No personal experience, but I have colleagues who have had or have either a RAV 4 or a Highlander. Both love their Toyotas; one even bought two Highlanders, and keeps one in a barn so that when the first wears out they can use the other! Used of course, but still.
The other nice thing about the Scion xB is that I wouldn’t have to worry about teen sex happening.
(Seriously, I do sincerely appreciate the suggestion, and the prices on those used look great. But I’m just imagining the conversation the kid who was hoping to inherit my Mazda 6 would have when shown that sexy beast of a car. ;-)
((Then again, I wanted a Mustang and ended up in a Chevette because no car is worse than uncool car. So there’s desire and there’s dealing with reality!))
I’d highly recommend driving some mazdas as well. They are very reliable cars and more fun than the toyotas I’ve driven. Not that fun is the main reason you buy a car, but if it costs less, is as reliable, and is more fun, well why not?
Actually, fun is one of the main reasons I’ve only bought mazdas for 2 decades now. Zoom zoom.
Lol, my first car was a white whale of a Chevy caprice with a blood red velour interior.
A friend in high school had one of those. That was something else. Great car to cruise around in on weekends, for sure.
FWIW, I finally did get a new car. Went with an Audi S5 coupe. In the process, drove the BMW M240i and 440i xDrives and the AMG C43 before making my decision. If anyone is in the market for something like this, I’d be happy to share my impressions.
I did insist the dealer put on some Hakkapalitas before I drove it off the lot. This week it’s been -11 in the mornings, and I have nearly 20" of snow on my yard…
Oooh very nice, one of our VPs at work drives one, but its a 4 door. He showed me the drive gauge screen, that thing is impressive.
The four door, the Sportback, is nice, and my office mate has an A5 Sportback which is really lovely. But I had no need for four doors any more, and I wanted a coupe, despite the lack of practicality. Coupes are not the most popular car style for sure, outside of American muscle cars and true sports cars (which usually are stratospheric in price and useless where I live!).
Cool car for sure
My spouse has a BMW M240, and loves it. She has a requirement to row-your-own so she will not even look at the Audis. Unfortunately the number of manuals even offered these days is rapidly shrinking!
Sadly, the manual M240 does not come in xDrive, and RWD is a non-starter for a year-round daily driver up here (outside right now is driving snow, 20+ MPH winds, and a windchill below zero).
I drove a manual for 33 years or so, with only a two year gap in there. Since 1985. This is my first automatic in ages. Do I miss shifting? Not really. I haven’t had a really good manual transmission since my old Integra GS-R; the two VWs (GTI, R) were just “ok” even after some shifter work I did on the R, and my right elbow has some issues along with nerve issues in both arms/hands that have progressively made manual transmission activity less enjoyable.
Besides, the new automatics are lightning fast, nearly telepathic in their shift logic, and with paddle shifters you still get a lot of the same control And the safety features tend to work better too. But I did seriously consider a 440i xDrive which did come with a manual option. If only BMW’s interiors (except for the CLAR platform brand-new stuff) weren’t so darn bland.
Last 3 cars in a row, civic-si coupes, automatic do not apply. Fun (sorry Tom) to drive. Currently neon green so I can find it in the snowstorm outside, or in parking lots.
Honda still makes some great manual shifters; the Type R, if it wasn’t so God-awful ugly, would have been a contender for me back when I bought my Golf R. The combo of a really refined FWD system, a potent engine, and a slick shifter was appealing, but the boy-racer styling general outrageousness of the thing put me off.
There is definitely a lot to be said for a car like the Si. Quick, nimble, fun, reliable, affordable are all good things.
Coming from a Civic Hatchback to a GTI, one of the things that stands out to me is the size the difference. The Civic is hardly a big car, but it feels like a tank compared to the GTI. It makes it feel more zippy, if that makes sense. Visibility is much better as well.
I loved my GTI. Drove it from 2006-2009 and it’s a great, small, zippy car.
The Golf’s are a very good package in terms of size–small outside, lots of good, usable space inside. This comes at the price of, well, being boxy, but it still manages to look pretty good.
One of the biggest transitions for me in my new car is the feeling of size. it’s not a big car by the standard of, oh, F-150s or big SUVs, but it’s longer by far than the Golf (though not much if any wider than my R was). And actually has less usable interior room, but then, I knew that when I went for a coupe.
A lot of cars recently come with styling that feature really small (vertically) windows. Visibility is not good in my Sonata for instance. Not sure what justifies this. The Audi A5 looks like it suffers from this as well.
Not really, at least, visibility seems very good to me. Not as expansive as out of my wife’s much taller SUV, but certainly light years better than, say, a Camaro or Mustang. Front visibility is excellent, and the A pillars are not as obstructing as they were on the Golf, either.
A coupe that sits low is going to have less expansive visibility than a car or SUV sitting higher with a more square roofline, naturally. But general visibility doesn’t have to suffer. Of course, if your standard is pretty much a large, square greenhouse to look out of, most vehicles with a modicum of styling are going to fall short of your standards. The examples in that link are generally of very, um, ugly ass cars.
I need a new car. I was looking at slightly used cars but anything that is less than three years old and less than 30k miles only seems a couple of thousand cheaper than new. Doesn’t seem worth it to me.
I’m thinking about a Mazda 3 Grand touring trim. Also thinking about using the Costco price. Anybody have opinions on those two?