Donna and I are thinking of replacing the Sonata. It is a comfortable ride, but it is too darn big. You would think that after 6–1/2 years we would have gotten used to it, but no. I am still occasionally liable to cut a right turn short hitting the curb and getting it correctly length-wise into a regular parking spot is a hit or miss proposition. Visibility out the back is awkward and it is even worse for Donna because she is shorter than I am. We both agree that on paper the perfect car for us would be a Mini, but we were non-pulsed the first time we tried one back in 2003.The car has changed some, we’ve changed some, maybe we need to try one again. And probably will this weekend.
If the Mini fails to light our fire once more, I’m not sure what we should try next, so I’m looking for suggestions. One possibility for suggestions is on a car website I read daily, Jalopnik. They have a feature called What Car Should You Buy? where their crack staff make car buying suggestions based on how you fill out a submission form. I have reproduced it below with how I would fill it out. If we are underwhelmed by the Mini again, I might actually send it in, even though it seems as if their recommendations are there more for their entertainment value than anything else.
Name: Brian & Donna
Would you be willing and able to provide a picture of yourself for the article? A picture of me, yes, but my wife feels that you are stealing a little bit of her soul anytime her picture is taken, so probably not her. Besides, someone has to press the shutter button.
Tell us about your situation We currently have a 2011 Hyundai Sonata that is just too darn big. The largest car we ever had before this was a 1983 Honda Prelude. We also own a 2002 Miata.
What are some attributes that you want from this car? It needs to be smaller than, but have the same ride comfort, as the Sonata.
Where do you live? Aiken, South Carolina
How old are you? Early 60s
What are your hobbies? Random road trips, bicycling, hiking & geocaching
How would you describe what you do? One retired and the second soon to follow
What are some cars that you like? Please explain why you like them. She likes beetles & he likes little 2 door coupes, probably left over warm fuzzy feelings for our first cars, a 71 beetle and a 73 Datsun B210.
Are there any deal-breakers? No Minis of any ilk, tried ‘em, didn’t like ‘em. Did I mention smaller than a Sonata?
Is there any other lifestyle information that would be helpful in determining the best vehicle for your needs? Although the weekly mileage will mostly be under a 100, we are prone to week long road trips of around 1500 miles. We checked “a little of both” in the type of driving category, but in reality it is more back roads driving. We live in a small town, nowhere near city sized and highways are for 18-wheelers.
What is your approximate price range?
Less than $5000
$5000 — $10,000
$10,000 — $15,000
$15,000 — $20,000
$20,000 — $25,000
$25,000 — $30,000
$35,000 — $40,000
How long do you you plan on owning this vehicle?
7 years or more
Approximately how many miles a week do you drive?
Less than 100 miles
400- 500 miles
More than 500 miles
What type of driving do you do regularly?
A little bit of both
What body style? Check all that apply
On average how many passengers (including driver) will occupy this vehicle?
More than 5
Do have a preferred transmission type?
Can’t drive a manual, but I’m willing to learn
Do you have a preferred drive type? Check all that apply