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  1. #1
    House of Wax's Avatar
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    Suggestions for sub 20k sedans

    The wife and I are looking to downsize from her 09 Expedition to a newer sedan. We`re looking at spending less than 20K and don`t want to go much older than about 3 or 4 years. Anybody have some good suggetions? A few we`ve been looking at are 2016+ Malibu`s, Mazda 6`s, Maxima`s, Regal`s.....maybe Fusions, but she`s already had a Fusion before and kinda wants to try something different.

    We`ve looked at some of the smaller SUV`s/CUV`s and none of them have really caught our eye. Plus they seem to be more expensive, so we can get a newer vehicle with less miles by going the sedan route.

  2. #2

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    Re: Suggestions for sub 20k sedans

    Honestly, I`d go with a Toyota Camry or Avalon for reliability, Mazda 6 for styling and driving dynamics, or Chevrolet Impala. All three of them have pretty good safety ratings.
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  3. #3
    House of Wax's Avatar
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    Re: Suggestions for sub 20k sedans

    My wife is pretty drawn to the Mazda 6. From everything I`ve read, it sounds like they are a little more "fun" to drive than most of the other cars in that segment. The newer Impalas are pretty sharp.

    I know the Camry`s are good cars, but boy are they just so blah in every way

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  4. #4
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    Re: Suggestions for sub 20k sedans

    I`d go Volvo S60.

  5. #5
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    Re: Suggestions for sub 20k sedans

    To me in that class I would say Subaru Legacy, and Impreza. The Acura tlx would be another.
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  6. #6

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    Re: Suggestions for sub 20k sedans

    Quote Originally Posted by House of Wax View Post
    My wife is pretty drawn to the Mazda 6. From everything I`ve read, it sounds like they are a little more "fun" to drive than most of the other cars in that segment. The newer Impalas are pretty sharp.

    I know the Camry`s are good cars, but boy are they just so blah in every way

    Sent from my SM-G920V using Tapatalk

    Having driven numerous examples of all of the cars that I mentioned:

    Mazda6:
    The most fun to drive and some argue looks the best, but I really think that it could use more power, that`s its only fault. Best steering, best left foot brake modulation. Good examples just look the part. If I remember correctly I had the best visibility outside of the Mazda.
    Engine Options: I-4 Only
    Interior: Super simple design, will age well when taken care of, will be the least out of date in 10 years
    Lighting:


    Chevrolet Impala:
    Engine Options: I-4 or V6
    Interior: Plastics are cheap, fit is not on par with the Mazda or Toyota. I am not sure Chevy has hit the timeless design that Mazda has.


    Toyota Camry:
    Engine Options: I-4 or V6
    Interior: Plastics are refined for a nice fit, plastics don`t ever finish well. The buttons in the Toyota are my preference, they feel like they are the best quality as far as actual engagement is concerned.


    Bluetooth: The Toyota and Mazda are easiest to connect, I am not sure which the driver sounds best to the other end of the phone call.
    Backup Camera: Screen resolution goes to the Chevy, but it finger prints the most easily. Quickest screen to appear from park to reverse goes to the Toyota, then Mazda, Chevy can tend to lag (maybe they have fixed it with software upgrade).
    Infotainment: Chevy`s is the most attractive, but I think it will age the most in terms of looks. User interface goes to the Toyota as it is very intuitive, and just easy to use. The Mazda infotainment is a happy medium, it takes some thinking, but learning it is quick.
    Lighting: Mazda Bi-Xenon functions the best, and quickest to react to on/off high/low flash.
    Interior noise: If I remember correctly my ear said that the Chevy was the most quiet.

    If I had $20k cash to spend on a vehicle, I`d go for a 2008-2011 Lexus GS350 from the little old man or lady from Pasadena that is being sold on Craigslist, and then invest the money I saved (I`d guess around $4k-$6k), find a reputable independent repair shop, and put the money I saved into the vehicle to make it road worthy for another 100K miles, whilst getting many bells and whistles, a good looking car, a reliable car, and a car that was still built in Lexus` *built to last* philosophy.

    However, you are not me, nor am I,you. The Mazda drives the best, the Chevy looks the best, and the Toyota is the Toyota. It may be boring, but it will be the most reliable. You and your wife should just pop into a dealership where they have all three and ask to test drive them, I recommend going to a dealership that you don`t see the exact car at, you`re just test driving. Don`t tell the salesman that you are ready to buy, just say that you are doing your homework/research. He will most likely be more forthright and efficient with you. Once you find out which car she likes best, to drive (remember this may not be the exact one she wants), begin searching for the actual car that meets your desires/need. Get all your paper work together when you find the car, test drive it, talk to sales, get a PPI, and buy it if passes PPI.

