Which Compact SUV Should I Buy?

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Meg77
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Which Compact SUV Should I Buy?

Post by Meg77 »

I've been impressed with the auto knowledge and advice I've seen on this forum, so I'm hoping for some guidance. I have been thinking of upgrading my 2011 Volvo XC60 for a while now for pretty much no good reason (namely: I've had it for nearly 7 years, it is worth about 5% of my annual pay, and it lacks a few modern features that would make my life marginally more convenient). I also may need new tires this year and don't know that I care to spend $1500 or whatever on tires for a $10,000 car.

I don't know or care much about cars and find the research both boring and overwhelming. The best I can come up with when I consider what I want is my current car in perhaps a different color, free of the wear and tear mine has and with keyless entry. Which hardly seems worth 10s of thousands of dollars, particularly given how little I drive. But I also know there are lots more options and feel like I should consider them since I don't make this kind of purchasing decision often. I'm open to ideas, including the idea that I should just keep this and find something better to do with my bonus check. (I bought my current Volvo used in early 2012 just after totaling an almost new Audi A4; I used most of the insurance money as a down payment on a rental which has mostly broken even but has increased in value by nearly $100,000).

Uses for Auto:
I drive around 6k miles/yr. My daily commute is about 5 miles round trip which doesn't include any major highway driving. The car stays parked most weekends, though about once a year I take a 20 hour round trip road trip (I may fly more often going forward though). I'm more concerned with look and comfort than MPG.

I have two medium sized dogs with a remaining life expectancy of 4-5 years, and I like to be able to haul them safely in their crates for vet visits and said road trip. Also, we buy plants a few times a year and it's nice to have a larger auto to haul them home in. All things considered though I could probably get by with a sedan.

Other factors to consider:
1. I live and work in a materialistic urban center (Dallas) where cars are kind of a thing. I see Bentleys and Ferraris every day, and many colleagues more junior than me drive BMWs and Mercedes. Some of my peers drive Porches and Range Rovers. This info is just for context. I don't intend to buy a car I don't care about or spend an extra $25k just to fit in, but I also don't pretend to be immune from status concerns, and I do pay up for other designer luxury consumer goods I care about (handbags, clothing).
2. I had an Audi once, but all my other autos have been Volvos. I was continually APPALLED at the service at my local Audi dealer and would prefer not to ever have to visit there again. I've had great experience with Volvos despite what people say about them being expensive to own or unreliable. I barely drive though so to be fair I barely have any maintenance either. I'd consider BMW or Mercedes but have also heard good things about Mazda. DH drives a Cadillac and likes it.
3. Lexus is big here, and I'm not afraid to be generic (Lexus SUVs are a bit of a cliche around here), but I hate the grill on the newer models.
4. I tend to lock my keys in my car. Happens about 3 times a year. Keyless entry of some kind of system where I can unlock the doors remotely would be nice.
5. Oh, my budget. Well my car is probably worth $10k, and I was thinking of putting $20k - $25k into an upgrade. Honestly it just depends on what I find/want though. I'd stretch that if I fell in love with something, but then again $20k would be doubling what I've got so I guess I'm flexible. We will pay cash, and I've already maxed out backdoor Roth IRAs and HSA for the year. We'll max 401ks too (savings rate is 45% of gross).

Any ideas?!
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onourway
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Re: Which Compact SUV Should I Buy?

Post by onourway »

If you like your Volvo the new XC60 is a stunning upgrade from your generation, although it's a bit more than you were looking to spend, and there aren't too many on the used market yet. I would start with driving one of those and see what you think. Perhaps you'd be inclined to wait another year or two to either up your budget a bit or wait for them to start coming off-lease in larger numbers.

Oh, and it will run you about $700 for new tires rather than $1500. Hard to justify a new vehicle just to save on some tires, but I understand if you are considering getting rid of it soon not wanting to buy tires for the next owner. :D
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Re: Which Compact SUV Should I Buy?

Post by livesoft »

Toyota RAV4 has all the safety features nowadays of Volvo, Subaru, et al. But you would be making a statement with the RAV4.
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FlyAF
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Re: Which Compact SUV Should I Buy?

Post by FlyAF »

25k + 10k trade in doesn't exactly buy a very cool car IMO. Not 3+ times better. I'd just keep driving my SUV for a couple more years and see what comes up. The thrill of a new car goes away pretty quickly if it's not truly something special.
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GoldStar
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Re: Which Compact SUV Should I Buy?

Post by GoldStar »

If you aren't a car person and don't care about luxury-brand status I'd test drive the Toyota Rav4, Honda CRV, Subaru Forrester (and Outback) and pick one of these. All reliable and you can't go wrong with any of them. They would all meet your needs and should fit within your budget.

(edit add: I drive these three brands while many folks that work for me and make less drive BMWs, Lexus, Audi, etc. I don't care about status and don't find the luxury-feel worth paying thousands more on the purchase and thousands more in repairs throughout the years).
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Re: Which Compact SUV Should I Buy?

Post by RickBoglehead »

For $35k your options are very limited, you definitely won't have any status car that anyone cares about. Most modern cars are designed so that when the stupid human tries to lock the fob in the car (which is in your purse), the door won't lock unless you knowingly override it. I believe I locked my keys in the car when I was 17, not ever since.

