I think I’m coming to a realization that I have a problem. I used to just read about cars and think about them in a hypothetical sense. I feel like over the last year I’ve moved to actively constantly be LOOKING for new cars. Is this common amongst the rest of the Oppo crowd?

- I sold my E30 last year, and during the entire period it was for sale, and for months after I was browsing CL daily for replacements.


- Got my E46, and calmed down for a few months while it was new

- Then realized our Crosstrek was too small and it was a good time to sell it while it had held a good portion of our purchase price in value. Spent a few weeks looking for an Outback, sold Crosstrek and bought an Outback


- Now I’m realizing my Spark EV lease is up in a few months. Not replacing it would mean putting my commuting miles on the ZHP, which I don’t really want to do. It’s only 25 miles a day but I’d rather save it for pleasure duty.

- So here I am…browsing potential replacements for the Spark. I do have time though, so no rush this time.


If I can get another super cheap lease I might consider it, but otherwise I’m thinking of buying something cheap outright just to drive to work and back. Is this a healthy trend? If so, Oppo I need your input!

This is the picture search result for “commuter car” popped up, so this is what you get for your efforts! -

Illustration for article titled Commuter Car Options @ ~$5k budget?

- Budget = $5kish (to me this seems like that golden value all cars depreciate to – where you’re not taking on any real depreciation with ownership but can still find something that’s not a total POS)


- Newer, the better

- More reliable and cheap to maintain, the better

- More MPGs, the better

- More fun, the better but really not a deal breaker

- More space/functionality better (i.e. hatchbacks get extra points)


I will agree for this to be an automatic. That way it can also be a car for my wife to run around town with and for visiting friends and family to use while in town (this has been handy with parents visiting for extended stretches for them to just have a car they can use without disrupting anything). I don’t want another cheap BMW or something that will cost a lot to keep running. Ideally I’ll just pay for fuel and basic maintenance, and a few years later just sell it for a couple of grand, resulting in a pretty low cost of ownership.


Based on rough CL searches things I’ve seen –

- Scion Xb

- Toyota Matrix

- Toyota Prius

- Honda Fit (but I’ve heard these actually aren’t that fuel efficient?)

- Honda Civic/Civic Hybrid

- Early Nissan Leaf?

- Suzuki SX4 just for quirk factor?

 How much risk am I taking on with an old Hybrid/EV as far as battery packs go? The Xb seems like a good mix of everything I’m looking for and seems just uncommon enough to be slightly interesting?


Anything else Oppo would recommend right off the bat?

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