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I've only had my 540xi for two years but overall I would enthusiastically second the original posters experience. The car is excellent and I'll probably replace it with another BMW when the time comes.

2010 BMW 528i E60 chassis/N52 engine/6sp auto trans/RWD

Check out a 2018 Hyundai Tucson 1.6T. A family member bought a new 2017 when it came out and it's been great so far. It's part of the reason I ended up buying a Hyundai Kona as my second car.

The Kona would fit the bill for all the mechanical and safety features you'd want. The DCT is a little but different than standard automatic, but no manual input is needed. The one caveat is the road noise of the Kona isn't particularly great, but so far that's been its one and only downside. You can get a new 2019 Kona in your price range. The 1.6T is worth the added premium.

The 2019 Tucsons don't have the Turbos anymore which is a shame since that's a very zippy engine that gets good mileage and performance. I'd even look into using ethanol-free premium as I do. It gets better mileage and performance.

From what I've seen almost everyone on my street has the same combo:truck + small car. Most of the trucks are like mine F-150 and most of the small cars are some type of Hyundai or Mazda 3.

Something really out there is a Mercedes B-200. It's oddly realible for a Mercedes and has lots of room. Depreciation is your friend in this case when looking for a used one.

small comfortable commuter, not too boring,

Agreed on Lexus RX series. If fuel efficiency is somewhat flexible and you can get a better deal on the RX350 then it might be worth it over the 450h.

For a second option in that category a Mazda CX-5 Premium with the turbo is also an excellent vehicle for the above mentioned reasons.

The third choice is going to sound crazy, so bear with me. I was in the market for a Mercedes GLA250 BMW X1 or Lexus NX. I decided to check out some other options as well from Nissan, Honda and Toyota. The driving performance of the HRV and RAV-4 were terrible in my opinion. Then I test drove the car I ended up buying, a Hyundai Kona 1.6T Ultimate. They've made great progress by poaching BMW and VW top talent and it shows with the Kona. Its wheels are wider than the competition and has a zippy 7sp DCT that blows awat the other Japs. In your case, I would at least recommend test driving a fully loaded Sante Fe 2.0T Ultimate. It's a great car for the money and you'll get safety and tech features that aren't surpassed. As long as you don't care about the badge. For me, it was a second car and the MB, BMW and Lexus dealerships were too far away (min 2 hours drive to 6 hours drive) to risk their dubious reliability (except Lexus but that dealership is furthest away at 6 hours). The Hyundai has been good choice in retrospect. They don't make the Sante Fe "Sport" anymore but that's a good option for something a but smaller than the regular Santa Fe.

Let us know what you decide and how it goes.

Fuel efficient, reliable Mid size luxury SUV

Like the Enform App allowing remote start and car monitoring. Don't like the fact that you can also remote start the car using the key fob but have to have Lexus Enform enabled in order to remote start the car with the key fob. There is a monthly fee for Lexus Enform.

Lexus also didn't update the 2015 models for Apple car play.

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You'll get a lot more for your money if you go with a Corolla or Civic over the Elantra or Forte. I would only go back to 2010 with the Mazda3, though the older ones were not that bad.

The older Elantra and Forte usually don't have the longevity of the Honda or Toyota. Despite the Toyota and Honda being a few grand $$$ more typically, they are still the better value in my opinion. The old Elantras usually start falling apart at 150k miles and the Corollas and Civics usually don't until 250k miles or more. All of this is if you maintain the car as recommended of course.

If your budget is $5000 you should start deciding what to buy based on Craigslist and Autotrader. You would be lucky to find the car you want for the price you want. That is why I usually ask for your zip code when the budget is that low and selection is very limited. Yes, a Corolla, Civic, or Mazda3 would be ideal. But, if there is another car that is a good deal, then forget the 3 go-to cars.

The 2008-2011 Ford Focus was surprisingly reliable, but bare-bones. Don't go with any newer ones unless it is a manual.

I agree with AcuraT, you seem like you'll make a good decision with the car you choose.

