If ground clearance is the major issue then I will go ahead and suggest the car with highest stock ground clearance that fits your list, The Outback or Forester.
OK, I checked for nearby Rav4 Hybrids. New ones are out of her price range. There's only one used one with a sunroof within 50 miles of me, it's a 2017 with 35k on it, and it's white with a black interior.
For what they're asking for it, for $2k more we could have a brand new 2019 Tiguan.
I see the orange tigs are cheaper than the other colors. Nobody likes orange? I told her it would help her find it in a parking lot.
We're both off work Friday, maybe we'll check out some others, maybe we'll go see the latest Star Wars movie. Maybe we'll bake Christmas cookies.
Definetaly test drive a RAV4 hybrid, the hybrid system is great, smooth, powerful, quiet, and you'll be averaging 35mpg with the first gen, and 40mpg with the second gen.
Call me old fashioned, but for a vehicle I'm keeping long-term, and beyond warranty, I'd go with something naturally aspirated, without a CVT, with a proven track record. Low running costs and upkeep, less to go wrong.
For me, that car is the CX-5. The 2.5 is efficient and reliable. Not quite as quick as the CR-V (about 0.5s slower to 60), but you avoid the Honda's oil dilution issue. The 6AT is far more responsive than any CVT too. The CX-5 also drives well, looks nice, and has an upscale interior. Turbo models are cool, but pricey and also too new to predict reliability.
Or that^ assuming he's talking about the previous generation with the V6. But then, if we're open to luxo CUVs, I'd throw the QX70/FX37 in the conversation too.
Last edited by 1990MoneyPit; 12-17-2019 at 11:18 AM.
Previous Cars: 1990 Integra GS, 1997 Maxima SE 5MT, 2008.5 MS3 GT, 1995 SC400, 2005 CTS 3.6 6MT, 2003 Maxima SE, 2015 Golf GTI 6MT
It's not quicker than the E-CVT in the rav4 hybrid. It's a planetary gearset and the ratios are controlled by an electric motor.
Since it's an actual gearset, it doesn't have that rubber band feel of a belt or chain driven CVT, and because the ratios are controlled by an electric motor, it is very, very responsive.
Combined with the electric motors it's not only more responsive in almost any condition vs a traditional torque converter transmission, but it's smoother too.
It's not the slowest in class nor does it have the worst fuel economy, and driven in "S" transmission mode as you should 100% of the time, the transmission behaves smoothly and predictably, and the engine sounds fine. Would it be better if they threw the Arteon-tuned motor in there? Sure, but it's all fine and competitive in a car of its size and price. I've driven plenty of rental cars in this class that don't perform as well- Rogue, Outlander Sport, Terrain, Equinox, Cherokee with 2.4L etc. Even a base engine CX-5 doesn't really have better power delivery. The 6-speed is not great. It handles sharper but does most everything worse than the Tiguan IMO.
Meanwhile, in this year's Cars.com/Motorweek Compact SUV challenge, the reviewers made the following comments about the RAV4:
"With a new platform and design, I didn’t expect the same old wind and road noise, as well as the coarse sound of the engine and transmission,” Meier said. Some judges likened the droning of the engine to a CVT despite the RAV4’s transmission being an eight-speed automatic."
"“The ride was borderline rough both in the city and in freeway cruising,” said Meier. The RAV4’s ride tied for last rank with the CR-V."
What did you say about tractors?
And about the Tiguan who won the challenge:
“What noise?” Meier mused. “The Tiguan had the quietest cabin of the group under all road and weather conditions.”
"No pair was as well-matched as VW’s engine and transmission. Wiesenfelder explains: “In a field with several CVTs, an ill-behaved eight-speed (Toyota) and a nine-speed (Jeep) that gets along only with a V-6 upgrade, the Tiguan’s gearbox is a breath of fresh air that doesn’t sacrifice efficiency as much as the other praiseworthy step-gear transmission, Hyundai’s six-speed.”
No doubt, there are faster CUVs, but it's simply not the slowest nor the least efficient in real life, and it does a lot of other things like size/layout, technology integration, and interior space design better than most. Those things are more important in buying a $26k appliance SUV than whether one coarse 4-banger gets to 60 in 7.9 seconds instead of 8.2 or 8.6 or 9.1.
When it comes to non-car people, I basically only recommend Honda and Toyota.
We went through this a while ago and I looked at a bunch of the main CUV players, gently used, and a 2016 RAV4 Limited won out handily. The 2.5 4cyl and 6spd are a great combo that they put in a million vehicles with a long, trouble-free life. We keep our cars a long time now so this was a big bonus.
A comparable year CRV was nice but I worried about the CVT long term (it felt fine to me in normal driving) and something about the CRV feels sort of mini-minivanish to me. It rides a bit more like a car than the RAV does. Since I was "replacing" a 4runner, the RAV4's ride and handling balance felt better to me. (that's all subjective). Everyone I know with a CRV LOVES it, and I know a LOT of people with CRVs of just about every vintage.
fwiw, we really liked the new 2018 RAV4 we drove, but it actually didn't feel any better than the 2016 we bought instead, particularly at $10k more. The new ones are nice (I think they look a lot better and they have way better infotainment) but there have been some issues with the 8spd trans and the wind and road noise complaints are common. If I went new RAV4, I'd want the Hybrid because we've had such good luck with our 2010 Prius.
The Equinox she drove was the old generation, 2.5 4cyl. I don't think it was so much that it didn't have the power, but if you floored it at 35 it sat and thought about it for a few seconds, then downshifted, then started to accelerate. Off the line it was fine.
She drove a Tiguan and said she liked it. I wasn't that impressed, and yes, engine noise was not nice. It made me think it had a soundaktor recording of an old diesel.
She hasn't driven anything else, and I think her push for a new vehicle now was the VW end of year deals and the ability to get a '19 with the 6y/72k warranty.
If we're looking at something else, especially used/CPO we might wait.
Her budget is around $25k-$26k as she still owes some on the existing car. It should be paid off by Oktober, or sooner if she keeps racking up the overtime.
Like I said, if she doesn't have anything planned for tomorrow maybe I can get her to drive some other CUVs.
I wouldn’t be quick to dismiss a CVT from Honda or Subaru. My in-laws’ Outback is getting on 10 years old on the original CVT. That was also the first iteration of CVT from Subaru, they’ve only gotten better since.
That said I much prefer the direct-drive/early lock up converters like the CX-5’s or the RAV4 (although I didn’t like the programming in the RAV vs. my Camry)
This request is specifically for keeping out of warranty period, if a CVT fails (which they typically do after 60k-100k on either brand), the car is basically a very shiny paperweight.
2011 Golf TDI 2 Door 6MT - 165k - Things wrong 0 -
1997 Golf 5MT 4 Door - Things wrong - A lot - (project)
Fiancee's 2008 Rabbit 4 door Tiptronic - 184k - Things wrong 0