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  1. #1
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    Dog and outdoor friendly fuel efficient daily driver. Give me your best.

    Fellow outdoors-ers, trying to narrow down some options for the Mrs after a kind gentleman decided stop signs were overrated and ruined her car.

    It's main priority will be a daily driver that sees a 75 mile commute (90% highway), so looking for upper 20's mpg at the least.

    Second, something that can be used to haul the dog and/or bikes and other stuff. We have a Grand Cherokee for big trips but it would be nice to have something capable for just running around closer to home.

    Leaning towards some sort of hatchback or wagon because it's nice being able to throw the dog in the back instead of on the seats, and they're also pretty easy when it comes to hitches or roof racks. Though it seems like most wagons in our price range aren't great on gas.

    Budget is ideally under $10k, mostly because it'll likely get driven 20k+ miles per year and it's hard to justify spending much on something for that. We have the newer GC if we need something "nicer"... and we (I) also have a 'fun' car so this doesn't need to be anything super sporty or powerful.

    Looking at things like Mazda3 hatch, Honda Fit, various Subaru's.

  2. #2
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    We are looking at Sub Impreza right now for most of the same reasons. Looking 2015 or newer so we are closer to the 20k range. I talked to a guy at the trail head the other day and he loved his. Fast enough, handles well, seats down has decent room.
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    Volvo XC70 for me, love it.

  4. #4
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    Subaru or a 4-Runner.

  5. #5
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    Kia Niro. 50 mpg and more if you get the plug-in version($4500 tax credit). The all electric is coming towards the end of the year with the same LG Chem powertrain and 238 mile range as the Bolt.
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  6. #6
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    We're look for something similar as the OP for my wife. It'll be used as a in town runabout, commuter, road trip vehicle when we're not hauling etc so my Tundra doesn't drink all the gas.

    We've narrowed it down to the Subaru Outback and the Toyota RAV4. We're leaning towards the RAV4 due to seating height (we're used to trucks and like being higher up) and it's a Toyota.

    We'd love to just get a 4runner but the fuel economy isn't great on them at all. They drink fuel more like my Tundra than a RAV4.

  7. #7
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    I got a Rav4 hybrid. It gets about 31 mpg on the highway, and a bit better in the hills (which surprised me). I got both a roof rack and a Kuat hitch rack. Be aware that the hitch rides low. There also isn't a huge amount of space inside (compared to the minivan it replaced). The other negative is the seats aren't the most comfortable. Overall, however, I am pleased with it.

  8. #8
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    Honda Fit lives up to its name as far as space inside. I installed a receiver hitch on mine and have a rack for bikes but can fit 2 road or mountain bikes inside with front wheels off.

  9. #9
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    My girlfriend has a Toyota Prius, which I think was in the $15k range very slightly used with about 4k miles. It has a ton of room and gets 45-55 mpg. While I'm not a fan of small vehicles or front wheel drive, it'd be awfully hard to convince me to drive a Honda Fit, Mazda or Subaru anything, or any compact crossover unless it offered something really substantial. Being able to drive a thousand miles for 25 bucks is pretty hard to compete with.

    If we had smallish diesel cars in america, I'd look at something like that, but until then, these little hatchbacks have as much room as the so called crossovers and offer way better fuel economy. Unless ground clearance or all wheel drive is needed, we take the Prius.

  10. #10
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    I second the Prius. My husband has put inside of the car a boiler for the shop, half ton bag of wood stove pellets, dozer press and sprocket segments weighing 1500#s. Hes hauled a trailer carrying 2 very large combine wheels. Fully loaded he gets 36 to 42 mph. So in my prius i have hauled a 1 fat bike or 2 road bikes inside, easily 20 -35# litter pails, and a 12 foot xmas tree stuffed inside. On average we get 47 to 52 mph if we drive like civilized people.

  11. #11
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    We have a Saab 9-5 aero wagon. Lots of space, short enough that bikes are easy to get on/off the roof rack, upper 20s for mpg on the highway, low 30s even if it's not too high speed. Good power. Saab is out of business and they are really cheap now on the used market.

