Recommendations for a Car 20-25k Budget

So my 2009 Jetta has suddenly had some major problems and I've been quoted at 4.5-5k to get it repaired. Given the car is likely worth like 7k in a working condition, I can't really justify spending so much on it given the major service is also due this year.

I'm looking to spend around the 20-25k mark although I certainly wouldn't complain going under that either! I really don't know much about cars so I'm not entirely sure what I should be looking at or looking for in a car as such.

  • Kia Cerato Sedan is appealing, at the price it's at I could probably afford to buy something new and get a 7 year warranty which would be great(I've had what I feel like is pretty bad luck with cars so far)and to insure it actually comes out cheaper then what I'm currently paying for my car. Every 15,000km service seems pretty strong as well. On the flip side, the fuel consumption at 7.4 doesn't appear to be anything special (going off what Carsales has mine at in comparison at a bit over 5).

  • Mazda 3 looks alright however I feel like it lacks some simple features that I currently have in my car like front sensors - not end of the world by any means, I suppose it's if I'm spending ~20k on a car, I'd ideally be getting more features, not less then my current car. Outside of that, it's cheap to insurer, and fuel efficient. Every 10,000km service.

  • Honda Civic are the most appealing visually of the 3, seem to be more fuel efficient in comparison to the Kia but insurance is dearer, every 10,000km service and I suppose I'm probably looking at more expensive parts down the track?

Love to hear the recommendations from OzBarginers, whether I'm on the right path or what else I should be considering. I'm guessing the suggestion is to go something second hand at around the 2015 period and my only concern here is then I'm not getting much of a warranty (and given how I've been burned of late, it is appealing).

Also, is there any go to site that you can sort of see what you're looking at for fixed service prices for cars as it's something I haven't been able to find when looking at carsales.

Edit: Test drove a Holden Astra LTZ and was pretty impressed by that and sits around ~23k for a brand new car. Open to opinions on that.

Editv2: Late addition but I've added the i30 which I'm looking at. Thanks everyone for your comments/suggestions/feedback.

Poll Options

  • 61
    Kia Cerato
  • 102
    Mazda 3
  • 32
    Honda Civic
  • 33
    Other

Comments

  • +22 votes

    You seem to be big on fuel consumption and service costs, so can I suggest a new Corolla hybrid? Yes it will go closer to $30k, but fuel average of 4.2L/100km (regular unleaded), and 12m/15,000km servicing @ $175 for the first 5 years. 5yr unlim warranty. All the safety bits

    • +2 votes

      Drove one of these today, Spack. The Ascent Hybrid Sport and it was a sensational vehicle. I can’t belive that the hybrid versions are that cheap compared to the same in a straight IC engine car.

      Now that Toyota have pumped out the warranty to come inline with all the other manufacturers, makes this a no brainer.

      And there are a few very low KM demo models advertised for around what price OP is asking.

      •  

        Yeah tbh they're not selling that well due to the RRP (Corolla in general) so should be some bargains around.

        Hopefully they put a special on in march.

        Meanwhile ZR is a 3 month wait lol

    • +1 vote

      Smaller boot compared to competitors in the same size though. Make sure to sell before the end of the five years. I got burned by that.

    •  

      Is that a real world fuel average? Or manufacturer claimed average?

      •  

        There are some reviews out there that claim it's actually less.

        Which makes sense, the more traffic in real world the more battery it uses

      • +1 vote

        I drive the ZR Hybrid daily (city commute), according to the car it has used 4.3L/100 over the past ~6000KM's.

    •  

      Hybrid cars sound quite cool. Do you know if the batteries need changing more often than the non-hybrid cars? Reason why I ask is I wonder if the money saved with fuel would end up in battery maintenance?

    •  

      No android auto is a bit of a deal breaker. I can't imagine doing long commutes without podcasts going on anymore

      •  

        Can stream them through Bluetooth…

        •  

          true but its a bad work around cause i can skip through ads and stuff without using the phone.

          •  

            @phocus: Use the steering wheel buttons to skip around. Hell, can even use Siri etc on your phone, with your phone in a holder, or in the cup holder.

            Next issue?

            The only reasoning for AA/Carplay is for Google maps, but even then you need to plug your phone into the unit and wait for it to boot, as opposed to just loading it up on your phone and putting the phone somewhere handy (cup holder, or a dedicated holder). Everything else can be handled by a Toyota stereo, and no need to plug your phone in.

