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I need some advice on replacing my stolen CR-V

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I did NOT expect to be car-shopping again, but here I am.

I bought a new CR-V LX in 2014.  I loved that car.  I was hoping that it would be the last car I ever owned--and since I was 56 then, and I drove my last Honda for 17 years, that wasn’t too unrealistic.  I did my part and took very good care of it, and it was in great condition.  Alas, 'twas not to be...  Last week, somebody stole it.

It looked like a pro job, so it’s pretty unlikely I’ll be seeing that car again.  So as soon as my insurance pays off, I’ll be car shopping.  I don’t know yet how much they’ll give me for my CR-V, but the “instant cash offer” I got from the Kelly Blue Book website is $13,545, and they estimated the private party price to be $14,510 to $16,251.  I see comparable cars with similar mileage to what mine had (~75,000) on Autotrader priced between $16,000 and $20,000, so I hope I can get more from my insurance than that--otherwise, I’m going to end up with a significantly worse car than the one I lost.  My CR-V was paid off, and taking on a car payment now is definitely not an option. 

I will be buying another Honda--that much is certain. I’m wondering if other Honda owners here can give me a little advice?  If it helps:  I’m female, age 63.  I live in the Seattle suburbs, and I mostly drive short trips around town, with an occasional weekend road trip.  I usually drive solo—no kids, grandkids, soccer teams, packs of huskies, etc.  I expect to be commuting by car for another four years or so.  I have bad knees, so no low-slung sportscars for me--a car that’s a bit higher off the ground is easier for me to get in and out of.  I want something with a rear hatch and rear seats that will fold down and give me some cargo space.  My priority is a car that will last and not be trouble-prone or expensive to maintain--that's why I'm getting a Honda.  My budget is already tight, and once I retire, a major repair bill would very possibly be the end of my driving days.

My main questions are:

  • My stolen CR-V had front wheel drive.  I wanted it that way--I didn't want AWD.  We don’t get much snow or ice hereabouts--and when we do, the city freaks out and grinds to a halt, so nobody is expected to go anywhere until it's gone.  I don’t go off-roading.  I’ve always heard that all-wheel drive reduces gas mileage, and makes it necessary to replace all four tires at once, even if only one or two are bad.  And just in general, AWD seems like one more thing that might need fixing down the road, when I don’t really need it.  What’s your take on this?  Should I stick to that reasoning, or should I be looking at AWD cars, too?


  • I’ve seen some HR-Vs for sale online.  They weren’t making those in 2014, so I’d never really looked at one.  Now, I’m thinking I might be able to get something a little newer, or with less miles on it, if I buy one of those.  I like the extra space in the CR-V, and I’ve read reviews that say the HR-V rides a little less smooth, but I can probably cope.  What’s your take on how the CR-V and the HR-V compare, and which one you’d recommend in my situation?


  • Any other words of wisdom you can offer to a very reluctant car-shopper?

Thanks in advance!

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