Just when you thought it was safe to get behind the wheel


That’s when something like your overdrive biting the big one occurs.  The only good things about this situation are that 1) it is Southern Honey’s car and not mine and 2) it is still drivable as long as you don’t go over about 55 mph.  Thank heaven for small favors, I suppose.

So now we find ourselves in the market for a new vehicle several months before I had really planned on doing it.  We need something fuel-efficient, given how far we each commute each day (40 miles round-trip), and that brings me to the hybrid vehicles.  I find myself drooling over the Ford Fusion Hybrid, which we just went and took a look at earlier.  But it’s seriously costly by comparison to non-hybrids.

But the gas mileage!

But the price!

But the gas mileage!

But the price!

We’re going around and around in circles.  And we’re looking at the Civic Hybrid as an alternative, since it’s a bit cheaper.

Now if only his car will hold out until we get our home buyer tax credit back so we can use that for the down payment…

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About SouthernSugar

A Southern girl who's used to small town life, I found myself moving to Washington, DC, in 2008 for a new job, and living there was an eye-o
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4 Responses to Just when you thought it was safe to get behind the wheel

  1. Mary says:

    For what it’s worth, I have a Civic (regular style), and I seriously love that car. And actually, for highway driving, it gets around 35 mpg, which isn’t too shabby for a non-hybrid car. So I can only imagine that a hybrid would be even better.

    Granted, my car doesn’t actually have all that many miles on it (~30,000), but it’s a 2003, and I’m only just now getting to the point where it’s starting to need more work than an oil change every six months. And, my brother had a Civic that I think is pushing 150,000 miles, and still hasn’t quite died yet (there’s something about it that will eventually break and won’t be worth fixing, so my parents are using it until it actually stops working). Point being, Civics are very well made, last forever, and are generally not too expensive to maintain.

    What I would do, were I you, is figure out how much your gas costs are for, say, a year right now (and I’d go with a gas price that is maybe a bit higher than what it is currently – I hear it’s going to get more expensive soon). Then figure out what you would save on gas by buying a hybrid. My guess is that you’d make up for a big chunk of the difference in cost in just one year of having to buy less gas.

    • SouthernSugar says:

      The hybrid Civic does get good gas mileage, better than the Fusion, actually. The difference I think mostly comes from the fact that the Fusion is a mid-sized sedan, while the Civic is smaller (and therefore lighter). Plus the base Fusion already comes fairly tricked out — it’s base model is the mid- or upper-level regular model Fusion.

      Everything that I’ve heard in the past about Hondas has been good. It’s good to hear another endorsement! Your car sounds loved and gently used. 😀 All I really know is that after this Cavalier, I really don’t want another Chevy. My parents had to put more money into that thing over ticky-tack crap than I think it’s worth now. 😛

      I put at least 200 miles a week on my car (the downside to living in the boonies), so a hybrid will definitely pay itself off. That’s a bit over the 10,000 that I think they use to estimate the new cars’ gas price in a year. A Fusion is estimated to cost $1114 a year, a Civic is estimated at $1035, and a Prius is the champ at $870. I just can’t get past the fact that Priuses are so very funky-looking!

      • Mary says:

        So as far as size goes, I’ve never really spent a whole lot of time with a mid-sized sedan. But I can tell you that when my parents were trying to replace our first minivan, they thought about buying a real boat of a sedan for road trips, instead of another minivan. Since I have two siblings, we’d all have had to sit in the back seat…and we’d be touching. We nearly staged a mutiny, and my parents bought another minivan. 🙂

        The point of that story is really just to say that for regular use, you probably won’t notice the size difference between two sedans all that much until you’re trying to squeeze into a wee parking space. 🙂 For road trips, no sedan is going to be comfortable with more than, at most, 4 people. No matter what the commercials tell you, no sedan can comfortably hold 5 adults unless it’s a VERY short trip.

        If you’re thinking about how this may apply to any children in your future, it probably won’t matter much when they’re small – any sedan can probably hold up to two car seats. If you have more than two kids, you’re likely going to want something more along the lines of a minivan anyway, just so that you don’t have to pull the car over and murder your children. 😉

        And finally, I drove my Civic from Houston to Oregon with my fiancé. I managed to pack a (tall and narrow, but full sized) dresser, a couple of large plastic tubs, a couple of suitcases, miscellaneous boxes, a sewing machine, and God knows what other crap in the trunk and back seat of my Civic. Seriously – I packed nearly all of my material possessions into that car without infringing on the front seats. I can also fit a full-sized cello in the trunk, and I have transported at least two 6-foot Christmas trees (by knocking the seats down and stuffing the sucker in).

        So yeah, the Civic is small. But I’ll be damned if it’s not efficient with its limited space.

        Honestly, the only thing I don’t love about the Civic is that the back seats can be a little hard, which makes them uncomfortable for long trips. Toyotas seem to have cushier seats back there, if that matters to you. But I don’t really worry about that…because I never have to sit in the back seats anymore. 😉 And the front seats are more than comfortable enough.

        My sister has a 2008 (I think) Civic, and it honestly combines all the good things about my car, with some really nifty features that I kind of wish I had (and a much more aerodynamic shape that takes a bit of getting used to, but is probably better for mileage).

        And now I think I’m done selling the Civic to you. 😛 I just know that I and everyone else in my family who owns a Honda has been very happy with them – at least for now, they make great cars.

      • SouthernSugar says:

        Those are all very good points… I think I had my heart so set on the Fusion because we were originally going to get an Altima. A used Altima is less than one of the new Civic hybrids, definitely within our range. But the gas mileage they get is pathetic. I couldn’t justify getting one because we’d be spending so much on gas (way more than we do already).

        It’s amazing what you can pack in small cars, isn’t it? Between the Cavalier and my old Escort, I can’t even begin to calculate the sheer volume of stuff we’ve moved from Point A to Point B. Especially when I let Southern Honey do the packing. That man can figure out how to wring the maximum amount of spacial efficiency like nobody’s business.

        I think we’re going to see if we can’t find one to test drive this weekend. If we can’t, I’m going to seek one out in the city when I’m there for work next week. Worst case scenario (which isn’t even bad, given that we’re not really ready to buy yet) is that we have to wait until the Honda dealership gets another one in later this month.

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