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  1. #31
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
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    Vehicle shopping...need opinions

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    We have a 2011 Tiguan that we've had for two years and love it!! Have a hitch mount bike rack for our bikes and the cargo area is pretty large. Not sure three large dog "large" however.
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  2. #32
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
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    Saskatoon, Sask.
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    Subaru has a good reputation for reliability, so that's a point in the Subaru's favour. I wouldn't put too much weight on the supposed mpg ratings of vehicles, as they're often calculated under idealized conditions and the buyer doesn't come close to betting that sort of gas mileage anyway.
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  3. #33
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
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    Uncanny Valley
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    I dunno ... we got 25.5 overall with both our Subarus, 46 in the old Prius and 47 so far in the new one, which is right smack what the EPA says all of them are/were supposed to. And our driving habits and conditions are far from "ideal."
    Speed comes from what you put behind you. - Judi Ketteler

  4. #34
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    the dry side
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    4,367

    Vehicle shopping...need opinions

    Hs Subaru changed their seats yet? Worst ever for back support on lengthy trips....
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  5. #35
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Hillsboro, OR
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    5,023
    A few years back, the EPA was forced to change the way they rate new cars so that the MPG was more 'real-life' accurate, so while I think they used to be reported way high, I think now they are a little closer to realistic.

    Thanks for the feedback on the CR-V, Emily. We haven't seen one at a dealer, but there was one parked next to us at dinner last night so we may have put a few proverbial nose prints on it! It's definitely in the running as that cargo space looks massive compared to some of the other cars we are considering.

    Last night we drove the Mazda CX-5. I really, really liked it. Customers complained about the lack of acceleration on the 2013 model but raved about everything else, so Mazda released their 2014 early and put a slightly larger engine in it. We drove the 2014 and while it's no drag racer, it has plenty of pep. I was expecting it to accelerate like a PT Cruiser, but it's way better and has no problem getting out of its own way. I liked the feel, the trim, the features, the size and the look of it and it handled extremely well on the winding roads we test drove it on (purposely!). My H was not as impressed, unfortunately.

    Then we drove down to the BMW dealer even though it was closed, to check out the X1. It's certainly attractive, but it's quite small. We couldn't open it up, of course, but standing next to it was not much different than standing next to our old Matrix. There is no way 3 dogs will fit in the back with the seat up. And then we started thinking about leaving a BMW at a trail head for 3 days and we aren't sure that's such a good idea. I kind of still want to drive it, but I think we may have to rule it out on size alone. There was an X6 right next to it and I think I actually drooled on it.

    On our way back, we pulled into a Subaru dealer to look at the Crosstrek. We parked and walked around but couldn't find one right away (lots of Outbacks though!). As we were looking a salesman asked if he could answer any questions (they were still open!). We asked about the Crosstrek and he showed us one just a little past where we were looking. It was very cool. Oddly enough, one of the features we liked the best was that the cargo area has no carpet on the side walls, a rubber all-weather tray and the same type of all-weather cover on the backs of the seats to protect them. When you put the seats down, the whole cargo area is protected from slobber, muddy paws and dog hair!! Size-wise, there is again, no way the dogs will fit in with the seat up, but my H was willing to look past that because he really liked the rest of it. Then we opened up an Outback and looked at that. The MPG on the 2.5L is similar to the other vehicles we are looking at so it was worth investigating. Size was GREAT, features were great, exterior looks are only OK (I still like the Mazda for looks). We can get those same all-weather mats/covers for the Outback, too. We are going back on Friday to test drive them both. I did drive a 2012 Outback as a rental when I was in New England in Feb and I was impressed with it's handling for what felt like a big car. Still not much for acceleration, but we'll see how it is on a new one (as opposed to a rental).

    Saturday, we'll check out the Honda and if I can convince my H, the BMW just because I'm curious.

    If we get into a tough decision, dog fit is going to be the deciding factor and any dealer that doesn't let us try putting Sara in the back will lose out. Subaru already said it was totally fine.

    Now I need to work on convincing my husband that the Mazda beats out the Escape (I like the Mazda, he liked the Escape). Or, with any luck, we'll both love either one of the Subaru's or the Honda!
    Last edited by GLC1968; 04-04-2013 at 08:15 AM.
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  6. #36
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Hillsboro, OR
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    5,023
    Quote Originally Posted by OakLeaf View Post
    Funny, that's one of the handful of things I really hate about the Prius. I know I could just ignore it, but I find that it's a huge temptation to NOT look where I'm going, and rely on the stupid screen instead. Danger, Will Robinson. Even if I start off looking where I'm going, if I want to turn my head to look over the other shoulder or out the side window, the screen is there distracting me...

