Smallish Automatic Car? Page 1 / 2

hound31, Dec 18, 1:41pm
Hi there people:) Looking for some advice. i currently have an old Toyota Carib sports wagon which is manual. I'd be quite happy to keep it till it dies or gets too expensive as I've done with all my cars, but unfortunately I now find myself needing a manual. I have a really sore arthritic left foot which is making it more and more difficult to use the clutch and is starting to seriously restrict my driving.
I haven't started prowling the car yards yet ( I seriously hate car shopping) but I could do with a few suggestions from those more savvy than me.
I have a budget of $8000 and this will probably be my last car lol.
I've always had Toyotas or Nissans and I've just seen a 2006 Toyota Raum online with 47,707k on the clock ( I'm guessing an import as it doesn't have anything about NZ owners in the specs). My Carib was an import with low k's, I had an odometer check done before I bought it and it's been brilliant, have owned it about fifteen years with no problems. I'm hoping for another gem like that!
The only weird thing about the Raum was I noticed the "gear lever" is on the dash.
Any other suggestions welcome. doesn't have to be Carib size, I realise my budget may restrict me, I only need to fit shopping and a dog in it, so it may have to be "an old ladies' shopping basket" lol
The only other problem is that I've never driven an auto before so may have to get a friend to drive it from the car yard and do a test drive for me.

tygertung, Dec 18, 3:29pm
My mum has a ractis, it is quite good as the back seats fold down really well.

tamarillo, Dec 18, 3:34pm
If you like idea of ruam go see it and if like it checked. It’s relatively simple old tech so should last a life time if looked after. Basic old style 4 speed auto and simple engine. It’s based on the smaller Vitz model and there’s nothing wrong with that. The other car you will see lots on yards is Nissan tiida which use an early type of CVT auto. Some love them and some hate them and I think it’s fair to say they don’t have the same reliability of an old fashioned Toyota auto.

hound31, Dec 18, 3:45pm
Thanks that's very helpful, lots to consider.

hound31, Dec 18, 3:47pm
I'm a big fan of simple lol. Thanks for the help.

hound31, Dec 18, 4:01pm
Just had a look at the Ractis, looks quite good. I don't do a lot of intercity driving, just sometimes. I do need something that will get me up Dunedin's hills and Northern motorway incline without having to get out and push though.
My very first car was a Hillman Imp, could only get up the Northern Motorway in second gear. I still have nightmares about that car, it broke down about 100 metres from the car .yard after I picked it up. The dealer saw me coming lol.

mouse265, Dec 18, 4:16pm
we have a Ractis for two oldies a large dog and a battery wheelchair and love it we had a mitsibishi dingo prior and had a brilliant run out of that

richardmayes, Dec 18, 4:27pm
Auto gear selector on the dashboard is a detail you get used to pretty quickly.

The modern autos are pretty clever and once you have put it in "drive" there is seldom any need to manually use any of the lower gear hold positions in normal driving.

I know a few oldies (and a couple of younger bloods!) who own the Toyota Ractis, it's a taller body with a higher seating position, but on a small hatchback floor pan and running gear. So all the economy of a small car, but you don't have to climb down into it.

kiwilandchch, Dec 18, 4:32pm
you could have found them one with some nice mags on it nana or not lol

kazbanz, Dec 18, 4:56pm
Ok The challenge you have at the moment in all honestly is availability.
Cars that were readily available we can no longer bring in But heres a few ideas for you
I would suggest looking at the Toyota (corolla) Spacio 2001 and newer.
They are a bit bigger than your Carib and make that leap forwards technology wise.(no Cambelt) Higher seat than the carib and as much space inside. They call them a 7 seater but frankly its a token gesture -they are really a 5 seat vehicle.
Second suggestion is the Toyota Sienta. mechanically they ARE a corolla 1500. Again nice high seat . Easy to drive.Space wise they are a Tardis.Just huge inside. They also are a 7 seater but the back seats fold right up under the middle row. Nice low rear loading lip for dogs etc.
Mazda Verisa.-Came out in 2004 made to 2015 unchanged except for refinements required by jap law. A smaller car but again they carry a decent load. One real positive is all the controls/instruments are in the "classic" position.
Toyota corolla wagon-jap market model is called Fielder. Pre 2007 model is mechanically the same as the Spacio 2007 they went to CVT
Those leap to mind as logical replacements for your Carib. None of them gutless but equally none being thirsty beasts.

