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Comparing Cars

I like my car. It's a 1999 Toyota Corolla that we bought with 89K miles on it in 2001. But now it's got 205K miles on it, and it's time to think about the next, so I've been looking online at least. The priority requirements are (1) good/similar/better gas mileage, (2) much better cargo space, (3) a little more comfort for long distrance travel, and (4) not too big (I like being able to park in the compact spaces at work). Secondary preferences are a decently powerful engine and better passenger space.

Comparisons of many cars!

Base for comparison: 1999 Toyota Corolla
Volume(cubic inches): 88.0 passenger, 12.1 cargo
Engine: 1.8 liter 4-cyl, 120@5600 hp/rpm, 122@4400 torque
Mileage: average 33 mpg, 13.2 gallon tank, about 400 miles range

Current favorite: 2010 Hyundai Elantra Touring
Volume: 101.2 passenger, 24.3/65.3 cargo (rear seats up/down)
Engine: 2.0 liter 4-cyl, 138@6000 hp/rpm, 136@4600 torque
Mileage: 23/30 mpg, 14 gallon tank, about 390 miles range
Pro: very good safety, excellent price, excellent warranty, good reliability, more features per price than anything comparable, iPod/MP3 connection, etc.
Con: not terribly impressive mileage

Wish it was a favorite: 2010 Honda Fit
Volume: 90.8 passenger, 20.6/57.3 cargo
Engine: 1.5 liter 4-cyl, 117@6600 hp/rpm, 106@4800 torque
Mileage: 28/35 mpg, 10.6 gallon tank, about 335 miles range
Pro: good safety, very good reliability, very good mileage, cute car, 10 cup holders!
Con: cheap interior, weak engine, very poor range (I'd really like to be able to get down to New Haven and back on one tank of gas, and this cuts it too close)

Wish it was a favorite: 2010 Toyota Matrix
Volume: 94.0 passenger, 19.8/48.9 cargo
Engine: 1.8 liter 4-cyl, 132@6000 hp/rpm, 128@4400 torque
Mileage: 25/31 mpg, 13.2 gallon tank. about 380 miles range
Pro: good engine, and for reliability and safety: it's a Toyota
Con: more expensive but low on interior comfort, and for reliability and safety: it's a Toyota

Also considered; 2010 Honda Insight (hybrid)
Volume: 85.0 passenger, 15.9/31.5 cargo
Engine: 1.3 liter 4-cyl, 98@5800 hp/rpm, 123@1000-1700 torque
Mileage: 40/43 mpg, 10.6 gallon tank, about 410 miles range
Pro: excellent mileage, great range, reliable, safe
Con: pricey, less headroom and legroom than 1999 Corolla

Also considered: 2010 Scion tC
Volume: 84.7 passenger, 35.4 cargo with rear seats down
Engine: 2.4 liter 4-cyl, 161@6000 hp/rpm, 162@4000 torque
Mileage: 21/29 mpg, 14.5 gallon tank. about 390 miles range
Pro: powerful engine, reasonably reliable and safe, good price, good range, great features with moonroof as standard
Con: less headroom and legroom than 1999 Corolla, not great cargo area

Also considered: 2010 Nissan Versa 1.8SL Hatchback
Volume: 94.7 passenger, 17.8/50.4 cargo
Engine: 1.8 liter 4-cyl, 122@5200 hp/rpm
Mileage: 28/34 mpg, 13.2 gallon tank, about 415 miles range
Pro: very good mileage and range, excellent price
Con: not as reliable, somewhat weak engine, definitely need SL level by all reviews

Also considered: 2010 Mazda 3 s Hatchback
Volume: 94.6 passenger, 17.0/??? cargo
Engine: 2.5 liter 4-cyl, 167@6000 hp/rpm, 168@4000 torque
Mileage: 22/29 mpg, 15.9 gallon tank, about 430 miles range
Pro: snazzy car, great range, powerful engine
Con: somewhat more expensive, not as good mileage, worse controls and not quite as reliable according to some

What have you seen or heard is good?



( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 24th, 2010 08:03 pm (UTC)
I'd like to have something to chime in with, but I'm an SUV kinda girl. Hugely fond of my XTerra, which does fit in a compact space, but probably doesn't meet any of your other requirements beyond cargo space.
May. 25th, 2010 09:55 pm (UTC)
Awesome looking SUV, but about 10 mpg too low for me. ^_^

*hugs* nice hearing from you, though! things have sounded good in your life, may they keep going that way!
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )