The woman loathes the car shopping experience, but we've started shopping around to replace our Pacifica. We figure we can get something more fuel efficient and a lower payment. If we are going to do this, it will most likely be Memorial Day weekend, so I've got to scour the interwebz for reviews on the various models that we (fine, I) are interested in.
Budget has a hard limit of $25k, need at least a real 5+ MPG gain minimum over the current 18- she's willing to sacrifice some fuel economy for a roomier cabin- and has to seat four humans and a as yet to be acquired dog comfortably (preferably with enough room in the back seat for a 6' Clyde).
What we looked at so far (and the reactions are my wife's, as this will be her baby/daily driver):
-Ford: Fiesta "sardine can", Focus and Escape "I dunno...", Fusion "say, this could work...". We go back for a test drive on Saturday- and she's never met a Ford car she liked save for '64.5-'67 Mustangs.
-Chevy: Cruze and Malibu "don't like the steering wheel"
-Hyundai: Tucson Limited "nice, but over budget, doesn't have the fuel economy" and a base 4cyl Sonata "it's alright, but I wanna see what else is out there"
-Nissan: Altima 2.5 SV w/CVT "I like it, but I wanna take that Fusion for a spin".
However, since we've been living with minivans and SUV's for more than a decade, I've decided to add compact SUVs to the mix. What is slated to be looked at on Saturday (remember, base w/few options):
Honda Accord and CR-V, Mazda6 and CX-5, Nissan Rogue and another look at the Altima (though at a different dealer, b/c we didn't like the aggressive sales push at the first place), Kia Optima, Toyota Camry and RAV-4, and whatever Subarus we can find that fits the budget (wife had good luck with one before I met her), maybe look at a VW Passat (though VW's have a mixed bag of reviews). She's not interested in Mopar brands (even though we currently have a Chrysler and a Jeep), so they are out.
If anyone knows where I can find real world fuel economy numbers for any of the above, I'd appreciate it.