trogedon, Dec 18, 5:39pm
. and saw you going.

hound31, Dec 18, 6:23pm
Lol, I'm not fussy, two of my hubcaps on the Carib are missing. I might need a nana car but my present one doesn't look the part!

hound31, Dec 18, 6:34pm
Thanks very much, really appreciate your advice. I'll write all these down when looking. Yeah, I had a vague idea it was the wrong time to be looking for a car, ( Covid again?) timing isn't great with my stupid foot but needs must.
Interesting you mention about the lack of a cambelt. I know zip about cars, but a friend bought a Nissan Lafista(?) a few months ago and said it didn't have a cambelt. I didn't know they made them without.
Whatever I look at I'm an AA member and will get it checked. I know that's not an absolute guarantee but so far I've been lucky with my cars (fingers crossed) lol.

intrade, Dec 18, 7:07pm
i did not rea but you have the best already. nothing else will run on just oil and filter changes and toyotas 3 plus od automatics are the worlds most long lasting only other automatic who did last was early big mercedes sedan automatics.

john1623, Dec 18, 7:15pm
If you can drive a manual you will find an automatic is a breeze.Just forget you have got a left leg.

hound31, Dec 18, 7:20pm
Lol, I feel like chopping my left foot off at the moment it's so sore, would that help? Funnily enough I remember my elderly uncle saying when he bought an automatic he had to try tuck his left leg under the seat so he wouldn't put his foot on the non existent clutch!

serf407, Dec 18, 9:18pm
You probably not an injured sports star, so I do not know how much help might be available.
See if any second hand duck clutch units are around to put in the carib.
from someone who has gone off to the rest home etc.

Probably something like a suzuki swift auto if the carib can not be modified.

socram, Dec 18, 10:33pm
LOL. Did that once when I first switched to an auto! Then at the time I also had such a mix of vehicles, 4 speed manual, 5 speed manual, 6 speed manual, motorbike and the auto, that I soon adapted.

From a driving style point of view, it is more important to know if you are driving a car with or without ABS - which doesn't really matter until you need to brake in an emergency, which thankfully, is extremely rare - or should be.

joanie04, Dec 19, 12:46pm
I have mainly driven manuals most of my driving life. When I invested in an auto four years ago it look me a while to realise oops no clutch when slowing down. The four hour plus drive home from Auckland soon sorted that lol.

nice_lady, Dec 19, 12:51pm
The reverse can also be *annoying*. When you're familiar with driving an Auto and then you have to drive a manual and forget it's manual whilst pulling up at the lights with just one foot on the brake. Generally this'll result in a bit of bunny hopping and or a stall hahah.

tygertung, Dec 19, 1:06pm
The Ractis is also fine for long distance touring, although my parents one doesn't have Auto-Drive, although neither does my car unfortunately. I do like the cruise control.

joanie04, Dec 19, 8:26pm
My previous car was a manual. Not the easiest to take off in, very sensitive clutch. Many a person stalled it many a time, including moi from time to time.

intrade, Dec 19, 8:36pm
get a funcargo they are the good automatics and are huge mother small cars tall to get in and out basically a toyota vitz turned in to terminator wagon is what a funcargo is.

hound31, Dec 19, 8:44pm
I really don't know what "auto-drive" or "cruise control" are. I suppose a lot will depend on what's available in the sales yards here too. I don't mind going a wee bit smaller than the Carib, maybe smaller will get me more for my money.
Anyway, thanks for the input, I really do appreciate everyone's suggestions and help, it's been great.

tygertung, Dec 20, 3:45am
Cruise control or auto drive is the scheme where you can set the speed, and the car will drive at that speed so you don't have to keep your foot on the accelerator.

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