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Discussion Starter #1
So the wife is in the market for a new to her car. She's looking at all those mini crossovers now: CX-3, Honda HRV, Toyota C-HR, Kia Soul, Nissan Juke, Subaru Crosstrek, etc.

Primary goal is something that sits a little higher than the 6, isn't quite as big and gets great mpg. She's currently driving an '08 Scion xB 5spd, but wants an automatic now. Performance and driving dynamics aren't as high up on her list as are reliability and comfort. She'll have between a 30-60 minute commute depending on where her job takes her for the day.

Anybody have any experience with this segment? I'm kinda leaning towards the CX-3 just because I'm familiar with Mazda, but I am open to suggestions. I am leaning us away from the Kia since we've already done the boxy car thing, although from what I've read it does pretty well.
 

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So the wife is in the market for a new to her car. She's looking at all those mini crossovers now: CX-3, Honda HRV, Toyota C-HR, Kia Soul, Nissan Juke, Subaru Crosstrek, etc.

Primary goal is something that sits a little higher than the 6, isn't quite as big and gets great mpg. She's currently driving an '08 Scion xB 5spd, but wants an automatic now. Performance and driving dynamics aren't as high up on her list as are reliability and comfort. She'll have between a 30-60 minute commute depending on where her job takes her for the day.

Anybody have any experience with this segment? I'm kinda leaning towards the CX-3 just because I'm familiar with Mazda, but I am open to suggestions. I am leaning us away from the Kia since we've already done the boxy car thing, although from what I've read it does pretty well.
I work for a car dealership group (which unfortunately doesn't include Mazda but does include Hyundai) and I might suggest the all-new Hyundai Kona. It's essentially the same vehicle as all the others you mentioned and it does have a 10-year warranty while also being inexpensive for a new car.

If you need used, you're probably perfectly fine going with any Honda, Toyota or Mazda as far as reliability. Subaru is extremely popular but I'm not a fan due to their slow acceleration, guaranteed rust, and head gasket issues. Nissan is a thumbs-down in my book too.

Of course, take this with a grain of salt. If someone held a gun to my head and said "You HAVE to pick a crossover to buy"--I'd tell them to just pull the trigger :)
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Of course, take this with a grain of salt. If someone held a gun to my head and said "You HAVE to pick a crossover to buy"--I'd tell them to just pull the trigger :)

Bwahaahha!! That about sums up my opinion of them too, but it's what the wife wants and honestly they're pretty reasonable for the money.


We're looking for something used in the mid-$15k range or so. Seems like the HRV or CX-3 do pretty well in the magazine comparos.
 

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You didn't mention AWD but I assume that's a requirement?
 

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So the wife is in the market for a new to her car. She's looking at all those mini crossovers now: CX-3, Honda HRV, Toyota C-HR, Kia Soul, Nissan Juke, Subaru Crosstrek, etc.

Primary goal is something that sits a little higher than the 6, isn't quite as big and gets great mpg. She's currently driving an '08 Scion xB 5spd, but wants an automatic now. Performance and driving dynamics aren't as high up on her list as are reliability and comfort. She'll have between a 30-60 minute commute depending on where her job takes her for the day.

Anybody have any experience with this segment? I'm kinda leaning towards the CX-3 just because I'm familiar with Mazda, but I am open to suggestions. I am leaning us away from the Kia since we've already done the boxy car thing, although from what I've read it does pretty well.
I'd personally go with a Toyota Rav 4 or Honda CRV. They're good cars that meet all those requirements.
 

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I have a friend who is on his 2nd or 3rd RAV4. Loves it, FWIW.

We have a CX-3 AWD that my kids drive, primarily. It's a decent little Mazda, and gets around 30MPG in mixed driving. It handles well in the wet & dry - hasn't seen snow yet. The CX-3 is definitely worth a look.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
AWD isn't a requirement, but I'm sure she wouldn't say no if it was affordable.


Same thing with the the slightly larger vehicles, she wouldn't turn her nose up to an HRV or CX-5 if we could find a decent example in our price range. She really just wants something small and "personal". She also likes slightly funky or unique cars - not something every other soccer mom is driving in the neighborhood. I think that's why she digs the mini-crossover segment.
 

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AWD isn't a requirement, but I'm sure she wouldn't say no if it was affordable.


Same thing with the the slightly larger vehicles, she wouldn't turn her nose up to an HRV or CX-5 if we could find a decent example in our price range. She really just wants something small and "personal". She also likes slightly funky or unique cars - not something every other soccer mom is driving in the neighborhood. I think that's why she digs the mini-crossover segment.
Hmm, if AWD isn't a requirement then there's truly no reason to get a crossover over a hatchback, quite honestly. Mini crossovers are literally slightly lifted hatchbacks with matte black plastic cladding around the fenders. If she really wants to be unique she should avoid crossovers (which every soccer mom IS driving around here) and get a hatchback. Or split the difference and get an Impreza 5-door (slightly crossovery hatch with AWD). If it were me, I'd point her towards the Mazda 3 hatch.

