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Reliable car for college and road trips, no costly repairs, planning on having this car for a while

The Right Car for Me | TrueDelta


I live in Arizona, so leather seats aren't my favorite choice. I have looked at a Ford focus and ford fusion, as that is what had been in my price range.

Need minimum of 5 seats

Will consider both new and used cars
Maximum mileage: 110000
Maximum age: 2010 years

Maximum price: US $ 5000

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Response from mkaresh

9:51 am May 25, 2020

Will a manual transmission work for you? Then the Focus should be more versatile and more fun to drive. But the automated dual clutch transmission has had serious reliability issues, so I'd only buy one with a manual transmission. Same with the Fiesta, which hasn't been as reliable as the Focus.

A Fusion won't be as fun to drive, but could be more comfortable on long highway drives.

Another car I've noticed tends to be relatively inexpensive while still being reasonably reliable (especially with a manual transmission) is the Kia Soul. The second-generation, introduced as a 2014 model, drives much better than the original.


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Kia Soul

Response from Sea-Dan

12:07 pm May 25, 2020

The Focus is an often overlooked fun little driver and a reasonable choice for your described wants and needs. As a student making road trips I think you would find the wagon or hatchback versions have added utility and would be great for hauling your gear.

I agree with Michael on the Kia Soul. We have rented Souls 4 different times while traveling, very roomy with both good passenger and cargo space, reasonable gas mileage... The only negative we have noticed is the ride is bit stiff, but it handles reasonably well. Soul is likely to be more reliable than Focus.

Both good choices, but if you can find a gently used Soul in your price range, that would be my recommendation. Woujld love to hear what you get.


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Response from LectroFuel

1:16 am June 2, 2020

The Fusion is a good car. The Focus is good if you don't get the automatic dual clutch like Michael said. The automatic is one of the worst transmissions put into a modern car. The Soul is also a good choice, but the Focus would be more comfortable on the highway because the Soul is based on a subcompact platform while the Focus is a compact platform.

The 2008-2011 Focus was reliable regardless of transmission while the 2012 and newer were the bad transmissions.

Also take a look at Mazda3s since they are cheaper and reliable. Kia Forte and Hyundai Elantra were also OK.

Avoid the Chevy Cruze.

So the Fusion, Focus MANUAL, Kia Soul, and Mazda 3 are good choices.


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Mazda Mazda3
Kia Soul
Ford Fusion
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