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Fun to drive, compact to mid-size, manual transmisison and big trunk

The Right Car for Me | TrueDelta


My golf course doesn't have club storage so I leave my bag and cart in the trunk all summer and go on road trips with 2 sets of clubs. Needgood sizedtrunk.
Want a manual transmission for driving fun. Don't want lowest trim to get the MT. My other car is an auto and I find it boring to drive (A6). Have had Mazda RX7, Toyota Celica in the past and currently have a 2001 Passat 1.8T all with MT. I need to get a new car with MT before they no longer exist. My current top 3 picks are the Mazda6, Jetta GLI and Passat. I live in Canada and all 3 of these can be had with MT in their top trim level. Probably my favourite looking car right now is the Audo A5 but the trunk is too small. Maybe I should join a golf course with club storage?
For some reason, I've never even looked at Honda and don't like the interiors on Nissan. I like the non-flashy interiors of German cars.
There aren't many SUV's with manual transmisisons and those that do have less storage space than the 3 cars mentioned above. They may show more storage but tha is usually due to height and golf clubs lay flat. Used to have a 93 Camry that you could put 4 sets of clubs across the back and stacked and still have room for suitcases.

Priorities: Cargo capacity / Handling / Front seat support & comfort / Powertrain performance / Driving position & visibility

Preferred Bodystyle(s): Sedan

Car Needs: Family transporter / Errands about town / Long trips / Fun toy

Primary Driver(s): Senior driver

Need minimum of 4 seats

Will consider new cars only

Maximum price: C $ 55000

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Response from wcpowell12

12:30 pm October 22, 2014

I have always found it interesting that the Audi A4 and Passat are on the same frame, yet the Passat has a larger trunk AND more room in the rear seat, too. And the Audi is the more expensive. I would love to hear the explanation for that. Having said that, I have owned 4 Passat's. Here in the States I could only get one fully loaded with the MT and that was a short-lived production called the W8. The trunk space was compromised due to the 4Motion (AWD). Rumors are out that the Jetta Sportwagen is being replaced by a GTI wagon of some sort, so it may be worth researching to see if that would be available in Canada in a higher end than base, and with the MT. I fully understand the desire for MT.

Hopefully someone can chime in on the Mazda6 - I have no knowledge of this model.

Your comment about SUV's is spot on. Even with my Touareg, two sets of clubs had to be criss-crossed, without any cart. Disappointing. Chevy Suburban would fix that, but a second job is requried to keep fuel in it. Then you lose your Saturday for golf.

Research the new GTI, either a hatchback or wagon I think. Or look for a 1 year old Sportwagen TDi with MT. You will be surprised at the pep that little diesel will throw at you!


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Volkswagen Golf / Rabbit / GTI
Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen

Response from mkaresh

7:12 pm October 22, 2014

Member from FL: I like wagons, too, but it sounds like TheNit wants a sedan. As for the Passat and A4, they haven't shared a platform since 2006.

TheNit: it looks like we have your location as Alaska. Contact me through the site or by replying to one of our emails and I can fix that. Just let me know which province.

The Volkswagens have big trunks. The GLI is considerably more fun than the Passat.

I like the Mazda6 a lot, but it isn't as sporty as the Jetta.

The Honda Accord Sport might be worth a look. But it is a fairly low trim level. If you want leather and a manual in an Accord sedan...not happening.

A BMW 3-Series has a larger trunk than many people realize, but I'm not sure its width is club-friendly. If you're okay with a hatchback, the 3-Series GT might have enough with the seat up, and will definitely have enough with it down. I don't know if its Canadian pricing with the features you'd want is under your max.

With any of these cars you'll want to take you clubs to the dealer to see how well they fit. Or measure them and take a tape measure. But if you want to be sure, nothing beats having the actual clubs.


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Volkswagen Jetta
Mazda Mazda6
BMW 3-Series Gran Turismo

Response from mkaresh

7:23 pm October 22, 2014

You might also check whether the clubs fit in an Acura TL--if a dealer near you happens to still have one with a manual.

A final possibility is the Buick Regal GS, which is offered with a manual and has a very German feel to it. But will the clubs fit?


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Acura TL
Buick Regal

Response from Member5602

10:41 pm October 22, 2014

I guess another thing I should have mentioned is that I'm 5' 10" and my wife is 5' 2". Anytime she drives the Passat (manual seat adjustments) it takes forever to get the seatback to where it was and from past experience power seats are even harder to get back in position (especially 8-way). We have an A6 with seat memory and it's a great option.The GLI doesn't have seat memory. The Mazda6 GT and Passat Highline do. The Buick Regal GS does (option). For some reason I've never been attracted to Honda (or Nissan), I don't think I've even test driven one and I'm 65. In Canada, we can get the Honda Touring trim with MT (and seat memory) so I may give it a try.

I'm not buying until next year so Acura is out (TLX - no MT). I test drove the TL SH-AWD MTa couple of years ago beforegettingthe A6 and wasn't crazy about it (and it is a tad expensive).

In Canada, the BMW3 series GT only comes in 328 xDrive which is Automatic only (and it is alsoa tad expensive). I haven't driven a RWD car since my '79 RX7 and my experience with that in the snow wasn't favourable so if I were to get a BMW it would be an xDrive but unless you get the 335 xDrive you can't get a manual (more than a tad expensive).

I love the GTI but the trunk will not take golf clubs.

The Jetta GLI, Passat Highline and Mazda6 GT are all within $2000 of each other. The Honda is a bit less and the Regal about an extra $10000.

When I was looking a cars before purchasing the A6 I would take my golf clubs into the various dealerships. Most got a chuckle out of it. I don't think Mercedes was one of them.


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Response from mkaresh

11:22 pm October 22, 2014

My bad on the 3-Series GT. I don't know how I forgot that it was auto-only. True also on the AWD + manual combo with the sedan. So BMWs are out.

Sounds like a matter of which is more important, driving fun or seat memory. The GLI seems the leader if the former. If the latter, probably the Mazda6.

I assume your clubs won't fit in a Mazda3, but worth checking. The s is now available with a manual.

The Buick is probably the most fun to drive of those with memory, but that's a lot more to pay--unless incentives and discounts close the gap considerably. Those are worth checking. If a dealer does have a manual GS on the lot, they might be desperate to get rid of it.


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