Goodbye, 2002 Saturn :(

The Saturn had a run in with a deer Friday morning. Because it would cost at least $450 to fix, and it's only worth $1100, I think it's time to pull the plug.

2002 Saturn, 225k miles. I feel like I've lost a grandparent!
The problem?

First, I don't know anything about vehicles. Nothing. What brands/models are worth looking at? Which have the best safety ratings? Gas mileage? The fewest mechanic issues?

Second, I loved that car (loved!), so I really haven't looked around at ALL. I was just hoping that it would last forever, so hadn't really kept an eye out for anything new/newer.

If anyone has recommendations on a good make/model, or a connection they have (dealership?) that I could work through, please let me know!! I'd like to give my business to someone local or a connection that someone we know has!

1. Fold down seats so we can fit XC skis
2. Good gas mileage!
3. Enough room to fit a dog/kennel and (eventually) a kid
4. Safety

Is there anything else that should be on the "criteria" list?

Prefer used, but if there is a good enough financing option for new, I could be convinced...


Nichole Porath

Nichole is a blogger, elite level runner, and coach. She ran professionally for Brooks for two years after qualifying for the 2012 US Olympic Marathon Trials. During that time she founded TNC endurance, where she coaches and motivationally speaks to organizations large and small. This blog details her rise to national-level racing, and continues to follow her as she gets back into racing after starting a family. Read on, friends!


  1. Not sure if it fits XC skis, but Prius V is nice.

    1. Yeah, I think the Prius models are on the top of our list - going to a dealership tonight to take a look at them. I think the V would be a great size for us. We'll have to bring a set of skis with us to make sure they will fit :). Do you own one? Know others that do?

  2. Rental returns. Enterprise, Hertz, etc. You can usually get a year or two old for thousands less than new. My car is a rental return and still going strong 15:years later and 142k + miles. I am a gm guy so Chevy is my choice. Malibu would be a good mid size. If you want something a little bigger than look at the Impala

    1. Really? I've always thought those vehicles would be used a little harder than someone's personal vehicle... mostly because whenever we rent a car we tend to not really "care" about it, getting it a little dirty, accelerating more aggressively, driving a little differently?