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What is the Best SUV For me?



  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 39,936
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  • Hello,

    I need some advise on buying SUV.
    I have two sedans (wife's and mine). We love doing home improvement, gardening and such. I got tired asking friends or renting BORG trucks for hauling bulky things and considering having something for the tasks.

    I poked around and saw many old large SUVs in 2k-5k range. I could spend that amount to get decent vehicle. My requirements/thoughts

    * Able to haul 4x8 goods (plywood, sheetrock ...) inside;
    * Strongly prefer 4x4/AWD for those tough days when we have snow storms;
    * Reliable and cheap to repair/maintain;
    * not going to drive daily, will use for couple thousands miles per year;
    * not much concerns about cosmetics;

    What should I get?
    I mentioned that I made quick check and it seems that there are some cars matching my criteria, like Ford Expedition, Chevy Tahoe, GMC Yukon, maybe Toyota Sequoia, but they are VERY high millage. Do those cars may serve me? In my price range they are going to have more than 100K on odometer, more likely around 150k, are they capable still going well for another 20-30k? What you thoughts? I've never had an SUV before.
  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 39,936
    edited November 2011
    A reporter is interested in talking with someone who considered buying a small car, but instead bought a Ford, GM or Chrysler SUV or truck after deciding that the size sacrifice wasn't worth the savings at the pump. If your experience fits this description, please send a brief overview and contact information to by Sunday 11/27.

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  • currently shopping for a suv, for the wife who had trucks mostly switched from a canyan this spring to the new regal so she could get better gas milleage we both hate the car gas milleage no better then truck and seats rock hard have it narrowed down to a pathfinder and a xterra we want rear drive not front any one have either and what about nissans reliabity ? or are there any other choices out there ,dont need 4wd has we live in the south thanks
  • Hello all, just wanted to mention my frustration about Edmunds review of Honda Pilot. The whole review is based on pure statistics about the car and nothing about how a driver would use the car daily.
    I been shopping for an SUV for some time and there is no comparison with Honda Pilot.
    Here is my take on competitors:
    Toyota Highlander -small, third row is useless if you want anyone to sit there, might as well get a Sorento. Interior is really bad quality and not to mention that all of the interior is made for seniors, and not for a family. Once you drive it, you will feel as if you are in a Buick.
    Mazda CX-9 is a great car, but once again, its a bit smaller than Pilot. Also, if you get all the features that you get in 2012 EXL Pilot your CX-9 price goes much higher and given CX-9 worse fuel economy there is no reason to choose CX-9 unless all you care is its looks (it does look very nice).
    Ford Flex - so cheap inside I didn't even test drive it.
    Ford Explorer - much smaller than Pilot (about the size of European Chevy Captiva), and for its price its just not worth it.
    Chevrolet Traverse - first of all, are people selling this car at these prices mad? Almost 2k over Honda Pilot, its crazy! Second row - have you tried folding it with one hand? Don't even try to have your wife do it; flimsy, cheap plastic handles, and if you do get one, hope your kid never sticks their hand while you are folding the seats - it will hurt. Pretty good driving dynamics but the second row folding procedure turned me away - and I am not willing to pay more than for a Japanese car - sorry.
    Now about the Pilot it self - yes the looks are not the best but it has way to many positives to forget about that; the new grill fixes many issues about its style.
    Main reason, its a people hauler - fits people on all rows with room to spear. Soft and quiet.
    Breaking that Edmunds keeps talking about - brakes just like any other car. Do you really plan to emergency brake every block? I mean, sure its a good thing if it braked like a sports car, but its not a sports car.

  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 39,936
    edited November 2011
    Edmunds' 2012 Review seems to fall in line with the Consumer Reviews here.

    Today's numbers for the consumer reviews are:

    2011 Mazda CX-9 gets 5 stars (22 reviews).

    2011 Highlander gets 4.5 stars (39 reviews).

    2011 Ford Flex gets 4.5 stars (11 reviews).

    2011 Chevy Traverse gets 4.5 stars (26 reviews).

    2011 Ford Explorer gets 4 stars (45 reviews).

    2011 Honda Pilot gets 4 stars (79 reviews). (2012 gets 4.5, 4 reviews).

    Past years of the Pilot get 4.5 stars, so it looks like Honda dropped the ball a bit in 2011 and is getting back to where they were, but there aren't many 2012 reviews yet. And it looks like there's still room for improvement.

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  • Need some help!

    I am currently leasing a 2010 Jetta- long story short, moved, waaaay over milage. Need to purchase something soon before trade in value goes down even further.

    Looking to purchase a midsize suv/crossover. I spend a lot of time in my car, fairly long commute each day.

