questionswhich car should i get?

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I have friends with the Toyota RAV4. They love it. I like riding in it !
But to note there seems to be a lot of recalls on them.

That said, my parents drive a Hyundai sedan. My dad did his homework. He said the Hyundai is in the same league as Toyota , but b/c they do not have the same name recognition are lower priced ? Not sure that is still true ?

Here is a Car and Driver article that compares all of the above and then some. It is for 2012 models, but should still give you some good ideas as to the differences and where they stand.

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The new Ford Escape has received favorable reviews, but included options/features, proximity of the dealership (especially if the car comes with scheduled maintenance), test drives, and most importantly price always end up being the deciding factors for me.

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Assuming new.

Start with Edmunds.com - they have a nice comparison feature, and they also have a nice feature that computes the 5 year total ownership costs. Great tool to help.

Next, what are you using the car for? Commuting? Hauling kids around? A place to live? In all seriousness, it does make a difference.

We were in the market for a mid-size SUV last year, and wound up with a Hyundai Santa Fe. I did lots of research. Kia, Hyundai, Honda and Toyota made my short list. Teplacing a 2002 Ford Escape that had been a lot of trouble, so that was out. I remember when Nissan was Datsun, and why they had to change the name. CX-5 was brand new - never buy first model year!

I'd suggest RAV-4 or Tuscon. Hyundai still has a 10 yr, 100,000 mile warranty. If you keep your cars a long time then that is a strong point. If you trade in after a few years, the Toyota will probably have the best resale value.

This list reflects only my views. Hyundai has been great for last year.

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We actually just compared those exact vehicles plus one more not on your list to purchase a few months ago. We ended up buying the one that is not on your list, a new Honda CR-V. For the price and reputation, it seemed to have the most to offer. But putting the CR-V aside, the Tucson would likely have been our second choice.

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@75grandville: It is worth noting that the current Ford Escape has essentially nothing in common with your 2002 Escape; it was an all-new vehicle a few years ago.

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I have actually test driven and compared all of those cars with / for my parents. We looked into them a lot and the winners ended up being the Rav 4 and the Ford Escape Limited. My parents were split on the two, and I favored the Ford Escape. It offers good fuel economy, good space, and good torque for its class. The downside is that the rear window is kind of small so looking through the rear view mirror doesn't give you much field vision of what is behind you. The Rav 4 has a nice new design and offers good torque, fuel economy, and space. However, I felt that the rear seats were a little cramped. The materials on the Escape felt much better than the Rav 4 (the escape had the leather/cloth blend, if I remember correctly). The car also had some nice features such as the trunk's sensor open and auto dimming rear view mirror.
Wish you luck with everything!

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Unless there's some reason you need a massive SUV, why not go with something more environmentally friendly like a Cruze, Civic, Mazda3, Focus, etc?
I've personally got a Mazda3 and it's been pretty great so far.

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All of those vehicles are decent. If you're buying new, I would go with the best deal. If you're buying used, try to get the one that's in the best shape.

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@ryanguerdon: You know what they say - once you drive a Toyota, you'll never stop!

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Thanks everyone! I test drove the Escape and the Rogue yesterday. Also took the Murano for a spin. That was super nice but a higher price bracket. Also a bigger car. I'm mostly looking for something in the "crossover" category.

I'm using consumer reports and Edmunds for research. The Hyundai sends great but got terrible reviews. I'm going to test drive it Monday or Tuesday.

Mother's Day to all you Mother Wooters out there!

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I have a 2010 Escape that I like a lot, but I'm not as big of a fan of the new redesign. So many of the newer vehicles in this class are too much of a curvy crossover, and not enough of a small SUV.

Also, if you go with the ford, make sure you get the simpler version of Sync, which works great, and not the more "advanced" MyFordTouch system, which has been very trouble-prone and does not work well at all.

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@stryker4526: Where do you see a massive SUV on that list? I see a bunch of tiny SUVs, maybe a few that could be considered midsize.
There are many reasons to get an SUV over a car....how many people/things are you carrying, what are the road (or dirt or sand or whatever) conditions like year round, etc.
Personally, I have a Ford Expedition and I love it.

