Help me decide between these cars!

06-10-2010, 04:50 PM
Hey guys first post. This place seems pretty cool and you all seem pretty knowledgeable so I might stick around for a while. Sooo heres my question,

Come August I will be buying a used car. The thing is I'm still a student and for the most part will use the car to get around town and maybe some highway during college. I have pretty much narrowed my choices down to three cars (

1) 2009 Chevy Malibu LTZ
2) 2007 Saab 9-3
3) 2007 Volkswagen Passat

So the really is only a couple of things to considering seeing as how they are all nice cars. I have test drove all three and the all feel like they have the same power, but the saab and Passat have turbos. Is it possible that the turbos would get damaged by all the local driving I do? The Passat also requires premium gas, so thats another consideration. Without a doubt, the malibu has the nicest interior and the saab the nicest ride. So what do you guys think is a good car for an 18 year old? Any other cars that you can think of feel free to say. My budget ( is around $19000 give or take (and I was able to find all three online for under budget) Oh and is insurance ( significantly different on any of those three? Any help is much appreciated!

06-14-2010, 07:14 PM
Hi, welcome to the site!

Well, both Saab and Volkswagen models that you chose are good in performance and their turbocharged engines will not cause any problem driving around town. Though some experts in some reviews say that the Saab 9-3 can be a choppy ride on bumps so it is surely not the best ride among the 3. If I were you, I would debate over choosing between the Chevy Malibu and the Volkswagen Passat. The 2009 Chevy Malibu is a perfect 10.0 on reliability ratings, which means the car will less likely break down because it's powertrain (engine and transmission) is designed to be dependable and built strong compared to the Passat. But considering your budget and as a student who wants to save money on gas, the Passat is more fuel efficient than the Chevy Malibu. So the Passat would be good for daily commute. But if you want looks and the reliability of the car even for long drives and maybe for joy rides :) you can go get the Malibu. With regards to market availability, there are a lot of 2009 or even 2010 Chevy Malibu below your $19,000 budget. Hope all this information helps.

06-16-2010, 03:57 PM
Full disclosure here: I own a 9-3 so my vote is obvious

9-3 all the way. There's something to be said for uniqueness and taste (I know Saab was owned by GM, but the 9-3 is different enough from other GM cars that it's still definitely Swedish). Not nearly as many 9-3s on the road and Malibu's and Passats. I also think the Saab is the best looking of the three by far

As far as speed goes, did you drive a 9-3 Aero? because it should blow the doors off the turbo Passat, you'd have to step up the V6 for similar power. Also, the Saab will be the best in the corners. No torque steer and very little understeer, especially for a front wheel drive car. It's one of better handling FWD cars out there.

I get over 30mpg highway and that's cruising 85mph. If I stay closer to the speed limit, I get 35 or more mpg. You should also be able to find a great deal on the 9-3 because there's not as much demand for them as the other two.

Good luck on the search! Let us know what you end up with.

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