            •  

              @Spackbace: huh… didnt know it could do that through BT.

              I think I saw somewhere that AA would be introduced to toyota soon anyways. So im assuming this year some time it wouldnt be an issue

  •  

    What needs 4.5-5k on your Jetta? Is that a dealer or Independant quote?

    •  

      Independent quote.

      When I had RACV look at it, it was a transmission fault, control module programming error where it's stuck in gear 5 and 6. So from what I could gather, it was that unit needs to be replaced. But then the magnet (?) that holds the drive/reverse/etc in place has also been damaged and apparently you need to buy the whole unit as you can't really buy just that part which puts it up another $2,300 from what the mechanic has told me.

      Pretty lame really as I drove it to work fine, went to get lunch and it suddenly wouldn't move so I really didn't expect it to be so bad.

      •  

        Edit - nvm I see you are in vic

      • +1 vote

        I'm assuming he said Mechatronics and not magnets. They are expensive to replace but you could get it done for cheaper.
        That being said I wouldn't trust some RACV guy to tell me to replace the mechatronics unit.

        I can give you a full scan if you're not too far from me? Feel free if you want and send me a message.

        •  

          Yeah you're on the money, it's the mechatronics - couldn't remember it until you said that. So again, for a lack of better terms, the fork unit in the car has gone/broke/been damaged which in turn has also damaged the mechatronics unit which is why the repairs have come to about 4.5-5k all up.

          I had the RACV guy check it out before it went to the mechanics where I go the above info. Thanks for the offer though!

  • +1 vote

    Your Jetta was a $35k car when it was new, compared to a new Mazda 3 at $20k, I've never understood the desire for front sensors personally. Given the 10 year difference, surely there are plenty of other features the 3 has which your Jetta doesn't. Unfortunately it sounds like you can't wait for the brand new model 3 which will be released very soon or I would strongly advocate for that. Otherwise you can't really go wrong with either of the other two, it just comes down to personal taste, sit inside each of them, take them for a drive and choose which one feels the most comfortable and liveable to you. I can't comment on fuel efficiency, it's not something I feel makes a large enough difference to consider and same with servicing, the difference is peanuts over the long term. I've seen people who have bought cars based purely on the minute financial aspects and become very unhappy with their choice after spending time actually using it.

    •  

      Yeah you're 100% right, front sensors aren't required at all. Like I'll use them from time to time but it's not as if I can't use my own eyes either.

      Think you're also right in not getting too caught up up fuel efficiency - I am doing 400km + a week so it does add up but I'm currently on diseal anyways and the price of petrol has been well under for a while now so I probably come out even, even if the new car is higher.

      •  

        If you really want the front sensors you can just pay to add them on. That's what we did. It was $600 extra. We bought the 2018 Mazda 3 a few months ago. Got the touring model with front sensors added on and paid just over 23k. Very happy with the car. It's got everything you need - sat nav, leather seats, reverse camera, sensors, proxity key etc. Great value with the features for that price

  • +2 votes

    Kia Cerato or
    Corolla Hybrid if you do a lot of KMs. That is if you do at least more than 10K a year

  • +7 votes

    It doesn't really make your choice any easier but all of the main go-to cars around your price bracket are fine. There are minor things here and there, but they're really all very similar cars. You have the ones you've suggested - the Kia Cerato, Mazda 3 and Honda Civic, but you also have the Toyota Corolla, Hyundai i30, Hyundai Elantra amongst many other similar cars as well. There's no shortage of choice there.

    You seem to be focusing on things which aren't really all that important over the lifespan of the car. For example, fuel consumption on the Kia Cerato whilst higher than other cars in the class at 7.4L/100km, it's almost definitely a negligible amount in your weekly budget unless you really drive a lot (e.g. 100km per day). I wouldn't worry too much about things like service intervals either.

    The biggest cost of car ownership is not any of those things, but rather, depreciation. When buying a new car, think about how long you want to keep it for and go look at how much used cars at that age are. For example, if you want to keep your car 10 years, go look at 10 year old cars and figure out the average loss in value in %ge terms. Something like a Toyota Corolla might not compare as well to some of its competitors in terms of features and might be more expensive, but you'll find that it retains its value a lot better and will end up costing you less over the lifetime you own the car.

    •  

      Think you and others are right about me being too focused on things like fuel efficiency.

