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Fun, comfortable CUV for empty nesters

The Right Car for Me | TrueDelta

19ChrisHanson60

Looking for similar car to Acura RDX, which we have disqualified for personal reasons.

Priorities: Reliability & durability / Ride smoothness / Brand reputation & image

Need minimum of 5 seats

Will consider both new and used cars
Maximum mileage: 20000
Maximum age: 3 years

Maximum price: US $ 40000

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Response from LectroFuel

9:55 pm July 20, 2017

Are you looking for base model luxury small CUVs or fully loaded mainstream small CUVs?

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Response from 19ChrisHanson60

12:09 am July 21, 2017

I'm looking for a quality CUV/SUV with all-wheel-drive, back-up camera, heated seats and blindspot notification, but not necessarily too much in the way of Navigation or other electronic whistles and bells. Long-term quality is a big requirement - our present 2005 Honda Pilot has 302,000 miles on it and runs and rides great - never a breakdown, just normal maintenance.

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Response from NormT

9:01 am July 21, 2017

The used 2016 Buick Envision Premium l includes all of your requirements and more and can be found for as low as $29,XXX, but lists for $43,XXX. The RDX is probably the oldest, and worse example of near-luxury suv and do for replacement.

Acura RDX being pushed off of roller test after failing.

Skip the Lexus cuv's as the RX is not as quiet as the Buick Envision and the NX costs $10,000 more than the Buick. The Buick is similar size as the NX but offers more features, handles better through Consumer Reports accident avaoidence test with 5 mph higher speed, brakes shorter to a stop, and accelerate faster.

At $30,000 for a lowIle CPO 2016 Envision Premium it will be quieter, smoother, plus offer a better warranty than those economy cuv's like Rav4, CX-5, CR-V, and Forester.

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Buick Envision

Response from LectroFuel

2:35 pm July 21, 2017

This is a long one. The Envision is a pretty average to below average luxury car after reading many automotive reviews about it. The interior is nice, but drives much worse than even mainstream cars like the CR-V and RAV4.

Lexus is the most reliable car brand, period, and they have world-class dealership service. I would recommend a Lexus, but there are better values in your budget. In other words, you can get much more features in a Honda CR-V and other small SUVs. The main reason I would recommend a fully loaded small SUV is that you will have tons of money left over (maybe $5k?7k) and they are very nice cars (it's why it's the most popular segment).

My first recommendation is the 2017 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring AWD with the Premium Package. It's a perfect blend of comfort and sportiness. The Grand Touring gives you all the active safety features including blindspot warning. It was just redesigned for the 2017 model and they improved it a lot. Some nice standard features include a 7" touch screen, backup camera, navigation, smart key with push button start, a nice Bose 10 speaker sound system, 4 USB ports, automatic windshield wipers and headlights, all exterior LED lights except turn signals (headlights have auto leveling), power liftgate, power drivers and passenger's seats (the driver's seat has 2 stage memory function), all-leather interior, dual zone auto climate control, heated front and rear seats, a Heads up display on the windshield, heated steering wheel, windshield wiper de-icer, and their full suite of active safety features, which includes autonomous emergency braking, adaptive headlights that turn when you turn the steering wheel, automatic highbeams, lane departure warning with steering assist, rear cross traffic alert, and blind spot monitoring. There are more luxury features you'll find in this car than other small SUVs. It's one of the best driving SUVs on the road. It feels premium compared to many small luxury cars and is more reliable than mosts small SUVs. In my opinion, it's a really pretty car, too. In this spec, the car is $34k, $6k below your budget.

My second recommendation is the Toyota RAV4 Platinum AWD. It's the most practical and nicer options on my list, has one of the smoothest rides, and is as reliable as the Mazda CX-5, which is good. The Platinum with AWD comes standard with automatic LED headlights, tailights, and DRLs, Dynamic Torque control AWD system (which is great for snow and ice), moonroof, power folding side mirrors, hands free foot-activated power liftgate, dual zone auto climate control, backup camera with trajectory lines, the bird's eye view 360? around view cameras, Entune infotainment system with navigation and JBL sound system, frameless auto dimming rearview mirror with homelink, heated steering wheel, SofTex seats which is a synthetic leather that feels real, heated front seats, Smart key system on all doors with push button start, 3 12V outlets, and Toyota's full suite of active safety features, which includesPre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection, Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist, Automatic High Beams, Blind spot monitoring, and Dynamic Radar Cruise Control. I like the RAV4 Platinum because it has a lot of luxury features you can't get in many luxury cars and it has a smooth ride. It's more comfortable than the CX-5 and CR-V, which are more sporty and stiffer. It has one of the best AWD systems, too. The Platinum AWD comes in at $36k.

