Reader Question: New and $15k-ish?

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Here’s there’s latest reader question, along with my reply!

Peter asks: Your daily commentaries are most enlightening and a joy to read. My question though is on new vehicles. I’m looking for a good new vehicle around $15-20K. I’d probably drive it less than 10-12K a year. I recall you maybe suggesting the Mirage as one such vehicle. Any others you might suggest? It can be about as basic as a car can be these days. But one that might be driven for as many years as possible. Thank you for your time.

My reply: There are several cars in the $15k-ish (and even less) class that are worth a look, including the Mitsubishi Mirage, which has going for it a very large-for-its-size interior and a not-turbocharged engine – as well as a very low price. I’d also look at the Hyundai Accent and the Nissan Versa as well as the Gold Standard for solid value – the Toyota Corolla. This one’s  little more expensive but the sedan version has as much back seat room as much larger cars, a large trunk and (again) a not-turbocharged standard engine. These cars are legendary for running without incident for 15-20 years and more. Very hard to go wrong with one.

If you’d like a Corolla-related car with much more cargo room/versatility and AWD, I recommend the Toyota RAV4. These are also superb vehicles.

Another – similar – recommend in a wagon is the Subaru Crosstrek. It’s a bit more than $20k, but not much – and it comes standard with AWD and can be had with a manual transmission, if you like to swing that way!

Also: I strongly recommend considering a lightly used (2-3 year old) car as that will save you a huge sum of money without risking much if anything in terms of reliability – assuming you stick with a car like the Corolla!

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Got a question about cars, Libertarian politics – or anything else? Click on the “ask Eric” link and send ’em in!

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  1. When I got my Focus in November of 2018, I was lucky to have found a very gently used 2015 Focus. It had 3,176 miles on the clock and still SMELLED new! I saved thousands over a new one, and I’m very happy with it. Getting a gently used, 2-3 year old used car is definitely the way to go!


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