Ford's Edge would fit your budget.
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helloeveryone
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Re: Which Compact SUV Should I Buy?

Post by helloeveryone »

I would advocate what others have said
1) get new tires keep your 2011 volvo.

2) upgrade to crv, forester (or crosstrek), rav4 etc...

2018 rav 4 might be great deal right now because 2019's with brand new design just came out.

However if your 2011 runs well, is comfortable, and just needs new tires keep it for another few years.
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Re: Which Compact SUV Should I Buy?

Post by Meg77 »

onourway wrote: Thu Jan 03, 2019 3:51 pm If you like your Volvo the new XC60 is a stunning upgrade from your generation, although it's a bit more than you were looking to spend, and there aren't too many on the used market yet. I would start with driving one of those and see what you think. Perhaps you'd be inclined to wait another year or two to either up your budget a bit or wait for them to start coming off-lease in larger numbers.
RickBoglehead wrote: Thu Jan 03, 2019 4:06 pm For $35k your options are very limited, you definitely won't have any status car that anyone cares about.
FlyAF wrote: Thu Jan 03, 2019 3:57 pm 25k + 10k trade in doesn't exactly buy a very cool car IMO. Not 3+ times better. I'd just keep driving my SUV for a couple more years and see what comes up. The thrill of a new car goes away pretty quickly if it's not truly something special.
Yes, these comments pretty much confirm my suspicion that upgrading from to a $20k or $30k used luxury SUV doesn't really get me much more than I already have - which makes it that much harder to spend that money. When I scan the list of used Volvo XC60s in my area they all seem pretty much the same, though the prices vary widely (sure the mileage and what's under the hood vary, which I know matters, but for my intents and purposes it's all the same).

The flip side of this lesson is that people can get much cheaper cars than they realize by just going a few more years old. My Volvo is a 2011 but it only has 56,000 miles and is in great shape. I know I could drive it for another decade easily. *sigh* Maybe that should be my plan. :beer
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WhiteMaxima
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Re: Which Compact SUV Should I Buy?

Post by WhiteMaxima »

Subaru Forester or Outback. Dogs like Outback. easy jump in and out.
Last edited by WhiteMaxima on Thu Jan 03, 2019 5:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.
michaeljc70
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Re: Which Compact SUV Should I Buy?

Post by michaeljc70 »

2019 Mazda CX-5. Highly rated. It is pretty luxurious in the highest trims with not quite the luxury price. More fun to drive than Hyundai, Toyota, Honda. You aren't getting any compact SUV in your price range ($10k+ $20k-$30k) in the luxury brands unless it is used and several years old. I have a 2015 CX-5 and would definitely buy another one.
Last edited by michaeljc70 on Thu Jan 03, 2019 5:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.
bloom2708
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Re: Which Compact SUV Should I Buy?

Post by bloom2708 »

Ford Edge

https://www.ford.com/suvs-crossovers/ed ... -titanium/

Ignore the call of foreign luxury. :wink:
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Re: Which Compact SUV Should I Buy?

Post by robphoto »

If you can bear with the grille, the Lexus might be good: prestigious enough, reliable, comfortable, and if the locking mechanism is the same as on our Prius V, you can't lock the keys in it: if keys are in the car, you can only lock it with a key outside of the car. You can't lock it when a door is open, you can't lock it and then leave the keys in there. I also think it comes down to if the choice of car will affect you professionally, that is, if people will think you've settled into a rut because you drive an older car. I don't know anything about that.
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snackdog
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Re: Which Compact SUV Should I Buy?

Post by snackdog »

SUVs are terrible and compact SUVs are even worse. Stay with a wagon. If you love Volvos, why not another Volvo? The V60 is $40,000 new but you can find them in your budget 1-2 years old.

Here's a 2017 for example.

https://www.cargurus.com/Cars/inventory ... =219296427
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RootSki
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Re: Which Compact SUV Should I Buy?

Post by RootSki »

I have a 2010 XC60 and I will be replacing it this summer with the new generation XC60, hopefully the T8 PHEV.

My XC60 has been near flawless for 165K miles.
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Re: Which Compact SUV Should I Buy?

Post by AlphaLess »

Mid-market: RAV4, CR-V.
Higher end: BMW X1, Volvo XC40.
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Re: Which Compact SUV Should I Buy?

Post by AlphaLess »

snackdog wrote: Thu Jan 03, 2019 5:13 pm SUVs are terrible and compact SUVs are even worse. Stay with a wagon. If you love Volvos, why not another Volvo? The V60 is $40,000 new but you can find them in your budget 1-2 years old.

Here's a 2017 for example.

https://www.cargurus.com/Cars/inventory ... =219296427
Car does not show mileage and warranty left.
Does that not include state tax?
If so, that seems expensive for what it is.
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Re: Which Compact SUV Should I Buy?

Post by AlphaLess »

bloom2708 wrote: Thu Jan 03, 2019 5:02 pm Ford Edge

https://www.ford.com/suvs-crossovers/ed ... -titanium/

Ignore the call of foreign luxury. :wink:
Don't disagree with the general theme, but Edge has a lot of crappy features.
Speaking from experience.
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Re: Which Compact SUV Should I Buy?

