Help me choose my next Boglecar!

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Topic Author
Natsdoc
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Help me choose my next Boglecar!

Post by Natsdoc »

Hello fellow Bogleheads!

In traditional BH fashion I've been driving my trusty but slowly deteriorating 2003 Pontiac Vibe for the last 14 years and have decided it's time to look for a replacement. I love the Vibe - it has a small footprint yet amazing cargo capacity (54 cu. ft) and has been a great car, it's basically a Toyota under a Pontiac badge.

Unfortunately Toyota no longer makes the Matrix, and the new Corolla hatchback is tiny, so we're looking in the small SUV segment.

Contenders so far:
- Subaru Forester
- Subaru Outback
- Hyundai Tuscon
- Mazda CX-5
- Toyota RAV-4
- Kia Sportage'

Honda is out due to my husbands prior experience with Honda USA not honoring a CPO warranty, we'll never give the company our business again.
I don't want to go any larger (ie Toyota Highlander) as they just feel "too big" to drive/park.
Use will be mostly city traffic commuting (~1 hour) each way to and from work, but also weekend excursions and large enough to hold all of our camping/boating gear.


Does anyone drive these cars? What do you like, and what do you hate? Would you buy it again?
Last edited by Natsdoc on Fri Aug 02, 2019 2:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.
smitcat
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Re: Help me choose my next Boglecar!

Post by smitcat »

Natsdoc wrote: Fri Aug 02, 2019 2:32 pm Hello fellow Bogleheads!

In traditional BH fashion I've been driving my trusty but slowly deteriorating 2003 Pontiac Vibe for the last 14 years and have decided it's time to look for a replacement. I love the Vibe - it has a small footprint yet amazing cargo capacity (54 cu. ft) and has been a great car, it's basically a Toyota under a Pontiac badge.

Unfortunately Toyota no longer makes the Matrix, and the new Corolla hatchback is tiny, so we're looking in the small SUV segment.


Contenders so far:
- Subaru Forester
- Subaru Outback
- Hyundai Tuscon
- Toyota RAV-4
- Kia Sportage

Honda is out due to my husbands prior
Mazda CX5
Topic Author
Natsdoc
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Re: Help me choose my next Boglecar!

Post by Natsdoc »

yes, that too! Edited my post!
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JoeRetire
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Re: Help me choose my next Boglecar!

Post by JoeRetire »

Natsdoc wrote: Fri Aug 02, 2019 2:32 pm Does anyone drive these cars? What do you like, and what do you hate? Would you buy it again?
I like my Subaru Forester and would buy it again.

Make sure you test drive all of them. Everyone likes something different.
It's the end of the world as we know it. | It's the end of the world as we know it. | It's the end of the world as we know it. | And I feel fine.
Topic Author
Natsdoc
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Re: Help me choose my next Boglecar!

Post by Natsdoc »

We've test driven every car on that list (and more!) except the Kia so far (thought my inlaws have one)
I didn't absolutely fall in love with any of them, and suspect I'd be fine driving any of them, which makes it hard to choose!
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MrBobcat
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Re: Help me choose my next Boglecar!

Post by MrBobcat »

Natsdoc wrote: Fri Aug 02, 2019 2:32 pm Hello fellow Bogleheads!

In traditional BH fashion I've been driving my trusty but slowly deteriorating 2003 Pontiac Vibe for the last 14 years and have decided it's time to look for a replacement. I love the Vibe - it has a small footprint yet amazing cargo capacity (54 cu. ft) and has been a great car, it's basically a Toyota under a Pontiac badge.

Unfortunately Toyota no longer makes the Matrix, and the new Corolla hatchback is tiny, so we're looking in the small SUV segment.


Contenders so far:
- Subaru Forester
- Subaru Outback
- Hyundai Tuscon
- Toyota RAV-4
- Kia Sportage'

Honda is out due to my husbands prior experience with Honda USA not honoring a CPO warranty, we'll never give the company our business again.

Does anyone drive these cars? What do you like, and what do you hate? Would you buy it again?
My son and in-laws drive Forester and love them, parents drive an Outback and love it. If I were to buy a new car today it'd be a Forester, but my 6 year old Accord probably still has 10 years left in it... We drove my in-laws 2018 Forester while visiting them and took it on a 250 mile road trip, probably averaged 65mph, thing got 38 mpg. My son's that is a 2015 gets about 30 mpg.
mikeyzito22
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Re: Help me choose my next Boglecar!

Post by mikeyzito22 »

Natsdoc wrote: Fri Aug 02, 2019 2:32 pm Hello fellow Bogleheads!

