Please Recommend a New Car for Me

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Limoncello402
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Please Recommend a New Car for Me

Post by Limoncello402 » Sun Dec 02, 2018 5:14 am

I will be buying a new car in the near future. I drive very little and know near to nothing about cars. Nor do I really care. I simply want something reliable, safe, up to date and good looking. My current car is 13 years old, bought new at the time, and given my pattern I'll probably keep this one as long. I'm just now launching into some research. Here are my stats:

Single female, 50s, and drive less that 6000 miles/year on average. Bike to work. Avoid highways if I can. Avoid driving at all if I can.
Drive a manual and would prefer another
Currently have a hatchback (VW Golf) and love the roomy space for the occasional haul. Otherwise am usually alone in the car (no kids etc)
Really would like the smallest city car I could buy...BUT hate feeling like a small fish in a huge pond of SUVs and increasingly feel unsafe
Really like my zippy and efficient Golf and may consider another BUT see above about feeling small on the roads.
Live in Northeast with snow/ice concerns and believe I should get AWD (?) to help, but then some seem to say snow tires are better (?) Need some thoughts on this. The Golf doesn't come with AWD--or that would be my first choice. Maybe Suburu Crosstrek?
Don't really want to spend any more than about $26,000 on a new car.

Suggestions?

strafe
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Re: Please Recommend a New Car for Me

Post by strafe » Sun Dec 02, 2018 6:29 am

How important is the manual transmission?
If not that important, everything else you’ve said points toward a small crossover. Look at Honda, Toyota and Hyundai. Buy whichever one looks and feels right.

Manual transmissions are generally for enthusiasts, and enthusiasts don’t buy crossovers. Not many options there. If manual is important, best bet might be another Golf or a Honda Civic.

You’re infinitely better off with winter tires than with AWD.
Last edited by strafe on Sun Dec 02, 2018 6:30 am, edited 1 time in total.

camaro327
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Re: Please Recommend a New Car for Me

Post by camaro327 » Sun Dec 02, 2018 6:30 am

Based on your current car being a golf with manual. I would consider the new Corolla Hatchback or the Civic Hatchback. However none of these address the size issue compared to suvs/trucks.

You could move to a compact SUV for ride height. Maybe something like the Rav 4, CRV, or Forester, however I don’t believe any of these are available with manuals.

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BoglePaul
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Re: Please Recommend a New Car for Me

Post by BoglePaul » Sun Dec 02, 2018 6:32 am

At 50 consider something a little higher up like a compact SUV/crossover w/ AWD. It will require less bending and be easier to get in and out. I would purchase a car that can accommodate recovery from a surgery, illness, or bike injury if purchasing a car to last me into my 60's. Automatic is also easier to drive if fracturing a foot, hip, or injured in another way. Let the standard go.

Look on a map for whatever car dealer is closest to your home and consider their small suv/crossover option.
VW Tiguan Limited
Toyota C-HR
Honda HR-V
Four year old BMW i3 (the electric choice, can be had for low $20k's).

If putting only 6k miles per year on the car, consider a used car 2-3 years old. This will mean a ~40% savings. Maybe a used or last year's VW Tiguan Limited 2.0T w/ 4MOTION (and the premium package). The interface and controls will be closest to what you are already used to and that increases safety.

Get AWD with all-season tires. This will get you through just about any weather. Avoid the two sets of tires. Life is too short to be swapping back and forth. And picking up / storing the tires can break your back. Spend the savings on a new bike tires.

onourway
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Re: Please Recommend a New Car for Me

Post by onourway » Sun Dec 02, 2018 7:17 am

Crosstrek with snow tires.

carguyny
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Re: Please Recommend a New Car for Me

Post by carguyny » Sun Dec 02, 2018 7:39 am

Ride share (Uber/Lyft/Via) - rates will keep coming down and used car values will continue to tank.

Rent a car on specific days you need it and I'm sure you're better off. If in a busy city, can you rent out vacant car parking spaces? I used to make $850/mth renting out two spaces I wasn't using at the time.

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sunny_socal
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Re: Please Recommend a New Car for Me

Post by sunny_socal » Sun Dec 02, 2018 7:40 am

Subaru

RickBoglehead
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Re: Please Recommend a New Car for Me

Post by RickBoglehead » Sun Dec 02, 2018 7:56 am

Sites like Edmunds are better suited for your search.

