I currently have a 2005 Hyundai Accent that I like very much. I would keep it forever except that I am getting really tired of having to take breaks from it for little repairs. 3 days without the car waiting for a door handle replacement was the final straw. (I could have driven around anyway and opened the door from the outside via the window, but we would have had to put the door back together for me to do that.)
The car landscape has changed a lot since I last looked for me. Last time I looked for me, there was one very obvious only choice. The Prius was at the top of every list and nothing else compared in the compact/sub-compact range. If I didn’t want to go hybrid, then the Toyota Corolla was the top of every sub-compact list. (And the Honda Civic if I wanted to go bigger.)
Things have changed quite a bit since then. The Hyundai Accent, which we bought in 2005 because it was literally the only car we could afford to buy with cash, is now as high as #3 on some lists! The hybrid landscape has changed dramatically. Honda has the Insight, Hyundai has the Ioniq. And there are plug-ins with tax discounts! (I briefly toyed with the idea of buying a bolt the weekend before the April 1st deadline for the $7.5K discount, but opted not to.)
By summer I should have up to 35K saved to play with for this new car purchase. I do not *want* to spend $35K, but I will be able to if necessary. (The money will find another home if not spent on this car.)
Here’s what I want:
I want a small car. Sub-compact preferred, Compact as a second choice. I like small cars because I am small and because they are easy to park.
This car will drive me 7 miles to work and 7 miles back 5 days a week (occasionally stopping at DC2’s school on the way home). My current 14 year old car has just a little over 50K miles on it. I just don’t drive much.
I do not care about “performance”. I do not want a sports car. I do not need vim or vigor.
I want a new car. Dealing with the used car market is not something I want to do. I will keep this car until it, too, starts succumbing to plastic fatigue or otherwise dies.
I want a four door automatic with air conditioning. I’m not sure if it is possible to get a new car that doesn’t have those attributes, but that was something that was really important when we bought the accent. The back needs space for two kids including one in a booster seat.
I am really not a mini-cooper kind of person. I am a boring middle-aged female. I do think the new lines on current models are sexy, but how the vehicle looks is really not a priority. Except I would prefer not to have something with a personality. Nondescript is where I’m at.
I want at least 28 C/35H mpg. Those are arbitrary. My current Accent still gets something in the 30-33mph range (I guess because my commute is partly highway?) If I go hybrid, then I want at least 50mpg. I know that given how little I drive my mileage isn’t that important, but I dislike stopping to get gas (especially during election season when I avoid places advertising evil people). I currently do it about once every 2 weeks. I don’t hate it enough to go completely electric though. I can afford an electric, but it seems like they’re more than I need given the higher price-tag (which is why I didn’t buy the Bolt before the subsidy got cut). Plus with DH having the Clarity we might need to get an actual charger if we went electric. Still, something like the Leaf, which still has the $7,500 credit, might be reasonable, except that I would not be able to make it to the city and back without recharging if something happened to DH’s car. So… I guess I don’t see any all-electric vehicles that I like enough to buy.
I don’t want a luxury car.
I don’t care about electronic bells and whistles.
The beep beep beep beep that the Prius does when reversing DRIVES ME CRAZY. (Two of my colleagues have Priuses.) (#2 notes that you can turn it off. We had a link in Link Love, I think.) (Yep, that’s why I put it in link love. But I do worry that somehow that ability will get disabled.)
What should I test drive? What am I forgetting? What sub-compacts and compacts do you love or hate?