My First New SUV

Hey guys, I would need your opinion as I am planning to buy my first SUV this financial year. I know not much time left.

I am a bit confused on which brand and model I should go with, you might already have experience with those cars and will help me to pick.

My budget for the car is between $30k to $35k (can increase to $40k) and requirements are below:

  • 4WD
  • Automatic
  • Leather seating (can go for fabric)
  • Black color (Can go for white or silver)
  • Safety features ( I believe most of the cars comes with basic safety features)

The cars I have already seen so far are:

  • Rav4 GX (Cost around $40k)
  • Mitsubishi (Eclipse Cross Black Edition $30k)
  • Kia Sportage SX(Around $33k)
  • Hyundai Kona (Around $30k)
  • Mazda (Price range starts from $40k+)

I will appreciate your prompt response and any suggestion.

Cheers.

Comments

  • +46 votes

    RAV4. Sorted.

    • +3 votes

      I heard the Hybrid system is very good… extra performance at lower fuel use.
      And apparently one of the few examples of a CVT system that's done correctly: to increase efficiency and response over a conventional geared Auto. People are going to bash this and say "Manual is for Men" etc etc.

      The Nutmeg interior, AWD system, and the Media Centre all look awesome.
      Of course, outfitting a car like that is going to raise the price from the base $35k to the midrange $50k… which personally I think is worth it if you're buying a NEW car. Otherwise, if you're concerned with each tiny cost, you should be looking into the Used or Demo market instead. But if you disagree with any of that, just talk to Spackbace.

      • +4 votes

        I wanted top get a Rav4 hybrid but the waiting list was like 6 months.

        Got a cx-5 and I am happy with it but wish I could have got the Rav4.

        • +1 vote

          This and RAV4 interiors are not that premium. Mazda CX-5 is great looking and interiors with better discounts

          • -1 vote

            @EnALup: RAV4 is much bigger internally.
            Great looking is subjective.

            If I was getting a Mazda I'd ensure I get paint protection on it.

          •  

            @EnALup: Did you bought new CX-5 and how much was the discount because even i am planning to buy CX-9.

            •  

              @Jeev1: $3k below discount compared to minimum dealer could offer using a broker.

        •  

          Does the Mazda still suffer from extra road noise?
          They've always had that issue. Apparently the RAV4-Hybrid is "too quiet".

          •  

            @Kangal: Haven't noticed it but I don't think I would notice that even if it was an issue.

    • +2 votes

      whats the servicing cost like? any big ticket items like timing belt/spark plugs/cvt oil change?

      •  

        Cheaper and more reliable than a Euro SUV

        e.g. you don't need to pay $2000 for a brake discs and rotor change.

      •  

        No additional costs as Hybrid system is non-serviceable (except for coolant , which needs to be changed after 7 years, off the top of my head). You will have regular service costs+annual hybrid battery health check after 5 yearrs to keep the Hybrid battery warranty which can go up to 10 years /unlimited kms, for vehicles used for non commercial purpose (ie:taxi, courier-goods or people transport for payment) runs on RON91 too.

        •  

          What's the expected lifetime of the battery? I'm guessing 10 years + with their warranty…

          •  

            @sween64: There is no such thing, it depends on the usage and external influences (ie:frequency, driving style, weather conditions,etc). In Australia, all Toyota Hybrids get NiMH batteries, as they are more robust (comparatively) with extreme temperature changes.

        •  

          Any opinion on running E10 on a hybrid system? Premium unleaded is recommended but E10 is suitable and with the fuel prices the way they are, E10 makes more financial sense atm.

          •  

            @idonteven: If you do, get some accurate fuel consumption figures and compare E10 with 91. Science, and the internets, says E10 is slightly worse economy and may not make up the dollar difference. My personal experience measuring consumption says E10 is not significantly different enough to be noticeable. Driving conditions make up a bigger difference.

            •  

              @Euphemistic: Yeah I’ve done several tanks of fuel now and compared E10 to 95. Zero difference in mileage. Massive difference in cost when I can find E10 for $1/L and 95 is at least $1.20/L.

              •  

                @idonteven: wow,you might want to that again over many tanks

            •  

              @KMeister: Not sure what the linked video is supposed to be showing. It pretty much just says that there is no significant increase in engine wear.

