My 1999 Rav4 just lost 5th gear and the transmission is shot so I am looking for a new small SUV. Gas mileage is very important to me as is reliability - I have narrowed it down to a 2006 or 2009 Ford Escape Hybrid or a Honda CRV (any year as they all get good reviews). I want to get the Escape Hybrid because of the mileage, but I’m afraid I will regret it once it starts having issues. Does anyone have any advice? Is the Excape Hybrid a reliable, smart, practical choice? I wish I new more about cars - thanks!
It’s a coin flip in my opinion. You’re talking about a used car and even a 1 year old used car can be a gamble because many people routinely rag them out before a year is up, much less 3 or 4 years.
A very thorough pre-purchase inspection can help your odds a bit but even that is no guarantee of a problem free vehicle.
I will just add; look in the possible repair bills and factor that against the savings on gas. And why not to include the used RAV4 in the list too.
The company I work for has an Escape Hybrid that is used for daily mail runs. This vehicle is driven more than 100 miles each day, and has been for five years, with no problems.
I think both of the vehicles you list are good choices, as the Toyota RAV-4. Drive them all and buy the one you prefer.
Just an alternate thought.
A manual transmission sourced from the junkyard may not cost much just installation labor. If all else is fine I would at least ask for an estimate to replace with used manual transmission.
Personally I would recommend trying out a 2006+ RAV4 too. MPG is excellent and vehicle is decent for small SUV.
Thus far the Ford Escape hybrid has compiled a good record for reliability. Honda CRV is good too. Differentials on CRV use a special fluid and neglect by previous owners can be an issue with used CRV.
When you settle on a car you like get a pre-sale inspection by a good mechanic. After you buy it get fluids changed and make sure maintenance is up to date.
I’ll assume the hybrid costs more?
Do you drive enough miles to offset the purchase cost with gas savings?
For me the (recent) CRVs lack of an available manual transmission was a deal breaker.
If you do a lot of city driving, the hybrid will be the better choice. In the same price range as the 09 hybrid and new CR-V, you could look at the Mazda CX-7 with the 2.5L engine in it, it offers about the same mileage as the CR-V with a little sportier handling to it.