I need a new car, and I'm not wild about anything that's out there. Maybe I'm missing something great, so before I buy something I don't love, I thought I'd ask for your suggestions.
It will be a new car. I know all the arguments for buying used, but I don't buy for resale value, I buy to own it.
Must be compact or relatively small. No SUVs, trucks, minivans or boat-sized cars, but nothing that looks like a cartoon car, either (meaning no Smart4Twos or Fiats).
-- good gas mileage
-- reliable (will last 10+ years or 200,000 miles)
-- $20,000 or less
-- seat backs that go straight up. My Honda Civic seat slants back, and I'm tried of the neck problems from sitting back and craning my head forward to look straight ahead.
-- headlight controls MUST be on the lever by the steering wheel, not a separate button. No kidding, this annoys me no end. (Meaning no Ford Focus.)
-- must use a key. No push button ignitions. Call me old-fashioned, but I want to be able to turn the thing OFF and not have a button failure.
I have tried:
Hyundai Elantra - highly rated, but the seat area is tight and I couldn't see over the windshield or side windows to the lane lines on the road or for parking.
Mazda 3 - love how it drives, but gas mileage isn't great and there's the window problem.
Ford Focus - weird controls
Nissan Versa - hated it. Especially hate that the dashboard is lit when the headlights are OFF amd dim when it's dark and the headlights are on.
Toyota Corolla - seats don't go straight up and it doesn't drive as nicely as the Camry, which is bigger than I want.
Kia Rio - comfortable to sit in and drive, but cheesy looking inside. So far the front runner, though. I'll take a look at the Forte, but only to hope that it's not as cheesy looking as the Rio.
Audi A4 - my one try at a used car. No matter how great the car, I can't make myself take a used one. The headlight control is just like that of the Ford Focus.