Post by bloom2708 »

AlphaLess wrote: Thu Jan 03, 2019 5:48 pm
bloom2708 wrote: Thu Jan 03, 2019 5:02 pm Ford Edge

https://www.ford.com/suvs-crossovers/ed ... -titanium/

Ignore the call of foreign luxury. :wink:
Don't disagree with the general theme, but Edge has a lot of crappy features.
Speaking from experience.
In general, Fords are less expensive to maintain. Have Fords and Lexuses. I get pillaged for any service on the Lexii. Just brutal sometimes.

When you say crappy features you mean? Bluetooth that won't bluetooth? Backup cameras that don't backup camera? Lane departure that doesn't depart? Blindspot that doesn't blindspot? Adaptive cruise that doesn't adapt?
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mouth
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Re: Which Compact SUV Should I Buy?

Post by mouth »

Coming from a 2001 Acura MDX and going to a 2018 Kia Sportage SX ... I've been very happy after 7000 miles.
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Re: Which Compact SUV Should I Buy?

Post by friar1610 »

Meg77 wrote: Thu Jan 03, 2019 4:52 pm The flip side of this lesson is that people can get much cheaper cars than they realize by just going a few more years old. My Volvo is a 2011 but it only has 56,000 miles and is in great shape. I know I could drive it for another decade easily. *sigh* Maybe that should be my plan. :beer
Volvo fan here (I'm on my 4th, two of which were brand new and two of which were < 20K mile used cars just off lease). I personally can't imagine driving a Volvo any less than 10-15 years and/or less than 150K-200K miles. I bought a 2015 XC-70 wagon earlier this year and, at 73, think it's likely to outlast me. I'll admit to having been a little weary of the 2005 Volvo I got rid of to buy this one and probably could have gotten a few more years out of it but - hey - it was time to be a wild and crazy guy! I would agree with those who recommend springing for new tires and driving yours for a few more years. But if you have to have something new, a RAV-4 or Outback are good choices. If you're looking at 2018 or later CRV's, be sure to Google and understand the oil dilution (with gas) issue before you buy one.
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Re: Which Compact SUV Should I Buy?

Post by GmanJeff »

In view of your statement that your budget is flexible, and as you candidly acknowledge the role status and prestige play in what you drive, perhaps consider a Porsche Macan (available in a range of trim levels and corresponding price points) or a Mercedes GLC AMG 43 or 63. Both are relatively compact but have reasonable cargo carrying capabilities, and both are performance vehicles which you may find you enjoy driving much more than more plebian alternatives. Either, in any of their available trim levels, will be much more fun to drive than a Volvo or Japanese brand, with quicker acceleration, better roadholding, and improved stability during directional transitions. In their more powerful iterations, they will be even more amusing. Also available in the next few months will be the similarly sized and performing BMW X3M.

Based on anecdotes, of these the Porsche models might be the most reliable, followed by BMW and then Mercedes. On the much less reliable, but just as or even more entertaining end of the spectrum is the Alfa Romeo Stelvio in Quadrifoglio trim, with a Ferrari-derived motor and near supercar performance.
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Re: Which Compact SUV Should I Buy?

Post by stoptothink »

GmanJeff wrote: Thu Jan 03, 2019 6:42 pm In view of your statement that your budget is flexible, and as you candidly acknowledge the role status and prestige play in what you drive, perhaps consider a Porsche Macan (available in a range of trim levels and corresponding price points) or a Mercedes GLC AMG 43 or 63. Both are relatively compact but have reasonable cargo carrying capabilities, and both are performance vehicles which you may find you enjoy driving much more than more plebian alternatives. Either, in any of their available trim levels, will be much more fun to drive than a Volvo or Japanese brand, with quicker acceleration, better roadholding, and improved stability during directional transitions. In their more powerful iterations, they will be even more amusing. Also available in the next few months will be the similarly sized and performing BMW X3M.

Based on anecdotes, of these the Porsche models might be the most reliable, followed by BMW and then Mercedes. On the much less reliable, but just as or even more entertaining end of the spectrum is the Alfa Romeo Stelvio in Quadrifoglio trim, with a Ferrari-derived motor and near supercar performance.
Maybe it's just me, but when Meg said "flexible" with the budget, I am pretty sure she didn't mean more than doubling it. That's my thought with cars nowadays, even economy cars are so good now that to get something just a little "better", you have to double or triple the budget. Simply not worth it (to me) even though we can easily afford it.
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Re: Which Compact SUV Should I Buy?

Post by Kenkat »

I’d get a Sumitomo HTR A/S P02. In fact, get 4 of them since it’s a tire. Not knowing the exact specs on your car, I looked up 18 inch tires for your XC60 (they were also made with 17s and 19s) on Tire Rack, picked the Best Seller and you can get 4 shipped for $450. Add another $100 for installation and you are good for several more years.

You don’t seem real excited about a new car, so seriously, drive the one you’ve got for awhile longer. You are way into the bonus on your Volvo, financially speaking.
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Re: Which Compact SUV Should I Buy?

Post by NewMDinvestor »

Don't sleep on the Mazda CX-9! Beautiful car at an affordable price. Trims available with all the bells and whistles too! https://www.mazdausa.com/vehicles/cx-9
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Re: Which Compact SUV Should I Buy?

Post by mortfree »

Maybe a fellow BH will sell you their 2017 CRV.