    It would be nice if it defaulted to off, so I could turn it on when I knew there were, say, stanchions or stuff like that nearby. But I honestly think that screen really increases the likelihood that I'm going to back into something someday, because it tempts me not to pay attention. Or worse, back into some*one,* because looking at that screen makes it impossible for me to see people walking toward the car from the side, as so often happens when I'm backing out of a parking space.

    Anyway enjoy your shopping!
    Every car we've looked at has had the backup camera thing. I guess it's pretty standard when you are basically picking the highest trim level for these vehicles. I assume the BMW will not have one since we won't be putting a lot of options on it.

    I didn't mind it. I actually used it on the Mazda to get close to the curb when I was parking it and it was pretty cool. The Mazda has a nice feature (or potentially annoying feature) with a blind spot monitor. The car has sensors all around it so if you go to move in the direction of something (be it a tree, a person, another car) it will beep at you. I'm not sure I like that for every day use, but it sure was helpful when passing on the highway with that big ole dealer sticker on the window blocking my view!

    Personally, the less fancy electronics, the better as far as I'm concerned. Unfortunately, my H feels differently.
    My new non-farm blog: Finding Freedom

  7. #37
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Central Indiana
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    6,043
    I have nothing to add but a bit of envy. I'm driving a 2001 vehicle that arguably still has some life in it. I promised myself and DH that I wouldn't even start looking at new cars until my job situation is clear--probably summer, 2014. And even then, I might talk myself out of it if my car is still working as well as it currently is (it pays to be married to a car-crazy engineer who can do most of his own repair work). All this talk of new cars, test drives, and all these high tech features has me itching to start the process. Can I just live vicariously through you for a bit?
    Live with intention. Walk to the edge. Listen hard. Practice wellness. Play with abandon. Laugh. Choose with no regret. Continue to learn. Appreciate your friends. Do what you love. Live as if this is all there is.

    --Mary Anne Radmacher

  8. #38
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    Hillsboro, OR
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    Quote Originally Posted by indysteel View Post
    I have nothing to add but a bit of envy. I'm driving a 2001 vehicle that arguably still has some life in it. I promised myself and DH that I wouldn't even start looking at new cars until my job situation is clear--probably summer, 2014. And even then, I might talk myself out of it if my car is still working as well as it currently is (it pays to be married to a car-crazy engineer who can do most of his own repair work). All this talk of new cars, test drives, and all these high tech features has me itching to start the process. Can I just live vicariously through you for a bit?
    Sure!

    Really, we didn't plan on this at all. We figured we'd keep the truck for awhile since it's running wonderfully and it's paid off. The problem that prompted this whole thing is that my DH is now getting into trail riding but has a motorcycle that doesn't do well on highways (even though it is a dual-sport). This means that he needs a way to transport it to the trails. When we had a yard, we just pulled the camper top off the truck, left it off to the side and he put the bike in the bed. Now we have no place for the camper top and we didn't think about that when opting for a house with no yard.

    We weighed the idea of getting some type of pulley system to store the camper top from the garage ceiling, or...getting a little trailer for his bike that will fold up small enough to store some place when not in use. The trailer won.

    Then we realized that we really don't need a pickup that only gets about 17 mpg and that has horrible visibility when the camper top is on it, anymore. With the sale of the farm and the drastically reduced mortgage, we can afford a car payment without affecting our financial plans so we figured 'why not'? Then we started thinking of all the situations we'd use this new vehicle in and ended up with the idea for a small SUV. If it weren't for the dogs, I'd be pushing for an Audi A4 and we could use the MINI as our play car (it's already outfitted for it), but three dogs in the mini is a pretty miserable situation (mostly because it's only a two and a 1/2 door so the dogs must slobber out of our windows and down our shoulders).

    Our MINI is only a 2011, so I do feel a little guilty for buying another new car when the truck runs perfectly fine. BUT, it is kinda fun.
    My new non-farm blog: Finding Freedom

  9. #39
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Central Indiana
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    6,043
    Sounds like good reasoning to me.

    I'm leaning toward a hatchback for some reason. I've had a sedan for a long time now, and I'd like to drive something a little different I guess. Mazda, Ford and Kia (they're releasing a redesigned hatch in the fall that I think I'll like) have cars that will be in the running. I drive 50 miles each work day at a minimum, so MPG is important, too.
    Live with intention. Walk to the edge. Listen hard. Practice wellness. Play with abandon. Laugh. Choose with no regret. Continue to learn. Appreciate your friends. Do what you love. Live as if this is all there is.