  12. #12
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    How about a chevy VOLT. You can picked those up for around $10k used now and you get a 40ish mile plug in hybrid hatchback that gets 40ish MPG when running on gas.

  13. #13
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    I've always had great luck with Subarus. My wife and I have had 6 of them to date. If you live in a climate that sees regular snow or some rugged roads to trail heads, definitely a good option.

    Toyota and Honda options will also reliably meet your needs, but it comes down to preference. Subaru is a little less posh, but highly capable in a variety of conditions and settings.

  14. #14
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    I've been driving a Honda Fit for almost 11yrs now (I was an early purchaser when it hit the US). It's not flashy, but it definitely gets the job done. My fuel economy isn't quite as good as the newer ones. I have hit 40mpg on a tank, but usually I'm in the low 30's and now that I'm in the mtns, I occasionally go below 30 for average on a tank.

    I have also managed to cram some amazing loads inside of mine. I have a board with fork mounts in the back, so I can carry 2 bikes UPRIGHT with room for gear for a light weekend camping trip for 2.

    I can put uncut 8ft lumber inside it (not a ton, but enough for small projects), and I have a roof rack that I'll use for larger stuff. Plenty of room for dogs, especially with back seats down (my back seats are down 99% of the time because of the combo of dogs and bikes. Honestly, I think it has more interior cargo capacity than my wife's Subaru XV Crosstrek.

    Now that I own a home again, though, and that I have a small camper, and some trails are down some rougher gravel roads, I am thinking that I'll replace my Fit with a smaller pickup. I'd love to be able to buy a diesel Colorado and still get 30mpg, but that's a $40k truck, and depending on how finances go this year, I may have to settle for a used Taco or similar.

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    Mazda 5 is a great choice

  16. #16
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    As far as the Rav4, Does Toyota still disengage the 4wd after 35mph? My friend was pissed to find out his did.

    If you like sitting up higher then look at a Subaru Crosstrek or Forester.

    The whole Toyota and Honda are more reliable is left over from days gone by. They are having issues just like any other manufacturer.
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  17. #17
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    Might be worth pointing out, that there is a big space requirement difference for my 75 pound pitbull compared to a 10 pound Chihuahua.

    We have a Ford Fiesta hatch. I like it, my wife hates that it is stick shift. 110,000 miles in 6 years and it has been fine. Eventually it will be replaced by an electric car, but not sure when yet as she has started mostly commuting by train (which is cheaper, and less stressful, and forces her to leave work at a reasonable hour).

    Though, I also feel the need to point out that commuting 75 miles is a huge waste of your life. My wife's career is extremely limiting in where she can work, so she has to commute to work a long distance (30 miles each way, if driving) if she wants to keep her horses (which, of course, she does). I commute 8 miles by bicycle (though I used to commute 30).

  18. #18
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    If you have a good non-dealer Volvo mechanic, the older wagons can be a great deal.


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  19. #19
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    Couple questions:

    Do you need AWD?

    Do you ever need to tow?

    If yes, the Subaru is pretty hard to pass up.

    If not, there are lots of choices. I would go VW Sportwagen, Honda CRV (2WD), or Mazda3. I had a Honda Fit, which I liked, but it was pretty small. Safety wise, it scored pretty poor. Same with the Prius.

  20. #20
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    Really hard to beat Subaru.

