Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!





Nissan Murano vs Toyota Highlander vs Subaru B9 Tribeca vs Honda Pilot

1151618202127

Comments

  • pschreckpschreck Posts: 524
    I didn't think the Ridgeline drove anywhere as nice as the Pilot. The Pilot is, without a doubt, bland in styling. But it is a VERY nice vehicle. I wanted one myself but was trumped by my wife's desire for a Tribeca. No regrets on the purchase, but it isn't nearly as roomy as the Pilot. However the Tribeca has a far superior AWD system in my opinion.

    I believe the Lexus will be very expensive to repair (if it ever needs repair) simply because it's a Lexus. Still, it's a sweet ride.
  • bobw3bobw3 Posts: 2,997
    Do you need the 8 pass seating of the Pilot? If not, you may want to think about some other options...for a family of 3 and maybe 4 in the future, how about the CRV?
  • sooner_chotsooner_chot Posts: 27
    I doubt if I need 8 psgr seating. I'm not thrilled about the styling of the CRV. Im sure its a fine automobile and gets great gas mileage.
  • jeffmcjeffmc Posts: 1,742
    If you like Honda products, how 'bout the new 2007 Acura RDX, which goes on sale this summer? Think I've read the 2007 CR-V, which debuts this fall, will be based on the RDX... looks should be much different than the current CR-V.

    Or maybe the stylish 2007 Mazda CX-7?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I think a Ridgeline might be a bit overkill for you. We all dream about hauling big items but let's face it, a port-a-crib is more likely than a sheet of plywood.

    I think a sealed (interior) cargo area makes more sense when you have kids, because it's not often that the cargo is "dirty" and needs to be seperated from the passenger cabin.

    For things like port-a-cribs, strollers, and diaper bags, you want those inside, dry and warm.

    -juice
  • sooner_chotsooner_chot Posts: 27
    Thanks for the suggestions. Both very good looking rides. Im also hesitant about 1st year models though. Isn't better to wait for the second year so all the kinks get worked out?

    Does anyone know what fuel these will be running on?
  • jeffmcjeffmc Posts: 1,742
    The CX-7 shares its powerplant with the Mazdaspeed 6, so its most crucial part is not all-new. It requires premium fuel. If your driving habits are average, premium will increase your fuel bill by only about $250/year. Check out the CX-7 forums here on Edmunds to see how owners have felt about their vehicles, see if there are any recurring problems.

    I'd be a little more wary of the RDX/CRV, since Edmunds says it's Honda's first production turbo engine. You know Honda's got great reliability, but it'd still be a risk. I assume it'll require premium like other turbos.

    You didn't mention it in your first post, but have you checked out a Subaru B9 Tribeca? A little pricey, but you can get a very nice 5-pass in the upper $20k range. Extremely safe and reliable with a strong 3.0 6-cyl which doesn't require premium, plus one of the best AWD systems out there. That engine has been in use in top-of-the-line Outbacks for a while, and has proven itself. Edmunds called the handling soft, but I think most would disagree with that assessment. The people who own them seem to really like them - they're rated a 9.0 out of 10 in Edmunds' Consumer Ratings. 2007s have some nice little improvements over '06, and should be out very soon.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    RDX will very likely require premium. Heck, even the X3 does, without forced induction.

    -juice
  • 01mdx01mdx Posts: 45
    I don't think anyone has mentioned it but what about the new RAV4? You can get one with the FAST V6, handles well with AWD in the mid 20s and Toyota has great reliability. If I didn't need the room of the Pilot, I would probably have gone with a RAV4 and saved some money over the Tribeca/Murano.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I would not say "FAST" and "mid 20s" in the same breath. Some of the car mags averaged 16mpg.

    Drive it fast and it will guzzle gas.

    Drive it slowly and you will likely get mid 20s.

    But not both, no way no how.

    Out in the real world, roughly half of RAV4 V6 owners have reported mileage below 20 mpg. 20 is about the median, you could say.

    -juice
  • samiam_68samiam_68 Posts: 775
    would not say "FAST" and "mid 20s" in the same breath. Some of the car mags averaged 16mpg.


    I think the reference of "mid 20s" was to the price???
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    DOH! :surprise: :D

    Cough, uh, yeah, of course he did!

    -juice
  • pschreckpschreck Posts: 524
    Doesn't the Rav4 have a part time AWD system? An On Demand system with a viscous center diff? :confuse:
  • morey000morey000 Posts: 322
    I looked at the RAV4. It certainly has it's plusses. The size is great, not too big, not too small. The v6 seems like an incredible engine. 269hp from 3.5L would make it fast. And i've read many posts where users of the V6 are getting low 20's for fuel economy. So that's pretty impressive.

