I'm looking to upgrade from my Toyota Corolla wagon. What do you guys suggest?

Dear Car Talk

Dear Car Talk | Jun 01, 1995

Dear Tom and Ray:

For twenty-odd years I have driven older cars, including my '82 Toyota Corolla station wagon that now has 180,000 miles. Perhaps that is why I am single. Anyhow, since I like outdoor activities, I have decided to keep my reliable and rusty Toyota for things such as hauling around bicycles, fishing gear, and roadkill; but I've also decided to move up. In my case that means buying a used car that costs more or less between $6,000 and $12,000. I have considered the Buick Reatta, which I know very little about, the Ford Probe, the Honda CRX, the Saturn SC2, and the Porsche 944. Which of these cars can you recommend for a single guy with one speeding ticket in his life? Good reliability, high mileage, low insurance and maintenance costs, and long engine life are more important to me than great performance.

RAY: I think the roadkill in the back has more to do with your being single than the car, Bruce, but that's just my opinion. If I were you, I'd go for the Ford Probe. And my second choice would be the Saturn.

TOM: Yeah. The Buick Reatta was a mistake. Make sure it remains Buick's mistake and not your mistake by scratching it off your list. The CRX is reliable and gets high mileage, but it only weighs about as much as a large horse, so I'm going to reject the CRX on safety grounds.

RAY: The Porsche may help you get dates (in part because there's so little room in the back for your roadkill), and will probably increase your speeding ticket tally, but no one's ever accused a Porsche of being reliable or cheap to maintain. So forget about the 944.

TOM: Which leaves us with the Saturn and the Probe, both of which basically meet your criteria. And I lean toward the Probe because it's sportier and more fun to drive.

RAY: And after 180,000 miles in a Corolla wagon, you deserve some fun, don't you, Bruce?

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