I am not a fan of buying new cars. Better to wait a year and let the first year huge depreciation drop kick in and pick up a good gently used vehicle that is one or two years old. You get more value for your money. That’s what Liz, Pam and I did today. We ended up with a Hyundai Accent, which is a very popular little vehicle for good reason: it is well built and relatively inexpensive.

Of course in my usual thorough-to-the-point-of-redundancy manner we had to look at everything in its class before we settled on the obvious. There are some interesting choices out there. For just a little more money the Honda Fit is a nice car. Nissan also makes a car in the same class, the Versa, which is both roomy and peppy. Toyota has the Yaris, which has a nicely styled exterior. But the interior doesn’t work. The legroom is cramped and the dash is positioned much too high with an annoying center console for the speedometer that obscures your vision even more.

Chevy’s entry in this category, the Aveo, is disappointing. You’d like to like it: the price is good and it comes with a good warrantee, but it has odd features. The driver’s seat for example is perched ridiculously high so that even a short driver is scrapping their head on the roof. And it is built in Korea by Daewoo, which has an even worse record of manufacturing errors than GM itself. Not a good choice at any price. We didn’t even bother to look at Ford or Chrysler, which says something about the confidence of the driving public in these products.

I read recently that a good stock investment right now is either Samsung or Hyundai. Both make good products with an expanding worldwide market. As I say, I’d like to have bought a North American car. But I’m not sure that any of them can compete in a global economy. So who is going to honour that outstanding warrantee when your company goes out of business?

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