We are 109,000+ car owners sharing real-world car information.

Join Us

Reliable Compact SUV; Good handling and comfortable

The Right Car for Me | TrueDelta

Member6533

Hello,

I'm looking for a used compact SUV around/under 20k. Think Honda CR-V / Ford Escape size. I would like it to be a car that is known to be reliable.

Some things that are important are that it iss comfortable, has good handling, is something that can handle Michigan winters (4WD/AWD). Preferably something that is decently fuel efficient for its class.
It would also be nice for it to be comfortable to sit in the rear seats as well as the front. It would also be a plus if it had a nice infotainment system.

Most of the wants besides that are features that should be availiable for any vehicle.

Thanks for any recomendations.

Priorities: Reliability & durability / Handling / Fuel economy

Need minimum of 5 seats

Will consider both new and used cars
Maximum age: 2015 years

Maximum price: US $ 20000

« Return to results

Sign in or join TrueDelta to post your own thoughts.

Sort responses by likes

Response from NormT

7:10 am January 11, 2018

You can get a brand new 2018 Equinox 1.5T AWD for right around $20,000 with discounts. It has Active Noise Cancelation for a quiet and comfortable ride. 2018 Chevrolet Equinox LS For Sale In Traverse City | Cars.com

2018 Chevrolet Equinox LS For Sale In Traverse City | Cars.com

New 2018 Chevrolet Equinox LS for sale at Williams Chevrolet Honda in Traverse City, MI for $23,406. View now on Cars.com.

0

Link to this reponse

Chevrolet Equinox
GMC Terrain

Response from NormT

7:36 am January 11, 2018

I'd skip the Rogue, Rav4, and Escape because they would be very noisey on the road and overall tinniness, especially when closing the rear doors. It wasn't until 2017 did the CX-5 offered a quieter ride stemming from complaints of the earlier models.

Rav4 and CX-5 would not offer Apple Carplay/Android Auto at any cost. Mazda not offer it until 2l next decade or so when they go mostly electric vehicles.

We just returned a 2015 Terrain AWD with almost 50,000 miles on it. It was my wife's favorite car ever. It has Active Noise Control for a quiet ride and a longer wheel with roomier back seat on par with the bigger Tahoe due to its ability to slide fore and aft. But with the long wheel base the turning radius was wide. The 2014+ Equinox/Terrain have a repair record herE on Truedelta of single digits to teens pee 100 which is on par with Toyota and better than the latest CR-V.

1

Link to this reponse

Response from LectroFuel

8:31 pm January 11, 2018

"Mazda not offer it until 2l next decade or so when they go mostly electric vehicles." - NormT

That Equinox is $23k. Considering it is already $5k off MSRP according to the listing (I think the MSRP is wrong), I doubt they would negotiate.

You should be looking at the Toyota RAV4. It is the most reliable compact SUV. The Escape is unreliable and I hated my Escape rental because it felt 2,000 lbs heavier than it actually was; it felt like it was going to roll over in normal turns. NormT only suggests GM products and will nitpick every little thing on non-GM cars while picking all the "good" parts of the GM. None of these cars will have CarPlay unless an update comes though for Mazda with the Mazda Connect infotainment system, which I've read is happening.

The Toyota RAV4 2013+ comes well equipped even in the base LE trim. Backup camera, touchscreen infotainment system (a good system), and keyless entry standard. Spotless reliability history (it is probably the most reliable Toyota). It is boring, but many people don't mind that. My mother in law drives a 2014 and can't stop talking about how much better it is than her old Saturn. It is the default choice for a no-frills reliable small CUV. It handles surprisingly well, but it isn't as fun as the CX-5. It doesn't feel as substantial as the Equinox in the doors and road noise, but is still comfortable. This would be my top pick.

The 2014+ Chevy Equinox is an OK SUV, but why get one if it doesn't have the reliability record of the RAV4 or CX-5 and is super old-feeling? The Equinox and Terrain do not have as many features as the RAV4 and are some of the most well-known rental cars. They don't have as much road noise as most CUVs and the ride quality was good. The only reliable years were from 2013+, and these years were still not as reliable as the RAV4. I would say the Equinox Terrain before 2017 were considered old and behind the times (just look at interior pictures). The engines were outdated and MPGs were not good. The only reason I would see someone (other than a rental fleet) buy one is because the car feels more solid (like the doors and ride/noise) than the others and the higher depreciation. Otherwise, beats me...

