Friday, May 8, 2020

Reader Recommendations Needed: Cars

Today's post is all about me asking you all for your recommendation on... cars! I am so not a car girl... they are not something I really care too much about and have never really been into brands or anything. I'd just personally much rather save the money I would have spent on a fancy car and spend that on trips, dinners out, shoes/bags, our house, retirement, etc. than a car.

So here's my situation...I've been pretty loyal to Volkswagen for my adult life. I've had 2 Passats (which is a roomy sedan). I never really wanted or needed an SUV as I lived in the city and didn't want to have to parallel park something larger (I'm just not good with big cars). 

Now that I live in the suburbs, parallel parking is not as often of an occurrence. I also go to places like Costco and those trips have me desiring a larger trunk space (the toilet paper takes up a LOT of room hahah!!). 

So, I think I'm ready to move up to a small SUV... I think it could potentially suit my current lifestyle better. In December, I went to VW to get a small SUV. I've always loved VW and just assumed I'd be a customer for life. I went in thinking I would get the Atlas. It is their SUV. When I saw it in person, it was HUGE. It was way too much car for me and just so much larger than I realized. In fact, when I went in, the sales guy just assumed I had children because it's more of a family-sized car. I wouldn't know how to drive it or park it and although I loved the look of it, it was immediately clear that it wasn't for me. 

So, I looked at the Tiguan which is VW's smaller SUV (no third row). I loved the new design of it, loved the size, and pretty much everything about it. I was ready to purchase right then and there... except... They don't offer it in a tan color interior.

The ONE thing that I have loved (so much) about my Passats is the look of the interior. I have a beautiful tan interior with dark brown piping. The ceiling is tan, the doors are tan. Basically, everything is light and bright and that's how I have always liked my cars. You can see the interior of my car in the photo above. It also has heated front and back seats, moon roof, connects to my phone, garage door built-in button, ambient lighting, plenty of storage areas/cup holders, the front seats adjust in a bunch of different ways, special storage slot for skis, auto-dimming mirrors, emergency braking, backup camera, auto-cruise control, blind-spot assist, keyless, remote start, etc. Basically, when I got it, it had way more than I even cared about or even needed but I do love all of those features (they're not deal-breakers, though). 

You can see the Tiguan with the gray interior in the photo above. I actually don't mind the gray seats and could be fine with that, but it's the black ceiling/doors/everything else that makes the interior feel so much darker. Black interior is just not for me personally. I know it's the most popular, hence why most cars are always available with a black interior.

VW doesn't make the 2020 Tiguan in their tan color. The tan that I love so much only comes in the Passat or the Atlas. This is so sad to me because the Tiguan was exactly what I was looking for!! 

So I couldn't bring myself to pay (more than I am now) for the Tiguan when it wasn't truly what I wanted. So now I'm back at square one and I'm torn. I lease my Passat so I have to get a new car in just a few weeks regardless and I'm slightly freaking out because I can't really go in-person car shopping right now! I hadn't looked too much before because I hadn't had the time with our wedding coming up so soon. I had started browsing in December but thought I had plenty of time left to look. I had the plan in my head that I would get married on April 25th and then finally have a lot of free time during the month of May to shop around... obviously that is not how life happened.

So my option right now is that I could buy my current Passat... I'm honestly leaning towards just buying what I have now because I truly do love it. It has everything I could ever want in a car: heated seats, moon roof, it's roomy, it looks pretty inside (to me at least), and I've never had issues with it and then reassess a few years from now. The idea of no car payment is very appealing in this situation... and I guess the saying rings true here, 'If it ain't broke don't fix it'. 

But the reason I feel so conflicted is that I think if I stick with my Passat, I might regret not sizing up to a small SUV... even just for the hatchback trunk alone... that would be nice to have!

I've been looking around online for small (5-seat) SUVs to see what I like since browsing in person is obviously not an option right now. So I thought I would ask all of you: do you have a small SUV? If so, what is it, do you like it, and would you recommend it? If you have something and don't love it, let me know that, too! 

I have been looking at:
- Toyota Rav 4 XLE Premium (this is my top favorite so far)
- Land Rover Discovery Sport S (I love that you can pick the ceiling color on this one)
- Lincoln Corsair (this is another top contender for me)
- Acura RDX
- Volvo XC60
- Kia Sportage

A lot of brands and models that I have seen online have been cut out of the running because there was too much black in the interior (even when they offered tan colored seats). I also cut some out of the running because oddly enough, the 'cabins' of the smaller-sized SUV's actually feel smaller than my current Passat when I get inside. A few years ago, I was looking at cars and I ended up going to check out Mercedes' smallest SUV/crossover and I didn't love it because it felt smaller (when I was sitting inside of it) than my car. I mentioned it to the sales guy and he said it was actually larger than my Passat but the dimensions of the interior were smaller than my Passat... totally threw me for a loop because I would have always just assumed that all crossovers/small SUVs were bigger than my Passat. 

The only thing I really care about is that it has a tan leather interior, but more importantly, the ceiling of the car has to be a light color (I know, I know, I'm particular). I'd like to have a moon roof, heated seats, etc. but honestly, the light interior is my #1 priority.

It's frustrating figuring out this car situation when I don't know when I'll be able to hop around to browse all of these car dealerships. I fully understand these are champagne problems and I am not complaining at all. I am lucky to have a car and options!!! I just don't want to make a big decision like this in haste. 

Please leave me recs in the comments below...if you've seen the Tiguan and know of something super similar, let me know that, too! And if you are looking for a roomy sedan, I would highly recommend the VW Passat a million times over.

