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Know of a car that might work for me?

I’m in the market for a new/slightly used car. Main prompter of this is I’m gettin’ old and creaky and want something that sits higher off the ground and higher off the car floor than my Saturn SL1.

My top criteria:
• Better than average gas mileage.
• Quiet ride, esp. on freeway.
• Good visibility for someone 5’1 (e.g., seat sits high or has height adjustment)
• Manufacturer okays use of trailer hitch (for loads of up to 1,000 pounds or so).
• A safe, convenient, and clean place to put my modest-sized secret agent purse (tired of having to use the back seat).
• A sedan or hatchback…for sure no SUVs or Crossovers.

Top contender so far is the Toyota Corolla. I’m not a 100% sure that it’s the best choice of all that’s available–there’s so much out there! Of course, a lot can be eliminated.

I guess, since I don’t know much about cars, having focused my energy on secret agenting, I’m concerned I’ll overlook the perfect vehicle.

So, I appreciate any relevant suggestions.

My 5’2" wife loves our Rav for it’s seating and view over the Accords and Corollas she drove before. Sorry, you can call it an SUV, I call it a raised compact wagon, especially in 2wd. That’s all they are, that’s all they are meant to be and are not suited for the same towing and off road use like a real SUV. Please reconsider them and the other compact SUVs in 2wd.

Most small sedans don’t recommend using a trailer, even 1000 pound one.

To be honest, I’m not sure your vehicle exists. Anything that sits up higher will tend to be SUV/crossover, same with towing a 1000 pound trailer.
I dunno about the size of your purse, but my CX-7 can fit a whole laptop inside it’s arm rest. But it is neither a car nor good on gas. It’s also rated to tow 2000 pounds, max.

dagosa: Oh, dear. The Rav is an SUV, no matter how you split semantics. It’s half again as much money with significantly poorer gas mileage. No go, but thanks for playing.

bscar2: Did you know the Corolla is rated by the manufacturer for towing up to 1500#? That’s enough for my lightweight trailer and the stuff I want to occasionally transport on it.

Height is relative; not much doesn’t beat a Saturn–but I’m not talking pickup height, either. I test drove a Corolla and it seems sufficient. I’m just not familiar with what-all is out there and don’t want to miss checking out other contenders. But not at the expense of spending hours walking through dealer lots and all that entails.

Since you’re looking at the Corolla, you should also look at the Honda Civic and the Mazda 3.

I hear you about the saturn, my daughter has one and I forgot how hard it can be to get in and out of a car, Usually she alarms it so I have 15 seconds as I do not have a fob to unlock the door, move the seat back raise the steering wheel, wrestle my body in and get the key in the ignition and start the car before the alarm goes off, Getting out is not easy either. I thought the windstar was bad until the saturn came along. Lovin the blazer but I am sure there are many other cars that will fit your needs, try it and buy it, best advice from me.

Find and test drive a “few years old” Ford Focus and see what you think.

the first gen. Scion XB witch is based on the Corrala and a very nice car.

Sounds like the Corolla is a good choice, and that you like it. To continue to look is called cognitive dissonance.

It is possible to specify too many conditions for reality. Sometimes on Craiglist a young woman will have two pages of characteristics she thinks Mr. Right will have. Of course, no such man exists.

Likewise, too long a list of what a car needs to be can quickly end up with such a car not existing. Be willing to compromise on one or more of those choices.

FWD vehicles, like the Corola, don’t make very good tow vehicles. When you start adding weight at the rear of the vehicle, you’re slightly raising the front of the vehicle. The front wheels do both the steering AND the acceleration; Not to mention most of the braking is mostly done by the front wheels as well, so you’re decreasing the performance of the vehicle by adding that weight to the back. Yes it’ll go, but you’re going to strain your engine and transmission rather badly.
Also, a good rule of thumb is to keep the towing weight to about 75~80% of the max tow rating. So if your load is 1000 pounds, your trailer should weigh no more than 200 pounds.

22/28 is “significantly poorer” than 27/34? That’s like only 5 or 6 MPG. So, by that logic, the Corolla gets “significantly poorer” highway mileage than a Mazda 3 with the skyactiv engine(it’s rated 27/40mpg).

Both the Corollas and Focus’s (Foci?) from the mid 00’s (03-07) have very good seat height for a small car. I think the new Corollas still do but not the Focus.

jesmed, on the list for looking at specs.

