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Fun daily-driver

The Right Car for Me | TrueDelta

tentoes

Looking for a performance daily driver. Only need room for 2, but would like a hatchback to throw stuff in the back. I keep my cars for 9 - 10 years and rate reliability above all. I have no time for dealing with repair shops. Currenly have a 2007 Accord V6. No problems in the 9 years I had this car. I like the powertrain, but would prefer a smaller, more nimble handling car.
Have considered the following:
VW GTI - like the praticality and performance, but have concerns about quality and reliability
Subaru WRX - great performance, but the lack of a hatch is a deal breaker.
Ford Focus ST - like the praticality and performance, but have big concerns about quality and reliability
Nissan 370Z - great performance and style, but somewhat impractical and a little thisty

Priorities: Reliability & durability / Powertrain performance / Handling

Preferred Bodystyle(s): Sedan / Coupe / Hatch

Car Needs: Daily commuter / Fun toy

Primary Driver(s): Tall driver

Need minimum of 2 seats

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

Maximum price: C $ 30000

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Response from scrozier

8:55 pm January 3, 2016

So I know that this isn't in you list of cars you are considering, but I have been driving a 2012 Mazdaspeed3 since January of 2013. Bought with 17,000 miles. Has been a fantastic car for daily commuting and fun driving. Currently have about 62,000 miles on it, so I drive a lot and I have had zero problems so far. I have only had to put tires on it and change the oil. It is very quick, handles fabulously, averages about 26.5 MPG since I've gotten it and have gotten as high as 31 mpg.

Build quality is solid, no rattles or squeaks to speak of. Seats can get a little uncomfortable on long drives, but not too bad. Probably varies person to person. Ride is firm, but compliant. Not too jarring.

Love the practicality of the hatch though. Can fit a lot of stuff back there. Hope this helps. Good luck with your search!

-Shane

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Response from zcd1

8:59 pm January 3, 2016

How about an Infiniti G37 coupe?

An Audi S5 is a much nicer driver, but there's no such thing as a low-maintenance, high mileage German car...

The only real downside to the Infiniti is that the V6 is sorta crude at higher RPM...

Signed: Owner of 2 Audis...

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Infiniti G
Audi A5 / S5 / RS5

Response from ronto.rene

7:48 am January 4, 2016

Audi TT or Infiniti G37 (now the Q60), maybe? CR now rates Audi reliability as average or better; Infiniti, mostly fairly rock solid - for many years.

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Audi TT
Infiniti Q60

Response from mkaresh

12:00 pm January 5, 2016

ronto.rene: CR's reliability predictions are based on the three most recent model years (at most), the oldest of which is about 2.5 years old at the time of the survey. These predictions are not a good indicator of long-term reliability.

That said, I'd personally be confident about the reliability of either the latest GTI or the Focus ST for six years. They might be good for ten, but that's more of a gamble.

I'm not a big fan of the Z. Too crude and impractical.

If you don't need over 200 horsepower, a Mazda3 would provide the reliability and handling you're looking for. Or, if you can wait, a new MazdaSpeed3 is about a year and a half away.

Going in the other direction, the 2013-2015 BMW X1 is just a little taller than a regular hatchback, and should be somewhat more reliable than the typical BMW since it's simpler and largely based on older, proven components.

I'd like to suggest an Audi TT RS--extremely fun even in typical daily driving--but above your budget. Reliability would be about even with the GTI. Lesser TTs drive much like a GTI, but with better styling and inferior outward visibility, for more money.

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Mazda Mazda3
BMW X1

Response from tentoes

6:32 pm January 5, 2016

Interesting comments on the Infinity G37. A great looking car, but I thought the reliability was suspect.

Scrozier, If still in production, the Speed3 would be high on my list.
The current Madza 3 GT seems pricey for what you get.

There is a clean low mileage (25K km) 2012 Volvo C30 T5 at a local Volvo dealer at a good price. I was not aware of the 2.5L turbo 5. I had always considered Volvos somewhat pedestrian. Seems like an interesting commuter. This based on the older Mazda 3 / Focus platform. Thoughts / comments?

I should have mentioned that we also have a 2013 Toyota Rav4. This is very much used as a utility vechicle and is my wife's daily driver.

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Response from mkaresh

10:30 pm January 5, 2016

For me, the C30 looks good, but isn't anything special to drive. We have very little reliability data on the C30 except on the 2008, which has been fairly good lately. We have a not good score for the 2011, but based on a small sample size.

The Volvo does feel more upscale than the Mazda, despite the shared underpinnings.

I'm more confident about the reliability of the latest Volvos, but I imagine even a used 2015 V60 probably would be out of your price range.


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