Also, if you have a suggestion on a website that you like to use to browse/shop for cars, let me know that, too! I've been looking at the car brand websites and also just Googling car interiors, but also have been browsing sites like Carvana to get a better idea of what cars hold their value, etc. Thank you guys so much!

83 comments:

susan said...

Car shopping can be so overwhelming. I had and loved the Volvo XC60. It was the perfect size at the time, had both safety and fun features I enjoyed and appreciated, and handled New England weather like a champ. We ultimately had to go bigger and o had the XC90 for a while. I loved that, too, but I’m glad we sized back down. I did not go back to Volvo because the company seemed to be having some issues at the time, and I went with the Audio Q5. Again, perfect size, handles like a dream, and I now have a heated steering wheel in addition to my heated seats. This cold-handed girl is never going back to a regular steering wheel. 😂 If I ever stray from Audi for my next car, I am definitely intrigued by the Land Rover. I just love how they look but have had no experience driving them. (I’ve been a backseat passenger in one and loved the interior). I have two friends who have and love the Kia Sportage. They give high marks on that one. Good luck and happy hunting!

Gina said...

I had a Range Rover HSE for several years. I loved it, but it was always in for some kind of repair. They have great service, and I had the extended warranty, but I would not recommend one.

Anonymous said...

I have the Volvo XC90 (because I have a child) and it is a dream- I’m sure the XC60 Is no different! It has “blonde” interior with wood trim which is beautiful and luxurious. One of my favorite features is the sunroof that extends all the way to the back of the car (it doesn’t open that far but the screen pulls back all the way). It also has built-in navigation on the main control screen (which is quite large) which I didn’t know I liked until I had it. I really enjoy the safety features too. For example, it tells me the speed limit on the dash so I’m never unsure! I also trust the Volvo brand as far as safety and quality. Highly recommend their family of SUVs!

Sarah said...

I unfortunately don’t have any suggestions on SUVs for you, but had another thought - could you extend your lease on your current Passat for a year or another lease term to give yourself more time? Not sure if that’s an option, but it might be better than outright buying it if you know you ultimately want an SUV in the long run. Maybe within a year or two VW will have a newer model with a tan interior (fingers crossed.) Good luck!

Alexandria P. said...

My family are Volvo people! I have an X60 and my sister an XC60. My mom placed an order for an XC60 and should be getting it in June or July. We love Volvo’s! Mine is 11 years old and still running great. We have very minimal issues with them. Plus they have super comfy seats! We do the drive from NYC to Pittsburgh several times a year and never have any issues with space or comfort. I had looked at Land Rovers, but the dealership said they are constantly in the shop (our dealership has both Volvo and Land Rovers). My mom did buy a new 2020 XC60 in March but had to return it due to an issue of loud static sound randomly for about 20 minutes that happened when she used the radio or used turn signals. The dealership said the update to fix the problem would be released in June, so she decided to return and order exactly what she wanted if she was going to wait anyways. She was annoyed that the service team knew about the problem, but not sales!

Stephanie said...

So I’m not sure if you’ve looked already or they don’t have an interior you like, but I can not recommend my Honda CR-V enough! It’s the perfect little SUV. I’ve had mine for over seven years and I love it!

Ashley said...

Full disclosure - I work for General Motors, but if you haven't looked at Buick Encores through Envision sizes, you may find exactly the size you want and they have tan interiors available with coordinating tan headliners.

Company plug aside, we have a Chevrolet Equinox and we LOVE it. It's the perfect size for my husband, dog and I. Lots of trunk space if all three of us go on a road trip but not too large that the upsize from a sedan felt uncomfortable.

Anonymous said...

Audi Q3- small SUV and drives just like a car! Doesn't have the big feeling of an SUV.

Lauren said...

I vote for the RAV4 if you want a brand known for reliability and they maintain their resale because of that reliability. They have a few different trims to research. The one I test drove had all of the features you mentioned. I have heard the hybrid version has good pickup, too. I also loveeee the look of the RDX but the transmission had a weird pickup when I drove it. Like if you were at a red light and hit the gas (not even hard) it jumped a few gears so you kind of lunged a bit. I bought a 4Runner because I wanted sporty/off-road :)

Cait said...

Hi! I was in the same situation last month - my lease ended in April. I drive a Nissan Rogue which I love but the MSRP has gone up significantly over the last couple years, so I wanted to look at other options. My plan was to car shop throughout the month, but obviously that wasn’t an option. No test driving, couldn’t see the car interior, at least that’s the current case in NY. Which is how it should be! But it didn’t make things easy. I wasn’t comfortable leasing a new car sight unseen, so I decided the safest option was to go with a new lease on a 2020 Rogue. I know the car, I really like the car. I’m picky when it comes to cars too and a nervous driver to begin with, so buying something I had never driven was a hard no for me. Going with the same old wasn’t my first choice, but it was absolutely the best one for me under the circumstances. I was able to negotiate the same monthly rate as I had previously even though the MSRP was significantly higher. I don’t think the Rogue has a tan interior option, so it’s probably not for you, but definitely negotiate hard! The sales departments are willing to make serious deals right now, but you need to work them. I did the entire deal over the phone. Good luck!

Laura said...

We were Volvo people when my children were younger. Loved them and liked the safety features they have. My sister and daughter in law have the Acura. They are very pleased. I have the Mercedes GLC but finding tan interior could be problematic. Good luck finding a car. I believe you will enjoy a SUV. Originally I had a Mercedes C 300 sedan. I found it too low to the street and missed having a SUV. So I traded for the GLC.

