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What Car is Right For Me? Help Me Choose!

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  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    If you are under 35 and bought a car in the last year or two after not being able to previously afford one, please email [email protected] by Friday, March 13, 2015 to share your story with a reporter.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,922
    I'm looking for a small SUV for my wife for when the lease is up on her 2013 Sonata this fall. I went to our local auto show this past weekend and checked out all the small SUVs. Here's my impressions:

    * HR-V: Looks like a great package--roomy inside, compact outside. Not much power but she doesn't need it for her schlepping around town. Should have excellent FE with the CVT. Should start around $20k for an LX FWD. Might be in short supply initially, but I don't need to buy until late November.
    * Trax: Roomy enough inside, has fold-flat rear seat with a fold-forward cushion, good headroom. But interior has some cheap bits, and FE is considerably less than the HR-Vs. But I'd take it over the Encore.
    * Renegade: I don't think my wife will like the Jeep look. And a Fiat under the covers. Hmmm...
    * CX-5 (2016): Nice package, but starts at $25k. I like it, but my wife will be the main driver.
    * Forester: Hard to go wrong with it, but also on the pricey side. Standard AWD though.
    * CR-V: I hate the styling. For what an LX costs, I'd rather get a loaded HR-V.
    * Escape: I drove an Escape S the other day and liked the handling and how the rear seat folds flat. And price is very reasonable with the usual boat load of Ford incentives.
    * Sportage, Tucson, Equinox, Terrain, Tiguan... sorry no.
    * Q3: My favorite. Great value for ~$32k. But my wife already said No, she doesn't want such a "fancy" car.

    There's also used options like the previous-gen CR-V and Forester, a used CX-5, or a CPO Escape.

    Comments?
  • stickguystickguy Posts: 28,667
    you missed my absolute favorite from what I have seen and read. The upcoming Mazda CX-3. directly comparable to the HR-V size wise, but in the one comparison I recall seeing, it drove better.

    2018 Hyundai Elantra Sport (mine), 2013 Acura RDX AWD (wife's) and 2015 Jetta Sport (daughter's)

  • suydamsuydam Posts: 3,568
    Have her try the Encore. I just got one and I love it. So much nicer than the Trax and it is a perfect schlepping around town vehicle. Seating is high but not too high, good visibility, a breeze to maneuver in and out of tight places, and plenty of room for groceries, dogs, and whatever else you might be carrying. Surprisingly roomy inside for such a small vehicle. The HR-V will be great too but I predict hard to find and no deals. At least that's the way the Fit was its first 2 years out.
    '14 Buick Encore Convenience
    '17 Chevy Volt Premiere
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 24,131
    backy said:


    * Renegade: I don't think my wife will like the Jeep look. And a Fiat under the covers. Hmmm...

    As for the looks, check out the 500X. Much better looking, IMHO (although I like the looks of both for different reasons).

    '17 F150 Crew 2.7; '67 Coronet R/T; '14 Town&Country Limited; '09 LR2 HSE. 44-car history and counting!

  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,922
    stickguy said:

    you missed my absolute favorite from what I have seen and read. The upcoming Mazda CX-3. directly comparable to the HR-V size wise, but in the one comparison I recall seeing, it drove better.

    The reason I missed the CX-3 was because... it wasn't there!! :(

    I have a feeling it will drive better than the HR-V but have less cargo room.

  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,922
    edited March 2015
    suydam said:

    Have her try the Encore. I just got one and I love it. So much nicer than the Trax and it is a perfect schlepping around town vehicle. Seating is high but not too high, good visibility, a breeze to maneuver in and out of tight places, and plenty of room for groceries, dogs, and whatever else you might be carrying. Surprisingly roomy inside for such a small vehicle. The HR-V will be great too but I predict hard to find and no deals. At least that's the way the Fit was its first 2 years out.

    The base Encore starts at nearly $26k. For that money, I can probably get a loaded HR-V. An Encore with leather is $30k... pretty close to what the Q3 runs. For a little more, I'd take the Q3.

  • suydamsuydam Posts: 3,568
    You can get it for much less. I got the convenience trim (mid level) and at the time there was $2k cash back plus whatever you can negotiate. There will be very little negotiation on an HR-V I predict.
    '14 Buick Encore Convenience
    '17 Chevy Volt Premiere
  • benjaminhbenjaminh Posts: 3,511
    But the HR-V is going to start at about $20k flat, and so even at msrp it's going to be a fairly good deal imho.
    2018 Acura TLX Tech 4WS (mine), 2018 Honda CR-V EX AWD (wife's)
  • MichaellMichaell ColoradoPosts: 80,496
    I don't think the HR-V and the Encore are meant to compete ... the Chevrolet Trax will be the competition.

