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Discussion Starter #1
My partner is looking for a small, fuel efficient and reliable car with a back seat (so she can recline her seat if she wants) and it has to be an affordable used car.. What kind of cars can you suggest?
 

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Toyota Corolla, Toyota RAV4. That's what I got my daughter for reliability, safety, efficiency.


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Toyota Corolla, Toyota RAV4. That's what I got my daughter for reliability, safety, efficiency.


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If we can afford it, I may suggest a Gen 2 Insight, but I'm going to give her as many options to choose from so she doesn't pick something as unreliable as a PT Cruiser. She really wants a Hearse as her dream car, but those don't come cheap.
 

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If she doesn't need long trips, you can get into a Nissan Leaf used for a pretty decent price.

Here's a 2012 with 26k on the clock for $8k:
Used Nissan Leaf For Sale - CarGurus

Hard to get more reliable than a single speed transmission with a motor that only has one moving part. And "fuel efficient" too.

Sam
But how would one charge the car living in an apartment?
 

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With an extension cord.

Your original post didn't explain all the limitations.
 

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But how would one charge the car living in an apartment?
I've charged mine for a decade living in apartments, even ones that included heat and light.

So I guess its a matter of asking, also work allows me to charge here as well.

But that said, a very good conversation starter, many apartments have electricity by the parking spots for running block heaters and tools.

Also a volt can be had for $6999 and up. They are very reliable and run on electric or gas so no worries either way.

Good Luck
Ryan
 

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Honda civic. Don't get anything with batteries and use 'efficient' in the name. In the end when it comes time to replace the battery, all that money you 'saved' goes flying right out the window. It's the reason I picked up a 2016 civic and not a G2 insight or a Prius. If you do the math, even on an insight, I'm not saving anything on gas compared to my civic, due to having to replace the IMA battery.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
My partner is very interested in the Leaf idea. She'll have to wait a while before she can be in a position to get a loan for it, but she never considered going electric before.
 

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If she's willing to, I don't think she'll regret going full electric and the used leafs are the most practical option currently (although interesting stuff is coming out for 2017). I have seen apartment complexes in Austin with charging stations and Nissan says they have over 22k public stations at this point. If there's another tenant or two with a need for one, you may be able to get one put in without paying for it yourself. Can't hurt to make some phone calls and ask at least. I don't see a problem with running an extension cord, but someone will probably bitch about it; especially if you have to cross a sidewalk.
 

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She's now hesitant to get the Leaf because of how often she has to stop and recharge and every road out of Vegas is too far between charging stations (Distance exceeds maximum optimal range by a number of miles). Plus she can't even use a fast 420v charger anywhere like Tesla's supercharger to charge up quickly.
 

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Yeah, everyone's making their own different quick charge stations. Leafs that are equipped with the quick charge option can get 80% of their charge in 30 minutes, but you need a CHAdeMO compatible station. There's plenty in Las Vegas, but yeah, at the moment I don't see any within 80 miles outside the city. If she needs to leave the city more than on a rare occasion, it may not be the right option.

You may want to consider a Chevy Volt. Looks like used ones are around 12k, only ~40 miles on electric, but you do have an ICE onboard that gets ~37 MPG. As a gas only, it will be less efficient a typical Toyota or Honda on the highway, but if most of the driving is closer to home, it may make more sense. It's really about looking at your driving habits and picking what fits it. If it's all long highway trips, gas only wins. In the city, lite hybrids and electrics rule.
 

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Thing is she doesn't trust craigslist postings at all and the 5k car is for a few months out of her ability to finance. From what I gather, she's heavily leaning toward a gen 2 insight.
What's she going to do when the battery goes out on the G2? Is she gonna have 3-5k to replace it? Besides, if she can't finance a 5k Civic, how is she going to be able to finance a 7-10k G2?

[Edit]: Stealerships are far, far worse than CL people anyway. The majority of people on CL aren't looking to screw you, ALL stealerships are.
 

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What's she going to do when the battery goes out on the G2? Is she gonna have 3-5k to replace it? Besides, if she can't finance a 5k Civic, how is she going to be able to finance a 7-10k G2?

[Edit]: Stealerships are far, far worse than CL people anyway. The majority of people on CL aren't looking to screw you, ALL stealerships are.
I would guess the bank has an age limit on what they will finance from her comments about "a few months out."
 

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If we're talking under $5k and need a back seat, a gas only Honda Civic would be good. There's also cheap Civic hybrids to be had; but If she'd prefer a hybrid, and wants better battery reliability, a 2nd or 3rd gen Prius (2003+) may be a better choice. If it's 10+ years old and has enough miles, it'll be cheap.
 

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You may want to consider and i-Miev. The IC member that sold me his red 2006 Insight has many electric vehicles. His daily driver is an i-Miev. His wife has one two. Here is a note he sent me when I asked how he liked it.
=======================================
I could talk for hours about the i-MiEV and why, despite having the lowest EPA-rated range of any BEV, it is eminently suitable for most people's daily driving. Over 99% of our trips are in the i-MiEV, with the Insight (and now the Tesla) reserved for really long trips.

In a nutshell, here are a few of the advantages of the i-MiEV, especially compared to other BEVs:

1) Small on the outside, big on the inside. Huge storage space with the rear seats lowered (it's a station wagon). Compared to, for example, the much-larger Leaf, the i-MiEV has 50.4cuft vs LEAF's 24cuft, AND with a completely flat floor which is appreciated when carrying, e.g., large appliances.

2) Turns on a dime: diameter 30.8ft - better than any other BEV except the Smart EV. The Insight is also excellent at 31.4 ft.

3) Very good all-round visibility, especially with the unused headrests removed

4) Sprightliness: hard to quantify, but the i-MiEV is very maneuverable and peppy. Its looks belie its handling abilities.

5) Excellent control over regeneration, with four different levels quickly manually selectable.

6) Ingress/egress is very easy, with a high seating position.

Used, the i-MiEVs are running around $6K-$7K, and have the lowest operating cost of ANY vehicle in the US!

There is a forum devoted to the Mitsubishi i-MiEV (I'm actually a moderator).

Mitsubishi iMiev Forum - Mitsubishi I-Miev Forum for the I-Miev Electric Car

If you ever make the mistake of reading 'professional' reviews of the i-MiEV (written in the early days of BEVs by EV-ignorant reviewers who took one look at it and shot it down because they thought it looked like a golf cart - especially Consumer Reports), here's a rebuttal thread:

Mitsubishi I-Miev Forum ? View topic - Consumer Reports Got It So Wrong!

Finally, here's a thread that addresses electric car range anxiety (an anti-BEV phrase that GM tried to trademark) - you might read my first post in it:

Mitsubishi I-Miev Forum ? View topic - Why I Don't Have Range Anxiety

We didn't get a chance to talk BEVs, but, as you saw, I'm a confirmed BEV driver - even one of those Saabs you saw is an EV conversion.

'nuff

:)
 

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Discussion Starter #19
The gas only civics are looking better and better, but we're both worried about buying a junker from someone on craigslist. According to a Leaf forums, the batteries would die quickly in Vegas's summer heat.
 

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with a back seat (so she can recline her seat if she wants)
Honda CR-Z? Has sorta a back seat but if she just needs to recline, it's fine. Just learning the ropes on my 2011 but it has a 15 year 150,000 mile warranty on the IMA system depending on what state you register it.
 
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