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  1. #1
    CPS Technician canadiangie's Avatar
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    What's your fave 4dr sedan under $15k?

    We're in the market for a new-to-us 4dr sedan that's good on fuel.

    We're pondering a Toyota Corolla, but I'm just not sure...

    It has to be under $15k (which is why it will be a 'new-to-us' car).

    Right now I have a MA and a Radian.

    I'll be getting two more seats to go in this new vehicle.

    I prefer side by side installs, so I'm leaning towards getting another Radian. Putting both Radians in the new sedan (middle and o/b), and getting either another MA or BV for my vehicle (which has the MA middle).


    This board seems slow lately, so I thought maybe a chit chatty thread like this might be nice.

    I'm totally open to all opinions and ideas...

    p.s. Hope everyone had a nice Father's Day.
    dd1 - 8y6m, hbb PWSGL
    dd2 - 7y3m, hbb PWSGL
    dd3 - 4y3m, ff advocate/frontier xt

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  3. #2
    Moderator - CPST Instructor QuassEE's Avatar
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    Re: What's your fave 4dr sedan under $15k?

    Have you looked at edmunds.com for the rear hip measurement numbers? I had a 2003 Corolla back in 2002 and I managed to do three across but it was tricky! It was such a narrow car--I believe the Echo was even wider across the back. Another thing to think about--for 15k you can get a LOT of car from the US these days. Even after you consider transport costs.

    I would say that my favourite inexpensive sedans are: Corolla, Sentra, Altima (but I only like the 2007+), Ford Focus (I'm not a domestics person, typically)... I also really like the Matrix for carseats and as a family vehicle, although technically not a sedan.

    I'd collect cars if DH would let me...fortunately carseats tend to be cheaper

    -Nicole.

    Abbi (9, Ozzi/Olli), Aiden (11, Affix), Mason (16), & Kyle (18) in '02 Protege5 & '11 Ody TE.
    It's like free money...Couponsurfers.com

  4. #3
    CPS Technician canadiangie's Avatar
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    Re: What's your fave 4dr sedan under $15k?

    Now is it true that you lose the warranty if you buy a US car and bring it to Canada??

    I hadn't thought about an Echo.. interesting.

    The reason I like sbs installs is so I can load the girls from one side. I HATE walking from one side to the other... not to mention I have no idea where to put Emma while I'm buckling monster Sophie... so right now I literally plop Emma into the middle, hand her a toy, using my other hand to hold Soph down into her seat, then fight with Soph to get her buckled, then reach in a buckle Emma. Let me tell you, it's joyous.

    Anyway, keep 'em coming..
    dd1 - 8y6m, hbb PWSGL
    dd2 - 7y3m, hbb PWSGL
    dd3 - 4y3m, ff advocate/frontier xt

  5. #4
    Moderator - CPST Instructor QuassEE's Avatar
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    Re: What's your fave 4dr sedan under $15k?

    The warranty issue depends on the manufacturer. I can speak for Honda--you DO "lose" the warranty if you import a new Honda into Canada. They're technically not supposed to even sell them for export there. I'm on the border, so that wasn't an issue for me in buying a Honda since I get my van serviced while I go grocery shopping in Washington. If you're buying a reliable used vehicle and saving a lot, the warranty isn't as much of an issue as if you're buying an unreliable vehicle. I trust Toyota, Honda, Mazda, etc. I've never had a major repair (okay, admittedly I don't keep my vehicles more than 2-3 years but I do always run through the whole warranty period by mileage) with my imports.. well, okay, I owned a Volkswagen once but technically that was Mexican And a bit of a lemon, so much so that I left it with my ex-husband in California when I left him!

    Are you not willing to consider the Matrix? I know you want a sedan, but as far as backseat room (the hip room number is low, but the door intrusion is minimal) and decent carseat compatibility, I LOVE them. I also thought of one more car I like--Mitsubishi Lancer! We only got Mitsubishi here back about 5 years ago, but I rented a Lancer (RHD--scary!) while on holiday once and I really liked it.

