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  mkaresh

Which trim level and color did you drive with the Ioniq 5? I'm going to have to take a closer look at both interiors.

Hyundai Ioniq 5 vs. Volkwagen ID.4 Comparison Review
  zcd1

Personally, I found the Ioniq5's interior to be inappropriately down-market for the price.

The iD4's interior quality seemed higher.

The iD4's DC fast-charging speed is th real a deal-killer for me though.

Hyundai Ioniq 5 vs. Volkwagen ID.4 Comparison Review
  mkaresh

If you can find one within your budget, the Ford Maverick probably comes closest to what you are looking for. It and the similar Hyundai Santa Cruz (which might also work well for you) have a somewhat tighter turning circle than regular pickups along with more compact exterior dimensions. Next up the price and size scale is the Honda Ridgeline, which has been out for much longer so you might be more likely to find one within your budget. Honda's safety tech package has been standard on all trim levels since 2020, and on the upper trim levels since 2017. The turning circle is about four feet larger than those of the Ford and Hyundai.

For reliability it's probably hard to beat the Toyota Tacoma, but its ride will be bumpier. It's turning radius is the tightest of the conventional pickups, and nearly as tight as those of the Maverick and Santa Cruz. The Tacoma has included a package of safety tech since the 2018 model year.

The Ford Ranger should be about average in reliability and more comfortable than the Tacoma. It's turning circle is a couple feet larger, though.

Selecting my next ride
  mkaresh

A highly reliable manual AWD wagon that's light enough to feel nimble might not exist. If it does, I'd like one myself.

E46s are too old to be more reliable than a recent Golf R.

Would be nice if the Volvo V70 R was more nimble and more reliable, but of course they aren't. A Saab 900 Turbo X is somewhat more nimble than the Volvo, but reliability and parts availability can't be counted on. And can one even be found?

I imagine a Subaru isn't upscale or refined enough.

A Ford Focus RS is nicer inside and feels more substantial than a Subaru, and they're certainly fun to drive, but I wouldn't count on one's reliability, especially considering how such a car tends to be driven.

Aside from the above your only options are German, or at least German-owned. So beyond the first few years reliability is a crapshot. Most are okay, but when they're bad they can be really bad. Any chance a Mini Clubman would do the trick for you?







Fun, manual trans, wagon or sedan, good power, efficiency
  mkaresh

Current market pricing makes recommendations tough. I would hope you wouldn't have to go all the way to a 2013 or 2014 to get a CX-5 under $18,000. Looking around, it seems like you should be able to get a 2016 and maybe even a 2017 for that price. The 2017 was the first year of the somewhat more upscale second-generation CX-5.

If you don't absolutely require a crossover, the 2019 and up Mazda3 hatch is also offered with AWD. More fun to drive, but less interior space. It could also be very difficult to find one nearby.


Fuel-efficient AWD family hauler
  mkaresh

Can you be more specifice about your needs and priorities?

Null
  Sea-Dan

Take a look at a Kia Niro HEV. Sort of a 75% scale model FWD Outback that gets 50+ mpg. Way more comfortable and "normal" than a Prius. Same can be said for the Ford Escape Hybrid. Unfortunately both are pretty hard to find, but there a few out there for under $26K.

Branded title can be a great buy for a 2nd car with approval of a trusted mehanic. Just realize that reselling it can be a challenge.

Second Car
  AcuraT

I am sorry, I am not sure I understand your question - are you asking what cars have higher bumpers off the ground - not just the front bumper?

Trucks which are not generally reliable have high bumpers off the ground. The Toyota Tundra is the exception with high bumpers and reliable, but you will have to go quite old to get one of them.

Dodge Ram is average in realiablity and also is high off the ground with bumpers just as high.

After that you are stuck with the unreliable Chevy Silverado, Ford F-150, and Nisan Titan trucks. Best of luck.

front bumper higher off the ground
  AcuraT

In America, true wagons are very hard to find. You mention one, Volvo, which remains an option but reliablity as of late has slipped to below average.

The most reliable in the luxury class is about as expensive as the Volvo - the Audi A4 Allroad. If you don't need a luxury car a more reliable and better riding option is the Subaru Outback (called an SUV, it is really a raised wagon). You might be suprised by the handling as it is pretty good in the Subaru (but probably not quite as good as either the Audi or the Volvo).

Best of luck, let us know what you decide!

Fun wagon
  AcuraT

You have not been mislead on the transmissions. Hondas in those years had not great transmissions when teamed with the V6 engines they made. The six speed was a miserable transmission for many owners. I owned an Acura TL and lost the transmission at 60,000 and at the dealership (I had an extended warranty because Honda knew how bad a transmission it had) I was 8th in line for a transmission, and it took a month to get. When handed back to me the dealer warned me it probably would fail again around 120,000 because Honda had not fixed it. It failed a second time at 119,000 miles.

