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Economical all-wheel drive hauler with nav, free traffic info, anti-lock brakes, and adaptive cruise control radar, no CVT

The Right Car for Me | TrueDelta

johnlogic

I hate CVTs.
I bought a 2014 Subaru Outback knowing that Subaru was going all-CVT in 2015. The built-in nav/audio unit (apparently made by Fujitsu Ten) had so many clear design defects that I sold the car back as a lemon. The Subaru EyeSight system was useful and worked as well as I expected, but a radar-based system would be more useful when the sun is in my eyes too.
Nissan Murano: only in CVT, waste of my time
Mitsubishi Outlander: meets my requirements, but feels cheaply designed and made
VW Tiguan:meets my requirements; the nav/audio system receives free traffic info via FM, but seems lackluster
MB GLA: seems the best value

Priorities: Price or payments / Warranty, maintenance cost / Fuel economy / Safety & braking / Audio & nav systems

Preferred Bodystyle(s): Hatch / Wagon / SUV

Car Needs: Daily commuter / Errands about town / Long trips / Client-facing / Towing or hauling / Off-roader

Primary Driver(s): Tall driver

Need minimum of 4 seats

Will consider both new and used cars
Maximum mileage: 50000
Maximum age: 5 years

Maximum price: US $ 50000

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Response from markkhoury

9:13 am August 28, 2015

Hello Acura RDX!

The forgotten entry-luxury CUV, the new one is very roomy, and finally has a resolved design. A proper geared transmission, and a nice V6 that is more fuel-efficient than some competing fours and turbo-4s.

The interior is nicely luxurious for your "client-facing" requirements, without being a distraction.

And, to my dismay (who doesn't like tech inside a car), Acura has gone full-tech in the past few years, so since this is a priority for you, that's another plus for the RDX.

Another choice could be a fully-optioned up Mazda CX-5. This is the hidden gem of CUVs right now. The amount of tech and luxury available with it shames many luxury brands; it looks stunningly handsome and premium in its higher trim levels; provides great fuel efficiency for tooling around town.

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Acura RDX
Mazda CX-5

Response from sasolomon

9:12 pm August 28, 2015

Yes; Mazda CX-5 ticks all your boxes. Fully loaded GT with the iAssist (I think that's what it is called) package. The nav system has free FM traffic.

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Mazda CX-5

Response from mkaresh

6:11 pm September 4, 2015

Anti-lock brakes have been mandated since 2008 or so.

I haven't driven the GLA. I have driven the closely related CLA, and it didn't have the solidity and refinement I expect in a Mercedes.

I personally find the steering in the RDX overly light.

The Mazda CX-5 seems a good fit, at a price far below your limit.

Have you driven the Tiguan? My wife liked it better than the CX-5. (We had both the same week.)

If you want a premium brand and/or a more luxurious vehicle, every make save Cadillac now has a compact SUV. For the best fuel economy, Audi, BMW, and Mercedes offer theirs with diesel engines, while Lexus offers a hybrid.

The Audi is too expensive, and the Lexus has a CVT (though not the non-hybrid sort). This leaves:

Mercedes-Benz GLK250 vs. BMW X3 xDrive28d

I personally like the Mercedes diesel more than the BMW diesel, as it is smoother and more powerful. But the BMW's handling is sportier, if that's a consideration.

The GLK isn't as sexy as the GLA, but it is a much better vehicle.If you can wait, for 2016 the GLK is being replaced by the sleeker (and likely more expensive) GLC.

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Mazda CX-5
Mercedes-Benz GLK
BMW X3
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