New car shopping: compact premium fun-to-drive and $30k

Discussion in 'Off Topic Area' started by Mitlov, Sep 5, 2020.

  1. Mitlov

    Mitlov Shiny

    Hey all, the Civic Si that I've been driving for ten years is getting long in the tooth and not holding together particularly well anymore. Next year for my birthday I'm gonna get myself a new car. I'm looking for a C-segment car (compact by US terminology, midsize by UK terminology). I want a definite step up in interior quality and refinement from my Si, but I don't care either way about brand prestige. I want something that's fun-to-drive instead of just a transportation appliance, but it's not like I'm going to autocross it or anything. And I'm looking to spend about US$30k.

    I have three options that are springing out to me right now, but I'd also like input from others on these three or other options.

    Option 1: Mazda3 hatchback 6MT. The current-generation Mazda3 is a definite step above Honda/Toyota/Ford in interior quality, and I personally love the controversial looks. And I can afford it brand new, fully-loaded (it comes in about $28k).


    Option 2: Audi A3 nearly-new. I know it's just a Golf with a good interior...but that honestly sounds like a good thing. New and typically equipped, it comes in at more than I want to spend. But a base-model (180hp turbo four, dual-clutch, FWD, heated leather seats) that a dealership is selling after one year of being a dealer loaner car comes in at just under $30k.


    Option 3: Hyundai Ioniq Touring. Fully-loaded, the interior is nicer than say a comparably-equipped Hyundai Elantra, but it's admittedly a step behind the Mazda and Audi options. On the other hand, the fuel economy is incredible, the smartphone integration is second to none, and the dual-clutch transmission and agile chassis means it's decidedly more fun-to-drive than other hybrids like the Prius. Comes in at slightly over $30k fully-loaded, but the fuel savings would offset that.


  2. Mitch

    Mitch Lord Mitch of MAP Admin

    @bassai will be able to help I'm sure.

    The Mazda we had was nice inside and a bit more fun to drive than the equivalent Ford, but the fabled Mazda reliability did turn out to be something of a, well, fable.

    I think the Audi looks fab, but the Hyundais I have tried felt cheap and plasticky inside. For me the touch points in a car are really important, and, at least a few years ago Hyundai weren't spending enough there.
    Mitlov likes this.

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