Best city car

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Szeal
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Best city car

Post by Szeal » Sat Nov 10, 2018 11:33 pm

Background - working parents, 2 kids 10 & 5. Tons of after school/weekend activities for kids. Most activities are under 5 miles.

We have a 5 year old CR-V which we use as primary family car - dad's commute and weekend family commitments. Mom is thinking of upgrading her car (gas guzzling Lexus) and we are debating if we should go for high mileage car like Prius or should we stick to tried tested Corolla/Camry.

Any other recommendations?

Carson
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Re: Best city car

Post by Carson » Sun Nov 11, 2018 10:27 am

I am in the city and we do a lot of short trip driving, shuttling to activities, parallel parking and traffic sitting.

I have a new and paid for Mazda 3, however discovered The Kia niro really appeals to me - the hatch would be awesome for toting stuff, the hybrid for so much stop and go that we do.
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stan1
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Re: Best city car

Post by stan1 » Sun Nov 11, 2018 10:47 am

Do you mean city or suburbs? One key difference being the need to squeeze into hard to find on street parallel parking spaces and compact only spaces in a parking garage. One nice feature to have for sitting at stop lights is a brake that locks so you can take your foot off the pedal.

Sedans have fallen out of favor with consumers right now so you should be able to get a better deal on one than if you were looking for a CUV. I'd look at the Honda Accord, Insight, and Civic as well as the Camry, Prius, and Corolla. If you wife wants to keep some of the refinement in her Lexus I think you'll find most of that in the Accord and Camry which would also give the kids plenty of space. The interior finish of the Insight is a step up from a Civic.

Turbo29
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Re: Best city car

Post by Turbo29 » Sun Nov 11, 2018 11:20 am

2016 Mazda 3 hatchback. After VW bought back my diesel (due to the emissions scandal) I only had to kick in $1000 to buy it new. Love it.
The hatchback has a lot more cargo space than the sedan.

Balefire
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Re: Best city car

Post by Balefire » Sun Nov 11, 2018 11:35 am

Electric is ideal for short trips.
Although I'm a fan of Tesla, the Nissan Leaf is the most economical and boglehead like electric car.

Robert_007
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Joined: Fri May 18, 2018 1:34 pm

Re: Best city car

Post by Robert_007 » Sun Nov 11, 2018 12:05 pm

I have a Prius C which I love to drive in SF. With kids, I would look at a used Nissan Leaf. The used ones are very inexpensive. My friends recently got a 2014 one with 50k miles on it for under 6k

ronno2018
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Joined: Sat Apr 14, 2018 9:31 am

Re: Best city car

Post by ronno2018 » Sun Nov 11, 2018 12:10 pm

we love our kia niro. prius nice too -- https://www.greencarreports.com/news/11 ... er-options

hyundai kona also interesting https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZDuVVEGaodI

Carson
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Re: Best city car

Post by Carson » Sun Nov 11, 2018 12:17 pm

Turbo29 wrote:
Sun Nov 11, 2018 11:20 am
2016 Mazda 3 hatchback. After VW bought back my diesel (due to the emissions scandal) I only had to kick in $1000 to buy it new. Love it.
The hatchback has a lot more cargo space than the sedan.
Laughing over here. Same exact way I got my Mazda 3 hatch. I’m still bitter as I loved my wagon.
30-something personal finance enthusiast, just get getting started on this whole portfolio thing.

stimulacra
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Location: Houston

Re: Best city car

Post by stimulacra » Sun Nov 11, 2018 6:45 pm

Mazda 3 hatchback, Honda Civic, Corolla Hatchback, VW Golf. Lots of good options here.

Just got back from a 9 day trip in Europe. Compact hatchbacks are effectively family cars over there.

If you want to go smaller, Honda Fit or Toyota Yaris are also nice. A little noisy on the highway but great around town.

Keep us posted on what you end up getting. Also curious to see where people end up.

emoore
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Re: Best city car

Post by emoore » Sun Nov 11, 2018 7:02 pm

How many miles do you need to drive a day and do you have access to a power outlet? If so a used leaf might be a good choice. Very inexpensive and cheap to run.

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htdrag11
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Re: Best city car

Post by htdrag11 » Sun Nov 11, 2018 7:21 pm

I'll be picking up a CPO 2017 Mazda3 hb on Monday, replacing my 2014 that was totaled. At the meantime, I've looked at a Civic hb as well but it's way too expensive for the same year ($3k more). The Civic is quieter but lower (for an old fart). Its style is more appealing to the younger crowd. I did not care for the CVT which was the best among the few I drove. Honda has AC (Apple CarPlay) and AA (Android Auto) which is suppose to be retrofit to older Mazda Touring model and up, for a price.
We used to have a 2008 Fit which is super for city parking but it was even noisier than the Mazda. These 3 are reliable cars per Consumer Report.
BTW, our main car is an Outback which is about 16" longer, pain in the neck for city parking and driving.
GL.

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Watty
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Re: Best city car

Post by Watty » Sun Nov 11, 2018 7:53 pm

Szeal wrote:
Sat Nov 10, 2018 11:33 pm
Any other recommendations?
One thing to also consider is that there is a good chance that your 10 year old may learn to drive on whatever car you get. :shock:

Depending you your situation they might even get it as a hand me down to take off to college some day.

The top safety picks are listed here and that is likely important to you.

https://www.iihs.org/iihs/ratings/TSP-List

One advantage of the Hyundai cars is that it comes with a 10 year power-train warranty for the original owner. That does not transfer so buying a used Hyundai is a bit different.

