VW Vortex - Volkswagen Forum banner

Which $20K commuter car should my brother buy?

  • $20K for a car? That's darn near impossible these days. Tell him to raise his budget.

    Votes: 0 0.0%
1 - 20 of 88 Posts

Registered
Audi S4, e-Tron, and a Toyota appliance
Joined
17,722 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, with TCL's help, my brother went ahead and put a deposit on a 2022 Toyota Highlander XLE Hybrid. Thank you all for your input. 馃嵒

So now my brother is looking for a sub-$20K (plus TT&L) 'new' commuter car. His 2008 Nissan Rogue is in its last days so he needs something rather quickly. Highlander is for his wife. Is that even possible these days?

His requirement:
-Good gas mileage
-No manuel (sorry, he's just a regular Joe)
-Four doors
-Standard forward crash mitigation
-No crazy market adjustment markup (up to $2K is okay)

So here are the contenders (It's also in the poll):

2022 Nissan Versa SV (with CVT) - from $18,900
Car Tire Wheel Vehicle Vehicle registration plate


2022 Hyundai Accent SE - from $16,900
Wheel Tire Car Vehicle Window


2022 Hyundai Venue - from $19,000
Wheel Car Vehicle Tire Hood


2022 Kia Rio hatchback - from $17,390
Tire Wheel Vehicle registration plate Vehicle Car


Chevy Spark and Mitsubishi Mirage were excluded since...well they are just death traps.

Am I missing anything? Is $20K for a new car even possible nowadays? If anyone owns one of these cars, your experience is greatly appreciated.

Font Sleeve Electric blue Event Photo caption
 

Attachments

Registered
Audi S4, e-Tron, and a Toyota appliance
Joined
17,722 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
What about a Nissan Leaf? After the tax credit, wouldn't it be pretty damn close to $20k?
Yeah, we considered a Leaf, but there's none left in his area. Also, his commute is 160 miles a day with no public chargers nearby. So Leaf is off the list.
 

Registered
Audi S4, e-Tron, and a Toyota appliance
Joined
17,722 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I had the Accent as a rental car recently and thought it was actually not bad.

Some other things...
Jetta S automatic $22k. From Ford, the Maverick starts at $19k, is the Ecosport any good?
Jetta S auto could work. But I only see the top-tier GLI's in my area. At least VW is selling all their cars at MSRP. My brother actually visited a VW dealer and test drove an Atlas. He really liked the Atlas 4Motion that he drove, and would've seriously considered it had not been for subpar reliability. Ford Ecosport is in the same boat as VW Atlas in terms of reliability. He keeps his car for a long time, so it needs to be something that's a least somewhat reliable.
 

Registered
Joined
202 Posts
Maybe a Subaru Impreza? Just over budget if you can find one, but a size up from the subcompacts, AWD and decent fuel economy. Just bought one for my daughter (base hatch), and we love it.
 

Registered
A couple CUVs
Joined
2,945 Posts
Jetta S auto could work. But I only see the top-tier GLI's in my area. At least VW is selling all their cars at MSRP. My brother actually visited a VW dealer and test drove an Atlas. He really liked the Atlas 4Motion that he drove, and would've seriously considered it had not been for subpar reliability. Ford Ecosport is in the same boat as VW Atlas in terms of reliability. He keeps his car for a long time, so it needs to be something that's a least somewhat reliable.
I assume "subpar reliability" just means "not-Asian brand" here?
 

Registered
Joined
22,836 Posts
I would get a base Versa with a stick but it is too pricey in higher trims for what it is IMO.

Personally, if at all possible I would stretch and get a Corolla LE for $22k. It's so much more of a car than any of these, a class-up platform, more refined/quieter, has multilink rear end instead of a twist beam, will last for 250k miles, has lane centering, LED headlights, auto braking, etc etc etc. I just looked and there are no rebates on them in our area (could be different in yours) but they do have 1.75% financing for 48 months on them in our area, might mitigate some of the higher price if he is financing compared cheaper models.
 

Registered
90 VW Corrado, 96 BMW 318ti, 03 VW GTI 20th, 21 Jeep Gladiator, 21 Jeep Wrangler
Joined
7,811 Posts
All I can say is do not have him get the Venue. My wife and I had one as a rental last year and after driving 900 miles in it our nickname for it was sh!tbox. The only redeeming quality was that it had was wireless android auto. Everything else was just so meh and depressing.
 

