New(ish) cars around $15,000!

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jun 20, 2014 12:44 AM GMT
    My car just took a dump unexpectedly... (2006 Scion Xa)
    Every car I have ever owned was bought 100% cash down.

    Being a business owner, I can completely write of the cost of a car Lease, so I think I'm going to live in comfort from here on out, why not?!

    This means that for the first time in my LIFE I'll have a car payment, the plus side being that I'll own a newer car for the first time! I don't pay much attention to details about cars generally, so I want some input.

    Things that are important to me
    1) Space vs. Size
    I loved having a small car with a hatchback feel to it. The ability to put the seats flat and load/unload Film Equipment is huge with my line of work. Plus the thing could weave in and out traffic like a boss.

    2) Gas economy:
    Duh.

    3) Looks.

    I think my list gives you an idea of my taste. Don't hate.

    My Current top picks are:

    Nissan Versa
    USC50NIC101A021001_Regular.jpg

    Kia Soul
    kia_13soul1a_angularfront_Regular.jpg

    Scion xD
    scion_14xdmt1a_angularfront_Regular.jpg


    What would you buy? Pros/cons of my picks?


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    Jun 20, 2014 1:18 AM GMT
    If you're going to lease, maybe go/think kinda BIG! If you are a businessman you want to look successful and flashy??? Our young IT guy at work leases nice sports cars and they are on a 2 year rotation. He had a Nissan which is the descendent of the old 240z. Like a 360Z? He now has an Infinity. Both gorgeous cars that had considerable giddy up and comfort. How about a Mustang? Camaro? The Dodge Challenger. You might not like buying fuel any more often than I do but if you can write it off??

    Truth be told in '06 I went looking for a Corolla wagon which didn't exist, and after looking at the sedan and the xB, drove away w/the little cube xB for $14500 brand new. My 1st new car ever and it was an import tin can but I still love it. 8.5 years and 206K miles later later I though my hearing was improving but NO the transmission is screaming at me (5spd. manual)(changed the 90 weight every year) so not sure wtf but it is a LOW END Toyota so I accepted the engineering compromises. I intend to drive it to 300K or more unless repairs get bad. So far just routine maintenance and 34 mpg w/oxygenated fuel (10% ethanol). I also have an old gas guzzling F150 4x4 so I'd like to get down to one vehicle. I'd have bought a plug in Leaf or Volt if they had more than a 75 mile range. My commute to work is 72 miles round trip.

    I rented the Soul for a spring training trip 2 years in a row and like them. 2 buds have xDs and they are nice an made better than my earlier Scion model.

    Youre a decent sized guy do you fit in these little cars well? Good luck bud.
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    Jun 20, 2014 1:46 AM GMT
    Comments about your top 3:

    Versa..
    How about the Versa Note? I think the hatchback would offer more utility. A co-worker just bought one and I have to say that I'm impressed. It comes with a lot of creature comforts that are found in more expensive cars. It seems peppy. But I'm sure that quickly goes away when you load it up with gear. If possible, get the manual transmission model. My co-worker got the automatic and the CVT makes a really annoying droning sound, like all other CVT transmissions.

    Kia Soul..
    No real comment on it. Just not a fan of the design. But of all the people I talk to that own one, they seem to love it.

    Scion xD..
    I kinda/sorta like it. Much better than the xA. I guess the chopped/low roof line give it a "lowrider" appearance. My only dislike is the massive rear blindspot.

    Personal pick:

    Honda Fit..
    I'm just a Honda fan I guess. The new 2015 Fit is pretty nice. They improved the horsepower and MPG in this new model. Plus, the rear seats fold in different configurations. Base LX model starts at $15K. The EX model jumps to $17K, but you get a lot of features/options for the money.
    http://automobiles.honda.com/fit/

    yMxgAsM.jpg
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    Jun 20, 2014 1:52 AM GMT
    I meant to link the versa hatchback.

    Always manual transmission for me.

