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.



      • It's not the first Suzuki I've referred people to and, as a brand I've never heard them knock back a warranty claim. btw, you're referring to a KIA warranty obviously, good luck getting them to come through on any issues.

    • Small boot I think.

      • There's room for a few bodies.

  • Koleos Intens 2nd hand nothing beats it for all the bells and whistles 2016 onwards expect to pay around $34000 if you can find one….. I just picked one up for 26,000 2016 model….fantastic car,finally found one with tow bar factory and after market electric brake controller. Great car traded Volvo XC90..

    Final figure $22,190 to pay drive away…..paperwork in car from original owner paid over $44,000 originally

  • Have a look at a slighly older infiniti QX70. AWD ans decent engine :D

  • My family member's leather seats in his AMG are nice to sit on but feels like FIRE in the summer. Gotta turn on AC all the time

  • +10

    Subaru Forester

  • +6

    I would not get any that you mentioned. Subaru Forester 2.5i S.

    Own one and can attest that it is the best bang for your buck.

    • +1

      How's the CVT treating you? I'd like to buy a newish Forester or Outback in a couple years but man, CVT is really putting me off. What sort of driving do you do?

      • Purchased a new 2019 model Forester, no problems to date. So far city and semi rural driving only

  • Have you found a RAV4 that you want in stock? If not, it's not likely that you'll get one of those delivered by the end of the financial year. All the other choices shouldn't be a problem.

    • +1

      Hey Tsuivan, yes you are right about the stock level. Rav4 specially Cruiser and Edge you can't get easily at least have to wait for 6 months but for GX and GXL you still can get it depending on the color we choose.

  • Rav4 or Mitsubishi eclipse

  • +2

    Check out the Kia Seltos. Reviews for this car are at the high end.

    • we test-drove Kia Seltos. If you are a fan of a firm steering, plastics in cabin, and wait for 3-4 months- go ahead. Honestly, have no idea what the fuss about this car is- average.

  • What’s the purpose of the car OP? For family, daily driver, etc?

    • Both for family and daily. I will be driving to work as well which is like 120km a day drive.

  • +1

    How about a year or two old Kluger with 0-15k kms on it?
    Dunno where you are but as an example. 2019, 2WD, 5k kms.

    Yeah 2WD not AWD, however you said 4WD which you won't get anyway, guess you meant AWD?

    Brand new one for $42k here

    More space than the Rav, nice highway cruiser.

    2018 Rav4 AWD, <3k kms on it.

    Also as a word of advice, rethink black, terrible colour to keep clean and always shows scratches, swirls and other imperfections in the paint.

    • Hey 91rs, thanks for the advice especially for the color. There is currently special on Kluger and get can stretch a bit to get it but I have told from the friends that Kluger consumes more petrol then Rav4, maybe it depends on 2WD to AWD.

      • +1

        Don't get a Kluger. Old tech, enormous, outdated interior, drinks waaaay too much fuel.

        • +1

          Yup average 15-17l/100km urban driving. Unless you like the space or need the 3re row, kluger is a waste

  • +1

    Mazda CX-30. Compared to the Sportage and Kona, it is the most fuel efficient, with the most torque, newest design, shortest so least top heavy (all things being equal), much more upmarket interior.

    It even comes in black

  • +1

    I suggest a poll.
    In my opinion, only Japanese and Korean cars.
    No Mazda as they are overpriced among their peers (in my opinion).

    • Yes agreed with Mazda price, it is a bit high when I compared Toyota and Mitsubishi.

      • I will advise you drive cars and rate them. Mazda have premium features making them little expensive, but you can get good discounts on them.

    • In my opinion, only Japanese and Korean cars.
      No Mazda

      Mazda is Japanese

      • +1

        I don’t get it, why did you shorten the quote?
        He never said Mazda weren’t Japanese and clearly said he thinks they’re too expensive.

        No Mazda as they are overpriced among their peers (in my opinion).

        • Then their opinion isn't "only Japanese and Korean cars" because Mazda is Japanese and they said "no Mazda"

          • @spaceflight: They also forgot the Toyota tax

          • @spaceflight: Yeah, right on Spaceflight.

            I had a similar experience recently. I ordered a take away, and I told them I was vegetarian and didn't eat meat. He said the Vegetarian was vegetables only.

            Lied though his teeth. There was NO BROCCOLI. I confronted him, and he said sorry no broccoli.

            So I told him I did. I said, well then your dish isn't "only Vegetable" because broccoli is a Vegetable and and you said "no broccoli"

            • @CairnsFella: You've clearly drunk paint because you're making up a conversation between two people when it's really one person saying something.

              What happened is you called up and said "in my opinion vegetable curry is the best because I only eat vegetables. Can I have a curry with only vegetables"
              And then when the curry arrived you screamed "why is there broccoli in here. No broccoli"

              You can't ask for "only vegetables" and then get upset when there is a particular type of vegetable.