    I can't spend a lot, would like to keep it under 27,000 and REQUIRE, leather/leatherette heated seats.

    I have look at everything under the sun, but nothing seems to stand out to me. Would like to hear from others what they think, Safety? smoothest ride? Comfortable cabin? Excellent Technology? Etc...

    Would really like to hear what others recommend.

  • drumsdrums Posts: 17
    I am looking for a suv with great gas mileage and awd for snow. live in Northeast and we get our share of snow.

    both have zerop percent financing for 36 (rav4) and 60 months (nissan rouge).

    which is better buy and has better value?

    looking for higher end model of either one.

    any rav4 or rouge owners out there - your advice will greatly be appreciated and valued.

    I am also wondering about resale value for both
  • carteachcarteach Posts: 179
    Like everyone else on this thread, I could use some input. Right now I'm driving an '06 Acura TL and a '95 Subaru wagon. The wagon is on its last legs. I have two golden retrievers and two grandchildren (don't usually take all four around at the same time.) But, I want a car with a "way back" for two large dogs. I will have to sell the Acura to get a new car. :cry: The cars I'm considering either seem too small or too big. The Toyota rav4 ( I hate the back tire), the Highlander, the Subaru Outback, the Honda CRV. Like everyone, I want a car that's reliable with a little bit of class. Can't afford anything in the BMW class. So those are out. And most of the crossovers don't offer much room in the back.

    Any thoughts? I'm especially interested in a problem free car. The Outback would be my first choice because of size and looks, but I keep reading about problems with it.
  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 39,936
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  • upcoming heavy maintenance on '02 Odyssey started me thinking on replacing it with a mid-size family suv/crossover. After older kid went to school, we are 2 x 2 family. I am planning on buying 2-3 y old car, and ere is what I am looking for

    - we tend to hike and spend weekends in places w/ no asphalt; however I do see commuting on this vehicle so HW mileage is important
    - since we are in Chicago, AWD is must
    - cargo area is something that Im used to in Odyssey; don't mind removing row of seats if needed.
    - I am 5'11" and 250lbs and can be claustrophobic in smaller cars
    - watching budget is important, so we stay away from Acura, Lexus, and Infinity.

    Here are some of my finds, feel free to add or dismiss them

    - Mazda CX-9
    - Buick Enclave
    - Jeep Grand Cherokee
    - Ford Explorer
    - GMC Acadia
    - Hyundai Veracruz

    - Subaru SUV is too small
    - Being tired of Toyotas and Hondas (we had couple of them), skipping Highlander and Pilot

    Thanks for suggestions
  • Ok most knowledgeable fellow forumers....this is the dilemma. I have an '04 Camry that I bought new. Just turned over 112K last day or two. It's always ridden a little rough for my liking but has been good car and still is. I have head wheel bearing "issue" in right front and it's been replaced twice. Have used the same local honest mechanic since beginning of time (yeh I know "honest and mechanic" in same sentence, what an oxymoron THAT is, but he really is great and I trust him). My younger daughter is almost 22 and working part/full time and attempting to get into a dental hygiene program. She is driving the '98 Accord EX I purchased for her to drive when she was 17. At the time it had 160K on it, now has 230300. She says it's running good, no issues, but STILL has orig timing belt on it. I got "the fever" again last week and this time actually spent lots of time doing research and even sent out some internet inquiries for Rav and CRV. I'd forgotten what a truly pain in the [non-permissible content removed] car hunting is. I consider myself quite the frugal shopper and don't buy anything on a whim. I just got an I-Phone last April and of course now wondered why I waited two phones ago!! :) Part of my motivation to look for new car was the incredible financing deals out there. Honda has 0.9% for '11 CRVs--of course there are NONE available in a 500mi radius of me! In fact the computer and one Yota internet guy said there wasn't ONE in the state of TX (live in Dallas suburb). So that puts me @ 2012 model which is redesigned. It is a nice car, only driven one and the dealer was irritating as hell. Wanted too much personal info for even a quote then ran off somewhere to "look for a color". I took that as a stall tactic so set the timer on my fancy phone for 5" (had already sit there for an UNTIMED amout!) and when Bad Romance sounded, it was time to haul my [non-permissible content removed] out of there. Of course within 10" I get a phone call and then the em with the requested "quote". I told him I wanted "drive out" as we say here, but appar on this forum the proper term is "OTD" so bottom line was EX=$26736 and ODT EXL=28964. A RAV4 Sport (which I haven't seen yet, they had none on the lot, it's coming from another dealership prob tomorrow) had OTD $27500. We here in TX pay 6.25% tax on new cars, better than most of you guys from what I read. SOOOOO all that being said, my dilemma is this....I really don't NEED a new car, I WANT a new car. Had planned to trade later in this year as my Camry would be 8 yrs old and I would've had 3 yrs of no pay'ts and banking the prev paid $362/mo. My other thought process was to give kid my car but make her pay me trade value for it, use the Accord as trade and give her that as "credit" on what she would owe me for my car. Both are in MY name and I bought the Accord outright. I would charge her the same interest rate I was paying on new car (1.9 from Toyota) and this would give her a good reliable car that had been properly serviced and cared for from the start and she could pay off in approx 24mo with pay't under $200. She made 14K last year working so think this is reasonable. Of course kids being kids, she seems rather laissez-faire in the whole thing, and thinks I should just GIVE her the Camry outright--think NOT!! As I said, my motivation was to trade up a few months earlier than planned because of the interest rates offered and to aid HER in having a better ride. Thoughts and input is appreciated! And if anybody foresees what will happen closer to the end of THIS model year in terms of price drops/perks etc., that would be appreciated. I am not in a crunch for anything new to drive right now. :)
  • CX9: Love the looks, but it's getting long in the tooth, time for a makeover.
    Enclave: Nice but gets pricey quick
    Jeep: Rented one last month, loved it but it feels a bit tight on the inside (for claustrophobia).
    Explorer: Had an '02, started falling apart at 80,000 miles. Wouldn't buy another one.
    Acadia: See Enclave (Although I like its styling better)
    Hyundai: Good value but to vanilla looking