              •  

                @Euphemistic: It's a video of a qualified engineer explaining e10 performance, my intention was just that, to give a qualified answer

                •  

                  @KMeister: I agree that it is good content, but misses the point of ‘which fuel is cheapest to run?’ The video is almost entirely about engine wear, but only contains a few words at the end on energy density (without much science).

                  That channel probably has a better video describing the energy density vs fuel economy somewhere.

    •  

      Does the RAV4 Hybrid require extra servicing on the Battery and Electronic components after the fixed price servicing expire ? I remember somewhere Toyota mention their 10 yr warranty on the battery only applies if you do a battery health check at a dealership yearly.

      •  

        I think there are fans that need cleaning. 12 month servicing cost is fairly cheap anyway from memory. The battery is split into 2 units ex around $2.5k per battery as labour from memory. So even if you need to replace them it's not a major issue.

      •  

        I remember somewhere Toyota mention their 10 yr warranty on the battery only applies if you do a battery health check at a dealership yearly.

        They require a yearly check, but it doesn't need to be from the dealership. Same as any car warranty, they can't force you to use the dealership to maintain a warranty, but you must service it according to the service schedule and use quality parts. But keep in mind that a mechanic with experience working on hybrids would be highly beneficial.

    •  

      The only concern is if a hybrid is in an accident, would there be available specialist to fix such a car.

      • -1 vote

        It’s just a car with a big battery. There isn’t much extra to repair.

  • +19 votes

    The leather you are going to get at that price is going to be plastic or just the shittiest leather imaginable. I guess the best car in your list is the Rav4, but I'd be looking at something second hand instead. I guess the real question is what do you need an SUV for? Because a wagon is going to be a better car in almost all cases.

    •  

      That reminds me of when Holden had a special edition Commodore years ago with leather. It sure didn't feel like anything an animal had used for skin.

      • +3 votes

        To be fair, most cars up to something like $130k use plastic instead of leather (the marketing departments are very clever with how they name their ‘leather’), and if it does have leather, it’s usually compound leather on the places you sit on, and plastic where you don’t. What is compound leather? Bits of leather all glued together, then dyed and covered with a plastic outer layer for durability. So either way you’re sitting on plastic. When you step up to Nappa and Aniline leather you get some quality seating material, but if I was choosing between cheap leather and a good plastic, I’d choose the plastic every time.

        • +2 votes

          The ol’ vegan leather

    •  

      I did ask for a second-hand Hybrid and was told that it is bit hard to find. Demo cars get solved quickly.

      I will be using mostly for home to work and that will be like 120km a day.

      • +3 votes

        If you do a lot of freeway driving, diesel might be more efficient. Hybrid shines in heavy traffic where the brakes are used constantly but makes less difference when cruising at freeway speeds for long distances.

    • +1 vote

      Which wagon do you recommend? Ideally a brand and model that is second hand 5 years old.

      •  

        You can get a brand new Mazda 5 wagon for that price, or a Skoda Octavia for less than your budget, a Prius V, and if you’re looking at a second hand cars, there are countless C class and CLA wagons in your budget.

    •  

      Toyota used to have a whole page dedicated to detailing how much leather is on each of their "leather accented" cars. It was due to a ACCC claim from 2013 (https://www.drive.com.au/motor-news/holy-cow-toyota-busted-f...). Page has been reduced to just a definition of what "leather accented" means.
      https://www.toyota.com.au/leather-accents-definition

  • +3 votes

    Hyundai Tucson Active X. I wouldn't go with the Kona. It's nice as well, but not as nice a build as the Tucson. Should be able to get one of these in your spec for around that $35k mark if you go looking for a 2019 20MY old stocker or one of their "run out" demo cars with 10km on them…

  • +7 votes

    Aren’t they all AWD instead of 4WD? I’m not real familiar with those vehicles.

    • +4 votes

      Most of them are front wheel drive 99% of the time, with a clutch system to punt power to the rear wheels on demand (which is almost never). Rubbish Haldex system.

      • +1 vote

        I actually found AWD really good in the wet in the cx5.. was so nice accelerating from a standstill up a hill/ in a turn in wet without a hint of wheelspin to worry about. You miss it when you don't have it anymore and realise you have to be careful without it

  • +6 votes

    I'd recommend fabric seats unless you like having a scalded ass in summer. I have a 2016 RAV4 and would recommend it. Not sporty or fast but I can depend on it.