My final recommendation is the 2017 Honda CR-V Touring AWD. I like this one because it has a torquey turbocharged engine. The drawback of the engine is that you need to maintain the turbo charger in order for it to stay reliable. This also has a CVT transmission, which I don't prefer over the other 6-speeds. Standard features include automatic LED headlights, Smart key system with push button start, hands free foot-activated liftgate, rain-sensing windshield wipers, dual zone auto climate control, auto dimming rearview mirror with homelink, very comfortable power driver and passenger seats, heated front seats, leather, 3 USB ports, HondaLink infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, HondaLink infotainment system with navigation, 2 12V outlets, remote start, and Honda's full suite of active safety features, which includes blind spot monitoring with rear cross traffic alert, a more aggressive lane departure warning with steering assist, adaptive cruise control, autonotmous emergency braking, and road departure mitigation, which steers the car on a straight road. It has a stiffer ride than most small CUVs but has better handling than the RAV4. The car comes in at just under $34k.

All three have their highs and lows so you should test drive all three. Don't forget to tell us what you got!

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Mazda CX-5
Toyota RAV4
Honda CR-V

Response from NormT

11:30 am July 22, 2017

J.D. Power has the Lexus NX ranked 3 out 5 as above average quality and the Buick Envision ranked....3 out 5 also. So tell me about Lexus NX is better than the Buick Envision?

It helps to have driven the vehicles you recommend or own them. Owning two Pri does. Or qualify you in recommending much else besides hybrid experiences. Those econobox cuv's are over $30,000 making them not as competitive to their luxury brothers on the same platform.

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Buick Envision

Response from LectroFuel

9:11 pm July 22, 2017

It depends on what your definition of "luxurious" is. I think luxurious is having a nice driving car while having many features. I don't care about the badge like Toyota vs. Lexus or Chevy vs. Buick/Cadillac. Check out the entry level CUVs like the Lexus NX and the Buick Envision. They might drive a little nicer than the car they are based on (NX is a gussied up RAV4), but they have tradeoffs to small CUVs like practicality and features for the money.

The 2017 RAV4 Platinum AWD gives you that huge list of features. The Lexus NX 200 Turbo AWD starts where the RAV4 price ends at $36,400 and the NX doesn't even give you any standard active safety features OR LEATHER! The Buick has a lower starting price than the NX at $34k. Where I live, the Envision AWD Preffered is selling for $38k based on Autotrader listings. WIth this trim you get an underpowered 4 cylinder (underpowered because of the weight gain with a luxury car), "premium cloth seats," hands free power liftgate like the CUVs I recommended, heated seats, and backup camera with rear park assist. No active safety features, birds eye camera, premium sound system, etc. Not a lot of features compared to the giant lists of features in my post above for the small CUVs.

I've only driven the RAV4 so I can't say how the others drive, but car reviewers sure do praise them and they are reliable. You might be shocked at how solid the CX-5, CR-V, and RAV4 feel behind the wheel.

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Response from NormT

11:09 am July 23, 2017

That 2017 is only $1,000 below MSRP when they are going for $29,000.

This is the one to get stock # B6398


$33,916 with 12 miles on odometer. No reason to go econobox RAV4(close the back passenger doors and you'll hear the ting of undampened sheet metal) plus at $34K this is $10,000 less than the gussied up RAV4, the NS200t and does offer features or content.

Original Warranty

Basic4 Years/50,000 MilesDrivetrain
6 Years/70,000 MilesCorrosion
4 Years/50,000 MilesRoadside Assistance
6 Years/70,000 Miles

