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What is the Best SUV For me?



  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Is also based off the Dodge Caliper platform :)

    My main issue with Mitsu is their dealer service and reliability in the past few years has been less than stellar :(

    I think the OP was looking for a luxury car, and as much as Mitsu or Honda tries, they aren't luxury.

    Heck the OP may not even want an SUV at all, seems to be all over the map.

  • >> Is also based off the Dodge Caliper platform :)

    Not quite. There is no such thing as "Dodge Caliper" :). There is Dodge Caliber though, but it's based on Lancer platform and not the other way around.

    >> My main issue with Mitsu is their dealer service and reliability in the past few years has been less than stellar

    Well, the Consumer Reports has the opposite opinion: according to CR, the 2008 Outlander has the best predicted reliability in its class: CR link. Also 2006 Outlander made CR the top 5 most reliable in its class: CR Best and Worst. Sure, the other Mitsubishis build in Illinois on Chrysler powertrain were not reliable, but the Outlander has no Chrysler parts - it's build entirely in Japan.

    >> I think the OP was looking for a luxury car, and as much as Mitsu or Honda tries, they aren't luxury.

    Well, initially I suggested OP the BMW X5 and MB M350 and apparently these cars do not work for him, so what else can you offer? The Outlander has attributes of an upscale car: white leather, premium stereo, Nav, climate control, Xenons, intelligent key, roadside assistance, 6-speed shiftable tranny/paddle shifters, V6, music server (otherwise available only on MB C-class, Lexus LS600h and Cadillac). OP is looking for a nice car, which is fun to drive and has a great technology package. The Outlander has it all, and for instance it has better handling and better technology package then Lexus RX350. Do you a have better suggestion?
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Actually nissan offers a 9.5gb music server.

    As for CR, they've been wrong in the past...

    And the platform for the Caliber, Lancer, Outlander, and several other DC cars isn't necessarily a bad one.

    Not sure why you think it's such a competition here.

    As for the OP, IMO is really looking for a luxury car, not a Mitsu, Subaru, Honda, etc. I think he's pretty confused as he isn't even sure he wants a SUV at all.

  • Our company is looking into getting a few of us inot company vehicles. we are lokking for opinions and real life examples from fellow road warriors.

    Please review the following criteria:
    30-40k miles per year
    comfortable ride
    lots of storage for demo equipment
    23-30 mpg overall
    18-23k price range
    decent resell value

    Thanks for your input.
  • I would consider a small SUV from Consumer Reports most reliable list: Honda Element, Honda CRV, Toyota RAV, Mitsubishi Outlander and Subaru Forester.

    Honda Element and Mitsubishi Outlander also made CR best predicted reliability list in its class.

    Because of best reliability ratings they all would have decent resale value. The Outlander also has the longest of all warranty: 5/10 years and free 5 year roadside assistance.

    In 4 cylinder configuration they all have gas mileage and pricing you desire. SUV-style body would obviously give you lots of room for your stuff. Some of them also have roof rails.

    Personally, I would pick the Outlander. In addition to everything, it looks more stylish and it has best handling in a group so it's fun to drive. It also has this unique clam shell hatch foor easy loading (you can even seat on it):


    All five cars comparison
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Be very careful on using a small SUV for this application. Check how heavy your demo equipment is and the payload of the cute-utes.

    For example:
    The Outlander AWD has roughly a 1500lb capacity less all fuel, driver, passenger, and gear.

    The Element AWD has roughly a 880lb capcity less all fuel, driver, passenger, and gear.

    Just something to take into account.

  • Mr. peytona did not mention a fact that he will have a heavy equipment, though the Outlander in fact has the best payload specs vs. my other 4 recommendations.

    Mike, you always contradict me but you never offer an alternative. If you can offer a reliable MEDIUM or LARGE SUV with 23-30 mpg, and in 18-23k price range, I would be very curious, please be my guest?
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    I didn't contradict you, I was actually pointing out that the Outlander has the best capacity in the group. I was also just pointing out something that a lot of folks overlook when SUV buying.

