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Recommendations for a mid/small Hybrid SUV for college?

sunshine2019sunshine2019 28 replies4 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 32 Junior Member
My parents are looking to buy me a mid/small hybrid SUV while I'm in college for around 30k or less. I'm really big on practicing environmental sustainability as much as I can, but don't think having a fully electric vehicle is the best possibility for my family at the moment, thus we are thinking a hybrid.

I've looked all over the internet, but really would like some tried and true recommendations from those who've already been through the process. Thanks! :)
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Replies to: Recommendations for a mid/small Hybrid SUV for college?

  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 76577 replies666 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 77,243 Senior Member
    Will you be commuting to college?

    If you will be living at the college, consider carefully whether having a car is helpful or just more of a hassle (e.g. parking).

    What driving patterns do you anticipate?
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  • bopperbopper 13921 replies98 discussionsForum Champion CWRU Posts: 14,019 Forum Champion
    Don't buy it new...buy a 2 year old used car if possible.
    Check out Toyota Rav4 hybrid
    Also most freshman are not allowed cars on campus
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  • twoinanddonetwoinanddone 22126 replies14 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 22,140 Senior Member
    Also most freshman are not allowed cars on campus

    Most? There are a few schools that don't allow it (service academies) but I think most do allow it.

    May not be a good idea, but allowed.
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  • momofsenior1momofsenior1 6253 replies35 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 6,288 Senior Member
    My D's school didn't allow cars on campus first semester freshman year and then there was a lottery for parking passes so definitely not guaranteed.

    Many of her friends couldn't take their cars either so I would definitely check on the specific school.

    I would also look to see where you can actually park. At some schools, the lots are so far away that it's a pia to get to the car and more of a hassle.
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  • lvvcsflvvcsf 2286 replies57 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 2,343 Senior Member
    edited June 17
    Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid. Starting MSRP for a new one is around $35 though you should be able to get a two or three year old used one for under $30k. The tax credit may get a new one under $30k.
    edited June 17
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  • mamaedefamiliamamaedefamilia 3394 replies23 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 3,417 Senior Member
    Not a hybrid but might be worth a look - Honda HUV, small vehicle, basic trim line starts at 20,500, add 1400 for AWD. Nice small, nimble car, with good visibility and safety features. Estimated mileage is 28/34.
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  • sunshine2019sunshine2019 28 replies4 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 32 Junior Member
    Thank you everybody for your recommendations!

    The university I'm attending does indeed allow freshman to have cars, and because I'm in honors and will receive honors housing, I will have parking available. I need a car because my family will be running a business just 1 1/2 hours away, so I'm expected to help out when I can. Sorry, I should've included that in my original post!

    I'll definitely be looking at the Rav4 and the Crosstrek. If we start looking outside of hybrid/electric vehicles, I'll take a look at the HUV. Thanks again everyone! :)
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  • bopperbopper 13921 replies98 discussionsForum Champion CWRU Posts: 14,019 Forum Champion
    edited June 18
    @sunshine2019
    "I need a car because my family will be running a business just 1 1/2 hours away, so I'm expected to help out when I can.

    Let me give you some tips right now:

    1) During the first semester, try to stay on campus on most weekends. To make friends, you need to do things with them on the weekends.

    2) Your academics have to take priority over your family business. You may get pressure, but your professors don't care. They care if you do the work you are assigned.

    3) Although you are in class 15 hours per week, federal guidelines state that you should be doing 2-3 hours of reading/studying/homework per hour that you are in class...which is like 45 hours/week...so school IS a full time job...and then you are adding another job so keep that in mind.

    4) Hopefully your family is not toxic, but if they are toxic watch out for "crab in the bucket" syndrome...which is basically people saying "How dare you do better! How dare you get to crawl out of this bucket! We will pull you back in the bucket and sabotage your schooling."