TLA said...

Funny, my “niece” (best friend from college’s eldest daughter) just got a Tiguan last week! She and her husband are expecting their first child in a few weeks, so she decided to make the move from a sedan to a small SUV/crossover. Have you looked at Subarus? My parents and my brother have Subarus and *love* them! They are as or more reliable than Toyotas and Hondas, are known for being high mileage (as in people driving them for 200,000+ miles), and for keeping their value. My brother used to have a Crosstrek and now has a Forester (he goes back and forth from Boston to Maine, they have two houses and he works in Boston but his wife actually works at a college in Maine!) and my parents have an Outback (and a Toyota sedan) and they all LOVE them and have nothing bad to say about Subaru at all!

I’m not sure if they have the interiors you are looking for, but there’s a tool on the Subaru website where you can build your vehicle and choose colors and interiors. My parents’ Outback is a light silver color with a light interior (that was important to them because they lived in Hilton Head when they bought it, but have since moved up here to be closer to me; trust me, it’s just as hot in Raleigh and even worse sometimes, I think, due to being landlocked) but I think there are darker areas on the floor, so that might not be for you. Volvo is another very reliable brand. I would steer clear of Land Rover as a primary vehicle (high maintenance costs).

I’m with you...so totally *not* a car person! My list of requirements is weird...small, black/grey/silver/white/champagne only—no bright, weird colors!, air conditioning, and 5-speed/manual transmission. That’s it! I live in the city and actually do not currently own a car and barely drove my last one at all. For me, it would just make some shopping more convenient, and also enable me to take road trips without renting a car or pop out to the suburbs to see my parents at a whim...though they come into the city often and joke about my condo being their pied-à-terre in the city (they have my guest room and bath). It’s always so interesting to see how people choose vehicles! Definitely a major purchase and not one to make an impulsive decision about! Good luck on your search!

Anonymous said...

Sante Fe Sport (the Sport edition is a bit smaller). I've had mine for over 6 years. I would buy another one.

Sandy said...

I live in the city of Pittsburgh without kids and recently upgraded from a sedan (mazda) to a small SUV for all the conveniences you just mentioned without knowing a thing about cars. I got a Volvo XC40 and it is perfect for both Coscto runs and parallel parking in the city. I found the XC60 a little big, but I loved Volvo for all of their options to personalize so you get the exact vehicle you want not just a combo of pre-made packages. Good Luck!

Anonymous said...

I purchased a Kia Sportage in 2013 and highly recommend. Like you I am not a car person but it has held up so well, a great ride, gives you the bells and whistles, and the new body style is really sleek looking. I love my small SUV and think you will too!

Sarah Elizabeth said...

We have a 2020 Kia Sportage and LOVE it! We bought it in July right before a beach trip and it is the perfect size. We do not have kids, but do have an 80 pound dog who loves to sit in the very back. It's the perfect size for big grocery trips or travel and handles so smoothly. We also love Kia's warranty policy. It's definitely worth considering from my experience!

We love it so much, we're considering getting a second one when it's time to say goodbye to my Ford Focus eventually.

Anonymous said...

Try looking at the new Nissan Murano Platinum interiors. I was pleasantly surprised with the light tan quilted interior and have loved my car ever since I got it back in December.

Jen said...

Hi Sydney,

I was in a similar boat to you last year. knew I wanted a small SUV and looked at the Tiguan, Rav4, and Subaru Forester (live in New England so 4-wheel drive is a must!) I ended up going with the Rav4 Hybrid Limited with tan interior and black exterior and love it! The inside has that "upscale" feel (my family jokes that it looks like a Range Rover on the inside), gets great gas milage (I previously drove a Prius so was worried about the milage of an SUV but have found I can get 400-500 miles in a gas tank) is easy to drive and I love the bonus features in the Premium model (parking sensors help me get in and out of a narrow garage). I had originally gone in to test drive the Rav4 non-hybrid option, but got talked into trying the hybrid by the salesperson and really didn't find that much of a difference in the drive of both versions, and ultimately I love that I went with the hybrid to help my gas milage and the environment a bit more!

Best of luck! -Jen

Steph | Magnolia Stripes said...

I feel you with the interior colors!! Have you looked at the Nissan Murano? It's in the $40k range and they have a gorgeous cashmere color interior (very light with wood panels) and double sunroof, so it feels like you aren't in a car (if that makes sense at all!). Plenty of space without being too much space. It's closer to the X3/4 that BMW makes. Good luck!!

Anonymous said...

I absolutely love my Jeep Compass. I’m
Not sure if it’s the colors you are looking for but it’s small enough for me to drive & still had a lot of room.

just ask beth said...

I just bought a 2020 KIA Sorento and LOVE it and LOVE my warranty

Sarah Gouin said...

Good luck! I totally understand your problem and I am glad that you wrote about it. I like the same type of light interior look that you do but it is very hard to find. I currently drive a Rav 4 hybrid Limited which is great and I love the features however I could only get black faux leather. I complained to the salesman at the time but all you ever hear is how most people prefer black. I can't wait to change vehicles! My husband drives a Mercedes with tan interior and it is gorgeous. The Mercedes GLC may be an option for you. Let us know how you make out!

Anonymous said...

I love my Acura RDX. Just like you I went from an Acura TL sedan to an SUV and it was the perfect size for the transition. Still drives much like a sedan and very comfortable!

