altoid's mom wants a new car

altoid

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My dear mother has decided that she'd like a new car. Her current whip is a silver 2010 Camry LE, and she'd like something smaller and more economical. I care because A) she's my mother, and B) I inherit her Camry, so hello $10k trade-in.

She's expressed interest in the Prius. My guess is she'd want the little C, but she might have meant the regular one. Either way, I thought I'd gather some options, and I realized I don't know nearly as much about cheap, small, frugal vehicles as I do about, say, 911s. In light of this, I'm here to solicit some advice.

First, the requirements:
  1. small-ish (smaller than her Camry)
  2. 4/5-door
  3. reliable
  4. frugal
  5. not a heap of junk
  6. no more than $35k
  7. not an EV reliant on frequent charging, as she can't do that at home or work
Alternatives to the Prii I've already thought of (largely with the help of #gear):
  1. Chevy Volt
  2. VW TDIs (Golf and Jetta)
  3. Lexus CT 200h
Go.

Thank you! :heart:
 

Emarline

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I think she wants a new car, so an E30's out of the running. :p That said, I do really enjoy the family's MkIV TDI Jetta. It's a fun little car, you kinda feel like it wants to make you happy. Not to mention, ~40mpg without having to charge anything, and diesel's not really that hard to find if you know where to look.
 

Quiky

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If she can't charge, I wouldn't put the Volt on the final list. It is a great car, but it really needs to be plugged in and not used as a petrol-powered vehicle.
 

Galantti

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like emarline said, Get a tdi jetta/golf.
try to get it with dsg!
 

altoid

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Miata?

E30?

Civic!
I like all of those, but I don't think the first two are really my mom's style. :D


I think she wants a new car, so an E30's out of the running. :p That said, I do really enjoy the family's MkIV TDI Jetta. It's a fun little car, you kinda feel like it wants to make you happy. Not to mention, ~40mpg without having to charge anything, and diesel's not really that hard to find if you know where to look.
Diseasel is easy to find in CA?the vast majority of pumps have it, so that's not a concern. Both the Golf and Jetta are gonna' be high on the list I recommend. :)


If she can't charge, I wouldn't put the Volt on the final list. It is a great car, but it really needs to be plugged in and not used as a petrol-powered vehicle.
I just realized she's also gonna' be moving, so I'll get her to investigate charging options for the new place, at least. If she could charge at home but nowhere else, would you vote for keeping the Volt on the list? She drives 20mi on some days, and 150mi on other days, occasionally stopping at home. She is, however, home every night, so the car could possibly be fully charged every night during off-peak hours.
 

Sevs753

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Ford Focus/Fiesta?

A point to add about the Focus/Fiesta, she can get a VERY well optioned one for much less than the $35k budget.
 
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rickhamilton620

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Re: altoid's mom wants a new car

A TDI Golf or Jetta is something to consider. Many routinely say they get more than their advertised highway MPG out of either (Hybrids are geared toward city mpg savings), and base TDI trims are usually mid-range gas equvalents (a base TDI Jetta has all the equipment of a Jetta 2.5 SE with convienence package) so you get a fair amount of kit.

There are downsides though, a big downside is cost. If your mom needs an automatic, her only option there is DSG on a TDI. Suddenly a 22k car is 25+ k plus there's somewhat expensive DSG fluid changes. There's historically been less room to haggle on a TDI as well. Another downside is the poor interior on Jetta if she's dead set on a sedan.

If Cruze diesel was out yet, I'd throw that on the list.

The Fiesta is a good option IMO. Decent driving dynamics, decent MPG (get the SFE for that magic 40 number), decent interior (although i'll go to my grave with the sentiment that the Versa Hatch in SL trim beats it) all at a decent price.

Plus if she can wait for the 2014, it looks classy as fuck. Seriously, the old one looked "ok" but the refresh looks damn good.

If she wants something bigger, the 2013 Civic looks to be quite the improvement over the 2012 and has excellent fuel economy.
 
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Spectre

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About that Golf/Jetta diesel...

Screen shot 2012-12-17 at 8.54.58 PM.png

Seriously look into the Fiesta and Focus.
 

ninjacoco

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CAPT_Howdy

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I was going to suggest a Fusion Hybrid, but that's the same size - if not larger - than her Camry.

What is your mom's commute like? Does she live in SoCal? If so, then a hybrid will be fine. I suggest the Ford C-Max hybrid. Loaded, with sunroof and navigation, it comes in at just under $35K MSRP. Although dealers may be adding a "market adjustment" to that. Still, check it out.

Otherwise. the Focus would be a very good choice. (The Fiesta might be a little too small for her.)
 

thevictor390

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I'd consider Hyundai, the Elantra starts at $16,800 and gets 38 mpg highway. And as I demonstrated in Quiky's thread, a frugal car that is $35k still can cost way more over time than a less frugal car that is far cheaper.
 

CrzRsn

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First, the requirements:
  1. small-ish (smaller than her Camry)
  2. 4/5-door
  3. reliable
  4. frugal
  5. not a heap of junk
  6. no more than $35k
  7. not an EV reliant on frequent charging, as she can't do that at home or work
Ford Focus ST.

Done.

Or wait a bit and get the Fiesta ST.
 

Emarline

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From what altoid has said in #gear, I think she cares more about fuel economy and doesn't give a shit about driving dynamics. Also apparently she can drive a manual but would prefer an automatic for convenience.
 

laxmax613

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My mother got a Golf a few months ago. She didn't get the TDI and she suffered for it. That said, the car itself is a great piece of kit. My bet is that the introduction of the MkVII Golf will generate massive incentives on the MkVI. Look into that.
 

Spectre

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I'd consider Hyundai, the Elantra starts at $16,800 and gets 38 mpg highway. And as I demonstrated in Quiky's thread, a frugal car that is $35k still can cost way more over time than a less frugal car that is far cheaper.
Yeah, there's something to be said for the "if something important breaks in the first 10 years, we'll fix it" warranty.
 

The Spie

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Given the requirements that alt's put out there, I hate to say it but...yeah, Honda Fit. Under $20K, roomy, easy to park, mileage in the 30s in cities, reliable to a fault. If she wants a sedan, then put my vote in for an Elantra or a Kia Forte.
 

rickhamilton620

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Re: altoid's mom wants a new car

I know it's unlikely but are we getting the three cylinder Fiesta? That might be an option too.
We are, as part of the 2014 refresh, it'll only be available with a stick but apparently Altoid's mom is willing to shift her own for the right car.

Given the requirements that alt's put out there, I hate to say it but...yeah, Honda Fit. Under $20K, roomy, easy to park, mileage in the 30s in cities, reliable to a fault. If she wants a sedan, then put my vote in for an Elantra or a Kia Forte.
I forgot about the Fit.
 
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