989 truck, but the transmission (5 speed) was rebuilt twice in the 150k miles that I owned it. I've had several Toyota's and minus one problem, they have been ROCK SOLID. I've also had Ford's and Jeeps that the interiors rattled and squeeked from nearly day one. The ENTIRE package defines reliability and durability, not if an engine will last with oil, filter and timing belt changes.
 
Messages
10,830
Location
Nokesville, VA
quote:
What is in question is the reliability and durability of the CAR!!
That's your question. Not mine, not the original poster's. The original poster was asking about ENGINES. The subject of the thread is "good engines".
quote:
With all of the oil analysis going on, I figure some of you have opinions on which of these sorts of cars have engines that are very solid and potentially long lived.
If the original poster had wanted information about something other than engines, I believe they would've asked. They even mentioned "oil analysis", lending further credence to the theory that they do indeed want to know about ENGINES. [ June 06, 2005, 12:09 AM: Message edited by: brianl703 ]
 
Messages
10,830
Location
Nokesville, VA
quote:
Originally posted by Scooby: I've also had Ford's and Jeeps that the interiors rattled and squeeked from nearly day one.
What do squeaking and rattling interiors have to do with how many miles a vehicle will last? In fact, if you had bothered to read:
quote:
Most reviewers talk a lot about the cheapness of the plastics on the interior, the less-than-perfect ride, and imprecise shifters....very little is said about the durability and reliability of the car.
I suspect that "rattling and squeaking interiors" falls into that general category of things that reviewers talk about that really don't affect the durability and reliability of the car. [ June 06, 2005, 12:12 AM: Message edited by: brianl703 ]
 
Messages
694
Location
Saskatchewan, Canada
I would vote for the Matrix. It's roomy, versatile and economical. I own 3 Vibes which are just rebadged Matrix's and havn't had a single repair that wasn't caused by outright abuse. The oldest one is quickly approaching 120,000 miles, most of which are hard driven city miles. The trans still shifts like new and the suspension is very solid. No squeeks or rattles yet either. The 1.8l engine is very solid and economical. I havn't even changed the timing belt, spark plugs or rear brakes yet but I'll be doing that shortly. One thing that surprised me is that the front brake pads last me 50k miles! On my previous cars, I was happy to get half that. Just be sure to use OEM Toyota brake parts, I tried aftermarket and they didn't last as long. A couple things I've found out after owning them: the transmissions run extremely hot and will burn up the fluid. Install a big stacked-plate cooler, use Amsoil ATF, and drain and refill the pan whenever the fluid looks discolored. External filtration wouldn't hurt either. Second, the door hinges and stopper mechanism won't take much abuse. Hold onto the door when opening it so the wind doesn't catch it and bend/break something. My cars are used as taxi's so the passenger door is probably opened and closed a couple hundred times a day. 9/10ths of the cutomers don't care and just pull the handle and let the door fly. So this probably wouldn't be an issue for a typical Vibe/Matrix owner.
 
Messages
843
Location
Grove City, OH
quote:
Originally posted by ex_MGB: You're buying your GF a car and she wants an econo-box?
My wife is a RN and makes $ and drives an old 95' 5 speed Honda civic, she is car cheap. I would get the Pontiac vibe, the same car as the matrix. Until I think july 5th, Gm is offering all cars at cost, which a base vibe is in the low $15k range.
 

Kelton

Thread starter
Messages
43
Location
Florida
Thanks for the tips folks! I'm certainly not rich, but this girl deserves a reliable car....but it'll have to be economical...and I would like to keep the money we send (for gas...to the middle east) to a minimum. I know that Hyundai is going to release some new models, and this company has been looking more and more interesting over the past few years. I 'd like to see how their new engine designs pan out. The Vibe does sound interesting. Is it the exact same engine/transmission as the corrola? Kelton
 
Messages
2,513
Location
Richmond, VA
I would at least consider a GM Cobalt or Cavalier. The Ecotec engine has proven itself to be reliable so far since its introduction in 2002 and with the employee discount to the public offer you should be able to get a Cobalt for around $10,000. The Cobalt is rated for 34 mpg highway. I have a 2002 Cavalier and it gets a little better than EPA (around 32-33 mpg combined driving).
 
Messages
391
Location
Richmond, VA
quote:
Originally posted by MIAMI-DADE: My last car was a 88 town car with the 5.0.I put on over 200k miles on it with little maintence.Mostly oil changes using 10w30&10W40 dino only.I now have a 99 marquis with a 4.6 and have over 101k and climbing.It used in Miami heat eveyday and A/C is never ever off.I use 5w20&5w30 semi synthetic.OCI every 3k due to nightmare traffic in this heat.So enough with toyota&honda PLEASE
Not all of us want to drive around in TANKS!
 
Messages
391
Location
Richmond, VA
quote:
Originally posted by pbm: July 05 MOTOR TREND does a comparison on this type of car. I think they liked the Mazda 3 best. I would probably get the Corolla myself because of its durability. Honda's are great too but I believe they have an interference engine while the Corolla does not.(That means if the timing belt breaks it can wipe out your valves.)
Here's another vote for the Mazda 3. My wife absolutely LOVES that car. I like it too, when she lets me drive it! [Big Grin]
 
Messages
391
Location
Richmond, VA
quote:
Originally posted by cousincletus: I would at least consider a GM Cobalt or Cavalier. The Ecotec engine has proven itself to be reliable so far since its introduction in 2002 and with the employee discount to the public offer you should be able to get a Cobalt for around $10,000. The Cobalt is rated for 34 mpg highway. I have a 2002 Cavalier and it gets a little better than EPA (around 32-33 mpg combined driving).
If you want to consider those cars you can't leave the Saturn Ion out of that list. I work at a Saturn dealership and test drove the Ion when me and the wife looked at cars about 6 months ago. While the Ecotec may be a nice engine, it just doesn't feel as smooth or refined as the 2.3 in our Mazda.
 
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