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Small AWD SUVs Comparison



  • wjbushsrwjbushsr Posts: 135
    He means Sirius!

    Mazda is exclusive with their units to be Sirius configured from the factory, and at the dealerships.

    By the way; Stern is waaaay funnier on Sirius! ;)

    XM is woefully overrated! :P
  • vbbuiltvbbuilt Posts: 498
    Yep, you're right! Get 'em mixed up. I have XM in my Santa Fe, Sirius in my CX7. and I listen to both.

  • sssfegysssfegy Posts: 132
    Steve I am in the car business and deal with customers, so it is based on my own experience, I've seen it happen were a lady would not get in the car because she does not like how it looks, but never happened with men. So I would have to persuade you on this one! lol
  • sssfegysssfegy Posts: 132
    Vince which one do you enjoy more? Santa/CX7?
  • dandrews1dandrews1 Posts: 184
    Wonder how a Freelander or LR2 would score in that test? The Santa Fe is hardly a mini-ute... it's pretty frickin huge! I looked at them in the spring, and was impressed how far they'd come in recent years - still not my cup of tea though...

    I picked up a Land Rover LR3 HSE loaded to the nines. It's about the same size as the Santa Fe, but a bit of a different beast than the category the article was focusing on... still, it would be interesting to throw the LR3 at the reviewer and see what he had to say compared to the rest?

  • joe97joe97 Posts: 2,248
    Agreed. Santa Fe is no small SUV.

    As for the comparison itself, I read it as three very comptent vehicles, each with its own advantages and downsides, not as which one is better than others. Personally Santa Fe and CX-7 both would fit better for me, with Santa Fe edging out CX-7 just by a hair. I really like the looks of the Santa Fe, and the off-road capability (nothing hardcore of course). Most of all, the layout and the overall design of the Santa Fe are very desriable traits, plus a available third row is a big plus in my book.
  • lime679lime679 Posts: 17
    As I read the testing review on each of the vehicles, I couldn't help but ponder why Edmunds did not test all three "top of the line models!" The Toyota was discredited because of standard features but they compared a SPORT to A Grand Touring CX-7 and Limited Santa Fe. Possibly because the Limited Rav4's are hard to get a hold of. That's what I'll say.
  • Vince

    I looked at the 07 Santa Fe want to buy it but no xm. How do you have XM in yours? Is XM going to offered in the later 07 models? I too will not buy a car if i dont like the way it looks, I drove the RDX loved it but way over priced. Dont like the look of the CX-7 looks too cheap in the front. Let me know about the XM

  • vbbuiltvbbuilt Posts: 498
    Tami, I don't know if Hyundai offers satellite radio as an option. You'll have to check your local dealer.

    I have the 04 Santa Fe and purchased an after-market XM unit and had it installed.

  • nmknmk Posts: 111
    Have a look at the optional front pebble/rock/bug deflector or what ever that mask is called. Put that on and you have a very striking looking front end, especially if the vehicle is black or dark grey.

    In fact, I do agree that the front end needs a more stark look and one way is to move the license plate position to the side and get that mask.
  • joe97joe97 Posts: 2,248
    2007 Santa Fe has now XM standard (on all trims).
  • vbbuiltvbbuilt Posts: 498
    Now, if they would only had Navigation. Then I might have opted for the Santa Fe. Oh well, Mazda rules!


  • joe97joe97 Posts: 2,248
    Not from the factory (yet) but they do have ones you can purchase from Hyundai Mobis (supplier) and have them installed. Considering other markets (espeically the domestic S. Korean market) have had Navi for years now, bringing over the unit is no problems at all - but, there are reasons Hyundai has not introduced Navi for the US market. Bottom line, you will see it sooner or later, when the time is right.
  • fonefixerfonefixer Posts: 247
    What has your experience been with the CX-7 so far and maybe you could report back about the MPG?
  • fonefixerfonefixer Posts: 247
    What has been your overall impression of the CX-7 driving experience and could you report on the MPG?
  • vbbuiltvbbuilt Posts: 498
    There's a specific CX-7 discussion group devoted to MPG. You might want to check there, review the postings, and if necessary, re-ask your question.