No one drives manuals any longer.

Subarus are designed for the Northeast.

BenBritt
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Re: Please Recommend a New Car for Me

Post by BenBritt » Sun Dec 02, 2018 8:00 am

Subaru Forester. Wife has a 2015 and loves lt.

Turbo29
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Re: Please Recommend a New Car for Me

Post by Turbo29 » Sun Dec 02, 2018 8:35 am

Mazda 3 can be had with a manual and as a hatchback.

Jack FFR1846
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Re: Please Recommend a New Car for Me

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Sun Dec 02, 2018 8:46 am

Golf Sportwagen manual AWD. You might need to wait for one to come in, have it located or order it, but it checks all the boxes you've put there.

A Crosstrek would seemingly fit your needs but the difference in solidity between a VW and a Subaru are night and day. Where VW's strength (and BMW and Audi and Porsche) have always been that they feel like the car is machined out of a single, solid piece of metal, a Subaru feels more like it's a bunch of old aluminum cans riveted and zip tied together. I've had a couple BMWs, a couple Audis and a gaggle of Subarus and Hondas, so can say this from experience.
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Rupert
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Re: Please Recommend a New Car for Me

Post by Rupert » Sun Dec 02, 2018 8:48 am

I second the recommendation for the Subaru Crosstrek. It seems perfect for your needs. You can get it with a manual, but note that the automatic actually gets better gas mileage.

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Sandtrap
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Re: Please Recommend a New Car for Me

Post by Sandtrap » Sun Dec 02, 2018 8:53 am

Toyota - Corolla - Rav4
Honda - CRV - Civic
Subaru - Forester

Carson
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Re: Please Recommend a New Car for Me

Post by Carson » Sun Dec 02, 2018 9:12 am

Do you use a roof rack for your bike or just transport it in the car when you need to?
30-something personal finance enthusiast, just get getting started on this whole portfolio thing.

Austintatious
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Re: Please Recommend a New Car for Me

Post by Austintatious » Sun Dec 02, 2018 9:35 am

BenBritt wrote:
Sun Dec 02, 2018 8:00 am
Subaru Forester. Wife has a 2015 and loves lt.
I did a test drive of the 2018 Forester a few months ago. The ride was comfortable. It offers excellent vision all around and plenty of space for a smaller car. I thought the engine responded well and provided more than enough acceleration for a highway "on ramp" or for passing. If I were to buy today, it'd likely be the Forester.

Bacchus01
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Re: Please Recommend a New Car for Me

Post by Bacchus01 » Sun Dec 02, 2018 9:41 am

sunny_socal wrote:
Sun Dec 02, 2018 7:40 am
Subaru
This is Bogleheads. You will likely get 70% recommendation for Subaru.

Frankly, I think they are right in this case. Crosstrek seems like a great choice.

tomd37
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Re: Please Recommend a New Car for Me

Post by tomd37 » Sun Dec 02, 2018 10:36 am

Limoncello - Not saying you are a senior, but the April 2018 annual car issue of Consumer Reports magazine had an article on page 34 on best new cars for seniors. It gave their opinion on the senior features of front-seat access, visibility, controls, and headlight performance. The article also gave their opinion on overall score, and several safety options including forward-collision warning, automatic emergency braking, and blind-spot warning.

As an 81 year-old senior looking for a new SUV, I was very interested in the article. It rates the Subaru Forester (compact SUV), Subaru Outback (wagon), and Kia Soul (compact car) and numbers one through three. There are twenty-two other vehicles listed in that group of twenty-five.

Keeping a car as long as you do, plan ahead and think about your needs more than a decade from now. :idea:

I myself am waiting a few months until more of the Subaru Forester 2019 models hit the showrooms. They are just now starting to show up and not enough yet in the top trim line that I think I want.
Tom D.

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weltschmerz
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Re: Please Recommend a New Car for Me

Post by weltschmerz » Sun Dec 02, 2018 10:57 am

Toyota RAV4, coming out this month with redesign. Great fuel economy, especially the hybrid. Hybrid also has AWD.

Mazda CX-5. New turbo engine and upgraded trim levels coming out for 2019.

Hyundai Kona, Kia Niro, Kia Soul. All 3 of these are similar small crossover SUVs, and they will all have Electric versions available soon as well. Range will be very good (> 230 miles).

