Hey, I just wanted to say I really appreciate anyone who's a longtime member here taking the time to share their thoughts about new and different cars.
I'm hoping I'm a few years out from replacing my Vibe (I've got a CEL from the catalytic converter, which I'm currently intending to ignore for as long as possible... otherwise it's been running fine since '08 -- just needs some brake work at the moment).
But still, when I'm ready I want to know what other people have found as a suitable replacement. I've told my wife more than once that if someone made the exact same car with updated engine/features, I'd totally buy it. She recently bought a generic Corolla (I posted about this in the Corolla hatch thread), and it's fine, but I think I want something that's a bit more of a direct replacement. Even she's missing having a hatchback.
I will share my thoughts on a few of the vehicles we checked out while shopping:
We never wound up testing one. There are two Subaru dealers where we live and neither has a particularly good reputation — and it was already a bit of an outlier because we were trying to keep the price pretty low (the model we were looking at was a few thousand more than the other brands we were seriously considering and the financing rate was, I think, 4% higher... that's at least a couple thousand in interest alone). The straw that broke the camel's back was when we went to the dealer, checked out the car (and others) and not a dang person interacted with us. All that said, I really like the size of the car, the cabin and the reviews I've read.
Wasn't really in the running on a price basis and seems a bit big, but also seems like good value for the money (if a little homely). Both Subarus will potentially be in the running when I'm next in the market, if I can get past that snub
(Hopefully someone else will open a dealership in the area before then.)
Toyota Prius V:
So this model no longer exists in the U.S., does it? I love the room, like the fuel economy. It drives in boring Toyota fashion, which isn't a deal breaker for me. I don't think it'll be around when I'm ready to buy, which is a shame. There is a 2019 model in Canada, but it seems like something that's being phased out for the RAV-4.
We didn't drive this because they were hard to find at the time, and financing rates were crappy (especially by Kia standards). I was also reluctant to get into a first-year Kia product -- especially a hybrid. That said, the car is a huge value, I really liked the size and the cabin. I did read more tales than I'd like to on Kia forums of door handles breaking off, however.
Honda HR-V and Hyundai Kona:
These actually weren't among the ones we shopped for, but after kostby's post about their new HR-V, I was intrigued. Felt too small for me. The Kona was also a bit disappointing in terms of cabin room. Until I was car shopping, I didn't realize how much I like the Vibe's headroom. Even crossovers leaning away from the "compact" designation frequently seem to have less. I mean, I'm a tall guy, so I guess it makes sense... but until now I didn't really appreciate how unusual that amount of clearance was.
I also kind of looked at the Cruze hatchback, but I'm kind of obsessive about reliability ratings and don't have a ton of faith in GM. (The Toyota DNA was why I bought a Vibe way back when... and the Hyundai/Kia warranty goes a long way to making me feel better about those brands). It seems to be a pretty good size.
We also tested a Civic, which drives great. But is very low, and as a hatch it's not really a great Vibe substitute.