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Reliable attractive car for single mom

The Right Car for Me | TrueDelta

Member6454

I'm looking for a reliable, durable used SUV, that looks attractive inside and out, has a smooth ride and is cheap on gas and insurance. What are my best options

Car Needs: Family transporter / Errands about town

Need minimum of 5 seats

Will consider both new and used cars
Maximum mileage: 120000
Maximum age: 6 years

Maximum price: C $ 15000

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Response from ezgobob

2:22 pm May 30, 2015

Try a Acura RDX or a Ford Escape.

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Acura RDX
Ford Escape
Chevrolet Equinox

Response from mkaresh

1:11 am June 1, 2015

Well, attractive is in the eye of the beholder, so deciding that part is largely up to you.

Insurance costs for any particular car vary by carrier. So call them to get insurance prices for any serious contenders.

Some people might suggest Subarus, but these can get expensive to maintain once over 100,000 miles. Of course, so can many other vehicles.

The "obvious choice" is a Honda CR-V. It's not the most attractive or the best-riding, but people tend to like them, and they're very reliable. The downside: they also tend to hold their value, so you'll have to get an older one to stay under your price cap.

The Ford Escape, suggested above, hasn't been very reliable. Nor has the first-gen Acura RDX (a fancier CR-V).

The Chevrolet Equinox might work, though. Just don't get one older than the 2011. The 2010s, the first year of the current generation, have not been reliable.

Next up, I'd suggest the related 2008 or later Hyundai Santa Fe and the 2011 or later Kia Sorento. The latter is a more recent design.

Depending on how much space you need, the Hyundai Tucson or Kia Sportage might also work. With these I wouldn't go older than the current generation, which launched in 2010 and 2011, respectively.


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Honda CR-V
Chevrolet Equinox
Kia Sorento

Response from maxiumpix

3:06 pm June 1, 2015

I don't know how anyone can have a converstaion about small SUV's without mentioning the Lexus RX350.
It's smooth, gets decent miliage and unispired driving. Properly maintined it should last as long as most Camery's.

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Lexus RX

Response from WildcatRudy

3:09 pm June 1, 2015

Like mentioned above, the CR-V will prove to be one of the more durable models and be relatively inexpensive to maintain and insure. I've owned mine since new in 1997 (up to 273,000 miles now) and all I have fixed are wear items and, at this age, items that have just become old and dried out, like rubber bushings and such. Michigan roads are the worst and have beaten things up a bit also, and it still runs. Repair parts are readily available and are no more expensive than the US manufacturers. The 4 cylinder engine isn't a hot rod, but it'll give you good gas mileage and still zip out in traffic nicely.

The Acura MDX and Honda Pilot also squeak in at around your $15K limit, but only if you stick to a 2007 or 2008 on the MDX and maybe accept a few more miles on the odometer. Gas mileage, however, is not as good. The first generation Acura RDX may slip into your budget also, but they are sport tuned and have a very firm ride that many do not like, and the gas mileage is not much better than an MDX.

I'd avoid the German brands--BMWs and Mercedes are expensive to fix when something goes wrong, as I've witnessed personally. Perpetual problems with the GMs and Fords I've owned have driven me away from them permanently. Toyota may have an option or two--the only one I know of is the RAV4, which has been around for ages. Can't recall what the next model up is (a Highlander, perhaps).

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Honda CR-V

Response from mkaresh

6:06 pm June 1, 2015

One note: that "C" in front of the dollar amount is for Canadian, so at most $12,000 U.S. in terms of purchasing power.

The reason not to mention the Lexus RX is that one would have to be fairly old to sell for this amount. I felt she was better off buying something newer without the fancy brand and trimmings.

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Response from ezgobob

9:08 pm June 1, 2015

I would definetly consider a Honda CRV.

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Honda CR-V
Toyota RAV4
Toyota Highlander
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