I am trying to find a suitable replacement for my beloved 2000 Toyota RAV 4. I have test driven several different small suvs and I have been disappointed in almost all of them. I had high hopes for the Subaru Forester but found it to be very disappointing. I test drove a 2010 Toyota RAV 4 and it was just “okay.” The best things I have driven (so far) have been the Nissan Rogue and the Ford Escape. The Ford Escape (a 2011 I think) really surprised me. It was very comfortable inside but the ride was a little rougher than I would like. The Nissan handled very well but it wasn’t love at first sight. I have looked at SO many things that I have become overwhelmed. I am running out of options. Is there something that I am missing? What should I be looking at? Any input would be most appreciated.
Are you looking for new or used? What’s your budget?
You might check out the Mazda Cx-5 if you’re looking new, or the CX-7 for used. Hyundai Tuscon or Sante Fe, Honda CR-V, Acura RDX(I think that’s what it is, I get confused with them using letters instead of names)
@BrownEyes From what you describe, it would be near impossible for us to recommend anything, since your evaluations of cars tested so far are mostly subjective. And everyone has different taste.
Most of us will suggest you buy a Consumer Reports New Car buying guide if you want a new car. If not, they have a used car buying guide. I remember reading tests on the RAV4 and newer Honda CRVs. Both were rated “much better” that their predecessors, yours included. This magazine covers ride, handling, road noise, and general ergonomics.
Pleas e tell us:
- Your budget
- where you live, climate-wise
- how much driving you do
- how many passengers you carry
- What loads you carry
- How tall, etc you are.
- Do you pull a trailer.
- Do you need a hatchback
We can then pick a number of vehicles that would suit your needs; and after testing them you will likely find one that you like.
Cars, like spouses, are seldom love at first sight. My son is in the market for a compact SUV, and he will narrow it down to a RAV4 or a Honda CRV. They are the most reliable choices; the Subaru Imprezza hatchback and the Hyundai Elantra Hatchback are good choices as well. Both have good seats and a comfortable ride. The Elantra is not available in all wheel drive.
You are picky, and that’s OK. Drive all the mid-size SUVs and see which ones you like best. Keep notes if you haven’t already, because this will take a few months to complete. Make sure you know what price range you want to be in and only look at those years. If you look outside that range it might not be the same generation.
The one time I drove a Ford Escape was on a 150 mile trip to a conference and back. The vehicle belonged to my institution and was the hybrid model. I found it to be quite comfortable to drive. I am tall (6’ 2" tall and the seating position was quite comfortable for me. My research partner is 5’ 3" tall and she drove part of the way and she found it comfortable and was able to find a good seating position also. Ride is subjective and I am used to a Toyota 4Runner which I also find comfortable on long trips. I don’t like a soft, willowy ride.
Perhaps the OP should look for another 2000, 2001, 2003 Rav 4. There could be one in great shape that would just do the trick for her.
Most of the newer cars have upgraded the electronics and gimmicks but not really improved the vehicle all that much. If the new fancy electronic gizmos’s don’t attract; then the new cars aren’t really offering much in the way of improved ride, safety, or economy.
I have a second generation Rav. 2005 with the updated Camry 4. It has the shorter wheelbase like yours but is much quicker. My daughter has a 2010 CRV they really like too. Son has a Rogue but it’s a little course for my liking. Personally, I like all of the models of RAV and CRV and would be reluctant to buy anything else because of their reliability.
You already tried a Nissan Rogue which would be one of my first choices. I would suggest checking out the GMC Terrain as well. If you liked the Ford Escape but didn’t like the way it handled, then I think you might like the Terrain. The 2011 and later 4 cylinder does decently in gas mileage as well.