Toyota cars are boringly reliable and appliance-like. But that's a good thing, IMO.
Toyota 4 banger engines are about as easy to work on as anything out there and last a long time. Avoid anything v6 with FWD/AWD, which is way more of a **** to work on. Not so bad in RWD vehicles as the right bank isn't against a fire wall.
Honda has had some problems with their trannies in some models and years, so keep that in mind when choosing a Honda model and year and research it out.
Are you in an area with lots of road salt/rust? If so, I would be cautious because several of those models are known to rust out. The Mazda 3 and Ford Escape come to mind if they are old enough models.The vehicles currently on my list are as follows. Feel free to critique, add to the list, or comment on what years to avoid:
Chevrolet: Cruze, Malibu
Ford: Focus, Fusion, Escape
Honda: Civic, Accord, Fit
Kia: Optima, Forte
Mazda: 3, 6
Nissan: Sentra, Altima, Maxima (as long as they don't have a CVT)
Toyota: Corolla, Camry, Matrix
Volkswagen: Jetta, Golf
30mpg in a Vue? I recall I4's getting 26mpg, the V6's less, and AWD the typical 1mpg penalty on top of that.Find a 2004-07 Saturn Vue with the Honda V6, preferably from a southern state. Body will never rust. Available with AWD. Up to 30 mpg. Plenty of nice examples in the $2-3K range.
See you have the same Juke that I do... have had it going on 7.5 yrs, just hit 80K and it still performs and looks like new. Great car for what it was designed to be no doubt.Nissan is more difficult? I think in the higher end models but they have some extremely basic cars/trucks too that are easy, cheap and reliable.
Plus the Honda mill will need a timing belt, just to round out the typical kvetching about maintenance.