10-yr old inexpensive car for teenager; Compact but not too small

I own a 10-year-old Chevy HHR that I bought new and that continues to be terrific. It has 100,000 miles at this point and performs exactly as when it was new. The only repair was a bad shock absorber that was defective at the start and replaced under warranty. Other than oil changes about every 7,500 miles, tires at 75,000 miles, and brakes at 85,000 miles, I haven't spent a penny on maintenance. I also am averaging 34 mpg overall for the life of the vehicle (yes, I keep a database), which is quite a bit better than the expected mileage.

The car is fairly small, but has great capacity, especially since both the back and passenger front seats fold down, allowing for items from the windshield to the hatchback (or longer if you were to leave the hatch open). I have been able to transport items longer than I could in my Chrysler Pacifica, my previous, much larger, vehicle.

When this car finally succumbs, I would buy another if they still made them.

10-yr old inexpensive car for teenager; Compact but not too small

You are easy because you know cars really well. Throwing out Subaru for what you state, you list all the cars I would consider for what you are trying to do. Anything else means taking more chances on quality at 10 years old. You might get lucky and find a Camry or Accord in that price range with the four cylinder engine which also could work and be reliablie (for that age) but that is pretty much the extent of it on average.

There are exceptions that are more by luck than by rule. For example, I owned a 2006 Saab 9-3 for 12 years and 190,000 miles until a tree fell on it and never really had any issues - but I was more the exception and not the rule (although that year in particular along with 2007 were really reliable cars), but I wiould never recommend such a car for you in this situation as it is too risky.

Best of luck, you seem to know what you are doing.

10-yr old inexpensive car for teenager; Compact but not too small

I stand corrected. I looked again and the 2017 Subaru Forester only tows 1500 as Lectrofuel correctly states. Sorry about that.

I would not buy the Equinox from Chevy - it is not unreliable but it can only tow 1250 lbs, less than any other car listed here. Same as the Buick Envision. Neither car is really built for towing.

Mazda will work as listed, so will the bigger Toyotas (not the smaller ones) Best of luck.

Fuel-efficient, fun to drive, mountain adventure vehicle capable of towing small camper

Everywhere I see, the Forester tows 1500 lbs, even in XT form.

2009 or newer Highlander has a 5000 lbs tow rating with the V6. Plus, the powertrain is durable so you likely won't have any problems. The Highlanders before 2014 were not that big. The Highlander Hybrids can tow 3500 lbs and you'll be getting decent mileage.

2016 and newer Kia Sorento V6 can tow 5000 lbs. Might be out of budget.

If the Highlander and Sorento are too big and heavy, the Mazda CX-5 can tow 2000 lbs. They were pretty reliable.

The 2014 and newer Chevy Equinox V6s could tow 3500 lbs I think. I would worry a little about reliability though. The 2011-2013 had a lot of engine problems and the newer ones don't have a track record.

Lexus RX 350 has luxury and can tow 3500 lbs. Very reliable. 2010 would be an ideal year.

I think the VW Touareg is a bad idea. They are hard to work on and many little things break on old German cars. You'll probably be getting into the same situation you are in now.

Fuel-efficient, fun to drive, mountain adventure vehicle capable of towing small camper

if you want a quieter interior, skip the hatchbacks. All of them are intrinsically noisier than a sedan, just because the interior is open to the cargo area.

A Corolla sedan would be my suggestion, a friend of mine has a 2018 or 2019 model and (surprisingly for a Toyota :-)) it does not have a bland interior while it does have tons of rear seat leg room (comes handy if you have to fit a car seat).

Another option worthy of consideration is theToyota Yaris iA, which is actually a rebadged Mazda2 (no longer sold by Mazda in US). Smaller and less expensive than a Corolla and it should be quieter than the hatchback model.

