Used Mid/Full size Hatch or Wagon as a First car - Recommendations

I am looking for a hatch or station wagon as a family car - we are not that big people.

We would want to go interstate in this car - so prefer its reliable. Suppose a used 2005 Acura TSX has a wagon/hatch, I would get it.

I am open to American cars too - suppose there is a 2007 model Ford if you recommend it.

I would love to get the current Honda Insight but its brand new and outside my budget (maybe its on the small side but its ok, I guess).

Appreciate it.

I could add compact size too, if its designed well.

Regarding your other post…

If you live in a port city or other high-theft area and don’t have a safe place to park it, you should consider the astronomical theft rate (and resulting insurance rates) before buying another Honda product.

I suppose it might be letting the car thieves win, but it’s something to consider in your decision.

I am in a very safe area. It just happened. Maybe economy or new tires.

Are the (used) following reliable, not terribly expensive to maintain:
Saab 9-5 wagons
Mazda 6 Wagons

Go to the library and read a copy of the 2009 Consumer Reports Auto Issue. It has reliability data on most makes and models.

The European cars you mention are generally more expensive to maintain than Japanese or American brands.

Ford made a nice Focus station wagon up until a few years ago. Subaru has been selling station wagons for ages, both Legacy and Impreza models.

How about a Lexus IS? There was a 5-door hatchback for a couple of years.

Subaru has been selling station wagons for ages, both Legacy and Impreza models.
In a previous forum, someone advised Subarau, unless maintained properly, its useless. Plus there are additional complications with the $WD.

How about a Lexus IS? There was a 5-door hatchback for a couple of years.
Only reservations are that the rear leg room is tight - Uses 91 gas.

Acura TSX require premium gas, too, but you said you’d buy one if they made a wagon or hatchback.

BMW requires premium, and I’ll bet Saab does, too.

What about the Focus station wagon or 5-door hatchback? They made both configurations for a while. They have decent reliability and, with the exception of the SVT version, run on regular.

Have you considered a Mazda5?

I am now renting a Mazda 5 - I will see how I like it - only 21 mpg!

Focus station wagon or 5-door hatchback are options too - Not sure if it can be the first car (not second) that you can go interstate on - what do you think?

Used Acura TSX would have been my dream first car if my second car is a hatch! In Euroipe, you can buy TSX in wagons - not here!!!

Some people tells me (2005) Prius crumbles on collision - is this the case?

People drive their Focuses on the interstate all the time. I don’t see why that’s even a concern. You don’t need a large car or a powerful engine to drive at interstate speeds.

I drive the interstate on a regular basis, about 1,000 miles per month, and I see plenty of Focuses and similar size cars cruising along happily at 75 mph or more.

If you need more room than a Focus offers a Taurus wagon might be the thing for you.

I agree, it’s too bad Honda won’t sell the wagon versions of their cars here. I’d probably be willing to buy one, too, as an eventual replacement for my Subaru wagon. If I had to buy another station wagon today it would probably be a used Focus.

I’ve never heard of any problems with Prius crash safety. There are plenty of them on the road, and if they crumbled we’d know about it.

Too bad about the mpg on the Mazda5. I’m assuming the rental has an automatic transmission. I’ve heard the manuals do a little better on gas mileage.

Thanks for your researched data.

You can see the Edmunds data on Mazda 5 - just 1 mile different auto/manual

I will seriously consider a Prius.

I should tell you that I quite often see Priuses on the interstate, too. They are usually passing everyone else. I guess when the mileage is that good their drivers don’t mind going faster.

You can see a Honda UK wagon ad

Wait for another ad to finish - then the Honda starts - we have it here as TSX and no wagon.

As a first car, I think a wagon is a bad idea. I think you should stick to something smaller like a compact car or a hatchback. Smaller cars have better emergency handling at highway speeds.

I think you should test drive a wide variety of small cars, including (but not limited to) the Ford Focus, Honda Fit, Honda Civic, Toyota Corolla, Scion xA, and Toyota Yaris.

Thanks for your insight.

You know, I dearly miss my 87 Integra that was stolen - it had been both a motorbike (easy to do a U turn and feel light) & a mini van for me. Does 26-8mpg.

I don’t know why Honda eliminated it - they should bring it back - I had called them yrs ago to give feedback - it was hard to reach a sensible person whereas VW sent me a Hat in return!

My kids need some leg space - I am going in the dir of a Prius.

Your Integra only delivered 26-28 mpg? You must live and drive in a large city. Otherwise that’s not very good mileage for an Integra.

My '96 Subaru Legacy AWD station wagon regularly delivers 26-28 mpg @ 75 mph on the highway, and sometimes better. And that’s with 10% ethanol. On pure gas it tops 30 mpg.

I also have a '97 Acura 2.2 CL that never delivers less than 31-33 mpg @ 75 mph. Before ethanol it would do 35-36 mpg on the highway.

What are you looking for in the way of fuel mileage? Are you willing to accept 28 mpg, or do you want more?