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Old 01-11-2017, 08:33 PM
Bellyman Bellyman is offline
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Have been looking at small SUV's lately. The Subaru Forester, the Honda CRV and the Toyota RAV4 are pretty much way up there on a lot of lists. There are a LOT of all of them out on the roads. And I suspect I would probably be pretty happy with any of them.

Comparisons I've seen in actual bad road driving conditions tend to put the Forester right up there at the top of the pack.

But one thing that I'm not sure I'm comfortable with is that most of the transmissions, and it's not just the Forester, are coming through as CVT setups. When they work, they seem to work very well. But I can't help but be worried about longevity. Do these things hold up over time? Can they be repaired? Or are they basically a throw-away item that I can plan on replacing every so many thousand miles?

I had actually considered the Hyundai Tucson just because of the 100,000 mile warranty but don't know if I like the vehicle as well.

I think the Forester is actually available with a manual transmission but honestly, I don't want to go back to shifting gears. I can do it. I know how. Just don't want to.

Whatcha think? Would going with something like a new SUV likely push me into a situation where driving a vehicle 250,000 or 300,000 miles wouldn't be practical anymore? Or would a CVT replacement just be one of those maintenance items to be expected every so many thousand miles?

I don't have to swap vehicles. I currently have a 2006 Toyota Sienna AWD that is approaching 200,000 miles. It still runs pretty decent but I can see that I'll need to put in some $ if I want to keep it running reliably, as in a couple thousand $. And I don't begrudge that. It's just reality. Even so, it's still a vehicle with 200,000 miles on it and not getting any younger. So keeping what I have isn't "free". A minivan is OK but often a bit of overkill for what I typically need for transportation and I only get maybe 21 to 22 mpg, would like a little better than that.

I really like having AWD. And I really like having something that's the right height that I don't have to climb into or climb out of and this size vehicle does that nicely.

Thoughts are appreciated, especially if you've been down this road already.

Thanks!
Old 01-11-2017, 08:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bellyman View Post
Have been looking at small SUV's lately. The Subaru Forester, the Honda CRV and the Toyota RAV4 are pretty much way up there on a lot of lists.
I have the Honda CRV. My sister has the RAV4. Honestly, you cannot go wrong with any of them, objectivity speaking.

So, get the one you like the best. Which one feels right or is more you?
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Old 01-11-2017, 08:53 PM
Bellyman Bellyman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PeterEnergy View Post
I have the Honda CRV. My sister has the RAV4. Honestly, you cannot go wrong with any of them, objectivity speaking.

So, get the one you like the best. Which one feels right or is more you?
Honestly, I'm leaning toward the Subaru. I haven't ruled any of them out but that one seems more "me" than the others even though they all have reasons to be just as valid of choices.

Thanks for your comments!
 
Old 01-11-2017, 09:07 PM
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I have a CRV "real time" 4x4. It shines in the snow. But, for real 4x4 capability the Subaru would be the better choice. I love my old CRV and plan to never sell it. When I get rid of it it will be in the junk yard. If nothing major breaks I'll keep it till they bury me. I have towed it behind my old motorhome. It's the best at 4 flat towing. My CRV has 190,000 trouble free miles and it's the best overall car I have ever owned. The only real repair it's ever had was a radiator. I bought one at NAPA and installed it in an hour. I keep the fluids fresh and do a drain and fill to the transmission every two years. The transfer case gets serviced every year. Oil changes every 3-4,000 miles. I did put a water pump on it at 100,000 miles with the timing belt. I have the parts for the 200,000 service this spring (whether it hits 200,000 or not by then).

With that said, none of the small SUVs are really capable off roaders. I'd never take my CRV into the mud. It would get stuck. If I were needing to "bug out" I'd take my 4x4 Suburban. It's a real capable 4x4.

