Category Archives: Used Car Reviews
This 2004 Prius is another in my current stable of available transportation. Please overlook the fact that it now has a significant dent in the hood and substantial hail damage. My wife and I will both claim that neither of these are technically our fault. Despite the damage, it is still well-loved.
Background: 2004 was the first year of the second generation Prius. It was made from 2004 through 2010, although there was a minor refresh in 2006. The first generation started in 2001, but isn’t immediately recognizable as a Prius, looking more like the Echo than the 2nd and 3rd generation Prii.
My Experience: I purchased this car in 2007, amidst rising gas prices (approaching $3!!!) and for the price of $12k. It had 128k miles on it already, but was in otherwise excellent condition.
Exterior: Designed by SCIENCE!
I have mostly been the silent photographer and webmaster here at usedAutoBlog.com but I guess it is my time to speak up. My ownership history is considerably shorter than Aaron’s. I didn’t become a “car guy” until Aaron bought a house next to mine and started flaunting a string of stylish Audis in his driveway. At the time I started the downward (and expensive) spiral of automotive enthusiasm I was driving a 2004 Jeep Liberty Limited. It is the most un-car guy thing you could possibly be driving. More on that one in a future review though.
So here goes, my short list of cars.
Background: The B6 A4 was made from 2002-2005. No convertible was offered in 2002, so 2003 is the first year you could buy one. Don’t let the term “B6″ throw you off – Audi (much like every other car company) comes up with a chassis designation. It just so happens that Audi uses sequential numbers consistent within each model and they are helpful to define which generation you’re talking about. For example, the 1996 thru 2001 A4 was the B5 chassis. Using this nomenclature in public will no doubt bolster your car-guy cred, and may also score you a few points higher on the snobby jerk index. Please refrain if you think you might already be a snob. If you use any one of these quotes, you might already be too close to the line:
Can someone please get my towel? It’s in my room next to my Irish walking cape.
Look, guys, has anyone seen my good peacoat?
Winston.. did you know that N.W.A. didn’t stand for “never walk alone” ???
Guess whose personalized condoms just arrived!?
Damn it! I can’t find my driving moccasins anywhere!
*copyright Fox’s “New Girl” – Schmidt
3 years ago I was driving a truck, an extended cab four wheel drive truck; sure it mustered a lowly 12.5 MPGs and made Al Gore turn in his bed at night, but it was my piece of so called Americana. It was a hunk of metal hastily made in Detroit, and was probably one of the most problematic vehicles I have ever owned. After I got sick of the repair bills I decided it was time to try something from the other side of the pond, no I don’t mean Europe, they aren’t known for reliability, and I didn’t need an ultimate driving machine. So what were my other choices? A Korean car? Nope. That leaves us with the land of the rising sun. I was no stranger to Japanese cars, I had already owned an Acura and 2 Hondas by this point and none had ever let me down (save for the multiple burnout induced transmission replacements in my first car, an 88 Honda Accord but I digress.) So I knew I wanted to give the notorious Japanese reliability a shot again, I had thought about getting a car again and had the list narrowed down, Nissan Altima, Honda Accord and the Nissan Maxima….. GREAT!!!! I had a game plan, time to search for a car. I hopped online with my trusty iPhone…..and exactly a minute later I found what I was looking for, a 2006 Toyota 4Runner with 47,xxx miles on the clock…..wait, I wanted a car right? Oh screw it, lets go test drive it, the price is right and I knew that the 4Runner was a rock solid performer for soccer moms so why not a 25 year old (at the time) single firefighter like myself? I arrived at the dealer and saw the 4Runner positioned ever so eloquently in front of the dealer, I took it for a test drive with the salesman, and right away I was sold, but we’ll get back to that.
History: Ford started offering the “King Ranch” package because trucks weren’t expensive enough. Wait… that’s not entirely true. OK, so maybe they decided that trucks needed four doors and they didn’t have a name for that. er, maybe it was because the original King Ranch in Texas got its start in the steam-powered shipping boat business, and trucks also move freight? OK, I don’t have any idea why they started the King Ranch line of pickups, but I’m pretty sure we can all agree – the world is a better place now.
Background: The 3-Series was updated in 2006 – that first year was the only year that you could buy the 325 trim – in 2007, they dropped it and made the 328 the base model. The sheet-metal looked the same until 2009, when there was minor (most people wouldn’t notice it) remodel, and then 2012 is a distinguishable new model. Also, if you’re shopping for a convertible BMW 325 in 2006, those were the old bodystyle – an update to the hardtop convertible occurred in 2007 commensurate with the dropping of the 325.
Exterior: This car still looks fresh in today’s market; noticeably more fashionable than the previous generation of 3-series, and without too many busy creases like the newest ones. One of my biggest gripes with BMW is their choices in rims – they don’t look “bad”, but why can’t we get something more interesting than the same 4 styles you’ve made SINCE THE 70′s. OK, that major gripe out of the way, the car is well proportioned and has some nice touches on the outside like the tiny LEDs under each door pull. Oooh, Shiny!
I hope to start writing reviews beginning with the vehicles that I’ve owned. My string of vehicle ownership goes like this (current rides in bold):
- 1988 F-150 4×4 Extended Cab
- 1991 Chevy Corsica LT
- 1995 Ford Mustang GT
- 1988 Porsche 944
- 1994 Ford Explorer XLT
- 1994 Ford Taurus SHO
- 1993 Eagle Talon TSI
- 1999 Ford Mustang GT
- 1997 Nissan Altima GXE
- 1997 Audi A4 quattro
- 2002 Audi A4 quattro
- 2008 Volkswagen Passat
- 1997 GMC Sierra 4×4 Stepside
- 1993 Chrysler Lebaron GTC Convertible
- 2000 Audi A6 4.2 quattro
- 2004 Saab 9-3 Arc Convertible 2.0T
- 2004 Ford F-150 4×4 Lariat
- 2007 Ford F-150 4×4 King Ranch