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  1. Default Car's that provide safety, comfort and good highway gas mileage - Are there any

    Could use advice on a car tat is ideal for highway travel i.e. comfort, gas economy and low maintenance.

    I'm new to this site, simply because we are now retired and would like to drive and live on a low to moderate budget, 2 weeks at a time to start with. We just returned from a 4500 km Toronto, Orlando, Daytona Beach, Toronto trip. The car a 2002 Buick 3.8 cc vehicle floated like a butterfly between Detroit and Florida. However in the steep and climb and sharp bends, the steering wheel had too much play and additional effort resulted in over steering.

    Are there cars that are medium priced, new or used that are great touring sedans?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default Safety and reliability

    Hi, and Welcome to the Great American RoadTrip forum.

    Have you thought of having it looked at, and getting the problem fixed? That would be my first thought.

    In the last two years I have bought two roadtrip vehicles. My list of requirements were safety and reliability tops. All the rest follows, as they are things I can to some extend influence or change. Both vehicles serve my needs well, but still have many adjustments/alterations I plan to make. (Just for the record, I am a septuagenarian.)


  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    There really is no single perfect car. Really, there are dozens of models that could fit your criteria, as nearly every car maker sets out to make all of their vehicles comfortable, reliable, fuel efficient, and safe.

    Obviously, the automakers have varying levels of success, and some focus on different things - performance vs. gas mileage, ride comfort vs road handling, etc. Each driver is also going to value each of those options differently too. And of course, price range is important too, as "moderate budget" and medium priced" to one person might mean $5000, while to another it might mean $25000.

    I suspect something in a mid to full sized sedan is something you would be most comfortable with, and from there, I'd say test drive lots of different makes and models that fall within your price range and see which one seems most comfortable to you.

    Or as Lifey suggests, take your current car in for repairs. It's quite likely that you've got some suspension/steering components that have worn out after 12 years on the road - although Buicks do typically focus on a soft ride over crisp handling.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Some to Start With

    Since you seem happy with your Buick other than its handling characteristics, and because there have been significant improvements over the years in the whole class of moderately upscale mid-sized sedans, both in terms of performance and interior space utilization, I'd suggest that you look at some of the generally well regarded cars in this class. These would include the Nissan Altima, Honda Accord, Hyundai Sonata, and Chevrolet Malibu. Prices on these start in roughly the $25,000 range but well-appointed run more to $30,000. Depending on engine/transmission choice, you should expect to get around 25 mpg from such cars and to be well protected in any crash. If none of these cars suits your needs, at least you'll have a starting point to determine which direction you should be going in for your next round of showroom visits.


  5. Default

    Individual preferences are very important which is why I didn't initially answer the question. Our preference (1983 on) has been for a 4 cylinder turbocharged European designed sedan to balance gas consumption, power, and handling. Our family (parents and adult children) also likes the Honda Accord for road trips and our current one (4 cyl engine) has been across and around the US. We have not taken our "stretch" Prius (Prius V) on a long road trip. It is spacious enough but we're willing to trade off slightly lower gas consumption on highways for more power and comfort. Obviously the baby, 1966 Mustang, stays very close to home.

    Have fun shopping.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    I would get the suspension in your Buick rebuilt, with worn parts replaced and some heavy-duty shocks/struts. I'd also put premium tires on it biased towards good and bad weather handling instead of a cushy ride.

    If you want a new car with excellent gas mileage, adequate power, and good handling, look at the Ford Fusion SE with the 1.6 liter Ecoboost engine and either the 204B or 205B Luxury Package (to get the upgraded wheels and tires).

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