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Discussion Starter #1
Looking at suv models /specs on offer, HRV and others.

For a cost conscious buyer (20k for me would pretty much be the limit) the HRV has some serious work to do to attract a buyer over competitors' offerings,

Not driven, or even examined either the HRV or others. However, looking at the spec. for a 6 speed auto turbo petrol Vitara, comparing to a similar priced auto HRV, the Suzuki would appear to win by a country mile.

We know manufactures seek to increase market share. Assuming the HRV is an altogether first class/desirable vehicle ( a Honda main dealer salesman told me the petrol auto HRV was flawed in that guise), Is the Vitara so inferior to turn a prospective buyer to the HRV ?
 

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Depends what you want it for. As you're up North, albeit in a flat part of the country, I'm guessing maybe for winter?

Personally out of the two, I'd buy the Vitara 1.5 Boosterjet (which you could get for less at discount) every time. I reckon I could get one brand new for around £18.5K at discount.

The Honda has a higher quality interior with soft plastics. The Vitara ones are hard and scratchy although it's still a nice interior to be in - I actually prefer the Vitara when sat inside although I admit the plastics are far nicer in the Honda. (I've both sat in and test driven the boosterjet and was impressed with the way it drove). The Vitara is roomy with a big boot, and with 4WD and 140bhp, it's both lively and a good bet for winter (it has multi-mode 4WD, a diff lock and even a hill descent mode). By contrast the HRV has a 1.6 turbo diesel with 2WD and inferior performance. A friend of mine has a 1.5 boosterjet and reports she gets around 42mpg around town - quite close to the 45mpg claimed. Don't even consider the 1,6 petrol or diesel btw. The Boosterjet is considered the best model.

Another car to consider is the Mazda CX3 4WD version (might push your budget unless you get a good deal or nearly new).

Other options that spring to mind:

- Jeep Renegade - all but unstoppable off road - reportedly on a par with a Discovery alebit it allegedly doesn't drive as well on road as a less competent off roader - you'd probably be looking at a nearly new Jeep as the high spec 4WD models (the Trailhawk is surprisingly reported by many to be the best of the on road 4WD versions) are expensive new

- Seat Ateca - again probably looking 2nd hand unless you get a very good deal- personally not a fan of the looks

- VW Tiguan - again 2nd hand for a 4 motion, very good 4WD and new model is very nice albeit large and expensive now

- the New 2018 Hyundai Kona (turning a few heads apparently not least because its 175bhp) and very nicely styled.

- Toyota CXR - Again would need to be 2nd hand. I've driven the non hybrid 2WD, and personally I found it gutless and compromised in so many areas (boot is tiny, cabin is dark etc etc) so I wouldn't recommend one.

- Skoda Yeti - Square grand dad's box on wheels, nothing more to say really. If you're 80 you'll probably love it.

It's worth remembering Car Wow and other similar websites can often get £thousands off list and I know for a fact there's an updated CX3on the way meaning that even dealers will be discounting the 2017 CX3 model. Car Wow also have lots of review videos online which personally I've found to be quite honest. That said, I've never used Car Wow.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the input! For the type of vehicle in mind, the Vitara does appear to make a strong case for itself.

From a utility point of view, (the midlands winters are pretty tame) 4wd is'nt really a big requirement, although there are more isolated locations in this area where it could prove a useful investment.

Part of the attraction of the suv is also the easy getting in and out (quick to dismiss the Yeti-not reached age group:smile3:) Also typically being a reasonable size, can offer plenty of passenger and boot space
 

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If you disregard 4WD, then I'd certainly throw the HRV back in the mix. Hondas are good cars and nothing wrong with the HRV except the lower performance and lack of 4WD.

You can also throw a whole host of other cars in there if what you're looking for is a an SUV in style rather than substance. Virtually any crossover will give you what you're looking for if it's simply a higher driving position or a car that's easier to get in and out of.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Probably looking to change next autumn, still approx. 12 months away.

With masses of 'tech thrown into new models, potentially there's greater chance then ever for issues/niggles to surface.

We've all heard/read and some of us experienced issues where the vehicle becomes more trouble than it's worth. A bit negative I know, but once you've been there (I have) it has relevence.

Have high regard for Honda design and reliability ( 5 cars and loads of bikes owned). All been good including our Civic auto with 100k miles on the clock. Expect it will be the HRV, or if not another Honda 5 door auto.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
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Discussion Starter #9
rx400h isn't expensive at all nor is the Rx450h second hand.

