Author Topic: Best Hatchback for the money/mpg  (Read 22085 times)

Bearblastbeats

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 370
Best Hatchback for the money/mpg
« on: January 18, 2013, 05:02:38 AM »
I'm in the market for a new to only a few years old hatchback. I currently drive a 96' Jeep Grand Cherokee and it is literally falling apart underneath me, just yesterday the bumper fell off.

I originally was considering a Versa but I dislike how the back seats don't fold down flush. This is a huge issue when I'm loading drum gear and other musical equipment. I then was interested in the matrix or a mazda3, then I noticed the mazda3 is only 2WD, and I can't seem to located a good deal on the Matrix.

So now I have been looking into a Subaru Impreza hatchback, preferably from 2009 to 2013. Except the 2009-10 models dont do so well with fuel mileage.

Is sacrificing mpg for AWD really worth it? I live in NH so we see some snow, but I live in the city and drive only on the highway. And since AWD is still newer technology, I feel driver exp far outweighs the capability of an AWD vehicle.

I'm getting a hefty tax return next month, on top of putting away 200 a week from now until then and I will need something by the end of Feb, which is when my Jeep will need to be registered and inspected again (which is what I want to avoid). I don't want to buy something too old because I don't trust mechanics, I don't want to go through the hassle of repairing a car over and over again like I have been with this jeep. Just want a nice reliable practical little hatchy.

Another Reader

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5073
Re: Best Hatchback for the money/mpg
« Reply #1 on: January 18, 2013, 05:45:16 AM »
Would the Toyota Yaris fit your needs?  I have a friend with one and she can transport a lot of stuff in it.  Hers is a 5 speed manual that gets 40 mpg on the highway.  I think there is someone on this forum, possibly in your area, trying to sell a Yaris that is financed.

Another Reader

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5073
Re: Best Hatchback for the money/mpg
« Reply #2 on: January 18, 2013, 05:47:48 AM »

amyable

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 295
Re: Best Hatchback for the money/mpg
« Reply #3 on: January 18, 2013, 06:00:20 AM »
I originally was considering a Versa but I dislike how the back seats don't fold down flush. This is a huge issue when I'm loading drum gear and other musical equipment. I then was interested in the matrix or a mazda3, then I noticed the mazda3 is only 2WD, and I can't seem to located a good deal on the Matrix.

I looked into the Nissan Versa when I bought my Honda Fit, and this was one of the deal breakers for me.  Also, the used Versa I test drove had a lot of road noise.  I love my Fit, by the way--it is so fun to drive.  I cannot recommend it enough.  Definitely wish I had switched to a hatchback sooner.

Bearblastbeats

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 370
Re: Best Hatchback for the money/mpg
« Reply #4 on: January 18, 2013, 06:02:34 AM »
I all ready bike around most of the city I live in (when it's clear of snow and not below freezing). Unfortunately where I live, you need a car to get anywhere (It's NH, mainly woods and little towns speckled about) and most roads don't really permit to bikers. I currently work 20 minutes down a death trap of a turnpike and yes, I even tried the whole moving closer to work ordeal and ended up moving right back to my old residence. There is no other way around it because I actually have it in my head that I need a vehicle, drumming, dogs, etc etc.

I did manage to find a nice 2010 Matrix with 40k miles for about $13k. It seems to be the best deal I can find around here.

Matt K

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 332
  • Location: Canada
    • Krull Photography
Re: Best Hatchback for the money/mpg
« Reply #5 on: January 18, 2013, 06:12:53 AM »
Is sacrificing mpg for AWD really worth it? I live in NH so we see some snow, but I live in the city and drive only on the highway. And since AWD is still newer technology, I feel driver exp far outweighs the capability of an AWD vehicle.

In a word: No. Sacrificing mpg for AWD is not worth it.