In traditional BH fashion I've been driving my trusty but slowly deteriorating 2003 Pontiac Vibe for the last 14 years and have decided it's time to look for a replacement. I love the Vibe - it has a small footprint yet amazing cargo capacity (54 cu. ft) and has been a great car, it's basically a Toyota under a Pontiac badge.

Unfortunately Toyota no longer makes the Matrix, and the new Corolla hatchback is tiny, so we're looking in the small SUV segment.


Contenders so far:
- Subaru Forester
- Subaru Outback
- Hyundai Tuscon
- Toyota RAV-4
- Kia Sportage'

Honda is out due to my husbands prior experience with Honda USA not honoring a CPO warranty, we'll never give the company our business again.

Does anyone drive these cars? What do you like, and what do you hate? Would you buy it again?
Hi there! I have recently driven these cars. I purchased the 2017 Rav 4. I like the trim more than the 2019 model. However, the infotainment system looks better in the newer one. As far as reliability goes, the Rav4 is killer. I still have a 2000 and it's still going strong 19 years later with just basic maintenance. I also got hit in the old car and had an Outback for about a week and a half as a rental. It was great. It was perky, sensitive to the floor, and had all the bells and whistles. If you're going to go Outback may I suggest the "turbo." The Outback may feel a little more like the Vibe than a more elevated forester or Rav. IMHO the Forester is just boring and very mild. I also hope Subaru fixed the gasket issue I keep hearing about. Good luck! Maybe rent one for a few days. Some dealerships let you take the car for 48 hours. Definitely worth a look around in your area.
randomguy
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Re: Help me choose my next Boglecar!

Post by randomguy »

Have you considered a Tesla. Model Y would fit your needs perfectly and only cost 3x what you are looking to spend and not available for 18 months:)

Now that is out of the way, the CX-5 is the other car that shows up a lot in the compact CUV space. The outback is much bigger than these other cars. There are also a bunch of half size smaller (CX-3, C-HR,...) that you could consider if you really want a small car.


If you don't need a CUV, the Mazda 3 hatch has decent cargo (20/45 if memory serves) . The imprezza hatchback used to be roomy but I haven't been in one in half a decade. And if you don't care much about reliability, VW has some options like the sportwagen or Alltrak that might also fit the bill.

Depending on your preference between cost, acceleration, driving feel, tolerance for NVH, exact space requirements, tech preferences, and so on, you can make a arguments for any of them. They are all pretty decent cars but they are also far from perfect.

The Rav4 is likely to be the most reliable one but the others ones all tend to be pretty reliable. If you are buying used you could google to see if any specific problem has shown up.
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elcadarj
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Re: Help me choose my next Boglecar!

Post by elcadarj »

Two hour commute: whatever has the most comfortable seats for you w/infotainment system as tie-breaker.
UpperNwGuy
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Re: Help me choose my next Boglecar!

Post by UpperNwGuy »

I'm buying a new small SUV soon, too. My current short list is the Toyota RAV-4 (because of its reliability) and the Kia Soul (because its small size makes it ideal for parallel parking in the city). I'm leaning toward the Kia Soul.

Two cars that would otherwise be near the top of my list are the Honda CRV and the Subaru Forester, but the CRV's turbo engine problems scare me, and the Forester's CVT problems scare me (as well as its history of burning oil).
Last edited by UpperNwGuy on Fri Aug 02, 2019 6:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.
livesoft
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Re: Help me choose my next Boglecar!

Post by livesoft »

I recently rented a RAV4 for 3 weeks and put many mountainous miles on it including driving in the snow and sleet as well as 90 deg weather down in the Central Valley. The RAV4 is a good car, but it not as good as my Subaru Outback 3.6R Limited which handles much much better and has lots more power with the comfort of my other car: a Lexus RX350. Of course, the Subaru costs lots more than a RAV4, so there's that.

The Outback is probably the most expensive car in the OP's list, so clearly it is a true Boglecar that says "Yes, I've made it, so now I can spend it!" The others are not in that category. Instead though they are true Boglecars, they are saying "No, I haven't made it yet."

But you know that my opinion doesn't count at all. It is possible that your body dimensions won't fit in either of those cars comfortably. That's things like where your elbows and knees end up after adjusting the seat.is
Last edited by livesoft on Fri Aug 02, 2019 3:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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dewey
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Re: Help me choose my next Boglecar!

Post by dewey »

We're looking for a replacement for my wife's 2014 Mazda 3 hatchback (which has been a phenomenal car) which will be a smaller SUV. One car that got my attention recently--we'll see when it's out soon--is the 2020 Ford Escape. It's all new and will be a challenger to the CRV and RAV4 among others.
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02nz
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Re: Help me choose my next Boglecar!

