Corners on a dime?????
May 5, 2011 8:42 PM   Subscribe

I am interested in purchasing a gently used cross over vehicle for myself. I plan on paying cash and want to spend 10,000.00 or less. I prefer Honda or Toyota but am open to reliable well made vehicles.

The vehicle will be driven by me and will often have another adult and 2 young children. I prefer something larger and roomy on the inside comfort is paramount. I'd also love someone good on gas but not without some zip. I am fairly brainless about vehicles in regards to what lasts and what doesn't. I want this vehicle with a warranty.
posted by gypseefire to Travel & Transportation (18 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
What do you think about the Honda CRV?
posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints at 8:52 PM on May 5, 2011 [1 favorite]

Subaru Outback or Forester but I kind of doubt you would be able to get any Japanese crossover still under warranty for under 10k.
posted by ghharr at 9:05 PM on May 5, 2011

I love my Rav4. Looooove it. It's a '97, I got it used almost 10 years ago, and it's still a fantastic car.
posted by phunniemee at 9:27 PM on May 5, 2011

You want the turbocharged Mazda CX7 or the V6 RAV4 if you want zip. The V6 RAV is only slightly less conservative on the fuel than the 4 cylinder when you aren't actually making use of the extra oomph. The 4WD option seems to be a bigger MPG sink, in my experience.

I suspect the Mazda would be available for less money, but there's pretty much no way you're finding one with a reasonably priced warranty for $10,000 or less. You could probably find a RAV4 just within the 36k mile warranty for 14-15 and spend an extra $1000 to buy the Toyota extended warranty (it can be purchased at any time before the factory warranty expires) from one of the dealers who sells them online.

FWIW, I found the 4 cylinder RAV4 better than the CR-V. I drove my sister's 2007 CR-V for a couple of months when she was out of the country and had a 4 cylinder RAV as a loaner for a couple of days recently.

I haven't actually driven a CX7 but I've heard good things about it.

You could probably get a used Nissan Rogue for not too much over your budget, but they really are gutless (and smaller than the post '06 RAV4 and CR-V).
posted by wierdo at 9:29 PM on May 5, 2011

You're going to have a very tough time finding a warranty on a crossover vehicle in your price range.

That said, I love love love my Subaru Outback. Plenty of room and decent gas mileage. Another option to look at is the Hyundai Tucson. Both of these vehicles have been known to be quite reliable.
posted by azpenguin at 9:52 PM on May 5, 2011

The Rav4 does indeed drive better (and is much quieter and feels better appointed) than the CR-V but the CR-V is absolutely cavernous inside. It's like a freakish Escher thing: they look the same size on the outside but the back seat area in particular is much bigger in the CR-V. I daily ferry around 2-3 middle school aged boys in mine without any hint of whining about legroom from the back.
posted by jamaro at 10:20 PM on May 5, 2011

Whatever you get, get a diesel manual. A modern diesel gets much better mileage and will be almost as zippy as a petrol engine, while a manual transmission makes you drive the car, as opposed to just sit behind the wheel letting it make all the decisions. Remember that a 'crossover' vehicle is essentially a car with a much higher centre of gravity, so it's never going to have the off road capability of a real 4 x 4 or the corner hugging handling of a normal car. In going for the best of both worlds, you can end up with the worst. As they're nearly always bought by aging middle class parents anything you buy second hand won't have been thrashed but will have spent most of its time edging around school and supermarket car parks so you can afford to get an older one in your price range without too many worries. The Rav4 is a good buy and the Audi Q5 is ok, though you'll be (very) lucky to find one for that money.
posted by joannemullen at 1:44 AM on May 6, 2011

You'll need to prioritize your preferences, because there's no way you're getting everything you want at that price. It's not a matter of luck; it simply isn't going to happen. So, what order would you put these in?

Gently used
Cross over vehicle
$10,000.00 or less
Honda or Toyota
Larger and roomy
Good on gas
posted by jon1270 at 3:44 AM on May 6, 2011

Whatever you get, get a diesel manual.

