1 2
91RSImpulse
91RSImpulse New Reader
10/1/12 12:15 p.m.

my wife and I just had a baby a few weeks ago... My wife needs a new car and has actually told me to look up some "Man Appropriate" cars to buy...

I am looking for something that is fun to drive, but also 4-door and practical for a baby... Also has to be Automatic

it needs to be able to get close to 30mpg on the Freeway...

some of the choices that I have considered are:

2004-2007 Volvo S60 R-Design- far fetched but worth a try! 2005-2009 Subaru Legacy 2.5i or GT

That is all of the further I have got so far...

I Used to own a 2001 Subaru Impreza 2.5Rs, so I am a sucker for Subarus... I do enjoy the All wheel drive but front wheel with good tires here in Ohio winters would be just fine...

I need to be able to buy this car for less than $13k with low miles... Also I am dumping my POS Ford Ranger to get this car, so dealerships are preferred method of purchase...

Any help would be greatly appreciated!!!!

Duke
Duke PowerDork
10/1/12 12:21 p.m.

Look for a first-gen Acura TSX. There are a million of them, they are very pretty to look at, and a joy to drive, even with the automatic. My wife's 2004 has needed nothing except oil and brake pads in almost 8 years.

pinchvalve
pinchvalve UltimaDork
10/1/12 12:22 p.m.

13K? In the new car realm, there isn't much out there. You can get a Kia Soul with a 5-speed, but you'll need about $14K for the auto. If your wife drives it, she will love it and that will be that. Montrose Kia near Cleveland is a great dealership in Ohio BTW.

If you go for the nearly-new, your options don't open up much. Expect to be driving something with at least 50,000 miles on the clock. The 30mpg will be tough in anything fun (R-Design? Not even close. The Subarus are pretty thirsty too IIRC) I'd go the Subaru route, they offer the best all-around package. No 100% in any of your criteria, but close in most.

Javelin
Javelin GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
10/1/12 12:25 p.m.

In reply to 91RSImpulse:

30MPG highway in an automatic Subaru? Not in this lifetime.

Xceler8x
Xceler8x UltraDork
10/1/12 12:25 p.m.

I'm reading this and thinking Mazda3 right off the bat. It won't set the world on fire but it fits all your criteria.

mndsm
mndsm PowerDork
10/1/12 12:37 p.m.
Xceler8x wrote: I'm reading this and thinking Mazda3 right off the bat. It won't set the world on fire but it fits all your criteria.

I can verify that a baby seat WILL fit in one. I've actually got a recaro in the back of my ms3 for my 1 year old right now, and it works. Before that, it was a Graco Snugride 22. MAN are the latching bases that you just clip the carrier in and out of nice.

GameboyRMH
GameboyRMH GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
10/1/12 12:38 p.m.

GC Impreza with 1.6 engine and auto trans? You might just eke 30MPG out of one, 4-doors are the same dimensions as the 2-doors and not much heavier. If those have the Power/Hold switch like the GDs those are tolerable to drive in Power mode with a light foot.

Klayfish
Klayfish Dork
10/1/12 12:54 p.m.

First, congrats on the new addition!

Mazda 3 would be my choice as well.

Racer1ab
Racer1ab HalfDork
10/1/12 12:55 p.m.

Mazda5, all day long!

Teggsan
Teggsan Reader
10/1/12 1:00 p.m.

I'd get an Element. Love that car.

sachilles
sachilles SuperDork
10/1/12 1:19 p.m.

Subaru Legacy gt wagon(turbo). Or outback xt. Both have the 2.5 turbo, and the auto is actually pretty good as far as autos go. More back seat room than the impreza/forester, which is important with a rear facing car seat. <--------dad of 3 yo boy, who has run every generation of impreza with a car seat. Legacy is more enjoyable in every way when a child seat is involved. Legacy sedan being better than an impreza wagon.

mazdeuce
mazdeuce HalfDork
10/1/12 2:47 p.m.

If your baby seat will fit in the back (and I put three kids, two with booster seats in mine every day) you might look at a Mazda2. You should be able to get one new for pretty close to what you're looking at paying. I'm not sure if the auto will turn it from a spectacular small car to a terrible small car, it might. Mileage should be great and as much as I love crappy old cars, it's nice to have the confidence of a new (or newish) car when you're hauling around a new baby.

bastomatic
bastomatic Dork
10/1/12 2:53 p.m.
Teggsan wrote: I'd get an Element. Love that car.

Heh, Element would be the worst of all worlds. 22mpg or so, terrible rear seat access in parking lots, and not fun to drive. I did it, not fun.

We changed to a Mazda5, which is fun with the stick. If you don't need something that big, a Mazda3, Honda Fit, Scion xD, Hyundai Elantra (wagon?) would all meet your needs well, and fit within your parameters. Subarus would work too with a little mpg penalty. But sliding doors rock for the little ones.

The Volvo would be fun in certain circumstances, but the S60 is not a paragon of reliability like the older models, and it gulps down the gas.

Congrats!

onebadrsx05
onebadrsx05 New Reader
10/1/12 3:10 p.m.

I would suggest an 04-08 Acura TL or TSX. I have the 07 TL-S and on my most recent highway trip of over 900 miles I got 31 MPG. It literally is a great car, I have had my gf's nephew in and out of the car with his car seat and all plenty of times with ease.

I get around 20-22 mpg on the city, I have a bit of a led foot tho, so it doesnt help

Datsun310Guy
Datsun310Guy UltraDork
10/1/12 4:31 p.m.

Go get a Mustang - Jam the seat in the back.