I have a 2017 Mazda3 Grand Touring Manual with the Premium Package and absolutely love that car, but you already have one so...

small comfortable commuter, not too boring,

Although not considered as part of the luxury segment, a Mazda CX-9 Signature can be had new for less than your target price and it is extremely well appointed and equipped (heated front and middle row seats, heated steering wheel, ventilated from seat, power driver and passenger seat, heads-up display, electrically foldable mirrors, all sort of safey features, including 360 degree camera and road sign recognition, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto plus built-in navigation with voice commands, nappa leather seat, sunroof and more).

The turbo engine while less powerful than competitors has more torque than most of the competitors' V6 engines and moves the vehicle effortlessly.

Fuel efficient, reliable Mid size luxury SUV

I would say the Rav4 but the 2017 in your price range only tows an anemic 1500 lbs. The 2017 Subaru Forrester on the other hand can tow up to 3500 lbs which is within your range, and is fairly reliable. I say fairly because they are known to burn oil, and while not critical if you monitor your oil levels, if you don't maintain your car it can be a problem. I own a 2013 Subaru Legacy which can tow up to 3500 lbs as well, and I have towed about 1500 with no problem. The engine does burn oil however but with almost 90,000 miles on it that is the only concern I have had - no other problems.

The newer Subarus have a CVT and not the 5 speed automatic I have, and those have had some issues as well but generally speaking are fine.

An alternative that may work is the Mazda CX-5. which can tow up to 2000 lbs and generally speaking is also fairly reliable and in your price range going back two years. it cannot tow as much as the Subaru but more than the anemic Rav4 and Honda CR-V.

Audi SQ5 could work (base model as mentioned) if you can find one not to old in your price range. Won't be as realiable as any of the above but for a luxury car it is fairly relliable.

Best of luck.

Fuel-efficient, fun to drive, mountain adventure vehicle capable of towing small camper

I drive an Audi SQ5. While you may not be able to find an SQ5 for $18K, I would recommend you look into a basic Q5. While it may not have the power of the SQ5, it meets all your other criteria. I would recommend one with the factory trailer hitch as the conections also control the transmission, rear-view camera, etc. They are fun to drive, seats are comfortable, and they get reasonable mileage for an AWD mid-sized SUV.

Fuel-efficient, fun to drive, mountain adventure vehicle capable of towing small camper
  Lew Black

While reliability is not so good, the 2019 VW Golf S fits the bill. It does come with 6 year/72K bumper to bumper warranty. The car is extremely quiet, rides well, and handles well. The 2019 is tough to find. The engine is fuel efficient 1.4 turbo. The S model is well within your price range and the Sportwagen isn't much more if you occasionally haul something long. Car and Driver got 43mpg on the highway at 75 mph.. https://www.caranddriver.com/reviews/a25137836/2019-volkswagen-golf-hatchback-by-the-numbers/ Even the entry level S trim includes automatic braking, blindspot monitoring and rear traffic cross alert. I have the 2016 Sportwagen S (a foot longer, otherwise the same.) It is the quietest, most luxurious car I have owned. It is like a poor man's, 2 wheel drive, Audi. BTW, my own, considerable, experience with snow and ice has proven to me that snow tires are much more important than all wheel drive. Mud, deep snow and going uphill will give you and advantage with AWD, but the tires are responsible for braking and steering.

small comfortable commuter, not too boring,

41mpg highway driving (very consistent) Between 50-60mpg around town. Heat and humidity actually add a lot of play in those numbers as well surprisingly.

accord hybrid real MPG?

I have the best of both worlds with my 06 Grand Cherokee Overland. I've modified the 5.7 Hemi engine fairly extensively and still retained the cylinder deactivation feature (MDS). I've also added the complete SRT8 suspension so I have the handling capabilities of the SRT8, maybe even a little better, as mine is slightly lowered.

With the current setup, I am at about 420-430 hp. and the fuel economy in town varies from about 12-14 mpg, depending on the amount of stop and go. On the other hand the highway fuel economy has risen by about 25%, going from 17-18 mpg to 21-23 mpg. These fuel economy figures are also ALL at higher elevations ranging from about 2400-5000 ft in hilly/mountainous terrain. Most of the increased fuel economy can be attributed to the MDS (worth about 2 mpg on the highway) which is active nearly 95% of the time at cruise (63-67 mph is the "sweet" spot), the mild aftermarket high torque camshaft (I advanced it 6 degrees), and the custom header back exhaust system.