I own a Subaru hatch back, the AWD is fun, but in no way needed. In 5 years of driving up to ski hills I never got stuck once in my front wheel drive Mazda6 with proper snow tires. Every week I would pass at least one SUV in a ditch. One foot of fresh snow on paved roads is not enough to trap a fwd car with good snow tires. It is however enough to trap a big SUV with all-season tires.

Many of the cars that have AWD (such as the Matrix with AWD, or the AWD cute-utes) drive FWD only for 95% of the time, they only engage the rear wheels when the front start slipping - the rest of the time you are dragging around 200 pounds of fuel-sucking wasted weight.

Get proper 4x4 if and only if you drive off maintained roads. If you stick to maintained roads, get the fwd car that fits your needs, and spend and extra $1000 up front on a good set of winter tires on steel rims. You aren't actually spending any extra money over the life of the car, because using your summer tires in summer only will double how long they last. You are just buying two sets of tires at once, instead of buying one after the other.

Since space matters to you, I suggest a Fit as well, they swallow and obscene amount of stuff.

Bearblastbeats

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 370
Re: Best Hatchback for the money/mpg
« Reply #6 on: January 18, 2013, 06:27:54 AM »
Hmm. very good point there. I do have a solid month to test drive all these cars out. The fit does look a little odd to me and that is why I would consider the mazda3 because it's sexy as hell. but in the long run, its just a bunch of sheet metal and rusty buckets of bolts. I hardly ever drive into the real boons of NH and do stick to main passages.

Emerald

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 91
Re: Best Hatchback for the money/mpg
« Reply #7 on: January 18, 2013, 06:28:07 AM »
I have a Hyundai Accent hatchback and I love it.  I'm averaging 39 MPG.

Bearblastbeats

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 370
Re: Best Hatchback for the money/mpg
« Reply #8 on: January 18, 2013, 06:33:52 AM »
My roommate has the accent hatchy 2002. I had an elantra 2009 and could fit my drums in there just fine, with a little fighting of the bass drum case getting in the back but was manageable. I feel for the price of the accent hatch I could get a slightly bigger car and more cargo space.

Togoshiman

  • Guest
Re: Best Hatchback for the money/mpg
« Reply #9 on: January 18, 2013, 07:22:21 AM »
I'd personally go Fit or Scion Xa/Xd with really good snow tires.  Class up to Matrix FWD or Mazda3, though I personally like the generation before the current one.  VW Golf is a good option too if you can live with the electical gremlims, i.e. don't pay to fix them all when they inevitably happen.  For a bit more money up front, consider a Prius - big hatch area.  Newish Hyndai Accent seem decent, but if you didn't like the Yaris for being tinny, you won't like the older Accents.

Given their ubiquity, a decent Corolla, Sentra or Civic with a trailer and/or roof rack might also do well.

Full disclosure: I drive a fire-breathing Subaru, so take this all with a grain of salt.  That said, my next car will be one of the above.

tmac

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 472
Re: Best Hatchback for the money/mpg
« Reply #10 on: January 18, 2013, 07:34:07 AM »
I've got a 2008 Prius with your name on it. 128k, well-serviced, and in NC so no salt issues. I'll meet you half-way.

:D


Self-employed-swami

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1094
  • Location: Canada
Re: Best Hatchback for the money/mpg
« Reply #11 on: January 18, 2013, 07:36:17 AM »
We had a 2005 Matrix XR FWD and with snow tires, it was fantastic (and I am Canadian, so I know my winter driving!).


mlipps

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1086
Re: Best Hatchback for the money/mpg
« Reply #12 on: January 18, 2013, 08:32:20 AM »
We're super happy with our Toyota Matrix, which replaced a Jeep Liberty. This is the analysis I did to start our buying process:

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0Ao1XSBz4nTP3dEVnT3ZTQm5qbnRfbld1NEpqaEdkMnc

First, I read the article on Mr Money about Smart Cars for Smart People and added all the cars to my spreadsheet. We were getting rid of a 2009 Liberty though, and I knew it would be a hard sell for my fiance to buy something older, so I didn't go back too terribly far in model year. A few years didn't have an overall ratings, but I left them based on overall reliability of the model. I just noticed I'm missing 2009/2010 Toyota Matrix/Pontiac Vibe, I have no explanation for this...