    Thanks for the notes! I'm test driving on Saturday
  • tj85016

    Posts: 4123

    Jun 20, 2014 2:21 AM GMT
    just get the cheapest lease you can lay your hands on - good time to do a deal - end of the month and end of quarter

    Japan is desperate right now
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    Jun 20, 2014 2:30 AM GMT
    15jef-toyota-prius-i-tech-hero-460x259.p

    I had the same requirement when I bought my current car. My previous car was a Ford Explorer and I needed something that could carry about as much as the Explorer but I wanted better gas mileage while being able to zip around town pretty quickly. I never considered the Prius because I always thought they were kinda ugly. But I decided to test drive one just to see what all the fuss was about and bought it on the spot. The back seats fold down flat so it holds everything my Explorer held. I get more than twice the gas mileage and all I've ever had to do to it is change the oil. Seriously......it's never broken down at all. Can't recommend this care enough.
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    Jun 20, 2014 3:03 AM GMT
    Prius is out of his price range. Even the Prius C starts at $19K for the basic model.
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    Jun 20, 2014 3:25 AM GMT
    I like Nissan products. But I haven't driven any of these cars, so I'm generally useless.
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    Jun 20, 2014 3:25 AM GMT
    As long as you can write off a lease, do it. Pick something cool. LOL. Or something practical works too… Like a Jetta..
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    Jun 20, 2014 5:09 PM GMT
    If you want a manual , you can take the Nissan Versa Note off your list as it comes only with the CVT in your country .

    Honda Fit , is one of the best small car in the market and comes with a manual .

    Mazda 2 , is at the end of her life cycle , but it is a very good car , comes with a manual too and has a very good reliability score ( here in Australia )

    Toyota Yaris , if you want a very reliable appliance on wheels , it is worth consideration .

    Mitsubishi Mirage , small 3 cylinder motor , but she will surprise you with agility and being more peppy that the small motor would let you believe .

    Kia Soul, reliable , big inside , great engines , but choppy ride . Very good resale value .

    I drove all those cars and that is my opinion , it doesn't mean i am right ..lol..
    Also i have driven the Fit , Mazda , and Soul in the U.S with auto gear box ,and they were all pretty sluggish !
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    Jun 20, 2014 7:26 PM GMT
    Since you don't want an automatic, check out the Focus hatchback with the manual:

    CAR&DRIVER 10 BEST 2012
    "This is one of the best front-wheel-drive chassis on the road right now, supple yet precise, and it allows the Focus to get around many more expensive, more powerful, more overtly sporty cars on a twisting stretch. It’s as much sports sedan as economy sedan.

    We recommend the Focus SE with the slick manual transmission and the SE Sport package. It’s the sweet spot of the Focus lineup and a staggering bit of sweet science."

    http://www.caranddriver.com/features/2012-10best-cars-feature-2012-ford-focus-page-5

    The automatic is OK, just quirky, not a conventional auto or CVT.

    The Fiesta ST is the current Top 10 small car at C&D. Really fun! But at 22K a little dear.

    My ex has a 2010 Focus (previous generation) and it's been totally reliable. Literally ZERO trips to the dealership.

    A friend has a Fit with a manual, a pretty slick package too. Just too wagonish for me. Hard to beat for practicality tho!
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    Jun 21, 2014 4:53 PM GMT
    unckabasa saidSince you don't want an automatic, check out the Focus hatchback with the manual:

    CAR&DRIVER 10 BEST 2012
    "This is one of the best front-wheel-drive chassis on the road right now, supple yet precise, and it allows the Focus to get around many more expensive, more powerful, more overtly sporty cars on a twisting stretch. It’s as much sports sedan as economy sedan.

    We recommend the Focus SE with the slick manual transmission and the SE Sport package. It’s the sweet spot of the Focus lineup and a staggering bit of sweet science."

    http://www.caranddriver.com/features/2012-10best-cars-feature-2012-ford-focus-page-5

    The automatic is OK, just quirky, not a conventional auto or CVT.

    The Fiesta ST is the current Top 10 small car at C&D. Really fun! But at 22K a little dear.

    My ex has a 2010 Focus (previous generation) and it's been totally reliable. Literally ZERO trips to the dealership.

    A friend has a Fit with a manual, a pretty slick package too. Just too wagonish for me. Hard to beat for practicality tho!



    Ford Australia are selling a Fiesta with 1.0liter 3 cylinder turbo engine , i have read it would be coming to the U.S July 2014 , and be sold around 16-17 US dollars . Reviews here have been really good .
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    Jun 21, 2014 5:17 PM GMT
    neffa said
    unckabasa saidSince you don't want an automatic, check out the Focus hatchback with the manual:

    CAR&DRIVER 10 BEST 2012
    "This is one of the best front-wheel-drive chassis on the road right now, supple yet precise, and it allows the Focus to get around many more expensive, more powerful, more overtly sporty cars on a twisting stretch. It’s as much sports sedan as economy sedan.

    We recommend the Focus SE with the slick manual transmission and the SE Sport package. It’s the sweet spot of the Focus lineup and a staggering bit of sweet science."

    http://www.caranddriver.com/features/2012-10best-cars-feature-2012-ford-focus-page-5

    The automatic is OK, just quirky, not a conventional auto or CVT.

