Recommend a new car for me!


#1

Here are some things I’m looking for in a new car, if you guys can make some recommendations, that would be much appreciated!

  • Budget is 30k-35k after negotiations and offers, not MSRP
  • New or lightly used
  • Fun to drive, doesn’t have to be the most powerful
  • Suitable for family of 3 or 4, with 1 or 2 dogs(both 20-25lbs)
  • Will be a commuter with occasional long trips with the family mentioned above
  • At least 25 mpg combined, preferably 30+
  • AWD is nice, but not necessary
  • Somewhat frequent parallel parking needs, so nothing too big
  • Don’t need a luxury brand, don’t mind brand/models with semi-premium image
  • Safety tech is important

Currently leaning towards Mazda CX-5, upcoming VW Tiguan, upcoming GMC Terrain, etc. I’m actually more of a sedan guy, but it’s hard to find a sedan that fits all those boxes, especially handling the family for long trips.
What do you guys think?

Thanks in advance!


#2

Subaru Forester. Lots of space, not large, and I get 30-35 MPG on trips. Back seats have lots of space.


#3

How big are the dogs? If they are a mouthful, a sedan would work. If they are more than about 30#, you might need a SUV. My daughter has a CX-5 and loves it. SUVs are in demand these days and you won’t save a lot buying a used one.

If you can get away with a sedan, they are not in demand and used might be the way to go. Used sedan values are depressed and you could find an off lease midsize luxury car. A great new sedan is the Chevrolet Impala. You can probably find a Premium model at the top of your range after discounts. The Impala LT should have an MSRP of about $35,000 and you can get that well below your limit with taxes and tags.


#4

4 people plus 2 dogs? Are they lap dogs? Are the people willing to have the dogs on their laps on trips? If so, then a sedan might be OK. Otherwise, you’re looking at an SUV or a minivan.

The CX-5 is probably going to be the most fun SUV to drive until you start getting into Porsche territory.

In the sedan category, you can easily get any trim level you want of an off-lease Acura TLX for your budget. They’re great drivers and very comfortable for long trips.


#5

How reliable is forester? I’m guessing better than Tiguan and Terrain?


#6

If I was in your position, I’d opt for a minivan or a large SUV… Having dogs and having to “transport boxes” you will need lots of space. A friend owns a Honda Odessey and his wife has a Toyota RAV 4. The RAV 4 would be to small for a family of 4 to go on vacation.

A Mazda CX5 will likely be too small for you. It’s based on a compact Mazda 3 sedan.

I would take the family and the dogs and try out some of these vehicles. Don’t listen to the salesman; he wants to “move” what’s on the lot and what his boss told him to “move”.`

All new vehicles are safe compared with those 10 years old.


#7

"How big are the dogs? If they are a mouthful, a sedan would work. If they are more than about 30#, you might need a SUV. My daughter has a CX-5 and loves it. SUVs are in demand these days and you won’t save a lot buying a used one.

If you can get away with a sedan, they are not in demand and used might be the way to go. Used sedan values are depressed and you could find an off lease midsize luxury car. A great new sedan is the Chevrolet Impala. You can probably find a Premium model at the top of your range after discounts. The Impala LT should have an MSRP of about $35,000 and you can get that well below your limit with taxes and tags."

They are both around 20-25 lbs, they can both be in the back seat of a sedan along with two kids, but I wonder how crazy and stressful that will be in practice.
I have been watching the used car market too, and it’s crazy how I can get a decently equipped used midsize luxury sedan for the price of a new compact suv!


#8

SUVs are very popular and cars are not. Minivans should have a large depreciation in the first few years too.

You might find an off lease Lexus ES350 at your price point. It is a full sized sedan, and is an upgraded Toyota Avalon. Put the Avalon on your list, too. In the same size category, the Hyundai Genesis and Buick LaCrosse are excellent performers and are very reliable. Depreciation is likely higher on the last three than the ES350, and that will make them well worth a look.


#9

Forester is top rated small SUV by Consumer Reports.


#10

A lot of good options out there, but we had a minivan with 2 captain seats vs bench seats in the back, great for a family of 4, and the dogs can pass between the seats and lay in the middle or the back, after removing the 3rd row seat. Sounds like an alternative you might want to think about. With the 25 lb dogs you should still be able to pack some boxes along the sides in the back, secured of course and have some happy travel times.
We had a hitch installed because you never have enough room, used the hitch for bike rack or cargo carrier, and towing the boat to the launch.


#11

Take a look at the RAV4. It’s within your budget.


#12

I second Subaru Forester w/ Eyesight. We will be clocking 3rd year on our Foz on 31st August. You will be disappointed with the tech inside the car but when it comes to AWD performance, I doubt if anybody in that price range can beat it. If you live in snowy region, then you won’t regret for sure.

If you are in tristate or New England, pls let me know. I know a specific fella in a dealership that will give you cheapest price anyone can offer. Just FYI, I don’t get a dime. In New England, he will deliver the car at your doorstep. For others, he will deliver it New England border, Stamford, CT or similar. You pick it up there. I picked up my vehicle in Danbury Walmart’s parking lot.


#13

They might qualify as lap dogs for an hour, but not so much after that, so they will need some separate space, whether it’s in the seat, footwell, or cargo area(in a crate, well ventilated, of course!)

Being a sedan guy, a fastback hatch, like Audi A5 sportback, or upcoming Buick Regal or VW Arteon would be a perfect solution for cargo/dog situation, but it’s a little over my budget, especially when optioned well.