      Ideally I do have something I can keep for a while, I'm 27 and am now looking at my 4th car (my first two were very cheap before buying the Jetta at the start of 2015 for what felt like a bit of money at around ~13.5k). What's frustrated me the most with the Jetta is I've pretty much never just had a standard service with there always being something wrong where I've sunk at least 1k into it every year and taken it back often before the service was due. Just a lemon I suppose.

      • +23 votes

        Probably might not be a popular opinion, but Euro cars are well known for that. They don't have a reputation for being unreliable and finicky without reason.

        •  

          Too right. I just dumped my Audi A4. Every year it needed $3k - $5k on it, for just stuff that shouldn't be failing. Small short circuit on the transmission control module? Ah that'll be $7k thanks.

          Dumped it for a Mazda 3 and couldn't be happier.

          •  

            @tonyzeus: I had a $7k 99 a4 and probably spent $5k on it over 7 years. Got $1k trade in but would've been hard to sell for $2k. Clutch was biggest thing at about $2k. Ran very well otherwise but also was inefficient due to shitty chip.

            •  

              @abuch47: @abuch47 - Before my 2009 I had a 99 A4 as well, and that thing was faultless. Manual as well.

              My 2009 B8 was the CVT auto which was perfect, until it wasn't. Went from fine to failed in a second. So did the engine mounts. And the PCV. And the fuel pump. And the fuel lines. And the suspension. And then some more engine mounts. And then more transmission codes.

              It's like the B8 was built to break.

    •  

      Personally, disagree with the fuel consumption assumption. I have new Mazda2 with factual 5.5L urban and old Hyundai Jetz with around factual 10L for the same routes. Within 10years the mentioned 'negligible' weekly budgets can save you a fortune.

      About the depreciation. You may spend extra $10K for the new hybrid now, but can get only extra let's say $5K when reselling the mentioned cars in 10 years time. Again, simple maths.

      Personally, I would stay away from Kia as I had one. Moreover, if you read reviews on Facebook about Kia Cerato, it looks like a lottery ticket- either exceptionally good or opposite. Toyota is overpriced, in my opinion, and the quality is not the same as let's say 5-10 years ago. I'll myself be looking at Civic, Hyundai I30, Mazda3 and/or if something similar come close in 1 year or so.

      • +2 votes

        I have new Mazda2 with factual 5.5L urban and old Hyundai Jetz with around factual 10L for the same routes. Within 10years the mentioned 'negligible' weekly budgets can save you a fortune.

        Yes, but that's because your Getz is old. No new car around the size of a Mazda 2 will have anywhere near that fuel consumption. What I mean is that for new cars in the same class, differences in fuel consumption are largely negligible.

        Toyota is overpriced, in my opinion, and the quality is not the same as let's say 5-10 years ago. I'll myself be looking at Civic, Hyundai I30, Mazda3 and/or if something similar come close in 1 year or so.

        Why do you think Toyota is overpriced? The new Corolla is cheaper than the new Mazda 3 (by quite a margin) and the Honda Civic is around the same price, but is a much older platform. Hyundai i30 is not that much cheaper than a Corolla either.

  •  

    what city? Auto or manual?

    •  

      Melbourne and auto.

        •  

          Dayum that's cheap.

        • +2 votes

          Previously written off. Bought from auction. Bit of buyers beware.

          •  

            @foolsgold: Where does it say it was previously written off?

            •  

              @CVonC: It's a 2017 car for $12k. If it's too good to be true etc. Could always do a post check and confirm if you want to waste $2

              •  

                @brendanm: Well I got a 2016 Focus for $14k at Pickles Auction and it was all good. Granted it had a couple of nicks on the bumpers but yeah that price does seem rather low tbh.

                •  

                  @CVonC: Focus is not a very well regarded car, they are generally cheap.

                  • +1 vote

                    @brendanm: Only because of the stigma of the powershift failures (LT models) ruining their reputation and bringing down the price of the most recent models (LW/LZ) that don't even have powershift. These non-powershift models are great.

                    •  

                      @CVonC: It's more the general poor build that they've always had, they were no good before powershift. Electronics issues, water leaks, just very average. Same with the astra, always been a shitbox, maybe the new one is actually good, but noone is going to give it a try and they are worth nothing.

                      • +1 vote

                        @brendanm: LW had dual clutch gearbox and the "busy" centre console.

                        LZ has a clean unit with very few buttons, and a torque converter gearbox.

