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Old 01-12-2013, 06:20 PM   #1
Ko OP
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Golf GTI or Volvo C30 or SportWagen TDI or...

Sadly, the quirky Element will, most likely, get totalled by insurance.

Now we're looking at options for a car for my wife. She wants a manual if possible, something smaller with better fuel mileage. After all, we have the van for hauling stuff.

Requirements:

- manual if possible - if right car comes along and it's AT, then is going to be automatic
- different- some personality required
- better fuel mileage than the Element given that is going to be a daily driver (future commute is only 10km). Now if we could get an Element with a diesel engine...

Price:
- TBD
- looking at used cars with less than 40k km

Ok, the TDI is my choice, I hope that if she gets to test drive one will like it.
The Volvo C30 is her choice, based on looks, never drove one. Looking at '09-'12 models.
The GTI is something we both like. Looking at '10-'12 models.
Also thought of a Fit, but she is not sure she likes it.
She likes the Soul as well, they're like a mini Element, but gas mileage is not great in those, and the interior is not on par with the first 3 models.

Any cons to these models?

Don't know much about the Volvo C30, internet searches seem to be favourable.
Had many diesels in the past, although I am not familiar with the current 2.0 TDI.

Is there a car that we missed?

thanks,
Ko
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Old 01-12-2013, 09:42 PM   #2
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With that small of a commute the TDI might not make sense for the mileage, though it does have better power than the base engine. Even with your higher gas prices unless you want to go on some huge road trips I'd say GTI. She just wont drive enough to make up the difference. Now if you're viewing the TDI as a performance increase over the base model due to its torque that works.

To help with US posters I did a quick search and it looks to be ~50 cents more per gallon for diesel over regular where the OP is.

I can't give you an exact apples to apples comparison but I'm visiting my father right now who has a 2011 Element and he tried out my 2013 Passat (5 cyl 5 speed) and he loved the ride, handling, and low down power over his car, which isn't much of a shock considering what the Element is but if she likes to drive the cars you're looking at should be even better than mine so she'll be very happy with em.

As for the Soul it's basic transportation, I test drove one just about 2 weeks back and what I can tell you is it fit most of my basic requirements but it didn't feel fun to drive at all.

I haven't driven the C30 but it seems like a great car so try it out and let us know how they compare.
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Old 01-12-2013, 09:58 PM   #3
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Those are all cool cars and I'm actually thinking we will get the sportwagen this year. I had an 06 GTI and it was a great car. Have you thought about a Mini? My wife has a Mini S and we love it. Gets 32 mpg easily and is a total blast to drive. Only reason we are probably going to switch to the VW is because we are planning on a baby this year and will need the room.
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Old 01-12-2013, 10:05 PM   #4
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One of the Brit mags did a hot hatch compare recently (a dozen cars). The GTi was highly rated. They couldn't understand why anyone would buy the Volvo. Ymmv.
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Old 01-12-2013, 10:16 PM   #5
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Yeah I probably wouldn't buy the C30, but the V50 I think looks great. I want to find one to drive and check out before we decide what to get.
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Old 01-13-2013, 04:27 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NikonsAndVStroms View Post

With that small of a commute the TDI might not make sense for the mileage, though it does have better power than the base engine. Even with your higher gas prices unless you want to go on some huge road trips I'd say GTI. She just wont drive enough to make up the difference. Now if you're viewing the TDI as a performance increase over the base model due to its torque that works.
True, but almost all of our cars prior to the Element were diesels Plus, this is her current commute, it might change in a year.

We are going to have our in-laws closer now, because we're moving, as in 800km away, so a car with 30+mpg should help with the cost of fuel. Plus, we are going to be able once again to go skiing in the Rockies at least once/month. SO, while we won't rack up lots of miles. it's still worth looking into a car with good mileage.

Price wise, cost is pretty much the same, slightly below 20k for a SW TDI and GTI, lower for a Volvo. Talking about 1-3 years old, less than 40k km (23k miles).

Fuel wise, the cost is what you said, about 50 cents higher for diesel, although it fluctuates from region to region, could be cheaper at times.