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  21. #21
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    I would pass on the Subaru. They have good concepts but I've heard too much bad stuff about them to want to buy one. A buddy of mine has an 03 Impreza (standard, not the WRX) with 140k and it burns oil like crazy. His girlfriend had a Forester that was a total POS from the factory, had a to have the engine rebuilt after 14k miles under warranty. He is limping his Impreza along and his girlfriend sold hers right after the rebuild and bought a Honda Fit, which she is happy with.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Honda Guy View Post
    I would pass on the Subaru. They have good concepts but I've heard too much bad stuff about them to want to buy one. A buddy of mine has an 03 Impreza (standard, not the WRX) with 140k and it burns oil like crazy. His girlfriend had a Forester that was a total POS from the factory, had a to have the engine rebuilt after 14k miles under warranty. He is limping his Impreza along and his girlfriend sold hers right after the rebuild and bought a Honda Fit, which she is happy with.
    Hmm never heard anything bad about any other brands, but hey there's no denying that huge sample size you got there.
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    Subaru was pretty well known for their head gasket issues but that was back in the earlier 2000s. I still say VOLT. I know the newer Subaras finally get halfway decent fuel mileage but the ones you can buy 10k or so are still only looking at mid to upper 20s MPG.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Honda Guy View Post
    I would pass on the Subaru. They have good concepts but I've heard too much bad stuff about them to want to buy one. A buddy of mine has an 03 Impreza (standard, not the WRX) with 140k and it burns oil like crazy. His girlfriend had a Forester that was a total POS from the factory, had a to have the engine rebuilt after 14k miles under warranty. He is limping his Impreza along and his girlfriend sold hers right after the rebuild and bought a Honda Fit, which she is happy with.
    Sorry but it's hard to take your opinion seriously when your user name is "Honda Guy"...on a mountain bike forum. I'd say that makes you biased.

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  25. #25
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    He isn't biased at least about the 03 impreza. It is pretty damn common for a subaru from that time period to have headgasket issues and one of those issues is OIL BURNING. I was looking at subarus years ago before I gave up trying to find one that wasn't super overpriced for the year/miles. The ones in my price range were all early 2000s and I wouldn't even bother to go check one out unless they had proof the headgaskets had been replaced already. It has been a while and I can't remember when they finally got the headgasket issue fixed 06? Lately they had piston ring issues that also ding ding ding caused OIL BURNING problems. You can just google subaru oil burning and get a lot of results or
    https://jalopnik.com/subaru-settles-...ars-1752805682

    I like subarua, my mom has one, but they are one of those companies with super loyal owners(fan boys) that seem to ignore any issues.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2:01 View Post
    Couple questions:

    Do you need AWD?

    Do you ever need to tow?

    If yes, the Subaru is pretty hard to pass up.

    If not, there are lots of choices. I would go VW Sportwagen, Honda CRV (2WD), or Mazda3. I had a Honda Fit, which I liked, but it was pretty small. Safety wise, it scored pretty poor. Same with the Prius.
    The non-turbo Subarus get horrible fuel mileage and have no power, a feat I can't say I've observed in any other vehicles. While admittedly I've never had a trailer behind a Subaru anything, I have driven one for thousands of miles and pulled trailers for tens and perhaps hundreds of thousands of miles, and there is nothing that could ever convince me to put a trailer behind a Subaru outside of a true life-or-death emergency. I'm not sure where you got the idea that a Subaru would be a good tow vehicle, but it's not.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by goalieman24 View Post

    Leaning towards some sort of hatchback or wagon because it's nice being able to throw the dog in the back instead of on the seats, and they're also pretty easy when it comes to hitches or roof racks. Though it seems like most wagons in our price range aren't great on gas.

    Budget is ideally under $10k, mostly because it'll likely get driven 20k+ miles per year and it's hard to justify spending much on something for that. We have the newer GC if we need something "nicer"... and we (I) also have a 'fun' car so this doesn't need to be anything super sporty or powerful.

    Looking at things like Mazda3 hatch, Honda Fit, various Subaru's.
    Good luck !
    Sounds like the versatile wheels you are looking for may be just the thing that everyone wants for a 2nd or 3rd car and in that realm might be in strong demand but more so in certain areas than others. I'd never pass on a fair priced wagon or HB myself for those same reasons.... dog car , bike hauler etc...

    My .02 is the Mazda 3 looks nice and sporty and might be a good contender. Thought of those myself and I've had a few Mazdas and no service dramas. Currently running the new CX9 turbo 4 that gets a true 28 hwy.

    Soobs have had good testimony here in CO , they sell a ton of them, good resale too. Any quirks I see posted here may be just a few bad runs on a certain model / model years. Got a co-worker who loves his and has owned 4 or 5 over the past 15 -17 years. Foresters or OB wagons. AWD full time does cost mpg some for sure and as I understand, Subaru has come a long way in just the past few years on better EPA. Might be at the cost of the less thrilling CVT but the older ones net you a real transmission.

