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  #1  
Old 05-31-2017, 10:47 AM
KonaSS KonaSS is offline
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OT: Help me decide on a car/suv

Over the years, I have found Paceliners to provide sound advice and great recommendations on things way beyond just cycling. So hoping to tap into that great wisdom for some advice on what car to buy.

Looking to buy either new, or newly used. I have been a fan of buying cars around 2 years old or newer and less than 20k.

Needs aren't extensive:
Haul 4 adults, gear, and hitch rack for 4 bikes.
Budget isn't unlimited, but this will probably be the most expensive car I have ever bought.

Wants get a little longer:
Some moderate level of comfort/dipping a toe into luxury. I have found I like heated leather seats, for example. I don't need the latest driver assist do-dads though.
Decent gas mileage is a plus
Reliability - usually hold on to a car for 10 years or so.
Fun to drive. The more it handles like a car the better.

Cars I am interested in:
Toyota Highlander
BMW X3
Mazda CX-9

Cars on my long list, but don't make the top include:
Subaru Outback
2017 Honda CRV - These two fit all criteria, but seem too pedestrian. Vanity sucks
Honda Pilot - just don't love the styling

What am I missing, what do you suggest?

Thanks in advance!
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  #2  
Old 05-31-2017, 10:53 AM
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stien stien is offline
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Disclaimer, I'm a huge Toyota snob. The only car I like more than any Toyota is a Miata. I recently had a Highlander and loved it. Consumer Reports rates them as THE most reliable car. Toyota as a dealership won't suck you dry on scheduled maintenance like Subaru will. The new ones are cushy inside. They are not cheap though, and gas mileage leaves something to be desired. They are huge and fit tons of gear/people, therefore won't be sporty or handle well.

Honestly if you're getting a hitch rack, you should 100% get a manual wagon. Don't get an SUV.
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  #3  
Old 05-31-2017, 10:56 AM
tylercheung tylercheung is online now
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I had the old highlander from 2006 and it was extremely reliable. The new ones are much larger, and I have not had experience w/ it. Of note, the old ones were made in Japan (Fukushima?) and the new ones are made in Kentucky...

The old RAV 4 was good as well...the new one, I've heard, needs some bugs worked out in the drive train...the new RAV4 is the same size as the old highlander...

I've heard good things about the new Mazda...

On the wagon above, maybe see if you can get good deals on the outgoing Volvo V60's?
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Old 05-31-2017, 10:57 AM
Luwabra Luwabra is offline
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Loved our forester for 210,000mi now onto a Highlander. Reliability is our main criteria concern
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  #5  
Old 05-31-2017, 11:08 AM
Dirtdiggler Dirtdiggler is offline
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My mom had a 2014 Highlander (new gen) and quite nice, but gas thirsty and the interior was nice except the soft interior plastic ( ford edge was better), We always scuffed the center console when inserting the seatbelts, she traded it in for a 2016 CRV (leased). Now I leased a 14 Outback, very nice vehicle, but heavy and it was too much car for us, so new lease is a 17 Forester, which rides higher and seems a bit more lighter as in ride quality.
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Old 05-31-2017, 11:17 AM
gdw gdw is offline
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Have you considered an older 4Runner Limited? Heated leather seats, loads of people and gear capacity, has 4 low and can actually be used in rough terrain, very reliable.......
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  #7  
Old 05-31-2017, 11:31 AM
rodcad rodcad is offline
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I vote for Highlander or 4runner. Just can't go wrong with any Toyota. 4dr Tacoma would be nice too but not as comfy and not as good a mileage.
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  #8  
Old 05-31-2017, 11:39 AM
nmrt nmrt is offline
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schafer switchbacks?
:-)
Quote:
Originally Posted by gdw View Post
Have you considered an older 4Runner Limited? Heated leather seats, loads of people and gear capacity, has 4 low and can actually be used in rough terrain, very reliable.......
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  #9  
Old 05-31-2017, 11:43 AM
gdw gdw is offline
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A bit further on, Hardscrabble.
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  #10  
Old 05-31-2017, 11:52 AM
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vqdriver vqdriver is offline
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you could add the audi q5 and acura mdx to that list. both are comparable (in price) to the x3

wagons are great, but if you want an suv then just get an suv
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  #11  
Old 05-31-2017, 11:59 AM
KonaSS KonaSS is offline
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Thanks for the ideas and suggestions so far. Should add, I already have a 2013 (prior-gen) Highlander that I love, and will be kept. This is replacing a Honda Odyssey. So that is why the Highlander is high on my list.

I drove the 4Runner, wanted to like it. But being a truck based SUV, I didn't love it.

I would love a wagon. There is no good reason that the Outback isn't higher on my list. Wish there were more options out there in a decent sized wagon. Really wish there was still a Mazda 6 wagon.
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  #12  
Old 05-31-2017, 12:11 PM
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paredown paredown is offline
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The Acura dealer gave me an MDX as a loaner--I couldn't wait to get our TSX wagon back. Alas, no longer available...
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  #13  
Old 05-31-2017, 12:19 PM
nmrt nmrt is offline
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of course! thats the green river!
i had some fun times there on the bike. :-)

Quote:
Originally Posted by gdw View Post
A bit further on, Hardscrabble.
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  #14  
Old 05-31-2017, 12:28 PM
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christian christian is offline
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Give up on "fun to drive" and keep driving your Odyssey. The mileage is easily offset by the lack of spending money to buy a new car.
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  #15  
Old 05-31-2017, 12:31 PM
KonaSS KonaSS is offline
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Again, vanity is a bitch, and I owned up to that badge. Yes, could continue driving the Odyssey with 200k for a long time, but you only live once.


This would be the answer to my prayers http://www.motortrend.com/cars/mazda...-diesel-wagon/

Last edited by KonaSS; 05-31-2017 at 12:33 PM.
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