Post by 02nz »

I've driven almost all (except the new RAV4, only sat in it) on that list. The CX-5 would be my pick of those. It drives better than any other compact crossover and it looks great (ok styling is objective). Upper trim levels especially feel quite luxurious.

One advantage of the new RAV4 is a very affordable and efficient hybrid option.

For commuting, I'd also take a look at the Kia Niro EV or plug-in hybrid. With the federal tax credit, EVs and plugin hybrids can come out cheaper even before accounting for lower energy cost of charging. Some states (e.g., CA) have additional rebates or incentives like a HOV sticker. The Niro is a notch smaller than the Sportage but should still suit your needs.
Last edited by 02nz on Fri Aug 02, 2019 3:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.
02nz
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Re: Help me choose my next Boglecar!

Post by 02nz »

dewey wrote: Fri Aug 02, 2019 3:33 pm We're looking for a replacement for my wife's 2014 Mazda 3 hatchback (which has been a phenomenal car) which will be a smaller SUV. One car that got my attention recently--we'll see when it's out soon--is the 2020 Ford Escape. It's all new and will be a challenger to the CRV and RAV4 among others.
I don't really subscribe to the "don't buy a first year of a resign" principle, but I definitely would not buy a new car from a company that foisted this on its customers until there was some real evidence of a culture change: https://jalopnik.com/ford-knew-how-defe ... 1836273922. (The Escape did not have the transmission in question, but what it says about Ford's culture is pretty appalling.)
7eight9
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Re: Help me choose my next Boglecar!

Post by 7eight9 »

You have had a Toyota (carrying a Pontiac badge) for the past 14 years. As you said, it has been a great car. Toyota is a known entity. Why even consider something else? When my 16 year old Toyota wouldn't pass the state inspection (check engine light that the dealer wanted just under $1K to fix) I opted not to repair it. I was very satisfied and figured that at nearly 200,000 miles it didn't really owe me anything. I never even replaced the brake pads on it - just changed the oil and air filter. Funny thing is I still see it around town so I guess Carmax fixed it and resold it (likely at auction). It is 21 years old right now. Anyway, I went right out and bought another Toyota. Didn't take a test drive. Didn't look at any other vehicle brands. Just emailed some dealers, got the best price on a new Camry then went down and picked it up. I recommend you do the same for the Toyota vehicle of your preference.
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dustinst22
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Re: Help me choose my next Boglecar!

Post by dustinst22 »

The new Rav 4 hybrid would be my choice.
Katietsu
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Re: Help me choose my next Boglecar!

Post by Katietsu »

No problem with anything on your list. But, they all seem to be a step up in size compared to the Vibe.

Here are just a few cars more similar to the Pontiac Vibe and likely more “value”:
Kia Soul 64 cu ft
Buick Encore 48 cu ft
Toyota Prius V 67 cu ft
Honda HR-V 57 cu ft
Toyota Venza (used) 70 cu ft
WhiteMaxima
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Re: Help me choose my next Boglecar!

Post by WhiteMaxima »

A 1990 Geo Metro (aka Suzuki Swift) 3 cylinder 5MT. 45 mpg, roomy enough for 2 adults, 0-60 11.0 sec.
SaveStrong
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Re: Help me choose my next Boglecar!

Post by SaveStrong »

WhiteMaxima wrote: Fri Aug 02, 2019 4:02 pm A 1990 Geo Metro (aka Suzuki Swift) 3 cylinder 5MT. 45 mpg, roomy enough for 2 adults, 0-60 11.0 sec.
+1 the other cars are too new and too expensive... just think of future returns! Only addition to above would be to find a Geo with at least 150k miles if not 200+ to really capture the most value.
medic
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Re: Help me choose my next Boglecar!

Post by medic »

If you go outback, get the 3.6R. The 4 (non-turbo) is sufficient, but weak. We own the 4-cyl, parents have the 6. I regret not getting the 6 especially when filled with people/gear.
stimulacra
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Re: Help me choose my next Boglecar!

Post by stimulacra »

Contemporary equivalents of Matrix/Vibe:

1) Mazda 3
2) Subaru Crosstrek / Impreza hatchback
3) VW Golf / GTI
4) Chevy Cruze hatchback
5) Honda Fit (smaller but just as versatile space wise)

Slightly larger non-CUV alternatives

1) VW Golf Sportwagon / Alltrack
2) Honda Crosstour
3) Toyota Venza
4) Buick Regal TourX
swordandscales
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Re: Help me choose my next Boglecar!

