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Help Me Choose!

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  • Under $15,000 USD :cry:
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 17,520
    You still have too many variables. A NEW car such as that does not exist. It would be used ... which leaves you with many many cars that would fit the bill.

    '13 Stang GT; '15 Fit; '98 Volvo S70; '14 Town&Country

  • sebring95sebring95 Posts: 3,233
    Oh jeez. So we need more answers....how old and how many miles are you comfortable with. Please define "good mpg".
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,746
    I can think of at least ONE new car that exists if it can be FWD instead of RWD... Kia Soul Base. Starts around $15k before negotiation and for 2013 is actually pretty well equipped, including a 6 speed stick and Bluetooth. And rides pretty nice also (tested one the other day, albeit an automatic).

    Actually there's other possibles here as well if only the RWD requirement is lifted--most of these would be stripped, but could be had ~$15k new:

    * Chevy Sonic and Spark
    * Ford Fiesta
    * Hyundai Accent GS - might be able to find one around $15k at discount
    * Kia Rio base 5-door (at a discount... but for the money I'd take the Soul)
    * Mazda2
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 17,520
    yes, there are several if FWD is allowed.

    '13 Stang GT; '15 Fit; '98 Volvo S70; '14 Town&Country

  • You could buy a car that met all those criteria, but it would have been made in the 1970s. The two OPEC oil embargoes led manufacturers to find ways to save weight and they jumped on the front-wheel-drive bandwagon as one of the solutions. Broadly speaking, FWD has been the norm since the 1980s, with the exceptions of performance-oriented cars and large relics of that earlier era like the Ford Crown Vic. Some models that had been FWD have moved back to RWD, but they tend to be large vehicles like the Chrysler 300. The smaller Chrysler 200 is FWD.

    The early Japanese imports, including the Corolla and Datsun 510, were RWD, as were the American models designed to compete with them, like the (cough-cough) Chevrolet Vega and Ford Pinto. Honda's original and highly influential Civic and Accord were both FWD, as was the equally influential original Dodge Caravan.

    That's a long-winded explanation about why the car you're looking for doesn't exist on today's market.
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 41,261
    A reporter is looking to speak with someone who bought a new car in September. If you’re able to assist this reporter please send a brief description of your purchase and your preferred contact information to pr@edmunds.com.

    Moderator
    Minivan fan. Feel free to message or email me - stever@edmunds.com.

  • huh4huh4 Posts: 6
    I have always driven clunkers and someone gave me 11k to buy a car. I have a few grand myself and I am about to buy new. What is the best bang for my buck in new?

    I know buying 2 or more years old helps with depreciation but I am going to do it anyway.

    Thanks for any help.
  • sebring95sebring95 Posts: 3,233
    edited October 2012
    It would help if you gave us the exact budget you have. With tax and everything I'm not sure $11k plus "a few grand" will buy anything. But please give us your max $$ you can spend. Also, what features/dynamics/etc are important to you? Automatic...Room for 6 kids....0-60 in less than an an afternoon....
  • huh4huh4 Posts: 6
    edited October 2012
    I can get a chevy spark for 14,700 out the door bottom line after taxes, tag, fees etc. 10 airbags and 38 mpg is nice but car is super small.

    need to be under 15k
  • sebring95sebring95 Posts: 3,233
    edited October 2012
    Well anything at this price point is going to be pretty small. Nissan Versa at least feels a little bigger inside...and you can get one with automatic and cruise in your price range. The Ford Fiesta is another but you'll have to stick with a manual tranny at that price. Pickings are slim but both are bigger than the Spark.

