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Old 10-19-2016, 12:23 PM
 
15 posts, read 13,528 times
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We are looking to replace my wife's 1997 Honda Civic. We are looking to spend around $10K and want something that isn't too big but has AWD. My search has brought up lots of luxury compacts (A4, 3 series, C-class) but we don't want to deal with the higher cost of maintaining a German auto. I've seen Subaru Imprezas and Legacys as well as Lexus IS-250s and Infiniti G35s.

Are there any other compacts out there with AWD that I may be missing? Would I be crazy to spend $10k on a Lexus IS-250 with more than 100K miles?
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Old 10-19-2016, 12:45 PM
 
Location: SF Bay Area
13,523 posts, read 20,318,766 times
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Full Time AWD? Then the Subies are your best bets.
Part Time AWD? Then there are tons ... CRV, RAV, Rogue, Escape, etc etc
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Old 10-19-2016, 01:29 PM
 
15 posts, read 13,528 times
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We have a 2008 Highlander that we bought a couple of years ago that is running well so we are not looking for an SUV/CUV this time around. Just want something on the smaller side that can deal with Northeast winters. I like the 2007 - 2011 Impreza hatchbacks but the car lover in me wants something a bit more exciting with a bit more features.
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Old 10-19-2016, 03:28 PM
 
Location: Washington, DC & New York
10,918 posts, read 29,358,190 times
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A Volvo S40 or S60 can be had with AWD. Maintenance and repairs are not terribly expensive on them, especially with a good independent Volvo specialist. The 2.5T engine is very reliable and the cars provide good power with that setup and AWD. The older systems had an electronic lockout that you could control in the form of the "W" button on the console, next to the gearshift stalk. The Volvo AWD system is made by Haldex and has a FWD bias, which I have found to handle very well in snow and ice, because the front engine/FWD bias makes for a weight advantage, similar to a FWD vehicle in snow. If you wanted a two-door hatch, look for a Volvo C30, which was on the S40 platform.

With a Lexus IS, you need AWD as the RWD and sporty nature are disasters in snow, though the first generation was a complete donut mobile in snow, the subsequent generations have improved with AWD.
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Old 10-19-2016, 04:01 PM
 
16,788 posts, read 22,820,920 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by justtherejames View Post
We have a 2008 Highlander that we bought a couple of years ago that is running well so we are not looking for an SUV/CUV this time around. Just want something on the smaller side that can deal with Northeast winters. I like the 2007 - 2011 Impreza hatchbacks but the car lover in me wants something a bit more exciting with a bit more features.

Thought it was for your wife? Doesn't she deserve a Lexus?

Anyhow. Toyota Matrix or Pontiac Vibe. Japanese AWD works just fine for a conscientious driver.

Starting out at US$14,670 in 2003, the no-frills base model came with few options. While it did have standard air conditioning, it left out features like color-keyed mirrors and door handles, blacked out window frames and power mirrors. One option the base model could be had with was AWD for an additional $1,465 (although the actual increase was $2,445, since AWD only came with an automatic transmission). Adding AWD brought the car's curb weight of 2,679 lb (1,215 kg) up to 2,943 lb (1,335 kg) and decreased power by 7 hp (5 kW) and 7 lb·ft (9 N·m).[12][13] In 2004, the price of a base model remained unchanged, but by the last year of production, 2008, it had risen to $15,510.[14]
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Old 10-19-2016, 04:05 PM
 
Location: Brackenwood
8,222 posts, read 3,721,089 times
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Check out the Mitsubishi Lancer AWD variants. They're cheap basic no-frills transportation with low running costs as long as you stay away from the turbo models.
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Old 10-19-2016, 07:29 PM
 
Location: Podunk, IA
6,132 posts, read 3,852,330 times
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Jaguar X-type.
Low mileage examples (WAY less than 100K miles) are available for less than $10K.
I owned a Jagwagon and it was a fine car... nice ride/handling balance, lots of wood and leather and it didn't break.
Here's a real beauty:


2004 Jaguar X-Type AWD 3.0 4dr Sedan In St.Charles IL - St.Charles Motorcars


I love that one... if I were in the market, I'd buy it myself. Look like a million bucks for less than 8 grand.


I also owned a 2005 Mercedes C320 4Matic. Another very nice AWD car.
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Old 10-19-2016, 07:39 PM
 
Location: Brackenwood
8,222 posts, read 3,721,089 times
Reputation: 18162
A Jag X-type is a perfect example of the adage "just because you can afford to buy a used high-end marque doesn't mean you can afford to own it." It looks like a bargain sitting on the showroom floor but a car like that can really take your wallet for a ride in repair and maintenance costs which is why a 44,000-mile specimen has an asking price of 8 grand and can probably go out the door for 6.5. Someone who doesn't want to play Upkeep Roulette with a German car certainly doesn't want to do it with a Jag.
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Old 10-19-2016, 08:00 PM
 
Location: Podunk, IA
6,132 posts, read 3,852,330 times
Reputation: 6985
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bitey View Post
A Jag X-type is a perfect example of the adage "just because you can afford to buy a used high-end marque doesn't mean you can afford to own it." It looks like a bargain sitting on the showroom floor but a car like that can really take your wallet for a ride in repair and maintenance costs which is why a 44,000-mile specimen has an asking price of 8 grand and can probably go out the door for 6.5. Someone who doesn't want to play Upkeep Roulette with a German car certainly doesn't want to do it with a Jag.
My only X-type repair was a $50 burned out headlight. That's it.
They only reason it was even 50 bucks is because stuff had to be taken off to get to it.


The maintenance cost the same as any other car because it went to my indy mechanic.
I take all my cars to him, Chevy, Cadillac, Jaguar, Mercedes, Saab... even a Merkur.
He treats 'em all the same... they're cars. No special rates for luxury cars.


The Mercedes only had issues with the taillights. In their infinite wisdom they used a different bulb in every socket and they tended to get finicky. Solved by switching to some good looking LED taillights.


Good cars, both of 'em. And for me they were cheap to buy and cheap to own.
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Old 10-19-2016, 08:17 PM
 
Location: Brackenwood
8,222 posts, read 3,721,089 times
Reputation: 18162
The running costs may have been cheap for you, but statistically speaking they are not. X-Types are notoriously unreliable even with their Ford underpinnings and parts are outrageously expensive. There may be some parts that are interchangeable with Countour/Mystique parts but you're still mostly importing them from Europe. And if that transfer case goes as many of them have, it'll end up being a lovely driveway ornament.
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