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Honda Pilot vs Mazda CX-9 vs Toyota Highlander



  • cericceric Posts: 1,092
    I believe Highlander has the best MPG from all information I gathered, but I don't believe the 3mpg difference you talked about (Highlander over CX9). That is exaggerating. No offense, but I just don't believe it. There is major difference in FWD and AWD mpgs. EPA estimated 1mpg difference, but in real world it is more like 2mpg on highway, 3mpg in city driving. So, when talking about statistics, one needs to separate FWD and AWD and compare them.

    My best guess is maybe 1mpg better (at most 2mpg combined) for Highlander over CX9 (or Pilots). The CX9 has short 1st gear and 200lb extra pounds to hual around. Highlander gear ratios may be better spreaded for MPG purpose. I know CX9 did them for zoom-zoom feel so MPG was secondary.

    Price? Highlander below INVOICE?! Try $3000 BELOW INVOICE now for a CX9. How much gas can $3000 buy? That is 750 gallons (@$4) for 15000 miles(@20mpg). Enough for one to drive 1+ year! For 2mpg difference? $3000 is enough to compensate for 10 years of ownership, not counting the interest the $3000 generates.
  • citivascitivas Posts: 144
    Look, I explained my methodology in a previous post. There are extensive posts in this forum (and some others) for each of these cars where people list their real-world MPG. There wasn’t much data yet for the 2009 Pilot. but there is a ton for the Highlander and a decent amount for the CX-9. I was only interested in the AWD Highlander, not the FWD. I created a spreadsheet and entered everyone's reported mileage. Now you can question the accuracy of the underlying data. But what is there to “exaggerate”? That data showed what the data showed. One could argue that people only tend to report the low MPG because complainers post most. Perhaps. But I saw a lot of people bragging about their MPG too or indicating they we’re at least satisfied that it was appropriate to the car type, so I’m not sure I would agree with that criticism. Also, as we all know actual MPG will vary greatly based on the driver. But when you have enough points of data this should balance out. I am confident there are some very careful drivers who can get better MPG from their Pilot or CX-9 than a really aggressive driver in a Highlander. But the issue should be apples-to-apples what is “typical.” I personally believe in a lot of data over any one person’s personal experience or what they “think” it is based on their own gut. And the data I had showed about 3 MPG. Even if you ignored all this data and went with what is consistently reported in comparison reviews on this and other sites, it would still be about close to a 10% difference (1.6 MPG) in MPG versus less than a 5% weight difference. So I think it’s fair to say Toyota has engineered a more fuel efficient vehicle.

    If you read my first post, I was the first I have seen here (in this thread anyway) to report about the $3,000 dealer incentive for the Mazda, so I am well aware of it. However, you incorrectly quote $3,000 below dealer invoice versus MSRP. If you go to the Mazda forum post for real-world prices paid recently, I have not seen many people reporting they walked away for $3K below dealer invoice. There are plenty who got MORE than $3K off MSRP though and certainly well below dealer invoice. But, again, since you can also get the Toyota below invoice right now, the real world delta between then is not $3K. Go check out the prices paid posts yourself if you don’t believe me. Plus I have been negotiating on all three of these cars. The real world difference works out to about $1K, give or take. This is certainly not true of the Hybrid Highlander, but Toyota is being uncharacteristically agreeable in trying to get rid of regular Highlanders right now.

    To me all of this is academic. All of these prices and MPG’s are close enough that it doesn’t make sense for price or MPG to be the sole deciding factors between these three vehicles right now.
  • pcz0925pcz0925 Posts: 9
    I won't get into any discussion over MPG as you appear to have your own process which makes sense based on the limited data available. As for the CX-9 price, I can comment. In lieu of low rate financing Mazda incentifies dealers $3000 per CX-9. Based on that I purchased mine last week for $7750 below MSRP or $4500 BELOW invoice. Mazda dealers here in the Midwest appear ready & willing to move their vehicles as each one I checked with was below invoice AND provided the full $3000 off of that. None of the local Toyota dealers are going anywhere close to a CX-9 on just price - my neighbor is currently shopping for a Highlander Limited FWD comparably equipped to my CX-9 AWD and the price difference is between $3200 and $3900 - plenty to pay for the extra gas I'll use...but who can put a price on all that fun I'll be having while I ZOOM ZOOM.

