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Outback vs Highlander vs RAV4



  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    The Escape hyrbid's interior might feel a bit cheap in that company. I think it's fine in the low $20s price class, but when hit the upper 20s it'll feel cheap against its peers.

    Santa Fe looks nice. I saw one but didn't drive it. I don't think gas mileage is very good on those, maybe the 2.7l would be OK.

    Edge is heavy. Ford needs to put it on a diet.

    Outback comes in many flavors, try the different engines to see which character fits what you want.

  • philmophilmo Posts: 77
    This week I drove the Escape Hybrid, two Outbacks and the Santa Fe. In each drive I had the opportunity to tool around the flats then climb west out of Denver on either I-70 or US 285. Impressions:

    The Escape Hybrid was tight and fun in the city and averaged 30 mpg for about 40 minutes of flat, up- and downhill driving. However, at highway speeds the noise and coarseness were very apparent. And whipping through curves at 50+ MPH were more than a little sketchy with a definite tippy feeling toward the front, outer corner. If I needed an economical runabout town-truck this would be it but there's no way I could more than a couple hours in it at highway speeds on a road trip.

    I drove both an LLBean and Turbo Outback wagon and didn't feel enough difference between them to justify the sticker difference. And both of them felt sluggish compared to my 5 cyl. turbo Volvo S60. I thought they'd be snappier given their compact nature and low profile. If I went this route I'd go the 6 cyl. version to save money and be rid of the SI-Drive hooey. The overall cargo volume remains a concern and the hatch opening is less than 48" across.

    The Santa Fe is very quiet, very smooth on the road though no sports car by any means. Plenty of volume, a roomy second row that reclines and a wide hatch keep it in the running. But something in the back of my mind keeps me from pulling the trigger on this. Probably legacy brand issues not based on any experience. (That's the triumph, or lack, of marketing for you.) The 10-year/100,000 mile warrantly doesn't factor in for me unless it's transferable as I can't envision driving the car for that long.

    Still looking, still driving...
  • mystromystro Posts: 64
    I know it seems hyping of the Roo and maybe I am somewhat biasd, but knowbody can ignore the prowess both on and off the highway especially with the VDC as this link confirms:
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Although there weren't any off-road sections that I could see! Also they were Subaru sales people doing the driving so it's not really an unbiased driver.... Cool video non the less.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Hyundai only transfers over the 5/60 portion of the warranty to a 2nd owner, I believe.

    That really doesn't help resale values, either.

  • philmophilmo Posts: 77
    Well, Carspace has been a great resource but I'm bailing out on the SUV purchase until 2008. I hopped in our Grand Cherokee yesterday for the 65-mile drive to the airport and thought "why in the heck am I selling this now?" Paid for, 20 mpg, nothing below on the garage floor, more than capable off-road and I can stuff a pontoon boat in the back.

    Sure, eventually it'll need to be replaced but there's nothing out there right now that I fell in love with was compelling enough to make me get rid of a usable vehicle in great shape.

    Thanks all for your input. Let's do this again after the Highlander is redesigned, the Edge and CX-9 have been around enough for feedback, Toyoter gets rid of the barn door (we hope), Murano gets a facelift and lastly maybe there's a great big surprise out there that we haven't seen yet.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587

    Odd - not a single Toyota, or even a Lexus!

  • srangersranger Posts: 106
    This might be one of the best discussions that I have read recently...

    I like the new AWD Rav4 ( hate the rear door ) and have been looking at all of the models listed here as well. My big problem with the RAV4 is that Toyota almost never makes a 4WD limited, heated leather seats, for my area ( south east ) with the towing package... I need the 3500lb package. The funny thing is that almost ALL Hylanders in the areas have the package.... go figure ....

    I have a FWD only 2005 Mercury Mariner ( Escape tarted up a little ) It drives and handles well and the interior is nice and comfortable. The 200hp v6 has reasonable power. It averages about 21mpg city and about 25hwy. About 20mpg when towing my boat... It does have way too much road noise as stated earlier ( reports are that the 2008 model will have more sound proofing... ) Its best attributes are the leather interior with heated seats and a good 6 CD/MP3 stereo...

    So far I am leaning tword the new Ford Edge, but it is already delayed several weeks and early report are that is has questionable braking capacity for it's portly weight....( not a good sign.... )
  • i just traded my 2006 outback wagon for a 2007 toyota highlander the reason was the jerky ride on the outback
    otherwise it was a great car made for the yuppies
    i am 68 and an old goat needed a smoother ride
    the outback was a great car richard
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    You want some power to tow that boat, try out a Forester XT (turbo). Even at elevation the forced induction will get your boat up those hills.

