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RAV4 v Outlander v Vitara - and the winner is...

machldamachlda Posts: 1
edited March 6 in Mitsubishi
RAV4 - I've been in high pre-buying gear in this size segment. Have driven them all city and highway. RAV4 blows the others away - I drove the v6 Rav4 and it compared favorably with the Mitsi (Mitsi had more raw power) but was so much more refined - smoother and quiet. The Outlander handled well and was fun but more "trucky" ride than RAV4. The inside on the Toyota though is so much more refined and quality abounds. The Outlander just had less of a quality feel inside - very plain and the plastic...

The RAV4 handled well, very tight steering and smooth exceleration. It was more quiet at high speeds.

Oh yeah, the Suzuki - pretty inside but on the road, it was sluggish compared to the others - seemed like a 4 cylinder instead of the touted 6 banger. Also, quite a bit of engine noise. I drove it the same day as the RAV4 and the difference between how the two drive and handle is pronounced.

My only dislike of the RAV4 is the silly tire on the back and the resulting side-swing tail gate. Mitsi has a better idea. BUT, as my better half says...I'll get over it.

Honey, where is the check book?

Comments

  • biscuit_xlsbiscuit_xls Posts: 194
    I think the Outlander looks much better inside and out than the RAV4. Some of the plastic on the RAV4, especially on the doors with the black Sport interior, is shiny and econo-car looking.

    Other things that swayed me to the Outlander:

    Nav (even better now that I know how well it works)
    6 speed tranny
    Paddle shifters
    30gb Music Server
    Flip up rear hatch
    No tire on hatch
    Xenon headlights
    Keyless entry & ignition
    Flip and roll 2nd row seats
    Longer warranty
    Free 5 year roadside assistance

    The RAV4 was a close second for me.
  • piastpiast Posts: 269
    "RAV4 blows the others away"
    Not in my book. We have this discussion back in Nov on Hyundai Santa Fe vs RAV4 vs CX7 forum. Check posts from #325
    Turns out the only thing RAV4 is better than Outlander is straight line acceleration. It looses in value, performance, agility and handling, interior design and materials, rear leg room (39") and cargo room (39 cu ft), warranty and price as well.
    In Dec Motor Trend the interior in Mitsu received four stars, RAV4 got three. Both cars can tow 3500 lbs, both using regular fuel. Some handling numbers from that issue:
    Outlannder.......RAV4
    Braking ft........ .... 128..............130
    600ft slalom mph ...... 62.7.............60.6
    Lateral acceleration .g 078..............0.75
    MT figure 8 (sec) ..... 28.3.............28.6
    07 Outlander was outselling RAV 4 and CRV in Japan 3:1 last year.
    There is some more from Cars.com
    "..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, although the RAV4 does offer more power with its optional V-6 engine (269 horsepower)."
  • xostnotxostnot Posts: 232
    What if you really do need a low range?
  • piastpiast Posts: 269
    "What if you really do need a low range? "
    Then you buy FJ Cruiser, Xterra, or Jeep.
  • xostnotxostnot Posts: 232
    What if you don't want nasty back seat accommodations, a gas guzzling tank, or lousy reliability, but still want a low range?
  • dodo2dodo2 Posts: 496
    Some times you need to make compromises in life, including when you buy a car. You cannot always have it all.
  • xostnotxostnot Posts: 232
    Let me phrase it another way. There are some people for whom the feature set, price etc, will be best met by the new Grand Vitara. Such as myself.

    This is despite the comments by some that suggest different vehicles would better meet the needs of all those people. Bear in mind that the new GV is several times as popular as the previous edition. So either all those people have made an error, or the dissing is unwarranted.

    Similarly, some people's preferences will best be met by _____ vehicle. Fill in the blank as you prefer.
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 40,820
    Similarly, some people's preferences will best be met by _____ vehicle. Fill in the blank as you prefer.

    I always wind up putting "a paid off in full" comment in that blank. :shades:

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  • dodo2dodo2 Posts: 496
    Similarly, some people's preferences will best be met by _____ vehicle. Fill in the blank as you prefer.


    Do not forget that you are on an Outlander forum, so it's easy to anticipate the answers you'll be getting.