Registered
2016 A6, 2014 X3, 1967 Bus, 1963 356
Joined
24,474 Posts
In that "what's the most basic car in the US" thread we did recently I looked very closely at the Versa compared to the Rio to find out which one was more basic. Despite being cheaper, the Versa had more standard equipment and was overall the better car. It also looks pretty good, especially for the price range. Of the cars listed I'd choose this.

If it was my own money I'd buy a Corolla. Overall a nice car to drive, looks good, tons of standard equipment including Toyota Safety Sense 2.0 which is a huge deal. Had to look it up again but the system includes Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection (PCS w/PD), * Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist (LDA w/SA), * Automatic High Beams (AHB), * Road Sign Assist (RSA), * Lane Tracing Assist (LTA), * Full-Speed Range Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (DRCC). All that on a car with a base MSRP of $20,425.
 

Premium Member
Joined
1,758 Posts
Corolla, all day. I believe the CVT also has a traditional first gear. There is a savageese review one and he was pretty darn positive about it. Get a choice of sedan or hatch form factor to boot. While I would push to get into the XSE trim, they are still great cars and just got a refresh for MY 2023.
 

Registered
2009 BMW 328i, 2017 Acura MDX
Joined
4,498 Posts
Yeah, we considered a Leaf, but there's none left in his area. Also, his commute is 160 miles a day with no public chargers nearby. So Leaf is off the list.
Ouch. How long is he planning to drive 3 hours per day for? That doesn't sound sustainable unless he's making silly amounts of money. And since he's capped his car expense at $20k, it doesn't sound like he's making silly money.

Corolla, all day. I believe the CVT also has a traditional first gear. There is a savageese review one and he was pretty darn positive about it. Get a choice of sedan or hatch form factor to boot. While I would push to get into the XSE trim, they are still great cars and just got a refresh for MY 2023.
I wonder if the Corolla Hybrid would get mileage better enough to offset the price difference. I'd much rather have the hybrid CVT that's not actually a CVT than the one from the gasser.
 

Registered
Joined
22,836 Posts
The 2022 L/LE/XLE sedans with the 1.8 still has a traditional CVT (which isn't bad unless you floor it from a dead stop - much better than a Nissan CVT) 鈥 but for '23 all trims are all getting the 2.0+CVT with launch gear (and presumably a price increase). Even the old CVT will click off fake shifts if you floor it, so it doesn't just zing out to 6500 RPM immediately and sit there.

We owned a '17 with that combo and while it wasn't fast, it was smooth/refined had plenty of power to keep up with traffic in town, merge into 80 MPH traffic or do 90 MPH all day in west Texas at 2300 RPM. It's not sporty and doesn't really excel at any one thing, but overall it is a very, very satisfying car to own.
 

Registered
Joined
2,886 Posts
I wonder if the Corolla Hybrid would get mileage better enough to offset the price difference. I'd much rather have the hybrid CVT that's not actually a CVT than the one from the gasser.
I just bought a Corolla Hybrid as a gift for someone else, and I got 61.5 mpg on the 30min highway drive home from picking it up, for whatever that's worth.
But I had to pay a $2k market adjustment on the car, and that was the best I could find anywhere because it's in such demand, so that eats into the value proposition some.

Wheel Tire Car Land vehicle Vehicle
 

Registered
Audi S4, e-Tron, and a Toyota appliance
Joined
17,722 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Ouch. How long is he planning to drive 3 hours per day for? That doesn't sound sustainable unless he's making silly amounts of money. And since he's capped his car expense at $20k, it doesn't sound like he's making silly money.
He only goes to work three days per week. My brother is gonna pay cash for the $20K car so that's why his budget is only $20K. So he's cheap, but not broke (I'm the other way around). I guess he could raise his budget to $30K, but he doesn't like financing. So he's a traditional and old school car buyer.
 

Registered
Audi S4, e-Tron, and a Toyota appliance
Joined
17,722 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I just bought a Corolla Hybrid as a gift for someone else, and I got 61.5 mpg on the 30min highway drive home from picking it up, for whatever that's worth.
Hey Emmet, would you buy me a car? I swear I won't post any more EV polls from now on. :p
 
1 - 20 of 88 Posts
Top