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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun. 23, 2003
    Location
    South Carolina
    Posts
    1,862

    Question Best compact SUV?

    Getting a new full time job and first major purchase in the next few months will be a new car! Would love to get a small super gas saver, but realistically we have two dogs (possibly adding another in the next year or two) and I have the horse stuff so thinking small SUV. This way I have some cargo space, but keeps gas mileage at around 25city/30highway.
    So far my list is:
    Mazda CX-5
    Subaru Forester
    Nissan Rogue
    Anyone have one of these or have one I should seriously add to the list? I'm looking to spend in the 25k-ish range unless I can find the model I want used (the cx-5 just came out in 2013 so find a used one might be difficult and the prior foresters don't get the same gas mileage as the new 2014s).
    Hubby is a car guy so there are some brands that are serious no ways this includes Kia and Hyundai and some American companies.



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul. 29, 2006
    Location
    Colorado- Yee Haw!
    Posts
    2,945

    Default

    I was looking at similar cars and ended up getting a VW Sportwagen with the turbo diesel. The things that swayed me were the pepiness and mileage. Most of the little SUVs had no get up and go. I have also gotten 50+ mpg in my car on the highway for hours. The only barn negative is that it has pretty low clearance. It's also a top safety pick which is important to me.

    I would definitely take one for a test drive.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb. 18, 2008
    Location
    Long Island
    Posts
    941

    Default

    I love my RAV4, and I get about 27 highway and low 20s locally. Not sure what the new ones go for, but mine's a few years old and I paid in the mid-teens for it.



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec. 21, 2005
    Location
    Colorado Springs, CO
    Posts
    1,904

    Default

    My mother has a Rogue. She absolutely loves it. The AWD reduced the mileage a bit, but it's worth it here in hilly and snowy Colorado.

    What I have been most impressed with in the Rogue is the pep. I'm a big fan of horsepower (I recently traded my van for an AWD Hemi Dodge Magnum), so I expected to be disappointed with the Rogue, but it really does get up and go pretty well.
    "Is it ignorance or apathy? Hey, I don't know and I don't care." ~Jimmy Buffett



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun. 23, 2003
    Location
    South Carolina
    Posts
    1,862

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by 4Martini View Post
    I was looking at similar cars and ended up getting a VW Sportwagen with the turbo diesel. The things that swayed me were the pepiness and mileage. Most of the little SUVs had no get up and go. I have also gotten 50+ mpg in my car on the highway for hours. The only barn negative is that it has pretty low clearance. It's also a top safety pick which is important to me.

    I would definitely take one for a test drive.
    I desperately wish more cars came with a turbo diesel option here. I'd be all over them. My mother lives in the UK and she has a Skoda Yeti and her hubby has a new volvo, both diesels and both get 40-50+ mpg. I don't understand why that wouldn't be popular here. I read somewhere that the Volvo diesel engines don't meet US standards which is just ridiculous since they meet European ones (and they are far more green and sustainable than the US!).


    1 members found this post helpful.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep. 24, 2010
    Location
    Western NY
    Posts
    1,101

    Default

    I have an 03 Forester with 211K on it, runs like a champ! I usually get high 20s for mpg, even cracked 30 with a long highway trip! My sister has a 12 Forester even though she lives in Nor Cal (no real need for AWD) since Subaru had a ridiculous deal on them and she needed something for her large dogs. I wish Subaru would make a full size truck, I'd be all over that!

    My DH has a Jetta TDI and loves the 45-50MPG plus the pep and our friend has the Jetta wagon TDI, loves his as well.



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep. 14, 2000
    Location
    Goochland, VA
    Posts
    8,567

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    Because my personal car is ancient and high mileage, I rent A LOT for long distance trips. I have recently driven the new Ford Escape and loved it! I have had one twice, and was surprised at the cargo space. Rear seat folds flat, which is a must for dog crates. Right now, this is what I would buy.
    Laurie
    Finding, preparing, showing and training young hunters, in hand and performance.
    www.juniorjohnsontrainingandsales.com


    1 members found this post helpful.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov. 18, 2010
    Location
    california
    Posts
    4,355

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    I have been looking and debating and I am back to another Forester I have a 2002 and it has not been great but......I like AWD and manual transmissions. I rented a camry last summer and the AWD really spoils you, the camry at 65 in a turn did not feel safe.

