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



  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I've seen those, they're pretty neat as well.

    If you have Nav, though, you already have the screen, it seems it wouldn't cost too much more to add the rear view camera. I bet Subaru will add this (and maybe HIDs) as running changes the next model year.

  • subienewbie2subienewbie2 Posts: 458
    Not sure yet.

    The dealer is checking because aftermarket kits have limited colors for the sensors. My B9 is Atlantic Blue Pearl - so if the sensors have to be mounted in the Blue portion of the bumper they will have to get them painted.

    If you like DIY - the kits cost between 90 and 150 bucks.

    I'm pretty handy but I do not trust myself to drill 4 holes in my B9's bumper
  • tytnsfan1tytnsfan1 Posts: 44
    I have been researching suv/xuv's for a while. From what I've read the XC90, BMW, ML350, Touraeg have terrible reliability and the gas mileage stinks. I was actually considering them until I found that out because they are all nice looking vehicles and have decent cargo space. In looking at safety which is one of my important criteria I was looking for the most airbags and safety features. At first thought the Mercedes because it has the most airbags of any SUV/XUV but then the reliability and gas mileage issues came out so that one was out.

    I figure Volvo is safety conscious so I'll go with front driver/passenger airbags, front torso bags, and side air curtains in both rows. The Pilot doesn't have torso bags in front so that was out although it does have side air curtains. The Acura has them but not worth extra $$$$.

    That leaves Lexus, Murano, Tribeca, Highlander, 4Runner plus several others that you can get as optional equipment the airbags. To get the safety features in the 4 Runner you have to get the V8 which kills the gas mileage so that one is out. The Highlander is usual around where I live and I want something different so that one is out.

    The Lexus is great but don't want to spend that much so we're down to the Murano and Tribeca. I think these two are comparable. I haven't driven the Murano yet but I don't think the fit and finish is going to be near the Tribeca.

    The Murano has a couple of features that the Tribeca doesn't, but the Tribeca has standard air filter which I've read is good for anyone in stop/go traffic every day like me. Also standard are the traction control/stability control which you have to get the most expensive Murano to get and a lot of dealers aren't stocking them with the traction control.

    I'm still going to test the Murano so I know for sure that I'm getting the best thing for me but I'm pretty sure when it comes to it I'll probably be buying the Tribeca. You can't beat the standard features which is what luxury should be...STANDARD. Not some pricey group of options or lumping things together so to get the one you really want you have to get a bunch you don't. The only thing I really wish it had was the key pad to open the doors. I have that now on my Explorer and it'll be an adjustment for me, because I can go into a ball game or concert and lock my keys in and not have to take them.

    I guess it all depends on what is most important to each buyer, but that's my take on it.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I thought the Pilot didn't have side curtains either? Maybe not?

  • jmaxejmaxe Posts: 198
    I believe you are correct that the Pilot doesn't have side curtains.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    But do they have an A-Spec package with side skirts? ;)

    Pilot is bigger and truckier than other 3 models in this thread. I'd argue that the Endeavor is actually a closer competitor than the Pilot.

  • tigger5753tigger5753 Posts: 43
    Interesting comparison - you make some good points...

    What do you mean by "Tribeca has standard air filter"? Doesn't all vehicles have an air filter? If you mean cabin air filter, the Murano does have one as well. As for the Traction control (VDC) it is a dumb thing to make you purchase the Touring Package to get that as an option. I do encourage you to test drive the Murano - I think you will love the ride, the CVT transmission, and spaciousness of the cabin, as well as some of the extras few SUVs have (birds-eye NAV, Smart Key access, rear backup camera).

    PS. I too owned an Explorer before my Murano and I totally miss the keypad.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I believe Nissan and Subaru use the same name, coincidentally.

  • newsubunewsubu Posts: 39
    I had a VERY similar new car search, gt2b9, which evolved over the last year, starting with the Touareg. Love it at first, and then ran like H*** once I understood reliability and VW's treatment of customers. Your take on many of these B9 competitors is right on...

    Seriously looked at B5, X90, Pilot, 4 Runner, Highlander, new Pathfinder, Murano. Different flavor each month since last fall, nothing was just right. I was actively searching for a 2003-2004 MDX when I stumbled upon that first rendering / concept drawing of the B9. Intrigued, I kept it on the "list" and grew further impressed the more I found out. Finally, a long test drive and I bought one; awaiting delivery soon. Just found a buyer for my Avalon this afternoon.

    Right now, I look forward to leaving all those other vehicles mentioned in the dust!
  • dherzfelddherzfeld Posts: 9
    I told my wife the other day that I'm not paying a bunch of money for airbags that I've never used. Call me an optimist (or stupid), but I'm not choosing a car based on the number of airbags it has. In general the more the better, but other features outweigh airbags.
  • bodble2bodble2 Posts: 4,519
    Do you buy fire insurance for your house? How many times has your house burned down?