ALL WHEEL DRIVE, HEATED LEATHER, BOSE, NAVIGATION, LANE CHANGE ALERT, BLUETOOTH, REMOTE START! 2.0 liter inline 4 cylinder DOHC engine, 252 hp horsepower, 4 Doors, 4-wheel ABS brakes, 8-way power adjustable drivers seat, 8-way power adjustable passenger seat, AC power outlet - 1, Air conditioning with dual zone climate control, All-wheel drive, Alloy Wheels, Audio controls on steering wheel, Auto-dimming mirrors - Electrochromatic, Automatic Transmission, Bluetooth, CD player, Climate controlled - Driver and passenger heated-cushion driver and passenger heated-seatback, Climate controlled - Heated, Clock - In-radio display, Compass, Compressor - Intercooled turbo, Cruise control, Driver memory seats, External temperature display, Front fog/driving lights, Front seat type - Bucket, Fuel economy EPA highway (mpg): 26 and EPA city (mpg): 20, Head airbags - Curtain 1st and 2nd row, Heated drivers seat, Heated passenger seat, Heated Rear Seats, Heated Seats, Heated steering wheel, Interior air filtration, Intermittent window wipers, Keyless Ignition - Doors and push button start, Knee airbags - Driver and passenger, Leather Seats, Leather seats, Memory settings for 2 drivers, Multi-function remote - Remote engine start, Navigation System, OnStar, Overhead console - Mini with storage, Passenger Airbag, Power Activated Trunk/Hatch - Power liftgate, Power heated mirrors, Power windows with 4 one-touch, Rear air conditioning, Rear defogger, Rear heat, Rear wiper, Remote engine start, Remote power door locks, Remote Start, Satellite Radio, Signal mirrors - Turn signal in mirrors, Split-bench rear seats, Stability control - Stability control with anti-roll, Tachometer, Tilt and telescopic steering wheel, Traction control - ABS and driveline, Trip computer...

Response from zcd1

11:57 am July 26, 2017

Yo, NormT - quit promoting your beloved Envision to everyone, everywhere on the Interweb. It's pathetic.

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Response from NormT

1:42 pm July 26, 2017

Response from LectroFuel

4:53 pm July 26, 2017

@NormT called me a "duel hybrid owning bubble" when in fact he is the Buick Envision GM-loving. First, you are rude.

Second, show me one of your posts that you haven't recommended a Chevy, Buick, GMC, Cadillac, Pontiac, Saturn, Hummer, Oldsmobile, or Saab. It would be hard because you have made 254 posts in the last 90 days all the way back to early 2016 when people have already bought their car a year ago. Like @zcd1 said, mostly pathetic responses that are unthoughtful. You have a one-track mind of recommending GM cars. I'm getting the idea you work for GM or have invested in GM. For example, when someone asks for advise on minivans specifically you probably thought to yourself "Is there any Chevy, GMC, Buick , or Cadillac that looks like it could fit the bill? Oh yeah, the Enclave, Acadia, and Traverse." The rebadged triplets. They are not better than a minivan and are not good alternatives. Think outside the box. When I recommended the Acura TL, Civic Si, and Miata for a fun, fuel-efficient commuter car with at least 2 seats, you come up with a Chevy HHR SS (WHAT!? OMG), Pontiac Solstice, and Saturn Sky. Also, you recommend the mediocre Chevy Trax/Buick Encore rebadge twins over the HR-V, CH-R, CX-3 and Crosstrek; four decent cars.

The "My Next Car" section of TrueDelta is supposed to be helpful to car-buyers but you are clearly ruining it with your careless responses. Now there are multiple people who have noticed. It's OK to sometimes recommend GM cars, just like it's OK to sometimes recommend Toyotas/Hondas. People actually consider our responses, so please stop guiding people in the wrong directions when buying a car.

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Response from mkaresh

5:21 pm July 26, 2017

Guys, I appreciate all helpful responses to people's requests for recommendations. If someone favors a particular make this doesn't in itself mean their recommendations are not helpful. But this does often leave plenty of space for other, different recommendations.

I'm fine with arguing for different choices, especially if they're specific about the ways one model is better than another.

But please do not engage in personal attacks. Let's keep the discussion focused on the cars, not each other.

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Response from NormT

7:06 am July 27, 2017

I buy almost one car annually and have plenty of opinions when it comes to the options on driving choices. I dont just regurgitate marketing hype but provide information based on ownership or at least a rental experience. I also instructor drivers at HPDE at a couple of different clubs and have allot of seat time in a bunch of vehicles over the years and can feel the car's dynamics from the right seat without driving it.GM just happens to offer the largest selection of automobiles and their respective segments, including segments above and below.

I didn't always drive GM vehicles but recently they have been offering the best combination of safety, fuel economy, and performance along with a well discounted price that will give new owners the best residual values compared to everyone else 3,5, 10-years down the road. Today, they are really difficult to beat.

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Fisker Karma
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