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  1. #1
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    Please recommend some new cars to consider

    I need to get a new car and am looking in the $20K range. Please recommend some to look at that are reliable and get good gas mileage. I'll be using it also to haul my bike. I hear January is the best month to buy?

  2. #2
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    Please recommend some new cars to consider

    Honda or Subaru - cars or SUVs. We have a CR-V (came to us with 40k) and my parents just got a Forester (new) and both are awesome. Is recommend the trailer hitch bike rack over other methods unless you have a good system that works. I hate my trunk rack but don't want to fork over the $ to get a hitch installed on my sedan (Acura).


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  3. #3
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    What class of vehicle are you looking at? Compact? Full-size car? SUV?

    Having owned a Honda (civic) and Subaru (outback and shortly a cross trek) I can second ctrider's recommendations. I may also throw in Toyota as a good value and highly reliable.

    If you are looking at a Subaru, just a warning that they do not depreciate, so buying used is unlikely to be the best value. I ran the numbers, and found it unlikely that a used car (going as old as a 2010 with 100k on it) would work out cheaper all said and done. new, however, you are looking at about $22k minimum for a Subaru Impreza (Subarus cheapest car) unless you are willing to give up cruise control. They do get good fuel mileage (30 combined for the hatchback) and are nice cars.

    Sent from a one-finger keyboard...pardon my autocorrect

  4. #4
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    If that was my $20K, the only answer is Fiesta ST. Good mileage, bikes fit inside, impossible to drive without grinning like a madman. It wasn't available yet when I sold my Subaru OBS or I'd be in one right now.

    Focus ST if you need more room and can spend more. Or get the regular NA model of either if you don't care about performance. Mazda3 is kind of slow but great handling and can be had cheaply, plus 40+mpg is not too shabby. Mazda2 was tiny but actually pretty fun to drive despite the mini motor. With the front wheel off, I was able to stick a bike inside all of these. I love me a hatchback.

    Originally I wanted a new Subaru, but the Imprezas all lost power while gaining weight. Even the manuals are not particularly fun to drive any more. $18K for a new one buys you a nice AWD system and not much else: they were always pretty basic but current models seem to have moved down a notch. IMO The older models with the 2.5l were much more fun to drive. At least they finally ditched the drum brakes in back. They are still good cars but now the only thing they have going for them is AWD. All my test drives were a firm 'meh'.

  5. #5
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    Thanks! As far as class I really don't care as long as it is reliable and gets good gas mileage. I'll be trading a 2001 Xterra which gets 19 mpg. I'll be checking out all that you have recommended so far. I'm not too concerned with performance as I also have a Corvette for that but I don't want something that is too doggish. So far the Crosstrek is the coolest looking to me in this range that has been recommended but I am always afraid of something new that has no history.

  6. #6
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    I own a Chevy Sonic hatchback. It gets a real 40MPG on the highway (1.4L manual), and is reasonably fun to drive. I put a hitch on it so I can use a hitch rack for bikes--don't think you'll have much luck getting bikes inside any car in the B-segment without removing wheels. Should easily meet your budget.
    whatever...

  7. #7
    Elitest thrill junkie
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    Get a used car, finance it through your bank or CU, skip the ridiculous tax and fees at a dealer. Modern cars are pretty damn reliable and realize that a $20K car at a dealer is going to be 30K walking off the lot with finance charges, plates and registration, tax, etc. Think about the max you are willing to pay, and subtract about 25% of the cost, that's how much the car should "cost" IME if you are going to buy it at a dealer. Even if you buy cash, you still are going to usually pay a ton in tax and and for other stuff.
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  8. #8
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    I have been looking at CL and it is hard to find a good deal on a newer car. There are many great deals on older cars but I don't want anything older than two years. I went to cars.com and they have a lot of good info. I will still have to pay sales tax if I buy used.

  9. #9
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    CRV or Forrester

  10. #10
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    I am looking for a new car too coming from a 2002 Mazda Protege5 Hatch.

    I am not looking for a brand new car as they are not worth it. A year or two old car with minor mileage is always a better deal. At least I think so...

    Looking at(not particularly in order):

    Volkswagen GTI
    Kia Forte5 SX
    Volkswagen Rabbit/Golf
    Volkswagen Golf Wagon
    Audi A3 2.0
    Hyundai Elantra GT
    Kia Rio5

    Any thoughts or recommendations from actual users?

    Regards, Chris?

  11. #11
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    Re: Please recommend some new cars to consider

    Quote Originally Posted by Jem7sk View Post
    So far the Crosstrek is the coolest looking to me in this range that has been recommended but I am always afraid of something new that has no history.
    The crosstrek is a jacked up impreza. I asked, and the salesman said (and online research bears this out) that the only difference is suspension, maybe a body lift, and bigger brakes. In short, it really isn't a new car.

    If fuel mileage is the ultimate goal and you go Subaru, the impreza is the easy to go. 30 mpg combined, all wheel drive and a bit cheaper than a crosstrek with the same creature comforts.

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  12. #12
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    If you're considering the Audi A3 2.0T, take a look at the TDI. I've had mine for a year and have been very happy with it. I get around 40 MPG.

