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Crossover SUV. Safe but fun to drive. Fuel economy a must.

The Right Car for Me | TrueDelta


1. I've test driven the Mitsubishi Outlander and didn't like it. Too slow and very uncomfortable driving position. Not on my list anymore.

2. I've test driven the Nissan Rogue. I like the look inside and out but am not sold on the CVT. For what I've seen around here the average price is around $17k for a 2011, I feel there's better options for that money, namely the Honda CRV and the Toyota RAV-4. The 2 things I didn't like about the Rogue are that 1 -I didn't feel like it would get me on the highway safely. 2. Not a fan of the CVT. It's on the list but only as a last resort. Namely it would have to be an SL or SX with low miles and around $11k, not likely to happen.

3. I've test driven 2 Honda CRV's, a 2009 and a 2011. The 09 (at a dealer asking $11,500) was a base LX and the 11 (same dealer asking $16,900)was an EX-L. I liked them both. My only complaint was that it is slow off the line, however, I felt I could get on the highway with it. Of course I liked the EX-L better just can't convince myself it's worth the extra money.

4. I drove a friends 2014 Toyota RAV-4. Not much not to like except for the price. Finding a 2013 or newer, ( I won't consider older models because the door swings out as opposed to lifting) for under $17k, which is the top of my budget is not easy.

5. I would consider a Toyota Venza with the 4 cylinder but I need to know what the real world mpg is, not the estimated. (One of the reasons I'm here!)
6. I would consider a 4 cylinder Toyota Highlander but it's pretty much beyond what I want to spend.

Those are the car's that I'm considering. The CRV and the RAV4 are both #1 on my list, no preference and my only loyalty is to myself and the bottom line. I'm looking for the mpg to be around 22/28/24 which is exactly where the Nissan, CRV and RAV4 come in according to what I've read online. Whatever I get I intend to give to my son within a year or two, so safety and reliability are bigger factors than normal for me this time around.

Off the list: Jeep, Chrysler, Dodge, Chevy, GM. Ford Edge and Escape. Too many reliability issues. I would prefer the Ford's but the prices are crazy (mid $20's) and I know I'm not getting better quality for the money with the Ford.

All suggestions, feedback, and advice welcome!


Priorities: Fuel economy / Safety & braking / Powertrain performance / Front seat support & comfort / Cargo capacity

Preferred Bodystyle(s): SUV

Car Needs: Daily commuter / Family transporter / Errands about town / Long trips

Primary Driver(s): Tall driver

Need minimum of 5 seats

Will consider both new and used cars
Maximum mileage: 52000
Maximum age: 5 years

Maximum price: US $ 16000

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Response from mwcten

9:57 pm May 17, 2015

It sounds like you want a Mazda CX-5. It's based on the Mazda 3 and offers a pretty good combination of performance, price, mpg and reliability.


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Mazda CX-5

Response from mkaresh

9:15 am May 19, 2015

I like the Mazda CX-5, but you need the 2014 to get the 2.5-liter engine, and that's not happening in your price range.

If you don't feel the need for a larger vehicle like the Venza, then I wouldn't spend the extra money for one. They will cost considerably more than the compacts.

So either the CR-V or the RAV4 seems the way to go. If you want strong acceleration the Toyota was also offered with a V6.


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Toyota RAV4
Honda Civic

Response from loumutt2k2

10:42 pm June 7, 2015

Thanks for the input. I've narrowed my choices down to either the RAV4 or the CRV. I did look at the CX-5 but it's a little smaller and a bit beyond my budget. I've driven both and I like the CRV better but the RAV4 seems to be bigger when it comes to cargo space. It's going to boil down to price and real world mpgs. I looked at a 4wheeldrive RAV4 today but I'm not convinced that it can achieve EPA estimates of 21/27/24. Driving with the a/c off is not an option here except for a couple of days in February. MPG's will be huge in making the final decision.


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Honda CR-V
Toyota RAV4

Response from mkaresh

11:01 am June 9, 2015

The official cargo volume specs are very similar for both, and their EPA ratings are identical (both 20/27). I doubt they differ enough in either area for these to be the basis of a decision between them.

Pay close attention to seat comfort--quite a few people find the CR-V's seats to be uncomfortable.


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Response from loumutt2k2

6:42 pm July 24, 2015

I bought a 2006 RAV4. I was impressed with the cargo space, the deep well in the cargo space is really nice. It actually has more cargo space with the seats up than my wifes Lexus RX does. The only thing I didn't like is the dead pedal, way too thick, so I cut the styrofoam dead pedal out. Other than that, I'm liking it a lot. I really thought I was going to buy a Honda but the dealerships I went to were pretty firm on their prices, so I walked out. Overall, I'm happy with the car and what I paid for it. I still can't get over how sluggish and slow and uncomfortable the Outlander was.


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Mitsubishi Outlander
Honda CR-V
Toyota RAV4
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