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Midwifery Student in need of reliable/inexpensive hatchback

The Right Car for Me | TrueDelta


I am looking for a hatchback like the matrix or mazda 3, but have heard some poor reviews about rust in the mazda 3. I tried the pontiac vibe, which apparently ls very similar to the matrix, but wasn't too impressed with the power or interior (front seat). My price range means that the car will probably be between 5 and 10 years old. I need something that I can load and unload items into for births that I may attend (ie hatchback). I also want something that isn't too expensive on gas, and hopefully doesn't cost me a lot to keep running as I will be in school for the next three years. Any ideas??

Preferred Bodystyle(s): Coupe

Car Needs: Family transporter / Errands about town

Primary Driver(s): New driver

Will consider both new and used cars
Maximum mileage: 150000
Maximum age: 10 years

Maximum price: US $ 7500

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Response from acetech09

1:36 am July 31, 2014

My first instinct was Matrix. The Vibe is, as far as I know, just a Matrix with a different interior and exterior. The powertrain and chassis are more or less the same. You might like the Matrix's interior a bit better. I think both the Matrix and Vibe come with All-wheel-drive, which might be important if you need to confidently get from point A to B through snow.

The Mazda3s in your year/price ragne do have some rust problems, not much you can do about that. They're pretty fun cars but overall not what you're looking for.

Do you still have Suzuki in Canada? Their SX4 is a truly great car, that I used to own. Some models come with a solid, part-time all-wheel-drive system, plus fun handling, power, and performance, and plenty of space. However, only downside is gas mileage, not too great vs. competitors.

I think you Canadians also had the Honda Civic SiR, which was a hatchback, if I recall.

Other options are the Nissan Versa, Kia Rio, Hyundai Accent. All OK cars - not as solid, robust, and reliable as the ones mentioned above but they'll end up being cheaper since they don't have that premium attached.


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Toyota Matrix
Suzuki SX4
Honda Civic

Response from Snowblaster99

8:38 pm July 31, 2014

If you can get along without the hatchback, I would suggest a toyota Corolla, they have lots of cargo space and are very reliable and also cheap on gas, they get a fantastic review in the CR Used Car Buyers Guide and I hear that you can keep them on the road for many many miles. Thats' my "two cents worth", good luck in your search :)


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Toyota Corolla

Response from mwcten

10:09 am August 1, 2014

If you're driving a lot of miles and looking to minimize automotive costs, an older Prius will probably be your cheapest bet, just due to the gas savings. It has pretty good storage space, but is maybe not quite as versatile as a typical hatchback. You should also look at a Honda Fit; they have over 20 cubic feet of storage behind the back seats and the with the back seats folded down you get even more space. I believe they're the most reliable car on this site as well, so your maintenance costs should be very low, even for a higher milage car that's in your budget. I would stay away from the older 2.5liter Mazda 3's (I believe all the older hatches are 2.5) as they all get middling 20's mpg, in addition to the rust issues you mention.


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Toyota Prius
Honda Fit

Response from mkaresh

4:12 pm August 2, 2014

Rust might no longer be an issue for Mazdas 2008 and newer, but those are probably also outside your price range.

I like a couple of the suggestions others have made, the Honda Fit and Suzuki SX4. The most likely downside with the Fit is you'll also find it lacking in power. If you can drive a manual, then the car will feel quicker. The downside with the Suzuki is they have pulled out of the U.S. They're probably still honoring the warranty, but check this before buying one. It also won't be as efficient as the Fit.

Among Korean cars, the Hyundai Elantra Touring has better room and comfort than other hatchbacks (it was actually marketed as a wagon in Europe) and has a satisfyingly solid feel to it. The SE trim looks and drives a little sportier than the GLS, if this is a priority. It won't be easy to find one with under 100,000 miles in your price range, but a few are out there, and worth trying.

The Kia Spectra5 might also be worth a look. It's not as good a car as the Elantra Touring, but it will be easier to find one in your price range.

A Scion tC might also work. Two doors and less space, but sportier. Check insurance costs before buying one, as they're marketed heavily to young men.


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Hyundai Elantra Touring
Kia Spectra
Scion tC
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