March 8, 2011

Advice on our New Ride

So as I mentioned yesterday, we are going to buy a new car between now and May (when we get to move in to our new house!). I grew up with Toyota brand cars but my husband is a Honda person. Right now we have an old Honda Civic that has been good to us and after driving our current car for the past 3 years, I agree that Honda brand cars are solid and reliable. I would also maybe lean towards Honda given the recalls with Toyota as of late. Or should we venture out more from Honda and Toyota? I drive a crap ton of rental cars and have noticed that Hyundai's are really nice cars and a decent amount cheaper.

Our criteria right now is a small SUV that is good on miles like the Honda CRV or Toyota Rav4. Wifeylifey has me seriously considering the Rav4 but I guess consumer reports rates the Honda CRV much higher than any other small SUV.

Honda CRV (image source)

2011 Toyota Rav4 (image source)

Hyundai Tucson (image source)

Hyundai Santa Fe (image source)

So I'd love some car advice. Any brands and models you would suggest? Any car features you think are necessary? I really want in car navigation but husband thinks its a total waste of money....


  1. I test drove both the CRV and the Rav4 when we were looking this summer and both felt a little 'plastic-y' for me, granted we were looking at the base models (not sure if that makes a difference). We ended up with a Volvo XC70 and really love it - and I think it definately has more cargo space than the smaller suv's.
    Personally, I needed lights that turn on/off automatically and a sunroof. I'd rather have a portable GPS that we can take on vacations and use in different vehicles rather than built in :)

  2. I love my CRV :) I have only ever driven hondas though, so can't really say much for comparison. I did drive a compass recently as a rental car and was impressed with that. But you can't go wrong with Hondas.

  3. We are in love with our Subaru. We have the Impreza, but I totally want the Forester with leather seats and the extra big moon roof. We did test drive the Tucson and I really liked the size and everything about it, but they wanted over MSRP which was ridiculous. Why pay more? We got a fabulous deal on our Impreza and I can't tell you how many times I've been happy to have AWD. Good luck!! I know it's a tough decision, but test driving the cars made all the difference, and the non-sleazy guy at the Subaru dealership.

  4. I know nothing about cars since I've never had to own one in NY or Chicago! =D But I'd say go with whatever is rated the safest and is the best value on price.

    I agree with Chelsey - get a portable GPS. That way you can use it in other vehicles. :-)

  5. i love the new CRV's! A friend here has one so I have driven it and it is a huge improvement from the old ones - definitely much more stable of a car and the redesigned the inside too. Have you ever looked at the Honda Pilot? I really like those a lot too. Yay, car shopping! :)

  6. We are too big for the small SUVs, so we went with a new Mazda. The Cx-7 is really nice (we are huge car owners with a CX-9),

  7. I'm just envious that you're getting a car - that's a hot commodity where I live :)

  8. Thanks for all the advice ladies! We'll add Volvo, Mazda and Subaru to our list of places to visit and test drive. I think I'll have to give up on the in car navigation but maybe I can squeeze leather seats, auto lights and definitely AWD in there. ;)
    @ pardonmyfrenchie and BigAppleNosh - I know what you mean! Having a car was almost unthinkable for me until I got a job 30 miles outside of Boston.

  9. *delurk*

    I have to second Subaru - we test drove _everything_ and the Subarus were the only ones that felt solid. I adore my Subaru.

  10. I wrote a response yesterday, but it deleted when I tried to post! We got the Volvo XC60 in the fall and love it! Drives more like a car, but gives us more space than our old car. It's nice because it's not too big for city driving!

    We also test drove the CRV, RAV4 and Ford Edge. Didn't like the Edge at all, as it seemed like I just didn't fit in the drivers seat well (seems like it was designed for taller people?). Of the CRV and RAV4 we preferred the RAV4 in terms of driving, but as Chelsey mentioned above, both of these cars seemed less solid than the Volvo (I think this is what she meant by "plasticy"). We got a fantastic deal on our Volvo since we bought at the end of the year, so if you don't need the car right away, I'd recommend waiting until dealers are try to get rid of the 2011 models!

  11. I absolutely love my CR-V! It is a 2001, so it is getting up there in age...but honestly we have not had ONE SINGLE problem with it the entire time I've owned it. Knock on wood...I totally just jinxed myself on that. Anyway, I know that in the next few years I'll probably need/want to replace my CR-V, and I am almost 100% sure that I will want to get another CR-V.

  12. We recently switched from our beloved Volvo XC90 to a Rav4. Obviously, we went WAY DOWN in terms of luxury, but we really love our Rav4! The gas mileage is so, so much better and it is still a comfortable ride. I also like that it is a bit smaller for the city, but we do miss the 3rd row of seats every now and then! Then I think about the cost & am happy that we are saving almost $300/month with the Toyota.

    My friend has a new CR-V and it is awesome :)


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