    • +1 vote

      Same. I opted for fabric in my last car because the leather seats burnt my arse as I got into the test drive demo car. I do like the wipeability of leather seats, but they tend to look shit in a very short time if they are not looked after regularly.

      • +1 vote

        What about some kind of seat cover to make it easier to clean.

        • +5 votes

          Kinda defeats the purpose of having leather seats if you just cover them up with fabric anyway. Some cars have a side airbag located inside the front seats so I'd be hesitant to put a cover on rated for it or not.

          • +1 vote

            @BBear53: more expensive seat covers will state whether it's side airbag safe. if you spend 30k on a car, don't go cheap on the seat covers. youd hate yourself later.

            • +1 vote

              @StephBlanks: I don't use seat covers. I'd rather enjoy the look and feel of my seats rather than cover them up for the sake of the next owner.

              •  

                @BBear53: Doesn't sound like u have children. Wait til they show up. Clean up is easier so it's not about the next owner.

                • +1 vote

                  @StephBlanks: never had a big issue with this even in the hottest summer days. Maybe window tinting and dark car help?

      • +1 vote

        I never had any scalds or heat problems yet with leathered seats in summer.
        Key I reckon is at least Tinted windows, however I did have hot steering wheel sometimes (And still I didn't mind that much), but easily solvable with Windshield cover.

    •  

      Good point didn't think of how warm leather will be in summer.

      •  

        Plastic, erhm I mean "leather", is still the way to go. It actually lasts better than cloth, as any liquid can be wiped away instead of it soaking into the foam. Not to mention, that if you get sand, it's much easier to vacuum on leather than cloth where it tends to get trapped in the nooks of the cloth.

        Besides, you can always put a cloth seat cover over a leather seat anytime. It's cheap too. You can't really put a leather cover over a cloth seat. It's hard to find a good fit, and even if you do, it costs quite a bit.

        •  

          Yeah. Who doesn’t love the sticky tape feeling of sweaty thighs on hot leather?

          •  

            @Strand0410: so much this, even with AC on, sweat coming from my thighs makes driving with leather seats very unpleasant.

            • +1 vote

              @vinaricee: Everyone is different I guess, but I don’t have any real problems with the leather seats in or current car. I recall the scalding of black vinyl as a kid, but don’t seem to get that as much now. Only time I don’t like the leather is coming back from the beach without a shirt on, but brushing the sand off is a lot easier than with cloth seats.

          •  

            @Strand0410: Unless you are profuse sweater already 🤣

      •  

        I'd say go for it. And get windows tinted included final price.

    •  

      Agree. Scalding hot in summer if parked outside and then freezing cold in winter - unless you have seat warmers in which case that is less of a problem.

      • +4 votes

        Try wearing pants.

        •  

          How many layers then?

    • +1 vote

      New Rav4 is a completely different platform (TNGA) which is leaps and bounds better in terms of how it drives, technology and interior finishes… TNGA wasnt thought up during a recession.

    •  

      Do you sit in your car naked?

  • +4 votes

    For me it would be important to have at least 2.5L engine. I have driven some SUVs under 2.5L and they feel under powered. In my opinion, SUVs are too heavy for a 2L engine in the base option.

    • +2 votes

      Yes.
      Had a rav4 with 2.5 and it was very good, friend had the cheaper model with 2litre and it just seemed a little slow. Both were around 2017 model.

    • +2 votes

      i feel like it is the power the engine can produce, not the just it being above 2L, especially for european cars and diesel

      • +2 votes

        Yes, European engines are more powerful than Toyota engines at a given capacity. A 2.0T would be absolutely fine moving a small SUV like this.

        •  

          Yeah my 2L TD (euro) SUV is a bit of a beast, all things considered!

    •  

      If you get the turbo’d 2.0 amg engines, they’re not bad either… if

  • +1 vote

    I'd go RAV4

    I like the look of the Kona, but no idea if they're any good. Good fuel economy apparently.

    • +3 votes

      Kona is a different size to the Rav4.

  • +1 vote

    I will go RAV4. It's solidly built and reliable and quality. I had 3 before.

  • +3 votes

    Remember shop around & bargaining.
    Never trust their words and never ever pay extra for add in some bullsh…. pieces of stuff.

    •  

      Yeah, I agreed. I did find Rav4 GX price different on two different stores and they trick you by saying give me a batter price.