Next, I paid for a one month subscription to Consumer Reports. I plugged in the overall reliability ratings of all the cars. Note that only one model year of the Versa gets a 4/5, all the others are a 3. Our plan is to drive this car for 10+ years, 150k+ miles, so this is really important to me. I eliminated all the cars that did not rate a 4 or 5.

Third, I used Fuelly to get MPG ratings for all the remaining cars. Some didn't have enough users there for me to find the data reliable so I pulled from the EPA instead. I didn't keep track of which is which, but there doesn't seem to be a big difference honestly. If I hadn't been pressed for time I would have done city & highway, but I just stuck w/combined and eliminated everything below 27MPG.

Finally, I used Edmunds to look up the max. cargo space. I also used KBB (I'd use Edmunds if I did this again) to get the value for a car w/average miles for that model year. So, 2012 with 12,000 miles, 2011 with 24,000 miles, etc. This was more just to compare which models sold for a higher price than their "peers" than for actual negotiating w/dealerships or anything.

In the end, we got our Matrix with 26,000 miles for $13k. So far so good!

ETA: I never considered a Subaru because I knew we didn't want AWD and I knew they sold for higher prices than something comparable because of their popularity with the "crunchy" types. Also, all MPG is for automatic transmission w/the smallest engine, in 2WD model. Matrix did come in AWD for a few years, and also was sold w/a 2.4L engine as an option, watch out for those little details. Sometimes you have to pull the Carfax to see the engine size before you go to look at a car.

Finally, once I had all this analysis done, we went looking specifically for a Matrix. I invented a comparison ratio of price:miles as those were the two most important factors to us and we felt the price we paid made our car a superior value to other cars.

Oh, and my dad looked back home in our rural town for deals for me and we realized prices were significantly more. We decided that here in Chicago the dealers get by on low margin high volume. So, don't be afraid to travel a little for the best price.
« Last Edit: January 18, 2013, 08:36:15 AM by mlipps »

BlueMR2

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2008
Re: Best Hatchback for the money/mpg
« Reply #13 on: January 18, 2013, 08:39:28 AM »
AWD is good for a few specific purposes.  Normal people don't need it though.  If conditions are bad enough to need it, normally you really shouldn't be out anyways.  :-)

I'm not a fan of hatchbacks myself.  I understand the utility of them, but it seems like once they're a few years old you end up in this continual, time and money sucking, battle against leaks.  There's just too much "door" area to seal very well.  Maybe not a problem in AZ, but in the rainy areas of the country it's quite annoying (and leads to the floors rusting out as the carpet and spare tire/storage compartmetns get water under under/in them that you don't even notice).

Rangifer

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 118
Re: Best Hatchback for the money/mpg
« Reply #14 on: January 18, 2013, 08:48:21 AM »
If you can deal with the ugly factor, the Pontiac Vibe has the same running gear as the matrix. Bonus points if you can pull off the Walter White look.

Mazda 6 wagon if you want something hot.
« Last Edit: January 18, 2013, 08:50:14 AM by Rangifer »

Bearblastbeats

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 370
Re: Best Hatchback for the money/mpg
« Reply #15 on: January 18, 2013, 08:57:25 AM »
Well, I did find a 2010 matrix with 40k miles on it for $13k. it seems to be the best reasonable price i can find around here for the vehicle. I did look at a few vibes but there almost obsolete now and run at the same cost as the Matrix. Like I mentioned earlier, I'm looking for newer so I can not deal with headaches for a while. As much as I would love a Mazda3 hatchy, I think the Matrix is going to be my go to vehicle.