                        We bought our 2016 Focus LZ Sport with Executive Pack for $22k last year (1 year ex-Ford exec vehicle) with 6000km on the clock as our daily commute. Great car, well built and has all the latest safety technology (borrowed from Volvo when Ford owned them) and sunroof. Felt quite premium inside, and by far the best GPS system amongst all brands. (Ie. Compared to Audi, Mercedes, Mazda etc). Aside from the badge factor, the car is no lesser than similar European hatches. (Speaking as a previous owner to an Audi, Mini, merc, Opal, Peugeot, and various Japanese cars).

                        Surprise the car doesn't sell. Probably due to the issues from LW series. Would avoid LW tho.

                        Alternatively looked at the Holden Astra LTZ-V (or whatever the top trim is called), Mazda 3 1 year demo for under 25k. As well the Volvo V40 for low 30k (built on the same platform as the Focus).

                        •  

                          @googleyahoo69: As I said, focus has historically been crap, not just the dual clutch boxes. The "early 2000s" mobile phone centre console of the last model was shocking. As with the astra, even if the current gen is great, all anyone remembers is that every previous one was terrible.

                          •  

                            @brendanm: Yes. Hence shouldn't buy one unless it is the LZ series with a clean centre console.

                            Personally don't see a problem with the Astra. Excellent value car.

                            •  

                              @googleyahoo69: If you don't see a problem then you haven't read my posts. Cars with historically poor reliability tend to continue having poor reliability. Cars with historically poor reliability tend to have terrible resale value, and are difficult to sell.

                              • +1 vote

                                @brendanm: Yes. Just like Hyundai, still getting jokes that they build sub-standard cars.

                                It's all relative, buy cheap and sell cheap down the track.

                                This is based on research and first hand experience.

                                Today, a 1 year focus/astra top of the range cost anywhere from 22-25k, and a Mazda 3 Astina still at the high 20s to low 30s. In 2-3 years time, the actual loss in dollar terms will be similar (50% of what's paid today). No such a thing as a hard to sell car, all comes down to how realistic the seller is. At least upfront capital is less on cheaper cars. Can't imagine anything would be more difficult to sell than an Opel Astra that I have once owned. The money lost on the Astra was better off oppose if I have bought a mazda 3, or another car.

                                Usually later gens of the same model would have had most issues rectified. Similarly for the focus. We've now had the Focus for well over a year and no issue at all. Car very well built.

                                With Ford and Holden struggling to sell, can't be a better opportunity than now to get a "bargain". Ie. A car with rrp (very rare that ppl pay rrp anyway) of 30k+ to be bought for 2/3 (or 33%) of that, oppose a more "reliable/popular" model is sitting at roughly 15% "discount" . This is also comparing cars with similar size and features.

                                The Ford dealer we have visited was also great to deal with. Appears Ford has lifted their game. Ie 5 years wty, free loan car, lifetime free map update, and some dealer offers NRMA membership when scheduled service (great for various discounts).

                                It is easy to throw away general comments, but not very practical.

            •  

              @CVonC: There is a category in carsales description, that says its written off.
              Selling a written off car later will always be difficult, have less buyers and a lower price.

              My experience at Auction was:
              Eg Popular and reliable Toyota Camry, Carsales Price 18-21k, private/dealer sellers, check condition get good test drive etc, take to a mechanical for a pre-purchase inspection.

              Toyota Camry at Auction, hardly any time to check extensively, couldn't test drive, but could turn it on, very popular with buyers who inflate the prices a lot more.
              Sold I think I calculated around 15-16k with auctions fees etc, then you had to get a RWC at least, and if it was from another state, rego too.
              Most of the cars had superficial scratches on it, a lot more than you would find at a used car dealership.

              I found that the damage and risk outweighed the discount. ie, If I bought a similar car on Carsales with that much superficial damage it would likely be the same price as the auction and I could go into it more informed. Or i would be saving only like $1000 vs a shit example of the same model, What I discovered is that buying from auction wasn't for me. Some people rather that saving and dont care about the damage, I couldn't see the savings.

              I'm sure there are exceptions, always hear how people bought cheap cars from auctions and did well, I just didn't have the time to spend weekends after weekends in a mad rush, and am too picky.

  • +2 votes

    Mazda 3 is getting replaced by all-new model in a few months. I'd wait for that. Or maybe you can leverage that into a bargain on a 2018 model.

    I'd pick a new Corolla (with hybrid option) or Hyundai i30 over Cerato and Civic.

    Honda Civic are the most appealing visually of the 3

    Have you walked around to the back?

