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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

  • mtngalmtngal Posts: 1,911
    Gosh - you don't think that they are going to start blaming the driver for rollovers, do you? It isn't his fault that he is driving 20-30 mph over the posted speed limit in an overloaded SUV, and weaving in and out of traffic, tailgating slower cars etc. It's got to be the car manufacturer for putting out an unsafe car.

    Sorry about being sarcastic - I see the above situation almost every day. It constantly amazes me that many people don't seem to realize that having that extra height comes at a price - you can't drive an SUV like a sports car. And that sports car has some advantages over the SUV - like nimble handling and lots of power.
  • baggs32baggs32 Posts: 3,221
    "It isn't his fault that he is driving 20-30 mph over the posted speed limit in an overloaded SUV, and weaving in and out of traffic, tailgating slower cars etc. It's got to be the car manufacturer for putting out an unsafe car."

    Even if you aren't weaving in and out of traffic in an overloaded SUV at 20-30 mph above the speed limit, you are still putting yourself and others in danger by moving along at an excessive speed alone. You never know what is going to happen in front of you and a speeding SUV will not handle an emergency situation as well as most cars will.

    paisan seems to think otherwise. It is easy to do that though.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    scape: but Ford, GM, and Chrysler are most guilty of selling huge trucks, FWIW.

    Some Excursions are even exempt from CAFE standards because the GVWR is so high. I think a special license should be required to drive such a huge beast, it only makes sense. You want a 16 year old driving that thing and sharing the road with you, loaded to capacity? We need graduated licensing.

    I prefer shifters on the center console. Column shifters remind me of my dad's old cars. I don't like the ones in the dash, either, like the Highlander. Tradeoff is you can't walk between the seats, but I prefer the solution Volvo uses - let the rear seat slide forward for access to a kid in the center booster seat (also built-in).

    -juice
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,710
    SUV or pickup with a GVW over 8500 pounds is exempt. That means all Excursions, 2500 series Suburbans/Yukon XLs, Chevy-GMC 1500HD/2500/2500HD/3500 pickups, Ford Super Duty F-250/350 pickups, and Dodge 2500/3500 pickups.

    Bob
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    So they're all gas guzzlers and will remain that way, basically.

    Yet any 16 year old with a plain, basic license can drive them. It ain't right, they should require a different class of license.

    -juice
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,710
    and probably everywhere else, if you have a regular drivers license, you can drive anything up to (Class VI) 26,000 pounds (school buses excepted, I think). Anything over that requires a CDL (commercial drivers license).

    I disagree with you about the license. I want to be able to drive the bigger trucks if I need to.

    Bob
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    But you should be tested to higher standard if you are going to be driving a 13 ton vehicle (loaded) down the road, don't you think?

    Let me put it this way - could your son handle driving a 13 ton truck without any additional training?

    Someone like you probably should get a little extra driver training to drive something that big. I wouldn't mind if I had to go. Nowadays they require similar training before you can get a motorcycle license.

    -juice
  • scape2scape2 Posts: 4,119
    atex - Toyota builds the Sequoia, Tundra, Land Cruiser which aren't gas savy.. Honda now builds the Pilot. Nissan too is on its way with a full size truck/SUV. Rumor is HOnda too is on its way with a Truck also. Its not all GM/Ford/Dodge..
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,710
    would never (want to) drive anything that big.

    The problem with extra licensing is, it would put a HUGE burden on the commercial industry. The only real difference between a Class VI (26K GVW) truck and a Class VII (26,001 - 33K) truck is the GVW. The class VI exists "purely" so drivers don't have to get a CDL. Physically, a Ford F-650 (Class VI) and a Ford F-750 (Class VII) are identical. Same is true with other Class VI/VII trucks.

    I've been driving since 1962, and in all those years I've driven a Class VI truck no more than a 1/2 dozen times, if that much...

    Bob
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Toyota followed the domestic makes' lead. Besides, they've sort of replaced Chrysler as the 3rd part of the "Big Three", if you ask me.