Allison said...

Following because I’m looking for the exact same thing haha. I hate black interiors!! I don’t know why they are so popular. My #1 pick is also the RAV4 but I would prefer a tan color as opposed to the grey. Their “tan” seems so dark.

Kelly said...

So I’m in the same boat, well kinda. I have a Subaru Forester and LOVE it because it drives like a small SUV but has the most room out of almost all SUVs. I think the Pilot has more. However, it does not come with tan interior, and this too frustrates me. My lease ends in a few days and I so badly wish they offered a tan interior. I looked around earlier this year and couldn’t find anything with the same amount of room. I did test drive the RAV 4 and hated it. It felt like everything was in my face and to me drive like a clunky truck. Yuck. I’ve had my eyes on the Volvo but it’s currently out of budget, boo. But if the forester had a tan interior I’d be recommending it, as it drives amazing. I know you can get them with custom dark leather interior, but it’s just not the same. I’m super curious to see what others say because I have the same criteria 😆

Sydney Liz said...

My mother-in-law has a Volvo XC60 and loves it. My in-laws have been loyal to Volvo for years. The XC60 with the tan interior feels light and very comfortable. Also, from what I know from them, Volvo has excellent customer service!

MC said...

We just went through a car search recently, and some takeaways.
- Volvo has some great cars, but lose their value quickly - we found the used market was really good for these.
- CARVANA! Was so awesome. We test drove vehicles at other dealerships and found the best value on the same model at Carvana. Plus, the vending machine pickup process was so cool. Depending on how you like to do your car maintenance, Carvana doesn't have the services that a dealership does (and dealerships will really emphasize this to keep the sale).
- Found Acura RDX to be a little bit boxy, less cozy.
- Ultimately, we got a used BMW X3 and LOVE it. (Comparable price-wise to other SUVs you are looking at!)

Faith said...

OK, I don't have recommendations about which car you should buy ... I'm only commenting because your post sounds exactly like something I would write.

I also have been loyal to VW and had a lease. When it was time to give it up, I couldn't find another vehicle I felt as comfortable in as the one I had so I ended up buying my leased car. I've never had an issue with my VW and I've had it now for 7 years this month; I think they are just great cars. So if you're uncertain I think you should stick to a car that you know you love and then in a few years find something that you really love that way it isn't done in haste. I'm going to start the search for a new vehicle now (not fun!) but I'm with you and do not want a big car as I hate parking and driving larger vehicles.

Good luck on whatever you decide to do!

Megreene said...

I have the Hyundai Santa Fe. Totally worn you on the tan interior! I have grayish tan seats and the interior is the same except the dash board is black. I bought a used year old lease with no mileage so I couldn’t be toooo picky with color. But I’m pretty sure the new ones are tan interior. I love it! It’s the perfect size suv. With just you, your fiancé and dog!

KK said...

I was VW/Audi girl through and through and when it came time for an SUV, I didn't LOVE the Tiguan. One of my friends had a Mazda CX-5 and I always loved the look of it so I drove it one day and fell in love. I ended up getting one and I will probably get another for my next car as well. I have SO many features (way more than my VW) and I am not even in the top top model. I have black on black but my friend has it in the tan interior and it is GORGEOUS. I also didn't think I'd like how it drove since I was used to a heavier german style drive, I was wrong. I love love love this car! I also still live in a city and its easy to whip it into parallell parking spots when you need to!

Britt said...

Love, love, love my Subaru Forester!! I have had a Jeep Cherokee, Subaru Outback, Honda CRV (along with several cars) and this is by far my favorite!! It’s roomy and comfy, gets great gas mileage, drives so smoothly, and is incredibly bright inside due to the huge sunroof! Tons of cargo space and enough legroom for my both my dad (6’4”) and husband (6’6”) to fit comfortably. This is the first vehicle I’ve had that I am really leaning towards keeping/getting a new version of when the time comes. Cannot recommend it enough!

Ciara said...

I currently have the Passat and my honey has a Volvo, even though he works for Mercedes in Wexford. I think we’ll likely be VW and Volvo customers for life (I like the Volvo, but from a practicality standpoint when having kids in the future, a luxury car seems stressful for me. He can have his Volvo!) my Passat has the grey interior with the darker floor/other pieces and I honestly love it! I wasn’t sure how I felt about it at first, but after sitting in lots of luxury cars I noticed the “two tone” look was quite common and does look pretty classy! The darker floor is also a lot easier to keep clean. The “black” parts of my Passat interior seek more like a dark charcoal than a jet black, so check to see if there are different options for that darker part, or just look at it in a different light if possible. My next car is definitely going to be a Tiguan!

Also when we bought my Passat, we compared interior space. Passats definitely have the largest trunk AND rear foot space of any other sedans. My car loving honey was impressed! They definitely managed to maximize interior space without making the car huge. So you can’t go wrong in keeping it. It’s hard to find brands that aren’t luxury that are sturdy and have safety in mind.

Good luck in whatever you decide!

Kara said...

I feel this post on such a level LOL I was also a strong proponent of tan/brown interiors, but fell in love with our Tiguan. With the large sunroof and roomy interior, I don't mind our black at all! We have the premium and all of the features make it so worth it, it truly feels just like my mom's Audi Q5 for a much more reasonable price. I will say I test drove the Land Rover Discovery Sport and found frustration with a lot of things that I found to be basic. Sunroof didn't open, screen is small and not touch on some models, etc. For the price I found the Tiguan SO much better.