Seriously check out the 17-page thread (and growing) on the CRV gas-oil dilution if you are even thinking about the CRV.
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Re: Which Compact SUV Should I Buy?

Post by 02nz »

michaeljc70 wrote: Thu Jan 03, 2019 5:00 pm 2019 Mazda CX-5. Highly rated. It is pretty luxurious in the highest trims with not quite the luxury price. More fun to drive than Hyundai, Toyota, Honda. You aren't getting any compact SUV in your price range ($10k+ $20k-$30k) in the luxury brands unless it is used and several years old. I have a 2015 CX-5 and would definitely buy another one.
+1 on this recommendation. Drives great, looks great (and better than the sea of RAV4's and CR-Vs), very nice interior, good gas mileage, the '19 is available with a more powerful turbo engine.
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Re: Which Compact SUV Should I Buy?

Post by 02nz »

NewMDinvestor wrote: Thu Jan 03, 2019 7:29 pm Don't sleep on the Mazda CX-9! Beautiful car at an affordable price. Trims available with all the bells and whistles too! https://www.mazdausa.com/vehicles/cx-9
That's not remotely what OP asked for (a compact SUV). The CX-9 is either on the large end of mid-size or on the small end of full-size.
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Re: Which Compact SUV Should I Buy?

Post by BobDaBlob »

I want to focus on one specific point that Meg77 made...
I have two medium sized dogs with a remaining life expectancy of 4-5 years, and I like to be able to haul them safely in their crates for vet visits and said road trip. Also, we buy plants a few times a year and it's nice to have a larger auto to haul them home in. All things considered though I could probably get by with a sedan.
I also have two small/medium sized dogs that I also haul...together...in a 36-inch wire crate (36lx24wx26h)
One of the key considerations for us was being able to fit the crate in the back of our SUV...sideways...without having to put the rear seats down if we also had passengers.
Very few current model compact suv's are not dramatically "slanted" at the back window to allow this.
Depth of wheel wells also comes into play here.

The one that comes to mind are:
Subaru Forester...I know this because I have a 2015.
I took the crate with me for test rides and made sure it fit in my vehicle of choice.

Toyota Highlander and Honda Pilot also fit this bill, but may not be the compact size the OP is looking for.
VW Passat Wagon will also fit this crate size nicely.
The current RAV4, CRV or CX-5 may work, but definitely did not when we got the Forester.
If you won't mind putting the rear seats down, you'll have these and more options.

Good luck whatever you decide!
Bob

P.S. One of my current vehicles is a 2002 Toyota Highlander with about 198k miles...I put the 4th set of tires on it about a year ago...it doesn't ask me for much beyond regular oil changes, maybe an additional $500+/- repair every other year or so, and is more than sufficient for my daily 6-mile commute, around-town driving as needed and the occasional concert tailgate 8-)
My SO is very happy driving the 2015 Subaru Forester...with the pups!
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goingup
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Re: Which Compact SUV Should I Buy?

Post by goingup »

Meg77 wrote: Thu Jan 03, 2019 4:52 pmMy Volvo is a 2011 but it only has 56,000 miles and is in great shape. I know I could drive it for another decade easily. *sigh* Maybe that should be my plan. :beer
Splurge to get your car detailed. Get a nice set of new tires. Keep it for a couple more years, then revisit the decision. :beer
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Re: Which Compact SUV Should I Buy?

Post by RustyShackleford »

snackdog wrote: Thu Jan 03, 2019 5:13 pm SUVs are terrible and compact SUVs are even worse. Stay with a wagon. If you love Volvos, why not another Volvo?
Agree with 1st and 2nd sentences. But why not another Volvo ? Because Subarus are cheaper, more reliable, and more fun to drive; this is probably also true of the other Asian brands mentioned.
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Re: Which Compact SUV Should I Buy?

Post by randomguy »

stoptothink wrote: Thu Jan 03, 2019 6:58 pm
Maybe it's just me, but when Meg said "flexible" with the budget, I am pretty sure she didn't mean more than doubling it. That's my thought with cars nowadays, even economy cars are so good now that to get something just a little "better", you have to double or triple the budget. Simply not worth it (to me) even though we can easily afford it.
Might as well get the Model X. So what if it is 4x the budget and 18" longer:)

1) Buying a new car because you don't want to get tires is crazy. And I am pretty sure you know that:)

2) Most of the 2011 luxury compact SUVs (Q5, XC60, X3,...) are very similiar to the 2016 versions that you can get for 25-35k. The exception is the mercedes GLC which replaced the glk. You get slightly better features, engines, and minor looks but you don't get the big model shifts. Most people need to look 2 or 3 times to tell the difference between a 2011 XC60 and a 2017 one. 2018 was the year that seemed to have all the new models (XC60,x3,Q5) and it will take 2 years for them to get down to 30

For comfort and the type of driving it sounds like you do, it is going to be hard to beat a volvo or maybe the lexus. Far from the sportest rides but for a comfortable commute, hard to go wrong.

The mazda is nice but there is a definite difference is seat quality between them and volvo. Of course it also costs like 15k less for similiar equipment. If you had to buy new with a 30k budget, that would be the clear choice to me over the CRv, RAV4 (haven't driven the 2019 yet. Supposedly it is a lot better), and forrester. But you really can't go wrong with any of them if one speaks to you.

