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safe, reliable, fuel efficient auto, awd, about 20k per year

The Right Car for Me | TrueDelta

ranger801

The number of repairs are probably my key factor in selecting a vehicle.
The next would be fuel economy.
I'm not into hybrid yet because I think they have a long way to go before a standard is accepted and the cost of repairs are too high and the space is limited. If you think otherwise, I am willling to listen.
I live in an area that's gets lots of snow.
Presently I have a Honda Fit and it suits all my needs except for the AWD feature, it is 5 years old and has been very reliable.
My wife likes the Kia Soul, but I'm afraid it might be lacking in perseverance
I look forward to your posts and help in my decision making.

Priorities: Ride smoothness

Preferred Bodystyle(s): Coupe

Primary Driver(s): Senior driver

Need minimum of 2 seats

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

Maximum price: C $ 15000

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Response from mkaresh

10:54 am October 9, 2015

The Honda HR-V is essentially a Fit with a raised suspension and optional AWD, but it's too new to be available for $15k.

The Honda CR-V isn't special in any way except that it's very reliable. Same for the Toyota RAV4, which has been very reliable except for the 2006 (first model year of that generation).

The Soul has been very reliable so far in our survey, but the oldest ones are 2010s. Plus you can't get them with AWD.

The Mazda CX-5 looks reliable so far, but the oldest ones are 2013s.

But these are probably all larger than you need. Reliable compact hatchbacks offered with AWD include the Toyota Matrix, Pontiac Vibe, and Suzuki SX4.

Be sware that AWD only helps you get going. For safe braking and cornering winter tires provide far more benefit than AWD. Even fitting your Fit with winter tires might be a solution.


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Toyota Matrix
Pontiac Vibe
Suzuki SX4

Response from jasonmreece

12:52 pm October 9, 2015

Being a Mazda fan (own a 2006 Mazda3 s 5-door and 2012 CX-9 GT FWD), the CX-5 came to mind immediately. It is a great vehicle and I believe it will continue to be durable and reliable over the long haul. But you simply can't find a used one for within your budget. Even with 50k on the clock, 2013 models are still worth $18k+ in most cases.

If increasing your budget a bit is an option, I think you will find the CX-5 to be a high-quality, well-built and comfortable small SUV. It also handles better than most cars but not at the expense of ride comfort.

I also think the Subaru Impreza might be a good fit. AWD is standard on all Subies and a 2012 with low miles and in good shape for close to $15k seems reasonable. Definitely worth a look, at least.

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Mazda CX-5
Subaru Impreza / Outback Sport

Response from mkaresh

7:47 pm October 9, 2015

The danger with 2011-2013 Subarus is that those with the non-turbo engine are prone to high oil consumption.

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Response from jasonmreece

9:41 pm October 9, 2015

Thanks for that info, Michael! Very useful!

What the heck is going on with Subaru? I remember a major engine problem that affected a large number of cars roughly 10 years ago. I can't recall what it was exactly. But I hoped that would be the end of problems like that. Just like I doubt we'll ever seen millions of Hondas and Acuras with multiple transmission failures again!

Anyway, I agree with your recommendation of the Suzuki SX4. My main concern would be finding one to buy! I found very few on AutoTrader.ca and all that I found except one was the most basic model with plastic wheel covers and all. The only thing I have against is the SX4 is that damn CVT! I rented one a few years ago and all I could think was how much better it would have been with a conventional automatic. I feel that way after I get out of most Nissan vehicles also. I hate CVTs with an irrational passion!!! =/

So....wonder how much a sled and good team on dogs runs these days up North??? =0

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Response from mkaresh

1:48 pm October 10, 2015

I forgot that the SX4 had a CVT. Looks like it replaced the 4-speed automatic with the 2010 MY. Either way, the best choice for this car is the manual :)

Through 2008 or so Subaru engines were prone to head gasket leaks. Maybe some more recent model years as well as they get older, I haven't checked in a while.

They came out with a new, much more efficient engine with the 2011 Forester, 2012 Impreza, and 2013 Legacy / Outback. This new engine was prone early on to valve cover leaks. More recently more than a few owners have been reporting excessive oil consumption. I suspect that the low-tension piston rings employed to reduce friction and improve fuel economy aren't as good at keeping oil out of the combustion chambers, where it gets burned up.

Aside from this issue, current Subarus have been far more reliable than the previous generation. Check out the difference made by the Outback's 2010 redesign.


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Response from mkaresh

11:26 am October 13, 2015

The Honda HR-V is essentially a Fit with a raised suspension and optional AWD, but it's too new to be available for $15k.

The Honda CR-V isn't special in any way except that it's very reliable. Same for the Toyota RAV4, which has been very reliable except for the 2006 (first model year of that generation).

The Soul has been very reliable so far in our survey, but the oldest ones are 2010s. Plus you can't get them with AWD.

The Mazda CX-5 looks reliable so far, but the oldest ones are 2013s.

But these are probably all larger than you need. Reliable compact hatchbacks offered with AWD include the Toyota Matrix, Pontiac Vibe, and Suzuki SX4.

Be sware that AWD only helps you get going. For safe braking and cornering winter tires provide far more benefit than AWD. Even fitting your Fit with winter tires might be a solution.


0

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Toyota Matrix
Pontiac Vibe
Suzuki SX4
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