    Yes, you guessed, my answer would be: 2007 Outlander LS 4WD w/ Fog and Phone package.
  • piastpiast Posts: 269
    Rear door mounted tire, underpowered, rough "old school" engine with bad fuel economy and small cargo space are the only things I don't like about GV. I love the design in and out, material quality, price and warranty. I don't think I would take this small, nice shiny guy for serious offroading, other than some snow or mud. And I don't see Outlander with 4wd lock having any problems in those condition either. And no, you haven't made an error, it is one of many good choices out there, selling pretty good too.
    If they would only update that engine...
  • dodo2dodo2 Posts: 496
    Another contender in the compact SUV class might be the new Nissan X-Trail that was just revealed at Geneva Motor Show. Not sure if this time around it will make it to the US. The previous version was available in Canada only.
    Nissan claims it has good off-road capabilities. For sure it has a nice interior design with some nice features - I like the wipe clean cargo floor and fold flat rear seats with the same wipe clean material on the back of the seats.
    Personally I don't like the exterior look at all nor the I4 engine and CVT tranny. I think many people will buy it and I would take it over a CRV though, but not over Outlander.
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 40,820
    I saw a couple of X-Trails in Mexico a few years back. They looked nice to me in a "conventional" sort of way - squarish lines.

    Apparently the newer one has been available in Japan for a while too:

    Nissan X-Trail (we want it!)

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  • dodo2dodo2 Posts: 496
    I think the new X-Trail will be first launched in Europe summer 2007 followed by the launch in Japan.
    This is the all-new X-Trail I'm talking about.
    X-Trail at Geneva
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 40,820
    I could live with that styling, even with those hunks of sheet metal blocking the rear view that you see so much of these days.

    Thanks for the link!

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  • dodo2dodo2 Posts: 496
    To me it looks like a baby Pathfinder, boxy and nothing to get excited about. I don't like the rook rack, especially with those incorporated lights.
  • I went with the Outlander over the GV for 3 reasons. 1. Roomier (for me) 2. Since I wasn't getting awd or 4wd...fwd was a better choice than rwd and 3. Power (the primary reason I was trading anyway).
  • xostnotxostnot Posts: 232
    Outlander forum? Hm, this is posted in the Grand Vitara forum. Otherwise, I'd have little reason to find it.

    "Rear door mounted tire, underpowered, rough "old school" engine with bad fuel economy and small cargo space are the only things I don't like about GV."

    Overall I don't mind the spare on the rear door. Very convenient, and the spare makes a good place to mount a bike rack. (Swings out of the way, with bikes.) The only things I don't like about the hatch are that it can't act as a rain shelter, and the hatch glass doesn't open.

    I'm not into the horsepower race, so if I'd wanted a dragster or sportscar, I'd have bought a dragster or sportscar. The engine is noisy when pressed, but I don't often drive it that way. I can and will be adding sound insulation. I don't recall such an indictment of this engine when it was in the XL-7.

    Real world fuel economy has been shown to be about the same as rival vehicles, despite the poor and very questionable epa numbers (which are submitted by the manufacturers, btw). The GV's mileage is actually very good when you consider it's always in 4wd, has the weight of a heavier drivetrain and substructure to haul around, and revs higher on the highway.

    I thought the cargo space would be a problem, but somehow the very low floor (because there's no spare underneath) means it eats up a lot of stuff before you pile things as high as the seatbacks. We put as much in it as we used to carry in a similar vehicle with 6 cu ft more cargo volume. I don't know why this is so.

    "I don't see Outlander with 4wd lock having any problems in those condition"

    And we do take the GV to its limits (carefully) offroad. As was suggested, an automatic will suffice for a low range in many situations, but not on disused logging roads up into the mountains in my part of the world. Otherwise, no 4x4 with an automatic would have a low range. Creeping downhill several thousand vertical feet is done with engine braking, rather than destroying the brakes.

    "This is the all-new X-Trail I'm talking about"

    I like the X-Trail, and was planning to get one. We held off to see if the GV would retain the low range, and when it did, the choice was made for us. The Qashqai(sp) looks like an entirely new vehicle, while the "Geneva" X-Trail seems to be a styling update of the present X-Trail.

    As it stands, the GV addresses a niche market, and is at a disadvantage in direct competition with the other cuv's. If Suzuki were to put out a GV model with certain features, it could take sales away from the other cuv's. Those changes: soften the suspension, add 100lb of soundproofing, optional turbo for the V6, lightened drivetrain to go along with no low range and normal use in 2wd, thinner "frame", and power front seats. The new XL7 is supposed to fill this role, but to me, it's too much like a minivan rather than an suv. I'd also like to see an offroad GV with factory raised suspension and skidplates.

