I have a 2005 Scion xA. It had 103,000 miles when I bought it 4 years ago and it now has 135,000 miles. I like it quite a lot but it’s slightly small for my use. It’s in good condition, although the speedometer doesn’t work. Otherwise it has been very reliable. I paid $7000 for it and it’s paid off. I’m satisfied with the way it drives (so obviously I don’t how a nice car drives).
(1) My first question is whether I should sell it now, before it depreciates any further or develops a major problem. My experience with my last car (1997 Corolla) was that when it hit 140,000 miles it started having expensive problems that continued until the end at 220,000 miles. I don’t want to go through that again. I assume the Scion xA is a better car than the older-generation Corolla??
(2) If I sell it, what should I replace it with? It has to be a hatchback. I take a lot of complicated camping trips, with equipment for kayaking, biking, and hiking stuffed in and on the car. The Scion xA is small for that purpose, even though I travel alone and have the rear seats folded down. It gets chaotic and I spend most of my time looking for and rearranging stuff in the car. I would like to get something like a Toyota Rav 4 but I can’t afford it. Plus it’s a bit tall and hard for me to load a kayak on the roof. I’m not fond of the Honda Fit, either inside or outside. A Subaru Outback might work, but I went through the head gasket problem with a friend and am leery of Subaru. I would be buying used and looking to spend about $7000. Is there a hatchback that would be just a bit larger than the Scion xA? Reliability is paramount. A square rear (like the Scion xA) is an asset for interior space, as are rear seats that fold flat (I never, ever use the back seats). It must be an automatic. Any ideas?