We are 106,000+ car owners sharing real-world car information.

Join Us

Fuel-efficient college-stuff-hauler

The Right Car for Me | TrueDelta

Busterjnz

Have looked at Honda CRV and Nissan Rogue; I like both, mainly due to reliability, gas mileage and AWD. Toyota Rav4 and Kia Sportage would be 2nd choices in SUV department. In wagons, would consider Toyota Matrix and Subaru.

Preferred Bodystyle(s): Wagon / SUV

Car Needs: Daily commuter / Long trips

Primary Driver(s): Tall driver

Need minimum of 5 seats

Will consider both new and used cars
Maximum mileage: 60000
Maximum age: 6 years

Maximum price: US $ 17000

« Return to results

Sign in or join TrueDelta to post your own thoughts.

Sort responses by likes

Response from acetech09

2:24 am June 9, 2014

Not sure what your preferred utility --- comfort/gadgetry/coolness balance is. Kia will be towards the right. Honda/Toyota can be all over the place, depending on the year and how it was specced. Toyota will be slightly more right than the Honda. You'll find your Subarus far to the left. The Nissan SUVs aren't that good in my opinon -- I got the distinct impression when driving one that they were built much cheaper than the other's.

When it comes to utility, hard to top a Subaru. It's hard to find one in your price and mileage range, though. They're expensive, but built like a tank and will get you through anything. They are lacking a bit on mileage, but that's to be expected from the AWD guardian angel. I'm a bit biased though. I have a '99 Impreza Outback with 50,000 miles. It's an amazing car.

Based on what you wrote, I'd narrow it down to Honda, Subaru, or Toyota.

2

Link to this reponse

Honda CR-V
Subaru Forester
Toyota RAV4

Response from mkaresh

4:46 pm June 10, 2014

To provide a useful recommendation, I'd need to know more about your priorities.

It would also help to know what you've already test driven, and what you liked / disliked about it.

The latest crossovers are significantly more fuel efficient than earlier ones, but your budget probably precludes these unless there's a deal to be had on a 2013 CX-5.

Though most Rogue owners have few if any problems, there are exceptions. The CR-V and RAV4 are more consistently reliable.

With the Subaru Forester, the 2011s are prone to oil leaks.

1

Link to this reponse

Response from mwcten

4:51 pm June 10, 2014

I would look to the wagons; namely the Matrix, it's cheaper twin the Pontiac Vibe, and the Honda Fit. Any of these three cars will give you about 20 cubic feet of storage behind the back seat (the same as a Lincoln Continental trunk) and about 50 cubic feet without the back seats. Unless you're routinely hauling more than that, there's probably not a reason to incur the $1k+ extra cost per year (due to increased depreciation, fuel and repair costs) for one of the larger vehicles on your list. Just learn how to strap stuff to your roof for the couple of days you want to haul more than 50cf at once. Or get a trailer.

Avoid 4wd/awd unless you absolutely need it, as it adds to the vehicle cost and decreases milage.

And if you're driving a lot of miles a year (12,000+) consider a Prius if its interior space works for you; the milage savings makes up for the greater upfront cost.

3

Link to this reponse

Honda Fit
Pontiac Vibe
Toyota Prius

Response from acetech09

2:26 am June 11, 2014

mwcten has some good points. When it comes to hatches like those, the Fit & Vibe are both pretty good stuff-haulers. I think the Vibe comes in an AWD option too. A smaller non-crossover would likely work for you - it'll have plenty of space and be easier to run, at the expense of safety and capability.

2

Link to this reponse

Response from Busterjnz

9:06 am June 11, 2014

Thanks for the responses from acetech09, mwcten and mkaresh. I do understand the logic of getting something smaller for economy sake, and am leaning in that direction, though have not entirely given up on the small SUVs yet. What do you think of the Kia Soul (compared to Matrix, Fit, etc in space and fuel economy, and performance)?

1

Link to this reponse

Response from mkaresh

10:30 am June 11, 2014

The first-generation Soul performs well around town, but rides and handles poorly at highway speeds. So how much highway driving will you be doing?

The 2014 Soul is a much better car, but probably too new to fall within your price range.

You'll find my reviews of both in the "more about."

Another car that might be worth a look is the Hyundai Elantra Touring. It has much more cargo volume than the average compact hatch, and was marketed as a wagon in Europe. Gas mileage is good but not great. Performs best with a manual transmission.

I never cared much for the Vibe and Matrix. Odd driving position, and the second generation cars felt quite tinny.

1

Link to this reponse

Kia Soul
Hyundai Elantra Touring

Response from mwcten

12:23 pm June 11, 2014

The Souls are alright. They're cheap new. Depreciation isn't bad. Milage isn't great. If you're driving a lot of miles, I'd go with something else, but for low miles per year, a Soul could be a good option if you can get a fair price on one. I don't have first-hand experience with them, but I don't think it really offers any greater interior space than a Honda Fit. So all things being equal, I personally would go for a Fit/Matrix over the Soul.

1

Link to this reponse

Response from Busterjnz

8:55 pm June 29, 2014

I bought a 2011 Subaru Forester. Thanks to all of you for responses. I appreciated the advice. I was considering several different options: Soul, Fit, Rogue, CRV, Forester, and others. Ended up finding the Forester from a private party for a good price and low mileage.

2

Link to this reponse

Sign in or join TrueDelta to post your own thoughts.

Return to top