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The best/most practical cars to own


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The answer to that is in the eyes.... or rather needs.... of the beholder. In (my) reality, any small to medium sized Honda, Toyota or Nissan would be best. to own. The Fit... no longer produced in the US... remains to pack an amazing amount of space in so small a package!  Houdini had a hand in it's design I'm convinced!

For me, it is just a bit too low to get into and out of comfortably. And ground clearance.... especially for topes... is NOT class-leading. My personal choices Lakeside would be either:  Honda CR-V, Toyota RAV4 or something Nissan. If looking new, I would even now consider a Subaru of some sort, but at Lakeside one hardly needs the AWD that all Subies come with.

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All of the Japanese cars are good.  I believe the Nissan Versa has been the number 1 selling car here for many years at an attractive price point.  The taxistas seem to prefer Nissan also.  That being said Honda Fit, CRV, and Toyota Rav are just as good, but maybe more costly.  The Euro cars seem to have parts distribution issues at times.  My friend with a Fiat waited 4 months (pre covid global chain distribution problems) for body parts.  Good cars show up here monthly in the classifieds.  Low mileage, well maintained expat cars.  Best of luck.  

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Answering this question is the same as asking...who makes the best pizza.    Lots of opinions that are all valid to the person giving them. 

There are so many variables.. how many people do you usually carry.. will you travel on the highway or make out of town trips... is the cost of maintenance and the warranty a concern... do you often need to carry large objects....is ease of entry and exit from the vehicle a concern...seat comfort.. gas mileage.....Initial cost...are just a few things to think about.

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We're on our 2nd Honda Fit. The first we brought down from the US, but couldn't keep because it was from Japan and we had to sell when we went permanente. Loved it enough that we got another, made here in MX. We are sad that they're not going to be made any more since we'd probably buy another when the time comes. That said, things we like about the Fit: 

1. Flexible enough seating and plenty of headroom for both myself (5'1") and my husband (6'0").
2. Lots of visibility through many windows, which is important when driving around Lakeside, and when parking or backing out of parking.
3. Small turning radius makes it much easier to parallel park on super narrow streets.
4. Plenty of space inside to carry just about anything we need to carry, including the rear seating surfaces that tilt upward, providing space for tall items like plants.
5. Unless we're carrying passengers or a heavy load, we can manage almost any tope we've found, as long as we slow down enough and are careful.
6. Top model has almost all the niceties we need... electric mirrors, windows, cruise control, Bluetooth radio, CD, etc. (do wish it had a backup camera, though)
7. I like the CV transmission with its smooth shifting
8. We've had good luck getting it worked on when needed, although part of this is from using S&S to get it serviced
9. Quiet inside, and hasn't developed many squeaks or rattles, even though we've had accidents in it.
10. Econo mode makes it pretty fuel efficient.
11. Pretty easy to get in and out, even with my bad knees and cane, unless you happen to have a really odd parking spot
12. Insurance cost is reasonable
13. Reliable and trouble-free for the most part
14. Resale on our first Fit was surprisingly good, and I suspect this one will be as well

Things we don't like as much about the Fit:

1. Seats can get a bit uncomfortable on long drives... like 4+ hours. Pillows and extra padding help.
2. Wish it had a backup camera, although I suspect one could be added if we really looked
3. The cup holders (quite a few) could be placed better, depending on what you're carrying
4. Since it's lower to the ground than some cars, I have to be very careful when going over dips and steeply angled surfaces

When we moved here, we also had a Pontiac Vibe (Pontiac version of Toyota Matrix), which we loved for various reasons. However, even though it wasn't very large, we couldn't parallel park it on narrow streets because of the turning radius and the fact that the nose was just long enough that the front would catch on a curb when it swung out. So even though there are "small" cars that might be good, one of OUR tests when buying would be whether a new car would be maneuverable enough and have enough visibility to get it parked in the village when needed.

Another consideration is insurance cost. According to our agent, insurance follows the vehicle in MX, not the driver. And insurance cost is based on consolidated costs the company has to pay for that same type of vehicle over the previous year (or historically). Therefore, surprisingly, some of the more expensive vehicles to insure are ones that are commonly used by taxis or professional drivers since there are lots of them, they're frequently stolen or have parts stolen off them, and they have a higher than normal accident rate. Doesn't mean these are bad cars, but just that the insurance costs are higher than one would expect. Therefore, another lesson we learned when car shopping in the future is to be sure and check what insurance will cost for a particular vehicle before purchasing it. 

Overall, if we were shopping today I'd certainly check to see if there were any leftover Fits still available and grab one if so. It fits our needs and lifestyle quite nicely, but everyone is different of course. Happy shopping!

 

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Honda CRV.  Comfortable, durable and carries a lot of stuff when you need to but still great gas mileage.

Runner up is Toyota RAV.  

Fancy CRV is Acura RDX.  Not so economical in town but pretty good on the road. 

Most of us don't drive all that much utility is more important than the last few mpgs.

Have had three CRVs and now an Acura.  All have been reliable.

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19 hours ago, mexijims1 said:

However, Honda FIT will continue to be made and available in Mexico, isn't that true?

I don't see a definitive answer. In 2020 they were supposed to come out with a Final Edition. If you google Fit 2022 you will still find a model. However none are in the showrooms and you  won't find them listed on the showroom websites.

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1 hour ago, Mainecoons said:

Honda CRV.  Comfortable, durable and carries a lot of stuff when you need to but still great gas mileage.

Runner up is Toyota RAV.  

Fancy CRV is Acura RDX.  Not so economical in town but pretty good on the road. 

Most of us don't drive all that much utility is more important than the last few mpgs.

Have had three CRVs and now an Acura.  All have been reliable.

Agree with all your points but I couldn't see spending over 200,000p over the msrp on my BRV. Same great reliability, economy, seats 7 and with the 3rd seat removed probably more room than the CRV. As you say utility is paramount, I can do without the luxuries.

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