The nine speed I have no experience with but it has not been much better than the six from what I have heard. According to Consumer Reports, the six speed was terrible from start to finish. The nine speed came with the redesign in 2017 and it gets the worst rating you can get on the transmission - much worse than average (red circle). The next year, 2018, is worst than average (orange circle). In 2019 and moving forward they don't seem to have issues as bad as the "Transmission Major" catagory is green or much above average. Unfortunately "Transmission Minor" falls to average or just above average. What is transmission minor? It is when the transmission continues to work but has rough shifting, or some slippage, but continues to work. So the tranmissions as of late may be better - or they just have not failed yet. Time will tell on that transmision in the next few years.

Essentially, with the Ridgeline, you know going in the transmission is not the strength of these vehicles and it may cause you problems over the long run.

Believe it or not, I have heard Ford makes good truck transmissions. However their engines are troubleprone. Chevys are even worse.

Dodge Rams are better getting average reliability. The only reliable truck made these days is the Toyota Tundra as even Consumer Reports says they are above average in reliablity. Best of luck.

Ridgeline
  AcuraT

There are not many that are that reliable to act as a 7 or 8 seat SUV for 200,000 miles. I recently took a car service and they put me in a Cadillac Esclade because the Chevrolet Suburban the driver usually drove had a seized engine (after 175,000 miles and it was taken care of). I have the same experience with a Ford Explorer where the engine seized after 180,000 miles so they are no better. Chrysler forget about as it won't work for nearly as long.

You probably would do better with a used Toyota Sienna. Those seat the number you are talking about and have some cargo space as well. They are used a lot by car services and those go 200,000 fairly reliably with normal mainteance over the duration. Unfortunately, this is van, not an SUV. If you go with a Toyota Highlander that would work as well and be reliable seating 7 or 8 depending on the seating arrangement. These two cars would do better than the Hyundai you are thinking about.

Best of luck.

7 or 8 seat reliable SUV that can go over 200k miles
  AcuraT

Unfortunately, this is not recommended because there is a lot more to replacing the fuel pump as there are a lot of other components you may need to replace as well, so this may not even solve the problem. There is a good video on YouTube that tells you exactly what is involved and how to diagnose what is really wrong with the fuel delivery system (to some degree).

2011 - 2016 Toyota Sienna Replace Fuel Pump DIY, Fuel Module Disassembly, Fuel Pressure Regulator - Bing video

Best of luck!

2015 Sienna fuel pump/filter
  AcuraT

Lectrofuel is correct. The reason why the Sienna cost more even used is because it is far more reliable than the Nissan. In this case, you get what you pay for.

2011 Nissan Quest reliability vs Sienna
  AcuraT

Letting the oil life monitor down to 8% is not very good for any engine. Most manufactuers recommend only letting it go down to 20%. I have done this with all my cars and never had an issue with the engine. My old 2006 Saab 9-3 I owned until 190,000 miles and then sold it when a tree fell on it. My mechanic bought it from me for scrap, but then fixed it and sold it to another customer who still drives it today - with 250,000 on the powertrain. I currenly own a 2013 Subaru Legacy that now has 127,000 on it. Again no problems and I change the oil religiously every 5000 miles.

There are a variety of reasons for your engine oil smells burnt, including:
  • Internal oil leak

While it's important to have the required amount of oil around your engine, this oil must flow within certain flow paths. If the oil left these flow paths, you would be dealing with your engine running on low oil, which is very dangerous. There are many reasons for the oil to leave its appropriate paths and leak internally. Some of these leaks could be very small, while others might be very big and significant. For example, if you looked under your car and saw a puddle of oil, this is a clear indication of a significant oil leak that prevents you from even driving your vehicle. Unfortunately, this case requires some help from a professional mechanic because small cracks might be hard to detect why any driver who doesn't have the required mechanical skill sets. If the oil leak is big and you can see it, it's recommended that you never attempt to move your vehicle before consulting a professional mechanic. If your vehicle is running in very low oil, the problem could be very serious and could damage your engine immediately. All leaks must be taken care of to continue driving this vehicle. This could be by changing or removing the bad parts. After the professional mechanic test leaks' locations, he can remove the cracked pipes or the components that are causing the leak. There is no fixed price for how much it costs to repair internal oil leak because it depends heavily on the amount of cracks and the location causing the leak.
  • A damaged head gasket