Other modifications which have helped to a lesser degree are transmission shift kit with custom shift schedules, custom tune, high voltage output ignition coils, larger throttle body, ported, polished and milled cylinder heads, vortex generators, custom cold air intake with a high flow filter, underdrive crank pulley, and a PCV oil catch can. This setup has worked so well that I duplicated these modifications on my 2005 5.7 Dodge Magnum, and its highway fuel economy has also gone up by about 25%.....about 23-24 mpg to 27-29 mpg.

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I second the Lexus RX450h. It checks all the boxes. That would be the only very-reliable fuel-efficient luxury crossover. You would have to go non-luxury if you wanted more options. The non-luxury options are a better deal in my opinion. 2019 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid comes to mind, although NVH has been reported as an issue in that car. Kia Niro if you want a smaller SUV. These are all compact SUVs except for the Lexus. Skip the L model of the Lexus with the useless 3rd row of seats.

Fuel efficient, reliable Mid size luxury SUV

I have an '07 model with 166k miles, bought in January with about 157k miles. The only problems I have is the radio volume will not respond properly by turning the knob and the right power mirror will not adjust properly. It moves a little bit but not fully.

How reliable is 06-2010 Dodge Ram 1500's?

Okay, you list priorities as gas mileage, interior styling, reliabilty and durablity and a price of $45K, 2 years old, and 50,000 max.

To me there is one option and one option only. The Lexus RX 450h Hybrid. It checks all the boxes, although interior styling is quite subjective as you either like it or not. You can find then for less than $45K near you on TruCar, well under 50,000 miles and two years old. They are very reliable by every measure and EPA gas mileage is 31 city, 28 highway, 30 overall. Near me there are 13 of them, and 9 are under your price point.

If you don't like Lexus are are willing to take a hit on reliablity (although not as bad as it used to be) you could get another Audi Q5 or BMW X3 as they drive differently, have different interiors, and don't offer hybrid motors.

While I own a Buick Envision and I am perfectly happy with it (2018) after one year and almost 19,000 miles, I don't think it is luxurous enough for you considering what you have. I bought it because it is reliable (it had been made for 4 years when I bought mine with proven powertrain parts that were about 7 years old in 2018 and is a light hybrid where the engine turns off at stop lights and signs).

I would avoid anything else as the reliablity suffers (I would not consider them).

Fuel efficient, reliable Mid size luxury SUV

Unfortunately Lectrofuel, the TV stations run the story, Autonation reacts (not Autotrader - typo as you said), the story is closed and pulled offline. The older ones from CDC (Canada) and ABC News NY have been pulled. However here is a recent incident from Texas ABC Channel 13 not pulled yet. Autonation of course fixed it again (they hate the bad publicity). They are very shady and they are reported on all the time by the TV outlets. It is unfortunately a dirty secret of the industry that has been going on a long time.


Here is a website with over 300 complaints on Autonation - many giving it one star reviews. Refer anyone to this site if you want to discourage them from Autonation - you will note many of the stories sound like yours:


The stories pop up all the time. I am really sorry you bought from Autonation when you should have run screaming in the opposite direction. Even Scotty Kilmer has done a video on youtube essentially saying never buy from them. Unfortunately, cannot find that one specifically but if I do I will add it here.

Teenage daughter car

According to motorhome.com, the C-Max special procedure for being towed is "Start the engine and allow it to run for 1 minute at the beginning of each day and every 6 hours thereafter."

But looking at forums, the car freaks out when being towed. Similar to when my old Prius would go through a car wash. When I would switch to neutral, it would warn me halfway through the car wash that the battery is discharging too much. The battery can't be charged when in neutral in the Prius. I don't know if the C-Max does the same. The Prius and C-Max have a similar powertrain design.

