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Help Me Choose!



  • texasestexases Posts: 5,423

    Another good used hatch would be a Honda Fit. I 'fit', and I'm 6'5".

  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,618

    For a coupe, try the Civic. They tend to be a little less expensive than the sedans. For pre-2006, try to get an EX, as those come with ABS (also a moonroof).

    For an inexpensive hatch, if you can find a 2004-6 Elantra GT in good condition, that is a very nice car for those years. They can be had with ABS (and moonroof) but those are fairly rare. I have a 10-year-old GT and it's held up very well over 10 Minnesota winters and nearly 100k miles. It's also roomy for a compact, actually is rated mid-sized in interior volume. And has a fold-flat rear seat so can hold a lot of cargo.

    Both the Civic and Elantra use a standard DIN slot for radio, so should be easy to replace.

    @digity said: I'm looking for something fun to drive, used, but not too high of mileage, good fuel economy, and under $7000. I really don't care about the age as long as I can fit comfortably (I'm 6' 2') and can install an aftermarket radio unit (and replace speakers). I'm hoping for a coupe or hatchback/5 door over a sedan (but sedan is okay). Definitely want to stay away from big cars (Acura RL and Chrysler 300 are my last two cars).


  • digitydigity Posts: 5

    Interesting (the whole buying new versus old)... the thing is we're already set on buying the 2014/5 MDX as our primary vehicle since we're starting a family and we don't want two car payments.

    This second car (I'm posting about) would be just for me and one of my top priorities is that it's fun to drive.... and that I need it to get me to and from clients around the region once or twice a week. I don't plan on keeping it more than a couple years as this is just a placeholder car until I decide how selfish I want to be with a growing family (I'm eyeing the BRZ or Model S as my next real car).

  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,618

    Since you're driving clients in it, another fun-to-drive hatch that can be had for under $7k is the Mazda6 hatch. Plenty of room for 4 adults, fun to drive, good looking (IMO), hauls a lot of stuff (fold-flat rear seat). Can get it with a stick, even a V6 + stick, but sticks are rare. Would be a better car to haul clients in than a Civic or Elantra (or Fit). I'd stay away from coupes if I were you if you have to haul clients in the back seat. Mazda6 doesn't have as good of fuel economy as the smaller cars, but if you're only using it 1-2 times a week, a few mpg might not make a big difference.

  • digitydigity Posts: 5

    Mazda and Hyundai... interesting. Also, I'm not driving clients around - just driving to and from their offices.

    Thanks for the recommendations!

  • digitydigity Posts: 5

    Hmmm... I notice no recommendations for Subaru Impreza WRX or similar... Are they not fun to drive?

  • digitydigity Posts: 5

    Never mind. I see them starting at $11,500 for an 2006. Yikes!

  • benjaminhbenjaminh Posts: 1,621
    edited March 11

    You can currently case lease a new Mini Cooper for c. $179 a month. With downpayment I think it comes to c. $8000 over 3 years, which is close to your budget.

    Or, a new Honda Fit Hatchback can be leased for c. $149 a month for 3 years, which with downpayment comes to about $7000.

    Each of these models is about to have an all-new model introduced, which is probably why lease rates are relatively low.

  • plektoplekto Posts: 3,706

    Clients adds a whole other level to the mix. I'd actually go older and (semi) classic, then. Something like a mint condition BMW 318ti or Mercedes C230K similar (with manual) would be a good choice and you'd have enough money left over to keep it running. 4-5K is typical for something like this. Yes, the rims are a bit ugly, but it's just an example of many out there.

    Note - manual is a must as it's about the only major part of these two cars to go wrong. A broken BMW or Mercedes automatic is a lot of money to fix vs a clutch. And automatic is no conversation piece, either.

  • suydamsuydam Posts: 878

    Since you don't want a car payment (thus a lease is out), probably a used Toyota Corolla or Matrix would have the best fuel economy, least depreciation and most reliability. That's letting go of the fun factor though. Otherwise, a used Elantra or Mazda is probably your best bet.

  • kyfdx%40Edmundskyfdx%40Edmunds Posts: 25,856

    Pontiac Vibe with a stick... Matrix twin..

    Moderator - Prices Paid, Lease Questions, SUVs

  • suydamsuydam Posts: 878

    Yes, Vibe is cheaper. I have an '04. Can be hard to find though.

  • vseth96vseth96 Posts: 3

    How's the 2014 Subaru Impreza in your guys' opinions? Anything about the CVT vs. Manual?

  • texasestexases Posts: 5,423

    I've not read much positive about the driving character of Subaru's CVTs. Try a test drive and see what you think.

  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,618

    I've driven both and for me the CVT was much quieter than the 5-speed stick, the engine revved lower and it seemed there was more sound insulation in the CVT model--not sure if that's the case, but it seemed to be. When I drove them, it was a 5-speed anyway--maybe is a 6-speed now, if so that could make a difference. Also, the CVT delivered better FE for me than the 5-speed, and I think that is reflected in the EPA ratings also. The stick was more fun of course, but if I got an Impreza I'd go with the CVT because of lower noise and better FE.

  • Stever@EdmundsStever@Edmunds YooperlandPosts: 38,914

    A reporter is looking to talk with shoppers who are in the market now or just who just recently bought a mid-size sedan like Accord, Sonata, Camry, Fusion etc. If you can assist, please reach out to with your contact info by 4/8/14.

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