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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been looking at getting a new/used car to replace the truck that I currently have. My concerns:

Gas Mileage: My truck was getting ~15 miles to the gallon. I want something around 25-30 miles to the gallon on city streets. I've read that the automatics rate around 24 I believe. I calculated that out to the gas capacity, and it gives me about the same amount of miles. However, the other car I've been looking at is the Lancer, which had a little bit better mileage to the gallon (29 I believe) with a little less capacity. What are you guys running for gas mileage?

The Ride: I've read on various reviews of the car that it has a stiff ride to it, something I hated on my truck. I hated the fact that you could feel basically every single bump out there, and I want to get away from that with a new car. However, going by the reviews, I'm worried that I'm still going to feel all the same bumps equally as bad. I test drove a Lancer today, and it felt very good. We went over a few sharp bumps in the road, and while you could feel you went over them, it felt like it was nothing. How exactly is the ride?

Cost: I wanted to keep the cost of the car that I get around $14k. These things run $17.5K before taxes and other options. Going by the Scion website, the only thing I'll be wanting to add as far as extras is the spoiler lip (the small one). Honestly, is it worth it to pay the extra $5K (between the Lancer I looked at and the tC) plus whatever finance charges, and be looking at paying it off for 5 years compared to possibly 2?

The first car I wanted was a Lancer, and found a very nice one. The only downside to it is high mileage. A buddy at work recommended looking at the tC while I was out, and I looked online at work real quick and instantly loved the look of it. When he told me a bit more about it, I really wanted to check it out. Unfortunately, the local dealership had none, or at least that I saw.

That seems to be my only concerns about it. The biggest to me is the money. I don't know if it's worth it to spend the extra money to get a new car or "pocket" that money.
 

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i think it's worth it, its actaully only 3000 more than the lancer if ur comparing it new. lancers are like 14k and a base tC is 16860 (shud bypass lip spoiler in my opinion). for 2860 more u get a way more powerful engine (base lancer engine is a little weak), better looks, better reliability and resale value, and the tC is built so solid and luxurious. the doors go thump instead of klank when u shut them. it seems like the car was at least 24k. the quality is outstanding. the only widespread complaint ive heard about em was the paint which people say chips easily but i wudnt worry about that one. also the mileage is lower than the lancer's but that money will probably be saved on maintenance. also u should consider the better stock sound system on the tC, moonroof, key with remote keyless entry built into the actual key, and what sold me is the conversation space which is the coolest feature ive ever seen on a car. tC balances utility, function, and luxury/fun very well. oh and the ride is pretty soft compared to its competitors like the mazda3 and rsx. even considering the low profile tires , the ride is still surpisingly smooth. i take speed bumps pretty fast sometimes and its soft enough that i dont get jolted but stiff enough so that i dont scrape the car.
 

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Gas Mileage: In my personal experience, you will have to turn the car off and push it for about 50 miles to get 25 MPG in mostly stop-and-go city driving. If you were talking about a more suburban type of driving, though, several people on this forum have gotten that kind of mileage with that type of driving. In any event, I think you can expect 21-25 MPG in the city.

Ride Quality: I would strongly disagree with anyone who says that the tC rides rough. In fact, one of the things I loved about the tC was its smooth, yet responsive, ride. Now, if you replace the stock springs with TRD springs, it does get somewhat stiff...but still not anything like a truck or SUV. I drove an '04 Lancer as a rental car for two days while I was waiting for my tC to arrive, and I did not find that the ride was particularly great. I preferred the ride in my new tC.

Cost: Clearly, a used Lancer is going to be cheaper than a new tC. Even a new base-model Lancer with no options will be quite a bit cheaper than a new tC. However, I do recommend test-driving the tC before you make this decision, and comparing the feature lists side by side. The tC is really a nice combination of fun, practicality, and aesthetics -- the kind of thing Toyota is known for, but in a pretty package. I think you'll be pleased.

Above all, though, be realistic and don't overextend your credit.
 

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Like Marty said concerning the ride quality, its damn smooth stock. I added the TRD springs and rear sway bar to tighten things up, and I still find it extremely comfortable.
 

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i test drove both the lancer and the tC among others when i started shopping

the lancer was by far the worst of them

you don't want that piece of crap
 

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If you are seriously considering the Lancer, you should compare it to the Corolla, not the tC, especially if you are considering the base Lancer. The Corolla is more in the same league for performance, economy, insurance, and operating cost. It's also IMHO, a better car than the Lancer for the money.
 

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If im not mistaken doesn't the lancer come with like 13" or 14" wheels too? I think the corolla is a fair comparison, maybe even like a cobalt if i dare go there.

However, I do enjoy the new eclipse and maybe that is a fairer comparison to the tC, but if you watch closely on the commercial the nice V-6 model they drive is something on the order of 27,000...
 

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You really need to find one to drive, for the handling (incredible), pick-up (a rocket), and smoothness. And then you will have a real comparison. I would hate for you to drive one after you purchase a Lancer and see what you missed. It is a big decision, in any case.
 

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I agree totally with what Rabberflatch said (with one small exception, being the conversation space did not sell me on the car).

I commute 10 miles at speed limits varying from 25 to 45 mph. I regularly get between 26-27 mpg with my manual which is supposed to get less mpg than an automatic in the tC.

You owe it to yourself to test drive a tC, so you won't be kicking yourself later.
 

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when i test drove a tc is when i made up my mind to get one. i test drove an automatic and that was fun to drive. loved the interior it looks like a jet or something.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
The Lancer I was looking at yesterday was the OZ Rally series. I believe it has a bit more horsepower than the standard Lancer. Outside of that, I'm not sure exactly what the difference is.

I got some good news today. It looks like I'm going up to full time at work, so I'm really looking at the tC now. I might head out tonight and test drive a used one at a local dealership, if they still have it. Otherwise, I'll probably head up next week and look at some at a dealership up north a bit.
 
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