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Car: Shortlist

Having read lots and lots on ConsumerReports, the following is my shortlist for cars:
  1. Honda Fit (Sport)

  2. Hyundai Accent (2006 or newer)

  3. Kia Rio (Rio5) (2006 or newer)
The Honda Fit is the best car but it will also cost the most. $13,950 - $15,270 according to CR. The Accent and Rio actually start in the four digits for cars manufactured in 2006 or 2007. They are still acceptable from a safety and comfort point of view.

I'd like to test drive these three cars. Depending on the outcome, the list may get shorter. In particular the Honda Fit may not be comfortable enough. I may also test drive a Scion xB from 2004 or newer, if I can find one that fulfils all requirements at a good price.

This is the list of must-haves:
  • Side airbags

  • ABS

  • AC

  • Automatic transmission

  • Remote keyless entry


MP3 player connection is a nice-to-have. Listening to KFOG is fine, really. :-) I would prefer a car that's not black or silver but I may not be able to choose the colour.

Actually, now that I'm looking at dealer pages, I think the Honda Fit is out. There don't seem to be any around and the prices quoted for them are ridiculous. I'm not paying almost $20K. The Kias seem a lot more reasonable but I may have to let go of the ABS requirement.

Comments

As an ex-owner of a Hyundai Excel (the model before the Accent was released), I was an extremely happy Hyundai owner. While their cars aren't the most comfortable, they're virtually indestructible. I have a Focus right now, but will upgrade to either a Prius hybrid or an economy sized car like the Accent.

YMMV.

BTW, congratulations on making it across the pond!
Thanks. I ended up with a Hyundai Elantra. It was a much nicer ride than the Kia.
My sister has a Hyundai Santa Fe that she loves. I have a Ford Five Hundred (which became the Taurus again in '08), that is a big, lovely beastie that isn't horrible on gas.

The Honda Fit is adorable, but I'd be afraid it would get squashed by all the monster SUVs still on the road. That probably isn't a problem in CA, but it sure is out here in AR, where bigger is better.

Happy hunting!
I don't know about the Honda Fit. There hardly seem any on sale so I didn't test drive it.
Picking cars is fun! Your list looks good. We got a Chrysler Sebring convertible a few years ago - great California car. You see a lot of them touring Yosemite and the coast road with the tops down. My wife and daughter also like the Jeep Liberty. Small enough to park but it's a "tall" car, and they like being able to see from up there. It's also good for ski trips. Liberty's (and other similar) are sometimes called Cute Utes - as in Cute little SUVs. Speaking of which my neighbor likes his Suburu Outback. It's all-wheel drive and reliable. Some people like buying used from Rental Car agencies. At least they have the service history, and maybe a limited warranty.

Anyway, hope you enjoy shopping - it's a big part of the fun of getting a car. And I agree with you about black and silver, but the quality of the car is more important.
I did end up getting a silver car. :-/ As you say, the quality is more important. Maybe I can buy a funky seat cover or something.
Hyundai driver here also (Elantra.) One thing that has worked for me in the past is to buy a car from Enterprise Car rentals. Best to stick to the cars with low mileage - you can shop around from several outlets in the Bay Area. Check their web site - they will transfer a car from one outlet to another in the Bay Area for free. (If the car you want is somewhere farther away, they will charge a fee to transfer it to the SF area.)
That's funny because I ended up with an Elantra. Which year is yours? Mine is 2006, just before the redesign. I understand the side impact ratings are not good but otherwise it seems a very nice car for the money.
Hey! If you're not terribly busy today, you could come by Greyhaven for Sunday Tea, which starts around four. Today, the food will be "all the leftovers from the Odin Party". dpaxson was happy to hear yesterday that you were back in town, and this way you could catch back up with both of us in one shot.

You needn't RSVP; it's all right just to turn up. If you have forgotten how to find Greyhaven, please call and I'll give you directions.

See you soon, either way!

-- Lorrie