View Full Version : Need a second car, cheap, better on gas and more space - Options?
09-07-2010, 07:43 AM
So unfortunately I have to look at a second car as Im putting on too many miles with my job. I didnt have the job I currently have when I started the lease on my S4 so it wasnt a concern. However, now I have to drive all over a "territory" and well, lets say that before this month started I was over in milage and Ive only had the car 4 months.
Sooo, Im looking for suggestions for an economy car that still has enough power to get out of its own way, preferably a 5 door hatch so that I can fit a lot of crap in and something that gets near 30+ mpg on the highway.
So far I test drove a 2010 Mazda 3s 5 door and 2011 VW GTI 5 door. The Mazda really impressed me with its handling and steering feel. Car was roomy and not uncomfortable. Lots of space for lots of things. Only benefits I saw before adding any packages was bluetooth, MP3 connection and trip computer. The VW was nice but didnt feel much faster than the Mazda even though it had 22 more hp. Seats felt more comfortable and came with bluetooth, Sirius radio and an actual iPod connection standard. Obviously the pricing on the Mazda was more aggressive because it is a leftover model but they wanted $220/mo on a lease with 0 out of pocket. I thought this was a great deal. The VW for the same deal was $386/mo. Also, Mazda is offering 0% financing on all their 2010 models so that was attractive as well. Big bonus for the Mazda was that I could use lowest octane gas with it as opposed to the VW which requires premium for the turbo.
Then I started thinking that if I was going to buy, why not look at used cars that are in the same range but higher end models. So I found a couple A3's in the same price range and I might check them out. Was thinking of checking out the Subaru Imprezza 5 door today.
Anyone have any other suggestions or opinions?
09-07-2010, 08:11 AM
I like the look of the Impreza 5 door. The 4 door is ugly but 5 is quite good looking. Not sure about gas mileage on that though... You will probably need at least the WRX for any power, the 2.5 is quite slow, but great AWD and the WRX has sufficient power already. You will need to check on the gas mileage part, I believe it isn't much lower than the S4. On the down side, the interior is quite crappy imo.
09-07-2010, 08:23 AM
I'd say the S class mercedes, you can find an "older" one for pretty cheap now, and they're INCREDIBLY spacious. Unfortunately, most of their engines in the E-class and above are V8's, so you'll be getting 17 city at best.
The Subaru's are nice, one of my friends just picked up the STI hatch, and it was surprisingly very spacious on the inside, although had very LITTLE trunk space.
Haven't had a chance to look at the mazda, so you're probably the more knowledgeable one there.
The A3's I also had time to look at, and I loved it. Especially the TDI simply for the fact that it was a TDI and still was sporty. Only problem is, its either tip and AWD or FWD and manual...
Compile a list of cars you want, or want to look at essentially.. and go test drive them. Take the time to do some research and look over them. Dealerships will work with you for trade ins, down payments, monthly payments, etc. Don't be afraid to be aggressive with them. Best of luck to you!
09-07-2010, 08:36 AM
Just to clarify, I am more than likely looking at an automatic for this car since it will be my beater/commuter. Not looking to have the most fun with it, just practicality.
09-07-2010, 08:40 AM
If you can afford the 32k~ TDI A3 then go for it. Sporty, and economical as far as MPG. Idk tho, I'd say if you're looking for space go with something else. What are you ideally looking for? A beater with space or a beater with better MPG?
09-07-2010, 08:44 AM
A beater with both space and MPG.
09-07-2010, 08:46 AM
Gimme a bit to do some research and I'll post my findings.
09-07-2010, 10:10 AM
Sticking to the Euro scene, you have quite a few options.
VW Jetta S - Base model, $19,585 base model. 5 speed automatic with tip. Multiple colors to choose from, only 2 interior options from dealer. Black, or a creamish color. 23/30 MPG. A little on the slower side with a 0-60 in 8.5 seconds, but this 2.5L is a beast. My gf's dad just bought one from a dealership, this exact car in black, tip, etc. and it can spin the front tires no problem at all from a dead stop. The engine is peppy as hell. Also has ESP option to turn off/on, the leather is nice in it, and all around it is a great car for under 20,000. WARNING: It IS a bit noisy once you get up on it, but nothing too incredibly annoying. I enjoy driving it every chance I get.