    BTW I found financing through (via Capital One) for 4.67% for 60 mos.
    with 0 down.
  • nxs138nxs138 Posts: 481
    So I think it’s fair to say Toyota has engineered a more fuel efficient vehicle.

    The Highlander weighs 200 lbs less: there's most of your gain over the CX-9 right there, it has nothing to do with design, it's just a smaller vehicle. Generally, for each 100 lbs less of weight, you gain about 1 mpg**. So 200 lbs less for the Highlander should give you about 2 mpg better. **(also see here for a calculation)

    The rest of the data is just noise, i.e. driving habits (maybe CX-9 owners are more heavy footed than the Highlander crowd), what extra cargo is carried in the vehicles, etc. etc.

    The CX-9 is rumored to get a direct injection engine, which should increase HP and increase mpg...we'll see!
  • cericceric Posts: 1,092

    Good points you made. I found that the short 1st gear (4.15) costs MPG of CX9 in city driving as well as the extra 200lbs. I own a Prius, so I have nothing against Toyota. It is just that I can't live with that lousy 3rd bench and floaty driving feel (and lousy electric steering, too). I know electric steering 'cause Prius has it also. Toyota apparently use electric steering for less drag on the engine (better MPG also). It is a design choice.

    I recently installed ScanGuageII on my CX-9, and get to monitor instant MPGs (plus per day, trip, tank, etc.) I have been getting 17.5mpg (from 16.5mpg) on my same daily commute trip with a bit adjustment in driving style (the right amount of acceleration - not too fast, not too slow).

    Direct injection would improve engine efficiency by about 5% or more. I would also recommend Mazda to use a aluminum hood. It might save about 20lb. A heavy hood serve no purpose at all. MAZDA, are you listening.....
  • ch1rravuch1rravu Posts: 14
    Sure you may feel you could zoom zoom better in CX-9, but NOT faster than Highlander. Anything over 8 seconds zoom-zoom to 60, is prolly trying lawn-mower race cart.

    Not many dealers sit their vehicles in lots, but rather in preperation areas (call it their warehouse). If anything is any indication, in our hood I see normal amount of stock in Toyota warehouse, lesser-than-usual @ Honda warehouse (mostly due to fast setting Civics), and tons-and-tons of non-moving Mazda ducks. It may be local phenomenon, but sure doesn't bode well observing this thing for the past 4-6 months.

    Has anybody gotten monthly sales figures for CX-9 compared to Highlanders vs Pilots to see how well each brand/model is doing ?

    By the way, anybody compiled, how many on-going recalls/silent-recalls, dealer-fixes and :lemon: law suits that are files against CX-9 and other models?

    If you really want to figure where many Americans are plunking down thier hard-earned money, just look at sales numbers.

    If you got money to spare, yeah - you can zoom zoom better, try a BMW X5 or a Mercedes or a Lexus - they may take you to your destination in Style too!

    Regarding Electrical steering: it takes some getting used to, sure even BMW introduced electric steering in their family, and took decent flak. Guess, its one of the things folks would have to start getting used to. After a while of driving with it, it doesn't feel that much different, and my friends actually like electric steering.

    Folks miss other critical advantages with electrical steering: Better insulation/firewall, better NVH, and better crash performance. In addition, some Engineering folks advice that Electrical steering is better integrated with VDIM/VSC (vehicle stability control), making it work better to save lives! According to consumer advocate Clark Howard: ".. electronic stability control .. expected to save more lives than any other gadget, except for maybe a seatbelt" ** (and he didn't include Anti-lock brakes, airbags, and other boondabgles in this list, because VSC/ESC is no pretender, but REAL-DEAL !!).

    Now, do I want VSC/VDIM? See how VDIM in action in this video:

    (though I sure wouldn't recommend doing crazy stunts on a icy road!)

    ** REF **
  • cericceric Posts: 1,092
    Do you always buy the most popular vehicles?
    I don't. I made my own choice considering my own needs and criteria.

