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The Right Car for Me | TrueDelta


best fuel economy and warranty

Priorities: Fuel economy / Handling / Cargo capacity

Preferred Bodystyle(s): Wagon

Car Needs: Daily commuter / Long trips

Primary Driver(s): Tall driver

Need minimum of 4 seats

Will consider both new and used cars
Maximum mileage: 40000
Maximum age: 3 years

Maximum price: US $ 15000

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Response from mkaresh

5:54 pm December 31, 2015

Three-year-old wagon for $15k? This is a tough one, as the only offered recently in your price range is the Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen. With a diesel the VW is very efficient, and with any engine it handles pretty well. Reliability is so-so.

The new 2015+ Golf SportWagen will likely be more reliable, and handles better, but unless dealers are discounting them massively (which is a possibility) you'll have trouble finding one for $15k. Worth checking.

If you can spend a little more and/or go a little older, you might be able to find an Acura TSX wagon or a Subaru Outback in your price range. The Subaru can hold the most of the three, and the Acura the least.


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Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen
Acura TSX
Subaru Outback

Response from mkaresh

5:58 pm December 31, 2015

One not-quite-wagon that just crossed my mind is the Ford C-MAX. The 2013 had some problems, but the 2014 has been reliable so far. Limited cargo capacity, but good fuel economy since it's a hybrid.

The Toyota Prius v has more cargo capacity than the C-MAX, and has stellar reliability, and also might be a little more fuel efficient, but it doesn't drive nearly as well. The largest problem with the Toyota, though, is it costs quite a bit more as a used car, since Toyotas depreciate more slowly than Fords, so you probably won't find one near your maximum.


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Ford C-MAX
Toyota Prius v

Response from mrincognito11

2:51 pm January 1, 2016

Do you need a wagon or will a hatch-back do? I've been pretty happy with my Mazda3 as a 6'3" driver. It's very fun, can fit 20 bags of mulch with a child seat on one side and the other folded down, and fuel economy has been excellent. Driving around the Midwest, I was averaging 38 mpg on a 2014 with a 6 speed MT. That's gone down a lot since I moved into a city, but is still over 30 mpg overall.

The biggest downside is the road noise. It's not bad for an economy car, but if you're looking for a silent interior it's not the right car for you. No squeaks or rattles at 38k miles though. Also, at your price range, you're going to probably end up in a 2013 model. It has better economy than previous models, but I find the 2014 redesign made a big difference in fuel economy (and interior FWIW) based on a nearly identical 2013 Mazda3 a friend of mine has. Also, the stock tires are pretty bad in the rain and snow; I changed mine at 20k miles.


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Mazda Mazda3
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