    I also have the horse feed and my sons hockey equipment so a hatchback is essential. Plus the Forester holds it's value. The Mazada looked fun though.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May. 2, 2001
    Location
    Tallahassee, FL
    Posts
    4,688

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    I just went through this search, and was very, very surprised that I ended up with a 2014 CRV. I started out looking at a Mini Cooper Countryman, but ended up worrying about there not being a dealer within a 3 hour drive of home.

    Hubby had a Rav4 that he loved, so he talked me into looking at the newly designed one. It had a lot of neat features, but there were a few things that they did with design that made me .

    Even so, I was pretty sold on it or the idea of it, when he suggested we go look at the CRV, just to be sure.

    I loved it. Somehow, I knew from the moment I sat in it.

    I did not look Subaru, basically because my ex just bought a Forester, and I just couldn't bring myself to be driving the same car --weird, I know, but truthful! I also did not drive the Mazda for a couple of reasons -- I had rented a Cx9 and there were a number of interior layout things I didn't like.

    The new 2104 Rogue is going to be pretty awesome -- it has some features that had hubby pretty interested, but since the idea was to sell my car before getting any closer to 100k miles, I couldn't wait for them to be available in November.

    Have rented the Escape and loved it, but when compared to the Honda, with the same level of trim, it was crazy expensive.

    And, I got the Honda in the highest trim level, but without the navigation, but I love it. Run a google search for comparison tests -- there are several good ones out there that put the Toyota, the Mazda and the Honda through their paces.

    There should be a bunch of good deals on 2013 Rogues out there too, since the new one is about to be released.

    Happy shopping! Oh -- mileage wise, I'm getting almost 30 mixed highway and city. You lose some peppiness with the eco saver button on but I use it most of the time -- you can cut it off if you need quick response. My previous car was getting 41-48 mpg, which is obviously a lot better, but diesel is so much higher than gas at the moment, I'm actually spending less on fuel. And this car is just more comfortable, and I love having the room in the SUV back.(One of the reasons that I wanted to have the compact SUV was to be able to more easily transport a whole stock of soap if I do any trade shows!)

    Libby
    *Proud member of the Hoof Fetish Clique*
    **********************************
    I have Higher Standards ...do you? Find us on FB!
    Higher Standards Custom Leather Care -- Handcrafted Saddle Soap


    1 members found this post helpful.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb. 14, 2010
    Posts
    2,996

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    Quote Originally Posted by lauriep View Post
    Because my personal car is ancient and high mileage, I rent A LOT for long distance trips. I have recently driven the new Ford Escape and loved it! I have had one twice, and was surprised at the cargo space. Rear seat folds flat, which is a must for dog crates. Right now, this is what I would buy.
    I liked driving the Ford Escape as a loaner, but not sure it handles as well as my minivan does over the highway.



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr. 14, 2001
    Location
    Minnesota
    Posts
    16,974

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    Love Subarus. A very good friend of mine bought a Forrester last year and it's been a great car. The AWD is great and Subarus just run well forever--and they're easy to take care of.


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  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun. 23, 2003
    Location
    South Carolina
    Posts
    1,862

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    Subaru was originally at the top of my list but hubby, who will be doing the upkeep maintenance, said because they are all AWD it would require more (in money, time, and amount in general) up keep than a FWD car. It's still on my list to test drive though. My friend has a CRV (mid 2000's) that she loves and it so will probably add that to the list.



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun. 24, 2005
    Location
    Alabama
    Posts
    8,882

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    One great feature in all models of CR-V is the backup camera is standard on 2013 and after. I just read that 80% of Hondas have backup cameras now, and it's going to be 100% soon. Do you really need an SUV? I like station wagons type cars, and the Nissan Versa Note (Note is the hatchback model-the regular is the sedan model) has a ground clearance almost as good as my Honda Element. I live in the boonies, and need higher ground clearance for rainy days, and higher speed bumps.
    You can't fix stupid-Ron White



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Dec. 1, 2007
    Location
    Gettysburg, PA
    Posts
    2,637