    If sales numbers determine which vehicle is better, then all auto-magazines can stop their comparison test. Just collect the sales numbers and declare winners.
    By the way, which major award has Highlander or Pilot obtained yet?

    Hers is a list of MAJOR awards that CX9 has roped...
    Mototrend: Sports Utility of the Year 2008
    Automobile Magazine: All-Star 2008
    Car And Driver: 5 Best Truck 2008

    P.S. Highlander was a contender in all three of them.
    Yes, awarding winning is a big factor of mine when it comes to choosing vehicles.
  • nxs138nxs138 Posts: 481
    Has anybody gotten monthly sales figures for CX-9 compared to Highlanders vs Pilots to see how well each brand/model is doing ?

    Overall Toyota sales are down 11.5% as compared to this time last year, while Mazda is up 3.7% (both based on a daily selling rate for June). Highlander sales are down 31%, while CX-9 sales are down only 6.4%.

    As far as absolute numbers, Toyota has always outsold Mazda in terms of shear volume. Mazda caters to a more sport-minded crowd, and have always had less models to offer. But as you can see, the Highlander is taking a beating, while the CX-9 is doing a nice, steady job.
  • ch1rravuch1rravu Posts: 14
    Some folks may be saying Mazda is offering more discount (over $3K-4K under invoice!!), if CX-9 roped in that many awards, why does it need that /rebate/ push ? All we are hearing is one is lucky if Highlander can be had for under 1K below invoice.

    What little I know, Toyota does what it calls - product mix changes, and during such shifts, its expected one model sells more than the others. MAZDA is pushed to being a a niche player (note: sidelined), considered one or two trick pony. Come 10 years now, would you believe Mazda, which is under controlling stake of Ford, is going to be steadfast and honor its commitment to its product line(s), parts and service and continue to make and support CX-9 model?

    Some of you guys can have CX-9, it may not be a bad vehicle on first year or two of ownership. Wait till those lease-returns start trickling in .. By all means - I also enjoy driving sportsy vehicle occationally say 'stang, but do I want to own one knowing its reliability, and how stiff driving hurt backs on long-trips history ? pass,

    No doubt, Highlander is not sports tuned, and may feel slightly wobbly to somebody's tastes, thats a choice folks gotta make.

    What award did Highlander win? "Peoples Choice Award" - just check sales numbers. Where did CX9 rank among 'sumer 'rports rankings? mid-pack fourth !!

    Where did I heard the quote "The CX-9's sales are a drop in the bucket compared with Toyota's Highlander" ? No wonder CX-9 is a one trick pony.

    By the way its smaller brother CX-7 dropper well over 50% in June. So, you can't really compare company to company sales volume ..

    By all means - nobody saying CX-9 is a bad vehicle, only time will determine the truth, and its re-sale value., until that time zoom fast for what may be a short-lived fun! (CX-9 is based on stretched Ford Edge, we know resale values of Ford Edge !!)

    What did 'sumer 'rports have to say on CX-9? -- "First-year reliability has been below average" "Braking distances .. long in our tests on both dry and wet pavements (compared to all 6 competitors)" "Low Fuel economy"

    Sure Highlander has some low points as well, but it seems more people are willing to make a choice with safe, reliable vehicle more than a niche-market player.
  • qs933qs933 Posts: 302
    I don't. I made my own choice considering my own needs and criteria.
    Yes, awarding winning is a big factor of mine when it comes to choosing vehicles.

    Interesting. You based your choice on your own criteria, of which winning an award based on someone else's criteria was a big factor. ;)

    In all seriousness, I doubt anyone will regret purchasing any of these CUVs. Each is a little different. Everyone's motivation for choosing one over the other will be different too. Nothing wrong with that.

    I took a look at an '09 Pilot Touring this afternoon. Maybe it was the black interior, but the plastics used were an immediate turn-off. Like the Highlander, the dash and upper door panels are hard plastic. Unlike the Highlander, the texture and grain look and feel out of place for a $38K vehicle.

    The only advantage was the headliner, but since I don't spend much time staring at the ceiling, that's a minor plus.

