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Buying advice for a used hatchback?

Hi folks,

I’m reaching out for a little advice: I’m in the market for a used hatchback with somewhere in the neighborhood of 45 to 60,000 miles and, ideally, made in the past five years or so. I’ve been contemplating the Honda Fit, Mazda 3, Nissan Versa, Ford Fiesta, or something by Hyundai (I can’t keep the Elantra, Accent, and Rio straight!).

Any words of wisdom concerning the options above? Anything I should look for in particular? Anything I should avoid? Any help would be most welcome!!

Your sizes are a bit different. The Fit, Versa and the Fiesta are smaller. The Mazda 3 is one size larger, on par with the Elantra GT (Hatchback). Of the cars listed the Versa is going to be the cheapest if you get it at the right price. Has a CVT transmission. The Fit retains its resale value so might not be easy to find one priced right.
You would have to test drive a few of the cars to get an idea.

Once you narrow this down to a specific car, most of us here recommend having a pre-purchase inspection done by your mechanic to look for any obvious major issues that could cost you a lot of money to fix.

I would avoid the Fiesta and Versa as well as any Ford Focus. The others are a matter of choice and comfort. My wife has a Mazda 3 Hatchback (Sport) and it is a good highway car and has lots of room with the seats down. We bought a freezer recently and it fit in the back with the hatch closed. If comfort is not an issue, a Toyota Yaris hatch back would be a reliable choice as well.

Thanks for the advice, folks! I’m very grateful.

One small correction to my original post: when I said “Mazda 3,” I really meant “Mazda 2” – sorry for the confusion!

A Mazda 2 is a fun little car, but somewhat cramped. If you don’t need to carry large items it would fit the bill.

Just make sure you take a long test drive on the roads you’ll use. I really like the interior room of the Fit, but I’d have to try it out on the freeway. Some folks find it too rough/loud.

A Toyota Yaris might be more reliable and cheaper than most of the cars listed.

Consider some things that may be a fit for your lifestyle. I mean on using up the car!

If you meant new with the better interest rates a new one might be a better deal in the long run if they like the car.

I had a 2007 Fit that I just loved. It had more interior space than you’d think, got around 35 MPG all the time, and was very reliable. Driving it on the highway was kind of “rough”, and the interior noise could have been better, but overall I loved the car.

Only reason I got rid of mine was fate dropped my dream Dodge Challenger in my lap, and I took the opportunity.

Good luck with your search.

Yeah, I really like the looks of it, and the few reviews I’ve looked at so far are encouraging. Do you anything about its reliability?

While the Mazda 2 is fine, I’d pick a Fit over it, better room, same/better reliability.

A much bigger reason to look for a Fit - there are WAY more of them. I looked for both, found 196 Fits vs. 19 Mazda2s on When you confine yourself to a rare car, it’s hard to get a good deal.

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