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@smirltastic: SUVs are massive, period. Even smaller SUVs are huge.
And I acknowledged that there could be a reason OP would need an SUV, but he didn't say there was a reason he was looking only at SUVs.
I guess it's just like the "bigger is better" crowd to be so hostile towards the suggestion that maybe a smaller car would be a better fit.

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@daveinsocal: You should try out the Subaru CrossTrek for a good crossover car.

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I can't tell you what car you should buy, but I can give my experience with the Hyundai. My last Chevy (Monte Carlo) was just simply a poster child for how NOT to design a car. After year of being a loyal Chevy man, when it came time to replace, they were off the list. I was surprised to find that not only was Hyundai on the list, they were on the SHORT list, and in fact they won. I now drive a Hyundai and I can tell you from first-hand experience it isn't the same car it was a decade ago. I'll be the first to crack a joke about how I have the cheapest car Korea can make, but all kidding aside it is a solid vehicle. Literally the only problem I have had in four years now was the nav unit. It somehow got way out of calibration, so where you were pressing on the screen was nowhere near the actual button. I use Waze on my cell phone, so I didn't care about that for the maps function, but it made connecting to my phone via bluetooth almost impossible. It was replaced under warranty.

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I would check out the GMC Terrain! It has some great reviews and is fun to drive and you can get one for less money then all the other small suv's listed

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If you're looking at something the size of the rogue - try looking at the cx3 instead of the cx5. Of that group, i'd place the cx3 as most fun to drive, even given it's crossover format. For me, enjoying the drive has been a very important part of all of my vehicle choices except one.. and a short 3 years later now and i'm selling that one, lol.

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I wanted a small SUV and for price, space, and nice ride, I wound up with a 2012 Scion xB and love it! It doesn't look that big on the outside, but the design makes it seem a lot bigger once you're inside. We comfortably fit 5 adults and 2 dogs in it just this weekend.

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We recently looked at a few of these cars as well. We found the ride on the Rogue to be too rough.

We really were impressed by the Escape's technology and the options the higher trim had (panoramic moonroof!); but thought it looked pretty boring on the outside. We really liked the exterior look of the CX-5 and the way it drove, but were disappointed by the lack of tech inside and how plain the interior was.

Oh, and we had the Murano for 3 days as a loaner. It was a great drive and really comfortable, but like you said it felt way too big for us.

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I am on my 2nd Subaru Outback. Bought @ 140k miles, now @ 180k. Sold my first one, still running great @ 230k except the brakes needed a complete overhaul and it was time for a newer model. These things are huge in the northern rockies. They start when it's freezing, go most anywhere through snow & mud, and are relatively cheap to repair. Lots of independent mechanics specialize in Subaru repairs and there are tons in the yards to grab parts from for the DIY crowd. My wife wants to get a late model Impreza - local owners we have talked with love them, and they are more SUV than most SUVs.

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@stile99: Indeed, as much as I personally don't care for Hyundai they are probably the most improved brand of all time. Their cars in the 80s and 90s should not have been allowed on American roads as some of them could barely do 55mph downhill with a tailwind. Now they are very competent little cars for those who want safe and cheap transportation. They'll never win a drag race or a car show, but they are reasonable options for a lot of people who are concerned about things in life other than their cars.

That said, I really enjoy cars and would likely never buy a Hyundai. Even the Genesis doesn't appeal to me and I would really like to get back into a RWD coupe some day.

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Check out the Honda Fit if you're at all interested in a hatchback; if you get the manual transmission (and don't opt for the navigation system) they're pretty inexpensive, and have a ton of room. I've used ours to carry 2 adults, 2 kids and their stuff on long road trips on multiple occasions, and have never felt like I didn't have enough room for everything. Plus, it's really easy to parallel park.

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I bought a 2013 Ford Escape on Saturday and love it so far! Thanks for all your advice and tips.