Question Of The Day: Which Car Checks All 8 Boxes?s
July 7th, 2010 12:13 PM Share
People have different ideas on what constitutes a good car. Some people think driving dynamics are the key, which explains the sales of cars like BMW and Ford. Others look to reliability, which accounts for cars like Toyota and Honda. Then you have the skinflints who consider value their key factor, Hyundais and Kias. While each car brand stands for something, there are many people who want a mixture of many factors. After all, a car is a major purchase and you’d want it to perform well over many areas and not just excel in just one. You car is your transport, it keeps your children safe, keeps you entertained in traffic and keeps the rain off your head. And all it asks for is a tank of petrol and regular servicing. So maybe there’s more to buying a car than just branding? So here’s the question of the day: Which one does it all?
Taking into account the following factors:
[ ] Fuel Economy.
[ ] Driving Dynamics.
[ ] Price.
[ ] Reliability.
[ ] Quality.
[ ] Practicality.
[ ] Dealership Service.
[ ] Repair Cost.
Which car on the market today (please state quite clearly which market you are talking about. We don’t want a massive argument about the Ford Focus only to find out that one was talking about the Euro Focus while the other as talking about the NA one), covers all those bases the best? In short, which car, on the market today, is the most comprehensive over those 8 factors?
Published July 7th, 2010 10:27 AM
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5 of 54 comments
Here are my thoughts on a few options in the US market. Mazda5: Has to be the hands-down winner. We don't get many of these space wagons in the US. The Mazda5 is fun, economical, reliable, practical, pretty much anything you name it does and does well. The next generation model certainly is ugly, though. Hyundai Sonata. Yes, it's a sedan, but a practical one. The fuel economy is good and it's reputed to be not too bad to drive. Honda Fit. Obviously. Honda Civic Si. If you're after a small performance car that needs to be economical and reliable, this is the one to get. Honda CR-V. Surprisingly fun for a small CUV. Quite economical. Acura TSX. No, it's not as good as the last generation (I own one of those). But if one luxury brand option goes on this list, the TSX is still it. Ford Fusion. Probably the best small-midsize volume sedan on the market. I would expect the Fiesta and the next generation Focus to tick all of these boxes too, unless there's an unexpected reliability snafu. "Almost" cars: Mazdaspeed3 (due to fuel economy), Subaru Legacy 2.5GT (ditto), Suzuki Kizashi (parts cost, dealer availability).
I have to nominate the 2005-2009 Subaru Outback XT (turbo)wagons 5 sp manual for Pacific NW NA market. I have not driven the new model so won't comment on that other than its ugly. I think you could make a case for checking all the boxes, other than perhaps fuel economy. I had a 2005 for about 20k miles in Alaska. Sure footed, fast, comfortable, and you can carry your stuff in it. The only problem I had with it was a rear drive shaft seal that went out but the dealer fixed under warranty. Even if you live in less extreme environment it would be a great car. All for way under $30k, what a bargain.
Acura Integer. Oh, right, they don't make it anymore. How stupid is that? (I'm actually thinking of getting one.)
Tough question, I'd say the Mazda speed3 and the Subaru WRX fit the bill, provided they are gently driven to conserve gasoline >:-)