EDIT: Thank you guys so much for all your recommendations! I'm stoked to have a few more options to look at, although I will hold onto the Lancer at least until my next rego in late 2021.
Hey guys - would love to get some OzB opinions on what used car to get. Apologies in advanced if anything I say is incorrect or a bit dumb - cars are definitely not my area of expertise and I’ve been trying to quickly learn over the last few days of research.
I’ve been driving the ol’ family Mitsubishi Lancer - 2006 auto 2.4L - for 5 years. It’s survived a gnarly car accident, my dad driving over speed bumps at 60kph and has gone through its fair share of repairs. It’ll be due for a timing belt replacement in another 10000km but the cost of replacement isn’t really worth it at this point. There’s no urgency for another car at the moment, but I’ll be starting work as a doctor next year (yay!) so it’ll be nice to be able to get a new ride without completely draining my savings or borrowing from my parents.
Also, this sounds really stupid, but I don’t want a car that everyone else has (e.g. Corolla, i30, Mazda 3) despite their great value / quality. Yes, I realise this is an irrational desire.
Some more background:
I’m in my mid-20s
Will be commuting through city-adjacent suburbs for work, and also travelling interstate to visit family
Something fairly reliable or cheap to service/repair in Australia would be ideal
Budget: ideally <$20k, but could be pushed to $25k
Body: small-to-medium sedan, but could settle for a wide hatchback
Year: 2015 onwards
Km: <80 000
Fuel efficiency: ideally <8L/100km
Engine: something with decent acceleration especially up hills. Hybrid would also be nice but probably too pricey
Inclusions: Apple CarPlay or other touchscreen interface
Safety: reverse camera and parking sensors would be nice but not 100% necessary as I’ve been fine so far
I’ve been looking on Carsguide and it’s been a bit overwhelming, but some that pop out at me are the Hyundai Elantra, Kia Stinger, Volkswagen Jetta (although I hear Volkswagen maintenance costs really add up). I’ve been suggested Lexus but can’t really find any that suit.
Please let me know your experiences / recommendations / if my expectations are way off!