Advice needed for choosing safer compact SUV

richard_h88richard_h88 Member Posts: 7
edited December 2016 in General
I researched some on Edmunds, trying to find SUV with good safety records & within my price range, and narrowed down to the followings
1) Toyota RAV4
2) Honda CRV
3) Buck Encore
4) Subaru Crosstrek
5) Chevy Equinox
6) Kia Soul

Kia Soul is the most economical $$ among those listed, which is very tempting. Hope to gather advice on these cars in terms of safety considerations. Thanks !

Comments

  • steverstever Guest Posts: 52,454
    edited December 2016
    My list is Soul and then the Encore. I like boxes. The 2017 Plus/Primo I want isn't on the lots yet. That combo is supposed to have most of the desirable safety features.

    My wife's list is the opposite. She likes the idea of Buicks and we tried to buy an Encore last week. Ten airbags and most all the safety stuff.

    My sister really likes her CrossTrek. She doesn't have Subaru EyeSight but that's probably the best safety package currently available.

    Good deals are easy to find on CR-Vs. But Honda Sense isn't available on the 2016s and the 2017s aren't at the dealers yet.

    Good deals are hard to find on RAV4s. Not sure on the safety stuff.

    The Equinox enjoys good JD Power ratings and good mpg for a "big" SUV. You can get all the safety stuff on it.

    Hard to go wrong with any of these!
  • richard_h88richard_h88 Member Posts: 7
    Thanks Stever ! I also just found 2 more interesting cars with high safety ratings at budget .... Hyundai Tucson and Chevy Trax. --> http://usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/cars-trucks/8-Safest-SUVs/
  • steverstever Guest Posts: 52,454
    edited December 2016
    The Trax is kind of a twin to the Encore, and has most of the same bells and whistles (depending on the option packages I guess). It's cheaper than the Encore but it sounds like the Buick is screwed together better. Which is odd, since lots of both models are made at the same plants in S. Korea and China. The Encore is also made in Russia, while there's an assembly line for the Trax in Mexico. Or so Wikipedia says.

    We really liked the Tucson - it has everything. But the salesperson stalled it at a light and we researched the transmission after that. Hyundai still hasn't fixed it - at a red light or stop sign, people still complain of loss of power for the 2017s (usually half way through an intersection). I think it's related to the Eco mode, but that killed the deal for my wife.
  • richard_h88richard_h88 Member Posts: 7
    Thanks Stever ! Great info on the Tucson transmission problem ! Why is it easier to find deals on CRV than RAV4 ? due to more popular demand ? Can you comment why is Soul at top of your list ?
  • steverstever Guest Posts: 52,454
    Honda dealers just seem to be more aggressive. That could be because Honda offers more kickbacks incentives and bonus money to their dealers. You typically can find exceptionally good deals around DC and in parts of California.

    Acuras, not so much.

    About Souls, I like boxes and I like funky. I don't need AWD. The Soul offers a lot of bang for the buck and with one of them, I would consider getting rid of our minivan that we use as our pickup truck quite often. In addition to adding the safety stuff I want, I can get heated seats and steering wheel and ventilated seats. And a big honking opening panoramic sunroof. I can also get 17" tires instead of 18" ones (or even 16" ones if I wish).

    The negatives are a less plush ride, a spare tire kit as an option that doesn't include the tire, and relatively average MPG.
  • steverstever Guest Posts: 52,454
    edited December 2016
    Honda dealers just seem to be more aggressive. That could be because Honda offers more kickbacks incentives and bonus money to their dealers. You typically can find exceptionally good deals around DC and in parts of California.

    Acuras, not so much.

    About Souls, I like boxes and I like funky. I don't need AWD. The Soul offers a lot of bang for the buck and with one of them, I would consider getting rid of our minivan that we use as our pickup truck quite often. The Soul holds quite a bit with the rear seats down. In addition to adding the safety stuff I want, I can get heated seats and steering wheel and ventilated seats. And a big honking opening panoramic sunroof. I can also get 17" tires instead of 18" ones (or even 16" ones if I wish). Smaller tires are cheaper to replace.

    The negatives are a less plush ride, a spare tire kit as an option that doesn't include the tire, and relatively average MPG.
  • steverstever Guest Posts: 52,454
    btw, we like wagons and hatchbacks and I'm quite opinionated about them too, if you decide to widen your search. :smile:
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    I wouldn't buy a car *strictly* on safety ratings alone (not implying that that's what you're doing).

    IMO there is no such thing as a 'safe' car---some are just potentially less dangerous than others. So you are trying to improve the odds, not trying to guarantee safety in all circumstances.

    There are things like rearward visibility, braking distances, center of gravity---these are things that safety ratings don't directly address.
  • richard_h88richard_h88 Member Posts: 7
    Thanks Mr_Shiftright. I agree that what you mentioned are important as well, I just couldn't find those specs online such as Edmund.com for comparison. If anyone knows good cars with those considerations visibility, braking, COG, and good safety, would really appreciate your sharing !
  • texasestexases Member Posts: 10,050
    Have you bought a Consumer Reports new car guide? Lots of info there on these cars. And I also look at this web site, they take all the safety ratings and combine them, along with car size info (it matters in a crash) to come up with an overall safety rating:
    http://www.informedforlife.org/

    Any reason you're not including the Forester? It's very highly rated.
  • richard_h88richard_h88 Member Posts: 7
    Thanks texases ! That report seems very useful. What I can gather from that "safest" list and combine with my list would be : Honda CRV & Hyundai Tucson. I don't see Forester in that list from the link.
  • steverstever Guest Posts: 52,454
    That's odd, Subaru's EyeSight safety system is highly rated.
  • richard_h88richard_h88 Member Posts: 7
    I'm surprised the RAV4 in NOT in that "safest" list too.
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