    I know nothing of the Honda fit but my guess is it's great in a lot of ways IF you can get / fit everything in it and have it a workable /comfortable option.
    I would look at VW wagons too. Volvo scare me a bit but mostly b/c I know little about them assuming they are pretty dependable but maybe quite pricey for service/s.
    Post back here when you have some updates !
    Last edited by bachman1961; 01-29-2018 at 03:33 PM.
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    You can still buy a Forester with a real transmission- 6 speed Manual.
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  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by twodownzero View Post
    The non-turbo Subarus get horrible fuel mileage and have no power, a feat I can't say I've observed in any other vehicles. While admittedly I've never had a trailer behind a Subaru anything, I have driven one for thousands of miles and pulled trailers for tens and perhaps hundreds of thousands of miles, and there is nothing that could ever convince me to put a trailer behind a Subaru outside of a true life-or-death emergency. I'm not sure where you got the idea that a Subaru would be a good tow vehicle, but it's not.
    Subaru works just as well as any other small SUV/CUV for towing. My non turbo Subaru averages 28 mpg long term. That's great for a car with AWD. I'm fine with that. Keep in mind that they win just about every comparison test they are included In and their resale value is high.

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  30. #30
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    High resale is great when you are buying new, not so great when you are looking for a $10k car like OP. That is why I have a ford focus hatch and not a subaru, mazda 3, honda fit, lol. I could either buy a 2 year old ford focus with 50k on it or one of those several years older and around twice the miles. The only real issue the focus has is the DCT trans which I avoided by going with the 5 speed stick, also helped that the stick knocked another $3k off the resale.

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by twodownzero View Post
    The non-turbo Subarus get horrible fuel mileage and have no power, a feat I can't say I've observed in any other vehicles. While admittedly I've never had a trailer behind a Subaru anything, I have driven one for thousands of miles and pulled trailers for tens and perhaps hundreds of thousands of miles, and there is nothing that could ever convince me to put a trailer behind a Subaru outside of a true life-or-death emergency. I'm not sure where you got the idea that a Subaru would be a good tow vehicle, but it's not.
    They're not powerhouses. I never said otherwise. Bigger Subaru's, like the one I had--a 2014 Outback 2.5i, towed 2k+ lbs just fine. I'd say you're ok within the towing specs for each model. Plenty of others have towed with theirs as well. They're no Cummins, but for what they are, does just great. And certainly better than ALL other vehicles the OP mentioned.

    MPG wise, I was getting up to 34MPG on the highway (70mph). That's not bad for such a big AWD crossover. I don't know of any other AWD vehicles that get any better.

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2:01 View Post
    They're not powerhouses. I never said otherwise. Bigger Subaru's, like the one I had--a 2014 Outback 2.5i, towed 2k+ lbs just fine. I'd say you're ok within the towing specs for each model. Plenty of others have towed with theirs as well. They're no Cummins, but for what they are, does just great. And certainly better than ALL other vehicles the OP mentioned.

    MPG wise, I was getting up to 34MPG on the highway (70mph). That's not bad for such a big AWD crossover. I don't know of any other AWD vehicles that get any better.
    People tend to forget all Subarus are AWD when looking at MPG so the numbers dont look as good compared to a FWD vehicle.
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  33. #33
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    The amount of interior space in the Honda Fit with the seats folded down is mighty impressive (just ask hoolie after he helped me pick up some furniture with his Dodge 2500 and my wife's Honda Fit). That said, they're gutless and quite loud inside, but ours has never had any problems through 8 years of hard driving and minimal maintenance (you can thank the wife). Compared to something like a Subaru, well, they're completely different vehicles. If you need AWD, well, the Fit ain't for you, but putting on some snow tires we'll get you around just fine.

    When looking at new/used cars, I steered away from the Subaru as I found them to be overpriced for the mileage, power and utility on offer. People love em, and I adored my 1985 Subaru GL wagon, but they fit a specific user profile that just wasn't me.

    You might be able to find a Rav4 at a decent price, and they seem to deliver much of the same benefits of a Subaru Forester at a lower price point. I don't have any experience with the Honda CR-V, but I would imagine it's somewhat similar to the Rav4.

