QUESTION - VIN:
I am looking for a medium SUV to act as a second car to our Audi Q5. I would like to be able to fit two car seats in the back and still have a spare spot for a passenger. Good satnav and infotainment are important to us.
ANSWER - FRASER STRONACH:
Your budget of $35K won't get you far I'm afraid with a new medium-size SUV especially if want high-end sat-nav and infotainment. $35K will get you into a small SUV but it will be a real squeeze for two child seats plus a third rear-seat passenger. Even medium SUVs can be a squeeze in that regard.
The pick of the so-called medium SUVs, which are still on the small side, is the Subaru Forester but at $35K you will only get a base or mid-spec model. The Mitsubishi Outlander is one of the bigger medium SUVs but again $35K won't get much in the way of equipment. In either case you may have to look at a low-kilometre second-hand example.
Buying a low-kilometre second-hand car (less than two years old and under 30,000Km) saves a lot of money compared to a new car where the depreciation as soon as you drive out of showroom is a killer.
For the extra space they offer I'd actually go for one of the larger SUVs, again a second-hand low-kilometre example. In that case your best bet would be a Hyundai Santa Fe or a Kia Sorento, which are mechanically near identical under the skin.