              • +1

                @spaceflight: …."You can't ask for "only vegetables" and then get upset when there is a particular type of vegetable."

                but you CAN get upset when someone states "only Japanese" when there is only a particular selection of Japanese?

                Come on man, be real. He said "only Japanese". If you put every Japanese car make in a list, then take out Mazda, is the remaining list of cars "Only Japanese" or not. In fact, if the list was just Mazda, then the list would still be only Japanese.. it wouldn't be Japanese and British. Not American and Irish… no. It would be only Japanese.

                I am not looking for a grovelling apology to the guy (I'm not looking for anything actually) but own up (if only to yourself) that you've misread him.

                (and yes, I have omitted reference to Korean because frankly it makes no difference to the point).

                • -1


                  Come on man, be real. He said "only Japanese".

                  Which doesn't make sense with the clarification.

                  It would have been better to say

                  In my opinion, most Japanese and Korean cars.
                  Not Mazda as they are overpriced among their peers (in my opinion).

                  • +1

                    @spaceflight: You know what mate. You win.

                    I apologise for not thanking you earlier for correcting the other chaps dreadful grammar as otherwise no-one would have had a clue what the heck he was talking about. I hope he has learnt his lesson, as I have.

      • 😆
        I can understand why certain combination of logical statements don't make sense to some.

  • +3

    I test drove or looked at a bunch of these cars around Christmas looking for a similar spec car for a family member and after looking at basically every single one on offer and driving many of them and being disappointed with the ride and base inclusions of some very common SUV models, we saw a really big discount on a run-out "demo" Holden ZB wagon (the German Opel Insignia variety) and thought "what the hell - let's give it a test drive!" …

    Verdict: They absolutely crap on most of these SUVs in terms of better ride and handling, and in terms of safety inclusions for value for money at the discounted price - so sad no one gave them a fair chance because they called it a commodore/calais (this was GM's mistake, it was not like a commodore/calais), but it has meant some bargains now. It was a surprise, loved it, check out a run-out Holden ZB Wagon over the common SUV line up any day - comes with everything for less money…

    Dealers had a bunch of these cars surplus because they made too many and had a major PR problem due to sacking Aussies and marketed it poorly - they've put less than 10,000Kms on them each but still new condition and heavily discounted but they are slowly selling out now they've not made them for some time.
    GM are going to keep warranties and parts available for many years to come so no worries there.

    E.g. If you want black and AWD, leather (nice interior) and almost top of the range inclusions (Link):
    Don't worry about the year made it's basically a demo car - RRP was like $55K+, you can get them for closer to $25K for 2WD 4cyl turbo variety or somewhere in between for some other variants.

    Out of the box one to drive… and it will change your mind

  • +1

    I have driven all of these vehicles except the Mazda. I would go RAV4 then KIA. But don't discount a secondhand Toyota kluger or if you want a real 4wd a second hand mitsubishi pajero sport.

  • +1

    Sportage, but i'm biased, have had one for 6 years now and 0 issues. Next to no running costs and drives relatively well. Just don't expect amazing performance.

  • +2

    Honda CRV =)

    • +1

      Bought a brand new CRV in 2018. Disappointed. CVT transmission is very weak and it requires a flush every 40,000kms. Fuel economy isn't as good as it says to be, averages about 10-11 litres/100kms.
      Required a new steering rack put in, fortunately it was under warranty. There is also a loud noise when the car is going up a steep driveway, sounds like the body of car has been bent, apparently it was a manufacturing fault that had to be fixed in a body panel shop.
      Another is engine oil and petrol dilution problem. Another manufacturing fault.

      Avoid the new CRV at any cost. I'd recommend a Toyota by far than any other car brand.

      • Hi Chihao
        I also have 2016 CRV , I am have a proble when car is parked on slop of steep driveway , The moment I start the car on such steep driveway and put the gear from P to Drive mode there is always a scarry THUDD sound . Doesnt matter how hard parking brake was kept pushed .Checked with Honda Service team they said all cars will do this and should not be issue . Seems they are saying wrong that all cars will make thudd sound in this case as I know Nissan Xtrail makes no sound ( as my frnd owns that we tested it ) .Otherwise this is great car for our family

        • Seems they are saying wrong that all cars will make thudd sound

          It’s not uncommon. When placed in Park a pin engages the gears to stop the car moving. Sometimes the car moves a bit after the park pin is engaged putting a load on it. When there is a load on the pin you will get a clunk noise as it is withdrawn when you select a driving gear (forward or reverse).

          Pretty much all the automatic cars I’ve driven will do it from time to tone, especially when parked on a hill.