Personally I would drive 2 more years and then get a 2018 XC60 for 30k. A 2016 XC60 doesn't seem like much of gain and a newish CX5 (or the equivalent) is a bit of step down luxury wise to get a couple of features like adaptive cruise control. Doesn't seem like much of a win. Granted I don't understand how you can lock keys in your car:) so I might not be valuing the inconvenience of that enough. It might be worth 20k to solve that problem:)
michaeljc70
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Re: Which Compact SUV Should I Buy?

Post by michaeljc70 »

RustyShackleford wrote: Thu Jan 03, 2019 9:12 pm
snackdog wrote: Thu Jan 03, 2019 5:13 pm SUVs are terrible and compact SUVs are even worse. Stay with a wagon. If you love Volvos, why not another Volvo?
Agree with 1st and 2nd sentences. But why not another Volvo ? Because Subarus are cheaper, more reliable, and more fun to drive; this is probably also true of the other Asian brands mentioned.
I really see little difference between many of the compact SUVs and a wagon. What makes it a wagon? Why is a compact SUV so terrible? You can haul enough to satisfy most people's needs with fairly good MPG in a compact SUV. Some people also like to sit a little higher off the ground and like more ground clearance particularly in areas where they get a good amount of snow. Wagons pretty much went out when minivans arrived.....
Last edited by michaeljc70 on Thu Jan 03, 2019 9:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.
finite_difference
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Re: Which Compact SUV Should I Buy?

Post by finite_difference »

You can get a lightly used (~3 years old/30k miles) Lexus RX 350 with backup camera, blindspot monitoring, keyless entry, leather seats, navigation, moonroof, heated seats, Bluetooth, automatic rear door, etc. for ~ $30k OTD. The original cost new OTD was ~ $45k+.

Runs fine on regular gasoline.

Seems pretty hard to beat in terms of value.
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onourway
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Re: Which Compact SUV Should I Buy?

Post by onourway »

BobDaBlob wrote: Thu Jan 03, 2019 8:03 pm I want to focus on one specific point that Meg77 made...
I have two medium sized dogs with a remaining life expectancy of 4-5 years, and I like to be able to haul them safely in their crates for vet visits and said road trip. Also, we buy plants a few times a year and it's nice to have a larger auto to haul them home in. All things considered though I could probably get by with a sedan.
I also have two small/medium sized dogs that I also haul...together...in a 36-inch wire crate (36lx24wx26h)
One of the key considerations for us was being able to fit the crate in the back of our SUV...sideways...without having to put the rear seats down if we also had passengers.
Very few current model compact suv's are not dramatically "slanted" at the back window to allow this.
Depth of wheel wells also comes into play here.

The one that comes to mind are:
Subaru Forester...I know this because I have a 2015.
I took the crate with me for test rides and made sure it fit in my vehicle of choice.

Toyota Highlander and Honda Pilot also fit this bill, but may not be the compact size the OP is looking for.
VW Passat Wagon will also fit this crate size nicely.
The current RAV4, CRV or CX-5 may work, but definitely did not when we got the Forester.
If you won't mind putting the rear seats down, you'll have these and more options.

Good luck whatever you decide!
Bob

P.S. One of my current vehicles is a 2002 Toyota Highlander with about 198k miles...I put the 4th set of tires on it about a year ago...it doesn't ask me for much beyond regular oil changes, maybe an additional $500+/- repair every other year or so, and is more than sufficient for my daily 6-mile commute, around-town driving as needed and the occasional concert tailgate 8-)
My SO is very happy driving the 2015 Subaru Forester...with the pups!
One of the nice things about Volvo is they have possibly the most complete selection of factory accessories of any manufacturer. Including a built in dog crate for the XC60 (or two). https://accessories.volvocars.com/en-ru ... 91008/2017
onourway
Posts: 2671
Joined: Thu Dec 08, 2016 3:39 pm

Re: Which Compact SUV Should I Buy?

Post by onourway »

RustyShackleford wrote: Thu Jan 03, 2019 9:12 pm
snackdog wrote: Thu Jan 03, 2019 5:13 pm SUVs are terrible and compact SUVs are even worse. Stay with a wagon. If you love Volvos, why not another Volvo?
Agree with 1st and 2nd sentences. But why not another Volvo ? Because Subarus are cheaper, more reliable, and more fun to drive; this is probably also true of the other Asian brands mentioned.
Subaru is generally in the bottom third of reliability rankings, and pretty much the worst of the Japanese brands. They are nothing like Toyota and their issues tend to be major power train problems with the engine and transmission. And other than a few specialty models they are pretty much universally underpowered, which saps most of the fun out of the vehicle.
stoptothink
Posts: 8338
Joined: Fri Dec 31, 2010 9:53 am

Re: Which Compact SUV Should I Buy?