    The Pilot is mid-size and far more fuel efficient than the full-size SUVs. Nissan's Murano will also be mid-sized.

    Bob: even if he has no interest, my point was he would not be prepared to drive that thing, though he's legally registered to do so.

    But if I have to nit-pick, I don't think you should be licensed to drive a manual tranny if you took the driver's test in an automatic. Think about it - my little sister is completely dangerous behind the wheel of a manual-equipped car.

    -juice
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,710
    driving a Class VI "rig" is not something you do without extreme caution. The last time I drove one, was when I moved into my first house back in the late 1970's. That truck was an International, and did NOT have power steering! It was literally impossible to turn the steering wheel when the vehicle was parked!

    More recently (3 years ago), I drove a rather imposing Class III (F-350) U-Haul van, to move stuff out of my father-in-law's place, after he passed away. It's really just a matter of getting used to the size.

    Bob
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Imagine how overwhelming that might be to my sister, who got her license this month. I don't think a mere driver's license should be enough to qualify her to drive that rig legally. Just my humble opinion.

    -juice
  • tincup47tincup47 Posts: 1,508
    I have to agree with Juice on this. As most driver's testing by the states is a joke anyway, allowing anyone who can parallel park to be able to drive whatever they want up to the point of needing a CDL is asinine, IMHO. A stepped system makes too much sense and requires too many additional trips to the DMV to appeal to most people though.
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 41,614
    This topic doesn't do much comparing lately, but the threads are so interesting I'm not complaining :-)


    For those who are shopping, here's a new review of the Vue:


    Long-Term Road Test: 2002 Saturn Vue



    Steve

    Host

    SUVs, Vans and Aftermarket & Accessories Message Boards

    Moderator
    Minivan fan. Feel free to message or email me - stever@edmunds.com.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Price paid seems a little high, and 18.5 mpg ain't nothing to brag about. OTOH, the red looks better than any other color I've seen on it.

    -juice
  • dindakdindak Posts: 6,632
    Look at all the options added, of course it's pricey, the tester is loaded. Most small SUVs don't even have OnStar and side head air bags available.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Guess so, $23k for starters ain't too bad given the V6. I'd add ABS ($575), sunroof ($725), and a 6CD ($500), so that's pretty loaded for just under $25k.

    $700 for OnStar? You gotta be kidding me.

    I wish they offered a manual with the V6.

    -juice
  • mtngalmtngal Posts: 1,911
    I'm glad that Edmunds got one for a long term test. I was surprised about the gas mileage - I thought for sure it would be better than that. My 4.0L Wrangler gets that kind of mileage.

    I don't have a good answer about licensing. For instance, I drive one of the poorest high speed handling SUVs on the market, I think. Should there be a seperate license for it, just because a small number of idiots out on the road don't drive it safely? Most people I know who drive them know enough to drive it slower than anything else, and to crawl along if it is windy.

    As far as younger drivers go - as juice and others pointed out - they don't have much experience to know what safe handling is all about. Maybe we should go with a system that has a 1 year learners permit, or something like that, so that young drivers can get more experience before they are "turned loose."
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    It has 4k miles, so it might get better with break-in. Also, the V6 Tribute they had long-term got something like 16mpg. Those Edmunds editors can be pretty demanding!

    -juice
  • shill3shill3 Posts: 124
    I have my heart set on the Liberty since I plan to go off-road quite a bit, but if I was looking at a soft-roader, I am not sure the VUE would get the nod. Styling-wise, it looks like the Outlander but with less personality. I am dissappointed to read about the quality issues. Think I prefer the upcoming Nissan Murano (sp?) as an urban all-wheel drive run about, at least as far as looks go.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Murano is going to compete at a higher price level, though, probably in the 30s. It's supposed to go up against V6 Highlanders.

    -juice
  • clever1clever1 Posts: 123
    I've been seeing a silver Vue around town for the past few months -- pretty nice looking, considering the design generally reminds me of a hybrid Buick-Rendezvous-meets-Chinese-take-out-food-container. Owners seem pretty happy with them, especially since Saturn does make their customers feel well appreciated after the sale.

