New car question

Discussion in 'The Fire Hydrant' started by *blackrose, Jun 24, 2014.

  1. *blackrose

    *blackrose "I'm kupo for kupo nuts!"

    Joined:
    May 11, 2010
    Messages:
    7,061
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Occupation:
    2 dogs (and 3 half dogs and a half cat)
    Location:
    Mississippi
    Now that my poor car's theft has a final conclusion (totaled car :(), I'm going to be looking for a new car. I know we have a few people on here in the industry, so I thought I'd ask here and see if there is a particular brand that is better suited to what I need than a Civic would be.

    Non-negotiable:
    - good gas mileage. AT LEAST 35mpg. My Civic got 50+mpg on our last 900mi road trip, although averaged a commute of around 34-36mpg. Don't really want to go much lower than that, although I may give up some fuel economy for more storage.
    - four doors
    - I refuse to have rear wheel drive
    - I can only afford to pay a max of around $350 for monthly payments. Cheaper is better. The initial price I was quoted for my Civic was around $380 a month, but we got it down to $335 after haggling a bit, so I'm not above giving up "perks" to lower my payment.
    - I'm not putting premium gas into anything.

    Preferences:
    - Prefer a high resale value in case we need to trade it in for something bigger (ie, multiple kids) down the line
    - big enough for two adults, two crate-less dogs, and potentially a wee one in the next year or two.
    - bonus points if the trunk space is bigger than the Civics'. We couldn't even fit Abrams' collapsed crate back there, I can't imagine touting baby stuff around in it. That was the one downside to the car.
    If the trunk space isn't bigger...that's okay. I was under no illusions that my Civic was going to be a comfortable ride with dogs and a baby, nor that it would be able to tote around a ton of stuff. We would have survived. And things like playpen/cribs/etc. will likely be kept in duplicate at my parents' house (just like a crate for Abrams LOL), so big ticket items won't need to be hauled, just baggage.

    This car will be driving thousands of miles a year. Not just 12,000. More like 20,000. I need it to be reliable, I need it to be comfortable, I need it to be economical, and I need it to hopefully be able to tote around human/baby and dog crap.

    I don't need a ton of extra stuff. I liked that my Civic had bluetooth capabilities, but beyond that, I'm good. I don't need a built in GPS, butt warmers, or anything like that.

    I'd like to buy brand new due to the amount of miles I'm going to be putting on the thing, but if someone has a suggestion for a newer, reliable used car, that would be just fine, too. I have had an awesome experience with Honda, and wouldn't mind sticking with the company. I'm also very familiar with the Subaru company, as we had a plant in my hometown and my parents drive Subaru vehicles.

    Annnnnnd...GO! :)
     
  2. stardogs

    stardogs Behavior Nerd

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2009
    Messages:
    4,925
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    2 dogs, 1 cat
    Location:
    NC
    Home Page:
    Not sure if it'll fit your payments, but I'd go for an Impreza hatchback if you can - loads more cargo flexibility, great mpgs for an AWD vehicle, and safe and reliable as all get out.

    Other hatchbacks that might be possibilities: Honda Fit (I've heard great things about cargo capacity), Toyota Prius V (hybrid so great mpg and a surprising amount of cargo space), Mazda 3 (DH has a sedan Mazda 3 that he adores! It gets about 38-40mpg, mostly highway), Kia Soul (I have friends who love theirs, and the brands reliability has gotten a lot better), Toyota Yaris (I think MandyPug on here has one - they seem like neat cars).

    I got a Toyota for my next vehicle because of the reliability. I'm expecting to get 300k out of my RAV. Honestly that's the biggest reason I stayed away from the Kia that was my other finalist - I just know my RAV can handle my 36k/yr driving and I wasn't sure a Kia could keep up.
     
  3. stardogs

    stardogs Behavior Nerd

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2009
    Messages:
    4,925
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    2 dogs, 1 cat
    Location:
    NC
    Home Page:
    Also, I ended up calculating out how many extra years a new car would get me driving high mileage and tbh it wasn't worth the extra cost to buy new, so you may want to look at the numbers again.

    My RAV is a 2011 with 105k already. It came to me with 42k 2 years ago because it was a rental and I got it for $18,500 TOTAL. List price for the new model was going to be about $25k. So $7k more for about 18 months of extra driving. Nope. Not worth it.
     
  4. *blackrose

    *blackrose "I'm kupo for kupo nuts!"

