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Winter feedback wanted on new and newish small crossover/suvs

  1. #1
    Lifer
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    Winter feedback wanted on new and newish small crossover/suvs


    My girlfriend and I are considering one of the following vehicles, but most likely not until spring or summer. I'm posting this now so that any owners can share their experience throughout the winter, although.. I'm hoping for a very mild winter, so if I get no feedback because of that, it's fine by me!

    The vehicles are the Honda HR-V, Subaru Crosstrek, Mazda CX-3, Jeep Renegade.. and not so much save for a smoking deal on a Nissan Juke or Chevy Trax/Buick Encore.

    I know there is a Motor Trend shootout which I've read ( The Big Test: 2015-2016 Subcompact Crossovers - Comparison - Motor Trend ) but I'm still curious to hear from New Englanders on how these are as daily drivers, and getting through snow.

    We both are leaning toward the Honda since we both have had bulletproof experiences with Civics, and are partial to the Crosstrek because she likes the looks and I've owned a 2005 Subaru Legacy GT Ltd sedan that was a tank in the winter, so I'm sold on their awd system.

    I'm not sure if all awd systems are equal or what.

    The Honda's fall backs are that it's slow, being based on the Fit's engine.. and having owned two Wranglers and being a fan of the classic XJ Cherokees, I'm tempted by the Renegade, but call mega-bullshit on the fact that they advertise it starting at $17,990, but when you add AWD (shouldn't that be standard in a Jeep?), an automatic, and a/c (shouldn't this also be standard by now?), it brings the price up to roughly $24,000 which is very close to what a Wrangler would cost to get into, so why not grab the Wrangler?

    The Mazda seems smallest of all, but the interior is nice.

    Anyway, for any owners of these vehicles, or future owners, this is the place to voice your feedback and impressions.

    Thanks!

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  2. #2
    Just Registered jcbell1007's Avatar
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    Re: Winter feedback wanted on new and newish small crossover/suvs

    I currently am commuting in a 2015 Jeep Cherokee sport which shares a 2.4L I4 and 9 speed transmission with the renegade. That motor/trans combo is garbage. The throttle response is severely hurt but the transmission shifting down or gear hunting in the "auto" setting. It's much better in "sport" mode, but you have to manually select it after every key cycle. I'm getting just shy of 22mpg in my combined commute.

    It is quiet and comfy with some nice features. I haven't tried the awd or traction control out as we haven't had any snow. The factory remote start is nice on cold mornings as it automatically heats my steering wheel and seat. It's a fairly base model Cherokee so I'm guessing the renegade will share more of the same options. The uconnect system can be finicky and sometimes gets hung with a quick key cycle though.

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  3. #3
    Super Moderator TheIglu's Avatar
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    Re: Winter feedback wanted on new and newish small crossover/suvs

    We bought the slightly larger CR-V this summer. Averages around 30mpg, though I can average 34 if i try. Feels solid. Nice interior. Cant go wrong with a Honda.

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  4. #4
    Lifer Pittenger5's Avatar
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    Re: Winter feedback wanted on new and newish small crossover/suvs

    I broke a brand new cherokee in less than 50 miles. Fortunately, it was a loaner. I love my Wrangler.

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  5. #5
    Lifer Chippertheripper's Avatar
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    Re: Winter feedback wanted on new and newish small crossover/suvs

    I have a cx5 which I've loved so far, but it only has 12k on it, and hasn't been through a winter yet.

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  6. #6
    Lifer
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    Re: Winter feedback wanted on new and newish small crossover/suvs

    Quote Originally Posted by jcbell1007 View Post
    I currently am commuting in a 2015 Jeep Cherokee sport which shares a 2.4L I4 and 9 speed transmission with the renegade. That motor/trans combo is garbage. The throttle response is severely hurt but the transmission shifting down or gear hunting in the "auto" setting. It's much better in "sport" mode, but you have to manually select it after every key cycle. I'm getting just shy of 22mpg in my combined commute.

    It is quiet and comfy with some nice features. I haven't tried the awd or traction control out as we haven't had any snow. The factory remote start is nice on cold mornings as it automatically heats my steering wheel and seat. It's a fairly base model Cherokee so I'm guessing the renegade will share more of the same options. The uconnect system can be finicky and sometimes gets hung with a quick key cycle though.
    Yeah, car mags and consumer reports complain about the nine speed auto, which begs the question, why even attempt a nine speed if you're not going to do it right, how bout perfect a 5 speed?