OR, and it makes me cringe to suggest this--but you could pay a couple more thousand out of your budget and get a brand new car with a warranty that she'd probably like, the all-new Nissan Kicks: https://www.nissanusa.com/vehicles/crossovers-suvs/kicks.html
 

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Of those listed, the only real negative I can say is "avoid the Nissan (or anything else with a CVT) like the plague".

CX3's have generally been very good for us. They don't seem to have any inherent problems and are almost always here for just routine maintenance. My wife's best friend has had one for 3 years and loves it. Our Finance Manager bought one for each of his two kids.
 

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An absolute no to the Honda CR-V. Serious problems with lack of heat in the winter, as well as oil dilution issues with the 1.5L engine. Also has a CVT. Ugh.

Google Honda CR-V China stop sales to get more info. Also check Edmunds buyer reviews.

The previous CR-V has vibration issues that Honda never properly addressed or even acknowledged, so even a slightly used CR-V would be off my list.

The smaller HR-V is just a smaller piece of cheap plastic crap.
The Toyota CH-R is not much better. Cheaply built, tons of plastics, poorly designed interior, and seriously under powered.

Nissan has those godawful CVT's. They haven't made a good vehicle in ten years.

There's lots to choose from, just not those I listed above.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Of those listed, the only real negative I can say is "avoid the Nissan (or anything else with a CVT) like the plague".

I've seen lots of anti-cvt sentiment, however, I've never driven one so I don't know first hand. What's so bad about this type of transmission? Keep in mind the primary driver doesn't necessarily care about performance driving or dynamics. She's more concerned with fuel economy and comfort more than anything else.
 

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I've seen lots of anti-cvt sentiment, however, I've never driven one so I don't know first hand. What's so bad about this type of transmission? Keep in mind the primary driver doesn't necessarily care about performance driving or dynamics. She's more concerned with fuel economy and comfort more than anything else.

To answer your question, just Google "CVT transmission problems" and you will find tons of posts about it, mostly pertaining to Nissan CVT's, including the fact that they were forced to extend the warranty on them from 60k to 100k. If we get a late model Nissan traded in with a CVT, we will almost always wholesale it, rather than having to deal with tranny problems for the customer.
 

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I've seen lots of anti-cvt sentiment, however, I've never driven one so I don't know first hand. What's so bad about this type of transmission? Keep in mind the primary driver doesn't necessarily care about performance driving or dynamics. She's more concerned with fuel economy and comfort more than anything else.
I have personally driven two cars with a cvt the first being a much older Ford Escape hybrid I think it had about 120k on it and it was actually fairly decent. We currently own a 2014 Jeep Patriot 2.0L CVT it has about 52k on it and it has never had a problem, performance wise it is TERRIBLE but it does get great gas mileage it has made a few trips over 3 hours each way and it is pretty comfortable inside. Just my 2 cents on the cvt issue.
 

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How about a Honda Crosstour? You can get them used (exclusively), they're a Honda, they don't have CVT, they're funky looking, and very few other people have them!
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Ok, so in the latest curveball, she no longer wants the mini crossovers as they're too small now. So now we're looking at the compact crossover SUV things: CX-5, CRV, Forester, Rav4, maybe even a BMW X1?? There are a few actually in the same price range as the others I mentioned.


I also looked into the 2015 CRV vibration issue after reading an abnormal number of complaints at various places online. Looks like Honda released a TSB addressing it though, that should cover the vehicle while still under factory warranty.


Regardless, I'm still leaning to stay in the Mazda family but we'll go test drive a bunch of them over the weekend and see where we're at. I'm not including the Nissan as I have read multiple places agreeing the CVT transmission is generally unreliable.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
She did bring up the Crosstour as well (of course). Aside from it looking like it needs to drop the deuce, spec-wise it's alright and is in the right price bracket. We might see if we can find one to drive while we're out...
 

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Discussion Starter #19
After a whirlwind weekend test driving loads of cars we finally settled on.... the CX-5. We found a fully loaded 2016 Grand Touring FWD in our price range that was a lease return in titanium flash mica.

Easily the best interior material and quality, imo, compared to everything else we drove to include the BMW X1. We felt it subjectively equaled or bested the other cars in terms of handling, overall driving dynamics, driver and front passenger comfort as well as utility. The BMW definitely had more motor with the turbo, but it also required premium. Front passenger comfort in that car was certainly an afterthought.

We did drive a Crosstour as well. Huge interior, felt super comfy in all the seats. The cargo area was also quite massive. The deal breaker(s) were rear visibility, the sheer number of buttons for the infotainment system and the sub-par fuel economy. Honda put a crossbar along the hatch that shows up right in the middle of the rear view mirror which was very distracting. There also appeared to be an individual button for every single function on the infotainment system. I can't imagine trying to figure that out while driving, it'd be worse than texting. The fuel economy was also just meh, and should be bested by the CX5.

We also test drove and eliminated the CRV, HRV, CX-3, Forester, Soul and Rav4 if anybody wants my opinions on those cars.
 

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