put down a deposit on new AWD Toyota Matrix
I bit the bullet last night and spent almost 20k on a new car. I'm a real cheapskate, so this decision has been difficult. The goal was finding a reliable 4x4 that got good gas mileage, to replace my '95 Honda Accord (with 145k miles on it). It's still running strong, but I've got a new job with a hilly back-road commute and wanted AWD for the winter.
I test drove:
Honda CRV (new and used)
Toyota RAV4 (new and used)
Lexus RX300 (used)
The Lexus was fabulous, but I worried about fuel economy. I decided to go with a brand new car rather than used to get side curtain airbags. The Matrix won because it got the best MPG, cost about $4000 than the other cars, and my husband thought it was more comfortable than the Rav.
I got it (loaded) for $500 over invoice, and they gave me $2000 for the Honda trade-in. Seemed like a pretty good deal to me.
Wish me luck, I pick it up tomorrow!