Suv or crossover

what is the best suv or crossover under $20,000. I am considering the following, Subaru Forrester, Toyota Rav, Nissan Murano or Rogue. Would prefer 2006-2008

Out of those choices I’d pick the Toyota Rav unless you want AWD, then I’d go with the Subaru instead of the Rav. But that is just what I would do, those are all good vehicles. What you listed were all crossovers. Are there any suv’s you are very interested in? What is important to you in a vehicle, mpg, AWD, towing, interior space?

Latest Consumer Reports rates the Forester first among all small SUVs. I just bought an '07. Test drive the Murano and Rogue, they have terrible visibility to the rear, in my opinion. I didn’t get the Rav because I’ve seen several where the driver backed into something, hitting the spare tire and bending in the rear hatch.

A cross-over vehicle is a minivan with the front end of an SUV. I believe the Rav-4 and the Forrester are SUVs, not cross-overs.

Frankly it depends a lot on what your want in a car. Have you checked them out? Have you taken them for a test drive?

While someone here may have some specific advice, we are not likely to have personal experience with more than one or two of them. You might want to check out Consumer Reports and see what they found to be the best and worse points for each. Remember that for some people the one which placed last by the raters may be best for you. It all depends on what is important for you.

The Forester is a car trying to look like an SUV. The RAV-4 is a glorified Camary (or was it a Corolla?) None of these vehicles will get you very far off-road or tow anything heavy.

Not sure what you want for features but a 2009(redesigned) Subaru Forester starts well equipped at $20,600 for the stick model. I recently got one as a dealer loaner and was very impressed. It is in the same company as the 2006-2009 RAV4 and current Honda CRV.

My suggestion is test drive them all for a longer period and you will find the best. They all are decent choices.

If you are interested in having the best AWD system, the Forester wins, hands down. However, the Forester has a timing belt, whereas the RAV has a timing chain. A timing belt automatically commits you to a…$400.-$500. maintenance fee at 105k. As I recall, the Murano has a timing chain, but I don’t know this detail regarding the Rogue.

The CVT transmissions on the Murano and the Rogue are not currently repairable in the US, and any substantial transmission problems result in the necessity to replace the transmission, which must be imported from Japan. Personally, I would avoid being exposed to this situation. As was said, the styling of the Murano and the Rogue results in very poor vision to the rear and to the sides in the rear, and this is a genuine safety factor when changing lanes.

Also, some people do not like the seat comfort in the Forester. While the Forester is a very capable vehicle, from your list I would opt for a RAV4–but that is just one man’s opinion.

Since it seems you’re looking for smaller SUVs, why not try an Escape or Mariner. Since they’re domestic brands, they’ve got a steeper depreciation curve than the ones you’ve mentioned here. I imagine a leftover 08 Escape could be had pretty cheap now

I have both a '05 and '07 RAV4 …great gas mileage - 25-28 in summer, all weather handling security and Toyota reliability. Put over 100,000 miles on a '97 with only routine maintenance.

Go drive one of each and tell us which ones you like and don’t like. You might add the Honda CR-V to the list. Just because you test drive it doesn’t mean you will buy it. Go to a dealer and tell them you are exploring a purchase and want a test drive - and that you won’t buy today. Fun time!

Exactly! They are car-based SUVs and car-based SUVs are not made for off-road use.