    On the down side, I couldn't live with the interior. both from a style, fit and finish, materials point of view. It just says 'cheap car' all over it. Compare that to, let's say, a Tribeca dash (and features)- what a difference.

    I think the Rav4 is a great "inexpensive small 'ute" that's got power and size. But it just doesn't compete with the Tribeca/Murano and plain looking Highlander.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    It's a bit confusing, because previous models had full time AWD with the viscous couplings, but now they use an on-demand clutch based system that is part-time.

    -juice
  • 01mdx01mdx Posts: 45
    Yes, I agree but someone above mentioned a CRV above so I thought I would throw it out there. If I didn't need the extra room, I might have gone for the RAV4 V6 Limited with leather. It's not luxurious, but it's pretty sporty.

    If people are looking more luxurious, I would also consider the RDX and the MDX. I am very happy with my MDX even though it's 5 years old. Probably doesn't handle quite as good as a Tribeca, but probably close, has more room and is a pretty good choice.
  • morey000morey000 Posts: 322
    I'm thinking that the Tribeca has a better off road capability than the MDX. I don't need serious off-road capability, but there is one rocky road that has some steep sections that requires 4WD that I need to get up frequently. That's why I'm leaning that way right now. Or am I kidding myself.
  • master1master1 Posts: 340
    I can tell you this, the Tribeca does handle better than the MDX. My suggestion would be to wait for the new MDX and get that. I feel that the Tribeca's engine is rough, and a bit weak. It sounds as if it works unnecesarily hard. The MDX is good but be aware of the steering wheel vibrations complaints.
  • jeffmcjeffmc Posts: 1,742
    Rough? I thought the H6 was Subaru's smoothest engine. *shrug* I think it's a strong and extremely reliable engine, but Tribeca's weight is near the upper end of its abilities. Most folks I've heard call it adequate, but not strong or weak.
  • 01mdx01mdx Posts: 45
    I would be a bit surprised it the Tribeca has better off-road capabilities than the MDX (but I have been surprised before). The MDX is actually more competent than it looks. The MDX is certainly no Jeep Wrangler or 4 runner but it's definitely better than the RX and Murano. I can't say for sure on the Tribeca b/c I just haven't done as much research on that vehicle. My guess is that if you are beyond the capability of the MDX, then the Tribeca is not the answer either.

    I have had my MDX on sand dunes (ORV sticker required) and off road trails (nothing major but probably equal to what most people will encounter and have always been pleasantly surprised. Ground clearance is certainly more of an issue than traction.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    The H6 is smooth, I think the comment has more to do with the fact that the engine ends up in high revs a lot to keep it moving smartly. So it's not rough, it's just high-revving, so you hear it.

    VDC is very capable and the Tribeca has more than 8" of clearance, plus it weighs 400 lbs or so less than an MDX, so it'll carry a slight advantage. It's still no rock crawler, of course.

    -juice
  • 01mdx01mdx Posts: 45
    The comparo says 8.4 Tribeca vs. 8.0 MDX for ground clearance.

    BUT, approach angle is 28 degrees for MDX and only 18 for the Tribeca so that could be a relevant difference.

    Anyway, either one is probably OK for light to medium duty but nothing more.
  • morey000morey000 Posts: 322
    thanks for all the replies and thoughts. In the old days (like, ~5 years ago) it was easy to tell what would work off road. If it didn't have a locking center differential, then you could spin wheels.

    These days, it's a bit tougher, with an alphabet soup of traction control, stability control, electronic brake force distribution sytems, etc, it's hard to look at the specs and determine what will happen if you lose traction on a couple wheels.

    The subie has an electronically controlled variable clutch that controls the center differential. Don't know about the new MDX.

    8" is good enough for my roads. Interesting approach angle differences- I hadn't looked at that before. Good info.

    I'm not buying until November- so I might have a shot at the new '07 MDX. On the downside- the price will be a premium when it first hits the showroom, and will probably be $43-$45K to get in one. The Subie will be dealing for $10K less.
  • morey000morey000 Posts: 322
    OK- I just did some more research into the 4WD system of the upcoming RDX and MDX. Acura is supposedly using their "SuperHandling" system that recently went into the RL sedan. it sounds pretty good:

    Featuring a new rear differential with the worlds first electromagnetic operated clutch, torque is distributed not only between the front and rear wheels, but between the left and right wheels as well. Several sensors located throughout the car gather information about steering angle, speed, lateral Gs and other information, which is then fed to the cars on-board ECU. This information is relayed to the cars SH-AWD, which then alters the ratio of power delivered to each of its four wheels. The ratio between front and rear axles is between 30:70 and 70:30, with left and right power distribution ranging from 0:100 to 100:0. With this system, torque does double-duty, first by assisting maneuverability and next by propelling the vehicle forward."

