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Old 09-29-2016, 11:27 AM   #21
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You cannot go wrong with any Honda, and the new generation CRV is really a good vehicle. We're on our second Civic SI.

The new Ford Escape has also been redone, and it's every bit just as good.
I rented an escape a few years ago ; nice vehicle but I couldn't see out of it
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Old 09-29-2016, 11:34 AM   #22
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I have a 2009 Honda CRV that's loaded. Leather, heated seats, ac, cruise control, premium sound, etc. It has 125000 trouble free miles and averages 24-25.5 mpg in all conditions. AWD and is very good in snow, with aggressive snow tires.

Plenty of storage room. It's not that narrow however, so you might take a test drive into your garage for fit. I like it so much that I talked my wife into a 2013 model and she's very pleased too. She likes the higher seating position and greater visibility.

My previous car was a 2003 Subaru WRX turbo charged white hatchback (a wolf in sheep's clothing). I ran that for 196000 miles and other than regular maintenance, I had to install a new radiator for about $50..
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Old 09-29-2016, 11:37 AM   #23
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My previous car was a 2003 Subaru WRX turbo charged white hatchback (a wolf in sheep's clothing). I ran that for 196000 miles and other than regular maintenance, I had to install a new radiator for about $50..
I so miss my bugeye - i had a white wagon too. yeah the stock radiators are crappy
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Old 09-29-2016, 12:54 PM   #24
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Check the April issue of Consumer Reports at your library for reliability records and general recommendations.

I also have a narrow garage space and my 2010 Prius fits great. I've had 6'+ guys ride long distances in the back seat and they remarked on how comfortable it is. The hatchback gives lots of cargo room, but you could go for the Prius v which is more like a wagon.


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Old 09-29-2016, 01:16 PM   #25
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you know another sneaky big small car is a nissan versa - rented one and it's really roomy
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Old 09-29-2016, 01:42 PM   #26
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My previous car was a 2003 Subaru WRX turbo charged white hatchback (a wolf in sheep's clothing). I ran that for 196000 miles and other than regular maintenance, I had to install a new radiator for about $50..
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I so miss my bugeye - i had a white wagon too. yeah the stock radiators are crappy
+2

Had a 2003 silver WRX SW; great car but, a bit of turbo lag.
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Old 09-29-2016, 02:26 PM   #27
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Reliability is an issue on those VW's. As several have said I think you can't go wrong with a CRV and it is a top safety pick. A Prius has very low total cost of ownership.
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Old 09-29-2016, 02:26 PM   #28
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I am not going to make a specific car recommendation, but I do recommend this website for looking at actual repairs for a specific car/year. Depending on the car, there can be A LOT of data available to indicate reliability. I have also seen that often, real world experience IS NOT what is reported by the likes of CR.

Car Reliability Comparisons
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Old 09-29-2016, 06:01 PM   #29
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Reliability is an issue on those VW's. As several have said I think you can't go wrong with a CRV and it is a top safety pick. A Prius has very low total cost of ownership.
According to the link below, the 2015 & 2013 CRV & GTI are essentially equivalent in reliability. You have to be careful to review the correct VW "Golf" model. The CRV has more room inside but, the (Golf) GTI has (a lot) more acceleration. Both have excellent safety ratings.

Quote:
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I am not going to make a specific car recommendation, but I do recommend this website for looking at actual repairs for a specific car/year. Depending on the car, there can be A LOT of data available to indicate reliability. I have also seen that often, real world experience IS NOT what is reported by the likes of CR.

Car Reliability Comparisons
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Old 09-29-2016, 06:11 PM   #30
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According to the link below, the 2015 & 2013 CRV & GTI are essentially equivalent in reliability. You have to be careful to review the correct VW "Golf" model. The CRV has more room inside but, the (Golf) GTI has (a lot) more acceleration. Both have excellent safety ratings.

