Yamaha FJR 1300 Out, Toyota Prius In
May 11, 2012 9:52 AM Subscribe
CarFilter: 4 doors, hatchback, 30MGP (highway), manual. Go!
posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints to travel & transportation (53 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
I have a previous question about deciding on which sport touring motorcycle to buy, but my wife wants something "practical" and "with airbags" and "can pick up our six year old with", whatever that means.
I asked her what she wants out of a second vehicle, and she's said she values the following:
- Hatchback. This is nice because we go on road trips and bring a dog, so the dog can ride in the back and the kid has the whole back seat to herself, plus luggage.
- Gas Mileage. We'd like at least 30MPG on the highway. If it's close (like 27MPG) but ridiculously fun to drive, I could overlook that.
- Manual Transmission. She wants to stick with a stick, but I'd accept an automatic. This isn't a deal breaker to us, but if the car comes with manual, great.
- Under $15,000US. This means we'll be buying something used and that probably doesn't have a warranty.
- Reliable. I'm going to be driving this car about 400 miles a week over the next year, so I need it to be able to handle that with ease. I'm comfortable with doing my own maintenance like brake pads/rotors, oil changes, coolant flushes, starter/alternator, but anything involving tearing into the engine or transmission might be a bit over my head (maybe not, depending on how patient I am that particular day). Car repair days make me curse like a sailor.
can't decide not to get a motorcycle, I'd like to install a digital receiver and decent speakers. Anything else that makes the car cool to drive would be a plus, since 0-60 in under 4 seconds isn't going to be happening now.
So what cars should we be looking at? Of the cars listed below, what should I know?
Ford Focus: I've heard Ford has come a long way as far as reliability goes, and I'm willing to give them a shot. I like the cool gadgety stuff that's on the dash, but maybe that will come out when I replace the radio? I don't know.
Volvo C30: I really, really like this car, but finding one in decent condition for $15,000 is probably going to be a problem. I understand it shares a lot with the Focus.
VW Passat/Golf/GTI: These are all nice. I really like the sportiness of the GTI. My wife really likes the practicality of the Passat wagon, but I think it's only the very recent model years that are getting 30+ MPG.
Honda Fit: Nope. She hates it. I don't know why.
Prius: Sigh. I guess so. I mean, 40+MPG is awesome. Reducing our carbon footprint is desired. It's so ugly. I was initially very concerned with the price of having to replace the batteries, but from what I've read, they're designed to last the life of the car. If I put a sweet enough sound system in this car I'd be happy.
Hyundai Sonata: I like that Hyundais have 100k warranties. That's about all I like, but I'm not very familiar with them.
Ford Escape Hybrid: I know nothing about this. Looks like a small SUV/large crossover. I think the Matrix is a crossover, and I like everything about the Matrix, so maybe I'll like this? Not sure if I can find one in our price range.
Right now we're driving a 2003 Toyota Matrix XRS. It's a great car, but we need a second vehicle to make picking the kid up from school a bit easier. Also, I'll need to commute to school (the 400 miles a week thing) for another year. We used to have a Dodge Neon that was loaned to us for a couple of years, and I hated everything about that car (especially the way the roof pillar perfectly blocked my view when making a left-hand turn).
What do you love/hate about the cars listed above? What other cars should we be looking at?