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CarPlay hatchback or SUV, safe, 12-19K

The Right Car for Me | TrueDelta


CarPlay required. Also required: ability to easily add remote start WITH a heated windshield to de-ice in winter. Also required: good safety ratings.

Nice to have but probably unrealistic at this price:
Adaptive cruise.
Intelligent headlights.
Passenger seat height adjustable.
Seat warmers.
Push button start.
Keyless entry.
Auto raise hatch.
Turbo or semi decent power to weight ratio.

Wife really wants Hyundai Santa Fe Sport or Kia Sportage, but those models are too expensive for us. Considering a 2014-2016 Kia Soul or Hyundai Elantra GT, but wife was not impressed by the 2.0 engine power/noise in the Soul after we were spoiled by the Santa Fe Sport and Sportage. Did not drive GT yet.

Need the car to replace a t-boned but barely driveable 2004 Ford Focus ZX3 2.3L. Please help!

Priorities: Quietness / Driving position & visibility / Reliability & durability

Need minimum of 4 seats

Will consider both new and used cars
Maximum mileage: 30000
Maximum age: 4 years

Maximum price: US $ 19000

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Response from Member2737

10:26 pm December 12, 2016

Replying to my own post: we're leaning toward a 2016 Tucson Ultimate (really want that Autobrake) with the transmission firmware recall update applied. Going to have to spend 10k more than we wanted (trying to get one used for under 30k with FWD) but it's going to be tough. Especially when 1 year old used first model year cars may have junk wrong with them, right?

May have to get 2nd job to refill emergency fund after this purchase ...

Any thoughts welcome on cars we may have overlooked, or recommendations against that Tucson ...


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Hyundai Tucson

Response from colin42

10:20 pm December 14, 2016

Apple have a list of car with carplay. From that list I'd pick a VW Golf S. With negotiation you should be able to get that under your price.http://www.caranddriver.com/flipbook/connectivity-now-the-10-cheapest-cars-with-apple-carplay-and-android-auto#6

However if you want an SUV there could be an alternative. There are several aftermarket head units that have carplay for ~$500 or even a full Android head unit for ~$200. You'd have to work out how easy it would be to replace the stock unit. But then you could look for a used or cpo car under budget.


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Response from Member2737

8:58 pm December 15, 2016

Thanks Colin. We are indeed now leaning toward an SUV as it would be best for when our family grows beyond just us.

I considered your thoughtful aftermarket CarPlay suggestion but after reading the comments at https://9to5mac.com/2016/08/19/sony-carplay-aftermarket/ I decided against it. Modern cars 4 years old or less seem to have too much built into their infotainment systems as is to consider replacing a car's head unit without being exposed to bugs.

The earliest and cheapest used "SUV" that I can find on Apple's list at https://www.apple.com/ios/carplay/available-models/ is a 2014 Kia Soul, which we found too noisy and underpowered.

So we're down to either the Tucson (with potential DCT transmission problems) or the Sportage now, unless someone else has any ideas? With our current options it looks like we're going to pay a little under 30K with tax, and I'd really like to reduce that by 10K somehow and still get an small safe and quiet SUV with CarPlay built in.


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Kia Soul

Response from colin42

10:55 pm December 15, 2016

If your after an SUV for the space then consider the Golf wagon. Car play was available on 2016 models. Obviously this will be over $19k but less than $28k before tax


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Volkswagen Golf / Rabbit / GTI

Response from colin42

8:10 am December 16, 2016

One other thing to think about is leasing a car for 2-3years, that way when you come out carplay and the other feature you want will be more available.

Look athttps://leasehackr.com for advice, but beware you have to work hard and be lucky to get some of their headline deals.

Either way this time of year is the best time to buy or lease.


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Response from LectroFuel

1:44 pm December 23, 2016

You should consider buying an older (5 year old) SUV with remote start and install an aftermarket CarPlay headunit. This way, you wont have to bother with all the interfering technology with the newer cars. There are many safe older SUVs. Many of the CarPlay headunits are also better than the built-in ones that come with the car.


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Response from agog

5:33 pm January 5, 2017

Some of the features/price makes it really hard to suggest something.

But I would put my top3 for safe, reliable and relatively well speced cars.

1) Civic Hatchback
2) Mazda 3
3) Impreza


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Honda Civic
Mazda Mazda3
Subaru Impreza / Outback Sport

Response from Member2737

9:46 pm January 11, 2017

Colin - interesting leasehackr site. Thanks. Seems like a lot of work though compared to just paying cash.

We're going to end up having this car 7-10 years so I don't think a lease would make too much financial sense unless I really felt like spending a long time with the finance guys at multiple dealerships and which would probably take years off my life.

LectroFuel, I strongly considered your idea of an older car with an aftermarket head unit. I've installed an aftermarket unit (non-CarPlay) before though on a 12 year old car, and had enough trouble trying to get the mic to work even one quarter as well as new cars. I could install extra mics but that means more wiring, ripping out the headliner, or paying someone to do the job more poorly than it could be done at the factory.

What my wife and I are now planning on doing is dramatically increasing our budget and getting a 2017 Kia Niro hybrid when it comes out. It's not quite a car, and not quite an SUV, but it ticks all the boxes. Probably going to cost us around 29K. A nice bonus will be double the gas mileage of my previous car.


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Response from NormT

10:08 am July 17, 2017

The best going with those options minus heated windshield,(you didn't think you were going get that full list in something uh nder $20,000 did you?) Is the 2017 Buick Envision Premium ll for $38-39K. Or forgo the electronics that includes a hdmi upgrade for a couple hundred bucks, and go used 2016 Envision Premium ll with Driver's Confidence package for $35K. The Confidence package will allow self parkking, 360 surround camera, auto braking front and rear, adaptive cruise control to a full stop, handsfre hatch, ariculating HID headlights, heats front and rear seats, ventilated front seats, wins hired heads up display, Lane Keep Assist with vibrating seat.... it is also the quietest in the segment and not based on a lesser economy suv.


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Buick Envision
Buick Encore

Response from Member2737

12:55 pm July 17, 2017

Thanks Norm - interesting Buick option.

Ended up getting a Kia Niro EX for 29.5K after selling my old car private party for $1100. Has most of what we wanted. Only thing we occasionally miss from the Santa Fe test drives is the Surround View option when parking.

Next car after this one, maybe 10 years from now, will be all electric. Love the silent cabin in electric mode!


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