The Quest for a New Daily Driver, Pt. 2
I think @Just-Jeepin is right. It's time to embrace the fresh new-warranty smell. I was on board with @Manwich & @functionoverfashion 's suggestion of getting an econobox and keeping it pegged to 10/10, because after all, it's more fun to drive a slow car fast than a fast car slowly.
But, I think @adamftw might be onto something, in that spending a little more than Mirage/Versa/spark money for something just a tad more enjoyable might be solid advice. I need to get from A to B, but I don't really think I want to despise the process of getting from A to B.
I'm going to put my money where my oppo mouth is and only consider vehicles with manuals, as I'll be the primary, if not the only driver and it'll be my daily.
Truthfully, at this point, options are seemingly limited as just about every "american" manufacturer has shit-canned the idea of a vehicle that's not a crossover/suv/bigly truck.
Admittedly, I think a Miata would be the answer here, but $30k is out of the budget by a fair amount. As is, i've been scouring local craigslisteseses for them for two or three months at this point. I've even got an email alert, but i think springtime + covid + economy + other stuff means that used ones are just hard to come by.
I think the Fit is a solid contender here. For $18k give or take, this seems to be a decent size, plenty efficient, and the 6spds seem to have solid reviews.
The Soul doesn't do a lot for me, but it's available with a 6spd for under $20k, it's a hatch-box thing, and it doesn't look like every other car on the market, so I suppose it's worth a look. MPGs aren't as great compared to others, coming in at 25/31.
I think the Corolla Hatchback is coming in at my personal favorite at this point. 6spd, 30/38mpgs, and incentives seem to keep it around the low 20's. I'm admittedly biased- designing products for an independent Toyota shop, so I've already got access to all the service manuals, parts, and service tools needed for most of the repairs should it happen out of warranty.
What say ye, oppo? Am I overlooking something?
I believe the Fit died an untimely death here in the Americas, did it not?
@just-jeepin oh crap, i think you're right. Honda's website only shows the 2020 model. That's a shame.
@benjrblant Agreed, it's a fantastic car from all accounts.
(Guess I should say: fantastic value, good car for the price.)
HammerheadFistpunch last edited by
@benjrblant Im in the same boat...cept the new part.
beefchips last edited by
@benjrblant If you add in a 3rd party warranty and just drop your target price a little to accommodate, you open up a lot of new territory. The Fit for one, sure, but what about FiST or FoST? Can't buy 'em new but can easily get them used for under 20k. Same with miatas, GTIs, Mazda3... lots of options.
@beefchips the FOST's that I'm finding under $20k are just barely under that point and typically 4-5 years old with ~50k miles on them. By the time they're at $18k, they're typically over 5 years and pushing 70k miles. At that point, I think I'd rather pay the extra $2k to get something that's new with a warranty and a service plan?
beefchips last edited by
@benjrblant Fair enough! Yeah, my risk tolerance for my vehicles might be a little on the high side...
@beefchips typically, mine would be higher.
something i've come to terms with at this point is that the land cruiser is already my project vehicle. as much as i'd love to get another project, i don't have the time or money to multitask projects. I think i'm looking for an a-to-b car that isn't awful and won't suck time/money from the land cruiser.
e90m3 last edited by
@benjrblant I think if I had to go out and replace the e92 for daily use, I'd be seriously tempted by a Corolla hatch with a six speed. It just seems like the perfect DD.
That or I'd find a meticulously cared for e9x, but those are getting harder to find and I know a Corolla would be bundles cheaper to run.
adamftw last edited by adamftw
@benjrblant Civic Si coupe. Even a couple years old and/or 75k miles on it, its still a Honda. You cant beat the reliability of the big ole H on the front. You can probably even swing a CPO or close to CPO BRZ/FRS.
Anything that has a remotely playful engine and stick shift with stickier than stock tires will be a joy. Case in point... Cammisa loves his eGolf. Thats pretty much an appliance if you aren't a car guy. My mk6 stick golf was a lot of fun, too.
@TheTurbochargedSquirrel don't you have a corolla hatch?
Milky last edited by
@benjrblant Not sure if you really want a new car, but you can definitely get a barely used miata for $20k. And mine has been crazy reliable for all 96k miles. CR rated it in their top 10 and I would agree with that. Only needed new rear rotors (plus pads all around) and a new belt tensioner at 90k.
*this one has 20k miles
@milky ooh, yeah. looks like lots of options with low miles. i'm guessing the hp bump on newer models is decreasing demand for the pre-bump ones
spacekraken last edited by spacekraken
@adamftw I need to get some summer tires on my e-golf at some point. It's already pretty fun on all-weather tires.
@benjrblant I drove a rental spec 1.8L CVT corolla LE a while ago and all I could think is "wow, this is stupidly nice for a cheap car with a CVT." I'd bet the manual 2.0L hatch is a really nice car for the price. Another possible option might be a golf or jetta-$20K gets you a 1.4 turbo with a manual and heated faux-leather seats in either. Not indestructible like a toyota or honda, but if buying new might be fine.
MUSASHI66 last edited by
@benjrblant Toyota, 100%. Price is right, it’ll run forever, it has tons of room, it’s different enough so it’s not super boring vanilla, and I’ll bet you anything you’ll like it better than the Fit the moment your test ride hits a highway.
rctothefuture last edited by
A used Miata, or even a CPO one would be a good call. Mazda's are right up there with Toyota for reliability and I would recommend one all day if you can swing it and be comfortable in it. I also recommend looking at CPO Mazda 3 hatches as well.
If you're going new, the Corolla Hatch is one of the best vehicles on the market for value currently. If I didn't need a hatch, I'd probably go Civic Coupe, but the Corolla is just a great little vehicle!
I wouldn't recommend the Soul. They aren't bad, but the transmission is lackluster and it handles like you think an econo-cube would handle. Plus buying from a Kia dealer is less than fun... The Fit is a fun little hatchback but I never liked them personally. Big guy in a little car is usually my vibe, but they just felt so cheap to me I could never get behind them.
If you can find a good lease deal, the Subaru Impreza would be a good option as well as they hold their value and therefore the lease terms are stupid cheap. I also recommend, as a Dark Horse, the Jeep Renegade. You get a Fiat 500 Abarth engine, in a cute Jeep box, with AWD and a manual transmission. Where can you go wrong?!
Huzer last edited by
@benjrblant Civic hatch? Golf/Jetta, Crosstrek/Impreza?
fhrblig last edited by
@benjrblant Join the manual Venue club!
KingT last edited by KingT
@benjrblant Slightly used WRX? GTI/Civic-SI?
ST80MND last edited by
TheTurbochargedSquirrel last edited by
@benjrblant I do. It's been a great daily driver for me.
Manwich last edited by
I think the Corolla Hatchback is coming in at my personal favorite at this point.
When my GF and I were testing cars for her to buy, she found the Corolla hatch to be the most enjoyable to drive, but with the most cramped back seat.
And because of that, she went with the Elantra hatchback which was almost as good to drive, but with much more rear seat space.