All of these options will give a slightly higher ride height than your VW Golf, and they are not too large. I would try to stick with cars with a length of around 180 inches or less to make it easier to park in the city.

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Alexa9
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Re: Please Recommend a New Car for Me

Post by Alexa9 » Sun Dec 02, 2018 11:03 am

RAV4 is bulletproof. Subaru, Mazda, and Honda are just not as reliable.

02nz
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Re: Please Recommend a New Car for Me

Post by 02nz » Sun Dec 02, 2018 11:21 am

I second the recommendation for the Niro. Kia's website calls it an SUV, but it's really just a (slightly tallish) hatchback. For someone who likes the Golf but wants something a little taller, it may be perfect. Reviews say it drives very much like a normal car, no weirdness because of the hybrid powertrain. The normal hybrid Niro (not the plug-in hybrid) starts around $24K.

The problem with the compact SUVs many are recommending is that they've gotten pretty big. If you like the "small and zippy" Golf, well, these aren't that. So I'd look a class smaller, at "subcompact" SUVs, which are closer to the Golf in length but taller. The Crosstrek is a good choice; you might also check out the Toyota C-HR, Honda HR-V, and especially the Mazda CX-3, probably the best-looking and best-handling car in this group.

And yes, winter tires ("winter" not "snow" because they give you far better traction in low-temperature conditions, regardless of whether the pavement is dry, wet, icy, or snow-covered) are much more important than AWD. Like maybe 10 times more important.

rooms222
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Re: Please Recommend a New Car for Me

Post by rooms222 » Sun Dec 02, 2018 3:06 pm

Ford Focus manual and Mazda 3 manual should be looked at. The Focus has a bad reputation for it's dual clutch automatic which is absent on the manual. I love my 2013 Focus, and my daughter has the Mazda 3.

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whodidntante
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Re: Please Recommend a New Car for Me

Post by whodidntante » Sun Dec 02, 2018 3:11 pm

Alexa9 wrote:
Sun Dec 02, 2018 11:03 am
RAV4 is bulletproof.
I would enjoy watching the Mythbusters bust this myth. Too bad the show is 86'ed.

squirm
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Re: Please Recommend a New Car for Me

Post by squirm » Sun Dec 02, 2018 3:14 pm

Just get a Honda CRV or similar with awd, you'll be fine.

strafe
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Re: Please Recommend a New Car for Me

Post by strafe » Sun Dec 02, 2018 3:18 pm

strafe wrote:
Sun Dec 02, 2018 6:29 am
Manual transmissions are generally for enthusiasts, and enthusiasts don’t buy crossovers. Not many options there. If manual is important, best bet might be another Golf or a Honda Civic.
It turns out the 2018 Honda HR-V is available with a manual.
This checks all your boxes. You might be able to get a discount as the model year closes out.

tapotti
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Re: Please Recommend a New Car for Me

Post by tapotti » Sun Dec 02, 2018 3:19 pm

Don't get a Honda CRV. Any of the other options are fine.

stimulacra
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Re: Please Recommend a New Car for Me

Post by stimulacra » Sun Dec 02, 2018 3:28 pm

I would get another VW Golf if you liked it. The updates and model designs are pretty evolutionary between iterations. You probably would not miss a beat.

If cross shopping brands:

1) Honda Fit. The nicest sub compact hatch you can buy in its class.

2) Mazda 3 hatchback. There is a new model coming in so you can snag a decent deal on the outgoing 2018 5-doors

3) Subaru Impreza Wagon or Crosstrek. AWD standard. Get the Impreza if you want to save some cash. Get the Crosstrek for the additional ground clearance and body cladding.

For people suggesting that OP gets a crossover. I’m not entirely sure if she drives enough to justify the additional cost ($6-7k). It might be easier in terms of ingress and egress as she gets older but am not sure if she’s there yet (She said she does bike to work daily).

danaht
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Re: Please Recommend a New Car for Me

Post by danaht » Sun Dec 02, 2018 4:07 pm

RickBoglehead wrote:
Sun Dec 02, 2018 7:56 am
Sites like Edmunds are better suited for your search.

No one drives manuals any longer.

