The wife needs a new (used) car

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My wife has taken a new job that will require her to commute about 18K miles per year in addition all the around town driving she does. I figure 24k miles a year is reasonable estimate of it's annual miles. That means her current car (Ford Expedition) is not going to be a good fit.

What car should I get her? Given the following considerations:
  1. Used, not going to buy anything new
  2. Paying cash
  3. Very reliable
  4. Durable - Will reach very high miles quickly
  5. Excellent fuel economy
  6. I'm a cheapskate :)
The obvious choices might be a Prius. or a Corolla. But what other gems should I look at?
 

GON

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What does this mean exactly?
Current owners likely have not performed preventative maintenance, like replacing the air suspension air filter ($10), incandescence ($15), and air filter mount ($6). Engine and trans mounts, driveshaft flex plates, etc.

I did the above work (and more) on my 2005 S500 80k miles ago, and the S-class has been trouble free.
 
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Current owners likely have not performed preventative maintenance, like replacing the air suspension air filter ($10), incandescence ($15), and air filter mount ($6). Engine and trans mounts, driveshaft flex plates, etc.

I did the above work (and more) on my 2005 S500 80k miles ago, and the S-class has been trouble free.
I'm guessing the engine and trans mounts and driveshaft flex plates, etc., cost more than $6-$15. Not to mention the "and more".

I'm also guessing the OP is not in the market for a car that needs immediate fixing to be reliable.
 

GON

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I'm guessing the engine and trans mounts and driveshaft flex plates, etc., cost more than $6-$15. Not to mention the "and more".

I'm also guessing the OP is not in the market for a car that needs immediate fixing to be reliable.
Good points. Many contributors to BITOG have the ability to do the work I listed. It is just a thought-provoking idea, not necessarily the best or feasible course of action for some.

I got into the W220 post facelift S-classes, after my favorite and highly dependable sedan, the 2000-2005 Pontiac Bonnevilles were no longer feasible to maintain primarily due to corrosion issues of brake pipe, fuel lines, and unibody.

Take a few weekends and do maintenance on a newly purchased post facelift W220, and good chance the only thing required for a few years of high mileage driving will be oil changes and tires.

I was shocked to find how inexpensive a post facelift w220 is, how comfortable, and the W220 gets 25 MPG on the highway.
 

ripcord

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I think an old Mercedes misses on more than one point on my list. I would prefer something that gets closer to 35 MPG than 25, too. Plus, I've just not had good experiences with German cars compared to Japanese. I'd be more comfortable with an older Buick as well. We don't have the rust issues so that isn't really a consideration.

I see that Automechanic is laughing at the C-Max option.

I've been looking at cars < $10k and just flabbergasted at how little that gets you these days.
 
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CleanSump

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Hondas have been the closest to what you're looking for in my family. Camry's probably up on the list. Some people love their Nissans, too.
Lots of good mpg (budget priced too) cars, just some of questionable reliability given the mileage you are anticipating.
Can really never go wrong with a cared for Civic.
You can check the small Fords and Chevy's too.
 
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I think an old Mercedes misses on more than one point on my list. I would prefer something that gets closer to 35 MPG than 25, too. Plus, I've just not had good experiences with German cars compared to Japanese. I'd be more comfortable with an older Buick as well. We don't have the rust issues so that isn't really a consideration.

I see that Automechanic is laughing at the C-Max option.

I've been looking at cars < $10k and just flabbergasted at how little that gets you these days.
Well you could go newer on the Mercedes. say 2012-2016 E-350. Has 302hp V6 with direct injection and rwd is 30mpg or 28mpg with 4matic. The W212 is way more reliable than the W211, been driving my 2011 E350 for 6 years now, nothing major wrong with it.
 

CleanSump

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Well you could go newer on the Mercedes. say 2012-2016 E-350. Has 302hp V6 with direct injection and rwd is 30mpg or 28mpg with 4matic. The W212 is way more reliable than the W211, been driving my 2011 E350 for 6 years now, nothing major wrong with it.
A Mercedes isn't going to get to his mpg goal unless he gets a diesel. I get 31-32 mpg around town and 36 on open highway in my pre-def diesel. But diesel is about $6 now so any high mpg gasser is a more economical choice.
There are reliable non-Mercedes gassers that get 50 mpg on the highway.
If you aren't a good DIY with Mercedes or BMW knowledge, used ones aren't a good buy.
 

Shel_B

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Corolla, Prius, Camry, and a couple of Hondas as mentioned above. Good luck with the 10K price. I've been flabbergasted at the price of decent, desirable used cars.

While I can't directly speak to maintenance and repair costs for the Hondas, the Toyota models are very durable and not too spendy to maintain or repair. Some years are more reliable than others, so, regardless of what you buy, check which model years are best.
 
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A Mercedes isn't going to get to his mpg goal unless he gets a diesel. I get 31-32 mpg around town and 36 on open highway in my pre-def diesel. But diesel is about $6 now so any high mpg gasser is a more economical choice.
There are reliable non-Mercedes gassers that get 50 mpg on the highway.
If you aren't a good DIY with Mercedes or BMW knowledge, used ones aren't a good buy.
Right, but you can get the full dealer repair manual which is the WIS and the electronic parts catalog (EPC) on eBay for about $10. So there are some things that are cheap on a Mercedes.
 
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