    It's fair to add that if the new version Xterra had just been modernized, and not a bump up in size and cost over the previous one, we likely would have gotten an Xterra. As it is, it's just too big and too thirsty for our needs.
  • rcpaxrcpax Posts: 580
    And we do take the GV to its limits (carefully) offroad. As was suggested, an automatic will suffice for a low range in many situations, but not on disused logging roads up into the mountains in my part of the world. Otherwise, no 4x4 with an automatic would have a low range. Creeping downhill several thousand vertical feet is done with engine braking, rather than destroying the brakes.

    If I would need a vehicle in that application I would have bought a Pajero. I would imagine however that perhaps I can try my Outlander in that scenario using 4WD Lock, in manual mode. OUtlander is not automatic but Sportronic. So I still get to do manual shifting if I want to.
  • dodo2dodo2 Posts: 496
    Outlander forum? Hm, this is posted in the Grand Vitara forum. Otherwise, I'd have little reason to find it.


    Sorry, my bad. I just realized that this thread is shared by RAV4, GV and Outlander discussions, which makes sense.
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 40,820
    This discussion was categorized for all 3 makes, but the linking was just, ahem ;) , updated for all 3 forum groups, so that's probably why you didn't pick up on it before.

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  • xostnotxostnot Posts: 232
    Being able to manually shift an automatic is different from the value of a low range. You can manually shift any automatic, as far as I know. I think the main thing different in some cases for ones specifically marketed as being manually shiftable, is that they'd have a lever position for every gear. Whereas that is usually or often not the case for ones not promoted as manually shiftable.

    The GV does not sport a manual mode, but can be shifted manually. I do so all the time. It does not have a position for 2nd gear, but I've found that at the right speed, with just a touch of throttle, it will remain in 2nd for engine braking down hills at a certain speed. It will happily engine brake downhill in 5th, 4th, 3rd and 1st gear in either range.

    We frequently encounter situations that are so steep and rough (or slippery) downhill, that engine braking in 1st gear high range, manual or automatic transmission, is too fast. When I used to do this with a car that lacked a low range, I'd have to use the brakes to keep the speed down. But doing this over, say, half an hour, will overheat the brakes.

    In fact, below a certain speed, the engine is also working against the brakes. If you want to check this, next time you're braking to a stop, shift into neutral when you're down to a walking speed. The vehicle will brake sharply because the extra push from the engine is gone.

    So, if it's steep enough, and prolonged enough, and rough enough, only a low range will give you the engine braking you need to save the brakes. Creeping up the same places in 1st gear high range isn't doing the transmission any good either. Sort of like trailer towing, only much worse.

    The combination of these things is exactly why low ranges exist at all, and beyond casual off road use it gives the GV an edge over the other cuv's. Just because the GV is not as capable offroad as an FJ, does not mean it is no more capable than an Outlander. It's also a lot easier to add a lift kit to a GV than a low range to an Outlander, if someone wanted to move up that scale. I agree entirely that very damn few people buying cuv's need a low range.
  • growwisegrowwise Posts: 297
    I agree entirely that very damn few people buying cuv's need a low range.

    I think you just about summed it up right. I do like GV though. Its a nice truck but doesnt work well for everyone. For me, its drawbacks include short cargo space, thirsty v6 and no third row kids seat option.
  • xostnotxostnot Posts: 232
    Good point. The volume of the cargo area has turned out fine for us, but the length is a problem. A common thing like skis don't go in properly. Sleep in it? Dream on. It should have had any two of: fold-flat front passenger seat, removable back seats, or opening tailgate glass. But then, it's evolved from a much smaller vehicle, and it's cheaper than a Lexus.

    I still don't think the engine is inefficient. Real world mileage is indistinguishable from other cuv's, and the GV has the handicaps I mentioned earlier. I don't list the engine as one of those handicaps.

    Overall, the Outlander (or Santa Fe, or 3rd row Rav4) sound like they much better meet your needs.
  • pisulinopisulino Posts: 78
    GV best all around small SUV - Price and standard options.
    Compared and test drove all of them for seven months. Purchased the GV luxury with all the toppings including anchovies for 8k less than a CRV or RAV-4.
    I never been more happy with the choice.
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 40,820

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This discussion has been closed.