Best hatchback car to buy

I need some input on my decision to buy a next car. I had a Toyota Prius that was rear ended and totaled. I am hoping to buy something close in dependability, emission and fuel-economy if not the same. I primarily use my car to take long trips to go climbing and I intend to do a lot of car camping and some back country driving. I hope to keep the car for a long time and hopefully get the fullest possible joy out of it. I need a hatchback for this purpose. So far from my reading I have reduced the list to 5 vehicles in the order of my preference

1. Honda Fit

2. Toyota Matrix (FWD or AWD)

3. Honda Civic

4. Ford Focus ZX5 or ZXW

5. Hyundai Elantra

I have narrowed the year range to 2000-2010; price range between $5000-9000; mileage range- 60k-100k; manual transmission.

If you can add to this list, I would welcome that. Also, if you have any of the above cars and have specific information that can be applicable to this situation please share. Any other suggestions or tips looking for a car.

Thank you in advance for all the feedback

Those should all be good from a reliability standpoint. I’ve driven the Fit and liked it a lot. It holds a ton of stuff for its size. Not the greatest highway car, though, because it’s so light. But probably none of the cars on your list are great for long-distance driving.

You will have trouble finding a Fit in your price range. The first year is 2007 and even a base model with normal mileage is over $9000 fro a private party. All of the cars you list will have worse gas mileage than the Prius. Why not buy another Prius?

Subaru forester, outback, and impreza

I agree with the Subaru recommendation. A Subaru won’t be quite as good on fuel economy, but will be much superior for long-distance trips and adventuring.

Just beware of the dreaded Subaru head gasket problem in certain model years. (You can read all about Subaru head gaskets on this forum.)

I’ll throw in a Mazda 3 hatchback for you to check out. Don’t get the Speed 3 because that’s gonna do a lot worse in fuel economy than the normal one(260 horsepower for the Speed3)

In the current market value, I cant buy another Prius for the price the insurance company is offering me. Prius is my first choice though, I am gonna look. BUT I need a back up plan as well.

We had a Honda Jazz overseas (same as American Fit). It was a 2005 model and was a good little car. We could fit two road bikes in with the front bike wheels removed and some creative padding to keep them from rubbing so it did have good cargo room. The car was pretty solid and not noisy on the highway. We are considering replacing our U.S. Corolla wagon (which has more cargo room than the Fit/Jazz) but are not sure about the Fit as our overseas model didn’t get as good mpg as the old Corolla here does! I’m going to also consider the Ford Fiesta since I owned an awesome German made Fiesta Ghia model for 7 years when I lived in the UK, plus the Fiesta has some of the best fuel ratings for a gasoline engine car its size. The American Fiesta looks a bit bigger than the UK version, but the price will be high since it’s a new car here (plus it’s too soon to say how the US model will hold up and what problems it will have). We’re also looking at the Matrix and Hyundai Elantra wagon model, but we’re just getting started in our search so I don’t have any info to share on those cars. Personally I wish Corolla was still available as a wagon. It holds large items with ease and doesn’t have the high lip and narrow rear lift gate that many of the hatchbacks have (which limits the size of items you can fit in there).

Technically, the Matrix IS a Corolla wagon