    I also don't like the center seating position's ceiling-mounted seat belt. When installed, it looks terrible. When stowed, you have to remember to set it up whenever you plan on having a passenger in that position. It's a minor detail, but the Highlander has a seat-mounted center shoulder belt.
  • msammsam Posts: 15
    It seems to me people are trying to convince one another based on their own needs. Everyone's needs and expectations are different and hence different vehicles are going to suit their differing needs.

    Why would a person who earns 200 K a year worry about fuel economy as much as a person earning 100 K a year (if money spent towards fuel is the main consideration)?

    Why would a person who wants regular 3rd row seating for adults consider a Toyota Highlander?

    Why would a person who likes the nice comfy ride of a mini van, go for a vehicle that is more tuned towards sportiness?

    Also, in some posts people are talking about price to own after a few years and seem to be saying that Toyota will turn out much better than a Mazda. Looking at available data, the difference is much lesser than what people would imagine.

    See ya...
  • ch1rravuch1rravu Posts: 14
    100K or 200K a year earnings ? you ought to shoot for X5 or some other fancier models to befit your lifestyle. Betcha, many Highlander customers earn less than that. Ofcourse, many sensible 100k-200k+ guys buy it too, but largest volumes comes from middle class families, I surmise.

    Somewhere I recall reading about Highlander's sales drop in June: Discontinuing of 4-cylender models, while gas prices are hovering over $4+ ! If you notice on prices paid discussion, even in Car's sale prices, the difference between V4 (or I4 you may want to call it) and V6 models has narrowed significantly. ie., what used to be V6 premium is fast evaporating under prevailing $4+ gas prices. No wonder this broader phenomenon affects SUV/CUV purchase decisions too. I am /making an educted guess/ at this point, but has anybody got sales figures where folks who once were in market for V4 Highlander cross shopped for RAV4 ? Also, has V4 RAV4 made more sales compared to V6 ?

    Now, what /real/ choice do people have that want 4-cylender alternative to CX-9? Try RAV4 mebbe, seriously !

    Like somebody said earlier, its your choice what vehicle you want to buy, but make a sensible one at that.
  • msammsam Posts: 15
    Even with V6 when I test drive these 3 row SUVs it feels a bit underpowered. So, I think V4 will be worse. For 2 row SUVs V4 may be acceptable. Though since I am in the market for 3 row SUVs and only own V6 vehicles I don't know how that will work out.

    If one is looking for space, X5 is not an option.

    For a fuel efficient / gasoline-less vehicle, I am waiting for a plug-in electric vehicle.
  • baggs32baggs32 Posts: 3,229
    I also don't like the center seating position's ceiling-mounted seat belt.

    I hope that's for the 3rd row! Right?

    Nonetheless, that still sounds like a big turnoff to me too. Makes it look like that position, albeit it's probably a not often used position for most, was an afterthought. Also, how is it legal to trust owners to install something so important to personal safety? Did Honda find a loophole in the annals of safety laws or something?

    They do sell the Pilot as an 8 passenger SUV so I would expect nothing less than 8 FACTORY INSTALLED 3-point safetly belts. Do any other mfrs do this too? I never noticed it before.
  • aviboy97aviboy97 Posts: 3,159
    The CX-9 is reality is not selling "3,000 below invoice". There is a $3000 dealer engagement money on the car, that makes it appear "$3000" below invoice.

    The CX-9 is not on a stretched Ford Edge platform. The Ford Edge is on Mazda's platform. Any educated automotive person know that the platform does not make the vehicle what it is, but rather what is placed on it.

    While CR had red dots for every catagorie on the CX-9 except for the audio system controls, it appears that CR based their reliability on that alone. Makes no sense. Besides, Toyota is not CR's favorite anymore with constant issues in quality and reliability as of late. We all know CR is not perfect, and you are nieve if you think they are.

    The CX-9 is not a "one trick pony". It happens to do everything better then the Highlander, except straight line acceleration and a slim FE average.

    To me, Toyota's are highly over rated. Yes, they are good mechanically, however, they have some of the cheapest materials I have ever seen on the interior. Styling makes me want to hang my self. And the the most slushy, non responsive vehicles on the market. While they get good remarks for dependability (which has taken a HUGE hit lately) they consistently rate near the bottom in comparison tests.
  • qs933qs933 Posts: 302
    I also don't like the center seating position's ceiling-mounted seat belt.

    I hope that's for the 3rd row! Right?

    If I remember correctly, both the second and third row in the Pilot use a ceiling-mounted seatbelt.

    It's actually fairly common. Both the Nissan Murano (a two-row CUV) and the Mazda CX-9 use roof-mounted belts for the center position in the second row.

    As I mentioned, the Highlander has a seat-mounted center belt for the second row.

    Keep in mind: I'm sure the ceiling-mounted belt is just as safe as a seat-mounted belt. and it's far better than just a lap belt only that used to be common in center seating position.
  • nxs138nxs138 Posts: 481
    Mazda is offering more discount (over $3K-4K under invoice!!), if CX-9 roped in that many awards, why does it need that /rebate/ push ? All we are hearing is one is lucky if Highlander can be had for under 1K below invoice.

    Let me illuminate you on why the Highlander might sell only $1k below invoice:
    MSRP Highlander Limited AWD: $34,350
    Invoice Price: $30,571
    Difference: $3779

    MSRP CX-9 GT AWD: $34,655
    Invoice Price: $32,041
    Difference: $2614

    Basically, the Highlander has a much lower invoice price than the CX-9. That's why dealers would likely not sell for thousands below invoice, since invoice is already low!

    So you're making fun of the CX-9 by saying you can get it $3000 below invoice, which would be $29,041. Yet you're somewhat proud to say that you can get the Highlander $1000 below invoice, which would be $29,571...IT'S THE SAME PRICE AS THE CX-9!

    You obviously have a bias against the Mazda, that's fine, but come on, at least do a bit of research before spouting off.
  • ch1rravuch1rravu Posts: 14
    No bias here, letting the cars speak about themselves and their sales/volume/appreciation/safety/better-value-proposition sell themselves. Obviously, I have no incentive to sell a highlader or a Pilot or a CX-9. Since you did not make it clear earlier, I don't know about you though!

    Aviboy - time to finish your education, fast! Recession coming ..

    "So let me explain more gently: genetically speaking, the CX-9 is actually a closer relation to the Ford Edge" NYTIMES:

    "It looks like a longer version of the CX-7 but is based on the stretched platform of the Ford Edge" -- consum' 'rports

    Good choice award from consum' 'rports, Highlander TOPS all competitors, CX-9 lower mid-pack 4th.

    You like CX-9, please go ahead put your money in one, but first-drive alone is not what you should plunk your money over.

    No need to explain pricing - be your own judge on what people paid experiences rigbht here on TownHall for all three models. And we are not even pricing low-maintenance and resale values into the equation.

    // MSAM //

    Highlander beat every other SUV/CUV either loaded/unloaded in every category., and it also brakes/stops better! Mebbe to some v4 still a viable option., obviously, until last model year V4 sold in decent volume, its not like every AMERICAN grew larger and grew their families in just one year to make V4 a history !! Some folks need more volume doesn't necessarily haul 7 folks all at the same time!

    Let the better, well-rounded vehicle take the category, and sales., just not a one-trickeroo
  • nxs138nxs138 Posts: 481
    So why are Highlander sales volumes down 31% over last year, and CX-9 sales down only 6%? And remember, as you like to repeat, this is a top-rated Consumer Reports recommended vehicle, and it still loss 31% in sales! I guess the people are voting with their wallets and figuring out that the new Highlander doesn't really bring that much new stuff to the table as compared to the outgoing version.

    To show you how well the CX-9 is doing, the GMC Acadia is down 40% in sales as compared to last year. Even the Pilot is down 20%.

    So the CX-9 is not really the one-trick pony you think it is, sales remain steady as other CUVs are tanking. That kinda blows your argument, doesn't it?

    And as for myself, I'm just a guy that did a lot of research before buying the CX-9. The Highlander would have been our 2nd choice, but we thought the CX-9 drove more like a car, which is what we wanted.
  • baggs32baggs32 Posts: 3,229
    I've seen ceiling mounted shoulder belts before. What was it you meant by having to install it in the Pilot though?