I can't speak to the other models but I will say my recommendation would be to cross the Land Rover off your list! Especially if you don't want to justify the higher price for what I found to be lacking features....

Bailey said...

I just purchased a silver 2020 RAV4 XLE a few months ago and I LOVE it!! It is so sleek and sporty, yet cute. It is a perfect size for me. I have been pretty loyal to Toyota my whole life..in fact my family still has a 2010 Sequoia because it has been that reliable for us! We also have an Audi SUV that is the same size as the RAV4 but it has had a lot of issues and seems to always be in the shop. Overall, I say go with your gut! Good luck to you!

Shayne H said...

I had a Tiguan and while I loved it, the turbo went so
it made more sense for me to get a new (to me)car than have a turbo replaced. I’m
not sure if the Passat has a turbo, but just take that into consideration if it does. But in terms of new cars, hands down, the discovery sport is my personal favorite! That will be my next car ( white body with a black roof). I currently drive a Lexus RX350 and I must say, it’s great bc it’s perfect for Costco runs, traveling and it doesn’t take premium gas which is an awesome perk. I also love the Volvo, but I plan to move into that type of vehicle when I have children( idk why having children matters, but growing up, I always pictured myself driving a Volvo when I have children haha) . Good luck!

Andrea said...

I purchased a certified pre-owned Lexus NX 200t last December and LOVE it. I was just like you and wouldn't settle for anything BUT beige interior. It's a smaller SUV, but feels just like the Lexus RX I used to have. The car is very reliable and is perfect for those larger shopping trips. It also comes in a hybrid version, which is a great option. The features on the newer models are great and I love the way it drives. Hope this helps!

Unknown said...

I actually leased the Tiguan back in October because I wanted a small SUV as well and I LOVE it. I have the Black R-line with the grey seats and at first I was nervous they were going to be too light but they wash easily and they're durable, even with our dog. The ceiling is black but with the moon roof open, it doesn't feel too closed in but I also has all black/dark grey interior before this. My Tiguan does have a third row but I don't see us ever using it because it is super tight but nice to know its there if we did.

If you have any questions about it, let me know! I got a great lease deal too :)

Anonymous said...

I have had Jeep Grand Cherokees for over 15 years and they are the absolute perfect size!!! They can be a bit expensive, but I've bought pre owned and done trade -ins, or most recently, leased. Their trims are great!

Unknown said...

Its not technically considered an SUV, but I highly recommend the Subaru Crosstrek (or Outback if you want a little bigger). I have a Subaru Crosstrek and absolutely love it.

Anonymous said...

I don’t have much to offer as I have a car that’s going to be 9 years old at the end of the month, Also, I’m not really an SUV person for two reasons..I go around corners too fast so I need a lower center of gravity��, and I like having a trunk that I can lock things in.
That said, I had a BMW X3 as a loan car and it was awesome! The car was black, but had a tan interior, and if I’m not mistaken, the headliner was also tan. I’m a bit biased toward BMW’s. Also, my daughter has a Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited that is great. I’m not sure about their interior colors. Hers is black, but every car she’s had since she got a drivers license has had a black interior..IDK why, but she likes them��‍♀️. It’s just a really nice size, not big and bulky, but roomy enough.
Ugh, car shopping can be such a chore! Good luck!

Karen said...

Lexus 350 a great SUV wonderful for long car trips!

Anonymous said...

I’m a Volvo driver (XC90) but we were car shopping pre-Covid. We were going to make the switch to Audi. I have driven a lot of cars in the last 6 months. If you are considering the XC60 (great car) I highly suggest considering the Audi Q5 or even the Q3 may have enough space for your needs. Good luck!

Anonymous said...

I LOVE car shopping, might be the only person in the world! Lol.
I loooove my Mazda CX-5. It’s one of the best reviewed cars In the SUV category and most purchased car for Mazda. I’ve had for years and have put in minimal maintenance and have never had a *single* issue. I’ve had friends and family buy Mazda’s after testing mine out, definitely has a high end interior and lower price scale than the luxury models.
I just helped my sister buy a used Tiguan after her new CX-5 was totaled by a drunk driver, she was fine though, so I can speak to the Mazda’s safety. She didn’t love the newer model, but got the full moon roof on a used model and it’s amazing!
I also echo comments above on Subaru’s. They might not be the most exciting but they are safe, reliable, amazing on safety, and literally all around just an amazing car.

MMM said...

BMW x3! You will love it.

Anonymous said...

From a financial standpoint, don’t lease a vehicle! I like having a new, low mileage car, but I also want owning that car to cost me as little as possible. I encourage all my friends to look at certified used. This means the first owner has taken the initial hit of depreciation, and with most brands, the warranty is actually better than what is offered on a new car because they’ve serviced it and know that it’s not a lemon. I’ve owned 3 Lexus Certified used vehicles and don’t ever plan to stray from the brand because of their customer service and reliability. They also hold their value well. I’ve had the IS250, Rx350and now the GX460. I strongly recommend the RX 350 with parchment interior!!! Light and bright, very quiet smooth ride, and the 18-19 models actually drive a little better than the 20 I had as a loaner during service.

Anonymous said...

I love the interior of Range Rovers, but you must be close to a dealer because they do unfortunately require more repairs/specifications. I now drive a Toyota 4 Runner limited and do not think I will ever convert. Obviously this is a larger suv than what you are looking for but I also considered the Toyota RAV4 or Highlander. I have had nothing but a positive experience with my Toyota!

Anonymous said...

