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van replacement

The Right Car for Me | TrueDelta

amaguire

Forester
Outback
CRV
Traverse
Odyssey

Need minimum of 4 seats

Will consider both new and used cars
Maximum mileage: 50000
Maximum age: 3 years

Maximum price: US $ 25000

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Response from AcuraT

4:57 pm June 6, 2018

That is an odd list and you are going to get a lot of opinions on this one. Take this for what it is worth.

Forester - great small SUV. Great visablity. Easy to stay in your price range. The infotainment is not the best and lacks Apple car play as well as Andoid Auto until 2018 model year. Redesigned 2014 was a problem year with a number of issues, but 2015 on are better. Always have to worry about eventually developing an oil burning issue but as long as you manage it, a very reliable option (check oil every 1000 miles or so). This happens to about 10% of all cars they sell (some note it is not happening in the last couple of years which is true - but it is also true that they have not gone far enough to develop the issue).

Outback - great small station wagon also with great visablity. Also easy to stay in your price range. Redesigned in 2015 and that year had more issues, 2016 on is better. Same comments as on the Forrester about infotainment and oil.

CRV - very nice small SUV. Good visability. Easy to stay in your price range. Redesigned in 2015 and it had more concerns (more situations when there were some transmission issues like rough shifting, squeaks and rattles on build, and some power equipment issues). After that a better car and unlike the Subaru, no oil consumption issues. Offroad is not as good as Subaru if that is needed.

Traverse - bigger than any of the three previously mentioned. So heavier but it has decent visablity except out the back window which is small (just enough to get by). Was designed in 2009 and the redesign just took place in 2018, so it is an older design. Not as reliable as the previous three, as the cliimate control system has been a sore point for this model through 2015 (2016 and 2017 are pretty much troublefree - but that might be because the cars are just not old enough yet). The car is a cheaper version of the nicer Enclave which is ironically more reliable (ironic as it is the same platform).

Odyssey - also bigger than all of the above except the Traverse and heavier as a result with okay visablity (better than Transverse out the back, not as good as three smaller other options). Deisgn also an old one, dating back to 2011. Not the most reliable Honda out there, but not horrible either - but 2015 and on are better. Issues surround the transmission through 2014, brakes, suspension, squeaks and rattles, and electrical system. After that in 2015 most of this was resolved but the suspension concerns and squeaks continued for some owners. Again, Subarus and CRV are more reliable and the Traverse may even be slightly better in reliablity the last couple of years.

if the three smaller cars you mention work for you, stay with those. Otherwise stay with the more recent years on the Traverse and Odyssey as they both are more troublesome to own (not terrible, but not as good as the smaller ones).

Best of luck.

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Response from danlisahall

5:48 pm June 6, 2018

AcuraT's infor is accurate!

If you want a van, also consider Toyota Siennna.

Below is an article about the 15 cars most commonly kept by owners for more 15 years. It includes the Odyssey, Forester (not the OB surprisingly), and Sienna. So the Ody has had some issues, but it still apparently is very durable!

http://www.nydailynews.com/autos/street-smarts/top-cars-owners-keep-15-years-or-longer-list-article-1.3766635

I also would go for one of the smaller models if they are large enough for you needs. My rational for that is that they are easier to drive/park and use less fuel.

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Toyota Sienna

Response from LectroFuel

5:43 pm June 10, 2018

Since you are considering a car that isn't available with AWD, I assume you don't need it. As danlisahall said, I would check out a Sienna as that van has virtually zero problems. It is available with AWD.

I would eliminate the Forester from the list unless you like them for a specific reason. They make you pay for the AWD and it is the #1 reason why people buy them. If you don't need AWD it is kind of a waste and there are some better options. They are pretty good cars though. The Outback is a great wagon (mainly because there are only three mainstream wagons now), but the Forester is a kind of average small SUV.

The Odyssey has been less reliable than the Sienna, but still OK. On the 2011-2017 they had premature brake wear and 2014-2015 had transmission problems.

The 2013-2017 Acadia and Traverses are the only ones that have been reliable. Be careful not to get a previous rental car. They aren't as practical as a van no matter what people say.