Matt K

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 332
  • Location: Canada
    • Krull Photography
Re: Best Hatchback for the money/mpg
« Reply #16 on: January 18, 2013, 09:05:27 AM »
If you can deal with the ugly factor, the Pontiac Vibe has the same running gear as the matrix. Bonus points if you can pull off the Walter White look.

Mazda 6 wagon if you want something hot.

The Vibe shares more than just the running gear with the Matrix. They were built on the same line and share everything but cosmetics. The vibe is often a great deal because being a Pontiac, it depreciates more than the identical Vibe.

I'd stay away from the 6. Good looking it is, and a great driver's car, but thirsty too. It weighs several hundred pounds more than anything else beign discussed. Mine had the V6 which drank more than my current (none-mustachian) Subaru WRX.

Bear: how is the vibe "obselete"? The last model year was the same as the current gen Matrix.

BlueMR2: Have you had door seal issues on a modern hatch or are these issues goign back to an 80s rabbit? Personally, I've own a 10 year old Mazda 323 hatch and never had a leak. In fact, no one I've ever talked to has had a door seal leak on their hatch back.

FriendlyLibrarian

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 14
  • Location: Indiana (No, I don't like basketball or the movie Hoosiers)
Re: Best Hatchback for the money/mpg
« Reply #17 on: January 18, 2013, 09:12:10 AM »
Popping out of the woodwork to also highly recommend a Fit. I absolutely love mine for so many reasons: great gas mileage, fun to drive, and I can fit some really ridiculous things inside it. The car has also done fairly well with the snow that we've gotten this last month here in Northern IN, but that's not saying much since our winters are fairly mild.

Jack

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4734
  • Location: Atlanta, GA
Re: Best Hatchback for the money/mpg
« Reply #18 on: January 18, 2013, 09:19:58 AM »
First of all, I think you'll spend more than you need to by restricting yourself to "new or only a few years old." Even 10-year-old/100K miles cars are pretty damn reliable these days.

The fit does look a little odd to me...

The first-generation Fit is a lot better looking, IMO.

My recommendation would be a first-gen Fit, a first-gen Scion xB (the second-gen ones have a bigger engine and get much less MPG), or a Hyundai Accent (I had a 2003 one that was a great car until a tree fell on it 2 years ago... I don't know much about the 2006+ ones).

rtrnow

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 323
Re: Best Hatchback for the money/mpg
« Reply #19 on: January 18, 2013, 09:33:28 AM »
Hmm. very good point there. I do have a solid month to test drive all these cars out. The fit does look a little odd to me and that is why I would consider the mazda3 because it's sexy as hell. but in the long run, its just a bunch of sheet metal and rusty buckets of bolts. I hardly ever drive into the real boons of NH and do stick to main passages.

I recently traded a 2012 Mazda 3 hatch for a 2009 Honda fit. The Fit has MUCH more cargo space than the 3. Also, unless you're buying brand new and getting the skyactive, then the 3's mileage is pretty bad (20/28 I averaged 26). The fit is rated at 28/33 and I have averaged 38.5 over the last 2500 miles. The newer 3's are also expensive to insure. I traded a 40K plus luxury car for the 3 and my insurance went up!

mlipps

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1086
Re: Best Hatchback for the money/mpg
« Reply #20 on: January 18, 2013, 09:59:02 AM »
Well, I did find a 2010 matrix with 40k miles on it for $13k. it seems to be the best reasonable price i can find around here for the vehicle. I did look at a few vibes but there almost obsolete now and run at the same cost as the Matrix. Like I mentioned earlier, I'm looking for newer so I can not deal with headaches for a while. As much as I would love a Mazda3 hatchy, I think the Matrix is going to be my go to vehicle.