I have had a RAV4, Volvo sedan, and a VW Jetta before - VW favorite by far!! The RAV4 a close second. Volvo is expensive to maintain as time goes on. If you’re not a car person it’s hard to appreciate that and annoying to keep shelling out $$. I would be optimistic for a tan color in a future Tiguan so I would stick with Passat for now as VW sometimes does a loyalty discount if you stick with them in the future. My whole family has Toyota’s though and they are fantastic. VW is just perfect though and you know what you are getting in this uncertain time!!! Can also revisit in a year or two when you can actually shop in person and have time (which is so important!).

Meghan said...

We love our Audi Q5 and has tan leather and tan ceilings. Good luck!

girl_next_door said...

I am in the same boat, luckily I have a little more than a few weeks to find a car. I love the Toyota RAV4 XLE Premium. I had the 2010 RAV4 and loved it, and if we are being honest I miss that car and the size of it. It was perfect. Right now, it is between that and the Mercedes Benz GLB because it is the perfect size compact SUV. Like you, color/aesthetics are on my list of things to look at. Luckily the GLB has the beige interior and the brown trim that I love!

Alison said...

Over the summer I almost purchased a Navy exterior Tiguan with a tan leather interior! It was gorgeous and I loved the way it drove. Only reason I didn't buy it was because my current car was still working great and I just didn't really need a new car. That said, if you're open to purchasing a used car, I think you can find the Tiguan in the color combination you want! I think the one I looked at was a 2018--most of the time you can buy them when they've just come off a lease and therefore the mileage is typically pretty low!

Alexis said...

Happy car hunting! I know it can be so difficult. I bough a certified pre-owned 2018 Acura RDX in November. I absolutely love it. I also transitioned from a sedan (Camry) and had no issue with it feeling too big. I have tan and black interior and I personally don’t feel like it looks dark. I love it. The ride is smooth and back seat is spacious if you have passengers. I cannot day enough good throngs about it!!! My only recommendation would be to get a 2019 or 2020 because the “technology” in the media system is a little dated on my 2018. Basically, mine doesn’t have apple car play lol. I hope you find exactly what you’re wanting!

mlb said...

My twin sister had a Toyota Rav4 and LOVED it. She gave it to my mom when she had to get a bigger car after she had her second kid. I have a Toyota 4Runner. You cannot go wrong with Toyota. They are amazing cars, super low maintenance, and hold their value so well!

Sara said...

I was in the same exact boat after getting married last fall! I was driving a tiny hatchback that was fine for me when I was single, but now with a husband (we share the car -- we only need one in the city as we both take the bus to work so it's mostly for errands and travel) and dog it was just way too small. Our families live far away and we couldn't even fit luggage in them to go visit them, along with the dog!

We upgraded to a Subaru Forester Touring edition and it's AMAZING. I am madly in love. My husband and I fight over who gets to drive when before we fought over who got to be passenger. It's beautiful, it drives so nicely, and most importantly: in Pittsburgh, the all wheel drive is literally life changing and life saving. It's my second Subaru and I will never drive anything else nor stop singing their praises. I don't know what colors they come in, though... mine is dark brown leather inside and I love. Feels luxe.

Anonymous said...

I love my nissan rogue! I've had two different versions of them (2013 & 2016) and bought out my lease on the 2016 because I've never had a problem with them. It also comes in a tan interior I believe! Happy car shopping! Hope you find something you love.

KelseyC said...

When we went to the Pittsburgh car show in February, my husband and I were really pleasantly surprised at the Volvo SUVs. I think the smaller of them (I dont know the specific names) would be close to what you are looking for. My friend recently got their largest SUV and I believe hers has an all tan interior if I remember correctly!

Holly said...

I went though similar cars shopping for mine. I ended up with an Acura RDX and I AM OBSESSED. My parents actually went out and bought one they liked mine so much. They're so reliable and dependable and you don't need a specialty European mechanic if something happens (which.. nothing has). We have a family friend who has put 500,000 miles on his MDX without a single issue.
The RAV4 felt like driving a tin can - not nearly as nice or enough "go". My best friend has had nothing but issues with her Jeep (and that's not an uncommon story), my dad's BMW was $$ to upkeep, and ditto Range Rovers.

Unknown said...

I have a Jeep Grand Cherokee and love it! It is roomy but not a tank. I don't know if they offer an all tan interior but mine is all a light gray color inside and it doesn't feel overly dark. Also, Jeeps seem to hold up so well. Mine is an older model (2011) but my sister and dad both have newer models and they are also amazing. Wishing you well on your car buying adventure.

Bridget said...

I’m in the same phase of life right now! Just moved to Pittsburgh and getting married (hopefully!) this year as well! I had been driving a Honda CR-V for 10 years which I absolutely loved for the mid size and easy parking. When it recently became time to look for a car for the next phase of my life, I thought I would get another Honda, but was actually blown away by how much I loved the Toyota options. The Rav-4 was the obvious choice that would be similar to my old CR-V. Upon test driving however, I actually ended up falling in love with and getting the Toyota Highlander. Now that I have had it 6 months, I am so glad I ended up going with the Highlander over the Rav-4. While at first I thought it was way too big and not quite as sporty, the driver cabin seemed so much more roomy and luxurious compared to the Rav-4, and I quickly got used to driving the bit larger size car (I’m a petite 5, 4” haha!). The nice thing about the Highlander is that it’s known for driving much more smoothly than any other vehicle in its size class (Not truck like/big SUV at all! Rides more like a car with the engine power of an SUV). My mom drives a Volvo mid-size SUV and I honestly think the Highlander offers just as nice of a ride. With the longevity of Toyota, I plan to keep this car for several years and the slightly larger size than the Rav-4 at least gives me the option of keeping it through the next phase of life after getting married and eventually starting a family. I love that I can drive two other couples in addition to my fiancé and I if I want that option and I believe the captain style chairs in the second row are much more comfortable for guests than the bench seat I would have had in the Rav-4. I don’t think you can go wrong with the Rav-4 or Highlander, just wanted to share my process since my initial thoughts changed and I am LOVING my Highlander :) how exciting that you are looking, so fun!!