The CR-V is a great all around SUV, but is not a good replacement for a van. It is too small like the Forester.

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Toyota Sienna

Response from mkx-models

12:07 pm June 24, 2018

Stay away from any Subaru product! I owned a 2015 Forester and that vehicle had serious engine issues! It literally drank oil! I would have to put oil in myself every 1,000-1,500 miles because it would run out. Not to mention, the CVT in that vehicle would make the most annoying noises. Later traded that vehicle in for a Buick Enclave (same platform as the Traverse) and it is truely night and day. A lot of people complain about the reliabilty issues with these Lambda vehicles, but anything 2013+ should be fine. My Enclave did have a minor AC problem that was fixed under warranty, but other than that it has been trouble free and I could not be happier with it. I would definitely recommend a Traverse, just go into it knowing that you may have to spend $200 on a miscellaneous repair every now and then. In my opinion, the repair costs are justified by the handsome styling, minivan-like space, and comfortable, responsive ride!

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Chevrolet Traverse

Response from NormT

7:36 pm June 24, 2018

The wife wanted a 3-row.....for our dogs. The 2017 Acadia Limited(Denali minus the chrome grill, decals, and satin exterior pieces) 3.6l was marked down as the smaller Acadia was on the lots already and we got it for 25% off MSRP. We looked a 2017 Enclave Tuscany Edition but she didnt like the interior chrome interior pieces along with the brown exterior/interior. It I could talk her into it at 33% off MSRP. Plus the Enclave looked too much like my Envision as a mini-me.

The Acadia Limited is huge on the inside both in seating, the doors opening wide, cargo holding, space behind the rear seat, and 5,200 lbs towing capacity. My 6-foot frame is tall but had to lower the seat to get my elbows to rest on each side it is so wide. The 3.6l is efficient at 26 mpg highway but coarse compared to turbo-4's I'm used too on uphill climbs, but not to the point of fatiguing as I'm sure the Enclave is quieter. The highway ride is good and seats comfortable for 8 hour long drives . At 26 mpg we were able to spend about 7 hours in the saddle before needing to fuel up or ab oit 500 miles. That is about all our bladders could handle which is more than enough and not 350 miles like most others .

It is her car and most of the time she is by herself. The dogs are fine on the captains chairs but when it comes time to lay down they prefer their beds with the seats down. I have sat in the 3rd row with my mother in-law and it was fine. The best seating position is 3rd row with feet up on 2nd row folded flat....best seat in the house!

The 2017 Traverse was top rated by Consumer Reports too.

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GMC Acadia Limited
Buick Enclave
Chevrolet Traverse

Response from danlisahall

11:01 pm June 24, 2018

I must take issue with mkx's blanket statement to "Stay away from Subaru".

It is true that a significant segment of 2010 -2015 Subaru's have excess oil consumption. But no other major issues.

Despite MKX-model's unfortunate experience with his Forester, you should know that the oil burning issue effects less than 10% for most Subaru's. Most of them are not nearly as bad as MKx's Forester. See chart below.

While having such an issue as bad as his would truly be disburbing, I think that if a Subie truly ran out of oil at 1,000-1,500 miles Subaru would repair or replace such an engine. But it might take going to the mat over it. The problem seems to have been significantly reduced since 2104 (not withstanding MKX's experience). In fact, Subaru did extend the warranty on such cars.

https://www.torquenews.com/1084/subaru-oil-consumption-lawsuit-update-what-should-you-do "...Subaru would extend manufacturer's warranties to 100,000 miles and pay for all repairs related to the defect. This will automatically kick in unless consumers opt out."

If not already done & if he still has his Forester, I suggest that MKX have a serious talk w Subaru.

I have owned 3 Subies, 2004 (just under 100K., 2015 (50K), 2018 (30K), none have ever needed any oil added, even going 10K between changes. NONE!



https://www.newsday.com/classifieds/cars/consumer-reports-bmw-audi-subaru-and-volvo-vehicles-burn-too-much-oil-1.10594841

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Response from NormT

10:11 am June 25, 2018

Subaru and failing head gaskets are as common as a Honda timing belt and water pump. They cannot be avoided.

