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In the Market for a new Cross-over (small SUV)

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Im a recent graduate who found his first job and is happily living life as a member of society. My scion tC has lived its life to the fullest, I loved it while I had it, but it has to go. It has 140k miles on it and I feel I'm due for a new car.


After constant struggle between this and that, black or white blah blah blah, I came to the conclusion that I wanted a compact-SUV or a crossover as they are referred to sometimes.

I have been doing research for about a month using kbb, NADA, youtube reviews, edmunds and consumer reports. Note, I am not rich and I am looking for a car in the 25,000 range give or take. I would highly prefer a manual transmission, however im flexible.


My lifestyle: I commute to work and sometimes on the weekend I like to go to Mexico ( I live in San Diego). This means I need the car to be able to handle Mexican roads (they're not bad, but they have their rough patches).

I really like camping and rock-climbing, however I've never gotten into it (outdoorsy things) due to lack of time and money. I do have my own climbing gear now that I have a job, and hopefully soon I'll be stacking up on camping gear, if I like my first couple of trips.


I am possibly purchasing my car in January or February. This is no easy task and thats why I'm starting my research early, I want to make the best decision and have no buyer's remorse.


My original List with the reason for dropping:


- Honda CRV - Do not like the design, feels like a mom's car. Boring overall

- Mazda CX-5 - Same as above, mom car. However I am aware this one has one of the best features packaged into it.

- Jeep Patriot - Possible contender, however after I learned about the renegade, I decided to drop this one out.

- Jeep Renegade - Finalist

- Kia Soul - Finalist

- Mini Countryman - Finalist

- Subaru Forester - Design is mediocre (mom-ish looking car). Interior feels outdated

- Nissan Juke - I dont like the design at all

- Toyota Rav4 - doesnt seem like anything special, nothing really caught my attention.



So my finalist are the Mini Countryman (I am still debating whether to get the S or the base). the renegade and the kia soul (this being my cheaper alternative if whatever goes wrong with my credit).


Things that I am really looking for are (IN ORDER):

- Reliability


- Modern features (Bluetooth, maybe iOS/Android compatibility)

- Coolness, Radicalness and Awesomeness

- Fun/enjoyable/comfortable to ride. (I'd like to road trip on this)

- Cost-to-own.



I have been researching these 3 cars intensely, however (like everything) people give them great and terrible ratings and reviews. So I am kind of at a confusing crossroad. I would appreciate your opinions on these 3 cars, or if you have a really strong argument for any of the previously listed (even something not listed that I overlooked) please advise.


NOTE: I am an engineer, so keep that in mind when giving your opinion, as much as I welcome points of view, I'd rather have them with something to back them up.

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I personally don't understand why anyone would get a new car when a used car is so much cheaper. I think that you should look at a 2012 Acura RDX fully loaded. You can get it for around $25k, I have owned a 2009 MDX and never had a reliability problem, they are fun to drive, they are very off-road capable, and get decent gas mileage. They are also filled with gadgets. I also recommend a 2011 Audi Q5 2.0T fully loaded. They get super mpg, are full of gadgets, cost about $25k, is kind of off-road capable, but has some mixed reviews as far as reliability goes. The 2011 Cadillac SRX Turbo Performance is about $25k, gets good mpg, has plenty of tech, I'm not sure about off-road though. It also has mixed reliability reviews. For $25k, you can get a 2011 Infiniti EX35. It fits all of your specs, but is a little small, and isn't great off-road. If you really want a new car, check out the Toyota Rav4, Nissan Rogue, Mitsubishi outlander sport, and Jeep Cherokee.

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Did you test drive the CX-5? The reason I ask is that the CX-5 is anything but a "mom" crossover. The engine is unbelivably powerful (184 hp @ 5700 rpm) and the compression rate (13:1) is phenominal for a variable valve transmission. The shifting is smooth, the design is gorgeous and the features that come standard are rediculously expensive to add on to similar competitors. You might want to think about looking at it over the gas guzzlers that go for butch over drive quality.

Edited by GreenPeaDFW

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