    This was very common for folks who bought the Ford Excursion, which while having the highest GVWR, it was also the heaviest which negated the high GVWR because you subtract the vehicle weight, gear and people and fuel from the GVWR to find out if you are over your capacity.

  • Ok experts,

    I've been researching and out looking at SUVs and would love some input from you. My musts are Nav/Bluetooth and an engine that will give me good acceleration, as well as input jack for iPod/MP3. I don't care about leather or sunroof, although they would be nice to have. I'd also like to have the ability to fold down the front seat so if I go to Home Depot and want to buy some 2X4's, I can put them in the vehicle.

    So far, I drove the Saturn VUE (did not like it), the Jeep Liberty and Grand Cherokee, Ford Edge and Honda CR-V. Also have been considering the Mitsubishi Outlander, and Mazda CX-7, although I just cannot get excited about either one. I liked the Jeeps and the Edge, but the CR-V just didn't have enough power and the dealers here (Dallas) are just not dealing (nor do they have many in stock).

    Assuming 1st-2nd tier credit, no money down, 15K miles a year, what is out there that will get me close to a $400/month lease payment for 36-39 months? Tax rate here is 6.25% on vehicles. Are there enough incentives on the Grand Cherokee to get me close? The Liberty doesn't seem to have enough--when working a potential deal for a 2WD Limited (MSRP 30K), they couldn't get me below $500, even with our Chrysler Financial existing customer bonus of $1K.

    As I said, leather and sunroof aren't that important to me, but as I peruse the local dealer inventories, it doesn't seem like you can get Nav without getting all of the other packages as well, which bumps up the price tremendously. If there are some equipped otherwise, I'd love to hear your experience.

    If this is not a realistic payment, then obviously I am prepared to either wait it out or consider other options. I know how the whole thing works--cap cost, residual, money factor, etc. I don't know all of the inventives going on right now, and also just how much people are able to get off the MSRP when negotiating. And though I have tried to research, there may be another vehicle that has enough of the right factors that it could fit all of my constraints, both financially and practically. I've done some numbers using Edmunds' calculators, but can't seem to get anything quite where I want it unless I drastically slash the price paid (cap cost). Some vehicles it may be possible to do this--in your opinion, which one would I have the best shot at?

    Also, don't need 4WD/AWD....and am not going to trade my current vehicle. No kids, so I don't need a 3rd row seat. Would love an FX (dream car) but am not so naive to think it's a possibility.

    Thanks for any suggestions and/or reality checks.

  • alright, fair enough
  • I personally like the Outlander out of the bunch. You can get V6 XLS 2wd with standard bluetooh, ipod jack, FAST key for only 23K. Then you can get dealer installed hard drive based NAV with 30GB digital music server for 1.5-2K to bring the total to $25K. I think this should give you lease payments below $400/m. For only 28K you can get it loaded with leather, premium 650 watt stereo, Xenons, Sirius radio, sunroof etc. And you get 10y warranty/5y roadside.

    But if you like Jeeps and Edge, go for it. I personally would prefer Edge. It has better styling, reliability ratings and better ride vs. Jeeps. The problem is that the 2wd Edge SEL will cost you about $31K with NAV and bluetooth (and Vista roof + 18" wheels which are typical equipment). If you want to learn more about cost related issues, I would suggest to visit Edge and Jeep threads which specifically discuss "prices paid" and lease issues.
  • Thanks for your help. I tried to work quite a few deals. One of the problems I had was trying to find a vehicle with Nav in my area--it was next to impossible. I was able to get a Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland 2WD for quite a good deal, although above my target figure of $400. The Edge--while I loved it--I couldn't get even close to $500 a month, let alone $400. I got the JGC for $474 on a 39 month/15K lease. I will post my numbers on the prices paid/lease forum, but just thought I'd share...those incentives were a big factor!

