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Looking for an SUV with most comfortable highway ride and high reliability. Cost up to $40k. I have a 160 mile commute daily in Southern California.

The Right Car for Me | TrueDelta


No off-roading
elevated seating hence SUV
long high way commute 160 miles
no snow

Priorities: Reliability & durability / Ride smoothness / Quietness

Need minimum of 4 seats

Will consider new cars only

Maximum price: US $ 40000

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Response from colin42

8:18 am December 16, 2016

Volvo typically have one of the most comfortable seats of any cars I've driven. The XC-60 can be got in your price range.

However larger and longer will generally be smoother. I'd go for the Mazda CX-9. It has great looks, good fuel economy (28mpg hwy) and has got great reviews.


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Volvo XC60
Mazda CX-9

Response from mkaresh

11:55 am December 20, 2016

How large does it have to be?

The Buick Encore is smooth, quiet, and reliable, but is small.

The new Honda CR-V could be a good fit. I haven't driven one yet, but the previous CR-V had a smoother ride than the current Toyota RAV4. Seat comfort could be more of an issue, as Hondas haven't always done well here. Maybe give them six months to work out any initial bugs. Past CR-Vs have been among the most reliable models in our survey.

In the next size class up, the Toyota Highlander is the most reliable model, and in my review I noted that quietness and smoothness were strengths.

I really like the comfort of the Volvo XC60, but unless you mean "won't leave me stranded" when prioritizing reliability, and not "unlikely to require even minor repairs," it's probably not the best choice.

The new Mazda CX9 drives very well, but its reliability remains to be seen.


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Toyota Highlander
Honda CR-V
Buick Encore

Response from shkumar4963

5:54 pm December 20, 2016

Thanks for your response.
Here are the cars I am considering based on reliability and highway comfort. (don't need drivability or fun to drive unless it comes along for free)

Let me know which one will be most comfortable on 160-mile highway commute every day. I keep my cars for 20 years and 200K miles whichever comes first. Would like around $30K but can go up to $40K

1. Subaru Outback (CR thinks it is comfortable)
2. Rav4
3. CRV
4. Mazda CX9 (too big and reliability is a question)
5. Ford Edge (Reliability ?)
6. Any Kia or Hyundai small SUV
7. Anything else with around $30K and reliability and comfort.


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Response from LectroFuel

1:21 pm December 22, 2016

The new 2017 CR-V top of the line is probably your best bet. You dont need something huge like a Highlander.

But if you do need something that big, go for the Highlander. For your price point, the CR-V will give you more features for less money. And with the CR-V, you'll have some money left over.

As for the cars you mentioned:

1.) Outback- I live in SoCal too and there are not a lot of Subarus around because you pay for AWD and the off road ability. It is a good car, although a little outdated.

2.) Rav4- very reliable, but has a rough ride.

3.) CR-V- my #1 choice.

4.) CX-9- this car is a good car, but has a more stiff ride than a highlander and you pay at the pump. It's more for great handling.

5.) Edge- Very unreliable (I've had bad experiences with Ford and I'll never buy another American car (except Tesla)).

6.) Kia Spotage and Hyundai Tuscon- good choices, but Sportage has horrible gas mileage and both feel more like a rental car than a Honda CR-V.


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Honda CR-V

Response from shkumar4963

8:46 pm December 23, 2016

Thank you for a great reply in true delta. I agree with your analysis. I live in San Diego. And has never gone off roading. I am debating between CRV and Outback. How do you compare them in highway comfort and noise? Beyond test driving I have never driven either car for extended periods. Thanks Sam


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Response from mkaresh

10:12 pm December 23, 2016

If you really intend to keep the car for 20 years, then I'd limit my choices to Hondas and Toyotas with top reliability stats.

CR's reliability predictions are based on the first 2.5 years of ownership. Keep this in mind whenever you hear a brand has a top reliability ranking in CR. (Audi has benefited the most from this, but Subaru has as well.)

I don't think the Ford Edge is as unreliable as Lectrofuel suggests, but I wouldn't expect it to go more than ten years without becoming at least somewhat troublesome. And the new CX-9 and its new engine are both far too new to know how they'll hold up for 200,000 miles.


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Response from LectroFuel

1:22 am December 24, 2016

I was a little off on the Ford Edge reliability. It was nothing great, but not good. I haven't driven the Outback or 2017 CR-V, but based on ratings from multiple websites, I would go with the CR-V. The Outback isn't the best value. The car doesnt come with many features for nearly $40k. The CR-V comes with many amenities for less money.

The Outback is a great car, too. It gets high ratings for ride comfort and quietness. You also have to pay for the standard AWD, a huge reason for the elevated price. The CR-V is great becuase you know its going to last because it's a Honda. Keep in mind I'm talking about the 2017 CR-V. The 2016 CR-V is known for having a rough ride. The 2017 CR-V is so new that I havent seen one on the road, so I don't know if they are in dealers yet. The CR-V has a nicer interior than the Outback. I sat in a 2017 CR-V at the LA Auto Show and I was surprised at how much I liked it. The seats were so comfy and the materials were premium. The Subaru is more rugged and built for durability and off roadness. You wont go wrong with either, but I would go for the CR-V.

About reliability, CR rates the Subaru as Average for reliability, while the CR-V is Above Average. I've bought only Toyotas and Hondas since the mid 90s and have been really happy with how they hold up.


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Honda CR-V

Response from agog

5:36 pm January 5, 2017

Just for reliability and comfort:
1) CRV
2) Acura RDX
3) Toyota Rav4


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Honda CR-V
Acura RDX
Toyota RAV4

Response from NormT

9:35 am July 17, 2017

The 2016 Buick Envision Premium ll tested by Car & Driver bested the 2016 Lexus RX in their decibel testing by 5 db under full throttle, 2 db at highway cruise and 3 db at idle. Plus at the reduced price of $10,000 off MSRP or abut $35,000, you cannot find another nicer riding cuv that will also see 30+ mpg on highway drives. This price not only undercuts Lexus's best selling cuv but also undercuts the lower rung NX200T by $10,000 and offers more features..

You'll love the responsive of turbocharged torque at higher elevations along with driving dynamics that are like a sporty car. I cannot say enough about how quiet our Envision Prem ll is and the smooth over the roughest roads. Dont sacrifice your hearing for 160 mile daily commute with non-luxury, economy cuv.

We liked our old Encore too for long highway drives with it Active Noise Cancelation that is also included on the Envision.


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Buick Encore
Buick Envision
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