  • +4 votes

    Renault Koleos.
    Had the latest model for a few years. It’s been great, reliable, good warranty, cheap servicing (well super cheap, we got 3 years free).
    We have the mid range Zen.

    Had a Toyota RAV4 before that. Tested a Mazda CX-5 and it’s cramped inside.

    • +1 vote

      Aren't parts expensive for euros or was that decades ago?

      • +6 votes

        It's a glorified X-Trail built in Korea. Cheap as chips to run and get parts for (except body parts, but that's what insurance is for)

        • +3 votes

          Probably about half the resale value as well

          • +1 vote

            @brendanm: I've seen them on the street and wondered why they looked so familiar. I like the look of the Koleos, might shop around for a used one myself if I can nab a good deal.

        • +1 vote

          We Compared the two. Koleos was much nicer all around compared to the xtrail.
          And cheaper for servicing, and better warranty (at the time, no idea now).
          And much nicer dealership, staff and salesman.

        • +1 vote

          Or the xtrail is a glorified koleos. Read up back then and Nissan/Renault took six months just to decide whose controls to use for the stalks for lights etc. ended up Renault’s. Must have been a pain in those meetings. Engine suspensions is the same, nothing else as far as I can see.

          I’m just going by what we found. We had the previous shape xtrail, (As well as a RAV4 GLX) , was going to buy the new shape Xtrail but driving both the Renault was jus5 better overall and cheaper by many thousands. Cheaper to buy, cheaper servicing. Insurance the same.

    • +1 vote

      I seconded the Renault Koleos, had one since 2017. Beautiful inside out, full of features and really spacious, especial the back seats

  • +2 votes

    May as well up your budget to 42k and get the RAV4 Cruiser Petrol. Far cheaper than the hybrid model, and being not in nearly as high demand as the hybrid you could probably wiggle down the price a little bit too.

  • +11 votes

    None of these are 4WD. They are AWD. There are major differences between 4WD and AWD.

  • +5 votes

    I have Nissan X-TRAIL for last few years , very happy with it, check it out. Have test drive.

    • +1 vote

      Just my personal opinion but I recently drove an X-Trail hire car and it was truly awful - the steering was floaty, the handling was all over the shop, and I needed to flatten the accelerator to the floor just to get the damn thing moving.

  • +1 vote

    Rav4 GX is the clear winner in your list. Not sure why it would cost you 40k though if you are only looking at the petrol variant. I got my hybrid variant for less than that.

    •  

      When did you buy yours? The prices I have given from two different stores and they start with 40k, 44k, 50k and 52k for the model GX, GXL, Cruiser, and Edge.

      • +2 votes

        Feb.. those are the starting prices. You could always knock of a few grand with some light bargaining. I was able to and I'm not even good at it.

  • +2 votes

    X-Xtrail, SUBURU XV - but a bit under powered. Suzuki Vitara - reliable, but getting bit old in the interior.

  • +2 votes

    We've recently purchased Subaru XV(4WD). Fantastic soft suspension, safe and comfy inside. We've tried Mazda 5 and CX30 too. Mazda 5 seems to become outdated inside and noisy on acceleration, with limited space in rear seats for it's class. CX30- nice, provided you don't bother of rear seats space- it would be my choice if not kids.

    •  

      Subaru also seem to be good option available around 40k Hydrid. Do you know how much it is for car maintenance?

      • +5 votes

        Maintenance is laid out on the Subaru website.

        Don't bother with the Subaru hybrid, doesn't make much of a difference in economy but adds weight, complexity and price.

      • +2 votes

        Get the non-hybrid Forester, or the hybrid Rav4.
        The hybrid Forester and petrol Rav4 are both under-powered.
        Hybrid Rav4 wait time is over 6 months.

        We went with the Forester Premium. No wait time and more safety and tech for the price. Also a more capable soft-roader.

      •  

        What did you finally managed to buy and how much you paid?

        I'm in the same boat simmilary to yours "My budget for the car is between $30k to $35k".

  • +5 votes

    Check out the Nissan X-Trail.

  • +5 votes

    Suzuki Vitara Turbo. Friend got one a few weeks ago, very honest car, last for ages. 6 litres per hundred.

    •  

      If you consider a few weeks ages, wait till I tell you about 7 year warranties