What should I replace my 2002 PT Cruiser with?

I drive a 2002 PT Cruiser, which has been a good car for me to get in and out of (heightwise) and to load groceries, etc. What cars, small SUVs or other vehicles can you suggest that would be easy on my back and arthritic body? We'd like an auto with good passenger comfort in back as well as up front for our adult children when they visit, good gas mileage and more pep than the PT Cruiser.

Geri C., Burr Ridge, Ill.

To keep that low-to-the-ground factor and hatchback usability, check out the 2011 Scion xB. Its rear seats are fit for adults, and it’s rated with better mileage than your 2002 Chrysler PT Cruiser.

The 2002 PT is rated at 17/23 mpg city/highway using the EPA’s adjusted ratings, which took effect in 2008. The 2011 xB with optional automatic transmission is rated at 22/28 mpg. An automatic transmission adds  $950 to the base xB, which costs $16,000, not including a $720 destination charge.

2010_scion_xb

As for being comfortable, you’ll have to step inside an xB and determine for yourself. Our editors have mixed opinions about the front-seat comfort, but one notable lacking feature useful for adjustability is a telescoping steering wheel.

The xB is also Cars.com’s champion of the box-car faceoff, where it competed against the Nissan Cube and Kia Soul. Other considerations in this price range include the 2010 Subaru Forester, 2011 Kia Sportage and 2011 Hyundai Tucson, which we feel have more zip than the PT Cruiser. These are more similar to an SUV than the xB, however.

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Answered by Joe Bruzek on August 27, 2010 in Scion , Scion xB | Permalink

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