The Mazda CX-5 is another great choice, but it does have a lot of road noise and feels tinny compared to most other options. The ride is firmer than the other CUVs. With the worse ride quality comes the best handling in the segment by far. It handles like a much smaller car. The ones before 2017 would not be my first choice. Fuel economy was also a strong point in FWD and AWD (it has a good AWD system). It isn't everyone's favorite, but it perfectly fits your requirements and preferences. It is very reliable.

The Honda CR-V is my second choice, but it does have problems with idle vibration on the CVTs, so maybe a 2012-2013 with the 5 speed. I didn't like these as much as the RAV4 because the RAV4 has a nicer interior and more standard features. Honda kind of cheaped out on this generation.

1

Link to this reponse

Toyota RAV4

Response from NormT

7:55 am January 12, 2018

The Rav4 repairs per 100 on Truedelta has it in the teens, same as Terrain and Equinox. My wife had a 2015 Terrain AWD and it was perfect, never having to return to dealership except for free oil changes. She says it was her favorite car, ever. That is a strong statement t coming from her family who owned Toyota's for 30 years also recently bought a Buick after driving the Rav4. They thought was tinny sounding like their rental Nissan Rogue.

0

Link to this reponse

Response from LectroFuel

1:48 pm January 13, 2018

The RAV4 has had a 5/5 reliability score on Consumer Reports since 2009, and before that, it only got 3/5 (twice) and above. For the Equinox, 2014 was the only 5/5. 2005, 2010, and 2011 had 1/5 (poor). The Equinox never got above an average 3/5 rating until 2014. It seems like if you want reliability, the only sort-of reliable Equinoxes are 2014+. CarComplaints also has more problems reported on the Equinox than the RAV4. The older (2010-2011) Equinoxes on TrueDelta are very unreliable.

I would avoid the Rogue because it isn't competitive and the powertrain is unreliable and unrefined. It is kind of a comfortable squishy marshmallow.

Your Terrain was a lease. Having less than 50k miles and saying nothing went wrong is not surprising with a modern car.

The Equinox/Terrain rides better and is quieter than most small CUVs. It comes with tons of incentives when it is new, not used. It depreciates quicker. It isn't as fun as a CX-5 or RAV4. It has a flimsy and ancient interior. A reason for this could be that it is GM or it was designed 3-4 years before the 2013+ RAV4. It will be hard to find one that wasn't a rental car. Used car owner satisfaction is not as good as the used RAV4s. Fuel economy with the Equinox is not very good and the engines are overworked, not that the RAV4 is much faster. The RAV4 powertrain is just more refined and efficient.

Just test drive them and feel the difference. Good luck.

0

Link to this reponse

Response from Member6533

3:40 pm January 13, 2018

After doing some test driving I'm thinking the 2014 CR-V was my favorite. The interior won me over. I also test drove a 2015 CX-5. It was the most fun but the interior design left something to be desired. I did not enjoy the handling of the 2016 Terrain. I also test drove a 2015 RAV4. And it was probably 2nd to the CRV for interior design and did not like the feel quite as much as the CRV.

Thank you all for your recomendations! I have not purchased yet, but am definitely leaning towards a 2014 CR-V.

3

Link to this reponse

Response from NormT

5:49 pm January 13, 2018

All you have to do is look on autotrader, cars.com, or cargurus to see that Equinox /Terrain cost less due to cash incentives than economy CR-V and Rav4 as those Honda's and Toyota's are the most expensive cars and cuv's you can buy.

Then search used 3, 5 ,or 7 years (12,000 miles annually)down the road and the the Equinox/Terrain that will still be $2,000 less than those two. If the Honda was holding it value it would cost more used but it doesn't. It depreciates almost about $5,000 more in thr same period as GMC/Chevrolet.