    I am currently in the process of selling my 2015 Mazda3, but might be keeping it if it was a hatchback. No frills, reliable vehicle with decent mileage, but the newer (2015 on) hatchback doesn't really offer that much space when it gets down to it.
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  34. #34
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    If you're at all mechanically inclined, you can make a pretty decent "off road" vehicle out of a Subaru.

    The Crosstrek, Out back and Forester all have 8.6" of ground clearance, bone stock. With a tire change and $300 of metal fabrication + HDPE you can make that 10".

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    I don't give a shit about HP when I am towing, I care about the brakes and chassis. How fast you can go up a hill doesn't matter if you roll the damn thing because the car can't handle the weight.

    There's a reason I have an F150 for towing, and a Fiesta for fuel efficiency.

    The Outback is limited to 1000 pounds for towing, without additional trailer brakes. I'm not saying don't buy a Subaru, I think they are great cars, but don't judge your abilities to tow based on the HP.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Silentfoe View Post
    Sorry but it's hard to take your opinion seriously when your user name is "Honda Guy"...on a mountain bike forum. I'd say that makes you biased.

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    Haha I could see that. I'm not biased towards Honda cars though. My name's a reference to the honda dirt bikes I rode growing up.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Silentfoe View Post
    Subaru works just as well as any other small SUV/CUV for towing.
    Yeah, dangerous and like $%#!. It has neither the suspension, brakes, nor torque for towing.

    When I saw 2:01 was talking about towing with a non-turbo Subaru, I was thinking he must live in Kansas or something where there aren't any hills. Turns out he lives in Utah, which has some of the steepest grades in the USA. All I can conclude is that people have very different expectations than I have for safe towing. I have only spent about ten days of my life in Utah, but it certainly wasn't a place where I was looking for opportunities to summit the mountains with a scary tow vehicle.

    I have towed with darn near every kind of vehicle and really learned my lesson with scary tow vehicles. Between wind and hills and the increased drag/weight of a trailer, there is just no way I'm going to ever have a trailer--any trailer--behind a vehicle with tiny struts and a-arms. Call me paranoid if you wish, but a vehicle that isn't designed from the ground up with a body on frame construction and real suspension (not to mention tires) made for carrying a load is not a tow vehicle.

    Americans are either paranoid (our tow ratings for the same vehicles sold elsewhere in the world are MUCH lower in some cases) or our roads are steeper. But if it's paranoid to say that I wouldn't have a trailer behind something for which trailering is an afterthought, then I don't want to not be paranoid.

    I resist the urge to say "there ought to be a law" because eventually, common sense and self-preservation prevail in these sorts of instances.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sidewalk View Post
    I don't give a shit about HP when I am towing, I care about the brakes and chassis. How fast you can go up a hill doesn't matter if you roll the damn thing because the car can't handle the weight.

    There's a reason I have an F150 for towing, and a Fiesta for fuel efficiency.

    The Outback is limited to 1000 pounds for towing, without additional trailer brakes. I'm not saying don't buy a Subaru, I think they are great cars, but don't judge your abilities to tow based on the HP.
    Get yourself an old Ford 300 I6 and put about 3,000 pounds behind it. Hit up the mountains and see how well ~120 hp pulls a load.

    That said, I'd rather be pulling 3,000 pounds up a grade with a 30 year old F150 and a 300 I6 than anything else mentioned above this post!

  38. #38
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    Are you considering any CUV's or small SUV's?

    My wife picked up a 2013 Escape with 16,000 on the odom for $16k last summer... she commutes 60 miles, gets 23.5mpg combined because she does 85 on the highway. The turbo brings the torque, a lot faster than the 2003 V6 Escape she previously owned. Thinks it's a SuperDuty, pulling a thousand pounds in the trailer at highway speeds at 1800rpm.

    Cargo area is good for up to a medium dog.

    Built like a car, handles like a sports coupe, with better seat height and extra ground clearance for light off road excursions or the 6 inches of snow that fell overnight.
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  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sidewalk View Post
    I don't give a shit about HP when I am towing, I care about the brakes and chassis. How fast you can go up a hill doesn't matter if you roll the damn thing because the car can't handle the weight.

    There's a reason I have an F150 for towing, and a Fiesta for fuel efficiency.