It also depends how much they're willing to negotiate; you could probably easily knock them down $1500-$2000 on that price. I agree that the Vibe doesn't seem to save much money though, we looked at several and I found them comparably priced.

kythuen

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 76
Re: Best Hatchback for the money/mpg
« Reply #21 on: January 18, 2013, 11:04:56 AM »
Hi! I'm the person AnotherReader mentioned, selling the Toyota Yaris.  I've actually already sold it to my roomie, so it's off the market, but that's for another post about my awesome life choices.  :)

I can recommend the Yaris, and also the Toyota Echo.  My roomie used to have an Echo that had run for over a decade with not a single mechanical problem, and will probably run for another decade.  Her mechanic told her it was more likely to rust out eventually than to ever break down.  My Yaris (now her Yaris) is a lovely little machine that gets great mileage, looks adorable, and you can seriously stuff a lot into the back.  The seats fold down -- not QUITE flat, but flat enough.  To give you an idea of the storage size - you can fit a bike into it, but it's a very tight fit and it takes some patience to do it. 

Bearblastbeats

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 370
Re: Best Hatchback for the money/mpg
« Reply #22 on: January 18, 2013, 11:13:14 AM »
Well, even looking at a 2009 fit at 70k miles I am still looking at dropping 13k on it, same as it were for that matrix with 30k miles less.

WHY IS CAR SHOPPING SO DANG HARD!!! HAHAHAHA...

I wish I could just ride my bicycle down that 20 miles of turnpike death trap and say screw it all.

twinge

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 326
Re: Best Hatchback for the money/mpg
« Reply #23 on: January 18, 2013, 11:20:55 AM »
+1 for first gen Scion xB.  Especially for things where the height is also a factor in cargo.

Forcus

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 714
  • Location: Central Illinois
Re: Best Hatchback for the money/mpg
« Reply #24 on: January 18, 2013, 11:43:49 AM »
I think its been covered but AWD with snow tires > FWD with snow tires > AWD with all-seasons.

I think it was C&D or R&T that just had a comparison of summer vs. all season vs. snow tires on identical cars in the snow. The summer tires were ridiculous in stopping distance (something like 400+ ft at 60 mph). The all seasons were much better, but the snow tires had enough margin (if I remember correctly, 40 or so feet less from 60 MPH) that they could be justified in a snowy climate.

AWD helps you get going. It CAN provide a measure of stability, but generally only under acceleration. The snow tires help all the time, in every circumstance (stopping, going, turning, etc.)(obviously this is in snow. In the dry, or warm weather, they are not as good as an all season). The ONLY question for me is how much snow / how long you are going to get it. If you get 2-3 inches a time, for 3 months of the year, running snow tires for those 3 months might be worth it. If you get 5 foot snow dumps a couple times per winter, but it's clear the rest of the time, the low ground clearance of a typical car won't help you even with snows. For me, the last couple years here in IL have been exceptionally dry, maybe 3 days each year where snow tires would be an advantage. At this time, not worth the price. But in NH I'm betting it could be justified.

Togoshiman

  • Guest
Re: Best Hatchback for the money/mpg
« Reply #25 on: January 18, 2013, 02:30:35 PM »
BearBlastBleats, I just want to reiterate that you may want to re-think the hatch thing.  The cars you are looking at, e.g. Fit, are worth a bit of a premium in the used car market.  A Nissan Sentra of comparable features will be thousands less, for example.  You might find that a trailer, roof rack, etc. actually gets you the best bang for your buck.  I like wagons too, but just a thought.

BlueMR2

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2008
Re: Best Hatchback for the money/mpg
« Reply #26 on: January 18, 2013, 03:43:40 PM »
BlueMR2: Have you had door seal issues on a modern hatch or are these issues goign back to an 80s rabbit? Personally, I've own a 10 year old Mazda 323 hatch and never had a leak. In fact, no one I've ever talked to has had a door seal leak on their hatch back.

We've got a 1995 Mitsubishi Eclipse and a 2002 Toyota Celica in the family that are leaky hatches.

Matt K

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 332
  • Location: Canada
    • Krull Photography
Re: Best Hatchback for the money/mpg
« Reply #27 on: January 19, 2013, 06:42:41 AM »
We've got a 1995 Mitsubishi Eclipse and a 2002 Toyota Celica in the family that are leaky hatches.

