Looking for vehicle recommendations based on my own set of criteria

  • Last Updated:
  • May 24th, 2020 3:05 pm
Feb 11, 2011
56 posts

Looking for vehicle recommendations based on my own set of criteria

Hi everyone,

I've been gradually making a list of things that would be important to me in purchasing my next vehicle and was wondering if anyone could offer some recommendations. I'm looking to maximize value, while hitting as many of my criteria as possible. I'm thinking an SUV or a cross-over will be the only options.

First of all, here are the things that don't matter to me at all:

- Manual vs. automatic
- Appearance
- "Fully loaded" features.... all I want are power windows and A/C, the rest doesn't matter
- Horsepower & torque

Here are the things that are the most important to me:

- Purchase price, maintenance cost and general operating costs over a 10-year period from the purchase date must be optimized for value (purchase price must be less than 30K CDN$)
- Good fuel economy (anything worse than 9L/100km or 26MPG is a dealbreaker)
- The most possible cargo space
- Seats that can be fully lowered to the floor, forming a perfectly flat platform like in the Honda Fit

Other features that are important but not absolute musts:

- Japanese or Korean (positive predisposition to Honda, Toyota, Subaru, Kia, Hyundai, Nissan, Mitsubishi, etc…) but open to other brands
- Sterile dash and minimal integrated electronics is important - I hate things like integrated screens, built-in GPS, tire pressure monitors and generally all those unnecessary electronics that just drive up costs
- "Bucket" style floor mats or some sort of design that prevents excessive snow/salt messes in winter or at least facilitates cleaning
- Comfortable seats with reasonable back support
- Arm rest between front seats
- Cupholders in well thought-out locations

Vehicles I've owned in the past were:

- Mazda Cronos (fell apart after 200 000km, so now I have an aversion to Mazda)

- Honda Civic (fell apart after 475 000km, so I have a deep appreciation for Hondas, but I never want another sedan because of the lack of cargo space)

- Nissan Quest (great vehicle but I don't want another van)

- Jeep Grand Cherokee (horrible on gas, premature electrical problems and generally unreliable.... had to scrap it after 240 000km)

- Honda Fit (my current vehicle, 380 000km and still running extremely well with minimal maintenance costs. However, the seats are extremely painful for road trips. Any drive longer than an hour causes much discomfort. Also, I want something higher from the ground, larger and with more cargo space)
15 replies
Deal Expert
User avatar
Jul 30, 2007
32756 posts
Include minivan in your car list and you will find most of your wish list there
Deal Expert
User avatar
Mar 9, 2007
15494 posts
Think of the Childre…
Beige Corolla

Deal Expert
User avatar
Apr 21, 2004
57987 posts

Two of them for increased storage space.
Sr. Member
Dec 25, 2006
716 posts
Cheapo-Findo wrote: Beige Corolla Hatchback

Fixed it for ya!
People will believe what they want to believe whether fact or fiction.
'tis most frustrating when they aren't open to see and/or learn which is which.
Feb 6, 2009
79 posts
Since you are happy with the Honda Fit, how about the Honda HRV?
Deal Guru
User avatar
Jun 26, 2005
10106 posts
Maybe I'm not car smart but SUV that gives you this mileage? I mean real road mileage, not the number on paper right? Even a standard sized car doesn't give you that. Maybe a hybrid.

Good fuel economy (anything worse than 9L/100km or 26MPG is a dealbreaker)
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Jan 14, 2007
5214 posts
Since you like the Fit so much have you considered the Honda HR-V? It's also very spacious, higher up, good on gas, etc. You'd have to check out the seats to see if they are more comfortable than those in your Fit.
Feb 11, 2011
56 posts
BeaverLiquor wrote: Sounds like you're looking for a 2011 Honda Element.
Thought about this but I want something newer and more fuel efficient
Feb 11, 2011
56 posts
This might be the one... right now I'm just canvassing to see if there are any other suitable vehicles I haven't heard of
Deal Addict
User avatar
Apr 22, 2013
3039 posts
If the Element is even slightly interesting, I'd look into a Scion xB. Its literally a cube with RAV4 parts, because some people didn't even know Scion ever existed its got low resale despite being purely Toyota. The xB is bigger than a Kia Soul or Nissan Cube, its biggest weakness is its aging 2.4L 4-cylinder in that its very inefficient for its model year and car type but it matches modern SUV fuel economy. The minus with Scion branded cars is they're very no frills, nearly zero optional extras but in your case you'd probably like it. Final year for these I believe is 2015, its not too hard to snag one of these at very low mileage in the $12-13K range. Not the easiest car to suggest but for a specific thing like no frills, maximum space efficiency and reliable...its exactly that.
- Jegan V
Deal Addict
Jul 14, 2002
2733 posts
You didn't mention your mileage/year? If I assume you bought the Honda Fit new in 2001, you're averaging at least 20k/year.
What about the TM3 in that case? Gotta look at the total ROI wrt mileage and timespan of vehicle.
Deal Addict
Apr 5, 2017
1485 posts
Edmonton, AB
If I were going for that criteria I would definitely shop for something used I could buy outright with cash.

The Honda FIT is solid. Upgrade to a newer one, find a gem for whatever you can pay with cash, if possible.

The Honda Element is another option. The cargo space that thing offers is brilliant, the extremely low load height would allow a dog or getting a bike in there to be a breeze. The dog could almost walk up in to it. Google image search "honda element cargo space" and wonder why it isn't a more popular configuration - it's what the EV's aspire to be in terms of "urban practicality packaging" or whatever. Can be had with the CRV's real time AWD system. Timing chains. K24 engine. So it is a very stout platform.


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