    •  

      Would love to wait but I'm pretty much without a car so I don't really have an option to hold off a few months unless I go down repairing my current car which I don't see the value in that. Is the 2019 model meant to be anything big in terms of changes or more with how it will then drop the price of the 2018 model?

      The Civic seems hit and miss with the back, some look much better than others (inside looks the best from what I've seen on the pictures). Guess it's the sports model v standard which seems to be the case with all these options.

      • +3 votes

        dont wait for that.
        news out today.

        "Mazda is taking a gamble with its best-selling car, raising the get-in price by $4500.

        The cheapest Mazda3 will cost almost $30,000 on the road when the new model launches later this year"

  •  

    I would also try and test drive a car for awhile to get a feel for it. Try and get it for an extended time if possible.

    I found the Mazda3 very noisy, poor steering feedback and seats very uncomfortable.
    And oddly, the accelerator pedal was very sensitive and there was nowhere to rest your foot.. you couldn't really just rest it on the pedal as it was so sensitive it would push down very easily.

    • +1 vote

      I solved accelerator problems accidentally by learning to drive with my unshod foot resting sideways next to the pedal and operating it with my big toe. Foot is then indefatigable on long journeys and I can feel the pedal and operate it very accurately.

      •  

        I hear ya.
        On the mazda3 there is no room to do that.

        •  

          That's good to know!! I'm looking to buy a new car too and Mazda 3 was on the list

          •  

            @Quantumcat: Also re seats - I had the mazda3 with leather seats.. the seats were really uncomfortable but you wouldn't know it during a test drive. needed to drive it for a bit longer.

            They were too sporty, all the pressure seemed to be near your arse rather than allowing some of the legs to take the weight. It also encouraged slouching/bad posture - although this concern is not just limited to mazda these days.

  •  

    Mazda 3 is fine. Affordable, solid make and feature rich (moreso than you realise at that price point), and you don’t have to pay extra for them. I get 6.5L in mine with a lot of city driving. Hold value well too.

    Corolla’s the alternative but apart from servicing they have a poor price structure and too plain interface for my mind. Just could not see the relevance of a hybrid either, cars should be electric or petrol.

    I would test drive a Kia. Wouldn’t bother with Honda, something is not right with them, design is horrid, over sporty, could be hard to resell or get good trade later.

    •  

      plain interface for my mind.

      What do you need other than bluetooth, messages, calling and navigation? Some bullshit German gimmik that lets you change the colours?

    • +1 vote

      Just could not see the relevance of a hybrid either, cars should be electric or petrol.

      Why? The infrastructure isn't in place yet for pure EV, but in the meantime hybrid helps to improve fuel economy. That's the whole point.

    • +1 vote

      Agree on Honda. They have this oil sensor which overrides the standard servicing schedule and if it says you need one at 9000km or even 8000km you gotta do it. Eww. So you could find yourself spending thousands more at the mechanic.

      One think I hate about corolla is that it has no android auto or carplay. Using Google maps and spofity via AA is so convenient for me, it would feel like a huge downgrade with anything else. Also the corollas design looks.. Cheap.

      So I agree with everyone else—go the i30 or cerato.

    •  

      Just could not see the relevance of a hybrid either, cars should be electric or petrol.

      The whole point is for people to save on fuel costs…

      For city drivers, hybrid cars make a tonne of sense. If you're a highway driver, then yes, they are not relevant.

      •  

        The savings are negligible for domestic use, you pay more for the car and god knows what depreciation/servicing is like after 5 years. A bit of a guinea pig purchase. You can get some efficient sub 2L engines if price of fuel really gets to you, but then driver comfort would come in to it.

        • +1 vote

          In the case of Toyota hybrids, you pay $1500 more

          And hybrid systems don't cost more to service. If anything the maintenance can be lower - no starter motor, brake pads last longer, etc etc

          Nice basic misconceptions there!

          •  

            @Spackbace: And the data backs up the lower maintenance costs - have a look at this: https://www.yourmechanic.com/article/the-most-and-least-expe...
            Toyota Prius was the cheapest.