Post by swordandscales »

stimulacra wrote: Fri Aug 02, 2019 5:45 pm Contemporary equivalents of Matrix/Vibe:

1) Mazda 3
2) Subaru Crosstrek / Impreza hatchback
3) VW Golf / GTI
4) Chevy Cruze hatchback
5) Honda Fit (smaller but just as versatile space wise)

Slightly larger non-CUV alternatives

1) VW Golf Sportwagon / Alltrack
2) Honda Crosstour
3) Toyota Venza
4) Buick Regal TourX
I test drove a VW GTI. That’s a fun vehicle.
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Topic Author
Natsdoc
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Re: Help me choose my next Boglecar!

Post by Natsdoc »

JoeRetire wrote: Fri Aug 02, 2019 2:37 pm
Natsdoc wrote: Fri Aug 02, 2019 2:32 pm Does anyone drive these cars? What do you like, and what do you hate? Would you buy it again?
I like my Subaru Forester and would buy it again.

Make sure you test drive all of them. Everyone likes something different.
Thank you! Anything at all you wish were better/different?
HawkeyePierce
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Re: Help me choose my next Boglecar!

Post by HawkeyePierce »

I know you said no Hondas, but the Fit has truly amazing cargo space for it's small footprint.

It also handles pretty nicely for it's segment. I used to have an hour-long commute in Houston with it.
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Natsdoc
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Re: Help me choose my next Boglecar!

Post by Natsdoc »

MrBobcat wrote: Fri Aug 02, 2019 2:40 pm
Natsdoc wrote: Fri Aug 02, 2019 2:32 pm Hello fellow Bogleheads!

In traditional BH fashion I've been driving my trusty but slowly deteriorating 2003 Pontiac Vibe for the last 14 years and have decided it's time to look for a replacement. I love the Vibe - it has a small footprint yet amazing cargo capacity (54 cu. ft) and has been a great car, it's basically a Toyota under a Pontiac badge.

Unfortunately Toyota no longer makes the Matrix, and the new Corolla hatchback is tiny, so we're looking in the small SUV segment.


Contenders so far:
- Subaru Forester
- Subaru Outback
- Hyundai Tuscon
- Toyota RAV-4
- Kia Sportage'

Honda is out due to my husbands prior experience with Honda USA not honoring a CPO warranty, we'll never give the company our business again.

Does anyone drive these cars? What do you like, and what do you hate? Would you buy it again?
My son and in-laws drive Forester and love them, parents drive an Outback and love it. If I were to buy a new car today it'd be a Forester, but my 6 year old Accord probably still has 10 years left in it... We drove my in-laws 2018 Forester while visiting them and took it on a 250 mile road trip, probably averaged 65mph, thing got 38 mpg. My son's that is a 2015 gets about 30 mpg.
Good to know - thanks for the mpg data points!
michaeljc70
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Re: Help me choose my next Boglecar!

Post by michaeljc70 »

I'd go with the CX-5 for styling, reliability and drivability. I haven't driven all of those though especially as 2019 models.
Topic Author
Natsdoc
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Re: Help me choose my next Boglecar!

Post by Natsdoc »

7eight9 wrote: Fri Aug 02, 2019 3:50 pm You have had a Toyota (carrying a Pontiac badge) for the past 14 years. As you said, it has been a great car. Toyota is a known entity. Why even consider something else? When my 16 year old Toyota wouldn't pass the state inspection (check engine light that the dealer wanted just under $1K to fix) I opted not to repair it. I was very satisfied and figured that at nearly 200,000 miles it didn't really owe me anything. I never even replaced the brake pads on it - just changed the oil and air filter. Funny thing is I still see it around town so I guess Carmax fixed it and resold it (likely at auction). It is 21 years old right now. Anyway, I went right out and bought another Toyota. Didn't take a test drive. Didn't look at any other vehicle brands. Just emailed some dealers, got the best price on a new Camry then went down and picked it up. I recommend you do the same for the Toyota vehicle of your preference.
Thanks! She’s been a great car and I wish Toyota made something equivalent these days!
Topic Author
Natsdoc
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Re: Help me choose my next Boglecar!

Post by Natsdoc »

medic wrote: Fri Aug 02, 2019 4:27 pm If you go outback, get the 3.6R. The 4 (non-turbo) is sufficient, but weak. We own the 4-cyl, parents have the 6. I regret not getting the 6 especially when filled with people/gear.
Thanks! As a good BH the Outback is probably a little rich for us but good to know!
Topic Author
Natsdoc
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Re: Help me choose my next Boglecar!

Post by Natsdoc »

mikeyzito22 wrote: Fri Aug 02, 2019 2:41 pm
Natsdoc wrote: Fri Aug 02, 2019 2:32 pm Hello fellow Bogleheads!