    Honestly if super small isn't your thing...you can find something a little bigger and nicer that's almost new. I noticed a used 2012 VW Jetta with 5k miles for $13,999 on a lot recently.
  • huh4huh4 Posts: 6
    thanks for taking the time to respond. I am second thinking the spark now. I am 6' 220 and would be miserable
  • plektoplekto Posts: 3,738
    edited October 2012
    You really need to get over the "buy new" idea and get a good car that's just a few years old. You can get a 3-5 year old car 12-15K. Or just about any other 25-35K upper tier or entry level luxury midsize sedan. These represent your best long-term value as they have more safety items, more options, and are built with the idea that people will be driving them for 10+ years as opposed to their being purely rental fodder. Heavier doors, better seats, better brakes, a smoother engine, and so on. And often a LOT safer due to their added weight in a crash.

    Of course the best deals are Ford and GM due to their higher initial depreciation. About 3/4 of their cars are OK or worse, but the rest are much better than they used to be. Kind of like hidden gems, as it were. You mentioned the Spark, so you probably won't have an issue with domestic make.

    My recommendation then would be to get the following/something like it:
    http://www.cars.com/go/search/detail.jsp?tracktype=usedcc&csDlId=&csDgId=&listin- - gId=90459030

    What you are looking at is a Buick Lacrosse. But this specific model has the suspension and engine out of a Cadillac CTS. Plus leather, sunroof, a good radio, and all of the goodies. You'll not be hunched over driving it like in a lot of econoboxes. It drives like a dream and it's $13K. With under 30K miles on it, since most likely it was owned by an elderly person who barely drove it.

    Did I mention the Cadillac engine? This thing is a rocket. 0-60 in just over 7 seconds, and while that's not as "fast" some other cars, it has maximum torque at 1600rpm. Not 4000+. So it does transitions and responds much quicker than a typical sedan since it's at full power pretty much all the time. (kind of like driving a diesel just without the diesel issues)

    This car at fifteen years old (10 years from now) will be in better shape than a new econobox after 5 years. As for myself, I typically drive older luxury cars for this reason. If you don't abuse them you'll never wear out a full-size car.

    edit - note that there is a second choice that's also good. It's reliable, super cheap to fix, and despite getting OK MPG, the low low price more than makes up for it.

    http://www.cars.com/go/search/detail.jsp?tracktype=usedcc&csDlId=&csDgId=&listin- - gId=73962461
    It's big but it's also quite obviously not a taxi, rental car, or cop car. The whole idea behind that specific color (or the dark red) is to get rid of that image. It's an awesome vehicle in every way. If you are 6 ft tall, it's made for you. You get a big overbuilt car that easily could last another 150K miles and save a ton on repairs. Just keep it until the wheels fall off. Like the Buick, it comes pretty much loaded. I drove one of these for a while and it was awesome. Quiet, smooth as glass, and perfect for commuting to work and back.

    Keep in mind that this car is about two years old. It'll still probably have that new car smell and half the tread left on the original tires.
  • huh4huh4 Posts: 6
    wow! never thought id get that much help on a forum, thanks
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,746
    If you are set on a new car, with your size you might try the Soul. Very roomy car, and I've seen base models (still all the key equipment, and a 6-speed manual) advertised for under $13k + T&L. That would fit your budget, depending on taxes in your state. Also good fuel economy and high marks for crash safety. And a 10-year warranty.

    Versa hatch is another option, not quite as roomy as the Soul but really good legroom for its size. Would need to be a base model to fit in your budget. Stay away from the Versa sedan... not nearly as nice a car as the hatch, IMO, and the hatch is more versa-tile.
  • plektoplekto Posts: 3,738
    I tried that myself, oh, about 1995. I was thinking about buying a small car, new. Something cute with a manual like maybe a Celica or a Civic hatchback. But the problem is that they, well, drove like small cars.

