Help me help someone pick a car.

Blind_Io

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I know everyone loves this game. A good friend of mine has been struggling for some time and he needs a car. He's finally in a place financially where he can get a loan to have reliable transportation. Until now he's been driving an inherited Chevrolet Cavalier - the most expensive free car on the planet.

Location: San Diego, CA
Price: $8,500 or less (my estimate to get his payments where he needs them to be)
Year: 2014 or newer (non-negotiable, lender's rules)
Miles: less than 100,000 (non-negotiable, lender's rules)

Other: Automatic, clean title

I'm going for maximum reliability and longevity. Cost of ownership is key, from insurance to fuel consumption, to repair cost.

Initial thoughts:

This Toyota Yaris 5-door

Hyundai Accent

Kia Forte

Elantra lease-return


Kia Optima

Ford Fiesta

I've told him to avoid Nissan due to the CVT problems, as well as the plethora of VWs in the area. I'm not convinced on the Cruz or Sonic, and after his experience with GM, he probably won't want one. The Focus is also out due to the automatic transmission problems.

Go, Hive Mind, Go!
 
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Spectre

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CPO Accent or Elantra. It'll be a couple years old, still have the rest of its 10/100 warranty, and will have a decent equipment fit.

The Kias of this era have the same but they're not quite as good in terms of hardware quality and are typically bought/leased by people who take a lot worse care of their car.
 

Blind_Io

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I forgot the one they are looking for, but I couldn't find on Craigslist right now, the Scion xB. It's essentially a hatchback with Camry powertrain. They would get good utility and they tend to go for less than a Toyota badge.
 
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Spectre

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The xB is the toaster CUV, not a hatchback; it was related to the Corolla and not the Camry. The Scions were also worse quality and there's reasons they're mostly gone now.
 
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public

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The Scion you might be thinking about is the tC.
 

Blind_Io

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Nope, I'm thinking of the xB. Last year I started looking at cars for him and the xB came up repeatedly as having excellent reliability, the powertrain is lifted right out of a Toyota. It might be marketed as a crossover, but it is FWD and really just a 4-door hatchback. The styling is polarizing (inside and out), but I think it would be a good fit for them. My friend's wife sells her art at the local farmer's markets, so having a hatchback would be helpful for getting stuff around.

The tC is more of a competitor to the Civic Coupe and not really what they need.
 
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