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Reliable, stylish, fun to drive, budget car?

The Right Car for Me | TrueDelta


Currently have a 2011 Ford Fiesta SE, which initially was fun to drive, but alas all the fun has been sucked out due to the many mechanical issues, starting within 2 weeks of ownership (purchased brand new). I'm negative equity on it (owe $8800, but kelley blue book is about $6500).

Have looked at and test driven: Kia Soul !, Hyundai Accent Sport, Hyundai Elantra GT, Nissan Juke SL. Out of these, the Soul ! and Juke are my faves. After driving "sensible" cars for the last 11 years (Corolla then Fiesta), I'm definitely ready for something more striking-looking on the outside, with an interior that feels at least on par with the class of car, if not a little more upscale.

All this for a reasonable price (no more than $300/mo). Is that too much to ask? :)

I would consider a lease, but would need at least 18,000 miles/yr allowance.

Appreciate any/all comments!

Priorities: Driving position & visibility / Reliability & durability / Powertrain performance / Exterior styling / Handling

Preferred Bodystyle(s): Coupe / Hatch / Wagon / Convertible

Car Needs: Daily commuter / Errands about town / Long trips / Fun toy

Primary Driver(s): Short driver / Tall driver

Need minimum of 5 seats

Will consider both new and used cars
Maximum mileage: 20000
Maximum age: 2 years

Maximum price: US $ 18000

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Response from ezgobob

11:29 pm June 21, 2015

Response from Member6484

11:13 am June 22, 2015

I have and love the newest Beetle! I drove it for a few days as a rental. Unfortunately, my husband is the opposite of me at 6ft. 3, and oddly, the gas and brake pedals are too close together for his feet, meaning he can't actually drive the car safely at all. So, it's out of the running. I'm not sure if other tall men have had this issue.

If we were looking for a second car to be driven solely by me, I would certainly consider the Beetle. But the Beetle is exactly along the lines of the kind of car I'm looking for.



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Response from mkaresh

11:17 am June 26, 2015

Does your husband fit okay in the Juke? They are fun cars, but tight inside.

The Soul is less fun to drive, but much roomier.

In the fall Mazda will offer the CX-3, which will be stylish and fun to drive, but could be a little tight inside.


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Response from Tim P

3:14 pm June 30, 2015

I haven't driven the new ones, but I bought a new Mazda 3 in 2012 after test driving a lot of cars, mainly more expensive ones such as the 1st gen Acura TSX, Subaru Legacy, Infiniti G35, BMW 328i, etc. So far I've driven over 57K miles in the Mazda, mainly in northeast Ohio weather, without any issues. The stock tires were pretty sketchy on snow/ice, however, so I replaced them. Other than that, the car is fun to drive--at least with the manual transmission--responsive and efficient. I've averaged about 36MPG (mostly brisk highway driving.) The only issue so far is that the road noise at freeway speed is a bit loud. I am concerned about rust given that it's been a troublespot for Mazda, but I haven't seen any yet.


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Mazda Mazda3

Response from Member5528

12:00 pm July 9, 2015

You can set many leases up for as many miles as needed. Volkswagen does this well. You would be best served by a 20k per year lease to make it easy. Try the Tiguan which currently has a lot of incentives on it to handle the negative equity. Also the Jetta would fit your husband without much issue and definitely the Passat.


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