    I ended up with a used Volvo. It simply won, because as much as I wanted "new", the amount of car that I could get a few years used was shocking by comparison. I kept lusting after things like air conditioning, disc brakes, power windows (remember, this was in the 90s, none of that was standard, normally), leather, a sunroof, and so on.
  • sebring95sebring95 Posts: 3,233
    And having owned more new cars that I care to admit....the "new car" wears off REALLY fast. I can afford pretty much whatever I want but I still try to buy used whenever possible. New is not as glamorous as it may seem. We just bought a new Acura at the end of August...for the wife. It was a great deal because Acura is trying to clear out the old models and I couldn't find a slightly used one for less. My daily driver I bought two years old with 15k miles and saved $8k over a new one. I now have 80k miles on it 2 years later...I don't miss those first 15k miles one bit!!
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,746
    Have you driven the Soul? A huge difference between that and what was available as a basic small car in 1995. Actually the Versa hatch is also.

    The OP said he wants a new car, so while I'd go with a used car myself for this kind of money, I am trying to give him advice related to his question.
  • igozoomzoomigozoomzoom Waleska, GeorgiaPosts: 796
    You could get a 2012 Mazda3 i Sport 4-door for around $15k (give or take a few hundred). I'm 6'2" 230 and it has more than enough room for me. It's a lot more fun to drive than any other $15k car, too!
  • huh4huh4 Posts: 6
    edited October 2012
    I have found a Ford Fiesta SE from private party for $12k. It has 1940 miles on it and is a 2011. It has automatic, cruise, PW and PL

    Please tell me if I should buy this car. I am ready to pay the man and avoid dealer fees and new car depreciation and still get a fairly new car.

    It was kept in the garage and still smells new.

    Is Ford Fiesta a reliable car or trouble?
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,746
    Nice little car as long as you don't need to haul adults in the back seat.

    Do yourself a favor and run a carfax on it... just in case it's been in a major accident.

    Why are they selling it with only 2000 miles on it?
  • huh4huh4 Posts: 6
    edited October 2012
    ran a carfax and it was clean. they got it in an inheritance from grandma who bought it new and garaged it and drove it 1940 miles. carfax says that is the mileage too.

    NADA retail on it with listed options is almost $16k.

    we are meeting at tax collector office to transfer car so I know title is legit.

    factory bumper to bumper for 2 more years and 34k more miles
  • I need help picking out a car. I want something reasonable but I also want a car that is very good quality also (no junk). I currently have a 2011 Honda Accord LX-P and I think it has been a little too big (and expensive) for me. It is also not very good with gas. Here are the cars I am looking at:

    2013 Hyundai Elantra or Sonata
    2013 Kia Optima
    2013 Honda Civic (NOT the 2012)
    2013 Honda Fit Sport
    2013 Mazda (2 or 3)

    I found out that the new Civics go on sale on November 29th so that is why I am waiting to see what that new car is like. I have read a lot of good reviews on the Fit and I notice many people driving the Hyundai and Kia but not sure about their quality or resale.

    I use my car mostly driving around the city going to work, meetings, grocery store, etc.

    Also, leasing vs buying??

    Any suggestions? I am 6'1".
  • sebring95sebring95 Posts: 3,233
    If expense and gas mileage are mainly driving your decision....it's not likely you'll come out ahead on any of these financially. Normally I'd say a 2011 Accord should have good resale but they're practically giving away the 2012's right now. You can buy a new '12 Accord LXP for $18k pretty easily.....I'm betting that's far less than you paid for yours when new so you'll take a beating on trade. How much gas do you have to save to make up that difference? Plus, around town I doubt you'll see a huge fuel savings between any of these and the Accord. Couple mpg maybe at best.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,746
    You didn't provide enough information to narrow this down much. You have a wide range of vehicles on your list--from tiny subcompacts (Mazda2) to mid-sized cars with large-car interiors (Sonata and Optima).

    Think about what's most important to you: fun to drive? ride comfort? lots of passenger room? lots of cargo room? fuel economy? etc.

    The Fit Sport is a good around-town car if you want something small, fun to drive, good fuel economy, and versatile, but are ok with it being fairly noisy.

    If you want fun-to-drive but want something a little larger, the Mazda3 would be a good choice. Hatch is available if cargo room is important.