I'd hope most all 1-3 year old vehicles would be relatively problem-free. I've owned both VW and Honda vehicles. Both did great up to 60-80K miles. By 120K miles, the Honda was still chugging along with only minor issues, while the VW had become a money pit. Anecdotal, for sure, but my experience is that VWs don't age as well as Hondas do.
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Old 09-29-2016, 07:04 PM   #31
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Great information and advice - thank you all so much!
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Old 09-29-2016, 07:41 PM   #32
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One criteria I would add would be safety data. Go to the government test results and pick one that has a top safety rating.

Any that are not at the top of safety/crash rating should be disqualified.

In an accident it only needs to save your life 1 time to be worth it.
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Old 09-29-2016, 08:38 PM   #33
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Toyota or Honda product. Cannot go wrong.
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Old 09-30-2016, 01:58 PM   #34
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I'd hope most all 1-3 year old vehicles would be relatively problem-free. I've owned both VW and Honda vehicles. Both did great up to 60-80K miles. By 120K miles, the Honda was still chugging along with only minor issues, while the VW had become a money pit. Anecdotal, for sure, but my experience is that VWs don't age as well as Hondas do.
Ditto. In fact, I loved my VW's but my wallet did not.
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Old 11-27-2016, 07:02 AM   #35
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Ok I have an update on what I am narrowing in on.

I decided safety should be a much bigger consideration, especially since I need a very small car, which automatically makes it less safe to start with.

So I went to IIHS-HLDI: Crash Testing & Highway Safety and looked at the safest cars in the minicars section. I used this page and went back though the years up til 2010:

Current IIHS TOP SAFETY PICKs

I decided, after reading the ratings, that I only wanted a car that is TSP+. In the minicar section there are only two that have met that qualification:

- 2016 Mini Cooper
- 2016 Scion iA


I would LOVE a Mini Cooper. However, I don't want to spend more than $12 or $13K on my "new" used car. So, it looks like the Scion iA is going to be my best bet for the most narrow width car with the best safety rating.

We've decided it doesn't have to have the best rear seat room or luggage space as we have decided we can't handle sharing one car in early retirement (planned for 2018, hopefully). We will keep our minivan as our second vehicle. It will be parked in the driveway whereas the minicar will have to go in our tiny garage.


I like what I have read about the Scion iA so far, minus the front grill. But, aside from that, it seems to have pretty good reviews. We might go for the manual as that appears to have more "pep"...but we'll see - I learned to drive on a stickshift and drove one all through my teen years, but haven't done so in ~25 years! Will need to test drive and see if it comes back to me.

Any input on this selection?

I appreciated the other ideas but they were all either too wide or not high enough in safety ratings for my liking.
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Old 11-27-2016, 08:02 AM   #36
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I see new models of the car you like, the Scion 1A, will be kept by Toyota and renamed as a Yaris now: Scion Landing
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Old 11-27-2016, 08:08 AM   #37
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I see new models of the car you like, the Scion 1A, will be kept by Toyota and renamed as a Yaris now: Scion Landing
Thanks! I know, I read that. I would rather buy a used car, for the depreciation savings. However I will keep an eye on the 2017 Yaris, just in case!

Also, what is interesting is the Scion iA was built on a Mazda base, and I loved my old Mazda Millenia...so it feels like a good sign to me!
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Old 11-27-2016, 08:30 AM   #38
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Thanks for that link. Very useful.
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Old 11-27-2016, 09:08 AM   #39
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Thanks! I know, I read that. I would rather buy a used car, for the depreciation savings. However I will keep an eye on the 2017 Yaris, just in case!

Also, what is interesting is the Scion iA was built on a Mazda base, and I loved my old Mazda Millenia...so it feels like a good sign to me!
I figured you knew that re Toyota -- could be a good negotiating point for getting the price down on the 2016. Looks like a great little car and did I mention cute?

We 've only had one Mazda and loved it but went to Hondas after that (because of design features--cute is important to me ).
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Old 11-27-2016, 10:29 AM   #40
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For a good little car , check out the Ford Fiesta . Nothing wrong with a Toyota . And don't pass up on KIA or Hyundai . Good cars real good pricing.
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