          • +4

            @Euphemistic: I was taught that with the car currently in gear and foot on brake -
            Shift to N
            Apply handbrake
            Ease off “foot brake”
            Reapply “foot brake”
            Shift to P

            This lets the car settle on the handbrake before resting on the “park pin”.

            • @mapax: Thanks maxpax , I will try this. I am never prepared for tht sound , probably dont need to be anymore

            • @mapax: Sounds complicated :). Should always at least apply foot brake brake, into park, handbrake on, release foot brake.

              Anyone comment on how it works with an electric park brake?

              • @Euphemistic: Nah, it’s easy. I’m just bad at explaining things on the internet.

        • I understand what you were experiencing. Sounds like you're using the transmission to act as a brake where you should be using the hand brake first by put your gear into N. Once the car is securely stopped on the steep hill or driveway then put the gear in P.
          My 2018 CRV's problem is a body panel issue where it makes a noise when going through a bump on an incline climb.

          Another issue is the stock battery. Recently has to be exchanged because of a fault, and Honda said they will only pay for half of the cost, which was around $85.

      • +1

        I've got a 2019 CR-V Vti and I have nothing but praise for it. Urban fuel econony of 6.5-7L/100km, quick off the mark when needed and no issues so far (~30,000km).

  • Owner of RAV4 2020 Hybrid cruiser, love the car.
    Drive every single day and fill up petrol every 4 weeks compared to my previous car, Corolla sedan once a week. Same tank size, hybrid engine makes a huge difference.

    Service price is called $210 for 5 years

    • how much did your cost? did you go with awd or 2wd?

      • +1

        51K for AWD.

    • +3

      Either your Corolla was seriously F'd up or you are full of poo.

      • +1

        Yeh lol. Corolla petrol average 7L/100km vs RAV4 Hybrid 5L/100km so a 2L/100km saving.

  • +1

    Curious why it has to be an SUV/ Soft Roader?

  • +1


  • When you do decide to buy go to a vehicle broker rather than deal with a dealer. They will be able to get you a better price than you can negotiate.

    • +1

      Not sure why u got a neg for this.
      People can do research and then getting a good broker, who works for you will save you money. They do charge a fee, but will compensate on savings.

      • The hard part is getting a good broker. You can get just as good a deal without one, but it’s harder work.

        • We checked online for prices for car we were interested and last point dealer could give us. Broker saved us $3k over that after paying them fee. There is no brainer, not to choose one. There is no obligation.

          • @EnALup: May I know where can we find a good used car broker?

            • @fatice: Check Mazda CX-5 thread in Whirlpool forum. If you want, I can PM person's number I was dealing with.
              Will advise you do research on whirlpool for pricing people are getting currently, see what your dealer can offer and take it from there.

              • @EnALup: I am looking around for a 2018 RAV4 GX. The dealer price is so inflated.

                Is 80000km 2018 RAV4 for $22k is reasonable?

                • @fatice: Sorry, cant say. Thats a lot of km in 2 years. I drove my RAV4 60k in 7.5 years.
                  Look for private sales. Get the car inspected and offer to person. Brokers might not help with old cars.

                  • @EnALup: Yes, it was an ex-rental car. All the cars I own have all the bumps dents scratches because wife and children does not need to pay for them or deal with it when there are problems. Imagine how we will drive if the government foot all the car insurance and excess.

                    Getting a top condition car is not my choice.

  • +2

    Rav4 Hybrid AWD. Go with the hybrid. If you can go with the 2WD Variant, you can save around 3K. I just brought a Cruiser Hybrid 2WD for 41.5~

    • Is that Drive away price?
      I accepted a 2L petrol Cruiser @42k Drive Away. Did I pay too much? I live in VIC though, if it makes a difference.

      • No way that was the driveaway price. There is no need/reason for a dealer to take that much off a Rav4 Cruiser Hybrid even in these times.

    • +1

      hey nzcoffeem, where did you buy yours Rav4? 41.5 seem to be a really good price for Hybrid.
      I checked today on another Toyota dealer and can get 2WD Cruiser petrol for 42k. I am also in VIC.

      • I thought it was a fair price point. Both parties can smile while touching elbows!

  • +1

    Any color except black

  • +2

    As a number of other users have already pointed out, I'd get a wagon unless I actually require an SUV. I'd suggest a Mazda 6 wagon - very practical car that's also comfortable and offers good fuel economy.

  • +2

    I've owned the Kia Sportage SLi, and prior to that the Mazda CX5 and will picking up my new RAV4 in 4 weeks (hopefully).

    Things I loved about both the Kia and Mazda was that they used actual gearboxes (both were diesel variant and AWD), so along with the turbo they had enough power for acceleration and my kind of driving.

    Kia handled better than the Mazda (in that it was a bit tighter and less roll), but Mazda feels internally better designed and more classy.

