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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
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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.

  11. #11
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    I drive a Scion XB, $15000.00, 30 miles around town, over 40 on the highway.
    I love it.

  12. #12
    Super Member lfw045's Avatar
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    Cars are like sewing machines.everyone has a preference. Maybe you should go American made and try a Chevrolet Impala..they get good gas mileage and are a comfortable ride. I am partial to my Dodge Grand Caravan but then that is my preference.....lol!

  13. #13
    Super Member MrsM's Avatar
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    Have you tried the Car-Talk website?

  14. #14
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    try the Hyundai Tiburon. You simply can't got wrong with Hyundais. We have owned a total of 5 of them for over 6 years. We have the tiburon, sonata, tucson and the santa fe. I bought the Tiburon and drive for 4 years then passed it along and bought the Tucson. I love the Hyundais, 90k+ miles and oil changes and brakes only. The Tiburon drives great, seats fully adjustable, etc. I'd buy another in a heartbeat.

  15. #15
    Super Member Jennifer22206's Avatar
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    I'm a Mazda 6 girl. I get awesome milage out of it.

  16. #16
    Super Member Dollysquiltingmom's Avatar
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    I have a toyota corolla. It is a 1999 and it has 510,246 miles on it and it goes 153 miles a night 364 days a year, orginal trans and engine. Toyota is the only thing I will own. Good luck find a car.

  17. #17
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    Have you tried the Hyundia Sonata? I have a 2004 and love it. No problems and gets great gas mileage.I believe in them and my next new car will be a Sonata,if this one ever wears out.

  18. #18
    Senior Member cowpie2's Avatar
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    I'm a dyed in the wool Honda fan. I have owned once since 1991 and had no bad luck. The Fit is a little unique looking, but I've ridden in one and it handles nicely, very roomy and excellent gas mileage. Like you, can't buy used - too much risk of a car someone else didn't take care of.

  19. #19

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    I just sold my Mazda 3 to get an SUV as we needed the space. But, I LOVED that car. It was a 2006 model, so I can't speak for the new ones, but I got great gas mileage. Also, I'm short (5'2"), and visibility was very important when I was looking. It had the best visibility and handled the best as well. My husband has a 2007 Mazda 6 and loves it as well. It is larger though, and has more of a sedan feel. Great car though.

    My mom just got a new Kia Optima and loves it, it gets really good mileage but I don't know too much about it.

  20. #20
    Super Member Lisa_wanna_b_quilter's Avatar
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    The Chevy Aveo meets all of those requirements expect it may look cartoonish to you. There are two versions and one is much less cartoonish than the other. My daughter gets 32 MPG. The seats set VERY straight. (That's one of her things, too.) It comes in bright, fun colors.

    http://www.chevrolet.com/aveo/sedan/pictures/

  21. #21
    Senior Member Just-Lee's Avatar
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    Could check out the Ford 500..is it? They are really sharp and smaller than the Taurus (my next family car). I also am a big fan of the Scions by Toyota. Currently drive a 4-Runner ltd, which I will never get rid of.

  22. #22
    Junior Member gotthebug's Avatar
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    I have a new style Honda Civic 2 door. I LOVE it. Only problem is it is a little noisy.

  23. #23
    Super Member scowlkat's Avatar
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    I also drive a Scion XB for many of the reasons you listed in your criteria. I am disabled and have problems getting into some vehicles where I have to lower myself into the car. The Scion is just right for me to enter and exit. It is made by Toyota. Now it does have drawbacks being a lower end model (not a Lexus) with my main complaint being that it is preset from factory to unlock all the doors automatically when placed in park - not a good idea at ATMS and such. I checked and it can be changed - at a cost of $50! I would have made that a condition of the sale had I known it beforehand. I have had it for two years and never had any problems and regular maintenance and oil changes.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by QuiltnCowgirl
    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.
    We have this car also, and LOVE it. It also sits a bit higher, and is easier to get in and out of. We looked at a Civic, and decided it sat too low to the ground.

  25. #25
    Super Member hperttula123's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nyelphaba
    I drive a Scion XB, $15000.00, 30 miles around town, over 40 on the highway.
    I love it.
    I'm another XB owner. I love it. Mine is new and not broke in yet so my milage isn't as good as nyelphaba's. I don't like having to pull myself out of cars and the XB is up a little higher so it is very easy to get in and out of. It is roomy even in the back. The lights are on the steering wheel. I think you should go test drive one.

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