Barkydog, sounds like you get to count that as your agility training for the day! lol

asemaster, did try a Focus—fancier and spendier than I’d prefer, but it’s not totally off the list yet… It’s A Process, eh? :wink:

Big Marc, wanted to like the Scion, which the salesmen suggested, but it was noisier than some of the others I test drove.

irlandes, Pithy lecture, but too judgmental. Fail. Oh, and you’re incorrect about cognitive dissonance; I’m actually a psychotherapist who moonlights as a secret agent. But, hey, thanks for playing.

bscar2, I married an occasionally pedantic hair-splitter so you don’t scare me. Look for the Deeper Truth, kiddo. BTW, I’ve been towing with my Saturn for over a decade and no trany/engine probs yet.

keith, yes, I drove a ’10 Corolla and it had seat height adjustment plus telescoping/tilting wheel. Nice. I don’t remember what the Focus had; drove it early on and have tentatively crossed it off the list.

THANKS to EVERYONE for the relevant and helpful suggestions. Off to pair the list down with my Just Right For Me criteria.

Scion FRS. Perfect for the aspiring young secret agent.

bscar2, I married an occasionally pedantic hair-splitter so you don’t scare me. Look for the Deeper Truth, kiddo. BTW, I’ve been towing with my Saturn for over a decade and no trany/engine probs yet.

Well, apparently you’ve already decided on the Corolla and just want us to justify your choice. Have fun

My wife loves her 06 Ford Escape hybrid.
Don’t you dare call it an SUV cuz one look underneath and you clearly see its Ford Contour chassis. Yes, it’s just a Contour ‘‘station wagon’’ at its inception, even in AWD cofiguration.
She loves the visibility. The seat adjusts up real nice and her lack of right side peripheral vision has not been a problem therefore.

"keith Junior Grease Monkey
Both the Corollas and Focus’s (Foci?) from the mid 00’s (03-07) have very good seat height for a small car. I think the new Corollas still do but not the Focus. "

Interesting. I haven’t been in either, but the Focus is actually still marginally taller than the Corolla. I’d be a bit surprised if there was much difference in actual seat height - though I can certainly imagine that one might give you an impression of being higher than the other…

“ken green
My wife loves her 06 Ford Escape hybrid.
Don’t you dare call it an SUV cuz one look underneath and you clearly see its Ford Contour chassis.”

@ken green -

Don’t you dare call it a Contour! :slight_smile: The Escape ran on the Ford CD2 platform, which was a derivative of the Mazda GF platform on which the 626 rode. The Contour ran on the CDW27 platform, which was unrelated.

No self respecting secret agent would drive anything other than an Aston Martin DB5 :wink:

Most sedans can tow around 1,000 pounds if you keep the tongue weight down (because most sedans are FWD these days). But that said, it’s going to put a lot of stress on your car. If you need to tow often, you should think about getting something that was designed for actual towing, especially since unless you take the trailer down to a vehicle scale somewhere and get an accurate measurement, you have no idea how much it weighs. A lot of people get a camper that’s right up to their vehicle’s tow rating and then are shocked at how much clothes, food, and beer weighs, as they try to tow a dangerously overweight load with a dangerously under-capable vehicle.

If you don’t need to tow often, you should think about renting a pickup with a trailer hitch on the occasions you do need to tow.

No self respecting secret agent would drive anything other than an Aston Martin DB5…

John Steed drove a 1926 Bentley. He was the epitome of respectability among secret agents. Tara King drove a Lotus Europa, and Emma Peel drove a Lotus Elan. Patrick McGoohan drove a Lotus Super 7.

Lotus is ahead 3-1-1!

eraser1998, I have not measured the seat height of the new Focus but my daughter was out test driving new cars, she is considering a replacement for her 03 Corolla. When she bought the Corolla, she had test driven the 03 Focus and liked it better, but I talked her out of it because of he problems ford was having with it.

Both she and I thought the new Focus was not as easy to get in and out of that the 03 was, and it seemed to sit lower than we remembered. She hasn’t made up her mind yet, but so far, the Nissan Sentra is her top candidate right now. It is easy to get in and out of and it rides better than even an Altima. It had the best ride of all the small cars she has tested so far.