    I test drove the RAV4 extensively and both the KIA and Mazda are much better for the aspects mentioned above. However, in the end I got the RAV4 (rather than the latest variants of the other two) because it's a Toyota and a jack of all trades (so to speak). It might not do anything well in terms of driving experience, but it's hybrid is absolutely stellar. Plus it was by far the best bang for buck in terms of features, again, not as classy as say the Mazda.

    However, whether it's a relevant consideration for the RAV4, but I ordered my AWD Cruiser (Hybrid) back in November 2019 and still haven't gotten it. It was meant to be delivered today as it were, but got pushed back a month.

    My car history is a new car each 2.5 - 3 years as per my lease agreements.

    • They delay in delivery and classy looks in and out for Mazda moved us for CS-5. Full of features and safety. Turbo engine is a pleasure to drive.
      Will get a hybrid next, hopefully the Tech will be more refined.

  • +2

    Go with motorscout to get a great deal. They are a broker, I have used them to buy 3 Vehicles every time their price was better than I could achieve haggling at the dealerships, Even had the cars delivered to our home. So you avoid the buxom blond selling you paint and upholstery protection.

  • +2

    First choice would be the RAV4, second would be Subaru Forester 2.5iS.

  • Lexus NX

  • +1

    Subaru outback or forester. Will give you serviceable off road performance with comfort and reliability.

    • How did you find Subaru for long term? Few of my friends suggested not to go with Subaru as they faced some engine issues after 4 or 5 years of driving.

      • There are plenty of old Subaru’s still getting around. They are a little bit more susceptible to engine problems if not properly serviced.

    • -2

      You are delusional if you think modern Subarus with CVT gearboxes have any off-road performance.

      • -1

        Serviceable off road performance. Eg dirt tracks, the odd shallow causeway crossing, light mud, snow, beach - provided the sand is not to dry/deep/rutted.

        Yes, they aren’t going to take you extreme rock crawling, but for most drivers concerned about damaging the vehicle a Subaru will do a pretty good job.

        Edit: they are a damn sight better than many SUVs because they are a true AWD, not a front wheel drive with a sometimes rear wheeel assist.

        • +1

          Good luck on soft sand in a Subaru CVT.

          • @Burnertoasty: Which is why I clarified beach when not too dry/deep/rutted. Sorry I forgot to mention soft specifically.

            Last time I drove on the beach it was just the entry point that needs ‘real’ 4wd at all. Momentum solved that for the old forester that followed us off. Dropped back to 2wd for most of the way.

            • @Euphemistic: Old Subarus didn’t have the CVT that kills power when the wheels slip. They had some semblance of basic off-road capability. New ones don’t.

              • @Burnertoasty: New ones have basic off road capability. It’s just your definition of off road is something so far off road that you do need low range, lift, lockers etc. MOST people recognise that soft roaders like Subaru are going to be limited in why they can tackle.

                I watched a video recently and an Outback with CVT did pretty well on some quite steep rocky stuff, but yes the CVT did mean a second faster attempt at one point when the transmission spat the dummy.

                • @Euphemistic: If you’re talking about The Fast Lane car video, the Subaru didn’t make it up.

      • lol mistake with the wording. I mean they are good for people doing city driving most the time with the occasional long weekend dirt trail to campsite, hard sand beach etc, Better than cx5, sportage in that regard, nothing crazy though.

  • +1

    TLDR: RAV4.

  • +1

    I would go for the Kia

  • +1


    save yourself some significant cash and go for a good pre-owned car/ demo/ second hand.

  • Thank you all for your comments and very useful suggestions, I really appreciate that.
    I went to third Toyota dealer and the price given to me was 40k for GXL Petrol 2WD and 44.5k for Cruiser 2WD Petrol.
    If I can get Cruiser Hybrid for 44.5k will be ideal but I guess I might be dreaming.

    I also went to Kia and was told Seltos model not available and will have to wait for 3 to 4 months.
    Seltos GT-Line will be at 44k and Seltos Plus will be 33k.

  • +1

    Bought Hyundai Kona highlander demo $30k over a year ago
    It’s a bit small but i love all features

  • good luck on the waiting list.

    • yeah agreed with the wait time specially for Cruiser.

  • +4

    Skoda Karoq probably worth considering against those listed. I’d go for that or the Hybrid RAV4 (if u can handle the wait time)

    • +1

      Looks quote pretty and sport one has decent power and top model priced same Mazda Akira CX5. Good thing is panaromic sunroof. Not sure if thee are 4x4 (saw in pics )or AWD.
      Mazda onl gets edge due to powerful Turbo engine and Japanese reliability

      • +1

        Sportline is 4x4 with like a 162TSI. Standard is FWD

    • Thank you for your comment. I had a look at their website Skoda Karoq Sportline seem to be really good. I will in touch with the dealer for the pricing. Cheers.

      • Asking them free 5 year service and road side assistance will be good too with approx 10% discount from retail.