  • I just got back after spending the day driving and evaluating small SUVs, and I have to say I came away overly impressed with the Santa Fe Limited.

    My heart has been set on the new Rav-4 since it debuted the new body style. I didn't think anything would dissuade me from the Rav. I love the looks and it has a great engine. So I began with the RAV, and I was really disappointed. I'm 5'10" and I felt cramped in the drivers seat. My legs were not stretched out to where I'd be comfortable for a long road trip. I have 3 kids and the back seat was entirely inadequate, as the 'middle' seat was hard, no cushion to it. The available 3rd bench is WORTHLESS. Disappointed, I went to Honda.

    Not a CRV fan, but the car has been getting rave reviews, so what the heck. I'm not sure what Honda was thinking, but I HATE the looks of the CRV. It reminds me of a turtle from the front. Just a bizarre shape, not sporty. Looks like someone squashed a minivan. I do not like the rear extended tail lights at all. The interior was better suited to my family than the RAV 4 but I wasn't thrilled with the lack of a V6 engine option. I'm not spending 25k on a car with that many negatives.

    Hyundai was next. I really like the styling of the new SF. Looks like a RAV 4 from front and a Lexus SUV in back. I test drove the Limited with Touring option and all the works. I am a Honda/Toyota guy and I'm admittedly biased from Hyundai's early years in the States. I am a member of JD Power and Associates and kept reading about how Hyundai's reliability and quality has been rapidly improving. Well after test driving the SF I believe it. The ride was quiet, even on the freeway at high speeds. Acceleration was excellent, with no slowdown on steep grades. I spun the car in a circle in the parking lot and the turn radius was tight and excellent. And best of all, the 3rd row bench had plenty of room for my two sons. My wife commented on how comfortable the 2nd row ride was.

    Overall we were both more than happy with the SF, and it shot to the top of our list of next vehicles. Never EVER thought I'd own a Hyundai, but after reading rave reviews from owners and professionals, as well as marks for high quality, I've been won over.

    After reading this article, I'm going to give the CX-7 a chance. However I don't see the option of a 3rd row seat, so chances are the CX-7 won't meet my needs. Too bad, looks like a fun vehicle.
  • vbbuiltvbbuilt Posts: 498
    I hate to complicate your buying decision - if you can hold off your purchase until early 2007, what not look at the CX-9?

    Look up the reviews on and you'll also find other reviews by googling CX-9.

  • piastpiast Posts: 269
    You may want to check redesigned 07 Mitsubishi Outlander. The interior in both cars received four stars in MT SUV of the Year contest, (RAV4 got three). Personally I think they are pretty close in material quality with Santa Fe being slightly more attractive, (except for fake wood) and the Outlander more sporty looking. Fully loaded Outlander, still being cheaper, tops Santa Fe with:
    paddle shifters, navigation system, Xenon headlights, keyless start system and 650 W sound system. With the same safety features, more rear leg room(39.6in) and cargo room(39cu.ft) in Outlander with two rows of seats trim, same towing (both 3500lbs), same warranty it is coming down to personal taste.
    When compared to Rav4, except for straight line acceleration, Mitsu and CX7 are better in agility and handling, with better interiors, again Dec MT.
    There is one of many good Outlander reviews, this one from "..The automatic transmission is almost as smooth as the new CR-V's, while the engine provides considerably more power. The combination is far superior to the RAV4 despite the Toyota's higher horsepower figure, and the Outlander is a better highway companion overall.... the Outlander handles steeply banked highway onramps with superb control and minimal body lean, giving the driver a sense of confidence not found in many SUVs — compact, car-based or otherwise. The ride was also car-like. Bumps were softly muted and road noise was minimal...Available with an optional manual four-wheel-drive system, the Outlander is one of the more affordable four-wheel-drive SUVs on the market, ... Surprisingly, the new Outlander seems to outclass its competitors on just about every front"
  • A fully loaded Outlander outfitted with the features you post soars well above 30k. I must have missed something. Where were you able to find one cheaper than an 07 Santa limited? The features you post dont seem to be included in the top of the line outlander. They seem to be part of packages...
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