Subarus are designed for the Northeast.
I drive a manual - and prefer it. Hopefully automakers continue to produce these as long as they make ICE vehicles. Electric cars and hybrids of course will be the end of manual transmission.

ssquared87
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Re: Please Recommend a New Car for Me

Post by ssquared87 » Sun Dec 02, 2018 4:18 pm

Since many of the posters above ignored your desire for a manual transmission and suggested a bunch of cookie cutter econo box crossovers, here are some options that meet your criteria.

1. Honda Civic - available with manual and has gottten extremely positive reviews in its driving dynamics, comfort, and ergonomics.

2. Golf sport wagon or GTI or Golf- newer version of what you have. The Wagon is available with AWD and manual. The GTI has manual but it’s FWD

3. Mazda 3 - available with manual excellent comfort ergonomics, reliability, new model is coming out so deals can be had on the current one which is already pretty cheap to begin with. The current model is very well regarded

The cars above may not feel as vulnerable on the road as your current car because they are bigger and probably feel more solid due to increases in chassis rigidity (on the VW at least, the Honda and the Mazda may not be as solid feeling)

AWD vs snow tires? Easy. Any car with snow tires will beat a car with AWD and all (no) season tires. AWD+snow tires is the best combo if you really need it but most people don’t. I’m an avid skier and am perfectly fine with RWD+snow tires. I have had AWD+snow tires and it was better, but not enough of an improvement to warrant the added cost and maintenance. AWD would be great if you’re going off road or steep inclines in snow, otherwise it’s overkill and without snow tires it’s uselss
Last edited by ssquared87 on Sun Dec 02, 2018 4:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.

ssquared87
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Re: Please Recommend a New Car for Me

Post by ssquared87 » Sun Dec 02, 2018 4:19 pm

danaht wrote:
Sun Dec 02, 2018 4:07 pm
RickBoglehead wrote:
Sun Dec 02, 2018 7:56 am
Sites like Edmunds are better suited for your search.

No one drives manuals any longer.

Subarus are designed for the Northeast.
I drive a manual - and prefer it. Hopefully automakers continue to produce these as long as they make ICE vehicles. Electric cars and hybrids of course will be the end of manual transmission.
I also have an auto and a manual and I vastly prefer the manual even in LA traffic. I will be holding onto the manual and replacing the auto with a manual when the new M3 is available in 2020

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fortfun
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Re: Please Recommend a New Car for Me

Post by fortfun » Sun Dec 02, 2018 4:23 pm

Bacchus01 wrote:
Sun Dec 02, 2018 9:41 am
sunny_socal wrote:
Sun Dec 02, 2018 7:40 am
Subaru
This is Bogleheads. You will likely get 70% recommendation for Subaru.

Frankly, I think they are right in this case. Crosstrek seems like a great choice.
I think Toyota is more of a Boglehead car. Boring, reliable, inexpensive, relatively safe, and low maintenance (sort of like a total index fund or target date fund) ;)

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BL
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Re: Please Recommend a New Car for Me

Post by BL » Sun Dec 02, 2018 4:38 pm

Got a new prior model Buick Encore last year that has some of those preferences: higher, but not too high; shorter and narrower; music and phone calls from smartphone; heated seats and steering wheel; AWD, $-mid-20's after big discount; next to top of the line (I bet the t-o-l would open and close "trunk", the only thing I wish for).

Haven't had any foreign cars for ages, but hear they may be good. Not a car person.

AARP has that list of cars:
https://www.aarp.org/auto/info-2017/con ... rs-fd.html

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aspirit
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Re: Please Recommend a New Car for Me

Post by aspirit » Sun Dec 02, 2018 4:49 pm

Limoncello402 wrote:
Sun Dec 02, 2018 5:14 am
I will be buying a new car in the near future. I drive very little and know near to nothing about cars. Nor do I really care. I simply want something reliable, safe, up to date and good looking. My current car is 13 years old, bought new at the time, and given my pattern I'll probably keep this one as long. I'm just now launching into some research. Here are my stats:

Single female, 50s, and drive less that 6000 miles/year on average. Bike to work. Avoid highways if I can. Avoid driving at all if I can.
Drive a manual and would prefer another
Currently have a hatchback (VW Golf) and love the roomy space for the occasional haul. Otherwise am usually alone in the car (no kids etc)
Really would like the smallest city car I could buy...BUT hate feeling like a small fish in a huge pond of SUVs and increasingly feel unsafe
Really like my zippy and efficient Golf and may consider another BUT see above about feeling small on the roads.
Live in Northeast with snow/ice concerns and believe I should get AWD (?) to help, but then some seem to say snow tires are better (?) Need some thoughts on this. The Golf doesn't come with AWD--or that would be my first choice. Maybe Suburu Crosstrek?
Don't really want to spend any more than about $26,000 on a new car.

