Suggestions for newish car

Hi everyone. I am in need of a new/newish car. This will primarily be used as a commuter car so approximately 60 mostly stop/go highway miles total per day (5 days a week) in the south. It has to fit 2 car seats and a booster in the back seat, but comfort isn’t an issue b/c this is not the family car…just the morning drop off car.

I am specifically looking at a CRV and Mazda 3 hatchback…or possibly even the HRV or Camry. I want reliable and keep cars as long as possible.

Any advice would be very much appreciated.


Trust me, comfort will be an issue if your back starts bothering you from sitting in the seat. If you read these discussion boards, you will see that lots of newer cars have hard, uncomfortable seats. Whatever you’re planning to buy, make sure to take a LONG test-drive to see if the seats are satisfactory.


However I think that the OP should start his search by studying the appropriate Consumer Reports car buying guide, as they evaluate every vehicle model that is for sale in the US marketplace. Their evaluations include historical reliability information, owner satisfaction ratings, fuel economy, handling quality, and interior comfort/noise levels. They publish separate editions for used cars and for new cars, so the OP will have to decide which edition to buy at a large news stand such as Barnes & Noble.

After narrowing-down his possibilities via that publication, then it will be time for extended test drives.

Telling someone what vehicle to buy is almost impossible . You are the one who knows haw difficult it is to put kids in car seats . You are the one who has to spend that much time in it and getting in and out so a test drive and take one of the car seats with you.

Agree that seat comfort is crucial for long distance commuting.

I would stay away from the HRV (too cramped and noisy)

My choice would be a Corolla, the later models have very good seats, and are also quiet. Easy on gas as well.

A CRV will use a lot more gas than a Mazda 3 Hatchback; my wife has one and the seats are sporty and firm.

I rent a lot of cars in my travels and a Corolla would be the best overall vehicle to buy.


As a Corolla owner, I second this. I’ve driven fair distances (65 miles or so each way) in mine and never had any problems in terms of comfort. More expensive cars tend to have better seats. You might want to look at something like a used Audi A4 if you can afford the upkeep. Another possibility, if you can afford it, would be to rent something for a few days and see how it fits your butt, back, etc.


What do u have now?

2007 Volvo S60. It has 225k miles so pretty good run, but has had too many issues in the last few months and the cost of ownership is mounting too quickly.

Thanks for the recommendation. The Corolla is more my speed vs the Audi b/c I fear the cost of maintenance/repair.

Don’t worry about repairs in an Audi. They are reliable. Maintenance will be expensive though.

I’m skeptical that you can fit two child seats and a booster seat in a Corolla. It seems to me you need to look at a full size car, or a midsize with a lot of interior room. The current Impala is a great car. The Avalon is also a good car, but I find the driver’s seat uncomfortable. You might like the seat though. Test drive anything for at least 15 minutes to make sure it is comfortable enough and also make sure the children’s seats all fit in the back.

The Corolla might be a tight fit for all 3 seats but it would be worth a try. Move up to a Camry or Accord if you need more room.

Definitely scratch the Mazda 3 hatch off the list . . .

for multiple reasons

too small . . . in my opinion . . . for 2 car seats and a booster in the back seat

And also not very comfortable for YOU to drive . . . I’m familiar with them, and the ride isn’t so great, nor is the seat exactly comfortable for a person’s back

Out of all the ones you mentioned, the Camry is a viable choice. It has a comfortable driver’s seat . . . as long as you don’t get one of the “sporty” trim lines . . . and it’s much roomier in the back, versus the Mazda 3. Camry reliability has typically been quite good

That said, the CRV might be a better choice, because you’ll easily be able to store the kids’ stuff in the cargo area

As already suggested, you should spend quite a bit of time driving all of the prospective candidates before pulling the trigger. You might rule out one or more of them, due to uncomfortable seats, poor visibility, or any number of things

Any of the ones you mentioned should have good reliability and resale value, in my opinion

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Of the cars you listed, it really comes down to which one you like the best. They’re all good cars from a reliability standpoint.

Just make sure you take the car seats and booster with you when you look at cars. Some cars are just too small, and you can’t fit all those seats in at all.


Budget is also an issue here. The CRV holds resale value much better than a Camry in today’s market. So you will pay more for it.
If you like Mazda, take a look at the Mazda 6. Also, Ford Fusion might be a choice here. Not as reliable as a Camry.

There’s the key phrase . . . “today’s market”

Undoubtedly because the CRV is also in greater demand, versus the Camry

But there are those of us for whom the Camry is the better choice . . . because we don’t actually need a CRV, small suv, cross over, or whatever you want to call them

That was my point. It might be better to buy the Camry as used.

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I’m also starting to do research new cars. I’m looking for dependability mostly. I really like the CR-V, but I’ve heard they had some problems with gas in the oil and starting in 2020 they are going to CVT transmissions. I don’t hear good things about these tranny’s. Input would be great. I also noticed Hyundai. They are more affordable with 6 year warranty. Still on the beginning of research and haven’t checked consumers report yet.

I really need the next one to get to 300k without major issues but the issues you describe are a turn off. Thoughts on the rav4?

Good Luck on that . At more than national average at 25000 miles a year that is 12 years . Many things can just plain wear out in that amount of time.

Also you said newish vehicle , if you really want a long term vehicle with as few problems as possible then new and do all required service . Used does not have as good a chance of making this 300K .