New car decision

For the past 17 years I have been driving a 1995 Saturn SW2 (manual transmission–original clutch) but the time has come to move to a new car (I am donating the Saturn to NPR )

Here are the choices: Acura TSX wagon, VW Jetta diesel wagon; VW Tiguan.

What do you think? While I think I drive like the little old lady Latin teacher that I am for only about 5000 miles per year, I seem to like cars that other people describe as “sporty”

I just realized the Acura has no spare tire which seems like a deal breaker to me . . .

Thanks in advance for your ideas.

Just stick with a manual transmission. It makes any car more fun to drive IMO.

My late mother was a Latin teacher and I have been wracking my brain to think of what kind of car she would have if she were alive today. I think it would be a Nissan “Maxima”–at least the model sounds Latin. I think her favorite car was the 1969 Pontiac LeMans that she and my dad bought when they retired. Perhaps the Maxima might be today’s equivalent.

Uncle Turbo: I totally agree --I love a manual transmission BUT traffic here is a nightmare and I am getting on in years. And I keep cars forever so I will be a true senior citizen with this one.

Triedaq–Ah, how perceptive you are with the Latin names! Acura is actually from Latin too. I need a small wagon for my dog . . .

Triedaq (1978-1993), pronounced Treedah, was the name given to my late dog by son when he was four years old. The dog was male, and the name sounded as though it was Latin feminine. We did not want the dog to have a sex identity crisis, so we spelled the name Triedaq. The “q” is silent.

A little more info.–apparently I can buy a spare tire and spare tire kit for about $1000 for the Acura TSX. I suppose I’ll have to pay to have it installed. I suppose it is rather expensive insurance for a very rare situation.

“A little more info.–apparently I can buy a spare tire and spare tire kit for about $1000 for the Acura TSX”. That is a lot of money for a spare tire. For $500, you can buy a quite a few six packs of beer, and install it yourself. You will save money and have your spare tire.

Ah, I already have that kind of spare tire and even managed to acquire it without the beer.

What I want is a spare tire for my new car . . . .and I think that will cost me an extra $1500 with the Acura . . .maybe enough to be a deal breaker.

I suggest you test drive the cars on your possible list and choose the one YOU like. Not the one I might like.

I test drove these cars and several more (this is my short list!). I like different things about driving each one . . . .and since I have been driving the same car for so long, each one feels “weird” in some ways. I do wish one stood out for me.

5000 miles a year i would go with a car with a gas engine and have looked at the Toyota Venza its based on the camary.

I’d skip the Tiguan, it’s been fairly trouble-prone. Of the other two, the TSX appeals more to me, but it’s really your call.

I’d forget about the spare tire. Are you going to put it on if you have a flat? I’d call emergency road service and have them plug the tire and re-inflate it. If you don’t have emergency road service, you can get it through you auto insurer or get AAA.

Isn’t the TSX just an upscale Civic? And to think a Civic is sporty…bleh

If you want a sporty import, look at Mazda. You can get a Mazda 6 for $10k less than the Acura. With 2013 models coming out now, you might be able to get a pretty good deal on a 2012 model left over.
Though a real comparison to the Civic…er TSX would be the Mazda 3, which will get better MPG than the TSX. And if you get the 3 sedan, you can get it for almost half the price of the TSX. If you get the skyactiv 3, then you’d get the TDI Jetta MPG as well

As always, thanks for the ideas. I am considering the TSX wagon . . .I do not see myself as sporty . . . but the cars I seem to like are described as “sporty” by reviewers. I need a fair amount of space for the dog.

Again, thank you to all for sharing.

@bscar2 - the TSX is the European Accord, not an upscale Civic. The new Acura ILX is a modified Civic. The 2.4l version of the ILX is supposed to be pretty nice.

“I need a fair amount of space for the dog”.
This is an important consideration. We transport our dog in his cage–I put it behind the passenger side seat on our Toyota Minivan. The cage opens up right behind the sliding door, so I open the sliding door, then open the cage and the dog hops right in. He seems to like riding there–is always ready to hop in and go for the ride. I will not have a dog loose in a car–it’s not safe for the dog.

I too use a crate strapped and anchored into the seat behind me (and when I had two dogs that was the motivation for getting the Saturn–I actually fit two crates in the back seat with one having a side door).

So a sedan is just not enough space but as a spinster Latin teacher I don’t need a whole minivan or full-size SUV.

I make all decisions based on the health and safety of my dog–right now I just wish she’d pick the car for me! Am thinking of laying out the pictures on the bed and allowing her to pick . . .

Your dog looks a lot like our dog, Midnite, in the face. I can’t tell how large your dog is–our dog weighs about 27 pounds. Midnite was a rescue pup that we adopted from a humane society. He is, however, a registered dog–registered Democrat.

Roxy (current dog pictured above) is about 32 pounds but she is tall and thin with a long back. So I have a pretty big cage for her so she can stand up and turn around, etc. She does not like the car much, unlike my first dog Maxine (below) who came everywhere with me.

Roxy is registered as an independent but she is really a Democrat. Roxy sends her best to Midnite.