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Nissan Murano vs Toyota Highlander vs Subaru B9 Tribeca vs Honda Pilot



  • steverstever Posts: 52,572
    Nah, cassettes and vinyl cost money. Radio is free (AM/FM anyway). :-)

    Steve, Host
  • bodble2bodble2 Posts: 4,519
    Well, at least you have FM! :P
  • steverstever Posts: 52,572
    I'm not so old that I remember the Fireball Dynaflash Eight however. And no, they weren't a precursor to the Temptations.

    Steve, Host
  • dherzfelddherzfeld Posts: 9
    My enduring image of a Subaru is my college buddy's girlfriend's POS 1973 rusted out coupe that lost a wheel on the freeway one time. She was able to safely pull to the side of the road - good thing too, because she didn't have any airbags. That's a pretty big gap to bridge to get me into the door of a Subaru dealership to put down thirty five large on an SUV. Datsun and Toyota and Honda all had their share of the same types of things, but it was never a personal experience.
  • tytnsfan1tytnsfan1 Posts: 44
    Thanks for posting that article, Steve. I'm such a maniac I got my daughter the Britax Wizard car seats for side impact protection. Thanks again.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,572
    I think my memories of that old Colorado Subbie plus the many I rode in with Anchorage friends to go skiing and boating in back in the 80's were a big reason I wound up with my Outback when we needed a second car here. Those Alaska Subbies did rust a lot, but duck tape fixed that, and they were hard to kill.

    Hey Tytnsfan1, do those child seats have built in air bags too? Having a kid on board will change your driving habits fast.

    Steve, Host
  • newsubunewsubu Posts: 39
    "I'm not sure the B9 has the goods to sway the high-end SUV buyers to any significant degree. I don't mean to sound snobbish..."

    I'm coming from Toyota, Honda, and VW over the last 10 years...and had been seriously looking at the Highlander (yeah, for a day!) Touareg (more trouble than it's worth), Murano (too pricy compared to the standard B9 features, and OH,...that horrible front end!!! Road Shark!), BMW X5 (B9 handles better and X5 has less room, and high $) & Pilot (especially) & MDX (best next choice!) felt too much like a truck.

    A recent new Cayenne buyer I know regretted not knowing more about the Tribeca before purchase. Has test driven a Tribeca since Cayenne purchase and has agreed the $30,000 difference gave him the "cool" factor, a big bill, the ability to go places he never goes, not much more.

    The Tribeca has won my confindence and soul. After extensive research & comparisons, and one inspriring test drive, this is the best XUV for myself and family. I could have spent alot more $ on a prestige, however unreliable plate, but the B9 has got the perfect combination of safety, luxury, space, comfort and mostly Subaru reliability. And for you front-end naysayers...I'm kinda ugly myself, & I like airplanes!

    That said, I can hardy wait to drive one for more than a 1/2 hour! And if this B9 I ordered gives me any problems you can expect the ying/yang of this post x 10!!!.
  • dhamiltondhamilton Posts: 875
    So I've been cross shopping the B9 with the MDX. I know it may be a little crazy, and not exactly the fit for the board but here are my thoughts regardless. Great ride and handling. It doesn't use it's space as well as the MDX. [course the MDX is bigger] I didn't think the seats were as comfortable either. Better [more sporty] handling, allthough it still had a nice, quiet ride. More standard things that my wife would be in to, such as disc changer, dual climate. I'm in to the whole thing about it being some 3g's less than the MDX. Does anyone have any thoughts as to how well the quietness and quality of the ride will last? I know the car itself is very durable and reliable, but ride quality is a huge thing for my wife. I have owned 3 Acuras and they keep there ride quality very well. Not the best looking thing out there, but that would mean getting the volvo xc90. Hell will have a Culligan man before that happens. Can't really go wrong with either but thoughts and opinions are welcome.......Dan
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Tribeca just got a glowing review in the Washington Post (print edition) today. They compared it favorably to Lexus, Mercedes, BMW, Land Rover, and Acura. Big thumbs up from them.

