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

ostaosta Posts: 9
edited July 2014 in Acura
Hi all!
I am currently checking out the above mentioned mid size sub 40K SUVs. I was surprised not to find a comparison of the Highlander and Murano and thought I would add the new Tribeca too.

I am looking for Sat Nav as a very important feature all three cars have it available though at the high end scale.

I am looking for advice and ideas that I'm sure others have considered before me. Thanks in advance.


  • cpp788xcpp788x Posts: 47
    When the smoke clears it basically comes down to 5 things:

    1. - Gas Mileage - Murano is the best unless you go for a Highlander hybrid.
    2. - Features - the Tribeca gives you a lot of features standard that you need to upgrade to get in the other models. You need Nav so that's not really an issue
    3, - Space - Tribeca wins here but not by much..
    4.- Drive it - which ever you like better wins - they are all good cars.
    5. - The dealer - A reputable dealer is the most important thing to me! I'm in NJ and the highway dealers are mostly crooks - They treat you like cattle.

    The Tribeca has the lowest center of gravity of the 3 with the largest wheels (w/4 wheel vented disc brakes) on paper it should be more stable on the road. Again you need to drive it and wait for reviews to come out.

    I have a 2001 base Forester and it handles like a cheetah. very surefooted. For me it's Subaru.

  • mikegia5mikegia5 Posts: 4
    I just bought the Murano last week and I really wanted the Nav system but decided against it because they are making some very nice portable car units (Magellan 700, Garmin 26xx?, Tom Tom) that are a lot cheaper; you can take from one car to another, or take with you on vacation when you rent a car.

    Good Luck!
    Mike G., Phoenix
  • sweet_subiesweet_subie Posts: 1,394
    I completely agree with mike on NAV.

    I just bought the Garmin c330, it is better than any in-car NAV. It is simply amazing, the accuracy, easy of use, portability.
  • bodble2bodble2 Posts: 4,519
    I think the Murano would win on features. There are some features that you simply cannot get on the Tribeca -- memory seats, power exit, tilt & telescoping steering wheel, auto up/down power windows, power adjustable pedals, Smart Key, upgraded Bose stereo. These are all useful features standard on the SE. Plus, if you order the nav and DVD, it comes with rearview monitor, which I'm not sure if it is available on the Tribeca.

    Also I would expect the Murano to be faster, since it has a decided torque advantage.

    I think styling is a draw, each has it's own love-it-or-hate-it front end.
  • ostaosta Posts: 9
    I currently have a pocket PC Bluetooth based GPS system which works well and I will continue to use that for travel, I have used it in both the USA and European travel. What I want to get away from is all the cords and plugs I have running all over the place between the GPS, ipod and portable Sirrus radio.

    The Murano solves all those problems quite easily. But I love the "classic styling" of the Highlander, when I see a silver or gold one drive by my heart goes pitterpat. I currently have a 2001 Outback and I still do like the Subaru. The Tribeca and the Murano have such modern styling I'm not 100% sure I'm comfortable with for the next 3-5 years, though perhaps the Highlander will look real old in that same 3-5 years, a Toyota dealer showed me the prototype Highlander 2007 and it looks more like the Murano and Tribeca than the current Highlander.

    I'm still investigating pricing but it seems the Murano and Tribeca MSRPs would be about 2-3k more than the Highlander but I'm not quite sure what actual deals can be negotiated. I would think it would be hardest for the brand new Tribeca though we have bought 2 Subarus fron the same dealer and are happy doing business there.
  • tigger5753tigger5753 Posts: 43
    Funny thing - when I first saw pics of the B9X, I thought it looked a lot like the Murano, except for the front end.

    I've only looked at the B9X brochure so I can't really comment on it, other than it has a nice lookin interior, but I don't like the exterior at (especially the front end).

    I've driven a Highlander and the ride was very sedan like. Interior was typical Toyota - simple and functional. To me, it was a bland vehicle, not an exciting ride.