I'm not entirely surprised by the eclipse; while fun cars, I don't think build quality was their high point. I'm genuinely surprised to hear about the Celica though. What was the cause of the leak? Was the seal ever damaged (torn or cut while loading something) or did it dry out and crack or something?

Jack

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4734
  • Location: Atlanta, GA
Re: Best Hatchback for the money/mpg
« Reply #28 on: January 19, 2013, 07:01:25 AM »
There are hatchbacks, and then there are sport coupes that happen to have a hatch instead of a trunk. The Eclipse and Celica are in the latter category. I wouldn't let any bad experiences with them color your opinion of hatchbacks, because they're not really comparable.

Self-employed-swami

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1094
  • Location: Canada
Re: Best Hatchback for the money/mpg
« Reply #29 on: January 19, 2013, 08:27:18 AM »

We've got a 1995 Mitsubishi Eclipse and a 2002 Toyota Celica in the family that are leaky hatches.

How's the Celica for gas consumption?  I've wanted one since I was 16.

michael

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 59
Re: Best Hatchback for the money/mpg
« Reply #30 on: January 19, 2013, 12:45:11 PM »
2010 VW Golf - rebirth of the diesel engine in the Golfs, paired with a manual trans, averages 50-55mpg on the highway, 30-35 in the city

tmac

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 472
Re: Best Hatchback for the money/mpg
« Reply #31 on: January 19, 2013, 12:54:53 PM »
2010 VW Golf - rebirth of the diesel engine in the Golfs, paired with a manual trans, averages 50-55mpg on the highway, 30-35 in the city

I want that to be my next car (many years from now, when the current one bites the dust). We have a friend who has a biodiesel set-up in his garage, and I'm seriously inspired to try it after we move and have a logical space for such a thing.

Paul der Krake

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4608
  • Age: 11
  • Location: USA
Re: Best Hatchback for the money/mpg
« Reply #32 on: January 19, 2013, 01:00:44 PM »
I have an old 95 celica coupe with the hatch-esque trunk described above, and yes, it leaks a little.

Funny story, it took me over a week to figure out how to open the trunk, at first I tought it was a regular sedan trunk and was pretty pissed because I thought I had bought a car with a trunk that didn't open.

Currently get 27-28 MPG, but I drive like a hearse driver. I think it's rated for 23.

The honda fit is a little pricey, but it's incredibly fun to drive.

Jack

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4734
  • Location: Atlanta, GA
Re: Best Hatchback for the money/mpg
« Reply #33 on: January 19, 2013, 04:54:04 PM »
2010 VW Golf - rebirth of the diesel engine in the Golfs, paired with a manual trans, averages 50-55mpg on the highway, 30-35 in the city

I want that to be my next car (many years from now, when the current one bites the dust). We have a friend who has a biodiesel set-up in his garage, and I'm seriously inspired to try it after we move and have a logical space for such a thing.

You need to re-think your plan a little bit.

First of all, the common-rail (i.e. 2009+) VW TDIs can't run biodiesel in blends higher than 5% because it interferes with the regeneration cycle of their diesel particulate filters, eventually destroying the ($1000) filter. The regeneration cycle uses post-injection (injecting extra fuel after combustion) to raise the exhaust temperature so that it burns off the accumulated soot in the filter. With biodiesel's different burn characteristics, the post-injected fuel doesn't burn properly and the filter eventually clogs. In addition, the unburnt fuel migrates past the piston rings and into the engine oil, shortening its life (requiring 10,000 mile oil changes instead of 20,000+ mile ones).

Second, the new TDIs don't get 50-55 MPG on the highway... the technology changes required to make them meet emissions and be more "gasoline-like" (less vibration, etc.) had the side-effect of reducing their fuel economy too.

