New car recommendations

My husband just totaled my 2000 Acura TL. I drove that car for 13 years, and it had almost 200,000 miles on it. I loved that car! Just the right amount of pick up and speed. I’m in the market for a brand new car, and I’m thinking I might like an SUV or crossover. Until I decide what car I want, I’m driving a 2005 Honda Odyssey minivan. I really like the space in the minivan since I travel a lot with my two small dogs. It’s a great vehicle for road trips. But I’m not in love with the van. Any suggestions on a crossover or SUV that has plenty of interior room, but is as much fun to drive and as fast as my Acura?

Take a look at the Honda “CrossTour”. They are ugly (my opinion) but might be a comparable driving feel and experience to the Accura TL. A traditional SUV will feel like a top heavy boat compared to the TL.

The TL was a sporty sedan, hard to find a CUV/SUV that’s as much ‘fun to drive’. You might try the Acura RDX or the 2014 MDX.

Why don’t you just stop at the Acura dealer and take a look see. The new TLs are different now so you may not like them but they have the RL and I think one of them in more of a station wagon than the SUV that might be more fun. I’m on my second Acura.

If you like the Odyssey, check the Honda Pilot out. It is on the same basis, same engine and transmission. Pretty roomy inside.

If you want to go more upscale, check the Acura RDX and MDX (larger, new redesign for 2014).

Now that I think about it, I recommend you check out Mazda’s CUVs. They’ve gotten extremely positive review for how fun they are to drive. The CX-5 (with the 2.5l engine) would be on my short list, for sure.

NO SUV or crossover is going to be as sporty to drive as your Acura TL (aka Honda Accord). They aren’t designed to be as sporty.

One thing I’ve come to like about Acura is their 48 month 48,000 mile bumper to bumper warranty. I think Buick is up there too but most are still 36/36 which I don’t understand. Now my Pontiac had a 36 warranty but a 5 year 100,000 mile power train warranty. That I can live with.

a Porsche Cayenne?

A Mazda 5 is a small minivan that looks more like a hatchback than a van. 2012 is the last year they made the CX-7, which I own. It’s pretty fun to drive and has decent interior room.

The CX-5 is the CX-7’s replacement, no relationship to the Mazda 5.

The turbo in the 7 makes it a lot more fun to drive than the Cx-5

You might consider wagons instead. Sportier wagons:

VW Jetta Sportwagen
Audi Allroad
Cadillac CTS-V wagon

The Cadillac is about $70,000 but is a real sports wagon. It will make your TL feel like a Lincoln Town Car. Better hurry. This is the last year for the V wagon. You might find a used one, if your are looking for a cruise missile.

Just know the mpg on the CTSV is loooooow. 12 city 18 highway. And the guy who’s reporting on his got 7 mpg when pushing it hard. Ouch!

You gotta pay to play. And what a small price to pay for the finest wagon the ever existed, and even one of the best cars ever.

Maybe you can figure out which matters more, the sportiness or the utility. A crossover, no matter how sporty, is not going to drive like a sports sedan. Frankly, very few of them are sporty at all, even those from companies known for sporty cars. I also don’t think you need anything very large to travel with a pair of dogs unless they’re wolfhounds or Great Danes. Certainly not a minivan.

So, what is kind of sporty, but also has a hatch and a space in back for the dogs? The Acura RDX isn’t terribly sporty, but its nice and roomy enough. The Acura TSX wagon would also be a possibility, but for some reason they only sell the four-cylinder version, while you can get a six in the sedan. It’s a nice car, just not very sporty. I really like the Infiniti EX. It’s a small crossover that’s much lower and more carlike than average. It gets dinged for not having much rear seat room or cargo space. But for me it would be plenty, and it is good looking inside and out. Lexus? Not at all sporty, and the interior of the RX is both glitzy and cheap-feeling at the same time. Its popularity is inexplicable.

The only American possible is the Cadillac CTS wagon (and maybe their SRX crossover) , though I worry about its reliability, which has not been good for some versions. Sure is pretty, better to me than the sedan. If you want hardcore sportiness (really hardcore) you can even get a CTS-V wagon. The only other similarly hardcore performance wagon is the AMG version of the Mercedes E-Class wagon. It and the Cadillac are kind of nutty. I doubt you had anything like that in mind (or the price).

Among the European luxury brands there is no shortage of possibilities. BMW makes their crossover in three sizes, though I can’t say I find any very attractive. Still, they’ll be at least a little sporty (just a little, in most cases) , and generally nice enough, and a bit better made than some other European models. The prices are a bit high when optioned up, and they are kind of plain without options, unlike the typically loaded Japanese alternatives. I think the 3-series wagon is on a temporary hiatus (or do they still sell the old one?) There is also the oddball 3-Series GT, kind of an oversized hatchback, though I’m not sure it’s available yet. They just had the international launch a few months ago. The 5-Series GT came out a few years ago to a horrified reaction by the BMW faithful and has hardly sold at all in the US or Europe. It was designed mainly for China, where cars in that class are chauffeur-driven. The 3-Series GT is getting a better reception. As a wagon alternative with a bit of style, I quite like it. The Audi Q5 is nice, but unreliable. Which describes almost every Audi. Likewise Volvo. The Mercdes GLK is OK, but not very sporty.