    I ended up getting a Murano. Ride is more sports-car like - very smooth ride, but if you push it, it responds like a sports car. It did take me a while to get used to the exterior before I considered it. Compared to the B9x and the Highlander, you get a lot of equipment - Bose 6 disc CD, HID lamps, Moonroof, power front/heated seats, auto climate control,etc. Also standard that few vehicles have are:

    reclining rear seats, power adjustable pedals, CVT (which is so smooth)

    And like bodbl3 mentioned, birds-eye NAV, smartkey, and a rear backup monitor are available.

    Test drive them all, and your instincts will decide for you. Good luck!
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    Why is the Pilot not included in this comparison title?

  • ostaosta Posts: 9
    The ones I listed were the three I'm currently looking at. I guess the Honda Pilot is in the same category and there are probably several other vehicles that fit too. I'm interested in other comparisons as well.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    Fwiw, the Toyota Highlander vs. Honda Pilot discussion is still active (barely) although the Honda Pilot vs. Nissan Murano one faded away.

    Steve, Host
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    Steve, why can't these threads be combined? It seem silly to leave the Pilot out of this discussion. I know the original poster left it out because he wasn't considering it, but I think it should be included as I know others would be cross-shopping the Pilot with these vehicles listed in this thread.

  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    It's funny; when I first saw pics of the Tribeca I flashed on the Murano and the FX35. The Highlander is a bit curvy I guess, but the Pilot strikes me as more of a minivan on asteroids. Both look bigger than the Subbie in the photos.

    Nosing around the Subaru B9 Tribeca (B9X) board, it seems that Subaru aimed at the Pilot and Highlander market.

    We aren't adverse to tossing more cars into the mix if people want to.

    No one has mentioned the MDX either (but it's early yet).

    Steve, Host
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    I was at a Subie dealer the other day and saw a salesman's pocket "sales aid" in which Subaru was comparing the Tribeca to its primary competition, which are:

    • Pilot EX (not LX).
    • Murano SL (that trim level only)
    • Volvo XC90 2.5 AWD
    • VW Touareg V6

    I know there are others too, but those are the ones SOA feels are the primary competition, as the others were not listed.

  • bodble2bodble2 Posts: 4,519
    I think, as Steve said, a lot of people think of the MDX and (especially) the Pilot, as AWD minivans. Their full-size widths also don't lead to a natural comparison with the Tribeca and Murano. I'm actually kind of surprised people include the Highlander in this comparison, since it offers none of the styling and driving excitment that the Tribeca and Murano offer. But I suppose it's comparable in terms of price and size.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    primary competition

    If you'll allow me a bit of Monday morning cynicism, I think I'd be worried about cannibalizing Outback sales....

    Steve, Host
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Reclining rear seats - actually the Tribeca has that in the 2nd and 3rd rows, so it takes the edge here. The 2nd row slides fore-and-aft up to 8", too.

    Tribeca's DVD is the biggest in the SUV segment - 9". Most are 7" nowadays, only the Honda Odyssey minivan has gone to a 9" screen.

    Just for fun, I priced the other two out just like a loaded Tribeca (NAV, DVD, heated leather seats, big rims, etc.), and MSRP comes out to $38k for the Tribeca, $39k for the Highlander, and $41k for the Murano.

    The latter two may have rebates and deeper discounts so I think price is a wash, pick the one you like best. Murano does offer some unique features but then it'll cost more so like I said, price is roughly the same.

  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    In fact, I bet a lot of Outbacks will be cross-shopped with the Tribeca.

    rsholland, "The Forums Test Drive Team" #157, 23 May 2005 6:50 pm

    Steve, Host
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    Steve, I never disagreed with you on that point. I was just posting what SOA gave their sales people as "sales ammo."

  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    Well, I learned long ago not to be too surprised by what people cross shop. It'll be interesting to see if the Subbie salespeople wind up selling Tribeca's to Outback owners instead of luring Pilot shoppers to the showroom.

    Steve, Host
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Subaru surprised everyone and price the Tribeca $1200 below a similarly equipped Outback VDC.

    So I don't know if we'll see lower prices for the 2006 Outback VDC, but if not the value shopper will buy the Tribeca.

  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    I doubt we'll see lower Outback VDC prices. Remember it comes with leather, Wasn't there also a rumor that the '06 VDC had the NAV standard? In any event, neither leather or NAV are available in the base level Tribeca.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Is from an Outback VDC to a 5 seat Tribeca Limited, so it has all the same equipment, including leather.