In the US, that means buying a VW Golf or Jetta (Audi and BMW, and maybe Mercedes, also have current diesel models, but for more $$$$), and those aren't crossovers. There is a diesel VW Tiguan which is sort of SUVish or crossoverish, but it sells for big $$$ new and I don't think you can get the diesel with a manual. It's fine advice, just not suited for what is actually available in the US market.

Anyway, I agree with jon1270 that you are going to have to prioritize your list, and end up being flexible on some of your preferences. What you described mostly doesn't exist, though certainly people get lucky and find amazing deals.
posted by Forktine at 4:42 AM on May 6, 2011

Yes, the thing that is hanging everyone up is the warranty insistence.

I'd recommend the Subaru, as well. My '99 is over 172K miles and going strong (knock wood). The newer Subarus that would hit in your price range all have decent gas mileage as well.

Although my wife has the Mazda CX9 (a larger version of the CX7). It's a zippy car-like drive, handles very well. For a cross-over, it's probably one of my favorites (especially over the Rav4 and CR-V). The gas mileage on the CX9 isn't very good, though I believe the CX7 is better, but I'm not sure. I also can't speak to the long-term reliability.

My first choice would be a Outback or Forester, then the CX7. Then I'd probably go Rav4. Although you can probably find a decent deal on a Saturn Vue, as well.
posted by rich at 5:02 AM on May 6, 2011

Is there a particular reason you need a crossover?

Unless you need extra ground clearance for *deep* snow or the large opening for weird cargo, you'll almost always get better fuel economy and a better driving experience from a car. If you're worried about traction in the snow, a 2wd sedan with snow tires will always beat an all-wheel drive car with all-season tires. And if you need cargo room, the big boxes (Element, xB, Soul, Cube, etc) are better.
posted by pjaust at 5:45 AM on May 6, 2011

I bought a used Pontiac Vibe last year and it is perfect. My 2 kids (they are 5'10" and 6' tall) have plenty of room in the back seat even with a dog along for the ride, and there's lots of room for our road-trip gear in the wayback. But it's small and zippy and gets great mileage. Toyota chassis too, so if you want something by a company that still exists, look at the Toyota Matrix.
posted by headnsouth at 6:15 AM on May 6, 2011

if this was me, based on my experience with honda's, i would want the newest one i could afford. miles are rarely an issue on a honda. if you can find a 2005 honda accord for that $$, even with 150k miles on it, i'd do that. look for a loaded one with new tires.
posted by thilmony at 7:21 AM on May 6, 2011

The Matrix we have hits most of your criteria, but even with a manual, I wouldn't call it zippy. It's basically a hatchback Corolla, after all. It may be on the small side of what you are looking for.

I'd also love someone good on gas but not without some zip.

This, in particular, may be hard to do for less than 10k.
posted by bonehead at 7:40 AM on May 6, 2011

They are slightly above your price range (11-16K$ according to Edmunds), but a 2003-2005 Acura MDX fits your requirements nicely. We have a 2004 that is great and hasn't given us any trouble. In case you didn't know it Acura is made by Honda, so it meets that requirement as well.
posted by TedW at 7:58 AM on May 6, 2011

I like my Honda Element a lot. Surprisingly zippy, tight turning radius, decent tho not great mileage, loads of interior space. Very dependable. Downside: People are always saying, "Nice box, where's the car that came in it?"
posted by fivesavagepalms at 9:08 AM on May 6, 2011

Not a Honda or Toyota, but you should definitely check out the Kia Sorento, which runs significantly cheaper than similar Hondas and Toyotas and is pretty sweet.
posted by callmejay at 10:09 AM on May 6, 2011

Just looking at Consumer Reports, I wouldn't be interested in a used Sorento unless it was a 2010.
posted by wierdo at 10:29 PM on May 6, 2011

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