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Suzuki Grand Vitara vs Subaru Forester vs Hyundai Santa Fe vs Jeep Liberty vs Ford Escape vs Saturn

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Comments

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Up is best - needs less clearance and gives you shelter from rain as well as a wide opening and no obstruction.

    Look at Odyssey and Pilot.

    Element has a neat clamshell, though.

    -juice
  • p0926p0926 Posts: 4,423
    I much prefer the overhead opening type rear hatch. Even better are the ones that allow you to open the glass separately.

    -Frank
  • isda65isda65 Posts: 74
    I don't know how big and strong you are but if you can singlehandedly carry a 300lb TV you must be the size of Hagrid in the Harry Potter novels :) As far as I know it took two big, able, swearing and cursing men to carry my 230lb 36inch Sony to my house when I took delivery last year :)
  • w84itnoww84itnow Posts: 1
    On the hayundaiusa.com website it shows the Santa Fe as having 4WD but the dealer is telling me it only has AWD. Can some one tell me which is true?
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,110
    That's interesting. All the information I have (e.g. edmunds.com 2005 New Cars and Trucks Buyer's Guide p.282) indicates you have the option of 2WD or AWD.

    Also, from the Hyundai site: "Four-wheel drive with viscous-coupling center differential and 60/40 front/rear torque split" (http://www.hyundaiusa.com/Vehicles/SantaFe/Features_Specs/Vehicle_Details.asp)

    Viscous coupling would suggest AWD rather than 4WD.

    tidester, host
  • baggs32baggs32 Posts: 3,213
    Ha! No I'm not Hagrid. I am referring to two or more people lifting something of that weight. Although I did lift/slide our 35" Toshiba out by myself back in December almost dropping it on the dolly below. :0 Then two big, able, swearing and cursing men carried it up the steps and into the house. Later on I and a small, weaker, swearing and cursing wife lifted it into the entertainment unit. Hopefully that TV lasts a loooooong time in there! :) Our 42" widescreen was lighter and much easier to move than that beast.

    Remember one of you will be walking backwards too which makes avoiding the swing-out door even more of a chore.
  • mtngalmtngal Posts: 1,911
    I prefer the swing-out door to an overhead lift - I'm short and the overheads can be too high/awkward for me to close. It's much easier to just push a swing-out door shut when your hands are full.

    There doesn't seem to be much standard between car manufacturers and dealers when it comes to what exactly is AWD vs. 4WD, and how the systems are set up. It gets real interesting when you talk to some car salesman who doesn't have a clue when it comes to what they are selling (and there are quite a few of them around SoCal). So many of them don't know how their AWD system works (is the torque split all the time or is it FWD or RWD until the wheels slip? What's between the front and back, and how does it work?). I used to judge salesmen by whether they could answer those questions or not (and do the research here on Edmunds or elsewhere on the internet to know the answers before I went).

    I looked at the Santa Fe when it first came out and as I recall, it was AWD then - don't know if it was changed since then.

    I'm not in the market for a new vehicle, but this question about the Santa Fe made me realize that it's been a long time since I looked at any of these other than the Forester. The '98 IS getting on in years, though it has no issues at the moment but will eventually need replacing. I wonder if my other half wants to go looking at new vehicles with me any time soon...
  • tazerelitazereli Posts: 241
    Lets apply the K.I.S.S. principle here.

    AWD = no Low range
    4WD = has Low range

    Kyle
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,663
    Not true. It's nothing but "marketing."

    Rav4 has 4WD, according to Toyota.

    Same with the the CRV, Pilot, Ridgeline, according to Honda.

    Yet the Dodge Durango and Dakota have AWD, with a low range.

    I'm sure there are other examples too.

    Bob
  • p0926p0926 Posts: 4,423
    Oh brother. Toyota and Honda obviously want to portray their car-based SUVs as more rugged (hence the 4WD label) while Dodge wants to soften the image of their truck-based SUVs to appeal to the soccer mom crowd (thus the use of AWD label).

    -Frank
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,663
    I forgot the "4WD" (according to Toyota) Highlander, and the "AWD" (according to Dodge) Ram 1500, with a 2-speed transfer case.

    Bob
  • mtngalmtngal Posts: 1,911
    Just to make matters even more complicated, the various systems do different things well. While a transfer case to lock the wheels works well off-road and in deep snow, it can be a liability on iffy, mostly clear roads (is there enough slippage for 4-high or not?). That's why I think it is more important to find out how a vehicle's system works and then decide if it is appropriate for your needs.

    The car manufacturers aren't helping when they mis-lead the public with their labels. So many times a vehicle will get a bad reputation because people buy them for the wrong reasons and then are unsatisfied when it doesn't do what they want/need them to do.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    To me, the difference is that AWD can remain engaged full-time, i.e. there is a center differential so in a U-turn you don't get nasty binding.

    The RAV4, Forester, and Santa Fe would have AWD (always engaged with the VC acting as a center differential).

    If you agree with that categorization, then rotary blade couplings like the CR-V, Saturn Vue, and Escape/Tribute are all 4WD. Liberty is 4WD with full locking capability.

    -juice
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Saw the 06 Forester in NY and it now gets 173hp in the base engine and 230hp in the turbo, plus an extra half-inch or so of clearance.

    -juice
  • scape2scape2 Posts: 4,119
    The Forester going the way side for the new Tribeca? Also, with the new wave of V6's coming soon from Ford/Mazda/Toyota/Hyundia I am sure Subaru is going to do everything it can with its 4cyl to try to match the v6's torque/curve ect..
  • p0926p0926 Posts: 4,423
    No it's not. With its seating for seven, the Tribeca will compete against mid-size SUVs. The NA Forester 4-cyl will always be at a disadvantage compared to competitors V-6s but then it gets significantly better gas mileage. Meanwhile, there's nothing in this category that even comes close to touching the performance of the Forester Turbo :-)

    -Frank
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Is the Escape supposed to get the bigger V6 that will go in the Five Hundred?

