Last post on Dec 08, 2013 at 7:13 PM
You are in the Sedans
What is this discussion about?
Chevrolet Malibu, Nissan Maxima, Mazda MAZDA3, Nissan Altima, Honda Accord, Honda Civic, Hyundai Elantra, Lexus IS 250, Acura TSX, Car Comparisons, Sedan
#2886 of 3640 Re: Honda, Kia, Hyundai, or Mazda?? [hondaman2010]
Oct 26, 2012 (12:39 pm)
Ford is now or about to put a three-cylinder engine in its Fiesta and Focus that is supposed to be both economical and punchy. Extremely light weight, which is important for handling purposes in a front-wheel-drive car. I've never driven either, but they get very positive reviews from those who enjoy driving. I also read that they're relatively quiet, unlike the Fit.
I doubt the Civic will be so different for 2013 that it's worth waiting for them -- they're stuck with that design for at least a couple more years. They can tweak it a bit, but this generation has been roundly booed. Your negative reaction to the Accord you're driving is widely shared -- the new one seems to address a lot of the misgivings people have about the 2008-12 size.
By the way, I don't mean to sound down on Honda. My family owns three of them.
As for the Mazda3, I had high hopes for the SkyActiv engine finally addressing the relatively poor MPG of the 3, but apparently the trade-off is that it's fairly stodgy in terms of performance.
#2887 of 3640 Re: Help me find my new commuter [akamrtoad]
by kyfdx@Edmunds HOST
Oct 27, 2012 (4:16 am)
Three car seats?
Why wouldn't you want another mini-van? Seems like a good choice, until you get one kid out of a booster, and the twins out of carseats..
I mean, I know why you don't want another minivan, but that seems like the perfect vehicle for your situation....
#2888 of 3640 Re: Help me find my new commuter [kyfdx]
Oct 27, 2012 (6:08 am)
Three car seats across is rough in anything smaller than a crew cab pickup. Nice part about a minivan or three row SUV is that you don't have to have them all in a row. If the size is an issue, you could consider a small people mover like the Mazda5. It'd be nice if the Ford C-Max also offered a third row but it doesn't currently do so...
#2889 of 3640 Re: Help me find my new commuter [akamrtoad]
Oct 28, 2012 (3:01 am)
I hate to see it but I see you in another minivan. No other vehicle will give you the room and power you need. The newer ones get much better mileage than your old one. You don't mind a minivan, why not go with another? Yes, they'll be out of car seats but you'll be hauling around their friends too, and who would want to miss that fun? These are your minivan years. They'll be over before you know it. Advice from a mom of 3.
#2890 of 3640 Re: Help me find my new commuter [akamrtoad]
Oct 28, 2012 (6:20 pm)
I've had friends try this and 3 seats in the rear means a minimum of about 60 inches across. Most car seats with the arms in a position where they can be raised suck up the entire rear seat position, leaving nothing in the middle for a booster if one is on each side. This means you're stuck with either something that is very boxy and upright so that the seats can be pushed out towards the edges or something that is very large.
You can get everything that you want in a car except for MPG. You'll have to settle for about 25mpg. *(one exception, see below)
Option 1A - A Chevy Colorado/GMC 1500 crew cab. It gets 18/25 mpg and while that's not 30mpg, it will fit the criteria quite well. It also will haul cargo and that's worth considering with kids in the mix. (bikes, trips to the mega-discount-warehouse, furniture for their room, etc) GM also makes the most reliable automatic transmissions. GM also has huge year-end incentives.
It really does fit 2 seats and a booster. This is because the cab is boxy and unlike most cars, you really can push it all the way to the side.
Option 1B: A Toyota Tacoma crew cab. This gets 24mpg highway. They used to offer a 4 cylinder version but it's now all V6 plus automatic. More expensive, a little more reliable. Toyota never offers year-end incentives that amount to much.
Option 2A: A full size GM car. Get a Buick Lucerne with the V6 engine. The upside of these are that they can get up to 26-27mpg highway and are big and safe in a crash. It rides very nicely on long trips thanks to the long wheelbase and huge suspension.
Option 2B: A Toyota Avalon. Toyota's version of the same thing. Big, heavy, but gets about the exact same MPG as a Camry. A win-win for those who need more space compared to the Camry. The downside, again, is that a CPO GM car or one a the end of the year is sometimes 5K or more less than a similar Toyota.
Note - you can also get a third row vehicle, but precious few exist that have the third row ahead of the rear axle. This means the kid in the rear will be part of the crumple zone. Many minivans actually fail this criteria as well, so you;'re almost stuck with a Suburban is you want a 3rd row and something that is safe. Or perhaps an actual van.
There is one vehicle that fits all of your criteria. A Jeep Patriot.
NOTE - the 2013 model has slightly changed gearing, so it gets 1mpg better than the 2012. fueleconomy.gov lists it as 23/30 with the 2.0 engine and manual transmission. Jeep makes excellent manual transmissions, is it's the choice to get.
It's actually a nice enough vehicle and really is not a SUV, either. It's more like a raised wagon. The pros are good visibility, good bad-weather performance, and a dirt cheap price.
Note the $15500 price.(!) You can literally buy two of these for your budget, so it's a compelling choice. Ignore the NAV (honestly, your phone now does a similar job if you have an android or iPhone), forget about leather (kids will trash it anyways), and don't bother with the terrarium (sunroof) option. Forget the 4WD as well unless it's important to you. The middle trim model has everything you really want.
- Premium Sound (a must have)
- Green Paint (same as the "Jeep" green on the Wrangler - very nice looking)
- Security and Cargo group (includes side airbags and homelink)
That's it. Truecar/Cars Direct/etc have it quoted for $20K.
