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Maybe A 2006 Chevrolet HHR

The Right Car for Me | TrueDelta

Member6477

I looked at all brands of trucks, hatchbacks, pickups, wagons and SUVs. It is easier to say that I want minimal plastic and electronics, no internet, computer or RF sending devices, simple radio, low enough to ground for people with small stature, automatic transmission, good 360 visibility of surroundings, good cargo capacity, repair costs no worse than my 1991 Toyota DX Corolla Wagon which is running very well at present because of good routine maintenance. Doors that have interior mechanical/manual unlocking in addition to electric are a must. A vehicle larger than my Corolla wagon such as the Chevy HHR might work out but I need to learn more.

Preferred Bodystyle(s): Hatch / Wagon / Minivan / SUV / Pickup

Car Needs: Errands about town

Primary Driver(s): Senior driver / Short driver

Need minimum of 4 seats

Will consider both new and used cars
Maximum mileage: 90000
Maximum age: 11 years

Maximum price: US $ 7000

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Response from mwcten

10:03 pm June 17, 2015

I think the short list should be a Honda Fit, Scion Xb (probably 04-06 with the small economical engine) and a Toyota Matrix/Pontiac Vibe (the successor to your corolla wagon). An HHR is about the size you're probably looking for, but read through the repairs they've needed on this site, compare that to the repairs the japanese hatches have needed, to say nothing of MPG, and I think any of these three are just a better value/more reliable.

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Honda Fit
Scion xB
Toyota Matrix

Response from Jim

9:24 am June 18, 2015

Absolutely agree with mwcten. I use my '07 Fit for my work truck. With the back seat folded down, the space is cavernous. It is fun to drive with good tires, and I average around 40MPG in the summer and 35 in the winter. Stick shift, of course. I have 172K miles on it, and the only expensive repair has been a new A/C compressor at about 160K miles.
The new Scion Xbs are larger and more spacious thatn the first generation, and are reputed to be the among most reliable vehicles of the Consumer Reports reliability tracking. They do use more gas, though than the first generation or a Fit. Since they are now an older and not very popular model, VERY good deals can be had on new ones, especially left over model years. Look for discounts of up to $2K on a not too expensive vehicle to begin with. If you can swallow the extra gas use, that might be a best buy.
If you need more space, and still want a car that is fun to drive, Don't overlook the Mazda5 "micro" minivan. Almost feels more like a sportcar than the Fit, and can seat 6, if the two in the far back are Lilliputian. Don't try putting your teenagers back there, though, unless they must perform pennance.

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Honda Fit
Scion xB
Mazda Mazda5

Response from mkaresh

10:30 am June 19, 2015

While both of the above offer good suggestions, I wouldn't as readily reject the HHR. We have limited data on the 2007 and later, but what we do have suggests that those 2008 and newer have been reliable so far. And even the older ones aren't awful. In the HHR's favor, they depreciate much more rapidly than a Fit, so they can be more affordable.

Fuel economy isn't as good as the Fit's, but is about the same as an xB or Mazda5.

First-gen Mazda5s can rust where the roads are salted, and through at least 2008 often have suspension problems. But they are handy.

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Chevrolet HHR
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