    5) or it might be that to afford tuition, you need to help out. get this book to help you figure out to organize your time
    Read this book: How to Become a Straight-A Student: The Unconventional Strategies Real College Students Use to Score High While Studying Less by Cal Newport. It helps you with things like time management and how to figure out what to write about for a paper, etc.
    edited June 18
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  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 76577 replies666 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 77,243 Senior Member
    Rather than specifically looking at hybrids, you may want to check the city and highway fuel economy ratings at https://fueleconomy.gov/ to see what gives the best value in lowest fuel cost relative to the price of the car.

    Note that the Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid starts at a price about $13k higher than the non-hybrid version.

    Cars may cost less than SUVs and get better fuel economy. For example, the Honda Fit is less expensive and more fuel efficient than the Honda HR-V. The Subaru Impreza is less expensive than the Subaru Crosstrek, and is more fuel efficient except for the hybrid version that is only available on the Crosstrek.
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  • crankyoldmancrankyoldman 569 replies50 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 619 Member
    Any reason why you need an SUV hybrid? If you're willing to consider a passenger car hybrid, sales of those have dropped dramatically the past five years, so a relatively new used one will be much less expensive. Some hardly sell at all(eg Toyota Prius C), but have rock solid reliability(per Consumer Reports). And the passenger car hybrids get much better mileage than the SUV hybrids.
    If a hybrid SUV is necessary, look into the Toyota RAV4. Friends own one a couple of years old; mileage is much better than regular RAV4 and it's been very reliable.
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  • sunshine2019sunshine2019 28 replies4 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 32 Junior Member
    We were looking at an SUV for the additional space so that I could help transport materials for the family business and also in case I ever need to take our dogs to the vet or grooming appointments. However, a downsize is definitely feasible and I'll check some out. (Though, I have continuously heard great things about the Rav4! Might be the #1 contender right now. :))

    Thanks again everybody for the (very helpful) input. It is greatly appreciated!
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  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 76577 replies666 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 77,243 Senior Member
    Here is a Subaru dealer's comparison of the Impreza and Crosstrek:
    https://www.planetsubaru.com/crosstrek-vs--impreza.htm
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  • cptofthehousecptofthehouse 28356 replies56 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 28,412 Senior Member
    Honda Insight
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  • crankyoldmancrankyoldman 569 replies50 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 619 Member
    General advice: Consumer Reports offered unbiased reviews of most cars, new and used; you can usually get it at your local library. It's been very helpful in terms of finding reliable cars/SUVs.
    And US news apparently reads numerous reviews and then give each car/SUV a ranking; it's worth taking a look at those, too, and they are available online.
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  • sushirittosushiritto 3546 replies9 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 3,555 Senior Member
    Buy a Rav4. Toyota's cost more initially, but they're worth it. You get what you paid for.

    Subaru's are cheap(er), but they're NOT built to stay that way.
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  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 76577 replies666 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 77,243 Senior Member
    If you want to consider used, the recently discontinued Toyota Prius V and Ford C-Max may be worth a look for good cargo space and good (hybrid) fuel economy.
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  • MrThatcherMrThatcher 101 replies4 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 105 Junior Member
    Well I test drove a Volvo XC60 T8 Inscription recently. I definitely would recommend it, seamless transitions between Electric and ICE modes. Only as safe as a Volvo can get.
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  • noname87noname87 1202 replies20 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 1,222 Senior Member
    I looked at the 2018 RAV4 Hybrid and didn't like the fact that when the rear seat were folded down the floor was not flat. Since we use it for business and want a flat cargo floor we brought the non hybrid version. It was redesigned for 2019 so maybe they changed that.
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  • MrThatcherMrThatcher 101 replies4 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 105 Junior Member
    @noname87 I'm curious, how do you like your RAV4 so far? Does it pull good under wide open throttle? Someone recommended that as an alternative to the T8.
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  • ColoradomamaColoradomama 2650 replies30 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 2,680 Senior Member
    I drove a RAV4 across the country with my son and it is clearly a 4 cylinder vehicle, but drives well. It probably cannot tow a sailboat for instance. Hybrids are more complicated to fix. I would get the all gasoline model for simplicity for fixing the car. The gas miles is excellent in the newest Rav4 gasoline models.
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