I have a leased VW golf sportwagean. It is the perfect ca..."/>

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Everyday car to take mountain biking

The Right Car for Me | TrueDelta

Goldsmith1952

I have a leased VW golf sportwagean. It is the perfect car for me, but it has a persistent gasoline smell that VW has been unable to fix, despite many attemps.
I'm giving it back to VW!
I'd like a manual transmission, 4 wd,
Big enough cargo space for a bike, while still a small vehicle. Hatchback, small SUV or wagon.

Priorities: Handling / Price or payments / Driving position & visibility

Need minimum of 5 seats

Will consider both new and used cars
Maximum mileage: 30000
Maximum age: 3 years

Maximum price: US $ 18000

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Response from KilgoreTrout53

4:19 pm February 14, 2018

Manual transmissions are becoming unicorns here in America. Your quest for space plus a a row-your-own gearbox leads me to recommend two very different vehicles, neither of which will offer 4WD, they are FWD only:
- TheMazda CX-5base / Sport model can be had with a stick. It is roomy and reliable. The downside is that the stick is only available with a 2.0L engine, which will not have a lot of get up n go in an SUV this size.

- TheKia SoulThis small wagon has lots of room with the rear seats folded, almost as much as the Chevy Equinox. The good news is that you can get higher trim levels, like the + (plus) with the larger 2.0L engine. The base model has a 1.6L. I rented a Soul automatic and drove across the great American Southwest. I was pleasantly surprised by the car's comfort and gas mileage.

Both of these cars should prove more reliable than european offerings.

Good Luck!

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Mazda CX-5
Kia Soul

Response from danlisahall

5:21 pm February 14, 2018

Trout53 has great suggestions. I haven't driven th CX-5 but by ALL accounts its a really good, fun to drive car! And the Soul is very high on my list of practical haulers.

I'd add to your list the Subura Forester. It is still is avail with manual as long as you don't get the two highest trim levels or the Turbo powered XT. It has goobs of interior room while not being huge on the outside, has competent AWD system to get you to most any MB trails in any weather. And recent models comes standard with some of the industry's best safety features - although those late model years may be out of your price range.. Only real downside is it doesn't make any fashion statements and while it is a nice car, it's falls a little short of fancy frills compared to the CX-5 & Soul (other than base model).

Enjoy the hunt and please let us know what you choose.

PS: its amazing how many of the requests end up with CX-5, Soul, & Subaru Forests being recommended. Proof possitive they do a lot of things well. I'm pretty sure Norm will pipe up with his usual GM favorites too.

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Subaru Forester

Response from LectroFuel

9:08 pm February 14, 2018

Great suggestions so far. I agree that the CX-5, Forester, and Soul would be good choices. Except for the Forester, they don't offer 4WD with a manual. I'm guessing Norm will suggest a Trax or Encore and his poor Subaru experience.

I am with Dan; the Forester is one of the only cars that gives you a manual transmission, 4WD, reliability, efficiency, and space. The VW Alltrack provides all of these, except reliability. If you don't absolutely need 4WD and can live with FWD (winter tires!), you are better off with a used Toyota RAV4, Honda CR-V, or Mazda CX-5. The Honda and Toyota are more comfortable and all of them are more fun than the Forester. All are available with AWD; only the Mazda offers a manual (without AWD). The Mazda3 hatchback is another fun car worth mentioning. It doesn't have AWD, but it does have a slick manual transmission.

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Subaru Forester
Mazda CX-5
Toyota RAV4

Response from Dnslater

7:08 am February 15, 2018

I don't have a lot to add here, but it sounds like the Forester is the best bet. The only other option is to get another VW Sportwagen and hope it does not have the same issue. Is this a known issue, or a fluke with yours?

Was going to pull a Norm and recommend the Regal TourX, but no manual and way out of your budget.

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