We’re just beginning to explore the idea of getting a new car for me - I do have a 2003 Rio (no comments from the peanut gallery) that I got when I moved from NYC to VA - I needed a car fast and cheap since my credit was shot and I was semi-broke.
Well, I’m married now with better credit, and we’re hoping to need a carseat in nine months or so, probably a little longer. However, my Rio has not been the most reliable of cars - it’s broken down TWICE when I’ve tried to go out of town, and I’ve probably had it into the dealership once every two months. It’s never anything that makes it undriveable (well, once it was), and it’s usually easily fixable, but we’d rather trade it in for a reliable car that’s somewhat bigger.
We’re more interested in a sedan-type car, but we are open (I can’t believe I’m saying this) to a mini-van or a smaller SUV. If all goes according to plan, we’ll have two kids in carseats in two-three years, so we’d like to have a car that is a little bigger than we need right now just so that we can have it for two kids later.
We have no issues with buying a pre-owned car, and will probably do so. Therefore, the most we’d like to spend is probably between $15K - 18K - we will be financing most of it. We have nothing against a new car, and would definitely consider it if it fell within our price range.
We don’t need a ton of bells and whistles, but the non-negotiable items we want are: automatic door locks and windows, air conditioning, a CD player (for me - I can not listen to the radio), and we’d prefer decent safety features (obviously). We’re willing to forgo anything that might be considered ‘luxury’ in order to get a safer car.
We were thinking about a Honda Accord/Toyota Camary or even a Volkswagen Jetta (which might end up being too small). But neither of us is very well-versed in cars (as you can tell by the Rio purchase), so I’m open to any and all suggestions, and WHY it would be a good car for us. We do tend to do a fair amount of traveling, so we’d need something that’s good for road trips.
Safety, obviously, is our number one priority.