How are we going to build memories for future gear heads? They will need those great stories that make them fondly think about their car crazy parents...............My mom and dad brought me home from the LEED certified Green Hospital in our Nissan Leaf and averaged 34 kW·h/100 mi through a mild rainstorm that day.

I suggest a 1964 Impala................1st gear...........2nd gear................. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3vnVppE0yxc&feature=related

clutchsmoke
clutchsmoke HalfDork
10/1/12 5:22 p.m.

I just got back from a thousand mile road trip in a 5spd manual 2005 Legacy GT. The best we could manage was 26.4 mpg. I wouldn't call that close to 30. I'm sure the Volvo is about the same.

I will also vote TSX, TL, or Mazda 3.

Mike
Mike GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
10/1/12 6:17 p.m.

Saab 9-3. They seem pretty cheap for what they are, and have a mannish countenance.

mndsm
mndsm PowerDork
10/1/12 6:23 p.m.
Datsun310Guy wrote: Go get a Mustang - Jam the seat in the back. How are we going to build memories for future gear heads? They will need those great stories that make them fondly think about their car crazy parents...............My mom and dad brought me home from the LEED certified Green Hospital in our Nissan Leaf and averaged 34 kW·h/100 mi through a mild rainstorm that day. I suggest a 1964 Impala................1st gear...........2nd gear................. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3vnVppE0yxc&feature=related

Great movie, possibly the best part of said movie. Also, my kid came home in my ms3.... so there is that.

HindsFeet
HindsFeet HalfDork
10/1/12 6:38 p.m.

Watching this thread. No baby...yet. I'm wanting to trade my Civic coupe in next year for something more comfortable yet fun as a DD. An 06-08 Tsx or an 06-09 Mazda3 S hatchback are on my top list. Both have good 5spd autostick trannies. I'm impressed with Honda's reliability and low maintenance and there is dealer close to where I work. Here are the specs I was comparing just a few minutes ago: http://autos.msn.com/research/compare/interior.aspx?c=0&i=0&ph1=t0&ph2=t0&tb=0&dt=0&cp-documentid=0&v=t105980&v=t105490

The TSX has better crash ratings, better piece of mind for junior. The 3 can use regular gas, the TSX premium (although I've heard it's only recommended, not sure though). $13K for a TSX will be 80,000 miles or more.

**Caution-There may be a VS. thread posted soon about these two cars

bastomatic
bastomatic Dork
10/1/12 6:54 p.m.

TSX sounds like a great car to me too - can you fit a big stroller in the trunk?

Brett_Murphy
Brett_Murphy GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
10/1/12 7:06 p.m.

With one car seat in the back, the Mazda3 was a great little hauler in hatchback form. It's fun to drive and the gas mileage is decent.

With an automatic, get a 2006 or later car. The 2005 models had a 4 speed, the 2006 and newer have a 5 speed.

What impressed me most about the Mazda3 was the seats. I fit in them really well, and didn't get any aches, pains or stiffness on a trip that was more than 800 miles in a day.

The Mazda3 is also developing a fairly good aftermarket for suspension and other goodies.

Plus, hatchbacks rule.

I've also heard that Clearbook gives a more reliable indication of what your car is worth in your particular market. I've got no affiliation or preference, but it might help: http://clearbook.truecar.com/

amg_rx7
amg_rx7 Dork
10/1/12 10:53 p.m.

Mazda6. I actually like the seating position in the 6 better than the 3. The Mazda6 wagon has more rear seat room and bigger trunk.

Kia, Hyundai are good options too and warrantied to 100k miles.

DWNSHFT
DWNSHFT HalfDork
10/2/12 1:31 a.m.

Similar situation. I ended buying a 2006 Outback XT auto. Five speed auto but I still get ~ 20 in mixed driving and keeping my foot out of it. I saw 26 MPG on the highway once, but never came close since. It's a great car and I know it's safe. But mileage sucks. Also, the auto is merely tolerable. The auto in the wife's 2009 Sonata is better.

Oddly enough, the Sonata has more room in the back for the baby seat.

I really wanted a Mazda 3 hatchback but it just didn't have the safety ratings.

David

fornetti14
fornetti14 GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
10/2/12 5:48 a.m.

The Mazda6 is more of a mans car than the 3 or 5. (Says me) They were available as sedans, wagons or 5-doors.

My 4 cyl 5-speed car meets the requirements. Not sure how the automatic would be.

Duke
Duke PowerDork
10/2/12 8:54 a.m.
bastomatic wrote: TSX sounds like a great car to me too - can you fit a big stroller in the trunk?

We didn't get the TSX until long after the stroller days, but the trunk is very good size for the size of the car. The opening is pretty wide and it goes way back in under the window. Also has 60/40 back seat flipdown.

As far as an appliance car goes, the TSX is as good as anybody's, yet it doesn't suck another bit of your soul out every time you twist the key. It is a simple pleasure to drive, responsive, and feels pretty light on its feet for a midsize FWD sedan. It would be sublime with the 6-speed manual, but those are rare, and I know the OP wanted an autobox anyway.

It is a good 5-speed auto. I know Honda's ATXs don't have the best record, but it seems to survive better behind the K24 than it does in a heavier Accord 6-cylinder. It doesn't hunt around; shifts are crisp, and it is completely devoid of that rubbery feel that used to plague older Honda ATXs. It also has a fairly good 'performance driving' algorithm and it will anticipate midcorner downshifts, as well as downshift when you're trail braking, all by itself. I never drive it in manumatic mode, because it's just not necessary.

1 2
Our Preferred Partners
8pvT9kLVQw8AoKQ0D0GyMS3ThCxpMLpGvFMFWKbvdlhvUV0mfpqXYnC5VerEyAjk