    The defence rests. ;)
  • otis123otis123 Posts: 438
    Man, juice, you are everywhere! :) My theory is you are actually several people or one of those people that sleeps 2 hours a night...btw, are you pulling a Subie paycheck yet??

    Anyway, we waited several years for the Tribeca... ended up buying a base 2004 MDX in Sept. for $33K. That should be in this mix. Best value out there. I can read a map and I sure as hell don't want a boob tube in my car. 9K miles and riding smooth... Just attached the painted spoiler on it this weekend to get rid of the minivan edge. It worked. The MDX may be reaching 5 years old but it will still look good 5 years from now...unlike the Pilot and Highlander.

    dherzfeld, if you don't believe in air bags - go to the Insurance Institute website and look up their 2003 research on side curtain air bags. If you understand what they wrote, you would never buy a car without them. That was the final straw that led us to the that price point - 4yr./50,000 miles warranty, curtain air bags, service at Honda. Plenty of room from my head to the driver side glass...and an air bag to boot. I certainly "spent a bunch of money for airbags that I've never used." Thank family's lives are worth it.


    PS...I know this isn't the right thread but 74K miles on the 2001 LLBean and still flawless...except those front rotors/pads...need a new set. The only design flaw on that Outback...and the whistling front window gossets...otherwise it's amazingly reliable. :-)
  • sweet_subiesweet_subie Posts: 1,394
    In my humble opinion, 2003 MDX (my brother in law's), has much worse suspension/ride even compared to my base 2001 OB.

    OB is the best made vehicle ever, i only hope Tribeca ride is equally good or better. I will have to wait till i drive.
  • gt2b9gt2b9 Posts: 16
    According to the dealer, our LTD was sent to the wrong dealer....hmmmm, something doesn't quite pass the smell test on that excuse but supposedly, we'll have our VIN tomorrow. My 97 GT Legacy went out for a test drive tonight and I'm hoping it has found a loving home. With 169,000 miles it still runs beautifully and is as pretty as the day I got it back in 97. Makes me feel a bit nostalgic, except for I'm like a kid on Christmas eve waiting for my Tribeca to arrive! If ya all know of someone in the Northwest looking for a beauty of a 97 GT let me know although it has high miles the engine was replaced at 110,000 so it's a relatively new car!
  • dherzfelddherzfeld Posts: 9
    Murano also has side curtain airbags standard and in this price range, the full complement of airbags is kind of like seatbelts and a steering wheel - they should all have it. I'm much more interested in the dynamic handling qualities that keep you out of trouble in the first place, not to mention the defensive driving skill of the driver.

    The styling and appeal of the Subaru brand have never really caught my eye. The Pilot (and MDX by extension) seem a little top heavy and truck like (sluggish) to me, and besides we already have an Odyssey in the family. Pilot and Highlander both suffer from a bland exterior, IMO. Murano on the other hand seems to be the best combination of SUV ride height, sports sedan power and handling, and curb appeal.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Well, I'm sure the mortgage company requieres home insurance, so it's not really a choice.

    Ralph: no paycheck, but if you have any ideas or want to send me money please do! :D

    Subaru did invite me (and Bob) up to HQ on Tuesday for a Ride-n-Drive event, so we'll get a good chance to really test the Tribeca away from public roads.

    Tribeca has bigger brakes than your OB and door frames to quiet wind noise. Though I'd miss my light frameless doors.

    At $33k the MDX is a solid value, I remember people were paying MSRP for those for years. Does yours have leather?

    Test drove a cloth 7 seat Tribeca yesterday and was thoroughly impressed. It's not perfect, but I still want one.

    Here is my take on it:

    ateixeira, "Subaru B9 Tribeca (B9X)" #3137, 26 May 2005 10:39 am

  • tytnsfan1tytnsfan1 Posts: 44
    Thanks for coming to my defense. You know I never really thought too much about airbags or active head restraints, etc. either before having a baby. I want the very best in safety for her. It isn't my only criteria but it is high on the list.

    I have a 97 Explorer which only has the front airbags for driver and passenger. My mom had one too the exact vehicle just about and was in an accident up against a small Nissan car and it did a world of damage to her vehicle and her unfortunately. She is fine but it crosses my mind enough I don't want to have to go through what she has and definitely want the best for my child. It probably doesn't help I'm in risk management!

    Also, Pilot only has torso bag in front not curtains-that's why I don't want it. Head injuries are usually more serious so it would seem more important than torso bags.

