Car decision help needed - weird requirements, please help

I have a weird life - weekly i commute 500kms each way (1,000km in total) along a major highway between Montreal and Toronto - so I need a car that travels well on the highway and gets decent gas mileage. Further, for those of you familiar with the route, Montreal gets a bunch of snow in the winter, actually at least half of the commute in the winter can have some pretty wintery roads. Finally, because Montreal and Toronto are major cities and I live downtown in both, I want a car that is nimble and easy to park (I park on the street at my montreal pad). Since I’m not wealthy I am looking for either a cheap new car or good used car (or truck or suv) - budget is probaby around 25,000 dollars. I have gone the gammit through my head Suzuki SX4 (good in snow), Honda CRZ (not bad on gas and kind of looks neat) - as you can see I’m all over the place with my choices (and my life). Suggestions would be greatly appreciated, I want to get something by the end of the summer. My current car is a 2000 honda crv with 430,000km (what a car!!!).

If you like your current Honda, maybe you should consider a gently used Acura TSX or ILX. Your drive is quite flat, so I think you’d be fine with a front-wheel-drive car that has good winter tires.

You haven’t given many requirements here, so don’t be surprised if you receive suggestions that are all over the map. You probably do want comfortable seats, a ride that’s not too harsh, and maybe satellite radio.

Sounds simple to me, another CRV or Toyota RAV4. Go for the one that you get the best deal on.

I agree with Keith. Is there something you don’t like about a compact SUV? The best reasons I can see for getting something else are wanting better gas mileage or something smaller to park. But you seem to love what you have, so why change?

The only commonalities between the two cars you name is that they stand out from the crowd and are fuel efficient. I really like the Suzuki. You can’t get AWD for less money or in a smaller vehicle. Per Consumer Reports, it is also quite reliable. Honda hybrids have an iffy reputation for quality, though the CR-Z is supposed to drive better. But in the Honda lineup the Fit is a much better car overall.

If you want another compact SUV and better gas mileage, there is a decent hybrid of the 2012 Ford Escape. It has just been replaced by a 2013 model and the new one doesn’t come as a hybrid. The old one is a bit old fashioned in looks, but is one of the very few hybrids available with AWD, though I suspect most of the hybrids were sold with FWD. New, it’s outside your price range, but it’s been around for several years.

Other good compact crossovers are the RAV4, Mazda CX5, and Kia Sportage. You might like the Kia because it looks unlike the rest, lower and sportier. It seems less like a family car.

How much snow does each city get and how good are they about clearing the streets of snow everytime?

You might consider an Escape hybrid. It gets the best mileage of the SUV hybrids - 34 city and 31 highway.

You can put 4 winter tires on any FWD car and do fine in snow. I’d look at Mazda 3 SkyActive equipped and some other Mazda offerings. A VW TDI diesel might work too, but not sure how well the TDI starts on very cold winter mornings.

if you garage a car in the winter and have eletric a vw diesel might be a good choice if not go with a gas powered car

jtsanders wrote:
You might consider an Escape hybrid. It gets the best mileage of the SUV hybrids - 34 city and 31 highway

Unless there’s a ton of downtown driving being done here, this doesn’t sound like the right driving pattern to justify the extra initial expense of a hybrid.