  13. #13
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    Please recommend some new cars to consider

    Golf GTI. Fun as hell. Tuneable and you can get a hitch or roof rack. Nice inside and same engine, platform and many parts as an A3. Not sure how anyone could look at an Audi and Kia!



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  14. #14
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    Are Volkswagen's reliable? I've always heard they are not and are expensive to fix and maintain.

  15. #15
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    Please recommend some new cars to consider

    I had zero problems in 50k miles with mine (GLI not GTI) but overall Japanese cars seem to be the most reliable. My wife drives a Mazda that's been 100%. I just think most (not all) toyota, Honda and Nissan models are a little soulless. Perfectly efficient but devoid of character and aren't any fun to drive. I wouldn't own a Camry or any Lexus if they were the last cars on earth. They're good cars but boring and dull in my opinion.


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  16. #16
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    Kia, Hyundai etc. because I cat get an almost new, say year old car in the 20k range.

    A3 or the GTI would have to be used for this price, few years old and with ~100 000km on it.

    I'm leaning towards a GTI or a Golf/Rabbit anyhow and looking at hatchbacks only.

    Chris.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by krzysiekmz View Post
    I am not looking for a brand new car as they are not worth it. A year or two old car with minor mileage is always a better deal.
    Run the numbers before you commit to buying used. For some makes/models, you are correct. However, I ran a bunch of numbers (estimating cost per mile), and in my market (Wisconsin), reliable compact SUV's/crossovers (at least the models we considered; Subaru, Honda, Toyota) were cheaper to buy new than used, assuming I would drive either until its wheels were about to fall off (which my wife and I do).

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jem7sk View Post
    Are Volkswagen's reliable? I've always heard they are not and are expensive to fix and maintain.
    I've got a Jetta wagon and my wife has a Toureg. Both have been extremely solid and reliable cars.
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  19. #19
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    Please recommend some new cars to consider

    Even though it's out of your price range and MPG Subaru Forester 2014 XT is a great fun AWD off road soccer mom SUV. With enough ground clearance to take you to almost any trail that you can think off.
    We do not stop playing because we grow old;
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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by norton05 View Post
    ...
    Originally I wanted a new Subaru, but the Imprezas all lost power while gaining weight. Even the manuals are not particularly fun to drive any more. $18K for a new one buys you a nice AWD system and not much else: they were always pretty basic but current models seem to have moved down a notch. IMO The older models with the 2.5l were much more fun to drive. At least they finally ditched the drum brakes in back. They are still good cars but now the only thing they have going for them is AWD. All my test drives were a firm 'meh'.
    I love my '11 Subie STi 4-door. It's a blast to drive, but fuel efficiency sucks. My wife has one too, just in a different color. We have considered trading one of them for a Outback 3.6.
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  21. #21
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    Re: Please recommend some new cars to consider

    Quote Originally Posted by Jem7sk View Post
    I have been looking at CL and it is hard to find a good deal on a newer car. There are many great deals on older cars but I don't want anything older than two years. I went to cars.com and they have a lot of good info. I will still have to pay sales tax if I buy used.
    I have found this to be the case here as well. So did a buddy that recently was hell bent on buying used, but went new, as he was finding cars 2 years old were still all asking within $2-3k of new. I looked at a used Jetta at the dealer, 1 year old and 11, 000 miles, it was $500 less than the new one on the other side of the lot. Same options and everything. Stupid.

    So far in my search I've driven:
    2013 Chevy Sonic hatch, 1.8 auto (no one had had a stick or turbo on hand in my area)
    2013 Honda Fit
    2013 Mazda 2
    2013 Mazda 3 hatch
    2013 Mazda 3 sedan, stick
    2014 Mazda 3 hatch
    2013 Subaru Crosstrek
    2013 Ford Fiesta

    Unfortunately all were autos expect the Mazda 3 sedan. No one carries manuals!!!!

    The 2014 Mazda 3 hatch is far and away my #1 choice. Drove great, fun handling, clean, simple interior. I came very close to setting up to get one with a stick, but we are counting our pennies and trying to buy a new home, so I exercised self restraint and walked away.

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  22. #22
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    Adam, you need to test drive some more cars for me so I can get your opinion . I have heard a lot of good things about that Mazda 3. I've actually never bought a new car before. How does the process work?

  23. #23
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    X2 on the 2014 Forester XT 2.0L. I put a TorkLift 2" eco hitch on mine for my Tule T2 and a 1 up rack on top and good to go. Plus the car is a blast to drive. Check one out.

  24. #24
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    Only 10+k over what wants to spend, excellent...
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

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  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by adam728 View Post
    I have found this to be the case here as well. So did a buddy that recently was hell bent on buying used, but went new, as he was finding cars 2 years old were still all asking within $2-3k of new. I looked at a used Jetta at the dealer, 1 year old and 11, 000 miles, it was $500 less than the new one on the other side of the lot. Same options and everything. Stupid.

    So far in my search I've driven:
    ...
    2013 Subaru Crosstrek
    ...

    ...
    I thought the Subaru Crosstrek looked somewhat compelling until I looked at the performance figures. It's just way underpowered for my taste at about 150 HP or so. I don't want anything less than 225, 250 HP or so. I'm spoiled with the 305 HP I have now.
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