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New compact suv's.

  1. #1
    Lifer Chippertheripper's Avatar
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    New compact suv's.


    The search has casually began for a replace mtb to the element.
    Current top contenders are the new Mazda CX-5, the Subaru Outback, and (gulp) the Toyota RAV4.
    Requirements are like many here, tow a small trailer with a bike, have heated seats, Bluetooth, roof racks for bicycles, be pretty fuel efficient, AWD, and bonus points if the seats fold flat enough that I can camp at a race here and there.

    The only one I've driven so far is the cx5, which even at the base trim is real nice. Pluses are the manual shift mode, for slowing down in the snow.
    Toyota is a gramma' scar, but I'm not ruling it out.
    The new soob is easily the nicest interior, but the stealership almost didn't want to give me the sales pitch, and didn't have a premium in stock that wasn't sold.

    Opinions and heckling welcome.

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  2. #2
    Burns retinas nhbubba's Avatar
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    Re: New compact suv's.

    Mortified with the low ratings on most of these. I see very little upside over a Mazda 3 hatch, Matrix etc.

    Why is AWD a requirement? Snow tires + FWD => no problemo in our snow for a fraction the cost and far better fuel economy.

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  3. #3
    Angry Gumball RandyO's Avatar
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    Re: New compact suv's.

    Quote Originally Posted by nhbubba View Post

    Why is AWD a requirement? Snow tires + FWD => no problemo in our snow for a fraction the cost and far better fuel economy.
    if you like backing up steep hills

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  4. #4
    Lifer Falko's Avatar
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    Re: New compact suv's.

    CRV?
    We have a couple Ravs in our business fleet. With the V6 I'm surprised how quick they are and handle pretty decently. I'm not a fan of anything Toyota except the Tundra, but I wouldn't look down on anyone that would buy one. I know nothing about the 4cyl version though.

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    Lifer tsorfas's Avatar
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    Re: New compact suv's.

    Quote Originally Posted by RandyO View Post
    if you like backing up steep hills
    Not true. Fwd and snows and traction control (aka Mazda 3) is unstopable.


    Now on topic.
    The Rav will last forever. It will be probably the cheapest one to maintain as well. Back in the day it used to be the best one in gas consumption as well. Not sure how importsnt these are to you.

    I believe the Mazda is the biggest interior out of the 3? It's pretty close betweent that and the subaru.

    The subaru is def considered the "hot" one in this category now and they sell a lot. Based on what I have seen though Subarus are getting very expensive at 80-100k miles. Not sure how long you plan on keeping this but if forever is the goal the toyota is a no brainer kinda.

    If you buying new they will all have the Bluetooth, heated seats, etc.

    Go to a bunch of dealerships (if you got the time) and get their best offers in writing and use it against others pricing. My experience there says shop the last 10 days of the month. They have goals to hit and they will do whatever they can to close a deal. But be careful. If you go to a dealership that already hit their goal they won't even cut a dollar. Read the situation accordingly.

    If you do decide on the Mazda I have connects in 3 Mazda dealerships around me. I can at least get your pricing. Mazda sometimes does 0% financing too (and my credit was not more than 670) which is pretty awesome.

    Car shopping is very time consuming. You gotta go dealer to dealer and even swap between salesmen several times til you find the one that has a lot of pull or really NEEDS to close the sale. I tend to avoid the older dudes (their 100 years old sales technique annoys me). If you gonna visit Mazda of Shrewsbury or Worcester hit me up. I'm going there today and I can at least ask if you want.

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  6. #6
    Angry Gumball RandyO's Avatar
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    Re: New compact suv's.

    Quote Originally Posted by tsorfas View Post
    Not true. Fwd and snows and traction control (aka Mazda 3) is unstopable. .
    you just haven't been on a steep enuf hill

    front wheel drive works well cause the weight is on the drive wheels, at the incline of a hill increases, weight shifts from the front wheels to the rear wheels

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    Last edited by RandyO; 04-20-15 at 07:59 AM.
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  7. #7
    Lifer tsorfas's Avatar
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    Re: New compact suv's.

    Quote Originally Posted by RandyO View Post
    you just haven't been on a steep enuf hill
    No I haven't climbed mountains but have you heard the seven hills of Worcester before?

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  8. #8
    TWINS! xrocket21's Avatar
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    Re: New compact suv's.

    Quote Originally Posted by tsorfas View Post
    Not true. Fwd and snows and traction control (aka Mazda 3) is unstopable.
    You clearly don't understand the definition of unstoppable.

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  9. #9
    Lifer tsorfas's Avatar
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    Re: New compact suv's.