In traditional BH fashion I've been driving my trusty but slowly deteriorating 2003 Pontiac Vibe for the last 14 years and have decided it's time to look for a replacement. I love the Vibe - it has a small footprint yet amazing cargo capacity (54 cu. ft) and has been a great car, it's basically a Toyota under a Pontiac badge.

Unfortunately Toyota no longer makes the Matrix, and the new Corolla hatchback is tiny, so we're looking in the small SUV segment.


Contenders so far:
- Subaru Forester
- Subaru Outback
- Hyundai Tuscon
- Toyota RAV-4
- Kia Sportage'

Honda is out due to my husbands prior experience with Honda USA not honoring a CPO warranty, we'll never give the company our business again.

Does anyone drive these cars? What do you like, and what do you hate? Would you buy it again?
Hi there! I have recently driven these cars. I purchased the 2017 Rav 4. I like the trim more than the 2019 model. However, the infotainment system looks better in the newer one. As far as reliability goes, the Rav4 is killer. I still have a 2000 and it's still going strong 19 years later with just basic maintenance. I also got hit in the old car and had an Outback for about a week and a half as a rental. It was great. It was perky, sensitive to the floor, and had all the bells and whistles. If you're going to go Outback may I suggest the "turbo." The Outback may feel a little more like the Vibe than a more elevated forester or Rav. IMHO the Forester is just boring and very mild. I also hope Subaru fixed the gasket issue I keep hearing about. Good luck! Maybe rent one for a few days. Some dealerships let you take the car for 48 hours. Definitely worth a look around in your area.
Thanks! We looked at a loaded 2017 RAV with 300 (!) miles it just feels so large/truck-like!
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Natsdoc
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Re: Help me choose my next Boglecar!

Post by Natsdoc »

SaveStrong wrote: Fri Aug 02, 2019 4:09 pm
WhiteMaxima wrote: Fri Aug 02, 2019 4:02 pm A 1990 Geo Metro (aka Suzuki Swift) 3 cylinder 5MT. 45 mpg, roomy enough for 2 adults, 0-60 11.0 sec.
+1 the other cars are too new and too expensive... just think of future returns! Only addition to above would be to find a Geo with at least 150k miles if not 200+ to really capture the most value.
Ha. This is all true, but by this line of reasoning we’d just put another 100K on the Vibe!
Stupendous
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Re: Help me choose my next Boglecar!

Post by Stupendous »

I just bought a CX-5. I looked at the Forester, RAV4, and CX-5. I test drove the RAV4 and CX-5. I looked at the Forester and liked the cargo space but was not a fan of the styling or the auto stop/start. The RAV4 lacks Android Auto and I had to spend a lot more money to get ventilated seats (must get the Limited plus package). I gave the CX-5 a look and the smaller cargo space still worked for me. I test drove one and said, yep!
randomguy
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Re: Help me choose my next Boglecar!

Post by randomguy »

02nz wrote: Fri Aug 02, 2019 3:36 pm
dewey wrote: Fri Aug 02, 2019 3:33 pm We're looking for a replacement for my wife's 2014 Mazda 3 hatchback (which has been a phenomenal car) which will be a smaller SUV. One car that got my attention recently--we'll see when it's out soon--is the 2020 Ford Escape. It's all new and will be a challenger to the CRV and RAV4 among others.
I don't really subscribe to the "don't buy a first year of a resign" principle, but I definitely would not buy a new car from a company that foisted this on its customers until there was some real evidence of a culture change: https://jalopnik.com/ford-knew-how-defe ... 1836273922. (The Escape did not have the transmission in question, but what it says about Ford's culture is pretty appalling.)
Would you buy a car from a company like toyota that did the minimum to pass a safety test? I mean is fixing the driver side but not the passenger side a remotely acceptable response?

Depending on where you drawn the line, there might not be a lot of companies that you can buy from. Off the top of my head ford, toyota, gm, VW group, MB, honda and Tesla all have stuff that is off in the sketchy zones.
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dgm
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Re: Help me choose my next Boglecar!

Post by dgm »

friend was eyeing the rav-4 but went with the cx-5 due to price and has no regrets. loves the car
EZ James
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Re: Help me choose my next Boglecar!

Post by EZ James »

I had a 2003 Matrix...same as your Vibe. Great car...fun to drive.

Then a 2010 Matrix. Very sedate & boring. Hated the obtrusive side mirrors. They were huge and positioned such that I could not look over, around or under the blindspot.