    The Encore is probably cross-shopped with the Q3, GLA and X1.

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  • suydamsuydam Posts: 3,568
    It's a lot cheaper than any of those because so much is standard even in base trim.
    '14 Buick Encore Convenience
    '17 Chevy Volt Premiere
  • suydamsuydam Posts: 3,568
    "The Encore is probably cross-shopped with the Q3, GLA and X1." I don't think so. I just looked at the prices of the Q3 and X1. Holy cow! Over 10 grand more than the Encore once you get them decently equipped. I think that's what 's so unusual about the Encore -- it isn't really cross-shopped with anything. The only other vehicle we drove was the Nissan Juke, and we looked at the Nissan Rogue. No comparison there either.
    '14 Buick Encore Convenience
    '17 Chevy Volt Premiere
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,922
    An Encore with leather is $30k. A Q3 with leather is $32.5k. Not a huge difference there. Nowhere close to $10k.
  • suydamsuydam Posts: 3,568
    Don't want to argue as you aren't interested anyway. I was talking about the mid level trim Encore which stickers at $27k and GM last month had $2k cash back. That's before negotiating. All I meant is that I don't usually look at vehicles with a price over $30k. 
    '14 Buick Encore Convenience
    '17 Chevy Volt Premiere
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,922
    Why would you compare a mid-level Encore trim with cloth interior to a Q3 with leather and talk about both being "decently equipped"?

    I get it... you really like your Encore. It's probably a great little SUV for most people. It just doesn't float my boat.

    But if it did, I'd have no problem cross-shopping it with something like the CX-3 and HR-V at the low end, or at the upper end the Q3.
  • suydamsuydam Posts: 3,568
    I wasn't comparing. Your original post said you weren't looking for something "fancy" so I assumed you meant no leather interior or over $30k. Anyway, one thing to consider when you look at any of these is comfort and noise level. It's hard to find a small vehicle, whether sedan or CUV, that's quiet. I'll be interested to hear What you think of the CX3 and HR-V.
    '14 Buick Encore Convenience
    '17 Chevy Volt Premiere
  • fushigifushigi Chicago suburbsPosts: 1,426
    The HR-V looks compelling but I'll reserve judgement until pricing is revealed and it's been through some actual hands-on reviews. I'd be somewhat concerned about engine performance when hauling cargo.

    As the resident Mitsu proponent I'll put in a mention for the Outlander Sport, which starts at $19,595. The base 2.0 engine (2.4 available) packs more punch that the HR-V's 1.8 and still delivers respectable economy. It has slightly less cargo space but year after year has earned top safety pick rating & KBB rates it among the 10 most affordable SUVs.

    For financing, leases start @ $179/mo or buy with your choice of a 0% interest rate or $1500 rebate.
    2017 Infiniti QX60 (me), 2012 Hyundai Elantra (wife)
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,922
    The Mitsu might be worth a look based on performance and price, but I'm concerned about availability of dealer service (very few even in the large Twin Cities area) and their future in the USA.

    I'm not concerned about engine performance on the HR-V. But then, I owned a 100 hp Dodge Caravan I4 3AT for 7 years, and hauled five people and their luggage cross-country a few times in it. :)
  • fushigifushigi Chicago suburbsPosts: 1,426
    Understood about a local dealer situation but I don't really understand the concern about them staying in the US. Unlike Suzuki and some other brands that have shut down US operations, Mitsu actually manufactures vehicles here and has new models coming. Their sales remain at the niche level but have been trending up.

    Yeah, we are blessed with HP nowadays but I wonder what that Dodge weighed compared to today's 3,000+ pound vehicles. My '93 Mazda had 130HP but only weighed about 2500 pounds. Not sure how many cars are remotely close to that weight (and are larger than a Smart).
    2017 Infiniti QX60 (me), 2012 Hyundai Elantra (wife)
  • MichaellMichaell ColoradoPosts: 80,496
    fushigi said:

    Understood about a local dealer situation but I don't really understand the concern about them staying in the US. Unlike Suzuki and some other brands that have shut down US operations, Mitsu actually manufactures vehicles here and has new models coming. Their sales remain at the niche level but have been trending up.