    Another option in the HB range--the Nissan Versa? The only real issue here is that there seems to be a lot of demand for this car (as with the Fit, etc) due to gas mileage...So you'll pay close to sticker on it. And they're all relatively new..

    I've had such amazing experiences with Toyota over the years--both their cars and their customer service... but in comparing the Corolla and the Sentra for two seats side-by-side, the Sentra is a better car. It's quite a bit wider (53" (2007) or 52.3" (2006/older) versus 46-47") than the Corolla. I don't pay much attention to fuel economy, but it might be something worth looking into.

    If you want to get an idea on pricing in the US, go to CarsDirect.com and look up some vehicles there--you might be surprised

    -N.

    Abbi (9, Ozzi/Olli), Aiden (11, Affix), Mason (16), & Kyle (18) in '02 Protege5 & '11 Ody TE.
    It's like free money...Couponsurfers.com

  6. #5
    Carseat Crazy agurlsride's Avatar
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    Re: What's your fave 4dr sedan under $15k?

    You should check out the Hyundai Elantra...its compact, good on gas mileage, and has good sized back seat (54")...
    The blue book on an '07 is between $13,500 and $14,500.
    On MSN autos they got a 9.2 for user reviews.
    Their IIHS scores are all G's which is the best you can get, as well as 5 out of 5 stars for NHTSA frontal crash. 4 out of 5 for NHTSA for side crash testing.
    Anyway, Hyundai's have come a long way, they are a lot better than they used to be.

  7. #6
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    Re: What's your fave 4dr sedan under $15k?

    I am a big corolla fan, but sbs install with anything but radians might be difficult...
    American mom in canada with 2 dds in MAs, one RF, one FF

  8. #7
    Senior Community Member BudgieStew's Avatar
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    Re: What's your fave 4dr sedan under $15k?

    We are looking at a 4 dr sedan type car that is fuel efficient for DH commute car.

    We ruled out a few cars and have it narrowed down to the Toyota Yaris...I think. I still have to look at the Fit and see if meets our needs\prices. The Matrix is bigger and has more versatility but you lose out on the great fuel mileage of the Yaris and this is what is important to us right now. It we were shopping for what is to be our primary car I think I would be leaning toward this though since the extra space in the back seat and storage space would be more important.
    We just missed out on an 07 Yaris in the price range we were willing to pay. I just want to get this car buying over with.

    If worst comes to worst we can always get another Focus. We had a 05 and never had a problem with it and it fit both the Radian FF and the MA RF great.

    DH started this in Jan and we ended up buying a 99 Subaru in April.

    After a few issues popped up even after the garage we bought from worked on it and even took it back to try and fix the issues, they still cannot figure out why some important things are not working on it. Plus I just cannot get that darn Radian in to my liking.

    So we decided to return it(well its still ours until they find us another one) and go newer and more fuel efficient.
    Great service from this garage but super slow.

    Anyway....

    I learned from another member here that they did not start making the Yaris sedan until 07 but they have 2dr and 4dr liftbacks(hatchbacks I guess they changed the name to be more upscale sounding)

    Even brand new it looks like these cars will be around 15,000 depending on if you get any of the packages added.

    For instance chances are if we buy a used one it will not have cruise control so I checked and it is about 400.00-500.00 to add it on It is important to DH so we would have it added. Another thing we would have to add is tinted windows. That would be around 100.00-200.00.

    I have been trying to get to see one in person but everytime we are out and think to stop the Yaris is always surrounded by a crowd of people. So I think it is going to be a popular car while the fuel prices are high.
    Last edited by BudgieStew; 06-16-2008 at 09:04 AM. Reason: correction
    *DD N 5 Years 46 inches/44 lbs FF in a Marathon/Parkway SG/Turbo Booster/ and Harnessed Nautilus
    *DS H 7 Years 49 inches/51 lbs in a Monterey and Turbo Booster
    and a Harmony and Radian as back up seats

  9. #8
    Carseat Crazy
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    Re: What's your fave 4dr sedan under $15k?

