Trouble in Paradise
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Recommend your SUV/crossover

I'm car shopping - my current one has become a money pit and a giant time suck.  I'd love to buy the newer version of what I drive now, but it's out of my price range.  I've test-driven a couple of SUVs and looked at a couple of others, but I'm not excited about any of them.  I want something that feels like a truck and can take a licking from my dogs (literally), but that's going to be safe/reliable/affordable.  So far I got nuttin.   

Based on my dad's recommendation, I'm backing off the "feels like a truck" requirement.  I'm going to take the Outback out for a test drive this evening in the hopes that I can embrace a car, but, um, yeah....

Any ideas for me?  I'm looking to stay under $28K.  

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Re: Recommend your SUV/crossover

  • I drive a Dodge Nitro and I like it. It is very truck like. It is an suv, but not massive or too bulky. There is also plenty of room to haul stuff, so I'd imagine there would be plenty of room for dogs. My dogs are toy poodles so I never have to worry about space for them. 
  • Donny & her H have an Outback. They're safe and reliable.

    Have you looked at a Mazda Cx-7? They're roomy, good on gas, and good in snow. If you can hang in there until Spring, they're bringing out a CX-5 which will be a bit smaller--it's supposedly also going to have the new skyline engine in it which will be more efficient.

    The honda pilot is a good one for dog owners (I'm told). 

  • We've been looking for a crossover upgrade for our dogs too...(I have a sedan - which is not great for two BIG dogs).  The one we like the most is the Dodge Journey.  It even has rear AC for them. :)  I test drove that, the Kia Sorento (which I liked, but it was very base and the interior looks cheap in any color but black), and the Chevy Equinox (which has TERRIBLE visibility.)  Let us know what you decide to get because I'd like to check out some other stuff.
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  • we have a Subaru Forester and a Toyota 4Runner and I love them both.

    The 4Runner definitely feels like a truck. we just bought it a week or two ago. You can opt for third row seats (which we do not have) and it's within your budget.  I love it - H and I are always bickering over who gets to drive it.

    The Forester is our second Subaru and we adore it...such a great vehicle. 

    You can see both of them on my FB page, lol.

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  • Subaru!

     

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  • I LOVE my 4runner. So far it has survived paintball, boys, dogs and horses.
  • I love my Kia Sportage.  I wanted a SUV and really did very little shopping and test driving.  I bought it a year ago and still have no buyers remorse.  When I bought my Chevy Colbalt I had almost immediate buyers remorse.

     

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  • Subaru Forester! I'm in love with my new car. I was going to get an Outback but it felt a touch too big for my needs. It's a great car. It's my 4th Subaru, and my H also has an Imprezza Sport.
  • I just got a 2012 Hyundai Tucson and I LOVE it! I don't know about it be doggy durable but so far it's toddler tough!
  • I have a 2012 Kia Sportage and I love it.  Very affordable, great gas mileage, and perfect for our black lab.  I was deciding between the Hyundai Tucson and Kia Sportage.  I prefer the look of the Tucson exterior, but the Sportage has a cooled drivers seat, which the Tucson didnt. My back always gets very warm when driving, so that sold me.  We got it fully loaded and it is within your budget
  • Nissan Murano.  If you negotiate on-line and don't need the top of the line model you can definitely stay within your price range.  It doesn't drive like a truck but it feels heavy and durable like a truck.

    If you want something similar but a little smaller look at the Nissan Rogue.

  • My Dodge Durango took me through the PA Turnpike in a blizzard on Superbowl Sunday and not once did I feel like I was going to lose control. It hauled 3 kids and their friends and DH of course, to and from beaches, sports, activities and we made 6-7 hour trips every couple months in it.

    I miss it and am going to trade in my Toyota this month for another one.

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  • image kaneen:

    Nissan Murano.  If you negotiate on-line and don't need the top of the line model you can definitely stay within your price range.  It doesn't drive like a truck but it feels heavy and durable like a truck.

    If you want something similar but a little smaller look at the Nissan Rogue.

    I second this.  I used to drive my bosses and LOVED it.  It handles really well and certainly doesnt feel like a truck. 

    If you dont like that, I would look into the Mazda 7 suv.  I have a mazda now and love it aside from it not having awd.  In Chicago, we get a lot of snow, which I hate driving in, so I do reallly miss awd and have thought about looking into the M7.

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  • I drove the Outback last night and liked it.  It'd be perfect if it was up higher like an SUV.  I think I'll go check out Hyundai and Toyota this weekend before I make a final decision.  Thanks for the input everyone!
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  • image BowiesInSpace:
    I drove the Outback last night and liked it.  It'd be perfect if it was up higher like an SUV.  I think I'll go check out Hyundai and Toyota this weekend before I make a final decision.  Thanks for the input everyone!

    How did they not have you drive a Forester??? It's higher than the Outback, more SUV-ish. Go drive one!

    Subarus are the BESSSSSTTTT.

    - namaste mothafockaaaas - image
  • image BeebeeEater:

    image BowiesInSpace:
    I drove the Outback last night and liked it.  It'd be perfect if it was up higher like an SUV.  I think I'll go check out Hyundai and Toyota this weekend before I make a final decision.  Thanks for the input everyone!

    How did they not have you drive a Forester??? It's higher than the Outback, more SUV-ish. Go drive one!

    Subarus are the BESSSSSTTTT.

    I thought the Forester was too small.  Same thing with the Rogue.  I'm trying to hit that sweet spot where the vehicle feels large but I don't feel like I'm driving a tank.

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  • I'm confused...the Forester is bigger than the Outback.

    I think you'll like the 4Runner if you drive it.

    - namaste mothafockaaaas - image
  • image BeebeeEater:

    I'm confused...the Forester is bigger than the Outback.

    I think you'll like the 4Runner if you drive it.

    The inside felt smaller.  I am a size queen!

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  • We just recently got a Scion xB and it is very big on the inside. We fit 5 people and their luggage on a weekend trip recently and i also fit my 3 nieces with their car seats and they seemed to have more room than they do in my sisters big ass lexus SUV. You might want to check it out because i was really surprised at how big the inside was. But i know not everyone is thrilled about the thought of rolling around in a giant toaster like car.
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  • image BeebeeEater:

    I'm confused...the Forester is bigger than the Outback.

     The Outbacks are bigger now. It's not by a lot, I think like 8" in the boot or something like that.

  • I have a Honda CR-V and I love it. It drives great and has plenty of room for my dogs.
  • image BlueEyeZ1981:

    I love my Kia Sportage.  I wanted a SUV and really did very little shopping and test driving.  I bought it a year ago and still have no buyers remorse.  When I bought my Chevy Colbalt I had almost immediate buyers remorse.

     

    I've had buyer's remorse about my Cobalt ever since I leased it in 2005. Biggest pile of junk ever.

    My parents have a Toyota Highlander, great ride and lots of space. My sister in law has a Chevy Equinox, and I was surprised at the room inside. I have to recommend others' SUVs since my H and I both drive little roller skate 2-door cars.

    Oh, FFS.
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