Your head gasket is a small component sitting on top of the cylinders to prevent any liquid's from making its way inside the cylinder during combustion. If any liquid got to this part, you affect the air-fuel ratio, and therefore, the combustion process will produce weird smells and strange gases. One of the common causes for your engine oil smells burnt a blown head gasket. The head gasket will not be able to do its job, and a lot of oil could make its way inside the cylinders and get burnt. To confirm the problem, you could monitor the smoke that is coming out of the tailpipe. In paragraph usually, if too much oil is getting burnt inside the cylinders due to blown head gaskets, you will see weird blue smoke coming out of the tailpipe.
  • Damaged PCV valve

Any excess oil during the combustion process is stored and blocked by a certain valve around the engine. This valve does not allow a lot of this oil to get into the combustion system and causes the engine oil burnt smell. If this valve gets damaged for any reason, your engine oil smells burnt. To resolve this problem, you need to change the valve. Luckily, replacing a valve does not require many costs and usually can be done by the driver because it doesn't need a high level of mechanical skill sets.
  • Oil spills after an oil change

This is probably not your issue since you said it smelled burnt BEFORE the oil change.

Many people complained that their engine oil smells burn right after an oil change. This is not surprising, especially if you are having your oil change done by a nonprofessional mechanic. Think about the mechanic when he attempts to pour the oil inside the oil tank of your vehicle. If he drops any little oil around the engine block, this oil can get burnt easily due to the high heat coming out of the engine's block. This type of oil-burning smell is not very serious because it's small and not related to significant internal vehicle problems. Therefore, you don't have to panic, and sometimes you don't have to do any action assuming that the oil drops are small. However, if there was too much oil spelled around the engine's block, it might get so hot and could burn some of the rubber components around the engine. Bottom line, it's better to check with the mechanic and inform him what you're dealing with. Unless you know what you are doing any of these four options could be what is causing the smell. Just hope it is not the first two as those are the expensive reasons. Best of luck!

Oil smells burnt
  AcuraT

Unfortunately, when you go that old (2006) you are talking about a car that is now 16 years old! At that point any rubber seals on the engine or transmission will need replacing if they have not already been replaced. If it is the main engine seal leaking, that is beneath the engine so it has to be lifted out of the car to replace that engine seal. That is so costly no one really replaces that engine seal.

Consumer Reports with all its faults does have a rating for that year - it is average. What does that mean? It means it has a number of trouble spots. Average engine reliablity (large repair). I am guessing on many cars that old it is that main engine seal that needs replacing. Engine Cooling is also average which means radiator issues most likely. Drive system much worse than average which means the transmission on average is acting up (probably again from high mileage). Fuel system, climate system, and brakes all average. Suspension repairs are below aveage probably as the suspension components are wearing out costing a few thousand dollars. Sqeaks and rattles are common on these cars that old and in car electronics are average as well.

Honestly, I would steer clear of a car this old even from Toyota. If you go two years newer, such as a 2008, the reliablity is much better as only the climate control system is much below average that year and the suspension is just below average. Pretty much every other system is above average that year. You would do much better with a 14 year old car if you can afford it. At least then for a year or two it should be fairly reliable. With any car this old, have a mechanic look at it - it will save you a lot of trouble if he is any good and can point out problems with a used car that old. Good luck.

reliability
  Sea-Dan

You sound like a practical person looking for a beater type car that you can take to the woods or beach. In this price and mileage range you will be looking at car that will probably need some parts wrenching to make it reliable and keep it that way. I'll give you a brief list of suggestions in my order of preference with a nod toward practicality:

Ford Escape Hybrid 2005-2012
: This early and well thought out hybrid rig that will average over 30 mpg. It was so reliable that taxi companies started to snatch them up and apparently some have gone for 200,000 - 300.000 miles. Parts and even reconditioned batteries are widely available at a reasonable cost.

Tarus Wagon or Ford Freestyle (aka Ford Tarus X): These are what you want if lots of space is important. Lots of FWD Tarsus out there and parts relatively inexpensive. Freestyle a bit rare but lots of room, avail in FWD & AWD.

Ford Focus Wagon:
On the smaller side, a reasonably reliable rig.

Saturn Vue:
Another rare but relatively good choice. No worries about rust with these!

Subaru Wagon (Legacy or Outback): Could be a good choice but these demand a premium price and older models commonly had head gaskget and wheel bearing issues.

Best bet is to find a private party sale from an honest owner that has had it for 3 yrs or more. That way many of the parts that commonly need replacement may have already be replaced and you can get pretty good idea of what may or may not need attention. As always, a $100 mechanical check may help avoid a major issue.

