One of my goals this year is to buy a new car. The idea is to get a small car good for commuting, and turn the wagon over to Stacey.
Above are pictures of four possibilities: Volkswagon Jetta, Honda Civic, Mazda 3, and Subaru Impreza. All of them are decent cars, if reviews are to be believed. Here’s a side-by-side comparison.
My requirements are:
- Reasonably efficient
- Reliable/low maintenance
- Fun to drive (more fun than a wagon, anyway)
- Good handling and acceleration for beltway driving
- Sunroof available (I want this to be a “fun” car, at least a little bit)
- Good sound system (built-in MP3 player adapter would be nice…)
- Comfortable (smooth ride, nice seats, quiet), since I’ll probably be sitting in it for over an hour, five days a week.
Some notes on the cars:
- I love Subaru, and all things being equal I’d stick with them. But I’m not sure the Subaru offering stands up to the others in this bracket. While the AWD is great, the lower gas mileage, lousy sound system, and all-around ugliness are problematic.
- I love VW styling, and I know they have a reputation for great handling. But I’ve heard they have a problem with being finicky and high-maintenance in recent years. Is there any truth to this?
Any thoughts or experiences you could share would be appreciated.