    The Outback is limited to 1000 pounds for towing, without additional trailer brakes. I'm not saying don't buy a Subaru, I think they are great cars, but don't judge your abilities to tow based on the HP.
    Outbacks are not limited to 1000lbs towing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by twodownzero View Post
    Yeah, dangerous and like $%#!. It has neither the suspension, brakes, nor torque for towing.

    When I saw 2:01 was talking about towing with a non-turbo Subaru, I was thinking he must live in Kansas or something where there aren't any hills. Turns out he lives in Utah, which has some of the steepest grades in the USA. All I can conclude is that people have very different expectations than I have for safe towing. I have only spent about ten days of my life in Utah, but it certainly wasn't a place where I was looking for opportunities to summit the mountains with a scary tow vehicle.
    Quote Originally Posted by twodownzero View Post
    While admittedly I've never had a trailer behind a Subaru anything,
    I'm not going to derail this thread any further. Especially with someone with zero experience with said vehicle(s).

    To the OP, I've towed with plenty of vehicles, including my old F150, 3/4 ton Chevy, 4Runner, and some commercial HD equipment in, as noted above, some high elevation passes. Subaru does just fine within its towing capacity. Sorry for going on a tangent. I will not comment any more on this.

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    Why are we talking about towing anyway? OP never mentioned needing to tow and has a Grand Cherokee already if OP does needs to tow.

    OP wants a smallish fuel efficient commuter car in the hatch wagon CUV style for around $10k.

    STOP IT
    Last edited by canker; 01-30-2018 at 02:04 PM.

  42. #42
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    New, Honda CRV. Used Honda Element.

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by armii View Post
    New, Honda CRV. Used Honda Element.
    Under $10k rules out the crv, upper 20s MPG rules out the Element.

  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigolclyde View Post
    Under $10k rules out the crv, upper 20s MPG rules out the Element.
    Our Element gets 25mpg highway. Got better when it was new. And you will be hard pressed to find anything more versatile.
    mountain bike inside? - Honda Element Owners Club Forum

  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by armii View Post
    Our Element gets 25mpg highway. Got better when it was new. And you will be hard pressed to find anything more versatile.
    mountain bike inside? - Honda Element Owners Club Forum
    Element was a super cool car. Too bad Honda nixed it. I just saw one with an ecamper at a local trailhead. I do wish they were just a little bit longer with 4 doors. Clamshell doors is too hard with kids.

    The HRV has magic seats and a ton of cargo room as well. I don't know if any are in the $10k range, but that would be a nice vehicle.

  46. #46
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    Chevy Suburban. Most of her commute is highway. They do ok on the highway.
    Every time you want to haul bikes or dogs or anything else, you won't care that it doesn't get the ultimate gas mileage.

    My wife has a Kia Sorento which gets good mileage but is half the size of my Suburban.
    I like turtles

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    Quote Originally Posted by 2:01 View Post
    I'm not going to derail this thread any further. Especially with someone with zero experience with said vehicle(s).

    To the OP, I've towed with plenty of vehicles, including my old F150, 3/4 ton Chevy, 4Runner, and some commercial HD equipment in, as noted above, some high elevation passes. Subaru does just fine within its towing capacity. Sorry for going on a tangent. I will not comment any more on this.
    Your reading comprehension is pretty horrible. I certainly have a lot of experience driving a Subaru over mountain passes without a trailer. It got terrible fuel mileage for a little four cylinder car and was excruciatingly slow. The last thing I would need to do was hitch up a trailer to know how it'd behave. The turbo models are a night and day difference on hills, I'm sure, for minimal fuel mileage penalty.

  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by NYrr496 View Post
    Chevy Suburban. Most of her commute is highway. They do ok on the highway.
    Every time you want to haul bikes or dogs or anything else, you won't care that it doesn't get the ultimate gas mileage.

    My wife has a Kia Sorento which gets good mileage but is half the size of my Suburban.
    Burb's are pretty cool. Pretty dependable as well. I think it'd be too much for the OP's needs, but I've always liked them.

  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by twodownzero View Post
    The turbo models are a night and day difference on hills, I'm sure, for minimal fuel mileage penalty.
    This is the funniest and most head scratching thing written in this thread.



