CarTalk.com Best of Deals Car Reviews Repair Shops Cars A-Z Radio Show

Help finding replacement vehicle

First let me say I don’t know which heading to put this under, so I chose this one. I may choose another also in case this isn’t the right place.

I HATE that my car is apparently on its last legs. I LOVE my 2005 Mazda 6 wagon w/88k miles. Just had it looked at and there’s an oil leak somewhere in the engine that they can’t get the gasket for because Mazda doesn’t make it anymore, and I’m told even if they could find one at a salvage/junk yard there’s no guarantee that it’s not dried out and would also leak, seeing as it’s also been sitting in a 16 yr old car. I’m told it will last a while longer (no estimate on that though) but I should start looking for something else now. I was even willing to have the engine rebuilt (that’s how much I love this thing) but again, there’s the same problem of parts (gaskets) that can’t be found new, and the cost to get an engine with 16 yr old parts plus the install would cost a lot. So I need to find something else.

Problem is I absolutely hate the new(er) cars with all the technology and crummy air vents (one of the best things about my wagon - they’re round and can hit ANY part of your body, not like the terrible rectangle vents in every car that can only go up/down/left/right). Everything is an SUV. I’m short - 5’2. They don’t make cars for us. I pretty much need a step to get into any SUV. On top of which I have a chronic foot injury and stepping on something, like a running board, to get myself into the seat hurts. The technology drives me crazy with the nav screen and beeping because of SOMEthing, backup camera, etc. Plus, not ONE has the cargo space that mine has. (I was once told by a number of dealers that in order to get the cargo space that I have, they’d have to sell me a van. I don’t want a van. Or even a minivan).

I like plain and simple. Don’t need all the doodads. Would prefer a wagon, used would be better - don’t really want to spend $30k+ (or even $20k+) for new - but would consider looking at new despite the doodads and price if I have to. Since I’ve been driving a 16 yr old car I have no clue what to look at, which is what I need help with. Don’t know anyone who’s car savvy that I can ask.

So…after all that, can anyone help by directing me to what I can/should look at as far as used or new cars that are reliable? I’ve looked online but there’s so many that I need to narrow it down because I have to actually physically go look at them and try them to see if I like them and they work for me (and my issues) and with chronic pain that will take a good amount of time.

I have 2 basic needs: something relatively close to the ground because of my foot injury (nothing I have to climb into) and preferably with good cargo space even if I have to fold seats down. I don’t need nor want big 5-7 passenger vehicles (no kids) just to get the cargo space.

Thanks to anyone/everyone who can help. Really appreciate it.

19 posts were merged into an existing topic: Finding replacement vehicle