    --Mary Anne Radmacher

  10. #40
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Indianapolis, Indiana
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    10,889
    Quote Originally Posted by nuliajuk View Post
    Subaru has a good reputation for reliability, so that's a point in the Subaru's favour. I wouldn't put too much weight on the supposed mpg ratings of vehicles, as they're often calculated under idealized conditions and the buyer doesn't come close to betting that sort of gas mileage anyway.
    I get better mileage in my Kia Soul than it is rated for. It DOES have a manual transmission and that can make a difference, am unsure if that really has anything to do with it or not.

    I am enjoying reading about the vehicle search, I don't know much about the vehicles in question but it is an interesting discussion. Indy - for years I drove a hatchback, and my Kia Soul is a return to that. I really prefer that to a more traditional trunk, for me it allows me to use what space I have more...creatively?

  11. #41
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
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    13,394
    I loved having the hatchback on my 325Xi and if I get another sedan, that will be a must.
    Another thing I didn't check closely enough on my A4 wagon is how high the hatch goes up. As in, I can barely reach it to grab the top to pull it down when I need to close it. It's definitely not built for a short person. My DH bought a new car in December; he really wanted another Lexus SUV, but was not impressed with the new one (his was 9 years old and needed some major work). He ended up getting a Mercedes SUV (no comments, please ) that has every imaginable bell and whistle, including the fricking back up screen. I have been resistant to even getting in the car and "learning" how to operate it. My car is going in for service in a couple of weeks, but it 's on a day when I don't need it until very late in the PM, so I doubt I'll have to drive DH's. I hate this kind of change and am yearning for a car with actual buttons and dials, with no touch screen.
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  12. #42
    Jolt is offline Dodging the potholes...
    Join Date
    May 2007
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    Southern Maine
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    Ditto on the awesomeness of hatchbacks...I have one now (Suzuki SX4) after driving sedans before and would find it hard to go back. It's much easier to transport awkward or large items than with a regular trunk (even one where the seat folds down).
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  13. #43
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    Jul 2003
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    Quote Originally Posted by OakLeaf View Post
    It would be nice if it defaulted to off, so I could turn it on when I knew there were, say, stanchions or stuff like that nearby. But I honestly think that screen really increases the likelihood that I'm going to back into something someday, because it tempts me not to pay attention. Or worse, back into some*one,* because looking at that screen makes it impossible for me to see people walking toward the car from the side, as so often happens when I'm backing out of a parking space.
    The CR-V backup camera has three modes -- normal, curb (looking down) and wide-angle view. The WAV would prevent backing up into people. I mostly use the backup camera, so far, for backing INTO parking places, where I'm unlikely to hit anyone, but it sure helps me line up. I definitely feel like it makes me safer rather than less safe.

    Our CR-V also came with a cargo liner insert thing, which is great for a dog back there. Maybe not three large dogs, but it's a pretty spacious back area even with the back seats up. However, the back seats do not fold down totally flat, and if that is a dealbreaker, then the CR-V will probably not work for you, GLC.

    We're also getting mileage better than the CR-V is rated for, not worse. Gotta love that!
    Last edited by emily_in_nc; 04-04-2013 at 03:20 PM.
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  14. #44
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    Oct 2007
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    MD
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    My niece has the newest Mazda3 hatchback, and she loves it!
    I'll be in need of a new car before long. I'd get the same car I have now, except they no longer make that model in a manual. I get annoyed that less and less of the affordable, yet with some bells and whistles, cars come as manuals.
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  15. #45
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    Nov 2009
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    Quote Originally Posted by Possegal View Post
    My niece has the newest Mazda3 hatchback, and she loves it!
    I'll be in need of a new car before long. I'd get the same car I have now, except they no longer make that model in a manual. I get annoyed that less and less of the affordable, yet with some bells and whistles, cars come as manuals.
    I hear you, I won't buy an automatic either. I did once and hated it...that car only lasted one year before I replaced it. It was a very nice car, I just don't care for automatic transmissions. Thankfully the Kia Soul does come with a manual transmission and I've a few bells and whistles. Not as many as the Gallant GTZ did (it was used), or the Lancer (manual) that followed it, but it suits me much better. When I purchased my Soul, they had to actually bring one in from Ohio, none of the Indianapolis dealers had a manual in stock... I've hopes my green machine will last many years
    Last edited by Catrin; 04-05-2013 at 03:19 AM.

 

 

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