The Hyundai Elantra!
Check out the posting yesterday for the reason why buying a new car is an "if."
For at least 30 years, my cars have been Honda Civics. I'm not a car person. All I care about is a reliable, uncomplicated car that's small enough to easily navigate the narrow streets of DC and squeeze into tight parking spaces.
The Honda Civic satisfied those requirements and the hatchback has the added advantage of enabling me to transport bulky items like garden plants and bags of mulch, top soil, and bird seed. As an example of my disinterest in cars, when I made one of my infrequent visits to a car dealership to replace an aging Honda, I just went to the showroom of a nearby dealer and came away with a new car in less than an hour. Only when I brought it home did I notice that it wasn't a hatchback. Fortunately the dealer let me bring it back and exchange it for a hatchback.
This time, however, I decided to explore other options. One of my pals who is also a city dweller recently bought a Hyundai Elantra after extensive research. He will have to wait several weeks for delivery since demand for this model is so high.
I checked it out by going to http://www.consumerreports.org/. As a long-time CR subscriber, I'm able to get the full text of their research reports free of charge. They list the Elantra as their No. 1 choice for small sedans.
Here's their summary:
Following its 2011 redesign the Elantra sedan emerged as our top-rated small car. It combines nimble handling with a comfortable, well-controlled ride and a neatly laid-out, well-equipped interior. The 148-hp, 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine and six-speed automatic transmission deliver solid performance and a very good mpg overall. A six-speed manual also is available. The interior is nice and has decent rear-seat room. Our two major gripes are the low-mounted dash vents and pronounced road noise. The wagon version, the Elantra Touring, remains unchanged. We expect reliability of the sedan to mirror the above-average record of the previous Elantra.Too bad I can't order it with one-click at http://www.amazon.com/, my favorite way to shop. I'm indifferent to cars, but I actively dislike store shopping.