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Response from LectroFuel

1:40 pm June 25, 2018

The reason you think Honda timing belts break is because your GM cars have timing chains that don't need to be replaced as often. Timing belts are as unavoidable as oil changes, but on a longer interval. Our Odyssey only had two timing belt replacements each costing $62 a year over it's life, an amount not worth noting. Their water pumps are not a problem either. Subaru's failing head gaskets are as common as early 2000s Honda transmissions failing.

They extended the warranty on some GM 3.6L cars because of breaking timing chains costing $4k to repair.

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Response from AcuraT

4:07 pm June 25, 2018

The Odyssey does not require you to replace the water pump at the same time as the belt? On my 2003 Honda Accord and 2001 Acura TL I was forced by Honda to replace the water pump at the same time - and the cost was over $1000 at 110,000 for everything to be replaced. I had no idea the minivan was the exception to that iron clad rule. My friends with Honda Accords and CRVs at the time went through the same expense (it is not cheap to replace that timing belt). Part of the cost of owning a Honda, as reliable as they are (although both of mine lost their transmissions multiple times before I got rid of them - the Acura at 60,000, the Honda at 30,000 and 61,000).

Also, I note on that Consumer Reports chart being referred to again that many Subarus are on the list as being the worst 30 cars on the market with oil consumption problems. No matter how big (or small) the issue is, it inflicts the whole line of boxer engines. Unfortunate as it is as in general, they are reliable cars as long as you monitor oil consumption (and I do and plan to get 200,000 on that engine burning oil most of that way).

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Response from NormT

5:41 pm June 25, 2018

I did say timing belts break but like AcuraT mentions they should be changed with the water pump in most Honda and Acura models.

The GM 3.6l oil life monitor was wrong causing peope to go too long between oil changes. It would wear down timing chain and guides. That was the middle of this decade for a couple of years ago.

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Response from danlisahall

6:11 pm June 25, 2018

NormT says: "Subaru and failing head gaskets are as common as a Honda timing belt and water pump. They cannot be avoided."

To say that they "cannot be avoided a gross overreaching statement! Like so many exagerations it has an element of truth but on the whole is not true. What is true it that historically failing head gaskets have been a long term challenge for Subaru going back as far as pre 2000 model years particularily on high milege (>100K models). However, not much of a problem the since ~ 2012.

IF the current model Subie problems were anywhere as bad as NormT would like you to think Subaru would not be setting sales records every year for the past 3 year nor would they have such high marks for customer satifaction & loyalty as CR shows. I content that when you look at the ENTIRE CAR, Subarus offer more of people want and expect with less problems than most AWD models on the market today.

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Response from LectroFuel

1:31 pm June 26, 2018

It isn't a requirement to replace the water pump with the timing belt. It is suggested because if the water pump breaks after you replace the timing belt, you'll need to pay a lot more to fix the engine damage the water pump caused. We replaced the first water pump at 80k miles and the timing belt at 100k. At 180k miles we replaced both at the same time. I don't go to the dealer to do the work, but it's still around $1000 for both to replace. The transmission was replaced under the recall at 25k miles 14 years ago. We are selling the van so we could get another $700 out of it since we performed the timing belt service around 5k miles ago. The transmission is probably on its last leg since it has 175k miles on it and it is known to fail. That will be someone else's problem...

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Response from AcuraT

11:42 am June 27, 2018

Lectrofuel is correct, it is not a requirement to replace the waterpump but many locations won't change the timing belt unless you agree to replace the water pump as well. The Honda water pumps don't tend to last 220,000 miles and they don't want the engine to be damaged because you did not change the water pump. You might find an independent to do it (or you can do it yourself) but I don't recommend this as you are just inviting trouble.

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Response from mkx-models

11:49 pm July 4, 2018

Danlisahall, you have no idea the battle I went through with my Subaru dealer. I was told that the "oil consumption issue only applied to the 2014 and previous model years" and they could not do anything to help me. My power liftgate (mine was a Limited) would randomly click open while I was driving- a total safety hazard! Overall, I would not call this vehicle "reliable." It never left me stranded, but I have a problem with my check engine light coming on every 1,500 miles or so in a brand new vehicle. All of this (and the need for a bigger vehicle) was what persuaded me to get the Buick Enclave. Of course, a few months after I traded in my Forester, I received a letter from Subaru saying my warranty has been extended. Lol.

