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Fuel efficient but good for lugging musical gear, and a dog

The Right Car for Me | TrueDelta


I am thinking of a Kia Soul

Need minimum of 5 seats

Will consider both new and used cars
Maximum mileage: 100000
Maximum age: 5 years

Maximum price: A $ 7000

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Response from zcd1

3:11 pm December 17, 2016

We own a 2012 Soul ! (Exclaim) and would recommend it highly. ~50K trouble-free miles, decent fuel economy, super-practical and fun to drive. I'd also suggest that you get a + (Plus) or !, because all the toys (accessories) are nice to have, and the 2.0 L motor is the better compromise of the 2 available engine choices.

If it fits into your budget, get a 2012 or newer. There's a HUGE difference in refinement (noise, comfort, etc.) between the 2009-2011 models and the 2012 and newer models. The 2014 was all-new, and is the best one of all, but may be out of your price range.


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Kia Soul

Response from samuel.bethune

9:11 pm December 17, 2016

I agree. The Soul is a good car that gets a bad rap from people who think of the Sephia or the Rio when they hear the name Kia. Kia has really stepped up its game in the last 10 years or so and they still have the best warranty in the business. Two of my friends own Souls (a 2015 and a 2016) and are very happy with them. Depreciation is pretty tough on them but if you're planning on long term ownership this should not be an issue.


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Kia Soul

Response from mkaresh

12:17 pm December 20, 2016

As noted above, the early Souls were a bit rough, while the 2014 and up is especially nice but likely out of your budget. You should be able to find a 2012 or 2013 for under $7k, though.

Reliability has only been okay, and fuel economy isn't as good as the current generation of compact cars, but I also really like a Korean model few people even knew existed, the Hyundai Elantra Touring. This model was developed primarily for the European market, and handles better than other Korean compacts of its era (2009-2012). Looks best with the 17" alloys on the uplevel trims. Drives best with a manual transmission, if you're willing to consider a car with one.

The big plus: more cargo room than other compact hatchbacks. They sold the car in two lengths in Europe, and we got the long one. With the replacement model, the Elantra GT, we get the short one.

Other small boxy cars worth a look: Nisan Juke (quirky and fun to drive, but tight inside), Nissan Cube (really quirky, not to everyone's taste, but you might really like it), Scion xD (should be very reliable), Scion XB (also very reliable and larger, but less fuel efficient).


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Hyundai Elantra Touring

Response from LectroFuel

1:17 pm December 22, 2016

I agree that the Soul is a great choice. It can be a little unrefined and uncomfortable though. Get a 2012 Soul ! (Exclaim). That brings leather and more nice things. The 2010 and 2011s had a 4 speed auto (not good). The 2012 has a 6 speed auto.


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Kia Soul

Response from agog

5:42 pm January 5, 2017

Just recommendations.


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Honda Fit
Kia Soul
Chevrolet Sonic

Response from NormT

8:53 am July 17, 2017

The Chevrolet Sonic Hatchback is $4,000-5,000 and we'll under you budget. It has almost 50 cubic feet of cargo with the rear down, but for the front passenger seat forward for closer to 60 cu ft of cargo. Not much will match 40 mpg, price, and cargo hold like a Sonic hatchback.


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Chevrolet Sonic
Chevrolet HHR
Chevrolet Equinox
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