First off, I know this is coming from a place of privilege, I acknowledge that, but I would still like input. But if hearing about privileged dilemmas bother you, please ignore.
I need to get a new to me car. My current car, which I love, has 106,000 miles, is having a check engine light turning on and off sporadically, and probably needs to have wheel bearings replaced, which is at least a $1,500 fix. That would be the 3rd super expensive fix in 2 years. It's time to let it go. I am sad about that. I'm thinking trade-in for convenience purposes, and could probably get $15,000 - 20,000 for it. It's paid for, so I don't have to worry about that, and I would like to not to have to take on payments.
I'm really digging hatchbacks lately. I don't need anything big, my current car is a coupe. Gas mileage is a huge deal for me, since I drive a minimum of 50 miles a day commuting, and I live about 10 miles from the part of town that has everything like good grocery stores, shopping centers, movie theaters, etc. Also, I'm tall with long legs. I was driving an Audi A4 for a couple of days and hated because I could easily look out the back window while driving and always felt I was climbing out of it (privilege, privilege I know, but if I'm getting something that I'm spending many hours a day in, I better like it).
In a dream world, I would get the Lexus CT hybrid. Well, in a super dream world I would get a Tesla or the Audi R8 e-tron concept, but I don't live in either of those worlds. I am obviously thinking a low mileage used car (mine was a demo when I got it, so was technically used and it saved me at least $5,000). Sadly, in my area, the used car market is mainly trucks, and the majority of used cars that I've come across that seem like it would be ideal are in Dallas or Houston. That's a 3-5 hour drive.
So locally, used car wise the following have struck my fancy after hours of internet searching -
2008 Audi A3 with 42000 miles. There are drawbacks - I love Audis, it's what I drive now, but the repairs are expensive and there really isn't a reliable shop in town that works on them, and I really don't want to support the dealership that is selling it. They are the worst.
2008 Volvo C30 with 62,000+ miles. I think it was like $13,000. There's no photos of it. And the mileage is higher than I would like.
There's a 2011 Mini Countryman with 30,000 or so miles that was affordable too. But I have to keep reminding myself that they are notoriously unreliable and a bad plan.
There's a cheap 2013 Ford Fiesta with 23,000 miles. But then I read reviews. Apparently they are not reliable and constantly need repairs.
The pre-owned Prius's in the area that don't have ridiculous amount of miles are right around the $20,000 mark. There are no pre-owned Honda CRZs that I can find. Same with Subaru. I know I should go find out what they'll give me for a trade-in first, but I want to pick the dealership and know what I want before I go in. And I can't find what I want. Being picky sucks.
Anyone have any suggestions on reliable, good gas mileage vehicles? That don't cost a kidney to repair? That has leg room?