    They need to get the word out, now. Brochures were not yet ready in dealers, that's repeating the same mistake they made with the Baja launch.

    Steve: Subaru picked up that school teacher demographic once Volvo moved upscale, so they'd appear to be in a similar position as Volvo was a while back.

    $35 large - not necessarily. The one I test drove had a no-haggle price under $30k, freight included.

    Dan: with framed windows, perhaps a first for Subaru, that ought to keep wind noise from creeping up later on. The MDX probably has a softer ride if that's what you really want, but the Tribeca is lighter and sportier.

    I drove an ML in the M Class Road Rally event that Mercedes hosted and can honestly say it has nothing on the Tribeca I drove earlier in the week. The ML350 just did nothing for me, it's not fast or sporty, and the interior reminded me too much of a TrailBlazer. Plus it leans like crazy in corners. The ML500 was nicer but still had way too much body roll.

  • steverstever Posts: 52,572
    Tribeca just got a glowing review

    This one is radioactive, so I'm guessing it's it.

    Washington Post

    Interesting comment by Warren Brown in the review that all these SUVs derive from the 1946 Willys Wagon (and later the Wagoneer).

    Steve, Host
  • dhamiltondhamilton Posts: 875
    Thanks for responding. I didn't know about the framed windows. Where can I read more about that? Dan
  • sweet_subiesweet_subie Posts: 1,394

  • mediaguy1mediaguy1 Posts: 12
    I guess I'm a high-end SUV owner...just sold my V8 Toyota Land Cruiser and will pick up the Tribeca this week. I also own a Cooper S. I drove the car last week and must admit it was a great ride. I've also driven the X5 for long periods as well. It wasn't one thing that sold me on the car but the combination of the total, handling, safety, and price. My Land Cruiser cost $55,000 and the quality was hard to beat but driving it became a "lumbering" exercise. It was amazing in off-road situations. I'll get back after I've driven the B9 for a few weeks.
  • wiklestwiklest Posts: 1
    Never owned a Subaru.
    Two Mazda RX-7s(83 & 88), Corolla, Toyota 4x4, Civic and Tribute.
    I Picked up my Tribeca on Saturday. Been happy all weekend.
    We actually were planning on moving from the low end small SUV (our second car, which we still have, is the 2003 Mazda Tribute) to the family Minivan. We had settled on either the Honda Odessy or the Toyota Sienna. Then I saw add for the Nissan Pathfinder that had an optional third row of seating. Googled "third row 7 passenger" and discovered the B9 Tribeca. I am still amazed at how little publicity there is on this. Found it by accident. The salesman at the dealership said we shouldn't plan to see ads out 'till mid to late June. Anyhow, started looking at all the SUVs that would save us from minivan hell and the Tribeca was the best fit. Murano only has five seats. We have two kids with accompanying car seats. That would limit us to one very skinny friend. With grandparents and friends visiting, we needed more seating. That knocked out the Nissan Murano. Highlander, MDX, Pathfinder and Pilot seemed to large and "Truck-like" for me. Plus, Honda needs a lot of help on it's interior. We test drove the CRV and the Pilot and I knew just getting in that we weren't interested. Once we started looking at the Tribeca standard features compared to similar vehicles (including Cayene and X5) and the performance was on par, it was and easy choice. Not to mention Lexus, Mercedes, BMW, Land Rover, and Acura are a lot more expensive. Friends of ours with the OB convinced us of the merits of Subaru's boxer engine. The test drive sealed the deal. We got the base model (no leather, no NAV, no DVD), but it has everything we need. The material for the non-leather seats is actually better than I had hoped (we had only test driven the tricked out model). The six/nine CD changer is NOT standard. Watch for that. Found out when I tried to load the second CD into the stereo on the way home. Drives like a sportscar. Don't feel like you're in a truck. We are very happy campers. Cross your fingers it lasts.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I knew you'd like that Krisshna. I got a nice chuckle out of it, too.

