Edmunds Answers

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  • texases 01/25/13 10:38 am PST

    Stick with gas, lots more to pick from, and more chance of avoiding a problem since you're buying used. A 4 cyl. Camry or Accord would give decent highway mpgs and be safer for your teen than a compact.

  • jhinsc 01/25/13 10:52 am PST

    I second the previous answer about 4cyl Camry/Accord, and even the Altima is a good choice too. A late model Ford Fusion or Chev Malibu 4 cyl's are good alternates too, although Camry/Accord/Altima tend to be more reliable. If you want to go smaller, a Civic/Corolla/Sentra might be the way to go. Definitely stay away from trucks and suv's such as your current vehicles, even diesels and hybrids - no where close to mpg's as cars. Since you do mostly open highway driving, even a hybrid car might not give you enough mpg benefit with the premium you'll have to pay for the purchase.

  • igozoomzoom 01/26/13 10:47 am PST

    I would suggest taking a look at the following-

    2008-2010 Kia Optima (4-cylinder)
    2007-2010 Hyundai Sonata (4-cylinder for best fuel economy, but V6 gets decent mpg)
    2009-2011 Mazda6 (4-cylinder)
    2008-2009 Subaru Legacy (non-turbo 4-cylinder)
    2007-2011 Nissan Altima 2.5S or 2.5SL

    All of these have good fuel economy, above average reliability history, comfortable interior and nice ride quality. I particularly chose these mdoels because the car will eventually be passed down to your teenager. All have HIGH frontal, frontal offset, side impact and overall crash test ratings- so they are very safe. All of them have more than adequate acceleration and overall performance, but not excessive amounts of power that could be dangerous (or lethal) in the hands of a teenage driver!

    My personal pick would be the Mazda6 because I love the styling and the front seats are the most comfortable, supportive ones I've experienced this side of Volvo. The Subaru is the only one that features AWD (All-wheel drive) which would be an advantage in northern climates. But the AWD also adds weight and increases friction, so the Legacy 2.5i is also the slowest of this group and fuel economy is nothing special.

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