VW Jetta TDI - Starting at $23,580, obviously better gas mileage by quite a bit. 30/41 MPG city/HWY. 6 speed automatic DSG w/tip for automatic, or a 6 speed manual. Same 0-60 with 8.5 seconds, but a TDI. I've heard great things about these TDI systems, and I actually wanted to get the TDI A3 but just couldn't put down 35k+ for what I wanted. Interior options the same. You can factory order 16, 17, or 18" wheels from the website on both of these cars. Have 2 options for each size, but seeing as you want to get into one for cheaper, I left the stock 16" on there.
VW Passat - Bigger than the Jetta obviously, more room inside. One of my friends has this thing totally decked out, and it's a beauty. Very spacious on the inside. I'm 6'3" and can sit in the back seat with leg room to spare. $27,195 starting, with a MPG of 22/31 for the base.
You know about the A3 already so I wont beat a dead horse.
The mazda 5 door actually looks pretty sharp, and it has a nice base MPG for it. As well as a competitive price for under 20k.
I wouldn't recommend any of the new mercedes, they're all over priced and the cheapest model the C class is not worth the money. Small, noisy, and a pain in the ass. If you don't follow mercedes maintenance schedule, you could void your warranty. The A6 is prolly the only Audi i'd think about getting if ur worried about space and MPG. The a4's are pretty small at least from what I've driven. (B5/B6)
09-07-2010, 10:26 AM
Only problem is, its either tip and AWD or FWD and manual...
Just a correction here. The A3 TDI in the US is available only with DSG and FWD.
No tip, no manual, no AWD.
09-07-2010, 10:59 AM
I built one on audiusa and it had all the options.. might have been DSG not tip sorry. If you go to build your Audi A3, you can choose from a bunch of different options.
"2.0 TFSI® Premium with six-speed manual transmission and front-wheel drive $ 27,270
2.0 TFSI® Premium with six-speed S tronic® automatic transmission and front-wheel drive $ 28,750
2.0 TFSI® Premium with six-speed S tronic® automatic transmission and quattro® $ 30,850
2.0 TFSI® Premium Plus with six-speed manual transmission and front-wheel drive $ 29,270
2.0 TFSI Premium Plus with six-speed S tronic® automatic transmission and front-wheel drive $ 30,750
2.0 TFSI Premium Plus with six-speed S tronic® automatic transmission and quattro® all-wheel drive $ 32,850
2.0 TDI® Premium with six-speed S tronic® automatic transmission and front-wheel drive $ 30,250
2.0 TDI® Premium Plus with six-speed S tronic automatic transmission and front-wheel drive $ 32,250"
directly from the audi USA website.
09-07-2010, 12:46 PM
are you looking to buy or lease? Gti's and Mazda 3s are both pretty good cars IMO, but coming from my sisters mk6 GTI and a couple of friends who owns one, maintenance is a bitch. If your looking to buy I probably suggest a mazda 3s over a GTI. but if your looking to lease, I'd say GTI because the dealer handles the maintenance and you dont have to pay a pretty penny. other than the maintenance problem GTI's are fun to drive on a daily basis.
WRX would be the best choice of the three if you were to buy a used one. very spacious and practical. a friend of line recently purchased a used 06 wrx with 38k on the clock for 14 thousand and change.
I drove it and its very torque-y, i find that i can do some spirited driving in it.
09-07-2010, 01:09 PM
Unfortunately the options listed arent entirely along the line of what I want. I definitely want a hatchback. So the Jetta is out and so is the Passat. Mazda is offering lifetime oil changes for me so theres really not much maintenance involved. I looked into the subaru but unfortunately they get terrible gas mileage and their automatics are only 4 speed so thats why gas sucks.
Theres really not much out there for what Im looking for apparently. I think the Mazda 3 is fitting the bill at this point.