Theyre bullet proof too
'14 plate 450h's are coming in at 23-26k on Autotrader. A bit too steep for me. The 400h's appear to finish on '09 plates. The price's are affordable though. Not sure the 3 litre + engines would thank me for our typical 2 to 6 mile journey cycles. Might just get the water in the rad. warm !
 

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'14 plate 450h's are coming in at 23-26k on Autotrader. A bit too steep for me. The 400h's appear to finish on '09 plates. The price's are affordable though. Not sure the 3 litre + engines would thank me for our typical 2 to 6 mile journey cycles. Might just get the water in the rad. warm !
So go got a slightly older plate then. As i said they set the benchmark for reliability in the industry so higher mileage or older cars wont be a gamble.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
So go got a slightly older plate then. As i said they set the benchmark for reliability in the industry so higher mileage or older cars wont be a gamble.
Thanks for the advice, it's a new or nearly new vehicle I'll be looking for.
 

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My advice at this stage is take a few test drives.

It's the only way to determine what you like. Also look at running costs, whereas Lexus are not too expensive 2nd hand, items such as servicing and spares can be very expensive (same with brands like Mercedes and Audi). If your budget is around £20k then I'm guessing you don't have a lot of money to throw around.

Lexus servicing costs are here: https://www.lexus.co.uk/owners/servicing-and-maintenance/#

As you can probably see, the usual service costs £500 and a 60K service £750!

These are things to bear in mind, especially because if servicing is expensive and parts are, it's going to be expensive to keep. eg On an Audi Q3, Clutch, £900! Transmission Oil change £200!
 

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Discussion Starter #14
My advice at this stage is take a few test drives.

It's the only way to determine what you like. Also look at running costs, whereas Lexus are not too expensive 2nd hand, items such as servicing and spares can be very expensive (same with brands like Mercedes and Audi). If your budget is around £20k then I'm guessing you don't have a lot of money to throw around.

Lexus servicing costs are here: https://www.lexus.co.uk/owners/servicing-and-maintenance/#

As you can probably see, the usual service costs £500 and a 60K service £750!

These are things to bear in mind, especially because if servicing is expensive and parts are, it's going to be expensive to keep. eg On an Audi Q3, Clutch, £900! Transmission Oil change £200!
All relevent ! Luckily not going to have to make any decisions till later next year. Because auto box and petrol are on the tick box list plus shortish daily journeys, I'd say the Suzuki or Mazda offerings warrant some interest. Like the look of the HRV but the car is'nt cheap compared to the above.

True to say a test drive needed on all of them before forming any opinions. Also, in the real world sometimes when a 'good deal' comes along that too can sway between one make and another.
 

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Personally, I don't put too much weight on auto boxes. I've had manuals and an auto (Toyota Camry) and my observations have been:

1. Autos are great around town and for hill starts, although the latter is no longer an advantage given most electronic handbrakes have auto hold on hills

2. With an auto, I find you miss a manual. On the one hand their lazy and relaxed, on the other, you find over a period of time, you miss stirring stick (at least I did).

3. Auto is a lot less reliable than manual and more prone to wear - the auto box I had failed and it was £1,600 to repair it around 10 years ago! I actually sold the car cheaply as being in need of repair. Never had a manual box fail or even wear to a noticeable amount in the 33 years I've been driving. I have also heard of a lot of others with auto box failure. Therefore for me personally, an auto is something best avoided as a private motorist. Company car drivers probably won't worry so much as maintenance costs aren't their concern.

I my opinion, the only reason we're seeing more auto boxes is because it helps manufacturers meet emission targets as the boxes can change gear faster minimising the period of high emissions whilst the car is in neutral between changes and also, auto boxes can be programmed to short change, minimising revs and emissions in non performance driving. Just my opinions.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Better half insists on an auto, and she's the main driver. Personally I prefer a manual, although true to say occasionally can get a little wearying in extended town driving.

The auto box cars owned to date have been 100% reliable gearbox wise - 200k, 108k, 90k mercs and our Honda with 102k miles. Work colleague ran a focus auto with 180k miles. I suspect the nature of an auto box allows the drive train a less stressful life than the average manual box car.

True to say if I had a bad/broken one with ongoing expensive repairs It might cause me to form a different opinion.
 
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