    Joined:
    May 11, 2010
    Messages:
    7,061
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Occupation:
    2 dogs (and 3 half dogs and a half cat)
    Location:
    Mississippi
    Hmmm, good point. I'd be interested in purchasing a newer model car with low(er) miles. How easy is it to find a car that is being resold after a lease, or something?
     
  5. stardogs

    stardogs Behavior Nerd

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2009
    Messages:
    4,925
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    2 dogs, 1 cat
    Location:
    NC
    Home Page:
    Rental car companies release vehicles every 2 years from what I understand, so if you like a model that's a popular rental car you can have a LOT of options.

    Not sure about lease vehicles - I bet Zoom would know, though!
     
  6. Psyfalcon

    Psyfalcon Fishies!

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2006
    Messages:
    2,434
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    Dog, Dog, Cat, Fish
    Location:
    Oregon
    Fit is better than the Civic cargo wise. Drop the rear seats and you could probably fit crates. The new ones get mpg in your range, but we've been doing ~31 with a road trip record of 40+ with an '13.
     
  7. *blackrose

    *blackrose "I'm kupo for kupo nuts!"

    Joined:
    May 11, 2010
    Messages:
    7,061
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Occupation:
    2 dogs (and 3 half dogs and a half cat)
    Location:
    Mississippi
    When I looked at my Civic I also looked at Fits, and I just couldn't like them. I tried, really really hard, but I hated the interior. So a Fit is likely out.
     
  8. Psyfalcon

    Psyfalcon Fishies!

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2006
    Messages:
    2,434
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    Dog, Dog, Cat, Fish
    Location:
    Oregon
    '15 was a fairly major redesign. Don't know if they updated the interior. It got a CVT and better mpg though.

    What was wrong with the interior? I don't have the bluetooth or nav, but it has a steering wheel and cupholders. I did get the flappy paddle shifters. Not the nicest interior luxury wise, but I've seen a lot worse.
     
  9. TheGatorGal

    TheGatorGal New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2014
    Messages:
    37
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    5
    Location:
    Florida
    I recently had to get a 'new' car and ended up with a Nissan Versa hatchback. It isn't exactly what I went searching for but I really like it. I was looking for a smaller SUV (think Toyota Rav or a Hyundai SUV)

    I got a 2012 model with about 34k miles on it and my payments are very affordable (under $250) with mediocre credit, lol.

    It ticks all of your boxes, except mine didn't come with bluetooth, though it does have an Auxillary hook up so I can plug in my phone and play music over the speakers.

    The only thing I wish were a little different is that the rear seats folded down flat with the bottom of the cargo space. It's not a big deal but would allow more storage. The leg room in the back is amazingly roomy and I easily and very often fit two adults up front and 2+ dogs in back plus folded metal crates for 40lb dogs in the cargo area.

    Good luck on your search, I don't enjoy car shopping one bit!! :p
     
  10. *blackrose

    *blackrose "I'm kupo for kupo nuts!"

    Joined:
    May 11, 2010
    Messages:
    7,061
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Occupation:
    2 dogs (and 3 half dogs and a half cat)
    Location:
    Mississippi
    I honestly can't really put a finger on it. I didn't like the way everything came together. More importantly, I didn't like the way looking out the windshield "felt". I'm sure I would have gotten used to it, but it and I just didn't click. I prefered the Civic's "feel".

    I've been browsing some of the car rental used sales and there is quite a lot of selection! I'm thinking that may be a good compromise for my husband and I...let's just say it will be interesting in us agreeing on a vehicle without first blowing up at one another. LOL He is more interested in low cost, I want a car that will suit my needs and not need major repairs anytime soon.
     
  11. noludoru

    noludoru Bored Now.

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2006
    Messages:
    17,830
    Likes Received:
    7
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Occupation:
    1 Dog
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    Home Page:
    At a $350 month payment for 60 months, you're looking at about a $18k car assuming average taxes, interest, etc etc and 0 down. If you're putting more money down, you can look at even a $20k car.

    If you look lightly used, your money will go farther. I saved $4k just on price by getting mine with 4,000 miles on it. MSRP was around $25, it would have sold around $24, and I bought it for $20. WIN. Lease returns, rentals, or "oops my lifestyle changed" cars are easy to find in this class. I have about 10 Mazda3s on the lot currently, most under $20k, most get 40mpg highway. Look at Mazda dealers near you - they probably have the same. Look for the ones with the blue rings in the headlamps. I suggest a hatchback, you'll be thrilled with the space.