Ko
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Old 01-13-2013, 04:28 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by NSpooner View Post
Those are all cool cars and I'm actually thinking we will get the sportwagen this year. I had an 06 GTI and it was a great car. Have you thought about a Mini? My wife has a Mini S and we love it. Gets 32 mpg easily and is a total blast to drive. Only reason we are probably going to switch to the VW is because we are planning on a baby this year and will need the room.
Funny you say that... I heard talks about a baby too...

My wife was thinking of a Fiat 500, I was thinking in that case let's make it an Abarth, but now it's hatchback/wagon.


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Old 01-13-2013, 04:33 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by JNRobert View Post

They couldn't understand why anyone would buy the Volvo. Ymmv.
Probably for the same reason we bought an Element

I have nothing against the GTI, but it's too common in Europe. Great cars, but too many people have them. You probably know it, it doesn't have to make sense

Here, I can see myself in it. In Europe, I had my turbo 5 thank you very much.

I can't wait to go test drive one, curious how it drives/rides.

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Old 01-13-2013, 06:20 AM   #9
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All 3 good vehicles. Drive em and see. Don't forget an A3 TDI too.

That C30 is the ONLY Volvo that'll come with a manual trans. I asked

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Old 01-13-2013, 06:20 AM   #10
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I considered the Golf TDI versus the GTI and ended up going with the '12, 4 door, manual transmission GTI since I don't put many miles on it. What a great car after a 15 months and 10K miles it still puts a grin on my face every time I drive it. I can't get 30mpg out of it but someone with a tiny bit of discipline certainly could.
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Old 01-13-2013, 06:39 AM   #11
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GTI or C30 - I wouldn't get a diesel based on the low mileage you'd be driving it. I'd probably go for the GTI since you both seem to like it.
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Old 01-13-2013, 06:40 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ko View Post
Funny you say that... I heard talks about a baby too...

My wife was thinking of a Fiat 500, I was thinking in that case let's make it an Abarth, but now it's hatchback/wagon.


Ko
We drove the 500 but the Abarth wasn't out yet. We thought it was pretty cool...until we got in the mini. The mini was way better built and more roomy. People are always shocked when they ride with us how roomy it is, even in the back seats. The fiat seemed tall and skinny in comparison.
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Old 01-13-2013, 06:58 AM   #13
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GTI would be my vote, fun to zip around in and once on the highway I can set cruise and get 32mpg.

I'd also check out the Mini countryman s all 4 if it's in your price range, seen a few around here and really like them.
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Old 01-13-2013, 07:31 AM   #14
Ko OP
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Originally Posted by Gummee! View Post
All 3 good vehicles. Drive em and see. Don't forget an A3 TDI too.

That C30 is the ONLY Volvo that'll come with a manual trans. I asked

M
Yes, that's one of the reasons the V50 is not quite on our radars.

And yes again, an A3 would probably be what she likes best- big Audi fan, problem is the fuel mileage for gassers- thinking quatro here, and price for TDIs...


Quote:
Originally Posted by SourKraut View Post
I considered the Golf TDI versus the GTI and ended up going with the '12, 4 door, manual transmission GTI since I don't put many miles on it. What a great car after a 15 months and 10K miles it still puts a grin on my face every time I drive it. I can't get 30mpg out of it but someone with a tiny bit of discipline certainly could.
good to know that 30mpg is 'attainable' Have you had a ski box on top/kayak/etc? Wondering how that would affect mileage- looks are compromised, but so be it

Quote:
Originally Posted by falconati View Post
GTI or C30 - I wouldn't get a diesel based on the low mileage you'd be driving it. I'd probably go for the GTI since you both seem to like it.
Let's keep in mind that we're buying used, the cost of purchase is irrelevant because it's almost even- mileage is different but not by much (when comparing a GTI vs SW TDI for example).

If the diesel we're talking about is something like my 7.3 PSD, than yes, I agree. In the winter I have to have it plugged- it starts without no problem unplugged but takes forever to warm the 15+ litres of oil. However, modern diesels take little to warm up, and even though the commute is only 10km one way, the weekend trips will add up.

The van will be kept for transcontinental trips when we need tons of room, but otherwise we still need something that she likes to drive daily, and I can enjoy driving it on weekends.

Three more days... then let the test drives begin

Ko
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Old 01-13-2013, 07:35 AM   #15
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I easily got 30 mpg in my MKV GTI which is very similar to the current model.
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