Expert advice | The automobile in question

Our collaborator answers questions from readers.

A choice to make

We are looking to buy a 2021 Subaru Outback or a 2021 Toyota RAV4. We drive about 60% of the time in the city and the rest on the highway. We often travel with four adults with a lot of luggage: ski, boot bags, backpacks, snowshoes, bags of clothes, cooler, breakdown kit … We keep our vehicles for about five years. We are mainly looking for reliability, safety, roominess and a low maintenance cost. We have two questions: what would be the best choice between these two models and what engine do you suggest? – Claude G.

The most consistent choice according to your criteria and according to the two models mentioned would be the RAV4. It is ahead of the Outback when it comes to reliability and maintenance cost, and it is on par with it when it comes to safety. As for roominess, the Subaru is more spacious at the rear and offers, once the seat backs are folded down, more space (2,144 liters compared to 1,987 liters for the RAV4). In contrast, with the records in place, the RAV4 holds a slight advantage. Finally, if you were to get the Toyota, the hybrid version is the one you should make an appointment with.

Long life


2012 Buick Verano

I have a well-maintained 2012 Buick Verano that doesn’t have 60,000 km on the clock yet. How many years can I keep it? I am 87 years old and still drive. My wife too. I no longer drive at night. – Irene C.

Many more years if you do preventative maintenance like you already seem to. Make sure you rely on a trusted technician and ensure the regular maintenance of your vehicle (mechanics and bodywork), and this one will accompany you for a long time to come. Long life.

More auto than truck


Mazda 3

I own a 2013 Mazda 6. I drive between 10,000 and 12,000 km per year. My wife owns a 2016 Mazda CX-5 with all-wheel drive. I want to buy a smaller car with all-wheel drive to allow me access to my chalet in the winter, which would be more economical than the CX-5. I thought about the Mazda 3. Is this a good choice? If not, what are your suggestions? – France J.

The Mazda 3 is a sensible choice, as is the CX-30 (always Mazda) which offers more functionality than the 3, but a smaller footprint than the CX-5. You could also consider the Subaru Impreza 5-door (more functional).

Recreational question


Ford Transit recreational vehicle version

I know the topic isn’t really about a car, but maybe you can help me out anyway. I am actively looking to buy a Class B RV (recreational vehicle). There are RAM, Ford and Mercedes-Benz chassis. I don’t consider the Mercedes-Benz because it’s more expensive to buy and maintain. So I’m hesitating between the Ford Transit with EcoBoost 3.5 V6 engine and the RAM Promaster 3500 with the Penastar V6. Which would be your choice considering I plan to keep this RV for 10 years? Also, the dashboard and the comfort of the driving position of the RAM compared to the Ford are far behind. In addition, there is hardly any active security help on the RAM. Do you believe RAM intends to correct the situation in the next 2022 model year? – Luc B.

Without any hesitation, the Ford Transit. Unfortunately, nothing suggests that RAM will correct the situation before the renewal of this model scheduled for 2023-2024, unless the leaders of the Stellentis group (merger between FCA and PSA) postpone this deadline. And that would hardly be surprising. As you probably know, the Promaster is an Americanized version of the Fiat Ducato.

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