    Bolded are suggestions I agree with. Yaris, V, and Fit I would only recommend in the hatchback versions. The sedans probably wouldn't have enough space. The impreza might not get the fuel economy, though.
     
  12. noludoru

    noludoru Bored Now.

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2006
    Messages:
    17,830
    Likes Received:
    7
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Occupation:
    1 Dog
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    Home Page:
  13. *blackrose

    *blackrose "I'm kupo for kupo nuts!"

    Joined:
    May 11, 2010
    Messages:
    7,061
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Occupation:
    2 dogs (and 3 half dogs and a half cat)
    Location:
    Mississippi
    Thank you, Nolu!

    Looking more indepth at the Mazda3, it seems like a really great car, but if I don't go with a hatchback version the trunk space is less than my Civic was - and that was small. o_O Definitely want something on the larger end.

    Hubby also wants to stick with the lower end of the price spectrum. I was thinking around $18,000, he wants around $10,000 (I refuse, because I want low miles and more up to date technologies whereas he is like, "Who cares if it has manual windows, no cruise control, and manual locks!" I care, that's who.). I think we're going to compromise and meet in the middle around $15,000 or less.

    I think if he had his way, he'd be buying a used base model, manual Nissan Versa. Which is just fine for him if he wants a new commuter car, but I would like something a bit "more".

    Does anyone have any opinions at all about the Chevy Sonic (And/or Chevy Cruze)? It caught my eye and has continued to do so. Everything I'm reading about it *seems* good. But I know that means nothing.
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2014
  14. ACooper

    ACooper Moderator

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2007
    Messages:
    27,771
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Location:
    IN
    BlackRoses, I posted about mazda in the other car thread.

    I would suggest googling mazda immobilizer problems and reading forum threads/complaints and stuff.
     
  15. *blackrose

    *blackrose "I'm kupo for kupo nuts!"

    Joined:
    May 11, 2010
    Messages:
    7,061
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Occupation:
    2 dogs (and 3 half dogs and a half cat)
    Location:
    Mississippi
    I had something similar happen with my Oldesmobile Intrigue, only it happened closer to 180,000 miles. Equally as annoying, and it was an expensive fix. Don't really wish to do that again.

    I think I'm leaning farther away from the Mazda3 simply due to the cargo room. I don't see many hatchbacks being offered for sale in my price range and I don't want a tiny trunk again if I can help it.
     
  16. *blackrose

    *blackrose "I'm kupo for kupo nuts!"

    Joined:
    May 11, 2010
    Messages:
    7,061
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Occupation:
    2 dogs (and 3 half dogs and a half cat)
    Location:
    Mississippi
    Eh, nevermind. Lol
     
  17. JustaLilBitaLuck

    JustaLilBitaLuck New Member

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    Messages:
    1,945
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    1 Cat, 2 Dogs, 2 Parakeets
    Location:
    Minnesota
    I posted about the Chevy Cruze in the other thread! :)
     
  18. *blackrose

    *blackrose "I'm kupo for kupo nuts!"

    Joined:
    May 11, 2010
    Messages:
    7,061
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Occupation:
    2 dogs (and 3 half dogs and a half cat)
    Location:
    Mississippi
    I read! Hahaha

    My brother works as grease monkey and he said the shop owner also has good things to say about the Cruze, as does a friend. A coworker drove a rental cruze up to Michigan (so...1000 miles?) and she loved it. Looks like I may have the car I'm looking for! (Unless I stumble across a used hatchback Mazda3. So far slim pickings with that.)
     
  19. LostAndConfused

    LostAndConfused Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2011
    Messages:
    3,557
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Occupation:
    2
    Location:
    Hudson Valley
    Home Page:
    My husband has a Cruze. Bought in summer 2011 and really likes it. It's a nice car, I don't mind driving it, but I'm a hatchback person. Gas mileage is normally low 30s, so it definitely doesn't meet that requirement. I don't know if two large, crateless dogs would fit super well. Normally Hudson and his 'stuff' takes up the back see, but maybe he has too much stuff, lol
     
  20. *blackrose

    *blackrose "I'm kupo for kupo nuts!"

    Joined:
    May 11, 2010
    Messages:
    7,061
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Occupation:
    2 dogs (and 3 half dogs and a half cat)
    Location:
    Mississippi
    I'm assuming it isn't any smaller than a Honda Civic?

    As for gas mileage, I'm a little lenient. Once we moved down south and out of nasty cold weather my Civic was getting low 30s town, with close to 40 highway. I'd love better, but will be happy with about the same.
     

Share This Page