    The Elantra is a good choice if you don't mind relatively numb steering compared to a Fit or Mazda3, but want a smaller car with fairly roomy interior and a smooth ride. It does have a hatch version, Elantra GT, that has crisper steering than the sedan and IMO a nicer interior.

    Not sure why Sonata and Optima are on this list, since you are looking for a car to drive around town. They are pretty big for that purpose, but good values. But there's lots of other good cars in the same class, such as the new Accord LX, Altima, and Passat.

    One option you might consider since you'll be driving this car in-town a lot: a 2010+ Prius. Great fuel economy around-town, roomy interior for 4 adults, and a hatchback. But not engaging to drive.
  • Ok Edmunds help me out. My 13 year old daily driver is finally dying. I need to start looking for a replacement. Here are my needs:

    Must seat 5 – That is two adults in front and 2 car seats and a booster in back. ( I have twin 3 year olds and a 6 year old)

    No SUV – I have a minivan so I am looking for a Sedan or Wagon

    At least 30 MPG – I commute 26 miles each way to work

    Under $30K

    Wants:
    Sporty – I know it’s hard to have good MPG and sporty but its listed under want’s not needs :)

    Ok that’s what I am looking for. I know the 2012 Camry fits the bill, but it’s just kind of boring. I used to have an old 911 that was my fun car, but I had kids and sold it to buy my minivan. I know tragic but it really is a nice minivan. :)

    I want something that I can enjoy driving on my daily commute, something that has power enough to merge onto the 101 during rush hour, but still fit my family if we decide we don’t want to all pile into the van.

    My biggest restriction is the 2 car seats and 1 booster. The back seat in many sedans and wagons for that matter are just not wide enough.

    So Edmunds, whatcha got for me?
  • ajr1775ajr1775 Posts: 33
    At akamrtoad...

    Taking all your concerns into consideration you should go with the Passat TDI SE with Sunroof and Navigation. You may not need the Navigation but that level gets you the fog lights and nicer wheels etc. Go with the Premium if you can afford it. You can acquire the SE with Sunroof and Nav for less than 30K. It has the BEST backseat room and great mileage, the mileage is usually better than advertised. Advertised is 42mpg on highway but people are getting almost 50mpg while doing 70mph on the highway.
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 17,520
    edited October 2012
    I commend you for having a thorough list of needs.

    Unfortunately, its a TOUGH list when taken together. Since you mentioned the Camry, I'll assume you don't want a manual transmission.

    The biggest problem I see is the seating. As you said, finding one wide enough for that is damned near impossible. I know I wouldn't be able to do it in my volvo.

    The only new wagons I can think to check out are the Jetta wagon and Ford C-max Hybrid. I have no idea if they'd fit all the carseats. Probably not. Maybe the Passat. Again, I have no idea with those carseats. You have to get out there and try them.

    Otherwise, I'd be looking at the used market. A 2010 528i would get pretty close to your targets, I think. A little down on mileage (28mpg highway) but score high in sportiness.

    '13 Stang GT; '15 Fit; '98 Volvo S70; '14 Town&Country

  • mr_gonemr_gone Posts: 50
    VW Passat TDI (turbo diesel.) Under $30K, EPA rated 30 mpg city, 40 hwy. I heard a guy saying he routinely gets 47 mpg with this car. Can't vouch for its reliability, but it's within an inch of the Camry in backseat dimensions and I'd guess it would be a lot more fun to drive.

    There's also the new Ford Fusion that should be out soon, with many trim options and better looks than in the past. Hybrid is 47 mpg, both city and hwy. Price and size similar to Passat.

    Do us a favor -- test them both and tell us what you think, okay?
  • sebring95sebring95 Posts: 3,233
    In addition to the Passat, I'd also look at the new Altima. Decent driver, economical to operate, and decent size back seat. The good news is they'll all three be in boosters before you know it.
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