Suggestions?
Suggestions you say.
Your unnecessarily spending money over feelings.
I applaud your biking to wk!
Your above data's input suggests 80k miles or less on a vehicle w/no problems and a history you know.
Why buy another auto except for consumption? :happy I would not if I had :dollar 260Mil.

Good luck!
Time & tides wait for no one. A man has to know his limitations.

lawman3966
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Re: Please Recommend a New Car for Me

Post by lawman3966 » Sun Dec 02, 2018 6:18 pm

There are many good suggestions above, including the one to simply keep the vehicle you already have.
However, if you're determined to get a new vehicle, I thought I'd chime in about one I like. I very much like my Hyundai Elantra GT. The Hyundai Accent hatchback has a very similar body style to the Elantra GT and may be a less expensive way to obtain the same benefits.
From the moment I got my Elantra, I was impressed with its ride, ergonomics, and economy. It has a very solid and comfortable feel to it.Other people who ridden in it as passengers or who have driven it say the same thing.
Being a hatchback, it's also very convenient for hauling stuff.
Worth taking a test drive to see if you like it.

TheHouse7
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Re: Please Recommend a New Car for Me

Post by TheHouse7 » Sun Dec 02, 2018 6:48 pm

RAV4 you will be most impowered, others won't mess with you.
"PSX will always go up 20%, why invest in anything else?!" -Father-in-law early retired.

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tadamsmar
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Re: Please Recommend a New Car for Me

Post by tadamsmar » Sun Dec 02, 2018 7:20 pm

Since you have been getting along with a 13-year-old Golf, I don't think you need AWD

All cars sold since 2012 have stability control. You have probably never heard of it, but it helps a lot on snow/ice. It's an amazing safety feature.

Get a car with traction control if you have to climb hills in snow/ice. Some, maybe all new Golfs have it. Not sure if it is a standard feature on Golfs.

You probably could just get a used Golf with stability control and traction control.

Informedforlife is a great site to see if a car bigger than a Golf is worth it:

https://informedforlife.org/

It's the only site I know of that integrates curb weight with other safety ratings.

Mapmaker
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Re: Please Recommend a New Car for Me

Post by Mapmaker » Sun Dec 02, 2018 7:50 pm

At least test drive a Mini Cooper. I’m 67 and wouldn’t trade my stick shift Mini for anything.

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ClevrChico
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Re: Please Recommend a New Car for Me

Post by ClevrChico » Sun Dec 02, 2018 7:57 pm

danaht wrote:
Sun Dec 02, 2018 4:07 pm
RickBoglehead wrote:
Sun Dec 02, 2018 7:56 am
Sites like Edmunds are better suited for your search.

No one drives manuals any longer.

Subarus are designed for the Northeast.
I drive a manual - and prefer it. Hopefully automakers continue to produce these as long as they make ICE vehicles. Electric cars and hybrids of course will be the end of manual transmission.
Same with me. I'll only own a manual as long as my car burns dinosaurs. A lot of the new autos and cvt's have issues. I'll stick with what is fun. As far as a model for OP, probably just buy another Golf. They are one of the few small cars that don't feel small.

Limoncello402
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Re: Please Recommend a New Car for Me

Post by Limoncello402 » Mon Dec 03, 2018 4:38 am

Thanks everyone for all these thoughtful answers. I look forward to reading this thread carefully and checking out all the recommendations.
As to manual--well, yes, lots of people still drive manual. While not a deal breaker for me, it is certainly something I enjoy a lot and would prefer. If you haven't tried it don't knock it!
Thanks again everyone!

