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The Right Car for Me | TrueDelta

charles.s.rima

I drive to work about a total of 90 mins per day - so I want a car that is comfortable, reliable, able to be driven in various weather conditions (I live in Minnesota) but that is also fun to drive. I'd prefer a quieter car, as at times in my Mazda Protege5 it is next to impossible to hear if driving on the freeway. Fuel efficiency is important but I don't necessarily need a rock-star in that regard, just reasonable. Solid safety ratings while also having a range of features is important. A sunroof, heated seats, backup camera would all be priorities. I'd also prefer a dark interior because well, kids. We have a van currently and my wife wants to drive a car that feels like a car, aka has good handling and is relatively "fun" to drive and easy enough to maneuver.

The cars I have considered, but haven't done any test drives yet, are:
Mazda6, Honda Accord and Civic, Kia Optima, Subaru Legacy and Outback, Ford Fusion and Toyota Camry.

I currently drive a Mazda Protege6 from 2002.

Priorities: Reliability & durability / Handling / Quietness

Need minimum of 5 seats

Will consider both new and used cars
Maximum mileage: 50000
Maximum age: 3 years

Maximum price: US $ 22000

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Response from Dnslater

10:29 am October 11, 2016

As far as noise on the interstate and fun to drive factors, your best bet is to pick a few cars on your list and test drive them. Makes that tend to rate high regarding being fun to drive would be Volkswagen and Mazda as they tend to have great steering feel, etc... They also have very nice interiors which are a good place to spend time. The Accord is always a solid option as well, as it is very refined. Cars like the Optima and Camry tend to not rate highly regarding being fun to drive, even with the more powerful engines. Subaru's are great in snow, but the CVT transmissions aren't a lot of fun and the interiors tend to be cheaper. In MN, I would consider one of the FWD options and pare it with a good set of snow tires/wheels for the winter. You can get this setup for around $1,000. The VW Golf and Golf based GTI are great drivers cars that would fit your budget and the newest generation has a nicely sized back seat.

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Mazda Mazda6
Volkswagen Golf / Rabbit / GTI
Honda Accord

Response from mkaresh

1:30 am October 14, 2016

Few recent cars are as loud inside on the highway as the Mazda Protege5 (I drove one for a decade). A Mazda3 isn't especially quiet among current cars, but it's much quieter than the Protege5. You should take one for a test drive. I'd only get a Mazda6 instead if you find the Mazda3's rear seat isn't roomy enough.

The Honda Accord and Civic are both excellent cars, but pay especially close attention to the seats. Many people find them uncomfortable. As with the Mazdas, I'd only get the Accord if you find the Civic isn't roomy enough or quiet enough. If you're open to a compact hatchback, the 2014 and up Elantra GT is also worth a look.

A Toyota Camry is quieter than the Mazdas and Hondas, and should be very reliable, but isn't especially good in any other way. For sportier handling but a bumpier ride, look for the SE.

The 2016 and up Kia Optima is a very good all-around car, and if it's like the related 2015 and up Hyundai Sonata discounts should be sizable. The current cars drive much better than the previous generation.

A Legacy could be an excellent option for MN. If you really want AWD, it's likely your best choice. I found the Legacy quiet, but some owners report problems with wind noise. Subaru has a fix for this, but IIRC it doesn't always fix the problem.

The Fusion sounds and feels like a more expensive car than the others, and has comfortable seats, but reliability is more of a risk if you'll be keeping it for a long time. The 2013 and up car has been about average lately, but long-term reliability can't yet be known. AWD is available.

For a budget buy, you might consider the Buick Verano. Quiet, comfortable seats, reliable so far, and cheap for what you get (especially since the model is being discontinued). The downsides: so-so fuel economy and a tight back seat.

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Response from NormT

10:11 am July 18, 2017

Under $22,000 you won't find a quiet Japanese car or cuv. The Buick Verano will see 30+ mpg highway with out 2.0T seeing 37 mpg at 70 mph on a 6 hour drive. It is only offered with FWD, but Buick Encore offers AWD and Active Noise Cancelation for a great, smooth ride and if you can keep it at 60 mph our Encore got 39 ompg on one tank of gas....with AWD.

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Buick Encore
Buick Verano
Buick Regal
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