Here's where we're at:
0) budget $20,000 all in
1) 2010 Toyota Matrix MT, base w/ touring pkg (alloys/fog lights/spoiler/light tint
2) 305500km as of today - add 450km tomorrow when I go to the next band practice.
3) Paid off as of December
4) Engine light on (quoted $1200 repair), big windshield crack (around $500), probably some other stuff.
5) Replacement transmission (60k on trans) + new clutch January 2017 - transmission probably around 100k km now.
The matrix has been a learning experience (never drove manual til I got it). There's a ton of options for my budget, and compound that with being within a comfortable distance of Toronto for deals. I'm willing to drive to save a few thousand bucks (and already do it losing a few hundred ).
The main list:
- 2017+ Hyundai Elantra GL (potentially 2018)
- 2015+ Toyota Corolla LE
- 2014+ Honda Civic
- 2016+ Nissan Sentra SV
I initially came in guns blazing for the elantra due to features, price and opportunity to buy a low-mileage vehicle. Reliability is pretty high on the list, after having had to replace the transmission in my car. I have yet to factually dive into the expected maintenance costs of the cars on my list. I know that Honda and Toyota are still tops for reliability, and it seems the Toyotas come in for a little bit less for equivalent cars.
The immediate future is still doing roughly 1000km a week until winter 2020, except for touring (3-4 months 2019/2020). I'm expecting to put between 60k and 80k on my next vehicle within the first two years, then 25k/yr after that. Lower mileage is preferred for that reason, especially on CPO's that still have some warranty left. Honda has 7yr/160k warranty which means even a 2015 civic will have some coverage after touring life is done.
After touring, I suspect we will be starting a family 3-5 years. My initial plan is to have my next vehicle going into that phase of my life, and I feel that the cars on my list fit that requirement. I don't know yet if I want to drive it into the ground or not.
Subaru and VW have been left off the list mostly due to cost to repair - I won't have a lot of $$ to throw at that until tour retirement and want a few years hassle free (who doesn't).
Is there a clear winner here or am I correct in that my options are pretty even across the board?
I'll be digging into Consumer Reports at the library for longevity info.