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Car ideas

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
I know some of you love this sort of challenge, so I thought I'd see if you can come up with ideas that I haven't thought of.

We need to get DH a "new" car. It's getting to the point where we're putting money into his car every month. The check engine light keeps coming on and it keeps being different issues. The a/c has died twice. There are various other issues.


We can afford (well, that's a relative term- we will be using most of our savings for this) up to 10k.

Here are the caveats: It has to fit an infant in a rear facing convertible seat. It has to look at least remotely "sporty" (though my DH's definition of this is very loose... he somehow thinks an Outback applies, but not an Elantra). Four doors. Automatic. At least a 2004, but preferably something newer. It has to at least have electric locks/windows.

It cannot look even remotely like a minivan, but a sporty station wagon is okay.

Something with a "way back" that can hold the dog is a bonus.

So far we've found a 2004 CRV for 10k, and a 2005 Outback for about 9k.

Here loves Civics, but the resale is too high on those.

Any other makes/models we might be forgetting? Craigslist and carmax are both overwhelming if you don't narrow it down.

(on another note: does anybody know if Carmax is a good deal or not? We like the ease of it- we've never bought a used car before)
post #2 of 8
I love my car, it is an 04 Pontiac Grand Am with every option but sunroof and leather. It fits carseats great and has a trunk that is HUGE. I paid $2200 cash for it off craigslist last year.

It fit the bill of what I was looking for which was a-1 fitting my rear facing toddlers, and looking sporty

post #3 of 8
My Escape is awesome. It's an 02 or 03, I think. It's fantastic for my kiddos' carseats and for our dog (she rides in her kennel in the back for safety reasons, and there's plenty of room for it. She's 35 pounds, BTW.).
Escapes are one of the few vehicles that has 4 rear LATCH points, the middle 2 of which can be used for a middle position carseat- but not all models/years have that feature, so check the manual first.
Also, hellllloooooo cargo space! We didn't even rent a truck when we moved. Seriously. I moved everything in my car (or on the cargo rack).

I've ridden in other people's Outbacks, and find them to be so very very uncomfortable. The seats seem so narrow compared to the width of the car, and there is zero legroom. If you ever plan on having an adult in the back seat, especially with a middle carseat, that's something to keep in mind.. but maybe it varies by model year?

Also, we get better mileage than the Outback drivers I've known.
post #4 of 8
I have a friend that loves her new Mazda.

Another friend that loves her Volvo wagon (but you'd need go father back than 2004 to afford that I bet).

My MIL had a Subaru Outback, a friend has one as well. They both liked 'em. Yup, the backseat is a bit cramped for adults, but we managed to fit a rear-facing Britax Marathon in the middle (then later, a rear-facing Roundabout - couldn't shove the MA behind a person's seat). I still totally miss that AWD.

Has a Camry been written out already? Or Subaru Forester? I'd almost say if you have a little free time, go hang out at your library and leaf through the Consumer Reports and track down what tickles your fancy, and go from there.
post #5 of 8
I'd look at Matrixs or Vibes, unless the dog in question is very large.
post #6 of 8
Thread Starter 
Dog is about 35 pounds, so a matrix/vibe would work. I'll look those up, I hadn't thought about them in a while. (Originally DH's standards were very high, but then he finally realized that I wasn't kidding about us not being able to afford what he wanted, so he's relaxed them some)

Thanks for the suggestions everyone!
post #7 of 8
I second the Escape or even a Rav 4. I don't personally have either one, but know of folks who do and they've held on to them for years and really like them.

Good luck with your search!
post #8 of 8
I drive an '07 Vibe and DH drives an '08 Suzuki SX4. They're both great cars and were under 10k. The Vibe has more room in the way back than the SX4, but the SX4 seems to have more headroom and the kids say the back seats are more comfy for longer drives. It looks very small from the outside, but when you get in, it's pretty surprising.

edit to add: I could also recommend a Rav4. DH traded in our 96 Rav this year for the Suzuki. 280k on it and never had a problem. The body went before the engine did.
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