I keep my CRV to commute back and forth to work. The gas savings in a year is what the blue book value of the CRV is. So, as my father-in-law says, I drive for free. I'd buy the Honda CRV over all the others simply because it never breaks down. I have never been stranded in that car.
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Old 01-11-2017, 09:09 PM
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Take a look at the Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk, it's a little bigger than the Outback and way better.
Jeep also makes the Grand Cherokee, but as its name implies, it's large.
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Old 01-11-2017, 09:10 PM
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Suzuki Samurai
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Old 01-11-2017, 09:14 PM
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Avoid the CVT transmission....Avoid.....Avoid......
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Old 01-12-2017, 07:08 AM
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Avoid the CVT transmission....Avoid.....Avoid......
Flesh that out for me if you would. I'd like to hear details on why. This is one of the things that bother me most about many of the new vehicles coming out. It's not that CVT's don't work. It's that I'm worried about reliability and longevity.

I rented a Hyundai Sonata a few weeks ago that had a CVT in it. It really drove nice. But it also only had 30k miles on it. And when it fails, will it be catastrophic? The automatic in my Toyota Sienna has almost 200k on it and runs every bit as good as a brand new one. That's kinda normal for them. I have no idea what normal is for a CVT.

As I said, I don't have to change out vehicles at all if I decide not to.

Very interested in your thoughts.
Old 01-12-2017, 07:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bellyman View Post
Flesh that out for me if you would. I'd like to hear details on why. This is one of the things that bother me most about many of the new vehicles coming out. It's not that CVT's don't work. It's that I'm worried about reliability and longevity.

I rented a Hyundai Sonata a few weeks ago that had a CVT in it. It really drove nice. But it also only had 30k miles on it. And when it fails, will it be catastrophic? The automatic in my Toyota Sienna has almost 200k on it and runs every bit as good as a brand new one. That's kinda normal for them. I have no idea what normal is for a CVT.

As I said, I don't have to change out vehicles at all if I decide not to.

Very interested in your thoughts.
most CVT transmissions are throw away transmissions..... and expensive
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Old 01-12-2017, 07:36 AM
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I have a 2007 Tucson with 115000 miles. It has handled serious snow conditions in the Boone, NC region with no problems and it only has ESC! Not the smoothest of rides, but would highly recommend it. Plus their warranty is great.
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Old 01-12-2017, 07:44 AM
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I have had two CRVs... an older 4wd and a 2016 2wd. The old one would go anywhere and was rough and tumble. The new one is a princess. It rides much smoother and has all the tech bells and whistles (touring).

I have owned MANY Hondas and never had a single problem. I never owned a Toyota because I could never negotiate a good enough deal. Never had a Subaru either for the same reason. Still, I don't think you can go wrong with any of these cars.

Do your homework on pricing using Edmunds, Kelly and the other sites. Know what options you want and exactly what dealer cost is and all the available incentives. Pick the price YOU want to pay and hold them to that. As for trade-in, sell private or ask them to do a courtesy trade where you bring in the buyer, they do the paperwork, and you get tax credit on the sale. They hate to do that but some will to get the sale. Go in at the end of the month... sometimes they need to sell one or two more cars to get their volume bonus. I have bought Hondas at dead invoice then.

Good luck getting a great deal on your new vehicle.
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Old 01-12-2017, 07:47 AM
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My wife has a 2015 Forester with the CVT transmission. It drives and performs flawlessly and the power distribution to the 4 wheels when in true 4WD makes it very capable. We have a pretty steep half mile long driveway and it gets up the hill better than my truck in most situations. I can't speak for the longevity of the CVT.

My son got our old Honda CRV, and it's still operating perfectly at 16 years of age.
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Old 01-12-2017, 08:48 PM
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I faced the same challenges a couple years ago. We had a 98 Grand Cherokee that was getting old and needed a reliable SUV (because my wife is a nurse). Some random thoughts:
I was NOT a fan of the CVT in the Nissan Rogue because of it's constant drone. The Honda was nice but overpriced IMO. The Subarus we looked at were capable but not very comfortable. We liked the Ford Escape but it was the new model and had a ton of recalls, ugh! We ultimately bought a Mazda CX-5. It's a good compromise of performance and value. The interior fit and finish could be better but I was sold by the engine and driveline technology- and its reliability. It now has 55k miles and has been trouble free.
I kept the old Jeep because it had minimal market value and it still runs fine. It's our spare car.
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Old 01-25-2017, 02:19 AM
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I'm on my 5th Subaru now. I'm sold for life. My wife even converted to Subaru after seeing what mine have done. Not saying the other makes are bad, but up here in the northeast, nothing beats them.
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Old 01-25-2017, 08:23 AM
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Why do you want one of those SUV look-alike vehicles? Do you believe that the cost to operate them is lower than that of a real SUV?