Mazda: only 1/3rd buy it twice. Only thing that is saving Mazda is our great economy, Toyota buying into Mazda, and EV's because Mazda is not going mainstream turbo-4 like everybody else except Toyota. Mazda EV will be curtosity of Toyota.

Did you know that Centerforce Performance Clutches biggest client back in the 1990's was Toyota? Today, Toyota has one car that is sporty and it was made by Subaru.

0

Link to this reponse

Response from NormT

5:54 pm January 13, 2018

Watch the CR-V with AWD for vibrations.

Vehicles affected by service bulletin:

  • 2012 Honda CR-V
  • 2013 Honda CR-V
  • 2014 Honda CR-V
All-wheel-drive models. The problem:Drivers may note a vibration at highway speeds due to the driveshaft and rear dampening support system not adequately absorbing the vehicle's vibration. See More Service Bulletins Corrective action:Dealers will replace the rear differential mounts and driveshaft. Warranty info:This service bulletin is being performed free of charge under the new-vehicle, extended or powertrain warranty, whichever applies.

1

Link to this reponse

Response from NormT

6:59 pm January 13, 2018

J.D. Power has the.2010 and 2011 Eqyinox at 3 and 4 out of 5 in overall quality. Three being average, four above average compared to others in the segment.


2010 Chevrolet Equinoxhttp://www.jdpower.com/cars/Chevrolet/Equinox/2013

2010 Chevrolet Equinox

What Changed for the 2010 Chevrolet Equinox:Redesigned compact crossover utility vehicle (CUV)Exterior design inspired by Malibu and TraverseStandard front-wheel drive (FWD) with optional all-wheel drive (AWD)Available in LS, LT and LTZ trimTwo all-n 2013 Chevrolet Equinox

2013 Chevrolet Equinox

What's New for 2013:3.6-liter V-6 engine replaces 3.0-liter V-6 engineFE2 suspension available with V-6 engineSafety package adds rear park-assist sensors, forward collision alert, and lane-departure warningPower Convenience package with power liftga

0

Link to this reponse

Response from jecox

11:26 am January 14, 2018

Last fall my wife bought a 2017 Ford Escape with the 2 liter turbo. I have been very impressed with it. The posted remarks about the Escape being noisy and feeling very heavy may relate to a particular engine. The 2T is very quiet and refined with lots of pep. I have a 2015 BMW X1 2.8, and I think the Escape's engine compares favorably to the X1. It's actually a little quieter ? although I prefer the little bit of growl in the X1. The Escape doesn't feel as agile as my car (no surprise there), but i would still rate its handling as good.

2

Link to this reponse

Response from NormT

4:13 pm January 14, 2018

The 2017 Escape SE we rented had 3,000 miles on it and was noisey on the highway. No problems with engines noises and I liked programming for the transmission and turbo-4.

Maybe my rental SE was short for Special at Enterprise and maybe be made just for fleet.

0

Link to this reponse

Response from LectroFuel

12:56 pm January 15, 2018

Response from mkaresh

2:36 pm January 23, 2018

One advantage the Honda has over most competitors, including the Ford and Mazda, is that it is roomier. I did not enjoy driving it as much as the others, though.

One thing to watch out for with the Honda: is the seat comfortable for you? I hear more complaints about Honda seats than all others put together. They're comfortable for some people, but very uncomfortable for others. Make sure the lumbar bulge and headrest position are comfortable for you before buying one.

I'm not a big fan of the Toyota, though it should be reliable and is nearly as roomy as the Honda. The 2013-2015 have an overly firm ride and some cheap bits in the interior. They improved the ride with a 2016 update, at the expense of handling.

The Honda and Toyota cost more than the others as used cars because of their reputation for being reliable.

I like how the CX-5 drives. But it's too soon to tell whether they've truly fixed past problems with rust. (Mazdas through at least the 2009 model year were prone to rust.)

0

Link to this reponse

Response from Member6533

8:34 am January 24, 2018

Response from LectroFuel

8:39 pm January 24, 2018

Sign in or join TrueDelta to post your own thoughts.

Return to top