    Not that power is lacking in that model, it's more than adequate. So was the Forester XT.

    Keep in mind the base Forester gets 23/30 mpg, so it's by far the mpg efficiency champ among SUVs. In fact that's better than competitors even without AWD.

    Let's see what the EPA figures are for the 06, I bet they're the same or better. They did change the gearing.

    -juice
  • dc_driverdc_driver Posts: 712
    I think keeping the base 4 around (but slightly increasing the HP) was a smart move by Subaru considering the current gas prices. I found the base engine in the Forester, in its current model, to be adequate, but was turned off by the lack or legroom in the second row (this is a theme I have found in nearly all the subaru models).

    Do you know if the 06 weighs more? Do you know if they increased the legroom in the second row?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Legroom should be unchanged. I doubt weight will change much if at all.

    -juice
  • baggs32baggs32 Posts: 3,213
    Is the Escape supposed to get the bigger V6 that will go in the Five Hundred?

    That was the rumor but another one has surfaced recently that kind of hints that it won't. What I recall, correct or not, is as follows.

    Old rumor:
    The next gen Escape was to be based on the Mazda6 and offer the Duratec35 somewhere around 2007 or 2008.

    New rumor:
    The next gen Escape will be based off of the European Focus and another Ford SUV based on the Mazda6 will sit between it and the Explorer. The latter will offer the Duratec35 but the Escape, which may be slightly smaller a la the Sportage and Tuscon, probably won't. I would guess a V6 will be offered but I don't think Ford has a smaller V6 in their parts bin right now. Maybe a turbo Duratec23? I'm not sure of the year but I would expect to see it around the same time or about a year after the Mazda MX Crossport and/or the Lincoln Navigator (both off of the Mazda6).
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Or a hybrid powertrain, perhaps.

    In Brazil they sell the EcoSport, though I think that's based on the tiny Fiesta.

    -juice
  • I just bought a 4-WD Santa Fe at the end of February. I would question a dealer who doesn't even know the options on a vehicle he is selling. You might want a different dealer who you can trust to know the vehicle and therefore answer all your questions. I love the 4-WD as I am sure you will! :)
  • aspesisteveaspesisteve Posts: 833
    they are advertising the base LX model in my local paper for $23,388
    that comes with a powerfull V6 and seating for up to 8.

    i don't see Subaru beating this for value
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Ad prices are deceiving. You go in and they ad freight, advertising fees, processing fees, etc. That price looks too good to be true, so it probably is. I'd believe $25k.

    In the Forester thread someone just paid $22.4k for a Forester XT, that's the turbo that'll outrun an S2000, never mind a Pilot. Those things are useful but not the least bit sporty.

    -juice
  • mtngalmtngal Posts: 1,911
    I was amazed at seeing that $22.4K for the Forester XT. If any of the dealers around here would have been willing to sell me one for that price, I'd be driving one right now! I'm not unhappy with my choice of vehicle, just sort of disappointed that I couldn't get any of the Subaru dealers to go below MSRP. The XT was the more practical choice (though who ever buys a car strictly based on practicality?).
  • dc_driverdc_driver Posts: 712
    Right, but I never believe everything that I read either... That is nearly 4K BELOW invoice (if you add in destination), and there is no way a dealer is going to lose that much money on a new vehicle unless it was a program car with about 5K miles or something. Even then they usually only go about 1-2K below invoice on a program vehicle..

    And as you mentioned, you can never believe ads, or Internet quotes either. There are too many scams and hidden fees. If gas prices keep going up, you may start to see some of the bigger SUV's being seriously discounted though.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Not really, XT starts at $23698 plus $575 freight. Subtract a $2000 dealer incentive and you can potentially get one for $22,273. And that's before they dip into the hold back, which some dealers are willing to do.

    My guess is you won't see prices like that where demand is high (Alaska, Colorado, Vermont).

    The Pilot above is probably an LX, that's got steel wheels and is missing a lot of other stuff. Dealers don't even carry many of them, people want EX and up. Invoice for an LX is a little over $25k.

    And not that they're comparable at all, but if you did want steel wheels go shop a Forester X, I've seen those for less than $18k. There's still a huge price difference.

    -juice
  • aspesisteveaspesisteve Posts: 833
    look, the ad wasn't a price leader "1 only at this price" but 3, and it included delivery. Of course tax and title are extra.

    The thing is, there is alot of standard equipment in the base Pilot including an "spirited" V6 255 horse power engine. I don't mean to burst your buble or rain on your subaru parade, but you could at least acknowledge that hypothetically this deal blows away the Forester in value. I'll give you the 0-60 contest, but from there on you have less car in every catagory including gas milege.
  • dc_driverdc_driver Posts: 712
    Juice,

    Got it :)
    I was looking at Edmunds pricing, and they did not account for the 2K rebate, and I was looking at an automatic vs. a manual. That is a sweet price on a Forester, but at the rate that gas prices are going, we will all be driving diesels...

    Does Subaru make a turbo diesel.. Now that is an idea..
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Pilots are a good value even at $25k for an LX, sure, but I still don't believe that deal doesn't have some sort of catch.

    The Forester XT will easily blow away that spirited V6. 0-60 in 5.3 for the Subie vs. 7.6 for the Honda, so they're not even in the same league. In fact the base Forester is closer to the Honda, especially after the recent power boost.

    Pilot is a great people mover, but it cannot perform like the Forester XT does. Apples to Oranges, really.

    Now let's compare the Honda S2000 to the Subaru Outback! ;)

    -juice
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