2000 Toyota Camry. ~235,000 miles. In the last year we bought new tires, front struts, and a new battery. Last week my wife reported a loud popping/tapping noise above 2k rpm. We dropped it off at our mechanic today, and I just heard back that the noise is definitely coming from the valve train in the reciprocating system. We’re looking at 1.5k to 2k to fix it. So I guess its car shopping time...

She’s mainly interested in the Mazda3 hatch, Civic hatch, and the Impreza hatch. I don’t know if there will be any new Corolla hatches on dealer lots this month, but she does like the way it looks. I also want her to test a GTI too, just to see if she digs it. Any other suggestions? Her wants are faily simple. No crossovers, a hatch, and she’d like to have carplay but its not necessarily a deal-breaker.