    You may already know all of that, but I wanted to share because the less time one spends at a dealership the better they are, mentally. haha

    Edit**

    The S60 is a good choice, more on the luxury side of the spectrum. The only thing is future running costs, but if you don`t mind them, go with the Volvo. I like their standard dual single touch window auto roll down/up. Volvo is like the Toyota of the European cars, simple, robust and most reliable.

    The Subaru`s are good cars, I quite enjoyed driving them, the only thing is that their paint systems are soft, but slightly harder than Honda and Acura. The redeeming qualities to the Subaru`s are their Toyota based infotainment systems and their standard all wheel drive.

    Honda and Acura are good choices, their fit and finish have gone done and seem cheaper than they used to be. Their infotainment systems are riddled with nuances, they are my least favorite behind Chryslers U-Connect and third behind Cadillac`s Cue or Que as my least favorite.
    Thanks House of Wax, JustJesus thanked for this post

  7. #7
    House of Wax's Avatar
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    Re: Suggestions for sub 20k sedans

    Quote Originally Posted by TheMeanGreen View Post
    Having driven numerous examples of all of the cars that I mentioned:

    Mazda6:
    The most fun to drive and some argue looks the best, but I really think that it could use more power, that`s its only fault. Best steering, best left foot brake modulation. Good examples just look the part. If I remember correctly I had the best visibility outside of the Mazda.
    Engine Options: I-4 Only
    Interior: Super simple design, will age well when taken care of, will be the least out of date in 10 years
    Lighting:


    Chevrolet Impala:
    Engine Options: I-4 or V6
    Interior: Plastics are cheap, fit is not on par with the Mazda or Toyota. I am not sure Chevy has hit the timeless design that Mazda has.


    Toyota Camry:
    Engine Options: I-4 or V6
    Interior: Plastics are refined for a nice fit, plastics don`t ever finish well. The buttons in the Toyota are my preference, they feel like they are the best quality as far as actual engagement is concerned.


    Bluetooth: The Toyota and Mazda are easiest to connect, I am not sure which the driver sounds best to the other end of the phone call.
    Backup Camera: Screen resolution goes to the Chevy, but it finger prints the most easily. Quickest screen to appear from park to reverse goes to the Toyota, then Mazda, Chevy can tend to lag (maybe they have fixed it with software upgrade).
    Infotainment: Chevy`s is the most attractive, but I think it will age the most in terms of looks. User interface goes to the Toyota as it is very intuitive, and just easy to use. The Mazda infotainment is a happy medium, it takes some thinking, but learning it is quick.
    Lighting: Mazda Bi-Xenon functions the best, and quickest to react to on/off high/low flash.
    Interior noise: If I remember correctly my ear said that the Chevy was the most quiet.

    If I had $20k cash to spend on a vehicle, I`d go for a 2008-2011 Lexus GS350 from the little old man or lady from Pasadena that is being sold on Craigslist, and then invest the money I saved (I`d guess around $4k-$6k), find a reputable independent repair shop, and put the money I saved into the vehicle to make it road worthy for another 100K miles, whilst getting many bells and whistles, a good looking car, a reliable car, and a car that was still built in Lexus` *built to last* philosophy.

    However, you are not me, nor am I,you. The Mazda drives the best, the Chevy looks the best, and the Toyota is the Toyota. It may be boring, but it will be the most reliable. You and your wife should just pop into a dealership where they have all three and ask to test drive them, I recommend going to a dealership that you don`t see the exact car at, you`re just test driving. Don`t tell the salesman that you are ready to buy, just say that you are doing your homework/research. He will most likely be more forthright and efficient with you. Once you find out which car she likes best, to drive (remember this may not be the exact one she wants), begin searching for the actual car that meets your desires/need. Get all your paper work together when you find the car, test drive it, talk to sales, get a PPI, and buy it if passes PPI.

    You may already know all of that, but I wanted to share because the less time one spends at a dealership the better they are, mentally. haha

    Edit**

    The S60 is a good choice, more on the luxury side of the spectrum. The only thing is future running costs, but if you don`t mind them, go with the Volvo. I like their standard dual single touch window auto roll down/up. Volvo is like the Toyota of the European cars, simple, robust and most reliable.

    The Subaru`s are good cars, I quite enjoyed driving them, the only thing is that their paint systems are soft, but slightly harder than Honda and Acura. The redeeming qualities to the Subaru`s are their Toyota based infotainment systems and their standard all wheel drive.

