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Scion?

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So, I may very well be exiting car-free society by the end of the year. My boyfriend and I are going to break down and buy a car.

I have only ever owned a very old Volvo wagon that was given to me, and even that was for less than 6 months before I moved to New York City (my boyfriend has never owned a car). So I know next to nothing about cars. That is why I come to you, my car owning forum mates, for opinions about my impending purchase.

My boyfriend is insisting on a new car, I'd be happy with a used car but I do what I'm told. The biggest factor in our decision is price, closely followed by dependability. Like I said I know next to nothing about cars, the extent of my hands on involvement in maintaining the car will include putting gas in it, and perhaps riding it through a car wash now and then. Everything else I will be paying someone to do, so I want it to be a reliable car.

We will be using this car very infrequently, neither of us needs it to commute to work (it would actually be more of a hassle for either of us to drive to work then it is for us to walk/bus). It will mostly be used for trips to the grocery store and other shopping, and weekend trips. At some point I do want to take a more substantial road trip, so we will be using the car for that as well.

So with price and dependability in mind, we have mostly been looking at Toyotas and Hondas. Toyota Echo or Matrix (I'd like a Prius, but that goes outside the affordability sphere). Honda civic. I've also given thought to the Saturn Ion, but a friend who owns one is less than thrilled with it, and I'd consider the Chevy Aveo, but my stepfather used to work on Chevy's and would probably kill me if I bought one, he hates them.

Lately, I've become intrigued with the Scion, the new brand from Toyota, specifically the xA. I've heards that it is sometimes best to wait for the second model year of a new car to allow the manufacturer time to work out the kinks in the car (I've heard that was a problem with Saturn's Ion maybe). But I like the price and styling of the xA, and I like that Toyota's reputation is behind it.

Anyone have any insight on the xA or any other recommendations?

Thanks.

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Guest donaltopablo

Lately, I've become intrigued with the Scion, the new brand from Toyota, specifically the xA. I've heards that it is sometimes best to wait for the second model year of a new car to allow the manufacturer time to work out the kinks in the car (I've heard that was a problem with Saturn's Ion maybe). But I like the price and styling of the xA, and I like that Toyota's reputation is behind it.

Anyone have any insight on the xA or any other recommendations?

I might be able to help you here a little. The Scion xA and xB are not new model cars, even though they appear new to the American consumer. Both of these vehicles have been sold for some time in Japan under the Toyota name plate. They changed very little imported them into the US (this was done intentionaly to keep the cost of attempting the Scion launch low). Therefore, most of the kinks have already been worked out, minus prehaps some American emissions systems. Toyota, though, still maintains some of the best built cars in initial and long term quality.

My personal thoughts on driving the xB at least: Seems extreme well put together. Very solid and a surprisingly smooth ride. A lot more camry like than I expected from the car. Power is definitely weak though, I wouldn't expect to do any risky passing with this thing. However, it was surprisingly comfortable and roomy. Seats leave some room for improvement, although Toyota seats have always been sufficently comfortable, and not much more.

Personally, I much prefer to the soon to be released tC. It's the first Scion that is a totally new model (although I understand this is something you would prefer to avoid). However, I believe the styling is a little better.

I don't think you'd go wrong with this. Some other options to consider in the low price range include the Mazda 3, which has gotten some excellent reviews, although quality will be a little off from Toyota and Honda. The Toyota Corolla and better yet, Chevy Prism are two other good choices. The Chevy Prism can be hand with some excellent discounts since it's not a top selling GM plate (unlike the Corolla is for Toyota). This means you can bargin and get one very inexpensively. The best news, if you didn't know - the Chevy Prism isn't a chevy, it's a rebadged Toyota Corolla. You get all of the Toyota quality with the discounts you can score from a Chevy dealer. Definitely worth a look. Although expect with the Chevy name plate that the car will not hold it's value as well.

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Thanks for the feedback guys. I didn't realize the Scions had been around in Japan already, good to know (it has the centre panel like the Echo which I understand is a cost saving strategy allowing easier configuration between left and right drives). The tC looks good, but the price is higher, and I actually like the fact that the xA is a hatchback. Toting around stuff will be one of the primary jobs of any car we choose, so a hatchback is a plus.

I knew there was a tax break on the Prius, I've also heard about the mileage maybe not being as great as first claimed. I think we'll wait a few years on the hybrid technology and for some more competition to enter the market (I hear Ford is about to release one) before investing in that.

I agree about the Hondas being rather boring. They've been at the back of the pack, though the price on the Civic is good.

Any opinions on the Saturn Ion before I completely rule it out?

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I can't find anything on Chevy's website about the Prism. Is it discontinued?

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All I can add (a little late) is that I have had three Toyotas (2 Camry's and a Tercell) and have never had a major repair. Actually some lucky devil is still riding around in two of them ;)... so Toyota would always be my first choice.

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Toyata's been at the top of the list all along. Everyone's feedback may have just cemented my choice of the Scion.

Now, anyone wanna gimme $13K? :D

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Guest donaltopablo

Hmm, they must have 86ed them for this year. I know they had an 03 model. Ahh well.

Saturn is pretty good compared to most American models, but they have fallen behind in recent years as Chevy hadn't invested enough in the brand. Then they finally do develop a platform, and it's nothing impressive. Unless there is a feature of the Saturn that really draws you too it (besides price), I wouldn't even bother.

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