Toyota added a lot of safety advanced features as standard equipment that may be an option with other brands so when comparing cars be sure to look at all the details.

When comparing cars be sure to also check with your insurance company to see what the rates are on the different models. They can vary more than you might expect.
Szeal wrote:
Sat Nov 10, 2018 11:33 pm
or should we stick to tried tested Corolla/Camry.
I bought a 2018 Corolla that I am very happy with especially for the price that I paid but with a couple of kids you might want to get something that is a bit larger especially since you will likely still have whatever you buy when they are teenagers.

GottaRun
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Location: NC & MN

Re: Best city car

Post by GottaRun » Sun Nov 11, 2018 8:57 pm

i'm gonna throw in another vote for the Honda Fit. I just bought a 2016 w/ salvaged title & 22K miles and it's great. The more research you do, the more you will be thinking about this little Honda.

zippy power, great MPG, more room than you would think inside, hatchback, comfy, Honda reliability, the list goes on.

Trism
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Joined: Mon Jul 18, 2016 6:34 pm

Re: Best city car

Post by Trism » Mon Nov 12, 2018 7:34 am

I lived in the East Lakeview neighborhood (Roscoe/Lake Shore) and Lincoln Park (Fullerton/Clark) in Chicago and only had street parking.

I had a full-size sedan, which presented no additional significant issues beyond what having any car under those circumstances would have had.

WhyNotUs
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Re: Best city car

Post by WhyNotUs » Mon Nov 12, 2018 8:16 am

Pretty hard to beat a prius for that type of use.
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texasdiver
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Re: Best city car

Post by texasdiver » Mon Nov 12, 2018 12:21 pm

Important question. Do you have your own parking or garage with power?

If so, I'd take a very hard look at electric cars, especially if you don't do long out of town road trips. If it is going to be your only car and you need to drive 250 miles to grandma's house on a frequent basis maybe not.

Otherwise I think the Prius is hard to beat. Love mine. It's no longer a new model. The Prius is very tried and tested. Very popular with cab drivers because it makes such a good city car. Surprisingly roomy hatchback design Easy to parallel park and squeeze into all parts of the city. Of course there are lots of other options for small hatchbacks which is what I'd be looking for. Honda Fit is another.

We have two cars, a 2014 Highlander and a 2016 Prius. We also have two kids at home ages 12 and 15. The kids are as comfortable in the back of the Prius as they are in the Highlander.

Szeal
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Re: Best city car

Post by Szeal » Tue Nov 13, 2018 12:33 am

Thanks all for suggestions ..

Lots of fans for Mazda 3 - I am going to give it serious look. I am leaning towards getting a Prius - great milage, and comfortable seating as you mentioned. Although 2019 Camry Hybrid has similar milage albeit at higher price.

I have looked at electric, but the thought of leaving a high volt charger ON all night long is something I need to warm up to..

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6miths
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Re: Best city car

Post by 6miths » Tue Nov 13, 2018 1:16 am

If you want a bit more room you and flexibility you might consider the Mazda 5. It's a mini minivan. When we were overseas we had a Honda Stream which was the same layout and it was an amazing vehicle for our 4 young children. Was able to carry more than our much larger 7-seat SUV.
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texasdiver
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Location: Vancouver WA

Re: Best city car

Post by texasdiver » Tue Nov 13, 2018 1:33 am

Szeal wrote:
Tue Nov 13, 2018 12:33 am
Thanks all for suggestions ..

Lots of fans for Mazda 3 - I am going to give it serious look. I am leaning towards getting a Prius - great milage, and comfortable seating as you mentioned. Although 2019 Camry Hybrid has similar milage albeit at higher price.

I have looked at electric, but the thought of leaving a high volt charger ON all night long is something I need to warm up to..
If you have the charging station professionally installed it is a non-issue. There were some rare early instances of lithium ion batteries catching fire due to thermal runaway reactions. But modern electric cars have moved on to nickel metal hydride batteries that do not pose the same overheating fire risk.

You've been parking tens of gallons of extremely explosive gasoline in your garage your whole life without thinking about it. Electric cars pose a similar non-danger.

Limoncello402
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Re: Best city car

Post by Limoncello402 » Tue Nov 13, 2018 4:53 am

Love my VW Golf! Very zippy, very reliable, great huge hatch.

emoore
Posts: 478
Joined: Mon Mar 04, 2013 8:16 pm

Re: Best city car

Post by emoore » Sun Nov 25, 2018 10:14 pm

texasdiver wrote:
Tue Nov 13, 2018 1:33 am
Szeal wrote:
Tue Nov 13, 2018 12:33 am
Thanks all for suggestions ..

Lots of fans for Mazda 3 - I am going to give it serious look. I am leaning towards getting a Prius - great milage, and comfortable seating as you mentioned. Although 2019 Camry Hybrid has similar milage albeit at higher price.

I have looked at electric, but the thought of leaving a high volt charger ON all night long is something I need to warm up to..
If you have the charging station professionally installed it is a non-issue. There were some rare early instances of lithium ion batteries catching fire due to thermal runaway reactions. But modern electric cars have moved on to nickel metal hydride batteries that do not pose the same overheating fire risk.

You've been parking tens of gallons of extremely explosive gasoline in your garage your whole life without thinking about it. Electric cars pose a similar non-danger.
+1. Plus if you have a gas furnace or water heater that is much more dangerous than a high voltage charger (which is only 220V, the same as a dryer). I wonder where all misinformation about electric cars comes from. Totally amazes me but I can think of a few sources.

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