Cheap new cars or crossovers

2020 Toyota Yaris hatchback with the 6 speed automatic (aka Mazda 2) is at the top of my list. Main negatives I have heard though are the pickup and the ride quality. But it seems like a good point A to B car. Too bad the 2020 Corolla doesn’t have a traditional automatic instead of a CVT.

I’m happy that the CVT was mentioned. It seems that the other types of transmission are getting the same complaint. “I try to go faster but when I step on the gas I just get more engine speed and noise”.

As far as the Yaris it depends on how it feels to you on a test drive, may not be as slow or hard riding as you think. Depends on what you’re used to and expect. We had a Mazda Protoge in the fleet for 19yrs and the Yaris/Mazda 2 is the modern version of that car. Just with more safety and comfort features that you couldn’t dream of in 1990.

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Lol, I owned 2 used Mazdas, a 1986 model 626 that leaked everything including transmission and power steering fluid and was always in the shop and a 1991 Protege that I bought with 60,000 miles on it that I put another 60,000 before the automatic transmission burned up.

We had much better luck, 194,000 miles on the 1990 Protoge when it was donated. Bought new and the shop that worked on it from 30,000mi on mostly had to replace normal wear items costing an average of $300/yr including oil changes.

Others have had much better luck with used Mazda’s. My buddy has an early Mazda3 with 215,000 mi and just put in a new starter but that’s been the rare failure with the car. Owned it since it had around 40,000 miles.

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Except for the transmission, my Protege was reliable.

DJ , this exercise would make more sense if you just listed the vehicles your research led you to think which ones in that below 21000.00 price might be for you .
And why you care what anyone thinks about a vehicle is beyond me.

You get what you pay for. If you don’t find what you want at your price point, consider an off lease two or three year old car. A lot of depreciation in the first years are to your benefit as long as the car checks out in your mechanic’s prepurchase inspection. My neighbor bought a loaded 2 year old Acura MDX for less than the price of a new base model. He’s very happy.

OK , DJ - I just remembered you are on an Island and a year ago you were asking about the seat comfort of a Honda Fit . So what happened there ? Since you are on an island and apparently are not independently wealthy it would be best to limit your choices to brands that have good service to the island of Oahu .

All major brands and dealerships are available on the island of Oahu. We are as developed as any other state in the U.S. Besides the Fit, other good choices may be the Honda HRV, or Civic, Kia Soul, Kia Forte, Hyundai Kona, Accent or Elantra, Toyota Corolla or Yaris, Nissan Kicks, Sentra or Versa, and Mazda 3 or CX-3, or Subaru Impreza.

Check out the Hyundai Veloster. It starts right in the middle of your budget. If you don’t care about going fast, you can get the Premium trim package which adds a lot of nice features, like heated seats, automatic climate control, keyless entry/start, leather trim, etc, and that’s just under the top of your budget.

If you DO care about going fast(er), you can get the Turbo R-Spec edition for, still, just under the top of your budget. That version drops the automatic climate control, heated seats, and a couple of other minor luxo features, but adds power, and is only $350 more than the Premium package.

My wife has a 2012 Veloster, and it’s been a very good car. The new ones are more refined and even higher quality.

An alternative to the Veloster is the Kia Soul, I think they’re based on the same chassis, the Soul is boxier.

When you say brand new are you talking 2020? I don’t own one but afaik the Mazda 3 sport is between that price range maybe not in Canada and depending on the package you get. I really like the design and look for the 20’ Mazda 3 sport hatchback.

They were for a couple of years but the Soul switched to the J5 platform in 2014.

Heated seats in Hawaii? :smile:

If the OP decides on the Kia Soul, he should check into the vanity plate “TOASTR”. I saw one on the road near home and thought it was a hoot. I would have taken a picture with my phone, but we were going about 60 at the time.

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I don’t think Hyundai targets much for climate with their packages, which is weird. The original Veloster wasn’t available with heated seats in the USA at all, though I think it was in Canada. Now I think all of the premium-trim ones get it, even if they’re sold where winter doesn’t exist. Odd.

That said, I work with someone who flips the seat heaters on any time it’s lower than 70 out, so maybe there’s someone in Hawaii that would want them. My aunt once told me to “bring winter back where you got it” when I visited her in Baton Rouge - it was something like 68 degrees and about a million-percent humidity at the time. She was wearing a jacket and couldn’t believe I was in shorts and a t-shirt and still sweating like crazy. :wink:


Corolla is CR’s new car top pick under $25,000. It has a CVT, but with a twist: an actual gear engages for 1st speed, for no slop on takeoff. Then it switches to CVT.

Yeah, I remember business trips to Central Florida in the winter. Their overnight low was more than 10 degrees higher than the daytime high back home in Maryland, yet they complained about how cold it was.


I was talking 2019 or 2020. In America the Mazda 3 hatchback costs like $7,000 more than the sedan for some reason. Sportiness I guess.

I’m a longtime Corolla fan. I love my 2006 Corolla. I got it as a demo at a steep discount. I’m still a fan of buying demos and may do that again because it knocks a lot of money off the price and you still get the full manufacturer’s warranty