I suggest that if you want to own a TDI that you buy an older model now instead of a 2010+ one later. In my opinion, the best model years are 2002 and 2003. Keep in mind also that you'll want one with a manual transmission, as the automatics used in those model years were time bombs. (If you insist on a slushbox, get an '04-'06 with the Tiptronic, but keep in mind that those model years were pickier about maintenance: if the wrong oil was ever used, they likely have camshaft damage).

My qualifications for issuing this advice are that I'm a TDI owner (mine is a 1998 Beetle, which is essentially the same as a '99.5 Golf) who uses biodiesel. I'm also a member of TDIClub (www.tdiclub.com), and I highly recommend that you do some research on that site if you're interested in owning a TDI.

tmac

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 472
Re: Best Hatchback for the money/mpg
« Reply #34 on: January 19, 2013, 06:16:45 PM »
Jack, thanks so much for the information. My current vehicle has plenty of years left on it, so I've got lots of time to work it all out.

BlueMR2

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2008
Re: Best Hatchback for the money/mpg
« Reply #35 on: January 20, 2013, 06:25:57 AM »
How's the Celica for gas consumption?  I've wanted one since I was 16.

It's the wife's daily driver and she only manages to get around 28mpg out of it for some reason (even though her commute is expressway).  However, on long trips when I drive, it returns 42mpg average for the entire trip (even with around town driving at our destination).  We've done Toledo, OH to Pittsburgh, a couple days there with light around town driving, and then back to Toledo on the same tank of gas.

Have not identified all the hatch leaks yet.  Seals appear to still be in good shape.  Did find a big leak around the antenna rather than the hatch itself.  I think the car just has too much body flex and that the hatch doesn't sit tight against the seals.  Not real happy with the build quality of this 2002 Celica compared to my '91 Toyota MR2.  The older car, despite it's age and higher mileage is still more solid (the paint's even better on the older one!).

The Eclipse is a beater.  It's AWD, so I basically save it for when AWD is needed, which typically means it's going to be some rough going.  Internet is full of horror stories about them, but this one's been one really tough machine.  I think I've identified why...  The bulk of the Internet owners are young kids that try to duct tape everything together on them.  I buy quality parts which cost more upfront, but I suffer far fewer problems...  My latest "hatch" leak I may have falsely accused the hatch.  It appears it may have been leaking in from around the gas tank filler and running all the way around the back to under the hatch area!

Bearblastbeats

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 370
Re: Best Hatchback for the money/mpg
« Reply #36 on: January 22, 2013, 06:24:20 AM »
All right.. Would any of you consider a 2003 Mazda protge5 sports wagon with 80,000 miles on it for $6000. If it helps, here is the ad:

http://www.preapprovedautosales.com/vehicledetails.aspx?VID=171638853#


Jack

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4734
  • Location: Atlanta, GA
Re: Best Hatchback for the money/mpg
« Reply #37 on: January 22, 2013, 08:26:25 AM »
All right.. Would any of you consider a 2003 Mazda protge5 sports wagon with 80,000 miles on it for $6000. If it helps, here is the ad:

http://www.preapprovedautosales.com/vehicledetails.aspx?VID=171638853#

I wouldn't; the MPG is mediocre and it's got an automatic transmission. But then, I have weird taste in cars...

Bearblastbeats

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 370
Re: Best Hatchback for the money/mpg
« Reply #38 on: January 22, 2013, 09:05:07 AM »
Welp, a year newer model mazda3 is 1500 more with twice as much mileage. I don't want a standard and a hatchback is the only feasible option since I have drums.

Unless, I just fix up my Jeep and get it inspected for another year. Gets a whopping 15 mpg, but there is no car payment and a mechanic friend will stick it for $50 bucks.

Jack

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4734
  • Location: Atlanta, GA
Re: Best Hatchback for the money/mpg
« Reply #39 on: January 22, 2013, 10:31:12 AM »
Welp, a year newer model mazda3 is 1500 more with twice as much mileage. I don't want a standard and a hatchback is the only feasible option since I have drums.

