Home » Here Are The Cars That Might Replace The Subaru I Regret Buying New

Here Are The Cars That Might Replace The Subaru I Regret Buying New

Matt Decides Subaru Ts2
ADVERTISEMENT

It has now been well-established that I have some regrets about buying a new Subaru Forester back in 2016, mostly predicated on the realization that my annual expenditures for the car somehow exceed what I spend to keep my 20-year-old high-mileage BMW running. My Subaru is disproportionately expensive to maintain, not particularly efficient, and brings me very little joy.

Love is what makes a Subaru a Subaru for, oh, say the first 15,000 miles. Then a constant, Ship of Theseus-like replacement of parts is what makes a Subaru a Subaru. That and little surprises, like headlights that fail faster than Taylor Swift can put out albums and wheel lug studs that break with a Harvey Korman-like frequency.

Vidframe Min Top
Vidframe Min Bottom

But it’s also paid off. The Subaru is fine. It’s largely disappointing, but it’s fine. It does what I need it to do and it always gets me where I need to go. It’s also right-sized for my one-and-done kid situation. The best car is one that you don’t have to pay for every month. With interest rates still high, why am I in such a hurry to get something new?

Because I love cars and I’ll always spend just a little extra to have a better car. While my E39 BMW makes me very happy, I also drive new cars for a living and there are just too many good cars out there for me to ignore. Here’s what I’m considering right now and the pros and cons of each.

Ford Maverick Hybrid – $34,085

Ford Maverick HybridI got a great deal on my Forester because it was the old model year and it’s going to hurt to spend more than $25k, but I think my Forester can probably fetch $10k or better, so that brings my net cost back down to $24,000 if I can get decent financing.

ADVERTISEMENT

As a Texan, I want a truck. As a semi-rational human who lives in an apartment at the edge of New York City with no regular place to plug in an electric car or PHEV I want a regular ol’ hybrid. My options are fairly limited in this regard as the Tacoma hybrids are a little more truck than I need and the hybrid F-150 is a little big. The Maverick Hybrid is just about perfect.

Like many human beings with a functional brain and a romantic heart, I love the Ford Maverick. it returns almost 40 MPG in the city, where I’ll mostly drive it. It’s just trucky enough to do truck things, but it’s also basically a Bronco Sport/Escape underneath, so it’s comfortable enough to live a normal life. I’ve even driven my family around in one and they like it, though not as much as I do.

I’ve built one online and a blue XLT with the luxury package (heated seats), bed organizer, and tri-fold tonneau cover is just $34,085 MSRP with destination and everything else included. I know Mavericks have been going above the MSRP, but … I know a guy.

Pros of a Maverick Hybrid:

  • Nearly double the city MPG, which is where it gets driven.
  • Theoretically more robust than a Forester.
  • A truck bed for camping and moving stuff and the Tractor Supply Co. life I want to live.
  • It looks awesome.
  • It’s a truck.
  • Fords are historically cheap to keep running.

Cons of a Maverick Hybrid:

ADVERTISEMENT
  • It’s a little smaller inside than the Forester.
  • I’m basically going to have to use the truck bed as a trunk, because kid stuff.
  • It’s only FWD and it does snow here, though this is part of my secret plan to buy a set of the cool steel wheels and rock those with winter tires.
  • Family likes it, but doesn’t love it.

Toyota Corolla Cross Hybrid – $33,255

Toyota Corolla Cross Hybrid 3 Of 7 1024x689 Crop

Of the cars I’ve driven recently that I could imagine owning, the Corolla Cross Hybrid was a surprise. While I think the vehicle looks fairly anonymous in the way that most Toyotas have, I thought it did everything well.

On my commute back-and-forth from school and groceries, I barely used the gas motor. Sure, it has a CVT, but it also supplements it with a rear-mounted electric motor that helps overcome the usual CVT sluggishness. I liked it. Nothing about the way it performed or handled was any worse or any better than the Forester. It’s also about 30 cubic feet smaller inside than my Forester.

All of those are issues, of course, but it has one big thing going for it: It’s a Toyota. If my biggest gripe with my Subaru is that I’m constantly having to spend money on it, that’s the one place where Toyota historically does better than almost anyone else. It doesn’t eat tires, brakes, batteries, or anything else. It just keeps going with minor, infrequent maintenance.