Post by stoptothink »

michaeljc70 wrote: Thu Jan 03, 2019 9:20 pm
RustyShackleford wrote: Thu Jan 03, 2019 9:12 pm
snackdog wrote: Thu Jan 03, 2019 5:13 pm SUVs are terrible and compact SUVs are even worse. Stay with a wagon. If you love Volvos, why not another Volvo?
Agree with 1st and 2nd sentences. But why not another Volvo ? Because Subarus are cheaper, more reliable, and more fun to drive; this is probably also true of the other Asian brands mentioned.
I really see little difference between many of the compact SUVs and a wagon. What makes it a wagon? Why is a compact SUV so terrible? You can haul enough to satisfy most people's needs with fairly good MPG in a compact SUV. Some people also like to sit a little higher off the ground and like more ground clearance particularly in areas where they get a good amount of snow. Wagons pretty much went out when minivans arrived.....
The raised stance of SUVs is, in almost every case, simply to provide the appearance of being utilitarian (like a truck). That raised center of gravity means worse acceleration, handling, braking, gas mileage, and (usually) space, with literally no benefit whatsoever. Wagons, like minivans, are just better performing vehicles than SUVs in every real-world quantifiable way...except the really important one: looks.
michaeljc70
Posts: 7102
Joined: Thu Oct 15, 2015 3:53 pm

Re: Which Compact SUV Should I Buy?

Post by michaeljc70 »

stoptothink wrote: Thu Jan 03, 2019 10:00 pm
michaeljc70 wrote: Thu Jan 03, 2019 9:20 pm
RustyShackleford wrote: Thu Jan 03, 2019 9:12 pm
snackdog wrote: Thu Jan 03, 2019 5:13 pm SUVs are terrible and compact SUVs are even worse. Stay with a wagon. If you love Volvos, why not another Volvo?
Agree with 1st and 2nd sentences. But why not another Volvo ? Because Subarus are cheaper, more reliable, and more fun to drive; this is probably also true of the other Asian brands mentioned.
I really see little difference between many of the compact SUVs and a wagon. What makes it a wagon? Why is a compact SUV so terrible? You can haul enough to satisfy most people's needs with fairly good MPG in a compact SUV. Some people also like to sit a little higher off the ground and like more ground clearance particularly in areas where they get a good amount of snow. Wagons pretty much went out when minivans arrived.....
The raised stance of SUVs is, in almost every case, simply to provide the appearance of being utilitarian (like a truck). That raised center of gravity means worse acceleration, handling, braking, gas mileage, and (usually) space, with literally no benefit whatsoever. Wagons, like minivans, are just better performing vehicles than SUVs in every real-world quantifiable way...except the really important one: looks.
You ignored ground clearance and driver visibility. And looks probably does drive auto sales more than any other "feature".
FireSekr
Posts: 1076
Joined: Tue Apr 02, 2013 9:54 am

Re: Which Compact SUV Should I Buy?

Post by FireSekr »

AlphaLess wrote: Thu Jan 03, 2019 5:45 pm Mid-market: RAV4, CR-V.
Higher end: BMW X1, Volvo XC40.
The X1 isn’t higher end it’s utter junk and it’s not even a real Bmw. It’s a front wheel drive Mini with a BMW badge and better styling. The new X3 and X5 are excellent though.

OP, just keep the Volvo. Unless you want to spend more and get the new XC60, a new CR-V, RAV4 or name your econobox cookie cutter suv is a downgrade from what you already have
Rus In Urbe
Posts: 639
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Re: Which Compact SUV Should I Buy?

Post by Rus In Urbe »

Subaru Forester or Outback. Dogs like Outback. easy jump in and out.
We never thought we'd go for an SUV, but four years ago we bought a Subaru Forrester. We take long highway road trips in summer---it has plenty of room for our luggage and is very relaxing to drive. Also good space in back for hauling home plants and small shrubs for our garden. Good pick-up, solid feel. We live in a snowy climate, so the AWD is essential and we are always sure-footed on icy roads when others are spinning out. Good gas mileage, around 25.

It ran us about $26K. We put it on our Amex (which is paid monthly) and racked up lots of travel points.

As the ads say..... Love. Yep, we do love our Subaru (Forrester).
I'd like to live as a poor man with lots of money. ~Pablo Picasso
FireSekr
Posts: 1076
Joined: Tue Apr 02, 2013 9:54 am

Re: Which Compact SUV Should I Buy?

Post by FireSekr »

michaeljc70 wrote: Thu Jan 03, 2019 10:09 pm
stoptothink wrote: Thu Jan 03, 2019 10:00 pm
michaeljc70 wrote: Thu Jan 03, 2019 9:20 pm
RustyShackleford wrote: Thu Jan 03, 2019 9:12 pm
snackdog wrote: Thu Jan 03, 2019 5:13 pm SUVs are terrible and compact SUVs are even worse. Stay with a wagon. If you love Volvos, why not another Volvo?
Agree with 1st and 2nd sentences. But why not another Volvo ? Because Subarus are cheaper, more reliable, and more fun to drive; this is probably also true of the other Asian brands mentioned.
I really see little difference between many of the compact SUVs and a wagon. What makes it a wagon? Why is a compact SUV so terrible? You can haul enough to satisfy most people's needs with fairly good MPG in a compact SUV. Some people also like to sit a little higher off the ground and like more ground clearance particularly in areas where they get a good amount of snow. Wagons pretty much went out when minivans arrived.....
The raised stance of SUVs is, in almost every case, simply to provide the appearance of being utilitarian (like a truck). That raised center of gravity means worse acceleration, handling, braking, gas mileage, and (usually) space, with literally no benefit whatsoever. Wagons, like minivans, are just better performing vehicles than SUVs in every real-world quantifiable way...except the really important one: looks.
You ignored ground clearance and driver visibility. And looks probably does drive auto sales more than any other "feature".
And 95% of SUV drivers could get away with the ground clearance of a Porsche 911 cause they never take the cars off road.

