I was in a 5 car crash Tuesday night and my car was totaled. So now it is time to shop for a new one. Can you help?
I was previously driving a 2002 Nissan Altima which did work for me and I enjoyed it. Gas mileage wasn't anything to write home about though. I settled for somewhat near Blue Book value minus deductibles and such so I've got $8000 towards the down-payment of the next vehicle. Ceiling price around $24,000, but preferably paying 20K or under
What I'm looking for: (sort of ranked in order or priority)
Family friendly - ability to put car seats in for babies (don't have any now, but planning for it very soon)
Storage Space - doesn' t need to be massive, enough for groceries, luggage, golf clubs (not all those at once) also folding down split back seat is really nice when you have those extra large items
Safety - impacts and just routine driving (I do live in an area with light to moderate snowfall)
Good gas mileage
Automatic transmission (I can drive manual, but the wife can't. I'd consider manual if the car met all criteria with flying colors and then attempt to teach her how, but on a newer car....... D:)
Nice to have:
auxillary MP3 jack (I installed MP3 support in my Altima which was simple. Would be nice to have to start, but I could install again really on anything as long as the AUX exists in the wiring)
I'm open to most styles sedan, wagon, hatchback, not too interested in SUV. I've mainly been looking at new cars right now, but if anyone knows older models for used I'm open to suggestion. I care nothing about image or coolness, I must just get from point A to B with all the junk I'm hauling and not die hopefully.
Things I've found so far searching online. I've found some things that look good on paper for storage going by cubic footage, but they "look" like small cars (if you know about any of these I'd appreciate any info). Most of these listed are the same offering by each different company as competing models.
Toyota Prius - MPG of course, I think it had car seat anchors, good storage space, highly rated, mega dorky looking, although I'd do the South Park Prius guy impression constantly which would be fun.
Toyota Matrix - still good MPG, storage high, one guy I work with has one and speaks well of it, will check it out later today at work
Honda Fit - Matrix clone with slightly different options
Chevy Aveo - same as Matrix, Fit, but cheaper and crappier, but cheaper!
Honda civic - I could go with the hybrid here or not, long time reliable car with a good reputation. My wife has a 1999 civic, but to me it feels like driving a toy and not a real car. It does get the job done though.