    As for the graduated licensing topic, I'm wondering what's done in other countries. For example, I know that Germany has (or at least had) relatively stricter training and licensing standards (including first aid classes) for all age groups; but I'm not sure what the minimum age for cruising the autobahn is. I haven't formed an opinion on this yet, but wonder what it would be like if the US raised the minimum driving age for full licensing. Maybe inexperienced drivers should have vivid decals or antenna flags indicating their level of training until they have proven some practice and skill (isn't something like that done in Canada?). Conspicuity has a way of making people behave more carefully.

    Otherwise, I wouldn't be completely averse to taking special driver training for different classes of vehicles, although it might be inconvenient. The biggest problem would be dealing with (and paying for) the inevitable beaurocracy. I suppose that our "insurance point" system takes care of some of that problem indirectly. Meanwhile, whenever I see a rental truck in my mirror or path my impulse is to get as far away as possible.
  • jimbob17jimbob17 Posts: 77
    Is the problem an industry, state or parent problem.
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,710
    while great in theory, would be just about impossible to implement here. It would effect virtually any business that uses a truck in any sort of manner. It would probably be the end for any truck rental business, especially those who cater to homeowners in need of a truck for moving chores. The average person, who rarely needs a truck would never apply for such a license, and therefore would not be able to rent a U-Haul truck, on those rare occasions that one is needed.

    Besides that, the trucking industry would fight any such legislation to its death.

    Bob
  • clever1clever1 Posts: 123
    I agree with regard to rental trucks, although greater restriction would most likely create a new or larger market for professional services to take up the slack (i.e., the truck rental businesses would merely add drivers for hire). Insurance standards and heightened liability issues for businesses that allow employees to drive vehicles for or from their company are taking care of part of that problem, anyway. I was really more curious about what the minimum licensing standards are for drivers elsewhere in the world compared to here in the US.

    More on topic, has anyone here actually seen a Murano up close yet?
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    paisan seems to think otherwise. It is easy to do that though. I've been in emergency situations with my lifted trooper, my XT6, my escort, my rodeo, and in all cases never felt any less safe or more out of control with my SUVs than my std. passenger cars. Perhaps people should take responsibility to learn how to drive rather than try to blame everyone and everything other than themselves.

    -mike
  • mtngalmtngal Posts: 1,911
    about people taking responsibility for their own actions. I don't think my Wrangler, driven within its handling characteristics, is more inherently dangerous than my Mustang was on the autoban (my closest experience with a sports car). I would never try to drive the Wrangler like that Mustang (I sure wouldn't want to tempt fate by seeing if the Wrangler could go 95+ mph).

    I talked to my friend who owns the Vue. She has a 4 cylinder and still loves it - it goes up and down the mountains very easily. She has a 2WD (lucky her - she isn't a commuter) so it isn't important for her to be able to get out of her place in the winter. She thinks the seat back isn't the most comfortable, but it isn't bad, and she loves the gas mileage.
  • scape2scape2 Posts: 4,119
    Remember, these are v6 engines with torque and power to pull and haul heavy loads confidently. I am now averaging about 21.7MPG in my v6 4wd Escape. I would be willing to bet the mileage on the VUE will get better in time.
  • vin_weaselvin_weasel Posts: 237
    here is a link to the program in our province:


    http://www.gov.mb.ca/tgs/leg/gdl/class5.html


    We have many more classes of vehicles that you need special tests for to be able to drive legally. The link is only for cars and light trucks.

  • baggs32baggs32 Posts: 3,221
    "Perhaps people should take responsibility to learn how to drive rather than try to blame everyone and everything other than themselves."

    I agree too paisan, but would you or anyone else blame themselves if they rolled an SUV over while driving at "excessive" speeds?

    We stand to benefit more (both financially and legally) by blaming the manufacturer(s).
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