Wagons are better in every regard and I’d even say many wagons look better than SUVs. The current Volvo lineup looks great. The bmw 5 wagon is sexy but sadly unavailable in the states. The Mercedes E class wagon looks great too. I find these options far more attractive than the refrigerator on wheels plastic fantastic bargain basement RAV4, CRV,Highlander etc
surfstar
Posts: 2247
Joined: Fri Sep 13, 2013 12:17 pm
Location: Santa Barbara, CA

Re: Which Compact SUV Should I Buy?

Post by surfstar »

Hyundai Kona EV
not out yet

but with your crazy low miles / short commute, any EV would make a lot of sense
Rent a car if needed for your rare long trip, or fly.
bloom2708
Posts: 8177
Joined: Wed Apr 02, 2014 2:08 pm
Location: Fargo, ND

Re: Which Compact SUV Should I Buy?

Post by bloom2708 »

Speaking of wagons.

Saw one of these on the road the other day. Not recommending it, but it is kind of sharp/different.

https://www.edmunds.com/buick/regal-tourx/2019/wagon/
"We are here to provoke thoughtfulness, not agree with you." Unknown Boglehead
stoptothink
Posts: 8338
Joined: Fri Dec 31, 2010 9:53 am

Re: Which Compact SUV Should I Buy?

Post by stoptothink »

ssquared87 wrote: Thu Jan 03, 2019 10:18 pm
michaeljc70 wrote: Thu Jan 03, 2019 10:09 pm
stoptothink wrote: Thu Jan 03, 2019 10:00 pm
michaeljc70 wrote: Thu Jan 03, 2019 9:20 pm
RustyShackleford wrote: Thu Jan 03, 2019 9:12 pm
Agree with 1st and 2nd sentences. But why not another Volvo ? Because Subarus are cheaper, more reliable, and more fun to drive; this is probably also true of the other Asian brands mentioned.
I really see little difference between many of the compact SUVs and a wagon. What makes it a wagon? Why is a compact SUV so terrible? You can haul enough to satisfy most people's needs with fairly good MPG in a compact SUV. Some people also like to sit a little higher off the ground and like more ground clearance particularly in areas where they get a good amount of snow. Wagons pretty much went out when minivans arrived.....
The raised stance of SUVs is, in almost every case, simply to provide the appearance of being utilitarian (like a truck). That raised center of gravity means worse acceleration, handling, braking, gas mileage, and (usually) space, with literally no benefit whatsoever. Wagons, like minivans, are just better performing vehicles than SUVs in every real-world quantifiable way...except the really important one: looks.
You ignored ground clearance and driver visibility. And looks probably does drive auto sales more than any other "feature".
And 95% of SUV drivers could get away with the ground clearance of a Porsche 911 cause they never take the cars off road.

Wagons are better in every regard and I’d even say many wagons look better than SUVs. The current Volvo lineup looks great. The bmw 5 wagon is sexy but sadly unavailable in the states. The Mercedes E class wagon looks great too. I find these options far more attractive than the refrigerator on wheels plastic fantastic bargain basement RAV4, CRV,Highlander etc
And extra "ground clearance" isn't going to make an iota of difference if they were to actually take an SUV off-road, the majority of SUVs (especially of the compact nature) are built on car platforms, they are about as capable off pavement as a Honda civic. I dare you to test virtually any compact SUV against a Subaru Forester or VW all-track or Volvo xc60 off-road or in heavy snow. Driver visibility? Uhh, I guess that is a benefit.
Last edited by stoptothink on Thu Jan 03, 2019 10:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.
dbforbes
Posts: 26
Joined: Mon Jul 09, 2018 11:18 am

Re: Which Compact SUV Should I Buy?

Post by dbforbes »

Love my Acura RDX. Similar to the Mazda CX-5 described above but has much more in the way of cajones (V6) at only slightly higher cost. And never breaks down.
02nz
Posts: 5565
Joined: Wed Feb 21, 2018 3:17 pm

Re: Which Compact SUV Should I Buy?

Post by 02nz »

dbforbes wrote: Thu Jan 03, 2019 10:41 pm Love my Acura RDX. Similar to the Mazda CX-5 described above but has much more in the way of cajones (V6) at only slightly higher cost. And never breaks down.
The '19 RDX dropped the V6 and has a turbo four-cylinder, like the original RDX. I guess you could say it lost a pair (of cylinders :wink:). The CX-5 can now be had with a turbo four as well. The Acura engine has more horsepower, the CX-5 has more torque. Overall performance is likely to be very similar between the two.
Last edited by 02nz on Thu Jan 03, 2019 10:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
bluebolt
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Joined: Sat Jan 14, 2017 9:01 am

Re: Which Compact SUV Should I Buy?