    Quote Originally Posted by xrocket21 View Post
    You clearly don't understand the definition of unstoppable.
    Well last comment in regards to that. I have PERSONALLY yet to find conditions that my car had issues going up down left or right anywhwre I (and yes that's me) have driven. State emergencies, driving bans, 33" of snow storms I have been out there driving no problem. Of course an AWD is better in the snow. But I haven't been in a situation where I was like damn I wish I had an awd now. That is all.

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  10. #10
    Super Moderator TheIglu's Avatar
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    Re: New compact suv's.

    We should argue about 4wd vs 2wd, snows vs all seasons, lights on during the rain vs the british are coming, hillary clinton vs whatever reagan wannabe is next, etc



    That's the point of this thread, right Chip?






    IMO, Subaru is a solid car, but expect to toss head gaskets in at 100k. I don't care what they tell you about new design doesn't do it, etc etc. They have said it before, still happens. Expect to do rear wheel bearings (you know), swaybar bushings, swaybar endlinks, exhaust donut.




    Rav4 feels cheaper, but is more solid long term IMO. Boss just bought a brand new one from Sheppo's workplace. He likes it. 4 cyl is enough to tow a trailer with bikes, not an enclosed though. Don't think that's what you meant anyways.


    I can't commend on the Mazda, never been in one.

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    Lifer Kurlon's Avatar
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    Re: New compact suv's.

    Two friends bought 2014 Foresters this year, same trim level/etc. One of the two has had a ring job and then a new short block due to excessive oil consumption...

    My 2000 Forester was great, until the explosive bolts went off at 100k.

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    Re: New compact suv's.

    Got a new 2013 CRV couple years ago and I really really like it to my surprise as I was never really into smaller SUVs, great on gas 30-32 on highway fully loaded trunk ( we have a baby), has a roof rack, I'm sure it can tow a trailer and seats almost fold down flat and as someone else said, you can't beat toyota/honda if you want a vehicle for more than 3 years

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    Last edited by 7UPyours; 04-20-15 at 09:01 AM.

  13. #13
    Lifer Chippertheripper's Avatar
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    Re: New compact suv's.

    Quote Originally Posted by nhbubba View Post
    Mortified with the low ratings on most of these. I see very little upside over a Mazda 3 hatch, Matrix etc.

    Why is AWD a requirement? Snow tires + FWD => no problemo in our snow for a fraction the cost and far better fuel economy.
    Because towing. The last "little" car i towed with ate rear wheel bearings every 25k. That's something I'd like to avoid.
    Cry isn't on the list because I'm too vain and the current gen is just too grannyish. And I hate the way Honda designs the rear ends of their SUVs with excessive negative camber. Just build it right.

    I don't go up steep hills regularly, and certainly not really in winter. But I DO work in public safety, sot here are times where I simply MUST get where I'm going. The first challenge there is getting out of my neighborhood which is typically low on the pecking order of who gets plowed out first.
    My day to day is busy enough, I don't really want to add in having to travel the night before I'm going someplace and spending more time away from my kid than I already do.
    This next turd wagon WILL end up on snows too, so rest ye weary minds, weirdos.


    There actually is a Mazda dealership right up the street from my house, conveniently enough and I did manage to find a sales kid that knew his stuff, and could answer the technical type questions without the typical douchebaggery, so there's that too.

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  14. #14
    Super Adventurer SRTie4k's Avatar
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    Re: New compact suv's.

    Any interest in a Cherokee?

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    Changes come butcher bergs's Avatar
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    Re: New compact suv's.

    Outback XT

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  16. #16
    Lifer Chippertheripper's Avatar
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    Re: New compact suv's.

    Quote Originally Posted by SRTie4k View Post
    Any interest in a Cherokee?
    The new version was on the list, but troubles with the 9spd tranny (electronic) and the way they create mpgs with the secondary intake butterflies that wear and leak air causing fueling issues have scared me off.
    The polarizing look of the new gen isn't a deal breaker for me, but issues like that over my head are.

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  17. #17
    suburban ghetto living... black's Avatar
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    Re: New compact suv's.

    Hyundai tucson would catch my eye. They *seemt* to have better quality at a good $$ price, size wise they seem fine and you can get AWD as well

    but out of the three you listed the Rav4 would catch my eye for being utilitarian if bot eye catching in the interior, it was a little blah when we drove it. I know nothing of subarus, amont a lot of other things in life.

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    hmmmm......

  18. #18
    Burns retinas nhbubba's Avatar
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    Re: New compact suv's.