    I've been in the back seat of the CX-9 a few times and never noticed a ceiling mounted shoulder belt. That's not to say it isn't there. I just didn't pay attention to it I guess. Do you just pull it down from the headliner or what?
  • msammsam Posts: 15
    Remember between 2007 to 2008 the curb weight of the Highlander increased close to 400 lbs. This may have made a V4 not a viable option. At least it seems like Toyota thought so. In any case, it is my personal opinion. I agree that some folks don't necessarily need to haul 7 all the time, but some may need to. So, it still comes down to individual needs.

    "Highlander beat every other SUV/CUV either loaded/unloaded in every category"

    I am not sure that this statement is completely true. It just depends on where you look.
  • qs933qs933 Posts: 302
    What was it you meant by having to install it in the Pilot though?

    "Install" was the wrong word. You don't have to "install" the actual seatbelt hardware. You do have to connect the belt to the buckle on the seat before it's usable.

    Either you leave it connected all the time, or you could leave it stowed on the ceiling so it's out of the way. If you do the latter, someone will need to connect it whenever the center position is used.
  • ch1rravuch1rravu Posts: 14
    Like /nxs138/ said, Pilots are down, so are Acadias. Obviously, general trend in this category is 20+ percent down. As earlier pointed out, niche-market (sidelined, may I say?) models play to different market-forces as compared to broader markets. As said again, discontinuing V4 certainly took away some Highlander sales with raising gas prices. Anybody got break-out of V4 to V6 model split sales figures among Highlanders prior to model year change ?

    If Highlander had V4 engine, it woulda reduced the weight compared to current V6 model, hence increased weight wouldn't be as much as 400 pounds between model years., yet it will still be higher than previous year model though, agree. But, for whatever's worth 'yota folks figured V4 Highlander isn't worth spending their design time, and cut that configuration out, and left that segment to RAV4 play.

    What general public fully understand is Highlander's real-world fuel economy/MPG under many conditions TOPs "Monroney" sticker posted numbers (lets say easy, EPA MPG figures). Where as other CUVs/SUVs struggle hard to reach their-own already low MPG-figures under /ideal/ conditions. Its clear and evident from /real/ people experiences and postings right here, that Highlander gives very good MPG., where as that is not the case with other CUVs.

    Surprising thing is - Pilot with that wonderful Cylender Deactivation thingie (I used to get a kick when GM used to refer it as DoD, displacement on demand), doesn't match Highlander's numbers close enough. Thats so un-typical of Honda, which usually does fairly competent with V4 engines performance and their MPG. Highlander one-upped Pilot in MPG category, and Toyota in general one-upped Honda in V6 performance/MPG. Mebbe next round goes to Honda., lets wait..

    Somebody said, some of Highlander's interior materials visually are not upto Toyota level, I see in some areas they could possibly increase material quality. But, they wouldn't want to make it too luxurious, if they would, what is the incentive to buy them Lexus models? It may be somewhat well-thought idear. But, I see those materials are durable though, hence quality wise, surmise it won't be an issue. Visually, some of the trim-pieces may not be as much appealing, got a point.

    A neighbor complains about her CX-9's visibility, and rather-stiff driving. Anybody else felt the same way?
  • aviboy97aviboy97 Posts: 3,159
    "It looks like a longer version of the CX-7 but is based on the stretched platform of the Ford Edge" -- consum' 'rports

    Yes, same platform, CD3, which Ford borrowed from Mazda (GG/GY platform). I don't need an education from you. Thanks for the offer.

    The overall sales figures do not speak for themselves, Toyota is the worlds largest automaker. Mazda is 4th in Japan. I have owned a Toyota before, and I believe they are over rated. Until they build a product that is actually fun to drive (IMO), I will not step foot in any of their show rooms.
  • nxs138nxs138 Posts: 481
    A neighbor complains about her CX-9's visibility, and rather-stiff driving. Anybody else felt the same way?

    Actually the major complaint I would have is the act of getting into the CX-9: the roof line is low since the windshield is curved at such a low angle, and the first few times you tend to bang yourself on the head. Then you get used to it.

