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Durable, reliable grown-up car

The Right Car for Me | TrueDelta

sashea77

I'm in the process of opening my own firm, and I know perception matters at least some for my clients. That being said, I don't want (or need) something flashy, just something that reads grown-up and professional.

Durability and reliability are the most important things to me, followed closely by compatibility with a pretty active and dog-friendly lifestyle. Because of my dog, I am primarily considering hatches, wagons, and SUVs, and I've been shying away from leather interiors (unless it's uber-durable and stain-resistant). I also care about fuel economy (this car will be replacing a hybrid).

So far, my front-runners include the new Subaru Crosstrek and the new Honda CR-V. I'm also interested in the Mazda CX-5, but since the fuel economy is pretty mediocre, I had hoped to wait until the diesel is available. What are thoughts on these choices? Am I leaving out cars that I should be thinking about?

Priorities: Reliability & durability / Fuel economy / Handling

Need minimum of 4 seats

Will consider both new and used cars
Maximum mileage: 15000
Maximum age: 3 years

Maximum price: US $ 30000

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Response from NormT

6:57 pm September 19, 2017

The most efficient AWD CUV we owned is the Buick Encore 1.4T. We were able to see almost 40 mpg at 60 mph. This .idea has only been available since 2013 and already have seen ed used ones with 200,000+ miles. Ours was a lease and was returned, but recently my mother in law bought a 2915 Encore and likes it allot. It has a longer 4 year warranty or 50,000 miles which gets extended if you buy CPO.

Your diesel wish is here also in the 2018 Equinox diesel which also sees almost 40 mpg for $26,000.

https://www.cars.com/vehicledetail/detail/713419687/overview/

The 2018 GMC Terrain will also offer a diesel option.

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Buick Encore
Chevrolet Equinox
GMC Terrain

Response from LectroFuel

8:07 pm September 29, 2017

It looks like you have a good list of cars. The Subaru Crosstrek is a good car, but I don't think it reads "grown up." The interior is not as nice as most compact SUVs and road noise will be a problem. The interior is utilitarian and has a lot of plastic. It should be dog friendly though.

The Honda CR-V is the most practical on your list and is my favorite. Very nice grown up interior especially in the higher trims. It would be a top choice for shuttling clients along with the CX-5.

It might be smart to wait for the diesel CX-5. Mazda has great engine technology and they have never really made a bad engine, so the diesel engine is exciting and should bring much improved MPGs. CX-5 has a beautiful interior, but it isn't as practical as a CR-V and most compact CUVs. Check rear seat room in all these cars before buying.

Consider a Prius. The interior is massive for the exterior size, love it or hate it styling, reliable, fantastic MPGs, decent handling, standard active safety features, and it's comfortable. I own a fully loaded 2016 Prius Four and 2005 Prius, which has almost 250k miles. I see around 58 MPG in my 2016 mostly freeway. You get better in the city. The Prius Prime can get 23 miles of EV range on a charge and switches to regular gas/EV Prius mode after that depletes. The synthetic leather in the Prius is more durable than regular leather. My black and white seats look new without stains after 35k miles. The interior I'd say is professional, albeit a little over the top. I don't have dogs, but people and kids are comfortable in the backseats. Backseats can fold flat for more space for things or dogs. I'd strongly suggest a 2017 with the standard safety features.

The Kia Niro should be on the test drive list. Highway MPGs are anywhere from 52 to 46 MPG. It's an unconventional hybrid with a dual clutch tranny. Looks nice inside and out without the hybrid badging everywhere. I think Kia has a special stain resistant fabric on the lower trims.

Buick Encore would be comfortable for your clients. It is probably not a good car for dogs being so small. Journalists say it doesn't have good driving dynamics. The Encore favors comfort over sporty. The interior was recently updated, but I wouldn't call it luxury. The base engine is gutless. IMO, the CR-V and CX-5 have nicer interiors in the higher trims.

All of the cars I mentioned are reliable, but there isn't much info on the Niro's reliability.

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Toyota Prius
Honda CR-V
Mazda CX-5

Response from Member4865

10:34 pm October 11, 2017

Look, based on what you SAY you want, you want a Camry. And it may be entirely appropriate.

But you need to be more specific about what your profession is. It matters. Who are you trying to impress? Your peers? Your clients? Or yourself?

A Camry may be great for an accountant, but if you are an architect, it simply isn't designy enough. A Civil engineer might need a Jeep Cherokee if he or she does off-roading. But you aren't specific enough about what profession you are in.

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Response from sashea77

9:36 am October 12, 2017

Good point. I am an attorney. Funny enough, my search is bringing me around to an ES300H, which is a hybrid based on the Avalon (but formerly Camry).

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Response from LectroFuel

9:38 am October 12, 2017

He or she actually gave a better decription than most people but they said they wanted a hatch or SUV. No enclosed trunk I guess. The description still is not very detailed though.

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Response from NormT

8:10 pm October 12, 2017

Here is a picture of one of two dogs packed in our Buick Encore from a few years ago. You can see they, 70 & 40 lbs, have plenty of space with their dog beds, luggage packed near the back and gifts on the cargo shelf.

https://pasteboard.co/GOETq4q.jpg

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Response from LectroFuel

12:33 am October 13, 2017

@sashea77

My mom bought a 2017 Toyota Avalon Hybrid Limited this year and she loves it more than her old Jaguar XJ. Consider going with the Avalon Hybrid over the Lexus ES 300h. It does almost everything just as well, but without the Lexus badge. It's close to the same car, but with different styling. I could see the badge impressing clients though, but I'd rather save $10k and stick with the Toyota badge. The Avalon and Lexus have all the Safety Sense features standard and are SUPER comfy. They don't handle well, but they ride like a cloud and will impress your clients. The hybrid powertrain is pretty quiet not having much horsepower. With dogs though you might want a hatchback or small SUV.

So test drive the Avalon and ES 300h back to back. An Avalon Limited Hybrid would be more comparable to the ES 300h. Note: These cars are popular with the old folks ;)

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Toyota Avalon

Response from NormT

11:00 am October 13, 2017

My Mom bought a couple of years old Buick LaCrosse with the 2.4l. It is actually quick to turn and fun to toss around with the lightweight engine up front instead of the heavier V6. Still looks the part when valet in too. She sees right at 30 mpg in mixed rural driving with no costly, complexity of hybrid batteries.

They have a Jack Russell who can be tough on leather and plastics with his quick moves and long nails. The interior has held up well except for his white hair on the black interior.

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Buick LaCrosse
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