Are there still Fast and Affordable SUVs?


#1

I love my Rav4, but for some reason they have stopped making it with a 6 cylinder engine.

Are there any new fast and affordable SUVs that are still made?
Looking for price < $30,000
and 0-60 at MOST 6.5s, preferably faster than 6.2s (what my current Rav4 can do)


#2

Can you spell CAFE? There never were very many sixes available and they sold in small numbers. Modern fours are often as powerful as the sixes of a generation back. You might check out the Subaru Forester XT. With its turbo four Edmunds says it does 0-60 in 6.3 seconds. That may be the quickest non-luxury model.


#3
. Modern fours are often as powerful as the sixes of a generation back.

They have the HP…but they don’t have the torque…which is needed in a truck.


#4

Except most people biying small suvs are using them more like cars than trucks. They are just tall cars. The OP was asking about acceleration, not towing.


#5

@MarkM … correct me if I’m wrong but acceleration requires both torque and horsepower when you are after the numbers like @starman1 wants in a vehicle.


#6
The OP was asking about acceleration, not towing.

For heavier vehicles it’s TORQUE that accelerates you. And SUV’s are heavier then your typical car. HP is (Torque * RPM) / 5252. @missleman is correct. You need Torque and HP…More Torque is needed for heavier vehicles.


#7

You may need both, but for the Subaru in question I was giving its acceleration numbers, not its horsepower rating. Turbocharged engines often have more torque at lower rpms than naturally aspirated engines. Many makers are replacing their smaller sixes with turbo fours that give similar, or better, performance. Not as much in trucks, but I suspect that’s mostly because truck buyers are a conservative bunch who want a truck just like Grandpa had.


#8

The v6 Venza is a “somewhat” SuV (0 to 60 in 6.6 seconds with 8 plus inches of ground clearance and 245/55/20 wheels and tires) and is as big a reason as any the six is not in the RAV. That, and they just didn’t sell well enough. I agree with @MarkM and the torque in the turbo Forrester is sufficient to make a fast low end SUV. The older Rav v6 was actually a pretty decent tow vehicle ratings wise. I doubt the turbo 4 gives the Forrester that big a boost in that department.

But, they are replacing Ford V8s with turbo six motors with the same towing capacities


#9

Subaru has always sold the turbo models as sporty, not as haulers, though they’re probably OK at that, too. I had considered the Venza, but it’s likely more expensive than the OP was looking for. Not that any high-powered SUV is going to be cheap.


#10

If you want the car to be quick in merging and passing, you might want to focus on the 30-to-50 and 50-to-70 times given by Car and Driver instead of the 0-to-60 times. I think those numbers give a better sense of how the car feels in normal driving.

Your price range makes this tough. You could probably get a base BMW X1 for around that price. My suggestion would be to hold on to the RAV4 until you have maybe $7,500 more saved and then go shopping for an Acura RDX with the Technology package.


#11

“I had considered the Venza”

About $5 k difference if you want the v6 over the 4cykinder RAV. The 4 is much closer to the Rav price and has the same acceleration. So, really, you get what you pay for and the v6 Venza has lots of luxury features standard. A sleeper IMHO, is the six Subaru Outback for a real SUV with reliability and acceleration…
In practical terms, in real like situations, it’s easier to employ the more powerful motor through an awd drive train then it is fwd. The only exception is if you want maximum acceleration going backwards. So, o would always get an awd chassis vs fwd with the most powerful motors in any small or medium size car.

Unlike limited gearing in older cars, modern retransmission tend to make fast 0 to 60 times agree with fast passing times pretty well in modern cars. It is still relative I think. Less then $30k new for awd and 6 second times to 60 ? Pretty tough to do unless you go used. That’s why I would then look for a Venza v6 off lease !


#12

Forester turbo


#13

Ahh, you want fast and you want cheap. There’s nothing new about this, and it’s been my experience that the two tend to some degree to be mutually exclusive.


#14

When Toyota introduced the V6 to the Rav4 for 2006 it became a popular option, from what Toyota said when they released the new design the V6 wasn’t ordered at the same rate in the last few years. Same reason as why they no longer offer a 3rd row in the Rav4.