Post by bluebolt »

stoptothink wrote: Thu Jan 03, 2019 10:00 pm The raised stance of SUVs is, in almost every case, simply to provide the appearance of being utilitarian (like a truck). That raised center of gravity means worse acceleration, handling, braking, gas mileage, and (usually) space, with literally no benefit whatsoever. Wagons, like minivans, are just better performing vehicles than SUVs in every real-world quantifiable way...except the really important one: looks.
I have a bad back and the extra few inches of clearance is extremely valuable as I get my child in and out of their car seat and load and retrieve items from the cargo area without bending over.
dbr
Posts: 33842
Joined: Sun Mar 04, 2007 9:50 am

Re: Which Compact SUV Should I Buy?

Post by dbr »

bluebolt wrote: Thu Jan 03, 2019 10:48 pm
stoptothink wrote: Thu Jan 03, 2019 10:00 pm The raised stance of SUVs is, in almost every case, simply to provide the appearance of being utilitarian (like a truck). That raised center of gravity means worse acceleration, handling, braking, gas mileage, and (usually) space, with literally no benefit whatsoever. Wagons, like minivans, are just better performing vehicles than SUVs in every real-world quantifiable way...except the really important one: looks.
I have a bad back and the extra few inches of clearance is extremely valuable as I get my child in and out of their car seat and load and retrieve items from the cargo area without bending over.
Absolutely. The ideal vehicles today for ease of entry and exit and for visibility outside the vehicle are CSUV's, probably the optimum for these two features being the Subaru Forrester and after that the Outback. Large SUVs can actually be worse again for access as they are too high, just as are trucks, which is what large SUVs are.

The real point here is that the best choice of a vehicle is personal depending on usage, preference, taste -- best match to the individual. These things have to be examined by going into the showroom, or renting a vehicle, or by trying out those owned by friends. It is not likely the choices of strangers are going to be the best.
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msi
Posts: 591
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Re: Which Compact SUV Should I Buy?

Post by msi »

onourway wrote: Thu Jan 03, 2019 9:44 pm
RustyShackleford wrote: Thu Jan 03, 2019 9:12 pm
snackdog wrote: Thu Jan 03, 2019 5:13 pm SUVs are terrible and compact SUVs are even worse. Stay with a wagon. If you love Volvos, why not another Volvo?
Agree with 1st and 2nd sentences. But why not another Volvo ? Because Subarus are cheaper, more reliable, and more fun to drive; this is probably also true of the other Asian brands mentioned.
Subaru is generally in the bottom third of reliability rankings, and pretty much the worst of the Japanese brands. They are nothing like Toyota and their issues tend to be major power train problems with the engine and transmission. And other than a few specialty models they are pretty much universally underpowered, which saps most of the fun out of the vehicle.
Subaru is ranked #4 most reliable in Consumer Reports. https://www.consumerreports.org/car-rel ... able-cars/

The CVT issues some have had do concern me a bit, though.
randomguy
Posts: 9206
Joined: Wed Sep 17, 2014 9:00 am

Re: Which Compact SUV Should I Buy?

Post by randomguy »

ssquared87 wrote: Thu Jan 03, 2019 10:18 pm
michaeljc70 wrote: Thu Jan 03, 2019 10:09 pm
stoptothink wrote: Thu Jan 03, 2019 10:00 pm
michaeljc70 wrote: Thu Jan 03, 2019 9:20 pm
RustyShackleford wrote: Thu Jan 03, 2019 9:12 pm
Agree with 1st and 2nd sentences. But why not another Volvo ? Because Subarus are cheaper, more reliable, and more fun to drive; this is probably also true of the other Asian brands mentioned.
I really see little difference between many of the compact SUVs and a wagon. What makes it a wagon? Why is a compact SUV so terrible? You can haul enough to satisfy most people's needs with fairly good MPG in a compact SUV. Some people also like to sit a little higher off the ground and like more ground clearance particularly in areas where they get a good amount of snow. Wagons pretty much went out when minivans arrived.....
The raised stance of SUVs is, in almost every case, simply to provide the appearance of being utilitarian (like a truck). That raised center of gravity means worse acceleration, handling, braking, gas mileage, and (usually) space, with literally no benefit whatsoever. Wagons, like minivans, are just better performing vehicles than SUVs in every real-world quantifiable way...except the really important one: looks.
You ignored ground clearance and driver visibility. And looks probably does drive auto sales more than any other "feature".
And 95% of SUV drivers could get away with the ground clearance of a Porsche 911 cause they never take the cars off road.

Wagons are better in every regard and I’d even say many wagons look better than SUVs. The current Volvo lineup looks great. The bmw 5 wagon is sexy but sadly unavailable in the states. The Mercedes E class wagon looks great too. I find these options far more attractive than the refrigerator on wheels plastic fantastic bargain basement RAV4, CRV,Highlander etc
This is like saying 95% of 911 drivers could get away with the HP and handling of an accord since they never get close to a track. It is true but misses the point:) Unfortunately wagons are worse in the only ways that matter to consumers. They are harder to get into and harder to see over traffic. For an aging population in the land of pickup trucks, those are far more important than being able to take corners and extra 5 miles above the speed limit and getting another 2 mpg.
Geno
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Joined: Fri Feb 26, 2016 1:19 pm
Location: Renton,WA

Re: Which Compact SUV Should I Buy?

Post by Geno »

RAV 4
If you are successful, you will win some false friends and some true enemies; Succeed anyway.
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