    Congrats to both of you new owners! :)

    SoA hosted us for the "Tribeca Experience" today and we got to drive them on the road for a good while (90 minutes, though we alternated drivers). We also got to test them in a parking lot against competitors.

    First course I took was Tribeca vs. Murano in a moose avoidance style test. Hard left, then hard right at 25mph. I went in the Tribeca first and it was uneventful. Then the Murano, and boy, I hardly made it, with lots of tire squeel and much more body roll. I was surprised, I really thought the Murano would be sportier. Maybe they leave that up to the FX.

    One of the drivers actually got the Murano up on 3 wheels, though they might have been going faster.

    Next we tested the Tribeca against the Pilot in a ride control test, basically driving over sand bags on alternate sides. The NVH of the bump itself was similar, but the Pilot rebounded more, like there was an echo after you hit the bump.

    Finally I drove the XC90 and Tribeca around a slow speed slalom, and this was a massacre. The Tribeca drove around nicely while the Volvo struggled, it was like wrestling an reluctant Elephant.

    Subaru did a great job tuning the Tribeca, I was really impressed. Do not cancel your orders!

  • brightness04brightness04 Posts: 3,151
    I'd take a pound of salt with anything Warren Brown writes. His reviews have been chock full of factual errors for years under his ornate wordsmithing. Back half a decade ago, he was officiously advising BMW to ditch 323i in favor of starting the line-up with 328 because 323 interior was not up to luxury standards, all along without realizing that he was comparing a last-model year E36 323 coupe to a first-year E46 328 sedan; hence the difference was E46 vs. E36, the engine size had absolutely nothing to do with it; in fact, E46 323 sedan with the improved interior and E36 328 coupe with the old sub-par interior were offered in that very same model year.

    Now in this article, he claims Forrester to be the first cute-ute, never mind RAV4 and CR-V came before it. Nor did he even realize apparently that Outback started as a body style variant of Legacy in 1995 model year, two full years before Forrester. So it was patentedly wrong for him to even suggested that Outback was a product developed after Subaru saw the success of Forrester. The rest of his article does not offer much substance, hence hard to prove wrong (or right, for that matter).

    Sometimes I wonder if Mr. Brown even knows anything about cars, beyond the marketing brochures and his own metaphysics.
  • tigger5753tigger5753 Posts: 43
    Just did a comparison btwn a B9 and Murano on Subaru's comparison page. Owning a Murano myself, I think that would be the closest comparison to the B9. Dimensions and features are very similar with the B9 superior in ground clearance, turning circle, cargo capacity, 7 passenger seating, a little more HP.
    And the Murano advantages are CVT, Xenon, memory seats/mirrors, lower weight, larger gas tank, power adjustable pedals, more low end torque, higher tow rating (B9 only 2000??).
    Since I have yet to drive the B9, I can't comment on it. I would say I am intrigued by the B9 and would look forward to some auto mag comparisons :D So far been very pleased with my Murano....

    I think Subaru B9 and the upcoming Mazda CX-7 got their styling cues from the Murano - put them together, they have the same form. This must be the trend for the "crossover" segment.
  • subienewbie2subienewbie2 Posts: 458
    The B9 towing capacity is 3500 lbs with the factory tow package, which includes a transmission cooler, harness and ball mount.

    Towing anything above 2000 lbs at any significant distance with out a Tranny cooler on a vehicle like a Murano or B9 probably is not a good thing to do.
  • bodble2bodble2 Posts: 4,519
    I agree one big advantage Murano has over B9 is the availability of a few "premium" features not (yet) available on the B9. What year is your Murano? I understand there were some quality and reliability issues in the first couple of years. I hope those have been "debugged" by now. How is yours holding up? Any concern with reliability of the CVT?
  • tigger5753tigger5753 Posts: 43
    I have an '04 SL AWD. The '03 had alternator failure issues and a weak low speed steering issue. These were resolved in '05 models, which is why Consumer Reports rated the Murano "Best Pick".