    Reason I say that is because heated seats is the only way those come.

    A RAV4 V6 ought to do just fine.

    The Edge has similar power but it is heavy, though that's not necessarily a bad thing when towing a trailer.

    Maybe a Sante Fe or Outlander?

  • Here's our take:
    Twin sisters buy 2 new cars within a month of each other.
    1 buys outback, the other buys Rav.
    Both cars are set up very equal.
    The girls try each others car out this weekend the comments are as follows:
    outback owner I can't get over how much room your car has.
    It seems to be about the same size but the interior is so much roomier. The leather is very comfortable (outback is cloth) mpg is unknown for outback but the owner seems to be happy with over all mpg. this is 2nd outback. she states maybe they should have looked into Toyota, but they had been happy with the outback so they just went ahead and replaced it without looking at any thing else (replacing 1st outback because of accident, totaled it). owner lives in northern IL. so heavy traffic and winter conditions exist.

    Rav owner commets about outback:
    nice car, rides ok, sounds noisier, seems smaller than Rav. seems to feel as though you are lower to the ground when sitting thus having a car view. In reality the outback was a couple of inches higher when using their legs a measuring sticks (very scientific, ha ha)

    Both sisters are very happy for each other in there purchase and I've learned many years ago never do anything but agree when it comes to twins and one of them is your wife.

    Rav owner (my wife) on the way home from holiday reunion states you know the reason I like our Rav better is it fits me.
    I mean I just sit in the car I don't feel like I'm climbing into a truck (higher vehicle) or falling into a car lower vehicle (example vet),
    This is needed because of a serious car motocycle accident where we were broadsided back in 1984. Today she has severe back, leg & neck issues. Heated leather seats are great comfort (first ever for us, but not the last). She loves the swing rear door instead of lift gate. again because of back issues same with stepping into the car over the outback the floor seems to be depressed so problems = pain in the outback. She's 5'2" and the loading height is just perfect. This car of every car we tested won hands down with her. So all that was left was to get the best deal. Absolutely pleased with the overall car.
    As far as the Highlander goes nice vehicle but she didn't want to climb into another truck. mpg was same as 2002 explorer ok but nothing to write home about. hybrid highlander was only an insignificant amount better and the price was nuts, tax advantage was already reduced in half when we were looking to buy. so that was a very definite deal breaker, though for us it was never in the running.
    2002 still runs fine and now our daughter is driving it. Hope to see 125 to 150k on it, shouldn't be a problem.
    so there's the review from the owner of a rav and a twin sister owing a outback and therir comments.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    You want displacement for towing. Turbo motors are not going to be real good towing, as much as I love Subarus, I'd go with a V6 or greater for towing (or an H6 for that matter) the low end grunt is what you need to get the weight of a boat trailer going.

  • sranger....I was in the same boat re heated leather seats. Then I discovered that for the same money you can get aftermarket heated leather which is better quality and there are more color choices.
  • I am the original owner of a 2003 outback 2.5L 4cyl 165hp. My wife just bought a 2007 Rav4. I haven't tried the Rav offroad yet but my guess is it will out perform the Outback offroad. I think the Outback has a nicer ride and handling the Rav feels more truck like while the Outback is more car (even somewhat sporty). The outback does not have enough ground clearance for any serious offroading however it will handle the normal stuff. The subby has great AWD traction. If you want better offroad performance I'd go with the Rav. If your offroading isn't too extreem the Subby will probably do fine.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Haaa you really think the Rav will do well offroad? I highly doubt that. I'd pit an OB v a RAV4 in any offroad contest. I have lots of experience offroading and the Rav4 is not what I'd want there.

  • Ground clearance - RAV4 - 7.5 inches
    Ground clearance - Outback - 8.4 inches!
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,661
    The '07 Rav4 has an on-demand AWD. In the past they had a full-time AWD. All Subies have full-time AWD units, which are better for off road use.

    The only off-road advantage the Rav4 has over the Outback is a better angle of approach and angle of departure.

    A better comparison would be to compare the Rav4 with the Forester, as the Forester has better approach/departure angles than do the Outbacks.

  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,391
    I would not have any reservations with taking a Rav4 off-road, as long as there was a Subaru along on the trip to pull me out every time I was stuck.... :P
  • johnvjohnv Posts: 40
    RAV4 Angles: 29/25
    Outback Angles: 18/22
    Forester Angles: 22/21

    RAV has better angles, outback has better clearance.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Just to complete the trio:

    Ground clearance - Forester - 8.1".

    The turbo actually have only 7.9".

    Subaru offers an OE rear skid plate, too. They're fine for light duties.

This discussion has been closed.