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Thread: Recommend a Car for Me?

  1. #1
    Super Member Lisanne's Avatar
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    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).

    Other needs:
    -- 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.

  2. #2
    Junior Member
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    I have a Nissan Altima, 6 cyl..great on gas..four door, very roomy for MrG and the pups.

  3. #3
    Super Member QuiltnCowgirl's Avatar
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    I have a Toyota Matrix. Paid less than 20k. Same engine & chassis as the Corolla, but different interior, 4 door, has hatchback & back seats fold down so lots of cargo room. 6cyl great gas mileage. Oh and the seats adjust straight up (I think like what you are talking about), the headlight controls are a lever on the steering column, and has a key ignition. :) I LOVE mine an have never had 2nd thoughts about getting it.

  4. #4
    Super Member JenniePenny's Avatar
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    Seems like you've done quite a bit of work as far as research. I guess it comes down to you.

  5. #5
    Power Poster MadQuilter's Avatar
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    Go to Edmunds.com and do your comparative research there. You know what features you like and they have every car on the market AND they give great pricing advice. I used the info when I bought my last car (which is no longer made).

  6. #6
    Super Member MaryStoaks's Avatar
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    I'm on my second Hyundai Accent, I liked the first one so well I bought another. Mostly I like the seat, I have back/neck problems and with this car I can drive forever. It has great AC, the interior is upgraded, wonderful gas mileage. It is a cheapy car, I only drove the first one 100 thousand miles, no trouble with it. I bought the new one because I live in the desert and I will not drive an old car for fear of being stranded in the heat. Good luck in your search.

  7. #7
    Super Member DebraK's Avatar
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    We picked up a wonderful used Lexus from the dealer for $10,000. Like brand new. We love it.

  8. #8
    Super Member DogHouseMom's Avatar
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    Great research and I applaud that you know what you want and need!!

    My recommendation is the Honda Fit. Not sure about the price ... but it's right around that mark. Seat backs are adjustable to perfectly straight to tilted back. Mileage is outstanding, I'm currently at 40+ (I do mostly highway driving - if I do ALL highway on a long trip I'm around 43MPG). Headlights are on the left steering wheel lever. Uses a real key. Reliability is ranked very high - it's a Honda.

    Tons of room in the back. 4 seater but the seats fold COMPLETELY flat. Front seats are roomey (to me).

    Outstanding visibility. The windshield is raked plus there are side windows in the front. Back window is perpendicular so nothing obstructs rear view.

  9. #9
    Member ErinMarie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DogHouseMom
    Great research and I applaud that you know what you want and need!!

    My recommendation is the Honda Fit.
    I would second this, and perhaps maybe looking at a Ford Fiesta? My mother has a diesel VW Jetta and she gets anywhere from 43-47 mpg, she's very happy with it.

  10. #10
    Power Poster MadQuilter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DogHouseMom
    My recommendation is the Honda Fit.
    That was one of the cars I looked at when buying my last one and one of the sales people (can't remember which lot) actually referred to the "Fit" as a "Clown Car." He said it reminded him of the skit where clowns keep pouring out. Every time I see a Fit, I have to chuckle.

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