    The 20" wheels on the CX-9 will make it feel like a sports sedan, which means you feels the bumps more. We preferred that over the 18" wheels, which do isolate you better from the bumps, but we didn't feel as connected to the road. People that have never driven sports sedan should not blindly buy the GT with its 20" rims, it won't have the cushy ride of a floaty Buick, that's for sure. Of all the CUVs I tested, the Highlander has the most terrible road feel (might be the electric steering, might be the somewhat floaty ride), but that's a general Toyota thing, I guess, since its customer base is likely older than Mazda.

    My wife, who is short, has no issues with visibility. Personally, I think that all these CUVs suck with visibility, but you do get used to it. I've always driven sedans, so even a wagon is terrible for me.
  • cericceric Posts: 1,092
    What is "V4 engine"? :)
  • ch1rravuch1rravu Posts: 14
    Check post#103 "V4 (or I4 you may want to call it) and V6 models " -- no point to quibble on nomenclature differences of V4 or I4. Considering existence of V2, V3, V6, V8, V10, V12 engines, folks at time refer I4 simply as V4., though architecturally I4 is inline-4, where as V4 - means V shaped cylender positioning.

    You mean to say Mazda and Ford interchange platforms too much, to the extent of using same platform on many of their multiple models. Is that a good thing? Also, you know how old is the CD3 platform (hint: 7+ years running)? Just check Wiki - . LOL, this platform soon to be replaced by Ford Contour (US)/Mondeo (EU) platform? Ya'll know how well Ford Contour did in US?

    I do admire hard-love some of you guys have for your SUV/CUV (whatever make it may be) you own, or in market for.

    I would like to hear experiences from real-world towing experiences of your respective SUVs/CUVs .. my friend in GA trying to figure if a Highlander can do a job of decently tow his 4700 pound boat. Read an excellent review about Highlander on Trailer Boats - Going the Highlander route, his MPG during non-towing times will be excellent compared to rails-based SUVs.

    But, hez looking for more real-world experiences. Much appreciate it, y'all
  • maltbmaltb Posts: 3,572
    Nice little mix and match of facts there. The Contour platform is dead and will not replace anything. Also, I can tell that you never had the privilege of driving a Contour SHO or you'd bite your tongue.

    Platform sharing within or between brands is highly effective as used by almost every automotive manufacturer and I'm certain you are not qualified to discuss the pros and cons.
  • msammsam Posts: 15
    "I do admire hard-love some of you guys have for your SUV/CUV"

    The love is probably because it works really well. Have you seen a owner love their vehicle when they were disappointed with it after their purchase? Looks like you are in love with the Highlander. Why don't you get one? or do you already own one?

    Anyway, I don't own any of these. I am just in the market for one of these. I will probably consider a Toyota Highlander if it has 3rd row split seats.

    Though I feel that Toyota is certainly overrated for their reliability. I owned a Mazda about 5 years back and loved its reliability. Drove it until 160K miles and had very few repairs and none of them costly. I currently own a Toyota Avalon and it currently has 108K miles and have run into quite a few problems and the problems started at about 60K. Every year I have been repairing something or the other. Never was the case with my ex-Mazda. So, I should say I am disappointed.
  • nxs138nxs138 Posts: 481
    Looks like you are in love with the Highlander.

    You know, it's amazing how some people will just focus on one car that they love and basically dismiss everything else as crap. Love is blind, I guess. The CX-9 has been quite a target lately, since it's won so many awards. One guy in another Edmunds forum clearly loved the Acadia and found every single living fault with the CX-9 when the awards started coming out, even though he was aware the Acadia has had many, many issues. There's no convincing people like that.

    If you don't need much room behind the 3rd row, I would definitely suggest the Highlander, and I'd stick with the Sport Edition so that you don't get that awful fake wood. You can't fit a stroller behind the 3rd row in the Highlander, so if you have kids and are planning to haul people occasionally, you'll have to be creative with storage. You might also want to try out the Hyundai Veracruz, I was impressed with the overall quality. A little floaty ride, but comfortable. Depends what you like in a car. We opted for the CX-9 because of the additional room behind the 3rd row, and the sporty tuning.
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