    One of my DH's colleagues bought a Toyota from a dealership in Montana, took it home to Calgary, and has had the warranty honoured. Just a data point.

    I really do like my mom's Mazda3, but the backseat isn't as nice for car seats as some of the other cars mentioned, like the Altima and Corolla.

  10. #9
    Carseat Crazy
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    Re: What's your fave 4dr sedan under $15k?

    Great on gas, go Honda Civic. Love our Civic. We have a 2004 Civic SI and I believe you can fit 3 radians across but shhh don't tell dh, i got my SUV so we didn;'t have to

  11. #10
    CPS Technician
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    Re: What's your fave 4dr sedan under $15k?

    No offense intended, but Honda Civics are my least favourite cars for carseat installs - we joke at clinics that if someone comes in with a civic, we just write on the form "get a new car!".
    American mom in canada with 2 dds in MAs, one RF, one FF

  12. #11
    CPS Technician lemurmommies's Avatar
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    Re: What's your fave 4dr sedan under $15k?

    I love love love our Focus. We got it new in late 2004 (it's a 2005 model) and it now was over 200 000km on it. We've never had even the slightest issue with it. We have the wagon, and it's great on gas, so I imagine that the sedan would be even more so.

    We have DS installed FF in the centre in a Marathon, and it's very comfortable for adults to sit outboard beside him. I don't think you'd have any issue doing a side-by-side install in it. Just know that if you want to install a Radian RF at 45 degrees, you'll want to do it in the middle or else it'll eat up a good chunk of front passenger space. That's actually the reason we went with the MA instead of the Radian.
    Mel, Canadian CRST mom to
    E - 4.5 years, 42 pounds and 43.5'' - harnessed in a Graco Nautilus
    and missing Noelle (stillborn, 12/08.)

  13. #12
    Carseat Crazy
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    Re: What's your fave 4dr sedan under $15k?

    Quote Originally Posted by tcottawa View Post
    No offense intended, but Honda Civics are my least favourite cars for carseat installs - we joke at clinics that if someone comes in with a civic, we just write on the form "get a new car!".
    Really??? Why is that? We love our Civic and would recommend it to anyone looking for a fuel efficent car.

    We have the Safe SEat installed great.

  14. #13
    Moderator - CPS Technician safeinthecar's Avatar
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    Re: What's your fave 4dr sedan under $15k?

    I personally would be looking for a bigger car than the Corrola if it were me. My mom has a Lincoln Continental (99) and it is great for car seats. I can get 3 Regents across if I want to, and it gets pretty good gas mileage. It is listed as supposedly getting 15-18 MPG, but in actual use my mom's gets about 25-28.

    If you do go with the Corrola, (my fiance has one) I would stick with the Radian /MA combo rather than two RNs. A rfing RN outboard will put your front seat passenger or driver too close to the airbag, and a ffing RN outboard is a total PITA install. If you were to do a RN center, I'm pretty sure you can get a MA outboard beside it. I've put a RN center and had room to put several different boosters (including a Britax Bodyguard on it's widest setting) outboard with just enough room to buckle.
    Kimberly
    Proud mommy of Becky 18! Danny 15 Hope 12~Auntie to William-14, David-10, and Logan 2~

  15. #14
    Senior Community Member unityco's Avatar
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    Re: What's your fave 4dr sedan under $15k?

    I've always loved my parents' Chevy Malibu for carseat installs, and it took 3-across last month (with a Radian) when I had my cousin's kids with us. Based on that, you could probably do a side-by-side install. Their's is an '02 (in case the design changed somewhere down the road.) The '08 was voted "Car of the Year" by somebody or other. Not sure where it ranks for fuel efficiency, but my parents find it way better than their Suburban!