    Yeah, we are blessed with HP nowadays but I wonder what that Dodge weighed compared to today's 3,000+ pound vehicles. My '93 Mazda had 130HP but only weighed about 2500 pounds. Not sure how many cars are remotely close to that weight (and are larger than a Smart).

    My 2013 Hyundai Elantra GT weighs about 2800 pounds and has 148HP.

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    2016 VW Jetta 1.4T SE / 2015 Subaru Outback 3.6R / 2014 MINI Countryman S ALL4

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  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,922
    fushigi said:

    Understood about a local dealer situation but I don't really understand the concern about them staying in the US. Unlike Suzuki and some other brands that have shut down US operations, Mitsu actually manufactures vehicles here and has new models coming. Their sales remain at the niche level but have been trending up.

    Why would I be concerned? Let's see... their newest model, the 44 mpg Mirage, arguably the worst car sold in the USA, came here about the same time the price of gas plunged. Mitsu's only other car in the USA, the Lancer, is 8 years old. Only one model is made in the USA. Sales were up for 2014, but totaled 77k units. Although the Galant was once one of the best mid-sized cars, Mitsu has no offering in that segment, the most popular for passenger cars in the USA. I owned a 1992 Galant for awhile; it was a good car. Back then, Mitsu was selling about 200k vehicles per year in the USA.

    A few years ago I almost bought a Saturn--just before they went belly-up. Now I'm glad I didn't.
  • benjaminhbenjaminh Posts: 3,511
    edited March 2015
    An early look a the Honda HRV. No test drive, but a look inside and out.



    2018 Acura TLX Tech 4WS (mine), 2018 Honda CR-V EX AWD (wife's)
  • suydamsuydam Posts: 3,568
    I had to go over to Youtube to see this, and it will be interesting to see it up close when it becomes available. There is so much ergonomic difference in these types of vehicle -- seat height, width, comfort, layout of the dash -- even the exterior looks different in person. For example, one thing I don't like about my current Accord is that for me it is hard to see where the front ends, and I always wind up about 2 feet short in a parking space because it looks like I'm going to bump into a wall. I can't tell if that would be the case in the HR-V as well. If it has higher seating that might alleviate that problem. It looks very nice inside.
    '14 Buick Encore Convenience
    '17 Chevy Volt Premiere
  • benjaminhbenjaminh Posts: 3,511
    Yeah, the HRV does look pretty good. Not sure why that video wouldn't show up, but if you search on youtube for HondaPro Jason HRV you should be able to find it.
    2018 Acura TLX Tech 4WS (mine), 2018 Honda CR-V EX AWD (wife's)
  • boomchekboomchek Vancouver, BC, CanadaPosts: 5,314
    I saw an HRV at the auto show yesterday, It was locked but boy is it small. Think of a rounder, higher sitting Mazda 3 hatch. Not a bad looking thing.

    2007 BMW 328i Sports Pkg

  • suydamsuydam Posts: 3,568
    You have to sit in these types of vehicles to gauge what a tight fit they are. Some are pretty comfortable for the front seat passengers at least. If the HR-V isbased on the Fit it will be pretty snug inside though.
    '14 Buick Encore Convenience
    '17 Chevy Volt Premiere
  • benjaminhbenjaminh Posts: 3,511
    Imho the new Fit has a surprising amount of room inside for a small car. And since the HRV is stretched in terms of height and length, it should be pretty roomy. Yes, it's small, but look at that video and you might be impressed with the size of the cargo space.
    2018 Acura TLX Tech 4WS (mine), 2018 Honda CR-V EX AWD (wife's)
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,922
    Yes, I sat in the Fit at the auto show and it has an incredible amount of rear seat passenger room. I looked into the locked HR-V and it also appears to have lots of rear-seat room. That plus the magic seats should give it the most usable cargo room in its class. I like the "small on the outside, big on the inside" philosophy. The HR-V may be similar in exterior length to a car like the Mazda3, but there's no comparison in interior room.
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 24,131
    My rear seat passengers inform me there is quite a bit more legroom for them in my Fit than in my CTS. Quite impressive.

    '17 F150 Crew 2.7; '67 Coronet R/T; '14 Town&Country Limited; '09 LR2 HSE. 44-car history and counting!

  • suydamsuydam Posts: 3,568
    I'm not as concerned about rear seats as my dogs are pretty comfy in almost everything. And I don't even usually have a passenger in the front as this is our second car. It is nice though to have enough front seat room that you can have a passenger without feeling squished. I do think these really small Utes make a perfect second vehicle.
    '14 Buick Encore Convenience
    '17 Chevy Volt Premiere
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