UpperNwGuy
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Re: Please Recommend a New Car for Me

Post by UpperNwGuy » Mon Dec 03, 2018 6:13 am

I'm in my mid-60s, and I am driving a 2002 Volkswagen Golf with manual transmission. It has been an excellent car for the last 17 years, but both the car and its driver are now showing signs of age despite only having been driven 4000 miles a year each of the last five years. The car's suspension has degraded significantly in the last few years, and the seals around the doors are starting to decay. As I have aged, I am finding it increasingly difficult to get in and out of such a low-slung car, and, although I love manual transmissions on the open road or even in normal city driving, my legs get tired of shifting when inching along in heavy traffic. As a consequence, I am probably going to buy a subcompact SUV or compact SUV in 2019. The Subaru Crosstrek and Forester are on my list, as are the Ford Escape and Toyota RAV4. I won't consider the Honda CRV until the gas-oil dilution problem is fixed. I like the Honda HRV, but I hear it has the same problem as the Honda Fit: a loud whining sound at high speeds on interstate highways. The new Golf, GTI, and wagon are all too low for me, and the Tiguan has grown too large with the addition of a third row of seats. I have driven a Kia Soul and like the feel, but the cargo capacity is nonexistent.

3-20Characters
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Re: Please Recommend a New Car for Me

Post by 3-20Characters » Mon Dec 03, 2018 6:35 am

I am in the manual transmission must have camp. As long as they keep making them, I’ll keep owing one. I currently own a 2010 Honda Fit, which I love. It would fit the bill for you (pun intended) except no AWD and it’s not big (SUV type).

Some have recommended the Honda HR-V. I looked at that briefly and although it comes with an AWD option, only for CVT, not manual transmission. For 2019, I believe that they’ve dropped the manual altogether.

If I were you, I’d probably stick with the VW, since you seem to like it. If you’ve owned it all these years and not needed to trade it in, AWD probably isn’t that much of a need. VW, Mazda, Honda, and Subaru usually offer manual transmission options on some of their cars (or they did when last I looked, 8 years ago). If I were you, I’d make a list of what’s available in a manual transmission in your price range and look at those first.

Also, I’m 10 years your senior and I don’t buy the idea that I need a larger, taller car to get in and out. My theory is the more cushy we make our lives, the weaker we get. Instead, keep flexible and strong and you’ll be fine with a smaller, “normal” car. As for feeling outgunned by SUVs, that’s a dangerous escalation game. Are your really going to feel any better in a crossover when people are out there in Denalis an Hummers? So, I say, get another manual VW or similar small car.

researcher
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Re: Please Recommend a New Car for Me

Post by researcher » Mon Dec 03, 2018 1:04 pm

Limoncello402 wrote:
Sun Dec 02, 2018 5:14 am
- drive less that 6000 miles/year on average. Bike to work.
- Avoid highways if I can. Avoid driving at all if I can.
- Drive a manual and would prefer another
- Currently have a hatchback (VW Golf) and love the roomy space for the occasional haul.
- Really would like the smallest city car I could buy...
- Don't really want to spend any more than about $26,000 on a new car.

BUT hate feeling like a small fish in a huge pond of SUVs and increasingly feel unsafe
Live in Northeast with snow/ice concerns and believe I should get AWD (?) to help
Given the key criteria/facts stated by the OP, I'm baffled by all of the Subaru suggestions.

The answer seems obvious...a new VW Golf. If you're looking to change it up a bit, then go with a manual hatchback version of the Mazda 3 or Honda Civic. These would tick all of your boxes.

No need for AWD...You've presumably gotten around just fine the past 13 years without it. Besides, you drive fewer than 6K miles/year, don't drive to work and avoid highways/driving in general. So it's not like you find yourself forced to drive in blizzard conditions.

And buying a marginally larger SUV isn't going to make you feel more safe. But it will negate your "smallest city car" and "manual transmission" requirements.

Limoncello402
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Re: Please Recommend a New Car for Me

Post by Limoncello402 » Mon Dec 03, 2018 1:40 pm

I'll admit that it will be very hard to give up the VW Golf if I do decide to get something different. I may well buy one again (and maybe consider snow tires). Still, I want to keep my options open initially, especially since I first need to get educated on what other possibilities there are out there. As mentioned, I am not a "car" person so I never even look at cars and can rarely distinguish one from another. Need to catch up...

researcher
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Re: Please Recommend a New Car for Me

Post by researcher » Mon Dec 03, 2018 1:54 pm

Limoncello402 wrote:
Mon Dec 03, 2018 1:40 pm
I'll admit that it will be very hard to give up the VW Golf if I do decide to get something different. I may well buy one again (and maybe consider snow tires). Still, I want to keep my options open initially, especially since I first need to get educated on what other possibilities there are out there. As mentioned, I am not a "car" person so I never even look at cars and can rarely distinguish one from another. Need to catch up...
Check out the following links.