Pros of a Corolla Cross Hybrid:

  • Better MPG than the Forester in every situation.
  • I can get it in two-tone so I don’t keep losing my own damn car in the parking lot.
  • It’s a Toyota.
  • Even a nicely spec’d one is relatively cheap.
  • It has a storage area.
  • AWD.

Cons of a Corolla Cross Hybrid:

ADVERTISEMENT
  • It’s smaller than the Forester inside.
  • My family does not remember driving around in it.
  • It’s hard to find one for MSRP.
  • It lacks a certain pizzazz.

Kia Carnival Hybrid – $38,995 (est)

21810 2025 Carnival Hev 1024x683 Crop

 

If you asked my family today what our next car should be, they’d definitely say the Kia Carnival. We road-tripped one to Michigan and it was a comfortable delight. I only have one kid and zero dogs, but my daughter has friends and we have grandparents/et cetera so there’s something nice about being able to move everyone if necessary.

Even better, Kia is coming out with a hybrid soon. This means that I can have my cake and eat it, too. I think. There’s a lot of information lacking right now about the system, so I’m making a few big guesses here and assuming it costs about $38k for a lower-trim model and should return 33 mpg city/highway, which is still better than my much smaller Forester.

Pros of a Kia Carnival Hybrid:

ADVERTISEMENT
  • Better MPG than the Forester, probably.
  • It’s way bigger inside with room for eight people.
  • It looks cool.
  • It’s a minivan, so I get sliding doors.
  • The smugness of being a dad cool enough to drive a minivan.

Cons of a Kia Carnival Hybrid:

  • It’s bigger than my Forester.
  • It’s the most expensive thing I’m looking at right now.
  • Kia has a decent cost of ownership, but maybe I’m setting myself up for disappointment again?
  • I will probably have to pick up more people from the airport.

Wildcard: 2024 Jaguar F-Pace Type SVR – $96,523

Recents 1 Of 1 1024x664 Crop

This thing rules. It’s probably the last time you’re going to be able to buy an English car with a big, 550-horsepower supercharged V8. Let alone a big ol’ crossover/SUV thing. Not only that, you’ll probably never get one that looks this good.

Why did I ask to borrow this car? Because they’d let me. Sometimes I just drive cars because I’m excited about driving cars. If you can’t get excited about this thing I don’t think we’re going to have a lot to talk about.

It sounds fantastic. It snarls. It growls. It pops. It’s also engineered to let you drive faster than you want without killing yourself, even if it’s super snowy and slushy outside as when I had it. Is it comfortable? Hell yeah it’s comfortable. My daughter didn’t want to get out of it. Here’s her hugging the car:

ADVERTISEMENT

Recents 1 Of 1 (1)

Bad news, kid, it also costs more than every other car I’ve ever owned combined.

Pros of a Jaguar F-Pace SVR:

  • Looks rad as hell.
  • Is loud.
  • Is comfortable.
  • Drives better than most cars.
  • Will never get lost in a parking lot.

Cons of a Jaguar F-Pace SVR:

  • My daughter better get good at fencing, because I can’t pay for college if I buy it.
  • Is way less efficient than my Forester.
  • I’ll live in constant fear of hurting it.

Conclusion

If it were up to me I’d buy a Maverick, although I’m holding out for an AWD one to be announced with a motor for the rear axle. If it were up to my family I’d get the Carnival. Is the Corolla Cross the best compromise?

ADVERTISEMENT

I’m open to your ideas here. Let me know what I should do.

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on whatsapp
WhatsApp
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
Share on reddit
Reddit
Subscribe
Notify of
211 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Strangek
Strangek
24 days ago

Get the van, make your family happy. You’ve got other cool shit to drive anyway.

Mike
Mike
24 days ago

Smart kiddo, Matt.

Fix It Again Tony
Fix It Again Tony
24 days ago

Get the Maverick/Kia so you can write about all the recalls and repairs. No good writing material if you get the Toyota.