            Overall that article made me think that the most cost-effective for option might be to buy a Toyota or other mainstream Japanese/Korean vehicle, that was 2 or 3 years old (after the strong initial depreciation), run it for 9 or 10 years, and then flog it off before it hits 12 years (when the maintenance costs increase and become much less predictable than in the earlier years, presumably due to major services or failures). That way you pay roughly $1,000 a year on average in depreciation, plus have reasonable service costs (say roughly another $1,000 a year on average), and have a fairly reliable and safe vehicle. For my 2 cents, if you can keep your depreciation + service/maintenance costs for a vehicle down to around $2,000 a year on average, then you're doing well, that's about as cheap as cars get, but you pay for them one way or the other: either upfront as new and depreciating, or cheap & old but with significant maintenance costs … or you can buy a newish European and get the worst of both worlds ;-)

        •  

          As I mentioned before, it depends on what sort of driving you do. You need to do the maths and if it works out to be a good buy, you can go with the hybrid, if it doesn't, then you can go for the petrol. I personally wouldn't buy a hybrid because almost all of my driving is highway (above the speed where you're using the electric motor, so I'm just carrying around additional parts and weight). I spoke to an Uber driver a few weeks ago though, he says he's saving 40% of his petrol costs moving from a Camry to Camry Hybrid, so it really depends.

  • +2 votes

    Cerato Sport with Safety Pack or I30 Active with Smartsense. You can't really go wrong if you negotiate a good deal for $25g..

  •  

    Do you mind telling me how many kms on your broken down Jetta?

    Reliability is one of the biggest fear factor why I am reluctant to buy European, even though my heart just says go for it.

    •  

      About 160-170k, diesel engine which is meant to go for a lot longer but I suppose it doesn't mean much if everything else around it is failing. Done about 60-70k in it in the 4 years I've had it.

      •  

        Was it the gear box?

        •  

          Not exactly, the mechanic said he looked at that option to see whether it was cheaper but that was going to come at around 7k without them fitting it so I guess whatever the problem is must be in the gearbox - he did mention the 2 but after the 10 minute chat the details kind of went in one side and out the other.

  • +5 votes

    Why not go for a near new and save some 💰.? 2016 Mazda 3. Plenty of really low km cars for little money.

    •  

      I suppose it's the thing I'm weighing up.

      a 2016 model is around the 16.5-18.5k mark.

      a 2018 model is around the 23-25k mark.

      So is it worth spending the extra ~7k to get something brand new with 2 extra years warranty vs something not quite as new. 7k is quite a lot of money however at the same time, I don't want to end up in the same situation I'm in now when I brought something 5-6 years old and am at the point 4 years later where it's now pretty much worthless.

      So it's certainly on my mind and I keep going backwards and forwards on what the 'right' option is.

      •  

        Thanks for the reply re: kms

        With many japanese cars you are going to get rock solid reliable vehicles; a well looked after car will get you an easy 10 more years.

      • +3 votes

        With the Mazda 3, it will be more than 2 years warranty.

        2016 will have a 3 year warranty expiring in 2019
        2018 will have a 5 year warranty expiring in 2023.

    • -1 vote

      Came here to post this. All the cars you have looked at are great but the biggest expense when buying a car is the car itself, not depreciation (although its a close second). Save some money by letting someone else do the depreciating for you.

      I'd go for a 2 year old version of any of the cars you've mentioned (also look at a honda Jazz, it has more leg room than the civic (although a smaller boot))

      Most of these will still have significant warranty left on the car and you can use all that money you save to offset future repairs.

  • +1 vote

    2019 Toyota Corolla. Drove one today and holy sheet, they are a nice car for the price. Drove the 2019 hybrid Ascent Sport model and it was smoooooth. It’s out of the budget, but I wouldn’t bother with the hybrid part and just get the Ascent Sport version. Should be able to do one of them for a little haggling for around $25k

    Although, if you do a lot of driving, spending a little more to get the hybrid might make more sense in the longer scheme of things. There are even a few hybrid Corolla demo cars for around the price bracket you are looking at. Definitely worth the look…

  •  

    Mazda 3 2018 is a decent choice in that range. Went through the sub $25k gauntlet last year and it came out on top in terms of overall quality and “feel”. Kia Cerato is great on paper and I drive one for work a lot but doesn’t feel as good to drive compared to the Mazda 3 or doesn’t feel as nice. Another option could also be a Subaru Impreza?

    • +2 votes

      Another option could also be a Subaru Impreza

      As a driver's car, the Impreza is amazing. It handles beautifully with the AWD, it's great at putting the power it has on the ground and it corners much better on those mountain roads. The sad thing is most people don't care about that. They're more concerned about the fact that it's a bit of a fuel guzzler (of course, AWD).

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