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    I have a Rogue as does a friend in WI. We both love them. Handles great. In winter I run about 27 mpg and closer to 30 in summer. I just had to go meet my sibs to empty out my mother's apartment and they were amazed how much stuff I could pack in it. I have about a 15 hour drive to get to family and it's comfy and I did fine making the drive by myself. I would shop for one again.
    Epona Farm
    Irish Draughts and Irish Sport horses

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  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jun. 23, 2003
    Location
    South Carolina
    Posts
    1,862

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by JanM View Post
    One great feature in all models of CR-V is the backup camera is standard on 2013 and after. I just read that 80% of Hondas have backup cameras now, and it's going to be 100% soon. Do you really need an SUV? I like station wagons type cars, and the Nissan Versa Note (Note is the hatchback model-the regular is the sedan model) has a ground clearance almost as good as my Honda Element. I live in the boonies, and need higher ground clearance for rainy days, and higher speed bumps.
    Hubby actually has a 2010 Versa hatchback and we really like it, but one of our dogs is an 80lb black lab. We do put the seats down and he fits fine, but when we travel to FL (or possibly Lake George in NY next summer) and have bags and such half the time the corgi ends up on our bags since the lab takes up quite a bit of space. So hence the search for something with a bit more space cargo wise.



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Nov. 10, 2011
    Posts
    889

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    My mom has a CRV and she's about to drive the wheels off of it. When she does, she'll replace with another CRV. I have the Lexus SUV and while our cars are about the same size, there are some features in hers that let's us get more stuff in there. Hers is the older model with the squared off hind end and the swing open trunk door.

    It's a neat little car.

    I also have a friend with the element. I would replace my lexus with that in a minute if they still made them. The possibilities are endless and you can hose out the interior... are you kidding me?!



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Apr. 4, 2010
    Location
    yonder a bit, GA
    Posts
    3,511

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    I'm really taking note on this thread as I'm going to be going for a compact suv as my next vehicle, for the same reasons as the op... Always trekking dogs and horse stuff around as it is, barely ever move people around in my sedan. Similar price range as the op as well... And would love something with some 'pep appeal' as I'm well used to a v6 fun fun fun car.

    I definitely need to get in some and test drive but am loathe to deal with car salesmen, especially since I'm not planning on actually buying until my audi is dead-dead. But my fear is that my beloved car will be a goner, I'll be emotional and stressed over spending what was (in a perfect world) going to be my horse purchase fund, and have twenty seven models of suv to test drive!
    (A decidedly unhorsey) MrB knocks over a feed bucket at the tack shop and mutters, "Oh crap. I failed the stadium jumping phase."
    (he does listen!)



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Apr. 4, 2010
    Location
    yonder a bit, GA
    Posts
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    Oh, fatappy, MrB's got the element. It is really handy for the dogs and is like driving around a potential storage unit but as far as driving comfort, it's not the greatest... I don't know, I am spoiled with my car but when we take his around, every bump in the road feels jarring.. We took it once on the 17 hour drive to key west and by the end of it I was so over it! The dogs were comfortable though! Since then we've taken my car and just forced ourselves (ahem MrB) to pack more lightly!

    We do enjoy the element for the dogs though. We foster and ate always transporting dogs from animal control or to and from vet visits, and mrb just keeps a 36 inch crate in there all the time. He has one back seat folded up along the wall and has removed the other one completely (pretty much from day one!). There are many plusses to his element and he loves it, but I think changing from the lexus to it would be a shock in driving experience!
    (A decidedly unhorsey) MrB knocks over a feed bucket at the tack shop and mutters, "Oh crap. I failed the stadium jumping phase."
    (he does listen!)



  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jan. 28, 2003
    Location
    Hollywood, but not the one where they have the Oscars!
    Posts
    7,370

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    That is why I chose Carmax, no haggling, really loses some of the smarminess
    "You can't really debate with someone who has a prescient invisible friend"
    carolprudm



  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jun. 23, 2003
    Location
    South Carolina
    Posts
    1,862

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    Oh hubby revels in car shopping... he's the ultimate haggler and has been congratulated on his ability to get a good deal by the dealers and then is immediately asked not to come back lol. They really love it when he goes along with someone and isn't even the purchaser!!



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