    Just bought a 2012 Pilot Touring, I would really consider checking it out. Very spaceous inside and loaded with features.
  • I'm looking at buying a new car for college. My parents want me to get a small sized suv for safety reasons. My only worry about the CR-V is the stigma that it's a somewhat girly car. Thoughts?
  • Also, how does it compare to the Mazda cx-5 and rav4? I've heard mixed things.
  • solaratiasolaratia Posts: 1
    I have been eyeing the Mazda CX-7 for a while and I am finally in the market to buy an SUV however they are now being replaced by the CX-5. While I am sure there should be good deals since the 7 is on its way out, is it a wise idea to purchase a vehicle that is no longer produced. By the way I am also considering, Toyota Rav 4 and possibly the Acura RDX along with the CX-9 although it is at the top of my budget
  • oozboozoozbooz Posts: 4
    edited October 2012
    We are done with minivan phase in our life. Though I loved to ride Odyssey - it hauled more air than people. Right now, we own Honda accord coupe (my wifes car, since I am barely squeeze in), but since we use Metra to commute (work in Chicago, sleeping in Suburbs) it is not driven much.

    I am looking for SUV/crossover to haul 2Adlt + 2Kids + 1 dog. As I mentioned, it won't be a commute car (at least for now), most likely for short vacation, weekends excursions, occasional winter escapes. Honestly, I am tired of driving a miniature coupe, especially in winters. So plenty room for a driver and 4WD are desirable.

    I've checked out Mazda CX-9, but my knees keep bumping into the door panel or dashboard console. Looks like even large SUV/crossovers often do not offer enough room for legs so I can keep my knees w/out bruises.

    My semi-final list comprises of: Acura MDX, Honda Pilot, Jeep GC. Most likely I would purchase them 2 y old.

    Any fresh ideas, critic or suggestion are highly welcomes.


  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 39,936
    It's an orphan now but it sounds like a 2011 Honda Element would be a good fit. Great dog car and comes in AWD.

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  • carteachcarteach Posts: 179
    I had posted here in a number of months ago asking which SUV people suggested. After doing a lot of test driving, I had planned to buy an Outback. Loved the size and feel of it. But I just finished reading a thread about the number of repairs that people have had to make to their Outbacks, and I was actually stunned. I just sold my Acura TL which at 87,000 miles has been care free. In fact, I haven't needed to replace even the brakes. I need a wagon/SUV for my two dogs and grand kids. If I could afford the Acura RDX I'd buy it in a heartbeat. Test drove one and it was amazing. So now I have a dilemma. The CR-V felt very light and small when I drove it. Plus it doesn't have the clearance I could use in the snow. Not sure what's next. I definitely want a car that is reliable and won't have issues early on. Suggestions?
  • nsbio1nsbio1 Posts: 48
    2012 Outback goes very nicely in a straight line, especially with 6-cyl, but make a turn and it handles like an old Buick. I would consider Honda Element (if you can get past the looks) or Mazda CX-9 (you can get close to $7000 of MSRP right now but gas mileage is not exactly the best).
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