    I will definitely test drive Murano however before signing on the dotted line. A friend of mine has one and I really don't want her to think I'm copying! Ha!
  • tytnsfan1tytnsfan1 Posts: 44
    I did mean the cabin air filter and I was unaware that the Murano has one too. Thanks for the info. I would like to have the rear back up camera too especially with the smallness of the rear side windows but won't probably spend money for it. Again used to the larger windows on Explorer. My husband said I would have to learn to use my mirrors. I guess you can get used to anything. Do you miss the cargo space in the Explorer? That's another thing I'll need to get used to I guess.
  • tytnsfan1tytnsfan1 Posts: 44
    That's the great thing about these vehicles=you aren't paying a bunch of money for airbags or anything else for that matter!
  • tigger5753tigger5753 Posts: 43
    I had an Explorer Sport (2-DR) so my Murano has much more room. One of the tests I did with the Murano was to bring my hockey stick to fit. In my Explorer, I could fit it at an angle across the floor. The Murano could do the same, so it passed. Another cool feature is the two handles on each side of the cargo bay that you can pull and have the rear seats fold flat.

    As for backing up, I don't have the camera (wasn't available), but I was so used to the Explorer I could judge very well how far my bumper was to the car behind me. Right now, I have no clue with my Murano, and often have to get out and take a quick peek. The side mirrors are a decent size tho.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    Who benefits from side and head airbags? (Inside Line)

    Highlander is leading the pack in the Most Researched Vehicles category here.

    Steve, Host
  • gt2b9gt2b9 Posts: 16
    Considering there has been NO national advertising on the Tribeca, it's pretty amazing to see how much excitement there is for this vehicle.
  • bodble2bodble2 Posts: 4,519
    I think though, that most (not all) of the excitment is from the Subaru "family".
  • bodble2bodble2 Posts: 4,519
    I agree with you that safety should be a high priority when we plunk down big dollars for our vehicle. I almost feel naked now if I ride in an older vehicle without airbags! :blush:

    Steve made a good point that airbags may not protect infants, or toddlers. But be that as it may, I think that should the unthinkable happens, and you're involved in a serious accident, you would be in a much much better position to attend to your little ones if you have survived the crash. And I don't even want to think about the scenario of my kids being orphaned. :cry:

    Good luck with your car hunting.
  • subienewbie2subienewbie2 Posts: 458
    The problem with all the excitement over the B9 is that it seems to almost exclusively from Subie owners. With a few exceptions - like me for instance - few higher end or any other end buyers know about the B9 and that it could be a great alternative to the run of the mill higher priced SUV - XUV stuff out there.

    They way they are starting - they may well canabize sales of the other models and increase the base as much as they could if the would let the rest of the world know about this great new model.
  • bodble2bodble2 Posts: 4,519
    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, but I've been mulling over trading in my TL for an SUV. And right now it a choice between the X3 and the X5. And while I'm reading about the B9 with interest, it is just that --- interesting reading. I don't think any rave review will pull my buying interest from the Beemers. I think it has the same problem as the Phaeton -- it is saddled with a non-premium brand name.

    And I suspect the B9 is garnering similar reactions from ML, Cayenne, Land Rover, and even RX owners and potential owners.

    However, like you said, Outback and Forester owners are getting hot and heavy over it, plus the guys cross-shopping Highlanders, Pilots and Muranos.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    Perceptions are funny things. I drove a Volvo in the mid-70's when it was aimed at school teachers; sort of practical like a VW Bug, but safer. Now they tout themselves as an upscale brand but I still don't relate to them that way myself.

    Back in that era, I had friends in Colorado who had one of the early Subbie wagons. It was great in the snow, but it wasn't any wider than a VW Bug and not much more spacious. That go anywhere perception didn't really morph over the decades; we just got Dundee, Navratilova and then Lance. If Subaru is going upmarket and getting away from the LL Bean outdoorsy crowd a bit, that could explain why Lance's contract isn't being renewed.

    It may take a long time for some of us old timers not to picture Subarus in our mind's eye as gutsy wagons packed with camping gear with a bit of mud (and rust) around the fenders.

    But my mind also sees Acuras as fancy lawn mowers, aka Hondas. Murano's are tall Datsun Z's (I had a Datsun wagon once, but the Murano doesn't remind me of that!). The Highlander makes me flash (fondly) on the classic AWD Tercel Wagons. I must be stuck in the 70's....

    Steve, Host
  • bodble2bodble2 Posts: 4,519
    " I must be stuck in the 70's...."

    Are you wearing your leisure suit, with a gold chain, and "Stayin Alive" is playing on your turntable as you read this? :P
  • dcm61dcm61 Posts: 1,553
    "Stayin Alive" is playing on your turntable as you read this?

    Nah, he's STILL playing it on his 8-track. Turntables are too modern for Steve. :P

This discussion has been closed.