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Have to replace my TDi ... need suggestions

Opinions from the Car Talk officiant-autos needed. I have a TDi that I
love but is being bought back and I need to replace it. I have asked
family and friends for suggestions, now I am digging deep for more
options! I want something efficient (never will find the kind of mileage
of the diesel), reliable, fun, smallish wagon or hatchback but still
able to haul my kayak and camping gear, something I can take on long
road trips. The clincher, nothing boring!
Family suggestions are
Toyota (yawn) and Subaru (which is better but not as efficient as I
would like. I don’t need AWD or 4WD.
I like the Ford Focus with the
3 cyl turbo but know nothing about it. Also considering the Mitsubishi
Outlander Sport or the Mazda 3.
All recommendations will be considered.
Thanks gang!

A Mazda 3 is as much fun to drive as a TDi and much more reliable. The Sport model is a hatchback with as much or more room than the VW. I would stay away from a 3 cylinder Ford with a turbo (or any Ford for that matter); an ingredient for short life and unreliability.

I agree that Toyotas make some people yawn; mostly because they never seem to break down.

If you don’t need AWD or 4WD, you don’t need a Subaru; it will use more gas than a 2WD vehicle.

Try the Mazda 3 Sport first and you may not want to drive anything else.

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Yes, hard to beat the Mazda3. If you need more room, the Mazda CX-5 would be worth a look.

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I agree with the others, the Mazda 3 has a lot going for it. You may also want to look at the VW Golf with the 1.8L Turbo, if you liked your TDi, then you’ll probably like that one as well. The Hyundai Veloster might be an option too.

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I would SERIOUSLY consider removing the Outlander Sport from your list

In spite of what Mitsubishi may say, LOTS of people feel they are circling the drain, in the US, at least

You don’t want to end up with an orphan automobile

I would pick a boring and reliable Toyota, versus a Ford Focus with IMO unknown/questionable reliability

Mazda 3 is a decent choice

I guess that is good to know. I don’t want to get stuck with another car that is useless after just a few years.

I am not going with Toyota, sorry it is just too ordinary for my tastes. Too reliable and just too boring. I will consider the Mazda and keep hoping for some other interesting suggestions.

Thank you.

If you consider “too reliable” to be a bad thing . . . by all means go for the Ford Focus

I’m sorry if that’s not what you wanted to hear

But if you say you don’t want a car that is “too reliable” . . . then you should expect responses like the one you just got

You might also consider a British or Italan car . . . they’re also NOT known for reliability :innocent:

No offense intended :blush:

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Too reliable means just dull. Who ever heard of an exciting Camry or Corolla? I guess reliably dull is what I meant.
Life is too short to just settle for the dull and expected. I am way to wild for that.
Thanks for your opinion!

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Land Rover/Range Rover

Definitely not mainstream

Definitely not known for reliability

The VW Golf has the body style you like… and it has VW characteristics, which you liked enough to buy, now with a gasoline engine.

The VW diesel engine is no longer available. But there’s a lot to like about VW cars. If you are not totally turned off by the VW diesel debacle, you could give them a chance to win your business once more. You might get a car, and a deal, you will like.

I don’t understand why reliable is equated to dull? Can anyone explain this to me??

Perhaps it is because saving money is dull?

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I don’t see reliable as dull at all. Dull is Dull… not fun to look at, not fun too drive, everybody’s got one. Pretty much sums up Corolla and Camry as well IMHO as every variant of Prius.

Breaking down every other month, I don’t see that as exciting.(cough Mini, cough, cough Mini) There are lots of folks that view cars as appliances and Toyota’s are fine for them. Exceptions being Supras, Celicas and MR2’s Proof that there are cars that are exciting AND reliable.

Personally I have no issues with turbo cars. Your diesel had one. I have one turning 107,000 miles. They can be exciting and reliable, too. No experience with the 3 cylinder Ford, however but I DO like the Focus.

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Why ask for advice when the OP already has thoughts on what they like and want in the first place.

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Thank you. It’s not that Toyota is reliable that makes me not want to own one, it’s that they are dull. I have driven every imaginable type of car in my lifetime and Subaru was the most reliable in my experiences. I loved my Outback but they are way too big now (kids are all grown up and gone) and not efficient enough with AWD. I will still consider the Impreza but not exactly what I am looking for.
I love the turbo diesel and wish it wasn’t going away. I have nothing against the turbo and would buy one if I knew more about some of the cars running them. I love the pick up and go with my car.

I wanted to know more about my choices and glad to know about the Mitz.
Also, maybe someone has a suggestion on something fun that was not on my list.
I know, its asking a whole lot!

Not sure what you do for a living, but you seem to want to live “dangerously”. I once golfed with a dentist who owned a Jag E Type. He loved the car but compared it to being married to Elizabeth Taylor; some moments of high excitement but mostly temperamental performance and high upkeep!

If you want a real fun car, the Mazda Miata (MX5) is a lot of fun for the money. And it does not have the dismal VW’s reliability and high maintenance costs.

Maybe you can restate your needs more definitively and we can come up with a list of suitable choices.

The Subaru Impreza WRX might be just the vehicle for you! I’m assuming with your disregard for upkeep costs that you are well heeled and operating cost are not an issue. The WRX will be a much better car than any Mitsubishi and Subaru is well represented around the country.

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I considered the WRX last time I was looking. It is an excellent car in many ways. Just not great on gas, but nothing with power really is.

Like I said, something that is fun, reliable (without being boring) and hopefully more fuel efficient. A wagon or hatchback, not too large but big enough to haul camping gear and a kayak. I know every company has its good and bad cars, for various reasons. I just don’t see myself in a reliable and predictable car. ie, Camry, Corolla, Civic, Accord, etc. It’s not that I am well off, if I was I would buy a BMW or some other great driving car. I just don’t want to be one of the pack of nondescript drivers.

If this is any indication of the kind of driver/car enthusiast I am, my first car was a 1969 BMW 1600. POS but I loved it.

I am happy with suggestions, but insulting my desire to have something more than a Toyota is not really all that helpful.

How about a GTI?

I will test drive that one as well. Thanks for the suggestion.

My wife has a red Mazda3 Sport and really loves it! She drives much more sportily than I do and the car draws a lot of stares. The first week she got a speeding ticket, the first ever. The new Mazda Sky-Active engines are very efficient and your gas mileage would be great, without sacrificing performance.

The panelists here are mainly trying to steer you away from proven bad cars.

On my street we have a mix of cars ranging from two Golf hatchbacks (both carry Kayaks) to 5 Mercedes’s and 4 BMWs. Many have trucks since they have big campers. One neighbor’s wife drives a Toyota Solara convertible; a very attractive car and she look great driving it! Smallest cars on the street are a Chevy Spark, a Suzuki Swift, a Cheyy Tracker, and a Smart Car.

Others have classic cars as well; a Satellite Sebring, an original Boss 302 Mustang, an AMC Rebel, a 1972 Cutlass Supreme, and a 1958 Chevy 1/2 ton.

Each has his own reason for owning what they do.