They might be until the transmission goes out. Those transmissions are meant to convince your wife to buy the vehicle and then get the vehicle sold. Its for yuppies who buy new cars every 3-4 years and drive them in town.

The benefits of an SUV are not present with those vehicles, either. The short wheel base and high ride height makes for a bumpy/jerky ride. They're also unstable in snow because of the short wheel base.

Can't tow anything with them. They only get like 4mpg better than my Silverado!!!!!!
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Old 01-25-2017, 08:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bellyman View Post
Flesh that out for me if you would. I'd like to hear details on why. This is one of the things that bother me most about many of the new vehicles coming out. It's not that CVT's don't work. It's that I'm worried about reliability and longevity.

I rented a Hyundai Sonata a few weeks ago that had a CVT in it. It really drove nice. But it also only had 30k miles on it. And when it fails, will it be catastrophic? The automatic in my Toyota Sienna has almost 200k on it and runs every bit as good as a brand new one. That's kinda normal for them. I have no idea what normal is for a CVT.

As I said, I don't have to change out vehicles at all if I decide not to.

Very interested in your thoughts.

When they fail, they are generally completely shot.
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Old 01-25-2017, 08:30 AM
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Just get the stick, you know you want it!
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Old 01-25-2017, 08:48 AM
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I wish the GF had bought another Subaru.

instead got a grand vitara in the 18 months she's had it I've replace the headlight bulbs 9 times cheap ones and moved up to midrange doesn't matter the garage guy said they vibrate in the shock mounts and bust the filiments.

The rear door either will not stay latched or will not open. And randomly changes it's mind while going down the road. This too seems to be a common occurance according to the Internet and the minis all laughter of the mechanic.

If you're leggier than average the seat is too close to the steering wheel.

Sold on Subarus hope she dumps this POS.
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Old 01-25-2017, 09:31 AM
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How about an American vehicle?
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Old 01-25-2017, 09:36 AM
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I like Toyotas. They're good vehicles. Actually, I do like the one I have (Sienna minivan, AWD) and it's doing well for me... at just under 200k miles.

A cousin of mine has a 4Runner. Their thoughts weren't as glowing as yours but reliability wasn't an issue with them, it was just not as good a fit as another vehicle for their needs.

The 4Runner appears to be a very capable vehicle. Comparing it to the Forester, it gets closer to 10mpg less, does less well in crash tests (despite the added metal and space), doesn't really add much in road clearance (9/10"), and is pretty much the same with passenger space. On the flipside, it has quite a bit more horsepower and can tow way more of a trailer on behind. (I don't really consider the Forester capable enough to tow that I would probably even try it. Even my little single axle trailer with my riding lawn mower would exceed it's capacity.)

If I actually did off-road stuff on purpose, I have no doubt I'd appreciate the 4Runner for it's added capabilities. I'm just not sure that I will have the opportunity to actually appreciate the things the 4Runner can do better. I'm not planning to move to northern Michigan, I'm planning to move to north central Tennessee. We don't get 'feet' of snow, only a few inches from time to time. We do get a little ice and some slick roads from time to time. Plus, we do have some hills and very steep driveways are not all that uncommon.

Not saying it couldn't happen but the 4Runner seems a better fit for you than for me. Nothing wrong with that. I still don't quite trust the CVT transmissions in vehicles that have thm even though it seems like a LOT of vehicles are going that way. I haven't exactly ruled out some other vehicles such as the Highlander although I haven't really looked that closely yet. There may be some other bright spots in the Toyota lineup I just haven't seen that might feel more 'right' for me. Nothing is decided here but really appreciating all of the comments.

Thanks for your input! I appreciate your taking the time to share.
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