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Thanks for your reply. Was just going through this site again after a long hiatus. I heard that he was getting ready to shut it down. Do you still have your Jag? I got rid of mine, but I wish I would have kept it.

I have a 2003 Lexus ES300 which is just starting to have engine trouble. I like the car okay. It is almost as nice as the Jag, but the Jaguar had crisper handling and much sharper looks. I certainly miss it.

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The combo of manual tranny and $5000 max to spend really limits you. I think your list covers pretty well covers your options. The $5,000 car with 200,000 miles is likely to be an project car -- and expensive unless your good at wrenching - I'm thinking at least $5K to make it comfortable, safe, and reliable. Hopefully you can find a Jetta wagon that meets your desires.
My only suggestion would be up your ante to $20,000 (if possible) and look for a used Golf Sportwagen (had manual thru 2019 I believe).

sporty WAGON

We had this issue on our 2014 GC and it was past warranty and had about 55000 miles on it . Local dealer photographed the area and they paid for a new hood and painting . It is a common problem with them not prepping the aluminum hood right at the factory . Have not had an issue with the hood the dealer painted probably 5 years ago now .

Paint bubbling on hood of Grand Caravan

I dont know if you care where cars are made but the Envision is made in China and shipped here . Myself will send no money to China specially with everything that has gone on the last 2 years .

Smallish SUV

Hopefully some owners will chime in.

Based on their responses to TrueDelta's survey, these have been reliable cars. That said, many of them are not daily drivers, so some of the good score could be due to their not being driven as much or in as harsh of conditions as the typical car.

Porsche Cayman Reliability?

It looks like this was intended for the My Next Car section.

I'm personally wary of the CVT transmission in the Nissans. The new Rogue is certainly an improvement over the old one, though. The prices of Nissans might be attractive, since they often sell based on price.

I have not yet driven the new Envision, but think they nailed the styling and expect the comfort and quietness to be there.

The Mazda CX-5 has been very popular with the site's members, so it's probably also worth a look.

Smallish SUV

Some of the people responding seem to have missed the requirement for a manual transmission, as most of the suggestions don't offer one.

The Kona N is only available with a DCT, and has a smaller back seat than a GTI. I personally wish they'd offered it with a manul.

The related Veloster N is available with a manual, and is fun. But is the back seat roomy and versatile enough for you? The Elantra N is also available with a manual and a usual back seat, but has a trunk rather than a hatch.

No hatch with the Civic Si or Subaru WRX, either. I haven't driven the latest WRX yet. The previous one lacked the refinement of the GTI.

The Civic Type R is VERY fun. The major issues here are price, overdone styling, and perhaps an overly aggressive state of tune.

So, unless you're willing to get a sedan you might well end up with another GTI.

Fun but useful car

Sounds like you already know what you want. Any questions?

Need new cars all the time

It's hard to narrow this down without knowing more about what you find stylish and how much handling you're willing to trade for ride quality. Plus your budget.

Another to consider at the low end is the Kona EV, which you could find more stylish than the Niro. It might have a firmer ride, though. I haven't driven the EVs, but the regular Kona has a firmer ride than the regular Niro.

The Ioniq 5 is brand new, and you're unlikely to find a Mach-E at much below new prices even if you buy used. But if these are contenders then so is the Kia EV6.

If you don't need much range, then an older EV with less of it would be considerably less expensive. I really liked how the e-Golf drove. But range is quite short by current standards. A Chevrolet Bolt would have range but be relatively inexpensive, but it's styling isn't likely to do much for you. The Nissan LEAF has been around for a long time, but doesn't do anything especially well. It's primary attraction would be cost.

Electric car

When was this vehicle purchased, and is it still owned by the reviewer? Great offers out there right now for this kind of used vehicle, could possibly parlay it into something more satisfactory...

Acura as a brand is now dead to me.

Dan's response was spot-on. I'd recommend the Escape PHEV, RAV4 Prime (which is probably what you found for over MSRP), Kia Niro PHEV, and Hyundai Tuscon and Santa Fe PHEVs. The Subaru Crosstrek doesn't have enough range and has a lot of space used by the battery.

Don't be afraid to drive 7 hours to a dealership that is not charging over MSRP. In the past, I drove 10 hours to a different dealership to get the car I wanted. It was worth it and you get to drive your new car all the way home, so it is really fun.

Replace Prius

Kia Niro should be a safe option, although a little boring. The Mustang Mach-e is nice and has been pretty reliable in its first year, but does not have a comfortable ride. The Model 3 does not have a comfortable ride either and also has sketchy build quality, but otherwise is a great car.

Probably the best blend of usability, reliability, range, and comfort would be found in the Hyundai IONIQ 5. I saw one on the road today and it is a lot bigger than it looks in pictures. I believe it is also the fastest charging EV on sale.

Electric car

If you want to move to something nearly as fun as your GTI but a little larger, consider looking at the Audi Q5 (2012+). The 2.0T engine is very similar to the GTI's, and the extra room is great. If you're looking for a bit more power (at the cost of gas mileage) it's also available with a 3.0T that is quite a bit faster - especially if you tune it (over 400hp with just a software flash).

My wife and I picked up a 2014 SQ5 for about the same price as a regular Q5 with similar mileage, and it's absolutely fantastic. The 3.0T engine is pretty reliable (for a German car) and a well-maintained example should go a long way past 100k with routine maintenance. Had we purchased a Q5, I would have tuned it right away, but the 350+HP of the SQ5 from the factory is more than enough!