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Response from danlisahall

12:27 am July 8, 2018

mkx-models: Clearly your Forester was a dud. Your explanation makes it clear and understandable why you would be leary of a Subaru product. I'd be bummed and ticked too! But at the same time I think was an outlyer, not the normal.

I wish you many happy, trouble free miles in your Buick

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Response from AcuraT

6:28 pm July 8, 2018

Danlisahall, I worked with Subaru of America and the dealership and was told when I told them I burn a quart every 2000 miles that "all Subarus do that, and that is normal operation. They declined to do anything after the oil test confirmed what I told them.

I have asked other Subaru owners at work at many do burn oil (not all). One consistant thing is that the first couple of years none burn oil, after that, they do start burning it. Not all, but more than the 2% Consumer Reports shows for some models. My office in the parking lot has a lot of Subarus. I have asked 17 people, and 12 reported burning of some degree.

It is a serious issue for Subaru, and the class action lawsuit forced them to act on certain model years. They keep saying they have fixed it but the cars up to 2016 burn oil. Probably in 2019 the 2017s will start burning oil on a certain percentage.

I will say it again - Subarus are good durable cars but if you are a smart owner you will check your oil level to ensure it never drops too low. If you are lucky as some are Subaru will replace the engine. For many, you just watch the oil level and you are fine. I am now at 72,000 miles and I have burned oil the last 31,000 miles. I just keep adding it and the car is fine. The only other work in just under five years is replacing the front brake pads - which is maintenance. That is it.

They are durable, reliable cars but you do have to take care of them. For someone who does not take care of the car I cannot recommend it. For anyone else who does and is willing to monitor the oil level, I definately do recommend it with that one caveat.

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Response from NormT

7:05 pm July 8, 2018

Ws got our Subaru class action suit letter for 2012 Forester after we traded it for a 2015 GMC Terrain stating what they would cover. The Terrain was quiet and road much nicer with a longer wheel base and after 45,000 mile lease a perfect car with needing a single repair. That is the way leases should be not like the repair record of the CR-V.

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Response from danlisahall

12:48 am July 11, 2018

AcuraT: Thanks for sharing your background and experience in things Subaru. I appreciate your balanced perspective on the this forum. While not a perfect car (not sure one exists),it is a darn good car and would buy again based on my experience and others I know. For buyers in segments that Subura has appropriate models one that should deserves serious consideration.

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Response from AcuraT

2:04 pm July 11, 2018

Danlisahall, you are a good candidate for a Subaru as if it does burn oil as some do, you I am sure would monitor your oil levels to ensure it keeps running fine. It should be considered if you need AWD (if you live on a mountain like I do and AWD with snow tires is needed to get up it, it does a very good job in the winter). The only person I don't recommend it for (and there are plenty of people in the USA who fit this description) are those who don't monitor what is going on (like checking oil levels, monitoring tire pressure, or any fluid level for that matter). For those I would say go elsewhere to get AWD as you are possiibly asking for trouble after a few years if you are unfortunate enough to get one that does burn oil.

I wish they could get rid of that issue but as has been explained to me by a mechanic I trust when I don't fix my own car, the boxer engine design for all manufactuerers burn oil (this include Porsche as well with its boxer desgin - but not as widly reported because so few are made).

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Response from LectroFuel

6:34 pm July 11, 2018

You would be surprised to find how many people don't know how to check/add oil. I doubt many people that are asking for help to buy a car would remember to check. This is why I'd rather have automakers put a dash light that tells the driver to add oil when low-ish instead of a red oil light that appears as the engine is dying or a blue light that says the engine is warming up (Mazda).

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Response from AcuraT

8:03 am July 12, 2018

Agreed Lectrofuel. That is why I wrote what I did - unfortunately many were never taught to do that on a regular basis, and they just get in their car and drive. It would save a number of engines if more managed them more closely.

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Response from danlisahall

7:00 pm July 13, 2018

No doubt opening the hood & pulling the dipstick is becoming a lost art!
Not that hard to learn or due, but folks are generally getting lazier I guess.

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