They chintzed out on the visors. The driver visor did not come down far enough for me and I’m average height for a male. Also you get a full blast of sun around the inside the rear-view mirror. I don’t recall the 2003 Matix having that problem.

In 2017 I purchased a 2017 RAV4 Platinum.

My primary shopping criteria for this car was:
Maximum driver assist features
No AWD
No CVT
No Turbo
Lots of cargo space
Room for 8’ fishing rods
An audio system that allow me to hear the navigation information with my profound hearing loss.

The RAV4 meets these criteria and is a wonderful improvement over the Matrix. It’s not really in the same class being larger but everything is so much better.

My only complaints are:

The sun visor is still too short in the vertical direction even with the seat all the way up. They have however put sliding panels on both that allow you to block the sun leak on each side of the center rear-view mirror. So they have made some progress.

Some of the driver assist audio notifications are too soft. I cannot hear them without my hearing aids. The one I rely on everyday is the rear-crossing detector and it’s loud and clear. Same with the proximity warnings.

Features I love:

The brake system is terrific and saved me from a wreck the first month.
The rear crossing detector and blind spot monitoring.

Undecided on the lane departure warning. It’s hard to test unless you find a road with no traffic.
White Oak
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Re: Help me choose my next Boglecar!

Post by White Oak »

Natsdoc wrote: Fri Aug 02, 2019 2:32 pm Use will be mostly city traffic commuting (~1 hour) each way to and from work,
Given your long commute, I would consider a Prius or Prius v (the v was discontinued so it would need to be bought used). That could translate into significant fuel savings as compared to the other options you are considering. I would think those would have similar storage as your Matrix.

As someone mentioned above, you could also consider the Rav 4 hybrid.
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Natsdoc
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Re: Help me choose my next Boglecar!

Post by Natsdoc »

elcadarj wrote: Fri Aug 02, 2019 3:02 pm Two hour commute: whatever has the most comfortable seats for you w/infotainment system as tie-breaker.
Thanks!
Yes, the comfort factor eliminated several models not on the list as the seats don't adjust well to me. The remaining ones are ones that I've test driven, and still in the running. I"m trying to differentiate among these - particularly from people who drive them regularly!
Topic Author
Natsdoc
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Re: Help me choose my next Boglecar!

Post by Natsdoc »

White Oak wrote: Sat Aug 03, 2019 6:38 am
Natsdoc wrote: Fri Aug 02, 2019 2:32 pm Use will be mostly city traffic commuting (~1 hour) each way to and from work,
Given your long commute, I would consider a Prius or Prius v (the v was discontinued so it would need to be bought used). That could translate into significant fuel savings as compared to the other options you are considering. I would think those would have similar storage as your Matrix.

As someone mentioned above, you could also consider the Rav 4 hybrid.
Thanks!
While my commute is an hour each way it's only 10 miles. Changing my schedule to avoid rush hour and telework unfortunately aren't options.
Given our plan to own this car as long as possible we feel that the longevity of a hybrid battery (particularly one already a few years old) is of concern, and that the technology isn't quite there yet. I'm less convinced of this, but my husband who is an engineer (and will be the car's chief maintenance technician) is set against a hybrid.

Can anyone who drives the additional models I've mentioned chime in? Particularly the Kia or Hyundai?
surfstar
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Re: Help me choose my next Boglecar!

Post by surfstar »

2019 VW Sportwagen / 4motion / Alltrack

Last year offered. The 1.4T version of the Sportwagen will get great MPG, the 4motion and Alltrack have AWD and 1.8T engine = less MPG, if AWD needed. They hold as much cargo as a CX-5, a little less than a CRV/RAV4 and less than a Forester/Outback. Add an easy-to-reach roofbox (b/c lower wagon height) and you will match or beat the cargo space.

2019 still has VWs 6yr/72k mi warranty (bumper to bumper)

They will be clearing these out for deals and, IMO, you can get a much nicer vehicle than anything in a comparable price range (I'm talking $20-25k + TTL)

my $.02 (we own a 2016 VW Sportwagen, 1.8T, average 38.x MPG over 58k miles. Not a single repair, DIY all our maintenance) Next car will likely be a 2020+ Outback, unless something better comes along in the next few years, while we put more miles on our VW.

If you want newer tech and safety features, then go with a 2020 CUV. If you want a nice driving car with the space of a CUV, get a wagon! :)
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Natsdoc
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Re: Help me choose my next Boglecar!

Post by Natsdoc »

EZ James wrote: Sat Aug 03, 2019 1:49 am I had a 2003 Matrix...same as your Vibe. Great car...fun to drive.

Then a 2010 Matrix. Very sedate & boring. Hated the obtrusive side mirrors. They were huge and positioned such that I could not look over, around or under the blindspot.