The main issue is that for good MPG, it's necessary to look at brands other than Mazda. What did you find when looking at the Honda/Hyundai/Scion/Toyota/Nissan options that others and I mentioned?

It sounds to me like you've already decided that you want that car, and are now trying to justify it.

Oh, and by the way: IMO, "I don't want a standard" is face-punch-worthy wussiness. Especially when you're talking about a sporty Mazda!
« Last Edit: January 22, 2013, 10:35:43 AM by Jack »

Bearblastbeats

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 370
Re: Best Hatchback for the money/mpg
« Reply #40 on: January 22, 2013, 10:58:54 AM »
Opens mouth. Inserts foot.

But really, I don't need the Mazda as it's just a sexy little toy I would like to have. The Toyota Matrix is what I am interested in and their 2009-new models are better looking than the older models. Hyundai Elantra Touring is also a nice ride I could think about getting or even its little sister the Accent Hatchback.

I may just take my tax return and get a 10 year old Accent for 2000.

Jack

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4734
  • Location: Atlanta, GA
Re: Best Hatchback for the money/mpg
« Reply #41 on: January 22, 2013, 11:25:41 AM »
I may just take my tax return and get a 10 year old Accent for 2000.

Having owned one, that sounds to me like an excellent plan. Especially if you get the manual transmission. (Coincidentally, that's the car I learned to drive stick on.)

reverend

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 177
    • RobDiesel
Re: Best Hatchback for the money/mpg
« Reply #42 on: January 29, 2013, 06:35:08 AM »

Second, the new TDIs don't get 50-55 MPG on the highway... the technology changes required to make them meet emissions and be more "gasoline-like" (less vibration, etc.) had the side-effect of reducing their fuel economy too.

I suggest that if you want to own a TDI that you buy an older model now instead of a 2010+ one later. In my opinion, the best model years are 2002 and 2003. Keep in mind also that you'll want one with a manual transmission, as the automatics used in those model years were time bombs. (If you insist on a slushbox, get an '04-'06 with the Tiptronic, but keep in mind that those model years were pickier about maintenance: if the wrong oil was ever used, they likely have camshaft damage).

Yeah, the high mileage ones were the pre-PD engines (with manual trans), which I believe was up to 2003 (Golf/Jetta).
I'm also a TDIClubber. :D


Self-employed-swami

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1094
  • Location: Canada
Re: Best Hatchback for the money/mpg
« Reply #43 on: January 29, 2013, 09:58:36 AM »
Opens mouth. Inserts foot.

But really, I don't need the Mazda as it's just a sexy little toy I would like to have. The Toyota Matrix is what I am interested in and their 2009-new models are better looking than the older models.

They made them smaller in 2008 or so.  Our 2005 Matrix was about a foot longer, if I recall, and it had way more storage space, for things like drum kits!

jnik

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 149
Re: Best Hatchback for the money/mpg
« Reply #44 on: January 30, 2013, 12:27:50 PM »
They made them smaller in 2008 or so.  Our 2005 Matrix was about a foot longer, if I recall, and it had way more storage space, for things like drum kits!
They also killed the visibility out the driver's side rear. I had one as a rental and was scared to death of changing lanes because I couldn't see into the blind spot. Mirrors are great but I like to verify with eyeball.

Khao

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 185
  • Age: 29
  • Location: Montreal - Canada
Re: Best Hatchback for the money/mpg
« Reply #45 on: January 30, 2013, 02:19:27 PM »
They made them smaller in 2008 or so.  Our 2005 Matrix was about a foot longer, if I recall, and it had way more storage space, for things like drum kits!
They also killed the visibility out the driver's side rear. I had one as a rental and was scared to death of changing lanes because I couldn't see into the blind spot. Mirrors are great but I like to verify with eyeball.

I have a 2011 matrix and I can confirm that both the driver's side rear window and passenger's side rear windows are positioned really fucking badly and you can barely see anything.