Njd
Njd
23 days ago

I keep needing to remind myself that the Maverick hybrid has had a lot of recalls. I have the ecoboost and I’ve gotten notice of exactly one recall, which is some turn signal software thing that I don’t care about at all

Mr Sarcastic
Mr Sarcastic
24 days ago

Sorry Matt if you buy a car on the list it will be the Carnival. Be honest you are driving all kinds of cars your partner is driving and deciding the family car. You have no vote especially after the SUBuru failure. It has Sub as in lesser in the name.
Now as far as the hey I own a thesaurus it could be funny if it wasn’t used in every article. Hear a joke once funny, but everything you hear it, it losses humor.

Elons Backdoor Musk
Elons Backdoor Musk
24 days ago

I love my Carnival. It’s a road trip beast. I’ve driven from here in Nova Scotia, down the east coast of the US to Boston, up to upstate New York, to Toronto and then back through Ontario, Quebec and New Brunswick to home with my wife and two kids.

It’s comfortable, spacious, smooth and can get pretty good MPG with cruise on the highway.

I have a tow hitch and I’ll be using it to tow an aluminum 18 foot camper this season too!

I don’t know if I’ll ever not own a minivan again.

Last edited 24 days ago by Elons Backdoor Musk
That guy
That guy
24 days ago

No. The compromise car that nobody loves is not the answer. Not for someone who cares about cars like you. There are other options though if you can’t make the maverick work for y’all.

Mark V Arnold
Mark V Arnold
24 days ago

Here’s my pitch: Get a white Maverick and have Galpin turn it into an Olympic Sprint edition with the ’72 colorway.

Scott Ross
Scott Ross
24 days ago

Im for the Maverick, how is the dealer supply right now?

DONALD FOLEY
DONALD FOLEY
24 days ago

The Toyota will be too small, the Kia too large. The Jaguar is just crazy. That leaves you with the Maverick. When you need a trunk, make it fun by driving your BMW.

Manwich Sandwich
Manwich Sandwich
24 days ago

If it was me picking from one of these three, I’d go with the Corolla Cross hybrid. But if you need more space than that, get the minivan… either the Carnival or the Toyota Sienna.

Njd
Njd
24 days ago

I love having a Maverick but if I lived in an apartment I think the bed would be wasted potential most of the time.

Jon Wilson
Jon Wilson
24 days ago

If you want low maintenance costs and a low entry price and AWD go with a used EV. You can get AWD Kia EV6 or Hyundai IONIQ 5 in the low $20k range without a ton of miles. If you want something super quick get an EV6 GT which you can get in the $30k range (MSRP 1 year ago over $60k). If you are morally suspect you can of course get a used Tesla.

Dumb Shadetree
Dumb Shadetree
24 days ago

Sorry bud, you’re a parent. I was planning to buy a Maverick hybrid as my next car. It would be an excellent replacement for the hatchback that I [ab]use as a tiny truck. But with a baby on the way, I just can’t pull the trigger and ended up with a RAV4 hybrid as our family car. You don’t want to have to use the truck bed as a trunk. Tonneau covers leak sometimes in the rain. Road trips are more awesome when you can ask the back seat passengers to reach over the seat and grab something from the cooler. I’m afraid an SUV, minivan, or wagon is more practical than a truck.

Forbestheweirdo
Forbestheweirdo
24 days ago

Late to the party here but why the carnival over the sienna? Hard to beat a Toyota hybrid and having had one as a rental for a week last year I tried to talk my wife into it. Excellent vans all around

Robot Turds
Robot Turds
24 days ago

Two of the cars you mentioned are probably going to wind up being a lot WORSE than your Subaru. Both the Kia and the Jag. Kia these days seems to have serious issues with their engines- like burning shit tons of oil. The Jag? Its British. It will have problems. Lots of them. The Toyota will run and run reliably with no problems until you get bored with it. The Ford? I dunno… They too have been having lots of problems. So there is your answer. Get the Toyota.

Scott McAfee
Scott McAfee
24 days ago

Don’t listen to the people who have never owned a truck tell you not to get a truck. Today’s trucks are hugely more than a work vehicle; comfortable, capable and excellent to drive. I bought my first F150 after a succession of luxury vehicles and would never buy anything other than a truck from now on. The Maverick, or even the Honda Ridgeline are extraordinary vehicles in that they provide all the utility and joy of a truck with the sensibility and responsibility of the soulless urban transport appliances like those folks drive.