#15

Not surprising @OlyDoug‌. Younger buyers have grown up with fours and don’t think of them strictly as suitable for slow economy cars. The carmaker say they have a rough time selling rate traditional V8 in anything but the sportier models, and even in sporty models a six is usually acceptable. I think BMW has a lot to do with that. The rest of the world uses a lot of threes and we’ll be seeing more in the next generation of very small cars,out turbocharged. The turbo four is rapidly becoming the s
base engine for intermediates and the premium engine in compacts. Only the biggest cars and some luxury cars will have a six as the base engine. It’s a new world when they can easily get around 200 hp from a 2 liter four. I like it just fine. Sure, the four is a little noisier, but that is mostly under acceleration. Cruising they’re quiet enough, with cars having so much soundproofing. A little growl when you step of it is quite acceptable, even if it won’t be mistaken for the effortless thru of a big V8. I don’t miss 12 mpg one little bit.


#16
You may need both, but for the Subaru in question I was giving its acceleration numbers, not its horsepower rating.

That may be…but that’s NOT what I was responding to. I responded to your remark about 4-cylinders being as powerful as 6-cylinders. Sure you start adding turbo and those torque numbers change…Add Super charge…and you’ll get even more torque at the bottom end.


#17

Used to have a discussion with a friend about torque. He was quite old school and was always under the impression that the best way to increase torque was to increase displacement. The best way to increase torque is to increase air flow into the combustion chamber and make it more efficient in doing so. Cubes do it, but VvT does as well as well as the before mentioned turbo etc.and just doing away with the mechanical valve train including direct fuel injection all have the argument about displacement and number of cylinders a little hazy.

IMHO, there are many fours out there that give you plenty of performance and stuffing a six into a small SUV for some if there is no practical use is more of a maturity question then a question of need. The standards have changed and modern transmission actually deliver more usable torque to the wheels making 9second and under 0 to 60 times pretty common place. That used to be the domain of the v8.
So the real question may be…why ?

Well, just yesterday while pulling out of a post office parking lot, a Honda Accord piloted by a young kid starts slowing down with his blinker to pull in. Obviously being 100 yards away there is plenty of room to pull out. While I am half way, he decides the blinker is just a diversion and guns it, passing me on the right and forcing me into opposite “head on” lane to avoid a collision. Glad I made sure that lane was complete clear. But, a v8 powered Miata would have been handy then. That’s the answer to the “why ?” question.


#18

@asemaster They aren’t necessarily mutually exclusive unless you also want reliable. :wink:

BTW, @lion9car the X1 starts at just over 30 grand before you start adding options to it (and at BMW, damn near everything is an option). Plan on at least 5k more for a modestly appointed one, and then you have a BMW, which is going to be an electrical pain in the butt its whole life.


#19

The Consumer Reports New Car Buyers’ Guide, available at the local bookstore, will show you all the available options. From there you can choose which to test drive, and ultimately which to buy.

IMHO the hardest questions anyone asks here, and we get them often, is “what should I buy” and “what’s available in XXX category”. There are lots of options, and everyone’s preferences are different. The best approach is to start with a CR.


#20

@dagosa: No, for torque (especially the lower end of the curve, which is important to getting a load moving), it’s all about the cubic inches. Even a compromised intake and exhaust setup should work well at 1500 RPM, and some things done to maximize high-RPM breathing (read: big. lumpy cams) actually work against low RPM torque. (Forced induction DOES add a wrinkle…I’m talking NA.)

@MarkM: I think the jury’s out on whether small turbos can reduce overall operating costs (of which fuel costs is but one input) over the life of the vehicle. I’d worry about repair frequency and average cost of repair, especially as mileage gets north of 100,000. Also, I’d worry a more complex machine would negatively impact dispatch reliability: more things that can break to sideline the vehicle. KISS is the name of the game for dispatch reliability!

(Of course, by the time I’m ready for a new truck, the eco-boosts will have a deacde on them, meaning that the early adopters will have thoroughly beta-tested my new used truck by then…:wink: