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Please help me decide between...



  • im_brentwoodim_brentwood Posts: 4,883
    Suggest STRONGLY that you drive BOTH cars... they are both nice products, but ultimately you should buy the one that you like better.

    Forget what you read online, you can fidn people that swear by and swear at both products. It's your money, buy what you like.

    I'd also consider holding out to try the Saturn Astra as well, that will likely be the best car in its' class, it is the best selling car in its' class in Europe.
  • joel0622joel0622 Posts: 3,302
    If you are looking at used cars it really depends on the individual car that you are looking at. If you are looking at new you just need to drive them both and see which one you like best
  • jlawrence01jlawrence01 Posts: 1,828
    Head over to your local Avis or Hertz neighborhood location. Rent a Cobalt, a Focus, a Mazda 3, a Corolla, and an Elantra. If you use some of the special deals on the Spirit Air website, you can get a rental for $20/ day. Drive all of the cars for at least a day. Once you have done this, you will get some idea of what you like. Also, if you are renting a car, you will not have a salesman telling you what you like.

    Personally, when my old ride died earlier this year, I bought a $400 junker to get to work. Every weekend, I would call the Enterprise, Avis and Hertz local managers to see what compact they had available that weekend. Cars that I thought I would love were disappointments and cars this I thought I would dislike turned out pretty well. Also, I was able to see what kind of mileage I was going to get.

    Certainly, my way of shopping was not inexpensive. However, when it came down to selecting what I wanted, I had a good idea as to what to buy.
  • tifightertifighter WAPosts: 1,995
    Good advice. ;)

    15.5 XC70 T6 / 16 Soul EV / 13 MB E350 Cabrio

  • jlawrence01jlawrence01 Posts: 1,828
    And did I say that the Corolla was the least expensive (equally equipped)?
  • asafonovasafonov Posts: 403
    Excellent advice, though it does not work if a model you are interested in is not available as a rental (Accord, maybe Odyssey?), or has a manual transmission.
  • I need help choosing a new or very recently used car. I currently drive my '99 Miata 100 miles/day, and it just sucks. My back is killing me, the road noise is awful, the radio sucks, etc. It's time to replace it. I can afford anywere up to the low $30k's, so I've got some options. I would prefer to get something recently used as opposed to brand new for obvious reasons.

    So, here's my requirements, in general order of importance:

    #1: Comfortable and quiet, relative to the Miata. Good radio, nice seats, that kind of thing.
    #2: I would very much prefer AWD. I've been stuck in the snow 4-5 times since I moved here. That sucks.
    #3: Being somewhat smaller and getting reasonable gas mileage would be a big plus. I drive 500 miles/wk minimum. Plus my garage is relatively small, so I'd like something that would possibly fit in it in the winter.
    #4: Decent power, and fun to drive.
    #5: Stone cold reliability. I drive in excess of 26k a year. It has to be reliable.

    I'm pretty sure I'm looking for a small(ish) 4-door AWD sedan, but I wouldn't be averse to looking at a hatchback/coupe or a truck/suv kind of thing. I don't really ever need room for more than 4 adults, and even that would only be very occasionally (I have no kids).

    So, with those requirements in mind, the first two cars that spring to my mind are the Subaru WRX (2006 or 2007 model) or maybe the Lexus IS250 w/AWD. I know, the WRX isn't in quite the same class as the Lexus, (and lacks a moonroof!) but it's an absolute blast to drive. I know that BMW makes a 3-series with AWD, but I'd be nervous about BMW's lack of reliability and cost compared to the Japanese cars. Same goes for the Audi A3/A4, which seem nice, but kind of expensive for what you get.

    Any thoughts? What cars should I be looking at? Help!
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 22,839
    That's a tall order.
    What is reasonable gas mileage?

    You don't need AWD unless you live way north (even then, some folks would argue). I've never ever gotten stuck with FWD and good all-season tires. Any car I can think of with AWD only gets so-so mileage, IMHO.

    Anyway, have you thought about the Legacy? You could get a moonroof in that. Actually .... don't the new WRXs come with a moonroof in the Limited trim?

    I'll get alot of complaints on this one, but I suggest a Volvo S60. Its a great buy used. Reliability probably isn't up there with Subaru or Lexus, though. But you won't find a comfier seat, the stereo is fabulous, and it is a heckuva lot quieter than the subie. Gas mileage is also just so-so. It is available with AWD, but I'd suggest just FWD for mileage and maintenance reasons.

    '17 F150 Crew 2.7; '67 Coronet R/T; '14 Town&Country Limited; '09 LR2 HSE. 44-car history and counting!

  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 72,943
    ... I wouldn't get the WRX..

    Legacy sedan would be better, if you must have AWD.

    As Q says... FWD would be a big improvement over a Miata.. AWD may not be necessary..


    Prices Paid, Lease Questions, SUVs

  • IMO get the Subbie.

    I have driven a lot of IS250s lately and I still don't like them.

    1. They all have enormous blind spots because of the swoopy four dour coupe styling. A car that size shouldn't need a back up camera but you better get it or good luck backing up into tight spots.

    2. The front drive shaft for the AWD intrudes on the driver's foot well and your right calf rests on a protrusion in the floorboard caused the the shaft. It is just covered in carpet and not padded at all so in just the short drives I have taken I found it uncomfortable.

    3. The 204 hp in the Lexus is not enough for the mass of the car. The WRX has more power and weighs a lot less plus you can get it with a MANUAL.


    4. The AWD system in the car acts funny. When you have the wheels cranked fairly far to one side in a low speed turn the car wants to crab walk to one side like a 4WD truck locked in low range. The only other AWD vehicle I have ever had that happen in is a Freelander that is about to have the viscous coupling fail in the transmission.
  • You can get the IS250 in a manual, but I second your opinion: it's just too cramped feeling. And the manual is awful, anyway.

    If it has to be AWD, Subaru. FWD, I would get the 6cyl 6spd Accord coupe (no more manuals in the sedan :mad: )

    I am struggling to come up with anything else as this is my segment but reliability takes out the BMW, Volvo, and VW. Toyota is just too boring.

    Yeah, just get the Subie.
  • Tall order? Don't I know it! That's why I need some input.

    "Reasonable" to me would be 25mpg highway minimum. Any less than that and I'm over 4 gals/day. That adds up very fast!

    Our other car (her car) is fwd with good all-season tires. It is better, I agree, but still not nearly perfect. Believe me, I have considered it, and I do feel I need fwd. It gets pretty messy and icy around here in the winter.

    I had not considered the Legacy yet, but I certainly will. And Volvo really wasn't on my radar, but I'll definitely check them out now.

    Thank you!
  • tifightertifighter WAPosts: 1,995
    I think the Legacy is the winner here. Just pick a trim and go. A Mazdaspeed 6 might also work; there were good deals to be had on them a while ago.

    15.5 XC70 T6 / 16 Soul EV / 13 MB E350 Cabrio

  • If it has to be AWD then Subbie is really your only choice I agree.

    You can't get the IS250 AWD in a manual. AWD means automatic only.

    The S60 is a good option if you have a Volvo dealer fairly close by. Get a CPO one and you can get special financing, 4.9 out to 60 months IIRC, and a 100,000 mile warranty with ZERO deductible.

    The seats in the Volvos are some of the most comfortable you will ever sit in and the reliability is probably some of the best among entry level European automobiles.
  • OK, so far I've got the Legacy, Volvo S60, and Mazdaspeed 6 on my list.

    I hadn't thought of Volvo before, I'll def. be checking those out, and I also didn't know the Mazda 6 had AWD, so I'll def. check one of those out, too.

    Also, I just saw a 2007 WRX at my local dealer and it had leather, and a moonroof, so I want to drive that to see how it is.
  • suydamsuydam Posts: 3,303
    Mazda6 doesn't come in AWD. And it has dreadful fuel economy for its class. The Mazda3 might be more to your liking and get better gas mileage (again, though, no AWD). I think you will find the Legacy not as much fun as the WRX. Why not get that?

    Worth a look, possibly -- the new Honda CRV. It's a 4 cyl FWD engine so it will have better fuel economy than the WRX. It looks way less boxy than the old CRV. The seats are supposed to be much improved too.
    '14 Buick Encore Convenience
    '17 Chevy Volt Premiere
  • You are correct, the Mazda 6 does not, but the MazdaSPEED 6 does indeed come with AWD. I've seen both the Mazda3 and the Mazdaspeed 3 up close and personal, and while not a bad car, it didn't really trip my trigger.

    I am leaning toward the WRX. I have driven one, and I liked it immensely. It has the 'fun to drive' factor that few cars I've tried have, which is one reason why I've been driving a Miata for going on 12 years now. It's $8k cheaper than the IS250, which is a real consideration. The Legacy, which I will try, is another consideration, I just have to get down the dealer and try one.

    The CRV? I'll pass. It's ugly as sin. Admittedly, it will do the job, but has all the fun and charm of a toaster. No thanks. :)
  • suydamsuydam Posts: 3,303
    Sounds like the WRX is the car for you. I only mentioned the CRV because it meets your criteria of a) good in snow b) fuel efficiency, c)comfort and d) reliability. If the fun to drive factor is paramount, then the WRX is the one! I'm surprised you didn't like the Mazda3 though. I would imagine it might have a somewhat nicer interior than the WRX, although I haven't seen the inside of either one. The Subie I had was from 1998 so maybe they are getting better interiors now.
    '14 Buick Encore Convenience
    '17 Chevy Volt Premiere
  • You're all being Silly.

    Lamborhghini has a lovely lineup of AWD cars that are nice and sporty.

    The Gallardo is even available with snow tires as an option!
  • Yeah just get a HELOC for the Gallardo. :P
This discussion has been closed.