I currently drive a 2011 GTI and my wife drove a 2006 Miata. Now that we're expecting, it was time to let the Miata go so we could get a family vehicle. I wanted to get an Audi A4 Avant or Allroad, but my wife hates wagons. My VW mechanic said any Audi with the 3.0T supercharged 6 cylinder should be solid, so the Q5 jumped to the top of her list. The Q5 is built on the same platform as the A4/A5, so other than the high center of gravity, it feels a lot like a sporty sedan.

Fun but useful car

Add Mazda3 to list. My 2010 (hatchback, red mica, 6 speed manual, 2.5L engine) got stolen recently, and I can't find anything to replace it that I like as much. Bought in 2013 with 40k mi for $14K; insurance is giving me $10K with 80K mi. Mazda's very under rated. Since '90's, I have owned Protege, MPV minivan, Miata and currently family Mazda5 suv.

Good luck,


Fun but useful car

Without sounding facetious what you are looking for in a German car does not exist. All have gotten ridiculously complicated and unreliable. then, as a fellow Rver. Is the practical problem of transmission. Your only choice for unrestricted toewing eould be a manual.
If you don't believe the reliability part get a copy of Consumer Reports. Sorry Michael.

Reliable German convertable no older than 12 years to be used as a towed vehicle behind a motor home.

Volvo's unfortunately are not a very reliable brand. You can expect some minor engine problems (burning oil for example) and early transmission failures as well. Climate Control, Suspension, and brakes are suspect as well. Many sites share this information. Withclutch, Consumer Reports, even this one. Geely (a Chinese company) owns this Sweedish company. I have no idea if that has to do with it but they are not the best cars out there. For a reliable luxury car, you are better off with Lexus generally speaking. Best of luck.

Volvo S90 Purchase

The traditional sources of reliablity have little data on this VW as not many own them. However the WithClutch website states that the car is below average in reliablity. Here is that information you can go to and read for yourself. Best of luck.

How reliable is a Volkswagen Tiguan and what are the expected maintenance costs? (withclutch.com)

VW Tiguan

Given your priorities there are very few options and they are very much in demand as you apparently have discovered. I almost purchased a Hyundai Tuscon Hybrid but was unwilling to pay $4K over MSRP.

If your SUV doesn't require AWD, I think the best bet is a Ford Escape PHEV. It has reasonable clearance at 6.8". FWD with traction control does well in the snow, especially if equipped with dedicated winter tires. According to several reviewers the MPG is actually better than RAV4 PHEV. Escape PHEVs are pretty rare at this time but can be had at MSRP of a bit less if you are a good negotiator.

I'd been dealing with almost the same condrum for the 6 months. Although I really wanted an SUV for our "road car"that used minmal gas, I determined that given my annual mileage on my "SUV" it would take me a decade to pay the difference between the cost of Hybrid. So I ended up getting our 3rd Subaru Outback below MSPRP & it will get 30+ mpg on the highway.

BTW my "city car" is Niro PHEV, but its clearance is 1/2" less than Escape's. It is averaging 125MPe and we put enough miles on it that our gas savings may actually pay the extra cost if we keep it 7 years. Its fun being green and driving past the gas stations, but it is also expensive!

Replace Prius

I own 2020 pilot. the reliability is okay-ish to above average considering current cars on the market. I have experienced the infotainment glitches and sensitive lane departure warnings. Also, the battery harness has broke due to the security unit located at both the positive and negative terminals. The dealer has repaired all issues under warranty. We experienced a broken clockspring, which the dealer has replaced under warranty. The recent Pilots has more electronics than previous versions, which contribute to thei increase probability for issues. TBH, I don't know if I would purchase another 2020 Honda Pilot.

Honda 2021 Pilot Reliable?

I'm not sure a two year old car with no problems is a good gauge of reliability. Report back after 5 years of ownership. id especially like to hear how one does up to and past 100,000 miles.

I've talked to people that own teslas, and I just heard a story similar to this one last week. Remember there are owners of German cars out there that swear they've had zero problems in 300,000 miles. I'm not interested in one experience as much as I am in the majority.

Terrible Experience, Tesla Doesn't Care

Honda Civic Si, Kia K5, Hyundai Kona N, WRX are all candidates. While the manufacturer may not recommend towing, any of these can tow -- and they do in Europe.

IMO the GTI is still probably the most versatile / best of the bunch.

Fun but useful car

If you can wait a year, get a Ford Maverick -- it ticks off all your boxes for a great price. While it hasn't stood the test of time the automotive press is raving about it and they have stopped taking order for 2022 due to the demand.

Mid-size pickup

Yes get the Honda Ridgeline which is the best midsize truck in the market. However, towing its only 5000lbs and the bed is shorter. But you get reliabiltiy and better ride and more cabin room with a bunch of extras other trucks dont have.

Mid-size pickup

Love my 2017 Mazda 6 GT premium. Have had it since 11/2018 and has had nothing but regular maintenance. Fun to drive, quiet, great sound sytem and safe. My wife drives this car in all weather with no problems. This is 5th Mazda that I've owned and I like the brand so much I bought a used 2019 CX5 GT Premium. It is going to take a lot for me to lose my loyalty. Infotainment leave a lot to be desired.

Have you experienced drivetrain problems?

I agree. The only problems with my 2006 Police Interceptor has been age related items. This winter 21-22 decided to drive insted of keeping it parked. Power steering lines cannot handle -35 C weather. Repaied in late Dec and then the lines blew two weeks later. Had to park the car now until spring.

Overall a wonderfull car, built like tank, very fast and smooth when pushed, parts are cheap and super comfortable.

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