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USED Compact Recommendations

The Right Car for Me | TrueDelta


Looking for a car that is pleasurable to drive yet has good reliability as I'm young and recognize how poor of an investment a vehicle is.

Willing to compromise on features (absolutely NO desire for built in Nav, backup cam, lane assist, etc.), and willing to compromise on MPG (relatively low mileage commute for the immediate future).

Decent winter performance is a must, and I'm planning to look for a manual as I find them more pleasurable to drive.

Been poking around listings and think Impreza and Mazda 3 look most suitable for my criteria. Would love to hear of any other make's compacts I should add to my search.

Thank you!

Priorities: Reliability & durability / Handling / Powertrain performance

Preferred Bodystyle(s): Sedan / Hatch

Car Needs: Daily commuter

Need minimum of 5 seats

Will consider both new and used cars
Maximum mileage: 100000
Maximum age: 7 years

Maximum price: US $ 15000

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Response from colin42

10:50 pm July 21, 2016

This is a tough one as there are so many choices and not much detail on your priorities so I'll focus on hot hatch versions that match your budget. Winter performance can almost always be dealt with with winter tires so I'm not going to focus is n AWD

1. Honda Civic SI. 2006-2011 had the high revving 2.0 ltr 2012 on has the 2.4ltr. If you can find a good one in budget look for the 2013.

2. Ford Fiesta ST may be in your price range for a 2014. Search for Bark M. Reviews on TTAC.com. This is one of the most balanced hot hatches one the market.

3. VW GTI 2013 -2015 look the most reliable but are above you price range 2011-2012 should be affordable.


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Honda Civic
Ford Fiesta
Volkswagen Golf / Rabbit / GTI

Response from LectroFuel

8:07 pm July 25, 2016

The 2011 Subaru Impreza is really the only car that will fit your needs. 2011 is the only reliable year that will fit in your price range. Try to find a 2.5i Premium. That brings bluetooth, heated seats (assuming you live in the cold), a better sound system, USB ports for music, and if you get the all weather package, you get heated side mirrors and windshield wiper de-icers (again for if you live in the cold). These are running for about $12,000 with about 50k miles. Of course, AWD comes standard, so it's great in the snow. There is also a moonroof package and a TomTom navigation package. Get the moonroof, not the nav (which I heard isn't good). Good luck finding your car!


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Subaru Impreza / Outback Sport

Response from NormT

10:58 am July 20, 2017

A brand new Buick Encore is selling for $16,000 or just over your limit. It includes back up camera as standard, 8" info screen, keyless entry and push button start, and buick's Quiet Tuning for the quietest ride in the subcompact segment.

The Encore is listed getting 33 mpg highway, but our 2012 Encore was seeing 39 mpg on a full tank at 60 mph....with AWD.


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Buick Encore
Buick Verano
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