    Heated steering wheel sounds awesome tho

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  7. #7
    Lifer
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    Re: Winter feedback wanted on new and newish small crossover/suvs

    Quote Originally Posted by TheIglu View Post
    We bought the slightly larger CR-V this summer. Averages around 30mpg, though I can average 34 if i try. Feels solid. Nice interior. Cant go wrong with a Honda.
    I've had three Civics and plan to keep my current one until it dies, which theoretically won't be for a while. I've always liked the CR-V and they have a killer lease deal on them right now, but once we're serious about looking I'm curious if the decision between HR-V/CR-V or CX-3/CX-5 will be tough if the prices are close. I just want AWD capability, a little bit of ground clearance for both unplowed driveways and entry/exit, and ease of parking.

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  8. #8
    Lifer
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    Re: Winter feedback wanted on new and newish small crossover/suvs

    Quote Originally Posted by Pittenger5 View Post
    I broke a brand new cherokee in less than 50 miles. Fortunately, it was a loaner. I love my Wrangler.
    How'd you break it? My friend has a Patriot that's transmission went before the 36k base warranty, luckily, but that's scary.

    I'd snag another Wrangler in a second, but they hold their values so well. pics of your Wrangler!?

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  9. #9
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    Re: Winter feedback wanted on new and newish small crossover/suvs

    Quote Originally Posted by TheIglu View Post
    We bought the slightly larger CR-V this summer. Averages around 30mpg, though I can average 34 if i try. Feels solid. Nice interior. Cant go wrong with a Honda.
    You can. Read reviews of the CVT. I wish they never went to a CVT, but I guess the EPA average MPG is what's driving it. I vote for CX5

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  10. #10
    Super Moderator TheIglu's Avatar
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    Re: Winter feedback wanted on new and newish small crossover/suvs

    Ill let you know if it gives us any issues. So far, its a peach.

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  11. #11
    Junior Member SIDSPEEDY's Avatar
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    Re: Winter feedback wanted on new and newish small crossover/suvs

    I grew up with my parents owning a garage and a machine shop as well as a sign shop at one point, Yep crazy busy childhood . LOTS OF VEHICLES

    Ask yourself which would you want to own at 150,000 miles.....200,000? simple answer: Honda CR-V, Toyota RAV4 or Highlander if you want something a little larger.
    My wife and I have owned or had company cars including:
    Ford F-150 , Dodge Ram 1500, Olds Cutlass, Pontiac grand am & Grand Prix, Nissan Sentra, BMW 318i, Toyota celica GTS, Honda Accord, Ford Lightning (miss that one) Lexus 2004 RX330 (comfy Highlander) 2005 RX330, LEXUS GX470 (comfy 4Runner...)

    Soo, here goes IMO ONLY, no debate, it's your money, not vested.

    Reliability and absolute lowest cost of OVERALL ownership and loving your car everyday like a kid with a new bike....

    1000% LEXUS or Toyota (but never go to the dealer after any warranty runs out, find a good local shop, most Lexus parts can be converted over to Toyota if you ever head the Lexus way)

    Buy certified used, 100k/3yr warranty, drive it like you stole it for a few hundred miles, dump it for ridiculous money.

    Wife's first RX330, paid $30,000, with 21,000 miles on it, 284,000 Well used miles and the dashboard lit up like a Christmas tree with warnings and crap... TRADED IT for an 2005 RX330 for $3900 AFTER the deal on the 05 was written (car business is rough, lie flat out when they ask you about a trade until after the front deal is done, these aren't your friends, theyll roll in the amount if you don't, that's life)

    My brother has even gone to the Darkside from previous Dodge and GM truck ownership he is on his second Tundra; they cost more in and you get more out of them on trade or sale so who cares it's just the higher $$ number people get stuck on.

    Here's an example: of a certified, 100k/3yr LEXUS warranty, free loaner if you have work done, treated like gold, etc

    2012 Lexus RX 450h - Sharon, MA - Herb Chambers Lexus - 8710A

    I personally have had such great luck either Lexus I don't even bother with certified/warranty's anymore I just buy like this one, (but always buy from a real dealer with their name on the line no side lot companies

    2005 Lexus RX 330 - Sharon, MA - Herb Chambers Lexus - 9300A


    A huge part of vehicle ownership people don't tend to take into respect is loving what you drive, we live in a country with all sorts of types of vehicles and freedoms but a lot of people drive things they hate, I love getting in my car every single day, it's comfier than my couch at home, it has a better stereo it has heated seats, it just makes you feel like a king and there's definitely something to be said for that when you have a really really crap day at work.

