Leasing a new, cheap car for a small family

SeattleRain

New member
We're a 1 car family currently and have been for our whole marriage (we have a Subaru Impreza) but my husband is going back to school which will require a 2 hour round trip commute every day. We are broke and have no money towards a down payment (since we're paying for my husband's graduate degree), our parents would prefer that we lease a car and they'll give us the starting money. I think leasing would be perfect for us since we don't really know where our life will be in 3 years, and I don't want to be stuck with a car that doesn't suit our family in the longrun.

It's only me, my husband and the baby, and will stay this way until my husband gets out of school, so I don't need a car that seats more than 5 people. We'd like the lease to be around $200.

What would you get if you were us?
 
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T4K

Well-known member
Since you are used to a small vehicle, I'd go for Corolla, Civic, or maybe even a Fusion. I usually don't lime Ford but if I knew I didn't have to keep it forever, I wouldn't mind it.

Small vehicles are great on gas, good for parking, and all around smart choices ;-)
 

SeattleRain

New member
I'd actually prefer something a tiny bit larger than what I have now. My dream would be to have a small SUV, but I don't know if that's out of my price range. I have a really hard time driving the Civic with it's long dashboard, so that's out. What about brands like Kia or Hyundai? It seems like I could get a Hyundai Elantra 2012 for around $150 or less. I've never really heard of them though. What's the deal?
 

T4K

Well-known member
Elentras are nice. A few years ago they were Consumer Reports best pick of that class.

I would go have fun test driving.

Maybe look at the Santa Fe while you are there.

I'm not a Kia fan.
 

SeattleRain

New member
Is there a website that you would suggest that would compare these for me, or give me "best picks"? I need a starting point and I'm starting to feel overwhelmed. We made some mistakes buying this car and I want to be more informed.

Is there anything car safety-wise that I should be looking for? Things that are preferred over non-preferred?
 

Mags462

New member
I am almost positive autotrader.com now offers you to look over the lease offers in your area by dealership.... so you can narrow it by price range/brand and see whats available. :)

As for myself i really like the looks of the new Kia/Hyundai sedans.... and they typically have killer deals going since they are still trying to break in to the market and establish themselves......

Mazda 5s are favorites here as well :)

Oh and the Pontiac Vibe is identical to the Toyota Matrix (same parts essentially only one is made in the USA and one in Canada) and sometimes GM runs killer lease/buy deals.....

Good luck!
 

T4K

Well-known member
SeattleRain said:
Is there a website that you would suggest that would compare these for me, or give me "best picks"? I need a starting point and I'm starting to feel overwhelmed. We made some mistakes buying this car and I want to be more informed.

Is there anything car safety-wise that I should be looking for? Things that are preferred over non-preferred?

I like Edmunds. They have road tests, critics reviews, and user reviews. I like reading about what annoys people about cars. Like I hate rattles in cars. Drives me up a wall, so if I read about several reviews that say the car constantly rattles, I scratch it off my list.
 

cookie123

New member
My friends have rented a Elantra a few times and love it. They want to get one. I sat in the Elantra and the Sonata at the car show and I hated how high the dash was. I felt like I could hardly see over it.
 

mamaofthree

New member
Dh and I went small car browsing recently and dh test drove the Elantra. Dh loved it and wants one. Funny to hear the high dash comment because while we were driving i asked him "doesn't this dash seem really high?". I was relaxing in the passenger seat, but I'm really short, and now I wish I drove it! What do you mean by long dashboard in the civic? Too high?
 

jourdysmom

CPST Instructor
A 2 hour commute because of miles or traffic? Be cautious with a lease and mileage because there is a penalty for being over mileage. Many leases also require that you put new tires on the car at the end of the lease, at a cost of up to $500-800.
 

Patriot201

Car-Seat.org Ambassador
I have a Civic and had to get used to the dashboard and "invisible" front end, but once I was used to it, I LOVED it!
 

tl01

New member
A 2 hour commute because of miles or traffic? Be cautious with a lease and mileage because there is a penalty for being over mileage. Many leases also require that you put new tires on the car at the end of the lease, at a cost of up to $500-800.

This is usually only required if the tires are totally bald.

I do agree though about the mileage component. Calculate your needs upfront or else you will pay more in the long run. It is cheaper to add the mileage upfront.
 

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