    The RDX looks like a fun vehicle, and might be another valid option for me. Acura has never wow'ed me on styling in the past (inside or out). The new ones are OK. No vehicle is perfect.

    Ooops. Just checked on the RDX. Acura lists it's ground clearance at 6.25" and 5.12" under full load. So much for that idea.
  • pschreckpschreck Posts: 524
    So the older Rav4s were Full Time AWD and they changed to Part Time AWD? I guess that was for MPG considerations.

    Part Time AWD was the biggest drawback to the Pilot in my opinion. It was why I didn't fight harder against my wife when she said she wanted to go with the Tribeca. It was a toss up for me, but I believe Full Time is superior to Part Time. Full Time 4WD was a major reason we went with the Sequoia in 2001.
  • master1master1 Posts: 340
    I agree with you. The electronic four wheel drive is to improve gas mileage, like you said. The better fuel economy, the more sales = more profit $$.
    Now, expect many new redesigns to have electronic four wheel drive. It still should be adequete for most. Full time will be going away.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I think the market trend is towards part-time for cost purposes (both for the manufacturer and owners), but there will always be folks willing to pay a premium for the performance of a full-time system. M-B, BMW, Infiniti, and most Subarus and Audis fall under that category.

    The Audi TT is not full-time, that's an exception. It has a Haldex.

    -juice
  • morey000morey000 Posts: 322
    As best I can understand it, I believe that the terminology of 'full time' and 'part time' may be being used opposite of the traditional way that I have been familiar with.

    A traditional truck 4WD system with a locking center differential is one that's strictly for off-road use. So, it is generally called "part-time". (i.e. you can only use it part of the time) In fact on Jeeps, a little light comes on the dash that says "part time 4WD" when one puts it in the off road 4wd configuration.

    "Full time" AWD is one where you can have it in AWD all the time, and has a non-locking center differential (although it may have a viscous coupling, or electronic clutch or various other ways to do the job).

    Typically AWD vehicles that can be in AWD all the time (Full Time) generally sacrifice a bit of gas milage, as you've got more friction and inertia of more parts moving to get the drive to all the wheels. It improves handling, but in the past they offered only limited off road capability. These days, with all the electronic monitoring of wheel spin, many of these full time AWD systems can be capable off-road, however the vehicles and tires that come with them are often not as suitable. Tires make a big difference!
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Oddly, a lot of AWD systems on the market are technically part-time 4WD. When they engage the rear axle, there is no center differential so the two axles end up moving at the same speed.

    They're just not engineering for full-time use. The systems would overheat. Most of them have a fail-safe that will disengage the rear axle if that condition occurs.

    To me, AWD is full-time and requires a center differential or some sort of device that acts in the same way.

    Audi was first, and their Quattro system uses a Torsen center differential to this day. That allows both axles to get power all the time, yet they can also spin at different speeds, so they can remain engaged on dry pavement going around a turn.

    Since Audi pioneered AWD, that's how I define it. The one thing that set AWD apart from the 4WD vehicles available at the time (including Subaru back then), was that full-time nature.

    If you look at a Ford Escape or Honda CR-V, those systems can't do that. I believe both use a Rotary Blade Coupling, and once the rear axle is engaged, the two axles are spinning at the same speed. So it's part-time, it *must* disengage to do a U-turn, for instance, on dry pavement.

    Technology allows them to engage and disengage the rear axle with quick-acting clutches, and that's fine for most needs. But those systems don't really qualify under the original definition of AWD that Audi basically pioneered.

    -juice
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    More on Subaru...

    Subaru was known for 4WD passenger cars, back then they had the Loyale, BRAT, Justy, XT, but those were part-time and manually engaged.

    The Legacy was their first model with true AWD, then came the Impreza, Outback, and later the Forester and Tribeca.

    If you look at an Escape today, it's actually closer to a Subaru Loyale in theory, except that the engagement of the drive system is automated, via clutches, rather than manual.

    That plus they don't have a low range (Subaru did back then), and the system isn't engineered for heavy duty use.

    You'd be shocked, but the old Subaru system was. For fun, here's an old BRAT:

    image

    -juice
This discussion has been closed.