    I have not had any issues at all (knock on wood). Excellent ride (I drove an RX330 recently and I think the ride is the same), and the CVT is so smooth. Sometimes, I can't even hear it going, and I look down and I'm already at 90! On a Murano message board, there has been a few complaints of failed transmissions, but like any vehicle, I guess you get bad ones.

    Overall I am very impressed as the Murano was also my first japanese vehicle. The only real annoyance I have is that the front wiper blade design is the worst I've ever seen. When at rest, they sit below the hood line, so you can't pull them up far enough to clear ice or remove snow. And this winter in Boston was horrible. I love the idea of B9's wiper defroster/de-icer. I've long complained why didn't any manufacture make that STANDARD!??!?! :confuse:
  • blackbearblackbear Posts: 1
    OMG that grill is ugly.

    My advice?

    Let Subaru work out the first year glitches. Next year, Saab releases the 9-6, a crossover based on the B9 platform. Safe to say it'll be 2% more expensive . . . 200% more attractive, inside and out.
  • bodble2bodble2 Posts: 4,519
    Yes, I imagine the grill design will be a source of controversy and debate for many moons. Subaru apparently was trying to emulate an airplane fuselage and wings. My initial impression, however, is that of the snout of a boar!
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    2000 lbs towing standard, but 3500 with the towing kit (oil cooler basically).

    9-6 is an unknown at this point. GM wants to fit a diesel in their Saab crossover, so they might use the Equinox' platform instead.

    Tribeca has a similar D-pillar to the Murano, the but Murano is more rounded off at the sides and edges, up close they look a bit different.

    Personally I think Subaru took a Porsche Cayenne shape, added Murano D-pillars, and an upside down Alfa Romeo grille.

    I also see resemblance to the Maserati Kubang SUV concept, if you recall that wild one.

  • tigger5753tigger5753 Posts: 43
    It took me a while to get used to the front end of the Murano before I even considered it (like almost a year)... now I like it cuz it reflects my smile when I drive it LOL... I think the B9 front end is similar, tho I'm still not sure what to make of it...
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    They both seem to show a smile. Subaru just puts an airplane in the middle. ;)

  • bodble2bodble2 Posts: 4,519
    I wonder if the Murano would look better if they made the grill body-color, or just matte black?
  • cpp788xcpp788x Posts: 47
    Buy one so there will be one less Tribeca you have to look at when your driving, How bad can it be - we all survived the Aztek.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I think so, I'm not a big fan of chrome.

    I also think the Tribeca would look better with a mesh grille insert, preferably black, not chrome.

  • morey000morey000 Posts: 384
    OK, I've thrown the Subaru into the fray of mid-sized, drivable sport-ute's that I'm looking for. But can this vehicle really compare to the style and refinement of the RX330? Amazingly enough- they're about the same price!

    I want the RX330 for its luxury, reliability, resonable milage, and drivability- but I wish it had a little more off road capability. (I occasionally need it)
    I want the Mits Endeavor for its wonderful drivability and better off road capability, but I can't handle the bushed aluminum colored plastic center console and lack of high end features (for instance, nav).
    I want the Touareg, a truly excellent design- luxury, great drivability, style, design, off road- but it's gas milage sux, you gotta' get the V8 for sufficent power, and then it gets pricey. Plus, reliability is questionable.
    The new Cherokee and 4Runner- I don't know. I just don't want them. Sorry- no accounting for taste.

    So- is the Tribeca the vehicle for me? I haven't driven one yet. They are, like all Subaru's a bit ugly- but if it's a great vehicle- I could grow to like it.

    I'll be seriously in the buying mode this fall- so I've got a bit of time. Perhaps the Saab 9-7x (yes, I know it's a Trailblazer/Envoy/Ascender etc- but they supposedly improved the suspension and drivability)
    :confuse: :confuse:
  • subienewbie2subienewbie2 Posts: 458
    If you are thinking about Touareg with navigation - be sure to insist on one with upgraded DVD based system. Other come with a CD system that requires 5 discs and it work and looks like something out of the stone age.
This discussion has been closed.