Thinking of getting a used 2016 or 2017 C-Max Energy--Thoughts?

I know you said you don't really want a new car, but I was thinking the redesigned Corolla would be a good choice. It rides on the TNGA platform, which is their newest platform. You get a lot for your money with that car. I'd only suggest the SE, XLE, or LE Hybrid trims.

Really, another Mazda3 would fit the bill perfectly. 2019 Mazda3 Sedan with the Preferred or Select package. The Select package with AWD MSRPs for $24k. You will be blown away by how nice the interior is. Hatchback is a $1000 premium. It is the closest car you can get to your needs. It is night and day between your 2016. It is now one of the quietest cars in the class. The powertrain is the carried over 2.5L with the 6 speed, so reliability should be very good despite being the first year of the redesign.

Also, what trim is your Mazda3? My son is looking to replace the tires in his 2015 i Touring sedan and he is looking at thePirelli Cinturato P7 All Season Plus. He wants a quieter ride, but still wants to preserve the steering feel and efficiency. I think anything would be an upgrade from the OEM Yokohama S34s, which lose 10 psi every couple of weeks and are very loud.

small comfortable commuter, not too boring,

AcuraT, do you have a link to an article on the AutoNation scams? I tried to Google it but I couldn't find anything. My specific AutoNation dealer actually has a D- on Better Business Bureau. The name is AutoNation, not Autotrader like you just said but that might have been a typo. AutoNation is the largest dealership network in the U.S. and the second largest used car dealer after CarMax.

When they handed us the keys to the car, they left ALL of the previous owner's personal information in the glovebox such as their insurance cards, registration, and even a paycheck. So we know who the car belonged to, their address, name, and salary. That is something we can bring up in small claims court or arbitration.

Just got the compressor replaced (supposedly), but the A/C is still warm. Currently we have a hole in the dashboard that I can fit my entire head in because the touch screen is getting fixed again.

Yes, all the recall work has been done including the software update to the CVT. I think I'm only buying private party, CPO, and new cars from now on. No more dealer cars with a small 90 day warranty.

Teenage daughter car

Lectrofuel, I am sorry you bought it from Autotrader. I would have warned you not to do it if you had asked. They have been well reported on the national news for not doing warranty recall work (ABC and CBC in Canada), they re-sell substandard cars (as you are experiencing) and they are out to make the most possible. Individuals are the best to buy from followed by regular dealers which will usually only sell cars in good condition. Of course I have that checklist I posted once I here I use when buying a used car so I have never bought a bad one - even when I bought 5 year old cars.

I assume you already plugged your VIN number into the NHTSA database to ensure all recall work was done (I trust you did that as you are very knowledgeable). However, thanks for sharing your experience as others will hopefully avoid them as well.

I have nothing to add on a Corolla as everything here is stated already. Probably will give my kids when they turn 17 our 2013 Subaru Legacy which right now has 85,000 on it That won't happen for another 4 years and 5 months so it will be 10 years old then and will have over 100,000 easily at that point. It already has the Eyesight system so it has the safety features we desire. I figure it is safe, durable, and will get them from point A to B. I tend to keep cars 10 to 14 years so I only buy ones that are reliable and built for a long time before I buy them. If the Subaru falls apart then I will pull out that used car buying list and find a used car for them that I trust to last awhile.

Teenage daughter car

Thanks for your reply. The number of vehicles that you can tow behind a motorhome with 4 wheels down is quite limited. Although the vehicles you listed are good choices, none can be towed without a dolly. There are more options if I were to get a manual transmission, which I can drive, but don't care to at this point in my life.

Yes, you are right that if I only get a few replies (which at this point seems to be the case) my question isn't valid. Consumer Reports rates the reliability of the 2017 C-MAX at 5 out of 5. JD Powers gives it. 2.5 because they have different algorithms for calculating the score.

Thanks again!

Thinking of getting a used 2016 or 2017 C-Max Energy--Thoughts?
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