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The Right Car for Me | TrueDelta

catlbob

Ease of entry, two elderly occupants need a car that is easy to get in and out of. Must have trunk large enough to hold a wheelchair.

Priorities: Fuel economy / Interior styling / Safety & braking

Need minimum of 2 seats

Will consider both new and used cars
Maximum mileage: 40000
Maximum age: 8 years

Maximum price: US $ 12000

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Response from danlisahall

2:39 am November 17, 2017

Well to start, unfortunately,I have no idea where you might find a new car for $12,000.

For two elderly occupants and space for a wheelchair I suggest a hatchback rather than a sedan. Most hatches have more space than a trunk and a lower, flatloading point making loadingand unloadingconsiderably easier.

Your next primary concern seems to be ease of entry.For that either aSubaru Forester or a KiaSoul would nicely fit the bill. The Subie will cost more but has the added benefit of AWD if you mustdrive in the snow.

Concerning fuel economy, if95% of your daily travels are lessthan 90 miles (70 miles ifthetempsdrop below 45 degrees).I suggest you seriously consider an electric car.If you can get over the somewhat funky look of an electric car,the Nissan Leaf or Kia Soul electric versionswould fiit the bill nicely.In additon to meeting your stated criteria, they are very economicalto run and maintain, comfortable, and arevery reliabable. If you need todrivefurther than 90 milesa few times each year, simply rent a carfor such a trip.

Used electric lease returnsare plentiful in many major cities, tend to have 15,000 to 25,000 miles, normally are in excellent shape and cost$9,000 -$13,000.

If the electric simply won't work for you,my suggested order of preference would bethe gas versionKia Soul, Honda Fit (outstandingfuel andreliablility,albeit a bit loud and bumpy - get the Base modelrather than Sport for a smoother ride)or SubaruForester.

Happycar hunting

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Kia Soul
Nissan LEAF
Honda Fit

Response from NormT

7:26 am November 17, 2017

I'd recommend the Chevrolet Spark EV based on fun to drive.

https://www.caranddriver.com/comparisons/final-scoring-performance-data-and-complete-specs-page-8

But all of the cars in this comparison are the smallest EV you can buy and might not be big enough for your needs. Not unless you knew how tall the wheel chair is in inches as the Spark can swallow 39" in width. Used they are right around $9,000-10,000 with one charge good enough for 100 miles.

A slightly larger hatchback option would be the Cruze Lift back as it'll be the least expensive gasoline engine hatch back new. If you need all wheel drive the Buick Encore offers near-luxury experience with higher mileage used, or n?e for around $16,000. A Chevy Trax is similar in size but with less refinement than the Buick but brand new in the $13,000 range.

All of the above examples have a turbocharged option or standard engine and will see 40 mpg for long highway drives at the speed limit.

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Chevrolet Spark Lite
Buick Encore
Chevrolet Cruze

Response from LectroFuel

8:17 pm November 17, 2017

Danlisahall had good suggestions. EVs depreciate A LOT so you can find one for very cheap and they are pretty nice cars. One of my friends has a 2016 Kia Soul EV and he likes it. It's a great car for road trips because the Soul has a big trunk. Being an EV (electric vehicle), there are almost no moving parts within the powertrain, so it is rare to have a problem with the powertrain. If you don't drive that much, EVs make a ton of sense.

Nissan Leafs are comfortable. I test drove one a long time ago and I found that the suspension was very soft and perfect for older people. Plus, it's an EV and is reliable. The interior was very techy at the time and it sold pretty well, so there are definitely owner groups that can help you and share information with as well as a demand for parts when something goes wrong, which shouldn't be often. The Soul has an easy access height, but I'm not sure about the Leaf's access difficulty; it's probably pretty easy.

If you want a lot of space try to find a Honda Element. These things were so practical and perfect for disabled and elderly people. They have suicide doors so you could probably put in a wheelchair into the side doors in addition to the trunk door. Easy access height into the car. Won't be that good on gas and is not a Hybrid. I almost bought one of these because I could fit my surfboards in it, but it was way too slow with fuel ecomomy numbers that could have been better. In fact, my friend who owns the Soul EV owned an Element that he gave to his son. They both use their cars for surfing, so if they can hold a surfboard, than they can probably hold an unfolded wheelchair.

NormT, why would an elderly person buy a loud, uncomfortable, cramped, previous gen Chevy Spark when every other EV excluding a Smart is more comfortable and easier to get into?

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Kia Soul
Nissan LEAF
Honda Element

Response from NormT

10:54 pm November 17, 2017

The 2014 Spark EV in the comparison test linkI provided by Car & Driver has the Chevy at 67 db at 70 mph which is quieter than a Lexus RX.

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Response from LectroFuel

7:37 pm November 18, 2017

Response from NormT

7:46 am November 19, 2017

You should be. Every EV in that Car and Driver comparision is recording 67 db and those are not luxury cars but economy cars with minimal sound insulation.

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Response from LectroFuel

11:21 pm November 19, 2017

EVs don't have an engine and therefore produce virtually no powertrain noise. The Chevy Spark EV was only available in California, Oregon, Missouri, Maryland, and very few other states, so it will be hard to find one unless someone took a trip to a different state. The Soul EV, which also is 67 db at 70 mph, was only sold inCalifornia, Connecticut, Georgia, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Texas, and Washington.The Spark EV, Soul EV, and RX450h are all 2 db quieter than an Envision and Leaf and 3 db quieter than an Encore at 70 mph.

I do think the Buick Encore and Envision would be the perfect cars for older people. The height is just right to easily slide into the seat, they are pretty comfortable with dynamics biased toward comfort over handling, and it is already popular with the old folks. But you can't find one for under $12k.

You could easilyfind a Leaf under $12k. There are 77 Leafs (or Leaves) within 50 miles of me that are under $12k. Many of them are fully loaded 2015-2016 SL models.

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Response from catlbob

4:08 pm November 21, 2017

Thanks for all your help helpful information, all who have responded. If I could figure out how to respond to you individually, I would.

Since I can't figure it out, I'll point out the cars that seem the right choice for me.

The KIA Soul EV, which I didn't know of, would come out on top, but I haven't seen a used one that comes in for what I can afford. A dealer nearby is advertising new ones for $14,000, which is close. I have to look in to what this offer entails. I suspect it takes a bunch of discounts that may not be available to me.

If I can't get into the Soul, the Leaf looks like where I'll end up.

Thanks to all. You've been very helpful.

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Response from danlisahall

7:23 pm November 21, 2017

Nice to hear back from you, sounds like you have narrowed things down which is a positive step. Now just gotta find the right one!

The Soul EVs are one of the rarer EVs; particularly if you are not on or near the west coast. There are usually several available here in the Seattle area. But today I found onlye oneinyour price range (2014 with 24,700 miles for #11,995) from a EV resaler who usually has 2-4 on hand. al 2016sat Kia dealers that are new & in the $15-$18K range.Of course those are"asking price" & Ifind thatby contacting the internet sales department you can usually getshave 5-15% off of that. The Leafs are more ubiquitous and there are generall at least a half dozen 2014-2015modelsfor sale in the$9-$13K range.

The fact thatBMWjust issued a stop sale order on all their i3 EVsfor a bizarre safety concernpotentially could cause a temorary bump in EV costs.

Happy Hunting & happy Thanksgiving!



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Response from LectroFuel

11:43 am November 22, 2017

Yes, danlisahall is correct. The Leaf is much more abundant than the Soul EV and the depreciation of the Leaf would make me go for the Leaf over the Soul EV. They have a 2015 Leaf S for $8,699 with 44k miles near me.

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