Automotive

SUV common issues by make

  • Last Updated:
  • Feb 23rd, 2021 4:07 pm
[OP]
Sr. Member
Sep 29, 2007
664 posts
179 upvotes

SUV common issues by make

We are looking for SUV around $16 to $18k, I was hoping to get a cheat sheet on some of the common issues/red flags for each of the companies in the market. For this price range would be targeting SUV’s 2014 to 2017 at around 130,000KM or lower. This would be compact or midsize. I think this would be useful as it is a common question and difficult to find this information in make/model specific threads

Toyota
-2019/2020 2.5liter seems to have an issue and is under recall, however seems no problems in range I'm looking at

Ford/Lincoln
-3.5 and 3.7l engines have integral water pump requiring engine out to replace ($2500 job)
-PTU on AWD versions do not have drain plug and eventually fry the transmission
-avoid 1.5 and 1.6l ecoboost

Subaru
-expensive to fix
-head gasket issue fixed? (plagued 2003 to ?? engines)

Hyundai/Kia
-As per MarketPlace report, engine fires plague both. Is this all engines?

Acura/Lexus
-no known issues but likely out of price range

Mazda
-possible rust issues, have they been solved?
-infotainment abit weak

Honda
-oil dilution issues on 1.5turbo

Chevy/GMC
-generally heavier, worse fuel mileage, dated tech but reliable?

Dodge/Mitsubishi/Nissan/VW
-lol
Last edited by retireat50 on Feb 22nd, 2021 4:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.
17 replies
Sr. Member
Oct 21, 2006
593 posts
356 upvotes
toyota rav4 = cheap to buy, cheap to own. It looks to be perfectly within your price range also.
Deal Guru
Dec 23, 2003
14910 posts
3302 upvotes
Toronto
This will be a long pointless thread as every vehicle has problems. You have done next to no personal effort and want things spoonfed to you. It would be better served if you narrow down to the 3 that make your shortlist and go from there.

Have a look at some sites like https://www.autotrader.ca/expert/used-car-reviews/ or https://www.edmunds.com/used-car-ratings/

$16K to $18K budget might be tough given that the avg SUV is around $40K or thereabouts (excluding luxury). A Toyota Rav 4 will easily go towards $20K for 4 years old and 80K. Your best bang for the buck is a used American SUV like an Equinox that depreciates the most in 3 years and then you pay to fix the issues.

Rav 4 used reviews: https://www.autotrader.ca/expert/201710 ... 2013-2017/

Equinox used reviews: https://www.online.cars/blog/7-years-to ... y-equinox/
Last edited by hightech on Feb 22nd, 2021 5:05 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Feb 19, 2021
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Jigsaw wrote: toyota rav4 = cheap to buy, cheap to own. It looks to be perfectly within your price range also.
Go with 2011-2012 (Gen 3) or skip the busy transmission of 2013ish & look at a 2015 (drive it on hwy).

Honda has oil dilution of 1.5L turbo obviously, but gen 3 rav4 proved itself. For $16,000-$18,000 a pristine 2011 or 2012 V6 with 100,000 km is doable.

Its a toyota, you will quit on it before it quits.
[OP]
Sr. Member
Sep 29, 2007
664 posts
179 upvotes
hightech wrote: This will be a long pointless thread as every vehicle has problems. You have done next to no personal effort and want things spoonfed to you. It would be better served if you narrow down to the 3 that make your shortlist and go from there.

Have a look at some sites like https://www.autotrader.ca/expert/used-car-reviews/ or https://www.edmunds.com/used-car-ratings/

$16K to $18K budget might be tough given that the avg SUV is around $40K or thereabouts (excluding luxury). A Toyota Rav 4 will easily go towards $20K for 4 years old and 80K. Your best bang for the buck is a used American SUV like an Equinox that depreciates the most in 3 years and then you pay to fix the issues.

Rav 4 used reviews: https://www.autotrader.ca/expert/201710 ... 2013-2017/

Equinox used reviews: https://www.online.cars/blog/7-years-to ... y-equinox/
No thanks. Edmunds just gives a rating with no actual info. Autotrader - check Ford Edge and zero mention of the PTU issue which is well known on all Ford AWD's
Deal Guru
Dec 23, 2003
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retireat50 wrote: No thanks. Edmunds just gives a rating with no actual info. Autotrader - check Ford Edge and zero mention of the PTU issue which is well known on all Ford AWD's
So what are the vehicles you have picked out? You expect RFDers to list EVERY issue of every SUV out there? Did you search the forum for SUV suggestions as there are TONS of threads about this. Alternatively, if you have library Membership, you can get access to consumer reports for free and they break down the SUV's by year and the issues that come up.
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[OP]
Sr. Member
Sep 29, 2007
664 posts
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hightech wrote: So what are the vehicles you have picked out? You expect RFDers to list EVERY issue of every SUV out there? Did you search the forum for SUV suggestions as there are TONS of threads about this. Alternatively, if you have library Membership, you can get access to consumer reports for free and they break down the SUV's by year and the issues that come up.
Totally agnostic towards brands. No have not narrowed down at all....just want reliable within price range. I do have Lemonaid guide for last year published, I personally prefer multiple data points before making a decision.
Deal Guru
Dec 23, 2003
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retireat50 wrote: Totally agnostic towards brands. No have not narrowed down at all....just want reliable within price range. I do have Lemonaid guide for last year published, I personally prefer multiple data points before making a decision.
Being a Toyota owner since 2002, I am partial to the Rav 4 or Highlander. They are not cheap, but they are pretty well regarded by a majority of places. I would suggest looking at models in the LAST year before the model refresh as those are the ones that have all the fixes that the manufacturer has found in previous years in that generation. The first year of a new model always has the most issues.

