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Fuel Efficient Hatchback - TDI? Prius?

The Right Car for Me | TrueDelta


In about 2 months I will be moving way out to the country and will have a 45 mile commute to work, shopping etc. I want a hatchback or wagon that gets good gas mileage, has a comfortable ride (better than a RAV4 or CRV), and handles well on narrow winding roads. I need a hatchback or stationwagon since I have large dogs. I\'ve owned a Honda CRV and currently own a Toyota RAV4. I have always been a Toyota or Honda owner because they are so reliable and have low ownership costs. However, most small SUV\'s get mediocre gas mileage, have a lot of road noise and don\'t have a particularly comfortable ride so I\'m thinking of changing. Right now I\'m considering a VW Golf TDI and a Toyota Prius.

From what I understand, the Golf TDI\'s easily get 45 MPG and are a lot more fun to drive than a Prius. The Prius is a great car and I do like Toyotas, but I don\'t like the driving position and huge center console on the Prius. I have never owned a VW or a diesel car. Do they require maintenance and fuel additives that are not required in a gas engine? I have always thought of VW\'s as unreliable, but I tend to trade cars every 2-3 years so maybe that\'s not an issue.

Need minimum of 2 seats

Will consider new cars only

Maximum price: US $ 30000

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Response from willied

1:29 pm October 28, 2014

I think the Golf would be the better choice. Better interior, more fun to drive, better looking, etc. If you're only going to keep a car 2-3 years then you're under warranty anyway and you shouldn't have many problems in that time frame.


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Response from Member5786

1:31 pm October 28, 2014

consider the Honda Fit , you can fold up the back seats and fit big dogs on the floor. yes its smaller but very fuel efficent and more space than a prius or golf


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Honda Fit

Response from Member5142

7:10 am October 29, 2014

I have a 2013 Golf TDI Tech....you won't find a better car in its class/type for comfort, quality & economy. It's not unusual to get 40+ mpg.

My only issue with the car is that I am short and I felt like I was sitting in a wash tub after awhile. Before this car, I had several SUV's and did enjoy being able sit up a bit higher. I also am not enamoured with cloth seats.

I only had one mech problem..a fan motor that burned out which was fixed under warranty. DEF is not required or AdBlue as VW calls it. No additional maintenance is required.

Overall, it would fit the bill for what you're looking for.


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Response from mkaresh

5:54 pm October 30, 2014

The 2015 Golf TDI is an excellent car. There's also a wagon coming soon, if you want more space for the dogs.

Among hybrid hatchbacks, the Ford C-MAX drives far better than a Prius. I really enjoyed my week with one (review in the menus below the photo). Reliability has been pretty good so far, and if you'll be trading in 2-3 (or even 4-5) years this shouldn't be much of an issue.

Though not a hybrid, the Mazda3's real-world fuel economy isn't too far below the C-MAX's, and it drives very well.

Any impressions of the latter two?


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Volkswagen Golf / Rabbit / GTI
Ford C-MAX
Mazda Mazda3

Response from Member5907

12:06 pm November 11, 2014

Update: I test drove a Golf TDI S model and was pleasantly surprised with the ride comfort. It was better than my Rav4. I also felt that the road noise level was good. The dealer did not have the SEL model, which is the one I'm interested in. The SEL version has bigger wheels, and I'm concerned that bigger wheels may affect the ride in a negative way. One thing I have read online that the regular maintenance on the TDI automatic is expensive. Some people are quoting $800 - $900 at every 40K interval. Scary!


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Response from mkaresh

5:46 pm November 11, 2014

I don't think the larger wheels will affect the ride much.

The transmission fluid change alone isn't that much. Maybe together with a bunch of other maintenance at the same time. IIRC, VW also calls for a brake fluid change ever three years.


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