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  50. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by twodownzero View Post
    While admittedly I've never had a trailer behind a Subaru anything, I have driven one for thousands of miles and pulled trailers for tens and perhaps hundreds of thousands of miles, and there is nothing that could ever convince me to put a trailer behind a Subaru outside of a true life-or-death emergency. I'm not sure where you got the idea that a Subaru would be a good tow vehicle, but it's not.
    If you stay within the limits, it's fine.

    I pulled my "squaredrop" camper behind a 2013 XV Crosstrek about 3600mi a little over a year ago from Indianapolis, IN to Sedona, AZ. The trailer weighs around 1500lb or so. Averaged 18mpg for that drive. The only trouble I had was with some bad weather in Missouri. Got into some seriously nasty straightline crosswinds from a storm passing relatively nearby and I pulled over for a bit and waited till the weather passed. Yeah, the Crosstrek isn't the most powerful car, but it does the job just fine. My wife pulled the camper behind the Subie when we moved from Indy to Asheville, NC. That included some lower mtns and she had no trouble with the handling.

    Even dropping down some steep mtn switchbacks in AZ, the subie handled the braking sufficiently. And that was the only time that the longer braking distance was terribly noticeable.

    For comparison purposes, I pulled the same camper with a borrowed F150 with an Ecoboost V6. This truck regularly pulls a 16ft Crownline. The truck got 16mpg on average, and that trip stayed within Indiana - no mountains, where I'm certain mpg would have dropped a bit more. I noticed the trailer behind the truck less than I do with the Subie, but it's not a huge margin. It was absolutely less maneuverable when I wanted to back the trailer.

    You mention in another post about paranoid towing ratings and I'll give you an example. The overseas version of the Honda Fit gets a towing rating that's sufficient to pull my camper. Yet here in the US, it gets zero towing rating. I don't have a hitch (not even for a bike rack - I put bikes on fork mounts inside) on my Fit, so it's not something I've even experimented with in the neighborhood, but I'm pretty confident that the car could absolutely pull a light trailer safely. Especially if I had a brake controller (my camper has electric brakes, fyi). That's one thing that seems a LOT more common overseas - trailer brakes on small trailers. When looking to get a brake controller installed on the Crosstrek prior to my trip to Sedona last year, I got the comments multiple times from people who installed that stuff for a living that if I needed trailer brakes on my trailer, I had no business towing it with the Crosstrek, and they refused to install the wiring. It's not like I wanted to tow a 16ft double axle trailer with a f*cking tractor on it with my Subie. I was keeping within the towing ratings of the car and I wanted trailer brakes for max safety. I can pick up the tongue of the trailer myself and push the damn thing around. Loaded.

    For something like that, Subarus tow just fine. In fact, I'll be renting a flatbed utility trailer and using the Subaru to obtain some landscaping timbers so I can build some terraces on a steep hill in my front yard this spring.

  51. #51
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    The only pic I have of my XV pulling a trailer. It was lightly loaded here. I've had it overflowing with high school team gear and bikes on a trip to Moab.

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    I think you (OP) should really check out the Prius ... 2nd or 3rd gen. Should fit in your budget, Id have no problem buying one with over 100K miles. And it really will get 50 mpg, and, you still have your Jeep. Our gen 2 (2004-2010, I think, ours was an08) easily swallowed two bikes (road or 26 MTB). We sold ours to our son at 108K miles, zero problems, and hes driven it for a couple more years, no issues, still has it. Not exciting, but very versatile.

  53. #53
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    I'm just going to throw this out there; Mitsubishi Outlander Sport. They are a great size. Bigger than a Honda Fit, Mazda 3, or Juke, but smaller than a CX-5 or a Forester. The 2.0L gets 28-30 MPG, in my experience, and it has selective AWD. You can drive in 2WD, AWD (front biased) or AWD Lock (60-40 split).

    Best of all, horrible resale! One of these should fit into your budget OP.

    I don't think Mitsu deserves the crap they get. They are a much smaller company, but now they are partners with Nissan/Renault and they aren't going anywhere.
    The cake is a lie.

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