Anonymous said...

I fully recommend going with a Volvo! I’m on my 2nd XC90- I drove my first one until 200,000 miles and it was still running great but wanted to upgrade before my son was born. I’ve driven the XC60 several times as my dealership has them as loaners and I love it, if it wasn’t for planning for multiple children and a large dog, I’d get the XC60 over the XC90 in a heartbeat.

Bridget said...

I’m in the same phase of life right now! Just moved to Pittsburgh and getting married (hopefully!) this year as well! I had been driving a Honda CR-V for 10 years which I absolutely loved for the mid size and easy parking. When it recently became time to look for a car for the next phase of my life, I thought I would get another Honda, but was actually blown away by how much I loved the Toyota options. The Rav-4 was the obvious choice that would be similar to my old CR-V. Upon test driving however, I actually ended up falling in love with and getting the Toyota Highlander. Now that I have had it 6 months, I am so glad I ended up going with the Highlander over the Rav-4. While at first I thought it was way too big and not quite as sporty, the driver cabin seemed so much more roomy and luxurious compared to the Rav-4, and I quickly got used to driving the bit larger size car (I’m a petite 5, 4” haha!). The nice thing about the Highlander is that it’s known for driving much more smoothly than any other vehicle in its size class (Not truck like/big SUV at all! Rides more like a car with the engine power of an SUV). My mom drives a Volvo mid-size SUV and I honestly think the Highlander offers just as nice of a ride. With the longevity of Toyota, I plan to keep this car for several years and the slightly larger size than the Rav-4 at least gives me the option of keeping it through the next phase of life after getting married and eventually starting a family. I love that I can drive two other couples in addition to my fiancé and I if I want that option and I believe the captain style chairs in the second row are much more comfortable for guests than the bench seat I would have had in the Rav-4. I don’t think you can go wrong with the Rav-4 or Highlander, just wanted to share my process since my initial thoughts changed and I am LOVING my Highlander :) how exciting that you are looking, so fun!!

Anonymous said...

Had a Rover. So many problems. Expensive ones, at that. Toyed with the Mazda CX-30 & the RAV4. Got the Mazda. Sleek. A bit less utilitarian than Toyota and so much more fun to drive. Haven't looked back. Like you, I have better things to stress over than a car & the cost or repairs. Good luck and let us know what you settle on. - KLV in PHL

Ciara said...

You could also go with the Audi Q3. Audi is a Volkswagen company, the Q3 is the same as the Tiguan underneath, just with slightly differing fascia and interior. Many luxury car companies have “junior” brands (ex: Lexus is a luxury Toyota, Infiniti is a luxury Nissan, Cadillac is a luxury GMC, and a GMC is a more luxurious Chevy) where it’s essentially the same car underneath but the luxury model has more updates. If you find a car you like the size of but don’t like the color combos, check out that brands luxury or junior equivalent that will be the same size but have different options.

I don’t know when I became a car person who knows this stuff 😂

Unknown said...

I have a Lincoln MKC which is basically the same as the Corsair. I really love it! Mine has the tan interior and it is great also!

Anonymous said...

I'm obsessed with my Rav-4. I also have the Limited, and love all of the features: sun roof, heated seats, etc. Everything is so easy, and I never have any problems! I have the white with tan interior as well.

Ann@Virginiarosa said...

Sidney, please do yourself a large favor. Pick a MB, and you will never look back! Do not focus so much on size. All of us will be driving more in the future. The service you will receive will be the best. It is a buyer's market! Go for it!

Sara said...

Lexus RX350!

Anonymous said...

I drive the Lexus NX with tan interior (it does have some black trim, but is mostly tan) and sunroof. The NX is their smallest SUV and I love it! It has all the features you described... heating/cooling seats, garage door programmed, Bluetooth, etc. I love it!! My first car was a Passat and then I had a three series BMW and finally a BMW X3. My X3 and Lexus NX have been my faves over the sedans. I love having the big trunk and feeling a little bit higher off the ground. Plus, when the time comes it will fit car seats and stroller in the trunk. Good luck!

Elizabeth said...

So I am kind of the opposite, I have an all black Tahoe that I love and is my baby haha! But of the cars you listed I would look most at either the Volvo or RAV4. My family has had both brands and they were extremely reliable cars that had few to zero issues over the years. Would DEF steer away (lol) from anything Land Rover. My Aunt and my college roommate both were Range Rover loyalists, and I never understood why because they were constantly having (expensive) problems. My strategy when car shopping is I try to think what cars do I see a lot of older models of on the road? That should mean they hold up well and are classic. Have you considered a Jeep Grand Cherokee? Great size, classic car, and I know they offer light interiors!

Anonymous said...

