New car for the grownups

<p>I've gotten some good info on the CR-V thread for the freshman in college. We are also looking for a new car but for the grown ups here. We are trying to replace a fully optioned Volvo (leather, heated seats, full power, etc) AND an aging van. We need something nice and comfortable for a "family car" but that can also hold the garbage cans. Right now the top of the line CR-V and the Forester are the ones we are looking at. We are very willing to get an off lease or demo type car...no more than a couple of years old.</p>

<p>We also looked at the Rav 4 (I don't like the wheel on the back..is that changed for 2011?) and the Mazda 5 which is in the running too.</p>

<p>I'm not a fan of the Escape but my husband wants me to take a look.</p>

<p>Any suggestions, comments or ideas?</p>

<p>I still love my 2001 Toyota Highlander. I'll get something else when it dies, but it still drives and looks great, so it will be several more years before I trade it in for a new one.</p>

<p>I had a Volvo before I bought my Highlander. I much prefer the handling and feel of the Highlander.</p>

<p>thumper: we chose the CR-V over the RAV-4 because of that wheel; as of last year, the only way to eliminate it was to get the sport model, but that could not be upgraded with leather (and it was much more expensive than the CR-V at the time).....not sure if all of that is changing for 2011</p>

<p>the one American car that is consistently compared to the two above is the Equinox.....</p>

<p>and the Acura RDX off of a lease may be the same as a "new" CR-V but not sure.....the RDX is basically a spiffed up CR-V; they really drive quite similar.....</p>

<p>My parents have an Escape with the most luxurious options package--leather, towing, etc.--and they love it.</p>

<p>I am partial to Honda and the CR-V is the top vehicle in its class. I drove Toyotas all my adult life, but after having excessive oil consumption problems with my 2001 Highlander (burned 1 qt. every 3,000 miles and dealer/Toyota USA said no big deal) and a piston knock on my 2000 Sienna at 110,000 miles, I switched to Honda and have been happy ever since.</p>

<p>Just love our Mazda 5 which is our new 'grown up' car. Has some of the functionality of the mini van with sliding doors but love that the windows go down. Also great storage options inside. With 6 seats we can fold the rear 2 down to transport things or put them up when kids and company are around.</p>

<p>I have a Chrysler Pacifica that I absolutely love! We just recently paid it off and I have no desire to replace it. Both my daughter and husband cycle and we can easily fit bikes in the back. And it is a great car to travel in. The only thing I wish it had was the seat warmers, mainly because I like it for my back on longer drives.</p>

<p>Did the same search this past November; went with the Forester.</p>

<p>We just bought our first new car in years, a 2011 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited. We looked at several cars mentioned earlier in this thread, but we ultimately went with the Outback because we liked the way it handles on the road. The 4-cylinder Boxer engine has surprising power and pick-up. </p>

<p>The model we purchased has a mpg rating of 22/29, but we got 32+ highway mpg on a recent road trip. In several online car forums, other Outback owners have posted that they've gotten similar highway mileage.</p>

<p>The 2010 Outback was Motor Trend's 2010 Sport/Utility of the Year:</p>

<p>2010</a> Subaru Outback is the 2010 Motor Trend Sport/Utility Of The Year - Motor Trend</p>

<p>Good luck with whatever you choose!</p>

<p>the Cr-v thread has quite a few positive comments- ( oh you read that duh- I have been up since 4 and haven't gotten coffee yet)
I'll buy your volvo ;)</p>

<p>I like the outback but the garbage cans will NOT fit in the back of it.</p>

<p>Keep those suggestions coming.</p>

<p>Re: the Pacifica, I'm not a fan of the looks of those "crossover" vehicles. Sorry.</p>

<p>We like the VW Tiguan, one nice thing about VWs is you can often get heated seats with cloth not leather....which our dog prefers.....he slides too much on leather seats!</p>

<p>Ah, I somehow missed your need for a car that garbage cans will fit into! Yep, there's no way garbage cans will fit upright into an Outback. It's close, but no cigar.</p>

<p>The Outback has more interior cargo volume than the Forester, so I assume the Forester is taller but not as long and/or wide? Anyway, I have quite a few friends who have Foresters and CR-Vs. They're all very happy with their cars, so I don't think you can go wrong with either vehicle. Does Honda or Subaru have any special promotions going on now?</p>

<p>Honda has a much better new car warranty than Subaru...but I don't see any "special promotions" going on now. I'm keeping my eyes out!!</p>

<p>I drove a 2003 Forester until last fall (D2 is now driving it with 165,000 miles on it, no issues). I bought an Outback with about 10,000 miles on it late last year. The Outback is okay, but I wish I had purchased a Forester instead.</p>

<p>We love our CR-V, best/most reliable car I've ever owned by a wide margin. We also have an aging Dodge minivan that we're thinking about replacing with a Mazda 5 which has much of the same functionality but on a shrunken scale. I'll bet it won't fit the garbage cans, but we'll still have the CR-V for that.</p>

<p>I'm going to test drive a Mazda 5 this coming week...with tape measure in hand. I'll let you know about the trash cans. My husband thinks they will fit in the back. Stay tuned!!</p>

<p>Love Love Love my 2006 Toyota Highlander Hybrid. Perfect combination of space, fuel economy, pep and amenities. 100K miles in 4 years and only has required routine maintenance.</p>

<p>One of my relatives had a Dodge mini van and used it for getting her kids around. After five years it still had less than forty thousand miles but it started to need more than simple maintainess. By the time it had 50 thousand miles it was ready for the junkyard.</p>

<p>^ Our Dodge Caravan is 10 yrs old with 120K miles and still serviceable, but it creaks and groans and leaks transmission fluid---slowly, so no danger, but the cost of fixing the tranny is probably higher than the value of the car. Time to turn it out to pasture. I wouldn't recommend those cars to anyone, but we picked this one up cheap and it served us reasonably well in its time. I dread paying for a new vehicle with D1 starting college but as a practical matter we have no choice. Never been a big fan of buying used; as my Dad always used to say, "If you buy a used car you're probably buying somebody else's trouble."</p>