Post # 16
nursebee22 : so, I know it’s not on your list, but D.H. and I just bought a Mazda CX-5 and really like it. It’s very comfortable and roomy, and handles well. Our runner-ups were the Nissan Rogue Sport and the Subaru Crosstrek (we were looking for a slightly smaller SUV).
Post # 17
I’ve been very impressed by my daughter’s Subaru Forester. Great vehicle! I’ve driven a lot of different SUVs over the years. I love mine too, (Range Rover Sport) but it may be out of your price range.
Post # 18
We have the Honda CRV and it’s a highly rated reliable car for a good price. We like it for the most part, but I think it’s a little under powered… but also didn’t want to get anything more expensive that would provide the power I wanted. (And I’m also just used to sedans with more power). My husband drives this mostly, so it doenst bother me. It doesnt seem to bother him most the time, but once in a while he makes a comment.
I have a Nissan (Altima, not the Rouge), but for that reason, I would not buy another Nissan. I’m not a fan of their CVT engine (unless it’s gotten better in the last 5 years since I got my car) and have an issue with an engine rumble which they claim is normal that happens only in the winter, and only at certain RPMs no matter what my car is doing- accelerating, slowing, coasting.. I call it my winter rumble.
Post # 19
What car will be the best fit is totally subjective on your needs. Do you travel a lot?
I just had my first baby, who is now almost 8w old. I currently drive a Toyota Highlander and I love it for a mid-size SUV. It drives great, gets pretty good mileage, and is spacious. I have 3 rows and my second row has the ability to be either captains chairs w/ console or bench. I typically keep it as captains chairs and keep my 3rd row folded. It was perfect for me pre-baby but now with a little one my next car will be a Suburban.
We do travel quite a bit as my ILs live 8 hours away. We also have a big lab and with the baby I’ve already realized how quickly you run out of room. In any mid-size SUV if you have 3 rows you have to keep the 3rd folded to have any trunk space (this is also the case with cars like a Tahoe). Right now our stroller takes up most of the back. I have no idea how we will travel to my ILs with everything we need for the baby plus our stuff and our dog. I mean I guess we could pack it to the brim but that’s just annoying.
If you are not someone who needs the ability to take lots of trips with your baby and all the crap they need, I think the Highlander is an awesome choice.
Post # 20
nursebee22 : I had a Vovo XC90 and I adored it. I now own a Volvo V60 which is a hatchback. I used to have a Kia Spectra 5 also a hatchback that little car was a gem!
Post # 21
nursebee22 : We LOVE our CR-V. It’s my first ever SUV. I had a small Corolla before, which I loved. (Long story.) When buying we test drove the CR-V, Edge, and Rav4 (I think). The Edge drove like a car but higher. The center of gravity was all off for me. It was like I was driving my Corolla but had less control. (I hope that makes sense.) The CR-V felt the best on control, turning, etc. Also, the cabin, seat spacing, and room in the back were important to us.
I would definitely suggest test driving as much as possible (but not overdo it). Also, have some “must haves” on your list (e.g., room for baby, storage space, certain technology).
P.S. If you don’t already have a backup camera, it’s a lifesaver. We live in Chicago and would not go back!
Post # 22
I have a Rogue and I like it ok. Mine has terrible blind spots though, but luckily they now all come standard with the blind spot detection alert. My car is very comfy and drives well, and I will be driving it until it dies on me…but I wouldn’t get another one. I have 2 friends who both have Toyota 4Runners and they are by far my favorite SUV.
Post # 23
I had a CRV first and really liked it (but that was pre-kids). I had a RAV-4 next (when I got married and had kiddo 1). I liked it, but it was “cheap” feeling. It didnt’ feel sturdy to me – fiberglass instead of metal, that kind of thing. I also had it when there were ALL those issues with recalls and that really soured Toyota in general for me.
I now have a Volvo XC60 which I love! But, for my life now, it’s small and we’re working on figuring out getting a bigger car. Like PP mentioned, think about your long terms life. I have 2 kids now, both in convertible car seats, so that takes up the whole back seat (there’s space in between but no adult could fit there). My mom lives near us so the 5 of us do stuff together – and we have to take two cars – which is really annoying. Doable, but annoying. So we’d like a car that can hold 2 car seats and comfortably sit 3 adults and isn’t a minivan 🙂
Post # 24
nursebee22 : I’ve leased three Subaru foresters since 2009 and even totaled my first one. It held up well in the accident (broke my wrist but was fine other than that). They were all great cars, inexpensive, great gas mileage (especially the newest one!) maintenance was very low although I never had one for more than three years. My 2015 forester got about 32 mpg average.
Plenty of room for my small dog and her big crate, the back seats folded down flat and that made for a TON of cargo space. I moved in and out of college dorms with room to spare.
The only reason I didn’t get another forester was because I wanted something a little more luxurious… to be honest the only thing the Forester was lacking in was style. It’s not ugly, and especially the most recent models look more like an SUV and less station wagoney, but still never going to be sexy. I think the new Fords and Jeeps look way better, but if you’re looking for a long term purchase the Subaru will run forever.
Post # 25
nursebee22 : Commenting to follow but I would definitely say don’t get the Chevy Trax (it’s the smaller version of Equinox) and same body as Buick Encore. It is toooo small. We bought it before kids and now with 2, everything is tight. I’m always squished as a passenger with a rear facing car seat. I might even suggest bringing a car seat if you can while test driving. I can’t comment on good ones but interested in all the suggestions!
Post # 26
I used to drive a 4Runner and it was great. Toyotas are extremely reliable, mine was 13 years old when I got rid of it and I never had to do anything to it outside of routine maintenance.
My mom drives a Nissan Rogue and loves it, though it’s really not an SUV.
Post # 27
I adore the Toyota Rav4 for a small SUV, or the Toyota Highlander for a slightly larger version. That said, we just traded our Scion TC (sporty coupe) for a Sienna before our first kid comes this summer and it is a magical car. I was firmly anti-van but dang if it isnt amazing. It is way better fuel economy than any SUV with a third row, so much cargo space, sliding doors instead of giant swing out doors and it is sooo comfy to drive! We like to travel and have two dogs as well, so the third row was really important to us for the space.
Post # 28
I never had any issues with my Honda Accord, so I decided to go with the CRV. I love it!! My sister has a RAV4, and I agree with a PP that something about the RAV4 “feels” cheap. My husband has a subaru crosstrek, and although I’m a big fan of that car, I think Hondas ride smoother. My CRV has more power, but his car has been great for camping / some off-roading.
Edit: I also want to add that my CRV does great in the snow! I have felt very safe in it.
Post # 29
I really like my Nissan Murano!
Post # 30
Our Lexus, no question. It’s ancient now and has cost us a grand total of $400 in repairs in all the years we have had her. She is dh’s daily driver, amazingly stable in bad weather. And the most dependable car ever.
Our plan is to drive her until the wheels literally fall off. Then we’ll look for another newer version of the same vehicle.