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Old 03-05-2016, 10:23 AM
 
Location: Alaska
256 posts, read 286,868 times
Reputation: 241

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Having a hard time deciding between something fun like a newer WRX (always wanted one), or something practical like a Wrangler unlimited, Nissan Xterra, Toyota FJ / 4Runner, etc.

Budget is $20k and want something fun; however, part of me wants something economical like a 2014 Accord. Another vehicle for sale locally is a Pontiac G8 with the 6.0 and some work done to it. Looks nice, but not the most practical with being RWD (Alaska). They are nice cars and with four doors it would make is easy to fit my kiddos. They rarely ride with me, and usually with their mother, but every now and then I run them to school. Not only would the G8 be fun, but I love eight cylinder vehicles and how effortless they lug around.

Thought about saving some money and grabbing 2-door Wrangler, but not sure how well booster seats would fit in the back?

One last vehicle is a 2014 Ford Focus RS. Looks like fun, four doors, decent mileage while being reliable.

Being very indecisive and have a hard time picking something. I know the FJ and Wangler are capable, but not sure about the Xterra - it looks like a basic four wheel drive without all the goodies the Toyota's give you.

Any thoughts or experience with these choices?
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Old 03-05-2016, 10:53 AM
 
5,075 posts, read 9,115,861 times
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WRX is fairly practical. Check whether your child seat fits easily, the older ones had a fairly small back seat that is difficult to accommodate rear facing child seats.

I've been close to buying a WRX multiple times and looking back on it I would have been better off buying one since they hold value well. Some of the SUVs you mentioned also hold value really well, but they're mostly body on frame so the handling and gas mileage are poor. If you need a body on frame SUV that's one thing, but I'd take a WRX over any of those due to the fun factor.
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Old 03-05-2016, 10:56 AM
 
Location: Vancouver, B.C., Canada
10,985 posts, read 24,108,481 times
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A WRX 5-door Hatch would work if it is your dream car since might as well buy somewthing you really want that also suit your needs and the Toyota FJ Cruiser, Jeep Wrangler and the Nissan Xterra are all very good/comparable off-road capable true 2-Speed Transfer Case with Hi-Low Range 4x4

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Q182rK_vcY
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Old 03-05-2016, 11:18 AM
 
3,280 posts, read 4,134,581 times
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Wrangler and FJ are not really practical. Wranglers have tiny interiors, and are excellent off-road, but mediocre on road. Not to mention, there isn't a point of buying one used as new ones cost about the same.
FJ is only 2-door, not practical.

A 4-Runner is very practical. They last for ever and are spacious. WRX is ok as well, decent car.
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Old 03-05-2016, 11:21 AM
 
Location: San Antonio, TX USA
5,190 posts, read 10,464,546 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MillerThyme View Post
Having a hard time deciding between something fun like a newer WRX (always wanted one), or something practical like a Wrangler unlimited, Nissan Xterra, Toyota FJ / 4Runner, etc.

Budget is $20k and want something fun; however, part of me wants something economical like a 2014 Accord.

One last vehicle is a 2014 Ford Focus RS. Looks like fun, four doors, decent mileage while being reliable.
Focus RS is going to be at least twice your budget. They are projected to start at around $40,000 before any dealer mark up. Like those above me, WRX makes a 5 door wagon, that would be perfect for what you want. Something else to consider would be the VW Golf R, used would be between $20-$25k
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Old 03-05-2016, 02:53 PM
 
Location: Alaska
256 posts, read 286,868 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Me007gold View Post
Focus RS is going to be at least twice your budget. They are projected to start at around $40,000 before any dealer mark up. Like those above me, WRX makes a 5 door wagon, that would be perfect for what you want. Something else to consider would be the VW Golf R, used would be between $20-$25k

Didn't mean RS, meant ST

Problem with the WRX is cost, they have an extra $3-7k tacked on for something used and molested. They are roughly $22k for a good 2007, and $14k for one with mods, and who knows what they have done with it driving wise. I am willing to pay, but it is hard to find a good used one; however, my wife did say find something I'd be happy with till we purchase our house and then we could sell that and get me a new WRX.

So far, I have narrowed it down to G8, Focus ST, WRX, 4Runner, and Honda Accord. Only throwing the Honda in there just in case a good clean used vehicle can not be found. There are tons of 2014 Accord for Sale around the $15k mark with roughly 34k miles.
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Old 03-05-2016, 03:14 PM
 
Location: Poshawa, Ontario
2,986 posts, read 3,501,522 times
Reputation: 5622
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mandalorian View Post
Wrangler and FJ are not really practical. Wranglers have tiny interiors, and are excellent off-road, but mediocre on road.
I own a 2014 Wrangler Unlimited and this is a lot of B.S. The newer unlimited have tons of interior space and handle just fine on the road. I'm 6'8" and can't even fit behind the wheel of most cars due to the restricted interior space. Obviously it doesn't have as much as my F150, but then what does? It should also be mentioned that I am able to pack as much hunting gear into the Jeep with the back seats down as I am able to pack into the box of my Ford (remember that this is the Unlimited model).

Quote:
Not to mention, there isn't a point of buying one used as new ones cost about the same.
Good point. The Jeep Wrangler holds its value better than almost anything else on the road.
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Old 03-05-2016, 10:02 PM
 
Location: Florida
6,225 posts, read 3,741,394 times
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We had a 2010 Xterra and it served us very well. They have gone out of production, so new ones are not to be had.

Ours was 2WD, but I last drove in snow in 1972. It did do a good job towing our small travel trailer.
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Old 03-05-2016, 10:37 PM
 
Location: Silicon Valley
18,652 posts, read 25,475,902 times
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Buy a used Toyota and save your money.
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Old 03-06-2016, 03:57 AM
 
Location: White House, TN
6,117 posts, read 4,385,809 times
Reputation: 4194
Accord. I've had a 2011 Accord for 3 years, it now has over 85,000 miles. Not a single problem from it. You can get a fully loaded 2013 Accord for 20k now, or a less loaded 2014 or 2015.

Also, an Accord, especially with the V6, is a fun to drive car (for its class) with good handling.

Another good car option might be a 2006-2011 BMW 330i. They're very fun to drive and very well built, as well as being one of the most reliable BMWs. You should be careful with BMWs though; some models aren't as reliable.

If you're going to get a (traditional, not car-based) SUV, I'd recommend the 4Runner. Extremely reliable and proven tough frame, as well as being very roomy. I wouldn't try a Wrangler with kids under 10. MAYBE a 4 door model, but still there are better choices.

Last edited by wawa1992; 03-06-2016 at 04:07 AM..
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