Also, try to look for a NON-Direct Injection as those engines will need to get professionally walnut shell blasted cleaned if the previous owners didn't maintain them correctly. Port Injection or hybrid versions that do port and direct (i.e. newer toyota engines) are pretty solid.
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Sr. Member
Jan 7, 2006
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retireat50 wrote: We are looking for SUV around $16 to $18k, I was hoping to get a cheat sheet on some of the common issues/red flags for each of the companies in the market. For this price range would be targeting SUV’s 2014 to 2017 at around 130,000KM or lower. This would be compact or midsize. I think this would be useful as it is a common question and difficult to find this information in make/model specific threads


Subaru
-expensive to fix
-head gasket issue fixed? (plagued 2003 to ?? engines)
I think the 2.5 non turbo head gasket issue was addressed in 2011 models up. I have a 2015 Outback with the 2.5 and 165k, no major issues except a catalytic converter recall which was free. I got the car used at 30k. You can easily get a 2016-2017 Outback for under $20k with lower km than you listed.

And why is it expensive to fix? I hear this often from non owners... anything is expensive to fix at the dealer. But brakes/rotors, fluids, spark plugs/ignition coils, belts etc are around the same price of a similar size car. Of course rotors for a base 2002 civic can be $14 because they're tiny, the cheapest china made Outback front rotor is around $80 due to more material.

I've had 2 subaru's and none have been more or less to fix than any normal car in the same class.
Last edited by Kevin711 on Feb 22nd, 2021 5:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Deal Fanatic
Sep 1, 2004
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retireat50 wrote: Totally agnostic towards brands. No have not narrowed down at all....just want reliable within price range. I do have Lemonaid guide for last year published, I personally prefer multiple data points before making a decision.
If reliability is your key metric, you can't go wrong with a RAV4.

Everything will have problems, just brands with least chance to hit it.
Deal Fanatic
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Nov 4, 2008
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Lets be honest though, I dont think you're going to find a current gen rav4 for that price. you're probably looking at a previous gen
When given enough time, all threads on RFD can and will go off on a tangent.
Deal Addict
May 30, 2012
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The red flag is your budget
Newbie
Feb 19, 2021
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iownyou wrote: The red flag is your budget
Voted up because there's truth here. But it is possible to buy a solid used car. If you want reliability, you have to go for a well-known brand, model, mileage & condition. And even then, there can be surprises.

Read 1-star Edmunds reviews on the 2014 Ford Edge vs 2012 Rav4 and you will see the difference: Some Ford customers are mad as hell that shit is breaking on their car; the Rav4 owners are mad as hell the ride is stiff and seats are uncomfortable.
Deal Addict
Feb 16, 2006
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Go to this website and click on the issues to expand the information.

Of course there will be less reports for newer cars than older models. There will also be more complaints for models that sell in high volumes. That is something YOU will have to weigh.

https://www.carcomplaints.com/

for example: Lets look at the Chev Traverse.

https://www.carcomplaints.com/Chevrolet/Traverse/

I had a 2010. I can tell you it was troublesome, oh was it rorublesome, but a great vehicle for the long trips I took for business. They sorted out a lot of the issues after 2012 and it shows here. If I had bought a 2013 I might have bought another.

Go through the models you are interested in year by year and you will note patterns as issues pop up or are solved.

.
Deal Fanatic
Aug 4, 2005
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Brampton
Toyota RAV4 could squeeze in a 2016-2017 refresh at that price.
Deal Addict
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Oct 12, 2007
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retireat50 wrote: No thanks. Edmunds just gives a rating with no actual info. Autotrader - check Ford Edge and zero mention of the PTU issue which is well known on all Ford AWD's
You ask for info, somebody gives you what you exactly what you request and you discredit what they give?
Sr. Member
Jun 4, 2020
524 posts
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Clarington, ON
RFD hates the cvt, but I love my 2nd gen Nissan Rogue and have not been to the shop for anything I don't consider to be wear items (brakes tires)
Jr. Member
Mar 3, 2019
139 posts
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Common issue is they mostly share the same shape and driving dynamics and claim to be the best most practical way to move your family - which it isn't.

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