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Old 06-26-2014, 11:52 AM
straw straw is offline
Top Dog
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Canada
Posts: 539
Default Car folks... buying a new car!

I joined a car forum hoping to learn a bit more, since I am definitely not auto-savvy. For those of you that are, maybe you can offer me some input?

I'm planning to buy used, ideally no older than 2004. Also looking for <100,000 km. I could probably do $250 as a monthly payment but my budget's $8k absolute max - I'm looking for a cheap little car. Based on my first couple searches this doesn't seem unrealistic but correct me if I'm wrong.

This will mostly be for driving around the city, trips up to the cottage (short drive but snow and dirt roads), and a bi-weekly/once-monthly visit to the man (4 hours round trip). I intend to look after the car well BUT I'm a total beginner. So I'd like something that's relatively easy and inexpensive (haha) to maintain.

Here's what I'm looking for:

+ 4 doors.
+ Small/medium in size.
+ Good mileage. I'm a pretty gentle driver and I'd like to see between 8 or 9 litres/100km as a 'lifetime' mileage. I'd expect slightly lower on highways.
+ Reliable. Or, good warranty - I want to know the company is good about taking care of its buyers.
+ Would prefer manual, but it's not a huge priority.
+ AWD a bonus for those cottage roads in winter, but also not a priority.

I'm not too picky about hatchback vs. sedan. Venice will most likely be riding in the back seat on a hammock anyway so I don't need trunk space for her. Decent storage space in the trunk is a bonus though. I don't need tons of power. As long as it can get me up the 500 meter steep hill at the cottage (in summer) I'm ok. And my boyfriend's 2002 Cavalier that HATES hills can do that.

I really like the look of the Mazda3 and there's plenty available in my area. What's the storage space on the hatchback vs sedan?
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