They chintzed out on the visors. The driver visor did not come down far enough for me and I’m average height for a male. Also you get a full blast of sun around the inside the rear-view mirror. I don’t recall the 2003 Matix having that problem.

In 2017 I purchased a 2017 RAV4 Platinum.

My primary shopping criteria for this car was:
Maximum driver assist features
No AWD
No CVT
No Turbo
Lots of cargo space
Room for 8’ fishing rods
An audio system that allow me to hear the navigation information with my profound hearing loss.

The RAV4 meets these criteria and is a wonderful improvement over the Matrix. It’s not really in the same class being larger but everything is so much better.

My only complaints are:

The sun visor is still too short in the vertical direction even with the seat all the way up. They have however put sliding panels on both that allow you to block the sun leak on each side of the center rear-view mirror. So they have made some progress.

Some of the driver assist audio notifications are too soft. I cannot hear them without my hearing aids. The one I rely on everyday is the rear-crossing detector and it’s loud and clear. Same with the proximity warnings.

Features I love:

The brake system is terrific and saved me from a wreck the first month.
The rear crossing detector and blind spot monitoring.

Undecided on the lane departure warning. It’s hard to test unless you find a road with no traffic.
This is great - just the sort of info I'm looking for that is hard to get in a short test drive or even in a couple of days.
I actually considered looking at a 2013 Matrix several states away, really helpful (though somewhat sad) to know that the later year Matrix (Matrices?) don't seem to hold up.
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Natsdoc
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Re: Help me choose my next Boglecar!

Post by Natsdoc »

02nz wrote: Fri Aug 02, 2019 3:34 pm I've driven almost all (except the new RAV4, only sat in it) on that list. The CX-5 would be my pick of those. It drives better than any other compact crossover and it looks great (ok styling is objective). Upper trim levels especially feel quite luxurious.

One advantage of the new RAV4 is a very affordable and efficient hybrid option.

For commuting, I'd also take a look at the Kia Niro EV or plug-in hybrid. With the federal tax credit, EVs and plugin hybrids can come out cheaper even before accounting for lower energy cost of charging. Some states (e.g., CA) have additional rebates or incentives like a HOV sticker. The Niro is a notch smaller than the Sportage but should still suit your needs.

Thanks! We briefly looked at the Niro on the Kia lot but have some concerns about battery longevity. Perhaps for my next Boglecar in 15 more years! :D
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Natsdoc
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Re: Help me choose my next Boglecar!

Post by Natsdoc »

randomguy wrote: Fri Aug 02, 2019 2:48 pm Have you considered a Tesla. Model Y would fit your needs perfectly and only cost 3x what you are looking to spend and not available for 18 months:)

Now that is out of the way, the CX-5 is the other car that shows up a lot in the compact CUV space. The outback is much bigger than these other cars. There are also a bunch of half size smaller (CX-3, C-HR,...) that you could consider if you really want a small car.


If you don't need a CUV, the Mazda 3 hatch has decent cargo (20/45 if memory serves) . The imprezza hatchback used to be roomy but I haven't been in one in half a decade. And if you don't care much about reliability, VW has some options like the sportwagen or Alltrak that might also fit the bill.

Depending on your preference between cost, acceleration, driving feel, tolerance for NVH, exact space requirements, tech preferences, and so on, you can make a arguments for any of them. They are all pretty decent cars but they are also far from perfect.

The Rav4 is likely to be the most reliable one but the others ones all tend to be pretty reliable. If you are buying used you could google to see if any specific problem has shown up.
Ha! Of course, the Tesla Model Y, how could I forget...:)
Tried the Mazda CX-3, it was a little too small and not as comfortable. I realize I'm wanting to have my cake and eat it too with a car that feels small but will swallow a massive amount of cargo.

For those that suggested the VW Sportwagen or Alltrak - I have some friends who drive these and haven't had the best experiences so we're somewhat turned off on VW given reliability history.
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Natsdoc
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Re: Help me choose my next Boglecar!

Post by Natsdoc »

stimulacra wrote: Fri Aug 02, 2019 5:45 pm Contemporary equivalents of Matrix/Vibe:

1) Mazda 3
2) Subaru Crosstrek / Impreza hatchback
3) VW Golf / GTI
4) Chevy Cruze hatchback
5) Honda Fit (smaller but just as versatile space wise)

Slightly larger non-CUV alternatives

1) VW Golf Sportwagon / Alltrack
2) Honda Crosstour
3) Toyota Venza
4) Buick Regal TourX
Looked at some of these - in particular the Crosstrek was fun but the seat was uncomfortable on a 15 minute test drive. No support anywhere and the higher trim models don't have lumbar support, very disappointing.
Honda is unfortunately out due to prior negative experience, and concerns on reliability for the VWs and Buick's.
Looked for and cannot find a used low-mileage Toyota Venza in several hundred miles.
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RootSki
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Re: Help me choose my next Boglecar!