Would love to hear what you decide on.

fuel efficient , station wagon for camping, maybe I'll remove rear seats. around 5-7000
  GClefMan

I loved the styling of this car when I chose it, and I still do, 14 years later. When the car is working well, it has such a civilized and refined ride. It has a 6-speed manual transmission which is like butter going through the gears. Very easy to drive, and the seats are as comfortable as advertised. Volvo seats are the best.

However, the front suspension is just plain lousy. With only 86,000 miles, this car has buried me in repair costs. I have now replaced the struts and springs three times, and these have all occured once the car was out of warranty. The control arms have been replaced, as have the front axles and wheel bearings. I needed new brakes at 35,000 miles! What does this say about the vaunted Volvo engineering? I have no doubt the engine will operate for hundreds of thousands of miles. I've never had a problem with the engine. It's everything else that is attached to the front end of this car!

I am not an aggressive driver. My daily commute to work is a total of 10 miles! How can this be so bad? The car is not a sport version and I do not have low profile wheels. It's configured about as domestic as you can get. I'm flumoxed!

Member Vehicle Review
  LectroFuel

The Quest isn't nearly as reliable as a Sienna. The transmission will likely fail at a low mileage unless it was babied. Also, the most recent Quest had safety ratings that I remember being quite bad compared with the competition.
  LectroFuel

The Toyota Sienna Woodland Edition has .59 inches of increased ground clearance compared to the other trims. Also gets 35/36 MPG since it's a hybrid. MSRP is $45k. the e-AWD system isn't as capable as a mechanical AWD system, but it is enough for most cases.

If you need a better AWD system or if that is too pricey, I'd get a Honda Odyssey or Kia Carnival. I rented a 2019 Odyssey on Turo for 1000 miles, and I couldn't have asked for a better minivan or car for the job.
  LectroFuel

Scotty Kilmer is one of the worst people to listen to in the automotive world. He has old ways of thinking and does not know what cars are reliable and not reliable.

You shouldn't worry about the CVT in the Civic. Replace the fluid on time and you should get over 200k miles. They have some of the best CVTs. Don't go with a Nissan CVT. Subaru CVTs aren't that reliable either.

Toyota also makes a reliable CVT, and their e-CVT (in their hybrids, has nothing in common with a traditional CVT) is likely the most reliable transmission of all time.
  LectroFuel

All the cars you listed are good. I think the 2016-2021 Honda Civic might be the best because it's fun, reliable, efficient if you go with the turbo, and holds it's value. Mazda 3 would be my first choice for you, but its resale value isn't as high as a Honda or Toyota. They are very reliable, efficient, and fun.

I would suggest buying new because cars that are a couple years old are almost as pricey as new ones. 2022 Civic is way nicer than 2021 and older. 2019 and newer Mazda 3 rides better than 2014-2018 Mazda 3, but is not nearly as fun as the 2014-2018. 2019 and newer Mazda 3 is more luxurious.
  Sea-Dan

Mazda 6 or 3, Camry, Honda Accord???Basically these are all great cars.
Accords consistently win most praise / are winners in comparisons. Lots of folks like the M6 but it falls short of mpg & space compared to the other two but then there is the Zoom Zoom factor. Also, Mazda has long lagged in popularity compared to the Accord & Camry. The result is they are hard to find, but often sell for less of a premium.

Since you said you'e a Mazda gal, that probably what you would like best.

Regarding sourcing your car, I always prefer purchasing from an orignal owner who has properly maintained the car & can back that up with serice records. Otherwise, CarMax, CarGuru ... are pretty equal in my estimation. CarMax does offer a nice 7 day return policy & a 90 day/4K warranty on most later model cars! https://clark.com/cars/carvana-vs-carmax/

Reasonably efficient, reliable, pleasant sedan/hatchback
  rjmickel74

I have a 2018 Kia Nero Hybrid. Bought it new. Love it! I average 55+ mpg. I've found its better suited for a city car. MPG is higher in town than highway.
Handling is very responsive. Riding comfort is decent.
No maintenance except oil change.

Electric car
  banar_1

I have a 2015 Chevy Silverado with 57000 miles and the rocker panels on both sides are rotted through I contacted GM and they denied me help
my warranty ran out at 6 years
could it be possible this thing could go so bad in that short period of time
does anyone else have problems like this

reviews
  SpenceRX4

Thanks for the support. I hope to keep this car for many years. It's a 2012, I bought it in 2015 with 37,000 miles on it. Turning 89,000 miles this month (July) 2022. The Xenon bulb took a while, had to figure most of that out myself, but the 2 (of 4) VVT valves on bank 1 were not too difficult after seeing a youtube video. The car runs better than when I bought it. Less hesitancy and fewer rough idle episodes.

Water under rear cargo area