All compact cars ranked from worst to best...
1. VW Golf
2. Honda Civic
3. Mazda 3
https://www.caranddriver.com/features/g ... pact-cars/

In addition, the Golf and Civic are among the 10 best cars for both 2018 and 2019.
https://www.caranddriver.com/features/a ... cars-2019/

Millennial
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Re: Please Recommend a New Car for Me

Post by Millennial » Mon Dec 03, 2018 2:37 pm

I have a manual, AWD Golf sportwagen and I love it. Great car all around, and my recommendation if you need AWD. This is slightly bigger than a normal Golf so it may solve some of your size issues. I am in NE as well and I run snow tires in the winter.

As mentioned, Crosstrek manual is a good choice but is still small. Forester is available in manual in low trim and would solve the size issue.

Mazda 3 is the other I would check out, and IMO the best option if FWD is acceptable. It's an exceptional car. Slightly larger than the Golf but it drives well so it'll feel just as zippy. Excellent mpg. My wife's Mazda 3 with snow tires was better in the snow than my Subaru with all season tires.

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sunny_socal
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Re: Please Recommend a New Car for Me

Post by sunny_socal » Mon Dec 03, 2018 4:39 pm

ClevrChico wrote:
Sun Dec 02, 2018 7:57 pm
danaht wrote:
Sun Dec 02, 2018 4:07 pm
RickBoglehead wrote:
Sun Dec 02, 2018 7:56 am
Sites like Edmunds are better suited for your search.

No one drives manuals any longer.

Subarus are designed for the Northeast.
I drive a manual - and prefer it. Hopefully automakers continue to produce these as long as they make ICE vehicles. Electric cars and hybrids of course will be the end of manual transmission.
Same with me. I'll only own a manual as long as my car burns dinosaurs. A lot of the new autos and cvt's have issues. I'll stick with what is fun. As far as a model for OP, probably just buy another Golf. They are one of the few small cars that don't feel small.
Me Three!

Advantages:
- Manual transmissions are virtually bulletproof
- Fun to drive (unless gridlocked :annoyed )
- Slightly cheaper to purchase
- Easier on the brakes

WhiteMaxima
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Re: Please Recommend a New Car for Me

Post by WhiteMaxima » Mon Dec 03, 2018 4:56 pm

Honda Civic Type-R (2.0T 6MT) or Si (1.5T 6MT), much fun to drive
VW Golf GTI or R (6MT)
or Mazda3 (6MT)
No CVT, no automatic shift. More control and reliable. If you really like CVT car and care about reliability, then get a Toyota Prius.

Sandi_k
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Location: SF Bay Area

Re: Please Recommend a New Car for Me

Post by Sandi_k » Mon Dec 03, 2018 8:20 pm

Mazda CX-3.

BTW, you can go to Edmunds - click on Car Finder at the bottom. You can then put in your criteria - manual transmission, wagon or hatchback or crossover. It will give you 20+ options.

SR II
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Re: Please Recommend a New Car for Me

Post by SR II » Mon Dec 03, 2018 8:30 pm

onourway wrote:
Sun Dec 02, 2018 7:17 am
Crosstrek with snow tires.
That was my first thought. Not particularly "zippy", but cute, AWD is standard and the base model comes with a manual 6-speed.

(Side note: the 2019 Forester is not available with a manual transmission)

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Flymore
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Re: Please Recommend a New Car for Me

Post by Flymore » Mon Dec 03, 2018 8:50 pm

Scotty Kilmer has a humorous video on the costs of AWD versus the advantageous of it.

Should You Buy an All Wheel Drive Car?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1P-ZbzUdklI

I live in the snowy region and have never felt that I needed AWD, but choose to spend the money to keep good all season tires on my car. So far so good. :D

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tadamsmar
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Re: Please Recommend a New Car for Me

Post by tadamsmar » Tue Dec 04, 2018 12:15 pm

Limoncello402 wrote:
Sun Dec 02, 2018 5:14 am
The Golf doesn't come with AWD--or that would be my first choice.
The Golf does come with AWD

The Golf Alltrack has AWD.

Some other less expensive Golf trims have 4Motion AWD as a standard or optional feature

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