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Replacing my 1995 Camry

I am coming to the end of the road with my 1995 Toyota Camry with 122,000 miles. I am a 34 year old father of two who has been driving the same car since college. I am looking to replace it with something more fun than the old Camry, yet just as practical. I average around 6,000 miles per year and I live in Cleveland, OH with a lot of snow. I’d like to spend around $20,000 and I don’t mind buying something a few years old. What can you recommend?

I’ve owned Camry’s. One of the best vehicles to get from point A to point B in comfort. And pretty reliable. Why not a newer Camry? The snow isn’t there all year long.

Tester

I agree, but my mother-in law drives the new Camry and I just can’t see myself driving the same car as my mother-in-law.

Could it be your mother-in-law knows more than you?

Tester

Could be…she thinks she’s really smart.

How about a used Acura TSX, or a TL if you need something bigger?

I’d suggest as your first purchase a copy of Consumer Reports New Car Buyers’ Guide from the local bookstore. For 20K there are brand new options available and you just might see one you like.

Personally, for a young family of four I like the new Scions, the Nissan Cube, and perhaps even a Honda Accord, but the car that’s perfect for me might not be right for you.

You will find a Mazda 3 as much fun as any car to drive. These cars handle as good as BMWs in the past.

There are various versions, such as the Sport, a hatchback similar to the VW GTI, but without all the reliability problems.

A Honda Civic or Accord also handle much better than a 1995 Camry.