    Honda and Acura are good choices, their fit and finish have gone done and seem cheaper than they used to be. Their infotainment systems are riddled with nuances, they are my least favorite behind Chryslers U-Connect and third behind Cadillac`s Cue or Que as my least favorite.
    Awesome info, thanks

    Sent from my SM-G920V using Tapatalk

  8. #8

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    Re: Suggestions for sub 20k sedans

    We have a Subaru Legacy
    And it’s a beast in the snow. Get fantastic mileage. Reliable as anything. Great in snow and fun to drive
    In the nice weather. It’s also safe !
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  9. #9

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    Re: Suggestions for sub 20k sedans

    Given our experiences with Subarus and Mazdas (both of which we *really* wanted to like), I`d never own nor recommend anything from either maker. But eh, guess that`s just me as others seem to have OK experiences with `em.

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    Re: Suggestions for sub 20k sedans

    Quote Originally Posted by JSFM35X View Post
    We have a Subaru Legacy
    And it’s a beast in the snow. .
    Wonder if they`ve changed their AWD system. Side-by-side (literally) with an Audi (exact same winter tires, size and all), it wasn`t a contest..but eh, that was a long time ago.

  11. #11

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    Re: Suggestions for sub 20k sedans

    If I was in your shoes, my top two choices would be the Mazda6 or Honda Accord. As a wild card, you might look at a Honda Civic. They are surprisingly roomy in the current generation, especially with the hatchback. You could almost think of it as a small wagon.

    I recently had the Cadillac XTS which is essentially a gussied up Impala and I found it to be a huge let down. The interior ergonomics were all wrong, the ride was too soft, it was noisy at all speeds, and don`t get me started in the low quality materials....

    While the Camry gets panned for being boring, I`d say a Passat is worse. I`ve driven both and despite liking VW`s I`d choose the Toyota if given a choice. I spent several hours in a new-ish Camary rental last week and it wasn`t a bad travelling companion. It sailed across the Florida highways quite nicely at 80mph. Quiet, comfortable, and respectable brakes/steering/suspension for a vanilla sedan. The interior isn`t up to Mazda standards, but it wasn`t too bad.

  12. #12
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    Re: Suggestions for sub 20k sedans

    nice info, guys. Thanks!

  13. #13
    House of Wax's Avatar
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    Re: Suggestions for sub 20k sedans

    Quote Originally Posted by Accumulator View Post
    Given our experiences with Subarus and Mazdas (both of which we *really* wanted to like), I`d never own nor recommend anything from either maker. But eh, guess that`s just me as others seem to have OK experiences with `em.
    What were your issues with those?

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  14. #14

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    Re: Suggestions for sub 20k sedans

    House of Wax:
    This IS going to be your wife`s car, correct?? My wife and I went though this process to replace my 2003 Subaru Outback with 183,000 miles on it and in dire need of a lot (read expensive) repairs. So rather than sticking that money into the Subaru and having a vehicle that would need who-knows-what down the road, not to mention the rust that was starting (happens to ALL vehicles driven for 15 years in the Upper Midwest winter salt. Sorry, it`s unavoidable, unless its a stainless-steel bodied DeLorean), we decided to look for a used vehicle for $17,000 or less.
    After test driving over 16 different used vehicles, we (she!) settled on a low-mileage certified 2015 Ford Taurus SEL with AWD. Why THAT vehicle? It was Mica Metallic Ruby (AKA blood red metallic), was easy to get in and out of (an important consideration for us "young senior citizens"), has a great ride and interior room, has All-Wheel Drive, a HUGE trunk, Bluetooth-supported technology, driver-assistance safety features, was a certified vehicle with low miles and NO accidents, and the price was right, although "slightly" more than we budgeted. My choice was a used Subaru Outback, but those of lease-return of that same year with 10,000 miles more them were $5,000 to $7,000 more (A LOT more than we budgeted!!). Yes, I give up considerable gas mileage on the Taurus compared to the Subaru, but I can buy A LOT of gas for $5,000, even at $3.00 per gallon.

    Personally, I liked a used 2014 Honda CR-V with 60,000 miles we test drove in our budget range, but I REALLY liked a used Honda Accord Sport with a four-cylinder and automatic, but it was "cumbersome" to get in-and-out of for my wife and it was a little over our budget. I think you and your wife would be most pleased with this quiet, fuel-efficient, and well-handling vehicle if you can find one for under your budgeted $20,000. Another upside to this vehicle is the how it retains its resale value and its large appeal to used car buyers if you decide to sell it down the road. SOMEONE always wants a used Honda. The downside? Paying for the (higher) cost of maintenance and repairs, and having a vehicle that is the MOST-LIKEY TO BE STOLEN VEHICLE in the USA ("according" to police data and insurance companies, no pun intended).

    Keep us posted on what vehicle you and your wife decide to purchase. She WILL miss her Expedition because with vehicles, as in life, size matters.
    GB detailer
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  15. #15
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    Re: Suggestions for sub 20k sedans

    The head gasket issues were the big one with the Subaru. Those issues have long been fixed now.

 

 
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