    The Fiesta ST is the current Top 10 small car at C&D. Really fun! But at 22K a little dear.

    My ex has a 2010 Focus (previous generation) and it's been totally reliable. Literally ZERO trips to the dealership.

    A friend has a Fit with a manual, a pretty slick package too. Just too wagonish for me. Hard to beat for practicality tho!



    Ford Australia are selling a Fiesta with 1.0liter 3 cylinder turbo engine , i have read it would be coming to the U.S July 2014 , and be sold around 16-17 US dollars . Reviews here have been really good .


    Yes I hear we are getting it too.
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    Jun 21, 2014 6:09 PM GMT
    your current vehicle
    i would attempt to re place the engine in your current vehicle. You know all about its history. ask around town at local speed shops who is willing to remove replace the engine. If you rebuild remember to consider the air conditioning

    new used vehicle
    -since cars typically last 200,000 now a days (except in your case) there are quite a few manufacturers and models to look at. Vehicles are trending down in size and I would stay away from the land boats.
    -I would stick to Honda's but do what you want. I like hatch backs but the Honda S2000 ap1 is a nice roadster and the Honda civic si 4 door; both are super fast. Honda early 2000's Preludes and nice family daily drivers. All time gas saves are Honda Civic-VX 5th gen 1992-95 and the Honda Insight. I own a VX, buy one with 130,000 miles on it and expect 250,000 run time, pay $3000 for it and get 46mpg plane simple w/o all the technology. The simple clean style of the vx hatch back is nice. Roomy interior.
    -nice references are gassavers.org or fuelly.com/forums also Edmonds.com (if you can get past the new car adds) will give you reviews on new & used vehicles plus tech info.
    -if a pickup truck get a 4x4 Tacoma. I own a 1999 just before they started to bloat out. My opinion on this vehicle is its difficult to work on; effort for the job at hand. Replace the oil filter is simple except they tuck it way into the engine.
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    Jun 27, 2014 12:27 AM GMT
    neffa said
    unckabasa saidSince you don't want an automatic, check out the Focus hatchback with the manual:

    CAR&DRIVER 10 BEST 2012
    "This is one of the best front-wheel-drive chassis on the road right now, supple yet precise, and it allows the Focus to get around many more expensive, more powerful, more overtly sporty cars on a twisting stretch. It’s as much sports sedan as economy sedan.

    We recommend the Focus SE with the slick manual transmission and the SE Sport package. It’s the sweet spot of the Focus lineup and a staggering bit of sweet science."

    http://www.caranddriver.com/features/2012-10best-cars-feature-2012-ford-focus-page-5

    The automatic is OK, just quirky, not a conventional auto or CVT.

    The Fiesta ST is the current Top 10 small car at C&D. Really fun! But at 22K a little dear.

    My ex has a 2010 Focus (previous generation) and it's been totally reliable. Literally ZERO trips to the dealership.

    A friend has a Fit with a manual, a pretty slick package too. Just too wagonish for me. Hard to beat for practicality tho!



    Ford Australia are selling a Fiesta with 1.0liter 3 cylinder turbo engine , i have read it would be coming to the U.S July 2014 , and be sold around 16-17 US dollars . Reviews here have been really good .


    2014 Engine of the Year Awards
    "This year’s competition was the fiercest yet, but the 1.0-litre EcoBoost continues to stand out for all the right reasons – great refinement, surprising flexibility and excellent efficiency. The 1.0-litre EcoBoost engine is one of the finest examples of powertrain engineering."

    That little engine won Ward's Top Ten and 2014 Engine of the Year Award. http://www.dpccars.com/gallery/index.php/2014-Engine-of-the-Year-Awards
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    Jun 27, 2014 12:49 AM GMT
    I like the Nissan Versa Blue one (1st pick). It just looks cool and hot. The body and style, Nissan makes pretty cars too right? Go with the 1st choice. icon_biggrin.gificon_biggrin.gif
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    Jun 27, 2014 4:12 PM GMT
    UPDATE:
    I went with a 2014 Honda Civic...
    The lease deals were INCREDIBLE. I was able to get this car for the same price as a 15,000 car of any other make. I snagged way more comfortable amenities this way.

    No doubt because Honda understands that after driving this car for a while, most will end up buying.
    2014_honda_civic_ex_l_w_navigation_pic_6
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    Jun 28, 2014 1:16 AM GMT
    Good choice! I really like the current Civic. Although, I'm still not a fan of the double decker dash. I was hoping they would get rid of that by now.

    2014-honda-civic-sedan-cabin.jpg

    Do you think it will fit your film equipment? The rear seats fold down, right?