  16. #15
    CPS Technician
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    Re: What's your fave 4dr sedan under $15k?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pepse View Post
    Really??? Why is that? We love our Civic and would recommend it to anyone looking for a fuel efficent car.

    We have the Safe SEat installed great.
    Something about the shape of the seats/location of the seatbelts makes a FF install difficult in many cases...and I guess alot of people have civics, so we see alot of them and they are the car BY FAR we have the most issues with (that's not something out of the ordinary).
    American mom in canada with 2 dds in MAs, one RF, one FF

  17. #16
    CPS Technician featherhead's Avatar
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    Re: What's your fave 4dr sedan under $15k?

    I have an '03 Malibu, and so far I haven't had any problems installing car seats. I haven't actually tried 3 across yet, but I have had two side-by-side. I have had my Radian rf outboard and centre(both tethered), and have also tried it ff outboard (wasn't quite as tight as I would like, but doable, and I hadn't tried lowering the recline foot). I've never had a Britax of any sort, so no experience with that
    Oh... and rf outboard with the Radian I have enough leg room (my husband doesn't quite when he's driving as he likes to recline the seat)

    Heather ~ CRST ~ mom to...
    S ~ Harmony nbb, K ~ Parkway SG
    M ~ Radian XTSL, S ~ Fllo
    T ~ June 4, 2016 ~ Boulevard G4.1

  18. #17
    CPS Technician canadiangie's Avatar
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    Re: What's your fave 4dr sedan under $15k?

    Wow ladies, thanks for all the replies.

    I hadn't thought about the Honda Fit, or the Toyota Echo. And I had no idea the interior widths on all these cars. VERY helpful.

    About the Matrix.. funny you should mention it because we are considering it. It or a Pontiac Vibe (same engine as I understand it -- a joint venture between GM and Toyota IIRC). My only reservation about it is that it might be *too big* in terms of us wanting a smallish 'fun' commuter car for dh. He sort of see's them as station wagons (I know, he's a moron), whereas I see them as a funky cross over of sorts -- but totally practical and useful. Anyway, I'm not sure I can convince dh that his new car will be a Matrix/Vibe body style if that makes sense.

    I think I'll have more luck with something like a black or pewter corolla with tinted windows if that makes sense?

    As for car seats, I'm guessing the girls will be in dh's vehicle on weekends only, and rarely at that. I'd do a couple of Scenera's except my oldest dd is already 2 and has a longish torso. I'm thinking I'd get a yr at the most before her head was 1" from the top. And little dd is built the same way plus she's heavy. So I think it makes more sense to spend more now and get something that lasts longer.

    Anyway, it looks like we have some thinking to do.

    Any other suggestions are totally welcome...
    dd1 - 8y6m, hbb PWSGL
    dd2 - 7y3m, hbb PWSGL
    dd3 - 4y3m, ff advocate/frontier xt

  19. #18
    CPS Technician BW1426's Avatar
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    Re: What's your fave 4dr sedan under $15k?

    I'm head over heels in love with my 2007 Pontiac G6. I paid $14,200 for it. 2007, 17,500 miles on it. Side curtain airbags, no lap belts, three sets of LATCH in the back (only two at a time can be used though) three top tethers, great trunk room. Plenty of front to back room for an outboard RF Radian and a passenger to comfortably sit in front of them. I've been getting 24.4 in the city. I haven't had it on the highway yet.

    And, how could I forget the most important feature (according to the almost 5 year old girl I watch) it has shiney radio knobs
    I love, love, love it.

    And, mine has a remote start too Which I'm so excited to use for the first time when the nasty winter weather sets in.

    I've only tried one three across: Turbobooster, RF Radian, Turbobooster. It fit just fine, not the cramped three across I was used to with my other car at all. It's a pretty flat rear seat. There is a little curve on the side, but it's a soft curve and I had no problem compressing it in when installing it with a seatbelt.

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