I drive the Lexus NX with tan interior (it does have some black trim, but is mostly tan) and sunroof. The NX is their smallest SUV and I love it! It has all the features you described... heating/cooling seats, garage door programmed, Bluetooth, etc. I love it!! My first car was a Passat and then I had a three series BMW and finally a BMW X3. My X3 and Lexus NX have been my faves over the sedans. I love having the big trunk and feeling a little bit higher off the ground. Plus, when the time comes it will fit car seats and stroller in the trunk. Good luck!

Anonymous said...

Can't speak to an SUV but as someone who purchased a certified pre-owned VW, I'm thinking you might be able to find the color combination you're looking for in a different year without compromising on the features you want! My understanding is that VW commonly sells cars that have been leased for about 2 years and in many cases the differences between the current year's model and the 2 year old model is practically nonexistent (though I'm sure this varies based on which year, model, etc.). I've also found VW's pre-owned vehicle program to be very competitive in terms of what is covered. I've had my car for 8 years and just recently had a pricey part replaced free of charge because it was part of the pre-owned warranty. Everyone I've told that to (who knows way more about cars than I do!) was amazed at this level coverage given how long it had been since the car was purchased from them. Might be worth looking into, best of luck!

Anonymous said...

I love the Jeep Grand Cherokee! It is the perfect size for me.

It has tons of trim options and it definitely has a light interior trim color. I’m partial to black, but I have had a light interior a few cars ago.

Anonymous said...

Have you looked into the CX-5? I absolutely LOVE mine.. just the right amount of space and so fun to drive. I have the "parchment" leather interior.. it has a black dashboard but the ceiling is light! Definitely do not envy you.. car shopping is not fun!

Lerica said...

I’ve had the tiguan in the past and absolutely loved it, but I can understand the all black interior is a deal breaker. I love the Audi Q3. It’s pretty much the same size as the tiguan and you can always upgrade to the q5 if you need more room.

Matthew and Elyse said...

Have you checked out the Honda Fit? I know it looks small, but I’ve hauled furniture in it, moved cross country in it, and done the Saturday soccer/hike/shopping/groceries run in it with no problems.

Amanda said...

I have an Audi Q5 and I told my husband he never has to buy me another car because I love it so much! It drives sporty, is roomy and is just gorgeous. I live in the city (Chicago) and we needed something small enough for the city but large enough for our dog and future kids. And this was the best decision we could have made. I think it can come with tan interior (mine is black) but either way it’s worth looking into. Good luck!

ESL said...

I have the 2019 RAV4 and love it for the most part except the noise when driving. I had the previous model and it was much quieter inside! But the new model is so much better looking.

Andra said...

I highly recommend a Honda CRV or a Hyundai Tuscon. I own a Santa Fe which is bigger than the Tuscon and it's fantastic. I took six months last year and researched for an SUV. I was almost sold on a Toyota Highlander and then went to look at the Hyundai and purchased it instead. You will get a lot of bang for your buck and it's super reliable. I have driven Honda's in the past and could not have been happier with them. Either one would serve you well. Happy Shopping!

Anonymous said...

I drive a 2010 Acura RDX that I bought used 5 years ago. I love it. It's so reliable and drives well. My husband drives a 2013 MDX which is bigger (not what you are looking for). Acura is made by Honda so it's a well made car that lasts forever. I had a 1999 Lexus RX300 (bought used in 2001) which was nice but very expensive to repair. I drove the Lexus for 15 years. My first car was a VW Rabbit and my parents had a Beetle so I understand the love for VW.

Anonymous said...

I drive a 2010 Acura RDX that I bought used 5 years ago. I love it. It's so reliable and drives well. My husband drives a 2013 MDX which is bigger (not what you are looking for). Acura is made by Honda so it's a well made car that lasts forever. I had a 1999 Lexus RX300 (bought used in 2001) which was nice but very expensive to repair. I drove the Lexus for 15 years. My first car was a VW Rabbit and my parents had a Beetle so I understand the love for VW.

Lu said...

I drive a 2019 Acura RDX. I dove an Acura MDX before. I really like both models of the Acura Suv's. They are reliable. I never had any trouble with either. I like the RDX a lot but the MDX is a larger version and if you need space especially in the trunk area, it is a better choice.. However, the RDX is a get vehicle for everyday use.

Anonymous said...

The exterior color of a car is more important to me than the interior but above all, safety and reliability were my priorities, not the look or color. I did extensive research this past Fall and ended up with a Subaru Forester which I LOVE. Couldn't be happier. Several of the SUVs you list above are actually luxury SUVs and do come with a price tag to match. So unless you are willing to spend the money on luxury, which as you said above is not so important to you, i'd go with the safest and most reliable option you can find.

Maitland said...

My family has a fleet of small SUVs! I have a Jeep Liberty that I love and I hate that they're discontinued. So, I thought I would love my mom's grand cherokee, but I actually hate how it drives, the angle of the front windshield, and the way the seats feel. My stepfather has an RDX and though I haven't driven it as much as I've driven my mom's I like it significantly better. My sister also just convinced my grandmother to get the small infiniti and she seems to like it. She had a jaguar before and it kept breaking. My husband's family has had just about every BMW model and I've enjoyed driving all of them. My mother in law usually buys them used.

Elizabeth said...

I bought a new Tiguan two weeks ago and it has a light colored interior roof! I do have black leather seats so maybe that's the package? The full moon roof really helps lighten it up too. Similar to you I was going from a full size sedan to a SUV and found that it is easier to drive in the city since my old car was the same length anyways. It's only been a couple weeks but I love it already!

 

© Summer Wind Blog 2017 / site design by kiki and co. / disclosure