OK, so as you all know my car has… “been around the block”. A lot.

Still kicking after more than 10 years and over 165k miles, it has developed a few, shall we say, “quirks”. The most recent is a lack of air conditioning, coupled with a buggy alarm that would just go off for no particular reason. I stopped locking it since I didn’t want to come back to a loud car alarm thats been blaring for 8 hours. Most people would worry about such a thing. Not me. Nope. There is nothing in that car that I would be upset about if somebody ran off with it. And frankly, they probably wouldn’t get very far. I’d catch up to them a block away trying to push the car up a hill after the car stalled on them.

So the search is on. This is a tall order. My old VW Golf is by far the most comfortable car I’ve ever driven. Not comfortable like a cadallic, but comfortable as in everything falls easily to hand. The steering wheel, the stick shift, the radio (when it used to work), cup holders, etc. all were within easy reach. Any other car I’ve driven including rentals and friend’s cars all seem to be just a little “off”. Of course it could just be the fact that I’m used to my own car (it has been over 10 years).

So my criteria for a new car is simple.

  • Has to be fuel efficient – Has to be more than 30mpg in both city and highway driving. I am willing to accept something with slightly lower city MPG only if there is some significant advantage like 800hp or lots of cargo room
  • Must be comfortable – Again, not Caddy comfortable, but stuff has to be accessible and make sense. Radio controls can’t be retarded. Gotta have power stuff like locks, windows, keyless entry. A nice radio would be good, but if it sucks I’ll just replace it, no biggie
  • Must be affordable – I don’t want a cheap car. But I don’t want a $600/month payment either.

So I’ve compiled a preliminary list (photos from Edmunds.com)…

Honda Fit

Honda Civic

Hyundai Elantra

Scion xB

Toyota Yaris

Toyota Corolla

Toyota Matrix

Mazda 3

Lets see how quickly I can whittle this list down…