    Good luck with your quest

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  12. #12
    Day late, dollar short carsick's Avatar
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    Re: Winter feedback wanted on new and newish small crossover/suvs

    Sid, have you thought about cutting back on the caffeine?

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  13. #13
    Junior Member SIDSPEEDY's Avatar
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    Re: Winter feedback wanted on new and newish small crossover/suvs

    I'm definitely not for everyone, it's a forum, not popularity contest

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  14. #14
    Day late, dollar short carsick's Avatar
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    Re: Winter feedback wanted on new and newish small crossover/suvs

    You're fine, you replied with pertinent info to the original poster's question. I was just having a chuckle at the breathless nature of your voluminous posts. I can't even read it all without getting lost.

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  15. #15
    Junior Member SIDSPEEDY's Avatar
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    Re: Winter feedback wanted on new and newish small crossover/suvs

    Cool beans... Yea, I kinda go at a different pace, born and raised in 3 businesses, and I work with Aerospace machining - yesterday was the SpaceX project with a subcontractor for Boeing, Christ, those guys make me feel slow!!

    Anyhow, My wife also had a 1998 Crv, quite utilitarian in nature but a strong runner.

    Imo, Absolutely skip buying new, go certified used if you must have a warranty; you get to skip a major portion of the deprecation loss and still get nice coverage, skip first year model revisions/roll outs as well.

    90% of the time now my wife and I are buying in cash or with a strong down payment, it took a long time to get to this position. Save your pennies, take your time, interest and car payments suck!

    I have a consumer reports account, you can borrow the password/username if you like, just send me a direct message

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  16. #16
    Lifer Garandman's Avatar
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    Re: Winter feedback wanted on new and newish small crossover/suvs

    There was a brouhaha in 2014 over the Honda CR-V's AWD system. 2015 Honda CR-V performs poorly in Swedish AWD test [w/video]

    BS car manufacturer video "comparisons" aside, the specific problem was that the Honda cannot transfer enough torque to the rear wheels to back up a hill, as one example. If one of the front wheels is on ice you're going nowhere.

    We have three Hondas and they all have hyperactive traction control, if you want to make it up steep hills even with winter tires, you have to shut it off.

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  17. #17
    Super Moderator TheIglu's Avatar
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    Re: Winter feedback wanted on new and newish small crossover/suvs

    We'll see how the CRV does in the winter. If it is anything like the piece of shit head gasket eating Subaru with it's miraculous AWD (and love, can't forget about the love), then it'll end up in the same spot on my ice-rink hilly driveway this winter.




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  18. #18
    Junior Member SIDSPEEDY's Avatar
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    Re: Winter feedback wanted on new and newish small crossover/suvs

    Heard something about that head gasket problem, has it been resolved?

    I thought servers are pretty damn great and snow just need to have good tires on it, my wife and I run dedicated snows in the winter, incredible difference

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  19. #19
    Jamnuts jhawley's Avatar
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    Re: Winter feedback wanted on new and newish small crossover/suvs

    Internet Sales Manager at a Lexus dealer in CT, here.

    Like stated above, A CPO lexus is a homerun vehicle. if your looking for one shoot me a PM as I'm not here too often

    My personal gripe with subcompact SUV's are that they are fucking useless for hauling people and stuff. Coupled with the higher ride height its usually not to fun to drive, and they all have small sub 175 hp engines to they are slow. And don't even get me started on the Luxury subcompact suv craze....

    Looking purely at price of the car, instead of a new sub compact, buy a CPO compact, crv, forester, cx-5, gm twins... etc

    Also you ever consider leasing:
    Not sure if you guys are as bad as the other site, but leasing is a good alternative if you like to get into a newer vehicle every couple of years.

    Considering that if you finance 25K your looking at a car payment in the mid 400-500 range.

    with that being said if your focused looking at car payment, than you could be driving a nicer vehicle for the same money. Or still looking at the small SUV, lease it instead of buying it and save on the monthly payment. (buyer beware some cars lease better than others.) (Ie a Honda dealer was running a lease on a loaded accord v6 coupe that was like 4k down and 500 a month. when for pretty much half the money down, and about 100 less a month drive at the time, a new Lexus IS sedan.)