    Tribeca is priced aggressively.

    We'll have to see if they make NAV standard on the 06 OB VDC, but if so they'd still better not raise prices much if at all.

  • ostaosta Posts: 9
    Has any bought any of these vehicles after comparing them closely?
  • subienewbie2subienewbie2 Posts: 458
    I have taken a good look at Lexus, Infiniti, Nissan, BMW and after considering such things as: brand quality & reliability, price, features, fit & finish, performance, and style I chose the Subaru Tribeca.

    Oh and I forgot to mention that is the coolest & most unique looking. Nothing is me too about this SUV.
  • gt2b9gt2b9 Posts: 16
    We've taken nearly all of the aforementioned out for a test spin... our take is as follows. Volvo XC90, well appointed, drives like a boat, and is $42K, Toyota Highlander...One word BORING....Volkswagen Touareg, High expectations left us unfulfilled....BMW X5...Great Drive, Exceptional Styling, and 52K for the model we would buy, but the clincher was no third row.... Acura MDX, the vehicle we'd decided on the day before we discovered the Tribeca, Excellent driving, Spacious interior (Beats the Tribeca in this category) integrated rearview camera is a huge plus, but again $42K....All the things we need in an Uber Cool Subie for 36 and Change it was a no brainer!!
  • jeffmcjeffmc Posts: 1,742
    It'll be interesting to see if the Subbie salespeople wind up selling Tribeca's to Outback owners instead of luring Pilot shoppers to the showroom.

    For the most part, it seems like it would be Subaru's marketing firm, rather than the actual salespeople, that lure those Pilot shoppers into the showroom. Whether or not the salespeople steer them toward Outback or Tribeca once they're in the showroom... like you said, Steve, it'll be interesting. I'm an Outback owner, and tentatively would like to move up to a Tribeca.

    Seems like folks in the general B9 Tribeca thread have mentioned considering switching from Honda & Mazda minivans, from Mercedes, BMW, Acura, and even Lexus SUVs, and from other Subarus, so I think Subaru's target is true, and they may even perhaps pull in a few more high-end customers than expected... those who aren't brand snobs, anyway.

    I must admit the high-end Murano's features are VERY appealing, though I'd never buy one. I didn't realize they had that type of equipment available. Must be stealing from the Infiniti parts bin. Those are the features Subaru needs to incorporate, especially the high-end sound system, rear camera, telescoping wheel and memory seats/wheel. Perhaps we'll see these features on whatever LL Bean-type edition comes out next.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    would be Subaru's marketing firm, rather than the actual salespeople, that lure those Pilot shoppers into the showroom

    Excellent point. I killed my TV back in '99 and, what with popup blockers, etc. on my browsers, forgot about all that marketing stuff :-).

    I haven't kept up with the Subaru B9 Tribeca (B9X) discussion but so far this discussion seems pretty heavily weighed with existing Subaru owners so I didn't know if any Honda or Nissan fans were on the radar.

    It should help when some of them actually hit the roads too.

    Steve, Host
  • bodble2bodble2 Posts: 4,519
    "I forgot to mention that is the coolest & most unique looking."

    Just playing devil's advocate, but that's what they were initially saying about the AMC Pacer too.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Fitz is coming out of the gates pretty aggressive on pricing - they range from high $29 to mid $33s. For $36k yours must have been really loaded up.

    Congrats to both of you, by the way.

    Did anyone ever call the Pacer cool? :surprise:

  • subienewbie2subienewbie2 Posts: 458
    From someone who has driven a Q45 for the last three years the rear view camera is not so great. To be of value you to keep looking at it. Since a lot of others also need attention - much prefer an ultra sonic sound system which my dealer will have installed for me on my Tribeca.

    Listening for the chirps leaves your eyes free use side mirrors and look for other hazards. Also, snow, dirt and darkness have no effect with ultra-sonic systems.

    Another negative of the camera based system is you scare the crap out many drivers of the car you are backing up to because they think your not look at what your doing. You get honked at a lot.
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