“What car should I buy?” It’s a question consumers ask themselves every day, but what would MotorTrend en Español managing editor Miguel Cortina drive? Keep reading for the answer, and see other editors’ picks here.
I’m a 30-year-old single guy who likes to surf, and I enjoy having the latest tech in the cars I drive. When I moved from Mexico City to L.A. for my job, I leased a 2015 Mazda3 hatchback, which I loved. It came with the 2.0-liter engine and a six-speed manual, and it was painted in Soul Red. My Mazda3 was the best car I could afford at the time—I was 25 and was finally able to support myself financially. It had the looks, the driving dynamics, and the price I was looking for. And at that time, I couldn’t be happier with my decision. But things can change quickly.
The current-gen Civic wasn’t out at the time I needed a car, but it immediately got my attention when it debuted. It became a finalist for MotorTrend’s 2016 Car of the Year and later won a Big Test comparison, beating the Mazda3 and five other compacts. I had the chance to drive it during its launch in Malibu, California, and I was impressed by its dynamics, the new 1.5-liter engine, and the interior space. When I drove the new Civic nine months after I got my Mazda3, I immediately knew the Civic was on top. Looks-wise, the design wasn’t my favorite, but its styling grew on me. I’m not in love with the Civic hatchback, so I would opt for the sedan.
Given that only my brother lives in California, I don’t really need anything bigger than the Civic. It’s already spacious enough for five adults and offers great fuel economy (32/42/36 mpg city/highway/combined), so there’s no need for me to move up to the Accord or another midsize sedan. Its 1.5-liter turbo sends 174 hp and 162 lb-ft of torque to the front wheels, and the CVT transmission is pretty smooth. After three years of driving my Mazda3 manual in L.A., I’d go for an automatic. Not only is it easier to drive in traffic, I would also be able to lend my car to my siblings and friends—most of whom don’t know how to drive stick.