Sure, you have to shift your own gears. But it'll get 30mpg and haul a lot of cargo as well. All without looking like a minivan.
#2891 of 3640 Re: Help me find my new commuter [plekto]
Oct 29, 2012 (4:58 am)
Some folks are assuming alot about the carseats in question. At 3 years old, depending on the size of the children, they can be in high-back booster seats, which can take up way less room than a full "baby" seat.
#2892 of 3640 Re: Help me find my new commuter [plekto]
Oct 29, 2012 (6:11 am)
It's amazing, Plekto, how you continue to provide answers to questions that the OP didn't ask. He said he wanted a car, you give him suggestions for two trucks and a lousy SUV. He said he wanted something fun to drive, you give him the Buick Lucerne and Toyota Avalon. He said he wanted at least 30 mpg because of his long commute, you give him vehicles that get at best 24 mpg on the highway. Oh, and you also tell him what color vehicle he should get!
Really, if you think your opinions are so valuable that they should be shared despite the fact that they're completely off base, why don't you just start your own blog and free up this space for people who honestly want to help the people who come here for advice?
#2893 of 3640 Re: Help me find my new commuter [mr_gone]
Oct 29, 2012 (10:48 pm)
He wants something that isn't a minivan. That's apparently his #1 criteria.
He wants something new that can fit his kids in the rear all across. That's his #2 criteria.(see below)
That unfortunately leaves him with big vehicles. Even with smaller car seats and a booster, 3 across just won't happen in anything smaller than a Avalon or Taurus. He's kind of out of luck on the "fun to drive" part since 3 across seating in the rear simply means a big vehicle.
OR a third row. Yet, I researched all of them a few years ago, and kept up with the new models as well. Absolutely nothing smaller than a massive SUV or full sized van has the third row ahead of the rear crumple zone. So they *all* fail. Kids plus crumple zone equals a dead or mangled kid in a rear end crash. He has to have a two-row vehicle if he doesn't want a Surburban.
Note - someone else did mention a truck before me, so chill out a bit. Because most trucks these days don't look like a SUV (and they do have that kind of "cool" factor with 4WD and/or off-road tires), it *might* be an option. To me, his post screamed mostly of desperation about not having to settle for yet another mid-life jellybean or look like everyone else running around in their yuppie SUVs. A big stomping loud truck might be exactly the sort of "fun" he is interested in.
Lastly, I mentioned the Jeep because other than being a SUV, it does fit the other criteria. He has to make compromises in all of this. But it's 10K under budget, gets 30mpg, fits the kids, and looks unlike any other SUV out there.(I'd say it looks more like a lifted station wagon like the Volvo XC90 than a SUV) It just might appeal to him as different enough to be worth looking into. It's inexpensive, fun to drive (especially with the manual), and the whole thing has a "let it get dirty - just hose it off" aspect to it. Perfect for kids to grow up in without having a stroke about stains and clutter.
Hey, Jeeps are cool. If it's a SUV, at *least* get a Jeep.
Re #2 above....
I was thinking this over again, and there is another option worth considering if he can stand a *used* vehicle.
- Get a 2009 Pontiac G8. It doesn't get 30mpg. But you won't care. Why? Because it's the best car GM ever made. It has upgraded suspension, great looks, and most of all, is RWD and has the same engine as a Cadillac CTS. The V8 version? It has a Corvette engine in it. It does 0-60 in 5.5 seconds.
It's stupidly fast for a GM car and handles like it grew up in another country (which it did, being the best selling car line in Australia). I honestly liked driving it more than the new Cadillac CTS by a small but significant amount. But wow it's a LOT cheaper. Much better visibility as well. Even new, it was 10K less. But used, well, you're looking at well under 20K.
#2894 of 3640 Re: Help me find my new commuter [plekto]
Oct 30, 2012 (5:07 am)
Actually Pletko...from the OP his requirements:
Must seat 5 – That is two adults in front and 2 car seats and a booster in back. ( I have twin 3 year olds and a 6 year old)
No SUV – I have a minivan so I am looking for a Sedan or Wagon
At least 30 MPG – I commute 26 miles each way to work
None of your recommendations match these. There are many cars that will fit three car seats....not to mention two and a booster. Granted it will be very tight and most likely a complete PITA......and it also depends on the type of car seats. BUT it can be done and certainly doesn't require a truck...particularly if the person has no desire for a truck/van/suv. Then the wants....good performance, fun to drive...again none of your original recommendations come close. The G8 is a nice try and at least worth mentioning since it hits all but one....but there are obviously other choices that will check ALL the boxes.
#2895 of 3640 Re: Help me find my new commuter [plekto]
Oct 30, 2012 (9:15 am)
You're simply wrong, Plekto, about SO many things in addition to misreading the OP's criteria. Regarding your beloved Jeep Patriot, here is Consumer Reports summary of it:
A small, car-based SUV derived from the Dodge Caliber and mechanically similar to the Jeep Compass, the Patriot remains a mediocre vehicle overall. Handling is unimpressive, and even the up-level engine that comes with all-wheel-drive versions feels sluggish and sounds noisy. The seats are second-rate, and it's hard to find a good driving position. To its credit, the Patriot has an absorbent ride and well-suppressed road noise, and mostly simple controls. But that's not enough to compensate for its flaws.
CR also reported overall mileage as 21 mpg. And it's not as wide in the back seat as the Passat.
Yeah, it's half the price of the $30K limit the OP suggested, but since it doesn't fit ANY of his criteria, why mention it?