Post by RootSki »

The new RAv4 looks like the designer forgot to include the infotainment display so they “hot glued” a digital etch-a-sketch on to the dashboard. Once you see it that way, you can’t unsee it. :oops:
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Sandi_k
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Re: Help me choose my next Boglecar!

Post by Sandi_k »

Natsdoc wrote: Fri Aug 02, 2019 8:24 pm
Thanks! She’s been a great car and I wish Toyota made something equivalent these days!
If you're willing to look at used, the Lexus CT200(h) might fit the bill...

Otherwise, I think you need to go sit in them - ergonomics are a big deal.

I will be buying the new Toyota RAV4 hybrid soon; 41 mpg in mixed driving. Lexus also has a new hybrid "micro-ute" called the UX(h) that might appeal.

In regards to the CX-5, I have 4 family members who own them, and they've been flawless. My cousin, mom, sister, and BIL. Owned noew to 5+ years, so definitely worth a look.

I agree that the VW Golf/GTi might be the most fun to drive; a good friend just tried to buy a Porsche (they wanted to order one with specific options). Apparently the order window for the model year had closed the week before, so they regained some Bogleheaded sanity and bought the VW instead. They're pretty pleased with the driving aspects of it.
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Taylor Larimore
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Consumer Reports

Post by Taylor Larimore »

natsdock:

Anecdotal experience can be dangerous. I used the April Car Issue of Consumer Reports which tests hundreds of vehicles and then offers evaluations based on listed criteria.

Consumer Reports is free at most libraries.

Best wishes.
Taylor
"Simplicity is the master key to financial success." -- Jack Bogle
Colorado13
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Re: Help me choose my next Boglecar!

Post by Colorado13 »

I wanted to buy the Mazda CX-5; I think it's a great looking car and it has good safety features. I test drove it multiple times; I really wanted to love it. But, the seats are much much firmer than I want. And by firm I mean "hard." Give it a test drive or two; I can't imagine commuting 2 hours a day on uncomfortable seats but the car may be perfect for you.

I bought a Forester. It's not as good looking as the CX-5 but wow, so comfortable to drive. And it gets great gas mileage. Consumer Reports rates it as their #1 SUV.
tomd37
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Re: Help me choose my next Boglecar!

Post by tomd37 »

Natsdoc - Two weeks ago today I purchased a 2019 Subaru Outback 3.6R in the Touring trim line. For a couple of weeks I went back and forth between it and the 2019 Forester in the Touring trim line. If you are seriously considering the Outback there are lots of discounts from MSRP available if the dealer has the car on the lot. I got $7,201 off MSRP. My local dealer is part of the Hendrick Automotive Group and they have dealerships around the country. My daughter bought a similar car a month ago and got similar pricing for the same model. 2020 models hit the dealerships next month with increased prices.
Tom D.
theplayer11
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Re: Help me choose my next Boglecar!

Post by theplayer11 »

another vote for the CX-5. Their marketing sucks, but their vehicles are great. The Cx-5 is the perfect blend of style, performance(turbo), driveability and reliability.
Some complain about the seats. I have the leather and find it comfortable. Maybe driver's weight is an issue.
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Natsdoc
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Re: Consumer Reports

Post by Natsdoc »

Taylor Larimore wrote: Sat Aug 03, 2019 1:24 pm natsdock:

Anecdotal experience can be dangerous. I used the April Car Issue of Consumer Reports which tests hundreds of vehicles and then offers evaluations based on listed criteria.

Consumer Reports is free at most libraries.

Best wishes.
Taylor
Agree about anecdote! We've done extensive research, including Consumer Reports and ruled out a number of models based on these ratings. Most of the cars we're looking at have similar reviews/reliability, so looking to get more info about the day in/day out details that others have noted.
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Natsdoc
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Re: Help me choose my next Boglecar!

Post by Natsdoc »

RootSki wrote: Sat Aug 03, 2019 10:02 am The new RAv4 looks like the designer forgot to include the infotainment display so they “hot glued” a digital etch-a-sketch on to the dashboard. Once you see it that way, you can’t unsee it. :oops:
Oh my goodness, you're exactly right! We're looking at 1-2 year old so if we go with the RAV4 we'll get the pre-Etch-A-Sketch model! :happy
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