Automobiles – list of cars I’ve owned with pros and cons

Nissan Sentra (1985)
-First car – which means I got really good at tinkering with it. Stick shift, which was interesting in New York City. Purchased used in 1989. 2-dr coupe. No A/C.
-Pros: Amazing gas mileage – NYC to Toronto on 1-tank. Strong engine.
-Cons: Frequent maintenance required. Was not maintained well by first owner.

Ford Explorer Sport (1996)
-Pros: I had the leather version, and seats were really comfortable for long trips. Also, they had a pull to place right under the knee, which helped reduce strain. You sat very high and could see over everyone.
-Cons: Fuel consumption was bad at around 15 mpg. It had a boxy feel when turning corners at low speed with some oscillation. Tires were expensive. I leased for 2 years, so my monthly was high — don’t lease for 2 years.

Chevrolet Monte Carlo (1998)
-Pros: Very speedy and nimble. Cool looking double pipe exhaust. Looked like a cop car on freeway. Fuel mileage was very good.
-Cons: I’ll never buy a jet black (onyx) car again – was not fun keeping it clean.

Honda Accord (??)
-Pros: Seemed reliable as a Honda is.
-Cons: I’ll never buy a used car again where I have to sign of on issues with odometer. Problem was then when I sold it back to a dealer – was just a messy process.
-Cons: Unlikely I’ll buy used unless from a major dealer. After it rained, all the paint covering came off. Then, it needed a water pump. Then something else. and so forth…

Saturn SL2 (1999)
-Pros: When Saturn was around the big sell was “no haggle”. The SL2 was a good basic sedan.
-Cons: Not much power, but better than the SL1. Took the SL1 for a freeway test-drive and got off the freeway after 1 exit and went back to the dealer.
-Cons: Fuel mileage not good

Chevrolet Impala (2000)
-Pros: Fuel mileage was really good – similar to Monte Carlo. Was the biggest sedan I had driven so far – huge trunk.
-Cons: I had leather seats, and I sensed that because the car was slightly narrow, the seats were also a bit narrow. Wasn’t that comfortable on long trips. When the Impala was in year 1996, it was the classic big and wide cop car. Then they discontinued it for a couple years. By the time it came back, and I was driving the 2000 version, it started looking weird in the rear end (light design) and also it was a bit narrower. Around the same time, the Monte Carlo also had a rear-end refresh which looked really weird.

Saturn L300 (2002)
-Pros: No haggle again by sales guy.
-Cons: Can’t think of anything. Overall it was a good ride and no problems. I suppose the standard bad fuel mileage was a pattern with the Saturn.

Saturn Vue Redline (2004)
-Pros: This was the high-end SUV of Saturn. Was really comfortable. Somehow, I wasn’t up that high compared to Ford Explorer.
-Cons: Fuel mileage really sucked.

Saturn ION2 (2005)
-Pros: Really good replacement of the SL2.
-Cons: Only internal cosmetic issue, which was fixed, was peeling around center console by knee.
-Cons: Fuel mileage bad – Saturn.
-Cons: Felt a bit boxy and stiff, but overall reliable.

Honda Pilot (2008)
-Pros: First Honda for me. Nice to have the additional space for payload
-Pros: Better ride quality than the Ford Explorer (less jumpy on corners), but I think the seats were better in Ford Explorer.
-Cons: Felt heavy. After a while, it felt tired. Fuel mileage not great.

Honda Civic 2dr Coupe (2009)
-Pros: Good Honda replacement for Saturn.
-Cons: Had fabric seats, which felt a bit hard
-Cons: Didn’t feel completely comfortable with power.

Toyota Tundra (Full double-cab) (2010)
-Pros: Having the utility of a truck. Sitting really high. Very stable to drive.
-Cons: Fuel mileage really sucked bad.
-Cons: Tundra Bounce – had to add additional ballast in rear to stop it oscillating on the 101 Freeway.
-Cons: I didn’t actually need it that much for the rear payload of a truck, therefore the need for a truck utility wasn’t there. Won’t do this again – if I really need a truck, then I’ll get one, or I’ll just rent a truck in meantime.
-Cons: Tricky for navigating in parking lots.
-Cons: Overall, I didn’t enjoy having a truck – fuel mileage; way too big.

Toyota Prius2 (2010)
-Pros: First hybrid, which was fun getting about 45 mpg
-Cons: Can’t really think of anything. Seats maybe not as comfortable because transitioned to fabric.

Toyota Highlander (2012)
-Pros: Fast and comfortable. Good mileage. Payload very adequate in back. Nice transition from the Tundra.
-Cons: Mom called it a “Mommy car”, which it was, but I actually liked it.

Toyota Prius2 (2013)
Note: Same as prior Prius2

Toyota Prius C3 (2016)
-Pros: Same hybrid mileage as Prius2 – 45 mpg
-Pros: Considering it was much shorter than everything else I’d drive, I was really amazed how much inside room I had, including leg room – no problems.
-Cons: Can’t really think of anything. All was good.
-Cons: One reason I didn’t keep it was that the C3 model was discontinued. Would have been a risk in future for parts.

Toyota Camry Hybrid LE (2019)
-Pros: The Camry has been well loved for years, so this was a safe bet for long term.
-Pros: 45 mpg is great.
-Pros: Very smooth ride. No complaints. Adequate trunk.
-Cons: Seats are OK if your butt is firmly in the middle of the fabric seat.
-Note: Because of COVID, my mileage is really low. Have one more year – ending around October 2022 for a 3 year lease. If I can’t resolve to an electric-type vehicle by then, then I think I’m strategically going to buy the Camry while waiting for the next move. When I had originally leased it in 2019 I had purchased the additional warranty to 5 years, 45K or something.

About Paul

CERT Coordinator, Ham Radio Operator, GTD Fan; Photographer; Domino/Notes Administrator
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