    My former roommate was looking for a car for his wife, and their new born. After looking at everything, they went with a CRV lx lease, 2000 down and 210/month including tax. Personally, I'm perfectly okay spending 200 ish a month to have my wife and kid drive around in a brand new suv. where if something goes wrongs, its covered. also should she crash it, its nice to know that after its repaired I'm not stuck with it long term.

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  20. #20
    Development Rider scottieducati's Avatar
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    Re: Winter feedback wanted on new and newish small crossover/suvs

    Mazda is crushing it of late, making some seriously good cars that hold resale value very well (for good reason).

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    Junior Member SIDSPEEDY's Avatar
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    Re: Winter feedback wanted on new and newish small crossover/suvs

    Real Good honest info....
    I'm not big on leases but you make good points, so as long as the miles are kept LOW all is good, plus near zero maintenance required..
    buying a set of Michellins these days is close to a grand mounted, balanced and properly aligned....

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  22. #22
    Kosher Assassin Stoneman's Avatar
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    Re: Winter feedback wanted on new and newish small crossover/suvs

    We'll be entering the market soon for a Crosstrek as my youngest daughter will be starting driving lessons in April. Yeah, remember little Tovah? Uh-huh, she'll be driving by this time next year...

    With that, I can tell you I've put a few miles on my elderly mother's 2015 Cherokee. I'll echo what others have said about it's gutless, heartless engine and utterly ridiculous 9-speed transmission. I hate it, she hates it. She wishes she never sold TimmyDuck her old Grand Cherokee...

    The head gasket issues on the Subie's were resolved in the early 2000's. I had a 2001 that ate head gaskets on one side of the engine. Subaru warrantied the repairs up until I got rid of it at about 150,000. Besides that and the brake rotors being paper thin, that little wagon rocked. Great MPG and was a beast in the snow. I won't get into it's off-road capabilities, but let's just say it was more impressive than most SUV's of that day. Sand pits, muddy trails, snowmobile trails...you name it. Even crossed a small brook in it once that some here may remember... PUNCH IT!


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  23. #23
    Senior Member AEG's Avatar
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    Re: Winter feedback wanted on new and newish small crossover/suvs

    Had to google the 'CPO' - Certified Pre-Owned. Can we simply say Used, or it sounds offensive nowadays?
    Someone told me once he bought "pre-worn" hockey gloves, I guess the used hockey gloves smell worse...

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  24. #24
    Lifer Garandman's Avatar
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    Re: Winter feedback wanted on new and newish small crossover/suvs

    Quote Originally Posted by AEG View Post
    Had to google the 'CPO' - Certified Pre-Owned. Can we simply say Used, or it sounds offensive nowadays?
    Someone told me once he bought "pre-worn" hockey gloves, I guess the used hockey gloves smell worse...
    CPO programs are a little different than used. Generally the manufacturer extends the warranty and may offer umbrella service plans. All the manufacturers have them now but it works best for luxury models.

    One of our salespeople is on his second CPO Acura. He's a high mileage driver and the service plan (and free loaners) works for him. My buddy is on his second BMW X3 CPO car. He buys them a couple years old with 40-60,000 miles on them, and gets a warranty and service plan to 100,000 or 120,000 miles. Then he buys another. He's also a high-mileage driver and used to buy Volvo wagons, but had trouble getting rid of them with high miles.

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  25. #25
    Jamnuts jhawley's Avatar
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    Re: Winter feedback wanted on new and newish small crossover/suvs

    Quote Originally Posted by AEG View Post
    Had to google the 'CPO' - Certified Pre-Owned. Can we simply say Used, or it sounds offensive nowadays?
    Someone told me once he bought "pre-worn" hockey gloves, I guess the used hockey gloves smell worse...
    Well played.

    Basically they are used cars that are warrantied by the manufacturer.. typically if you were buying a 2-4 year old car there would be very little if any original warranty on that car. The CPO program swoops in and gives the buyer a warranty for a period of the next couple of years an upto 100k miles. people like it for the peace off mind. Also if you are financing, the banks tend to give better rates than the typical used car. Several times a year Lexus does offer 0% loans on used cars and its a fucking homerun.

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