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Ski Patroller needs Subaru upgrade

The Right Car for Me | TrueDelta


I meant to write I want a small SUV not a truck based vehicle.

Need minimum of 4 seats

Will consider both new and used cars
Maximum mileage: 40000
Maximum age: 4 years

Maximum price: US $ 30000

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Response from NormT

11:12 am August 2, 2017

I really like the new Twin Clutch design by GM. It allows one wheel with traction to pull the vehicle forward while the other three slip. And it allows you to do that function with the steering wheel turned, something Subaru does not.

My choice at $30,000 for used 2016 Buick Envision Premium that comes with 8-way power adjustable front seats that also offer 4-way power lumbar adjustment. For colder climates the Premium offers heat front and rear seats along with heated steering wheel. The tri-zone climate control allows separate temperature control for rear seat passengers and individual control for front seats. I measured 8-inches of ground clearance which is similar to most Subaru's.

Our 2016 has over 6,000 miles on it and is seeing 30+ on highway drives at the speed limit. The 2.0T turbocharged engine has plenty of pep and won't run out of breath at higher alitudes.


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Buick Envision
Cadillac XT5
GMC Acadia

Response from LectroFuel

2:39 pm August 2, 2017

The Toyota RAV4 is the more off-road worthy than the Mazda CX-5, which is rated as one of the worst performing winter cars. I would test the RAV4 SE non-hybrid AWD before you make a purchase. It has an AWD system with dynamic torque control and Limited Slip Differential. It'll give you more for your money than a used Volvo or Audi.

The Jeep Cherokee will likely fall apart within the first five years of ownership. They are super unreliable and have horrible seats.

I've heard the Volvo seats are amazing, but you'll have to buy a used one for your budget and the car is outdated for a luxury car.

Also, you said that you prefer truck-based vehicles, but your selections are all unibody platforms. It's kind of hard to recommend good winter driving cars when eliminating Subaru because they are the best at winter driving by far and many say they like their seats.

For a truck based SUV, the Toyota 4Runner has comfortable seats and is one of the best cars for off-roading. I had a 1996 Toyota 4Runner that I sold a long time ago because the ride was unbearably rough. Although it's improved in the latest model, it's still not a smooth ride.

Perhaps the Envision would work for you because it has AWD and it's comfortable.

My number 1 choice is the Mazda CX-5. It has comfortable seats and is not rated well for snowy roads, but if you liked how it performed on your test drive on a snowy road then go for it. It's a great car.


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Mazda CX-5
Buick Envision
Toyota RAV4

Response from t3hite

3:56 pm August 2, 2017

I typed incorrectly and want to avoid the truck based 4Runner and other body on frame vehicles.

I've the opposite information regarding the snow driving qualities of the Rav 4 and CX-5. A test drive on a snowy road would be ideal but hard to achieve.

I found the 12 way power adjusting seats in the Cherokee very comfortable but I share the concern for long term reliability.

Of the four vehicles I listed my order of preference is: Q5, CX-5, Cherokee, Volvo. I'm planning to visit the Buick dealer to see what I may have been missing.


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Response from NormT

8:42 pm August 2, 2017

The Mother of uphill snow covered driveway with a any steering input really shows how the Subaru Symmetrical AWD fails and the CX-5 prevails.


Watching YouTube videos the older Q5 quattro systems fails some tests and the new models finally pass incline roller tests. So I'd only consider late model Q5.

The BMW xDrive system is another good one that has one wheel capibilty like the Envision, Acadia, and XT5. But the prices go up and personally wouldn't own one out of warranty.


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Response from LectroFuel

8:09 pm August 3, 2017

BMW has some of the highest repair costs.

I have almost no experience in snowy weather, but based on different websites online, Volvo, Audi, and the CX-5 have some good AWD systems. Of course Subaru and Jeep do too, but you don't want a Subaru and the Jeeps spell trouble. I know Volvo has seats that many people consider "different." The seats are contoured very nicely with agressive bolstering and lumbar support, which makes it great for long trips or bumpy snowy driving. Here's an article dedicated to Volvo's seats which are apparently being discontinued:


The used Volvo has high repair costs compared to a new CX-5, which will likely serve you well for many years. When there isn't bad weather, the CX-5 will be the most fun to drive. Also, if you are nervous in the snowy weather, you'll get many active safety features with the Mazda that you can't with the older used Volvo. The used Volvo XC60 interior is outdated and filled with small buttons. On the CX-5, there is a control wheel as well as a touch screen, so if you wear gloves the wheel will still work.

For the 2017 CX-5: A lot of journalists paise the CX-5's seats, particularly the powered leather seats. The Touring and above have power driver seat without power lumbar support. Only the Grand Touring has the power lumbar support. Power lumbar is pretty important for someone with back pain. The Grand Touring is about $30k. If you want to add the Premium package for $1800, you'll have 2-position memory driver's seat, power passenger seat without power lumbar, heads up display, heated rear seats (front is already heated), heated steering wheel, and windshield wiper de-icer. I think you'll be able to negotiate the increase in price caused by the Premium package to stay in your budget.


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Mazda CX-5
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