    Quote Originally Posted by Chippertheripper View Post
    Because towing.
    I worry you'll be disappointed with how these things tow. I do not believe that they magically tow way better just because they are taller and/or feature a part-time AWD system. Your wheel bearing issues may exist with these light SUVs too. In fact I think their ratings are largely right about the same as the cars they are based on.

    I'll say this about the Mazdas. There was a Mazda3 in my garage for 4-5 years. We had several others in our circle of friends. One has stepped up to a CX-5 now. All were never disappointed in their Mazdas. My biggest beef with the 3 was the interior didn't hold up as well as I had hoped. (And really, that's not much of a beef.) It always drove nice though. I would gladly buy a Mazda.

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  19. #19
    Super Adventurer SRTie4k's Avatar
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    Re: New compact suv's.

    One thing I will say about the Mazda is that its genuinely fun to drive. My sister has one, and it handles a lot like the 3's do.

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  20. #20
    Bikeless in Blackstone The Snowman's Avatar
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    Re: New compact suv's.

    It the newer Jeep Cherokee not compact enough? I've heard good things about them.

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  21. #21
    Lifer Garandman's Avatar
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    Re: New compact suv's.

    I'm a fan of six cylinders over four if you tow at all. We bought an H6 OBW in 2006 to avoid the head gasket brouhaha. We've also been buying Honda Accord V6's for our business fleet. They tow a lot better, last longer, and fuel economy isn't much worse. Both Subaru and Toyota have 6's available.

    Here's an "outlier" that might work for you. A buddy of mine buys CPO BMW X3's. He gets them to extend the warranty and service to 100,000 miles. He drives them a little past that and trades it in on the next one or sells it to relatives. Surprisingly affordable. An Acura RDX might work as a CPO as well.

    Subaru Forester and Cross Trek are popular but 4 cyl only. Other "Top Rated" compact SUV's according to CR are Honda She-RV, RAV4, Volkswagen "Try & Find a" Tiguan, Nissan Rogue and Mazda CX-5. In the two row category they added Outback and Hyundai Santa Fe.

    Another aside: the newish Ford Escape is being given "below average" reliability ratings by CR. But most of the complaints are the "Infotainment" system. Engine and Transmission are well above average. A co-worker got a sweet deal on an Escape Titanium with Ecoboost last year and has put nearly 40,000 miles on it without a hiccup.

    Quote Originally Posted by tsorfas View Post
    Well last comment in regards to that. I have PERSONALLY yet to find conditions that my car had issues going up down left or right anywhwre I (and yes that's me) have driven. State emergencies, driving bans, 33" of snow storms I have been out there driving no problem. Of course an AWD is better in the snow. But I haven't been in a situation where I was like damn I wish I had an awd now. That is all.
    Entirely moot for Chipsterthehipster as small FWD cars blow for towing. Towing a motorcycle, no biggie but as you get closer to a ton it's no fun atall.

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    Last edited by Garandman; 04-20-15 at 11:26 AM.

  22. #22
    Angry Gumball RandyO's Avatar
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    Re: New compact suv's.

    BMW X1

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  23. #23
    Lifer loudbeard's Avatar
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    Re: New compact suv's.

    If you're willing to have a look at fwd, the Transit Connect wagon may be a nice option. I had snow tires on mine this winter and it was a champ, including my dad's 40 degree, 100 yard long, snow packed dirt driveway.

    Tow rating is 2k, tons of roof rack options, Sync and Bluetooth are nice. Tons of room, doesn't really strike you as a minivan either.

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  24. #24
    Lifer Garandman's Avatar
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    Re: New compact suv's.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pinned View Post
    If you're willing to have a look at fwd, the Transit Connect wagon may be a nice option. I had snow tires on mine this winter and it was a champ, including my dad's 40 degree, 100 yard long, snow packed dirt driveway. //
    Saw one at Mt Sunapee this weekend, pretty slick! Huge interior for a vehicle that isn't that large on the outside. Apparently Ford doesn't rate them for towing here: but there are nutserts in the back ready for tow hitch installation.

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  25. #25

    Re: New compact suv's.

    In January shopped for a compact SUV. We have a 5 year old Subaru Outback with 160K miles with no issues. Was planning to get another one but the prices seemed high for the class and also couldn't find one in the color/trim we wanted. Looked at the VW, nice interior but mileage was down compared to class. Ended up with the Nissan Rogue (not the Select). Base AWD model had everything we wanted except the heated seats and was much less than the Outback.

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    Last edited by Aprilia Pilot; 04-20-15 at 11:59 AM.

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