05LGT
05LGT
24 days ago

My house has a Subaru and a TMC car. My work friend has a Kia Hybrid that he eventually sold back as a lemon. Most of the Hyundai Motors cars are OK, but when they’re not the support isn’t stellar. Average operational costs are half the metric, the other is the spread around that number.
Get the Toyota if it’s big enough for your 99% of the time needs; you have more access to other cars for special needs than most (see Jag).
Or get a newer used Lexus. The brand prestige wears off and you end up paying for what you get without the extra brand cost.

Rollin Hand
Rollin Hand
24 days ago

How much of buying the Maverick would be (adopts low, laconic drawl) “I’m from Texas and I drive a truck.” How many times a year would you legitimately need a truck to do truck things? And Ford doesn’t exactly have the best quality reputation right now. It sounds to me like you just want it, and will end up writing similar columns complaining about its compromises in 3-4 years.

And for the Corolla Cross, is it truly big enough if the Kia Carnival is a legit option?

I suggest getting a used Rav4. It doesn’t even need to be a hybrid. In fact, I would say get one with the previous bodystyle. The money you would save will buy a lot of gas, and you wouldn’t worry as much about dings and such. Plus, they are one of the most “right-sized” vehicles you can get.

Dingus
Dingus
24 days ago
Reply to  Rollin Hand

I’m not a fan of buying a truck with a bed cover. It says “I want a truck, but I don’t really use it for truck stuff”. My hill to die on is that trucks are work vehicles. When used as lifestyle vehicles, the owner sacrifices more than they get in return. Not big cabin, not big bed unless you buy a full size, now you’re driving a land yacht. Can’t really secure the bed very well, if you do put a locking top on, now you can’t haul stuff unless you remove it before you go to get the thing you need to haul.
Of course, I’m obviously wrong because lifestyle trucks are wildly popular. At least I live my weird beliefs, thusly I own a Volvo V70. Room for five, room for stuff. Can fit a lot inside or strap it to the roof. Comfortable without sacrifice, useful (even has a cargo/dog net built into the rear seatbacks), convenient (also has built in child boosters).

Taargus Taargus
Taargus Taargus
24 days ago

I came back to this article, and saw a lot of comments on owning a car in NYC.

Matt, don’t you live in Westchester? Maybe I’m wrong about that. But if that’s true, owning a van, a Maverick, whatever, won’t be an issue there. I don’t think everyone here knows how vastly different Westchester is from the rest of the city. And not sure what your habits are, but if you’re heading into either the Bronx or Manhattan, you’re usually better off just taking the Metro North than ever driving in. So I’m not sure this vehicle is going to have to spend much time getting real city abuse.

Andrew Vance
Andrew Vance
24 days ago

The Maverick makes a lot of sense, but those cons may get at you like the Subaru did after time.

One option I haven’t seen on here is the new Santa Fe hybrid. They’re really cool. Tons of space. Starts at $36k, though you can likely only find one at that price if you know a guy.

MrLM002
MrLM002
24 days ago

I know it wouldn’t be cheap, or particularly easy, but I think it would be really cool to have a mashup of a Maverick and a F-150, as in compact aluminum body and bed pickup.

In NYC or really any humid climate I’d do everything in my power to at least have an aluminum body, and if unibody an aluminum chassis.

What seems like it would be perfect for you but seemingly doesn’t exist is an aluminum Kei Car/Truck. If anyone knows of one please reply with the make and model, because I know I’d be interested, and if I lived in a city like NYC I’d be especially interested!

Stronk
Stronk
24 days ago

You’re a father, just get the Carnival. Having a minivan with kids is great and you can fit way more stuff inside it with the seats down than you will ever fit in the bed of the Maverick and I know you aren’t going to be hauling dirt living in NYC.

Dangerous_Daveo
Dangerous_Daveo
24 days ago

If you put Toyota on the pro list, you also need to put it on the con list I feel. They are just so boring.

Get the van, keep it, when your daughter is old enough she can do a quick conversion on it to a camper and do a nice road trip round the states etc while finally running it in to the ground. Or go fully insane and make it in to a sleeper bracket car or something silly fun.

That or Evo magazine back in the day had a long term test fleet. Propose that, and get the Jag under that premise, then spend the next 12 months working out the next option.

05LGT
05LGT
24 days ago

I like a boring family car, it’s kind of like a boring bank or a boring roof. Competent and reliable is my favorite luxury.

211
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x