Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Mid Week Match-Up: Daily Driver for Nathan

Welcome back to DT's Mid Week Match-Up, the contest where the contestants don't even get a podium to hide behind, or a copy of the home game.  This week, we help Nathan find a daily driver for his wife and kids.  From Nathan: I'm not set on getting an A3 or TDI in particular, but I do like Diesel for the fuel economy and a turbo for demonstrating dominance.  I like the wagon option to get a little more room since the A3 is a smaller car and we need something that we can fit two kids in.  I'm looking first for a car for the wife.  A3 is as small as I would go, probably something bigger would be better, either a full size sedan or a crossover SUV (Subaru Legacy, Audi Q5, or Ford Escape size range)  I want to get something less than 5 years old preferably with less than 50K miles.  Budget is $15-$20K, maybe a little more for something with really low miles. 


I'm going to suggest a Mazda5, that weird mini-minivan built in Japan that has really no real competition in the US market, but went out of production in 2015 because it wasn't selling well.  You can get one like this 2014 Mazda5 Touring offered here on eBay for $12,500 with 36,000 miles on the odometer. The Mazda5 is powered by a 2.5 liter Mazda MZR engine that puts out 157 horsepower and can be mated to a 6-speed manual or 5-speed auto, but it is one of the few 6-passenger vehicles you can find on the road with a small footprint and a reasonable fuel bill. The previous mid week match-up here was for Nathan himself, but now we are looking for something for his wife. 

Comments below.

12 comments:

  1. A few days ago I mentioned to Nathan he should look at the 2009-2015 Jetta SportWagen TDI - they can be had for between $10k to $15k depending on mileage. It's got more usable interior volume than the A3, same drivetrain, is cheaper, and somehow feels better screwed together despite being a VW assembled in Mexico vs. the German assembled Audi. Engines all come from the same plant in the Fatherland however.

    The only caveat now - and it's a big one - is WTF VW is going to do to get these cars into emissions compliance, of course.

    Might be a good time to buy one now though, from a buyer's remorse-having original owner who is scared that Big Brother is going to ruin their hypermiling oil burner.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yep, and with the recent rejection by CARB, current owners maybe getting more nervous:

      http://www.reuters.com/article/us-volkswagen-emissions-idUSKCN0UQ28320160112

      I think I understood that if VW has to seriously compromise performance to bring emissions into line, then they may be obliged to buy back all the affected cars. I am not sure if that threat is a reason for a current owner to hang on or bail out.

      Delete
    2. As a current owner myself, I'm watching intently.

      A buyback would present some interesting options, but would be a huge logistical mess for VW, I'm sure.

      Delete
    3. Hmmm, on second thought maybe a TDI isn't such a good idea. Especially since the prices haven't really dropped much due to this scandal.

      Delete
  2. Nathan - did you end up buying anything as part of your last MWMU?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nathan is still in the process of relocating back home to the USofA (and I believe is traveling today) and he has not purchased anything as of yet. I am still trying to convince him to bring one of his Kei cars back here with him, but we'll see.

      Delete
    2. No, I haven't bought anything for myself yet. Just recently back in town for a short pre-move trip. For myself I'm looking for something with 4 doors, relatively late model but in need of some mechanical repairs. Any leads?

      Delete
  3. I'd add the Honda Element to this list. One of the few AWD/manual transmission pairings available and trumps anything else in cargo space! Pretty much bulletproof. And a 6-speed conversion to the manual tranny is very easy to accomplish. Doing so will give you a nice improvement in highway MPG.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Not a bad looking kid-hauler. I like the manual option. I'd have to teach the wife to drive a manual, but she's a quick learner. Thanks for the suggestion!

      Delete
    2. I had an '06 w/manual and liked it. It basically drove like a tall AWD Civic (which it is). VTEC and manual combo was smooth but my two gripe were:
      1. The fwd to 4wd transition of the AWD system was obvious and jerky. Not at all seamless like my previous Subaru.
      2. Due to the way the rear seats fold, the Element only seats four, so transporting your kids' friends isn't an option.

      Delete
    3. I had an '06 w/manual and liked it. It basically drove like a tall AWD Civic (which it is). VTEC and manual combo was smooth but my two gripe were:
      1. The fwd to 4wd transition of the AWD system was obvious and jerky. Not at all seamless like my previous Subaru.
      2. Due to the way the rear seats fold, the Element only seats four, so transporting your kids' friends isn't an option.

      Delete
  4. 2015 Mazda CX-5 Touring Certified Pre-Owned with 46K on the clock for $20K

    ReplyDelete

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