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Shedding the minivan and moving to a mid-size family SUV

The Right Car for Me | TrueDelta

jpugel

About time to get the a new used car to replace our 2007 Honda Odyssey as the main family hauler as the kids are getting older and shuffling our car needs around. The only must-have at the moment is AWD/4x4. The ones on our shortlist are: Acura RDX, Honda CR-V, Honda Pilot, Chevy Traverse, Ford Edge, Ford Explorer, Lincon MKX, Jeep Grand Cherokee, Jeep Cherokee, and Lexus RX350. Not a Toyota fan so strike the Highlander and RAV-4. Same goes for Hyundai/Kia. Ideally targeting 2015-2016 years that are just coming off lease. Biggest priority is reliabilitiy..don't want to have to be taking it into the shop besides for regular maintenance as much as possible.

Priorities: Reliability & durability / Warranty, maintenance cost / Price or payments

Need minimum of 4 seats

Will consider both new and used cars
Maximum mileage: 45000
Maximum age: 4 years

Maximum price: US $ 22000

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Response from AcuraT

5:01 pm May 11, 2018

Wow, that list is pretty long. It can be shortened pretty quickly however as some of those models are not so reliable.

Acura RDX - Very reliable, especially 2015. Some 2016s have some electronics issues
Honda CR-V - Very reliable, really no issues developing in 2015 or 2016. Pretty amazing since it was redesigned in 2015.
Honda Pilot - 2016 was the redesign year. It has some minor transmission issues in 2015 (mostly rough shifting reported). A few report issues with climiate control, paint and trim, and electronics in 2015. In 2016, more issues with paint and trim appearance, more with electronics, and some with power equipment. Not as reliable as the two preceeding.
Chevy Traverse - 2015 the Climate Control system has some more serious issues. This was rectified in 2016 and that year there are not really any issues reported. While the 4 cylinder Hondas can go as far as 130,000 easily, the Traverse will tend to have problems around that point in time. So if you keep it 8 years and don't go beyond that, it should e fine.
Ford Edge - redesigned in 2015 and should be avoided. Issues with the engine, body integrity (squeaks and rattles), and in car electronics. In 2016 problems much reduced, but individuals still report some in car electronics concerns.
Lincoln MKX - 2015 a good car with some in car elctronics concerns, but 2016 should be avoided at all costs. It has fuel system problems, power equipment issues, and electronic issues. A few users have complained about paint and trim as well as squeaks and rattles as well.
Jeep Grand Cherokee, Jeep Cherokee - both should be avoided. Tranmission, drive system, and electrical issues prevail on both models with a few other concerns. You don't want these if you want longitivity.
Lexus RX - probably the best of all the ones you listed in regards to reliablity. 2015 suffer from a few rattles and squeaks. 2016 a remodel year has electronics problems, but generally for a redesign is more reliable than usual because Toyota incorporates less new technology than its competition. For example, does not have Apple car-play or Android Auto - most of the competition listed above has had it for years, and does not cause any issues.

To add one car - Buick Envision 2016 - this car has been highly reliable as well since its launch. There have been some electrical issues but besides that fine. I actually bought one of these (2018) since my old car, a 2006 Saab 9-3 from GM with 170,000 miles died when a tree essentially ended its life. I have only had it for one month but I like it. Best of all I got a new one $13,000 off since they are moving to the 2019 model year just now (starting May 1) and they went from a six speed automatic transmission to a nine speed and a turn-off feature for the auto start/stop was added. That was pretty much it. It also with AWD is averaging between 24 and 27 mpg so it is getting decent gas mileage as well. Only 1100 miles so far but a nice mid-size SUV if you can find a new one with a huge discount on it.

Best of luck.

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Response from zcd1

5:05 pm May 11, 2018

If your biggest priority is reliability, then you may want to re-consider the offerings from the American brands you've listed. None of them has proven to be as reliable as the Japanese brands you mentioned, and the Grand Cherokee particularly and the Explorer to a lesser degree look bad in that department..

Also, not to be pedantic, but the RX350 is also a Toyota, albeit a fancy one, so does that mean you don't really want one of those either?

If you care mostly about reliability and a "generic luxury" vibe, the RX would be a top choice. We currently own an RDX and it's been great, but it isn't really that luxurious. Quick and relatively comfortable, yes, sporty/luxurious not really.

The Acura MDX both rides AND handles better than the RX, plus is roomier, but it's not likely to be as bullet-proof. Generally without big problems, but not perfect.

Not really a fan of the Traverse, though it's the roomiest of those you listed.

We also own an Audi Q5 (as do several friends) and everyone loves them, but maybe it's too small for your needs...

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Acura MDX
Audi Q5

Response from NormT

9:26 pm May 11, 2018

I'd skip the 2016 and 2017 Lexus RX as they had 28 and 21 repairs per 100 right here on Truedelta. Which is very poor for a brand in the pursuit of perfection and what people have to pay for one.

The Traverse was ranked highest by Consumer Reports but may be lowered with predicted reliability of the newly redesigned 2018 version.

I'd narrow it down to 2-row or 3-row and then look at a CPO version of a 2015-2016.

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Response from mkaresh

11:54 am May 12, 2018

I wouldn't call those scores poor--though you do qualify this with "for a brand..." They're about average.

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Response from NormT

4:25 pm May 12, 2018

Most think Lexus walks on water. Earlier models of the RX have better repair record. Since this 2016+ RX is 24-25 per 100, it as bad as the 2016 CR-V at 24 which also new for 2016.

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Response from LectroFuel

3:02 pm May 13, 2018

Lexus has been the most reliable luxury brand pretty much since they were first made. Buick is catching up and is almost as reliable. The CR-V was new for 2017.

Acura RDX - if you don't get the turbo of the first gen it is a great choice. It is outdated in the newer years compared to the other options.
Honda CR-V - these had some CVT vibration issues from 2015-2016. 2017s are much nicer and drive better. They aren't the most reliable SUV.
Honda Pilot - reliable if you don't get the 9 speed transmission. It is a great midsized SUV.
Chevy Traverse - Mostly reliable during 2015-2017. They are outdated and feel like a rental car. They are quiet and ride luxuriously, but definitely not best in class.
Ford Edge - I suggest staying away from this. Too many problems.
Ford Explorer - Don't buy.
Lincon MKX - Same car as a Ford Edge. Don't buy.
Jeep Grand Cherokee - Don't buy.
Jeep Cherokee - Don't buy.
Lexus RX350 - Most reliable car on the list. Will be expensive to buy because of high resale, but they last well over 200k miles. It is a Toyota so I don't know why it is on your list.

Toyota should be on your list as they excel at what your priorities are. I suggest test driving a RAV4 or Highlander before buying a car. They make the quintessential reliable cars and their brand image is excellent. Kia also makes some super reliable cars. I suggest driving the Kia Sorento. If it didn't have the Kia badge I would have thought it was a $55,000 car. Kia is currently more reliable than Honda and Chevy and close to Toyota.

I would add the Acura MDX to your list and compare it to the RX. The MDX is bigger and luxurious. I'd look for a 2014 and newer without a 9 speed transmission.

Some SUVs to avoid: All Fiat Chrysler cars. This includes Jeep, Dodge, and Fiat. Ford doesn't make any reliable SUVs. Lincoln is the luxury Ford.

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Acura MDX
Kia Sorento
Toyota Highlander
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