    It's really great to use the online "tools" to build your own vehicle, but quite another to actually find the one you configured in local dealer lots. I did a lot of test drives and hours searching for my vehicle, and I am happy with what I ended up with. I know I would have ended up paying more if I hadn't used the info I got from these forums!
  • glad you are happy with your purchase. Congrats and enjoy!
  • We are interested in a used 7 passenger SUV. We want safety and reasonable fuel economy. Are interests are the Acura MDX, Honda Pilot and Volvo XC 90. Which one would be best?Are there any we are not aware of ?
  • napanapa Posts: 6
    We are down to one car and in CA that is big issue?

    What to buy...

    Our second car will be our Toyota Avolan 2000 and will be used by my 6'4' husband for small trips around town (he dose not drive to work).

    The new car will be mine (5'4'), for our longer fun trips (comfort and MPG important), hauling stuff (the Avolan back seat does not go down) and our two dogs (mid size 25 pounders) go everywhere with us. We will keep the car a long time and do the regular maitance thing.

    We have looked at consumer reports and driven the Hybrid Highlander (it seemed big after years of driving the Alovan and we do not need a third seat). Our friend has a Honda Element and it is nice but nosey.

    Help us, we are car clueless and afraid of going to a dealer................
  • Volvo is not reliable:

    Acura MDX would be my first choice, but Acura recommends premium gasoline and you want fuel economy. So then Pilot or Highlander 2008. Highlander 2008 is hard to find used so you probably would end up with Pilot, or MDX if extra $150 a year for premium gas difference is OK with you.

    If you going to use 3rd row seat only on occasion and for kids, then you can consider these reliable smaller 7-passenger SUVs:
    Previous generation 2001-2007 Highlander, 2006-2007 RAV4, and my favorite of these three 2007 Outlander. These SUVs have smaller less comfortable 3rd row but better fuel efficiency and lower overall ownership costs.
  • What kind of requirements do you have for your new SUV? Price range, features, passenger capacity?
  • batman47batman47 Posts: 606
    In road test review made by Edmunds in four vehicles, i.e. Mitsubishi Outlander (V6), RAV4 (V6), Honda CR-V (4-cyl), and Nissan Rogue (4-cyl) reported that the RAV4 (V6) was the winner of this road test. The test, however, has shown an involuntary bias in the criteria for this evaluation.

    Owners of the RAV4 have reported the poor payload capacity of the RAV4 that may demonstrate the lack of meat in the construction of the vehicle. The max payload capacity of any RAV4 is the equivalent of 7-persons weight (approximately 150 lbs each). So if you load your RAV4 with 7-persons the roof rail and the roof box are just decorations. Camping or picnic with 7-person is unpractical in a RAV4, i.e. no cargo for the usual stuff. Let’s us now see the Outlander (V6) where its payload capacity is enough to carry a total weight of 9-people (150 lbs each). This is to say 7-people as passengers and the weight equivalent of 2-people as cargo. The roof rail and roof box make sense here. This situation is much better with the Outlander ES 2.4L which its payload capacity is equivalent to 10-people weight. Making some allowances for the engine weight of both vehicles (RAV4 (V6) and Outlander (V6)) the Outlander has more than 80 lbs of meat. This weight difference in material of construction makes the Outlander stronger for carry more cargo than the RAV4.

    Road test in the future should test the drivability of the vehicle with maximum payload capacity no find out if the vehicles still responds as expected. In my research for a 7-seat SUV I was almost ready to order a RAV4 (V6) but after going into the details of both vehicles plus some comments of RAV4’s owners about the poor payload capacity of the Toyota I am now more inclined to order an Outlander ES 2.4L. I am not in the business of towing anything (boat, motor home, etc) so at a price of MSRP $23,100 I think the Outlander ES 2.4L or a XLS that suit my requirements.

    The majority of 7-seats SUV are not for off-pavement. It seems that the Outlander has a little better off road capability than the RAV4, and Honda CR-V. Prices for these 7-seats SUV are generally above the $30,000. If you still want a 7-seats SUV with off road capability (all terrain) then you need to wait a bit longer to see the Kia Borrego. This car is the poor man Toyota Land Cruiser.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    The Borrego though will be heavier and I think in a different class than the Outlander and Rav4. The only thing I say to look at is reliability of Mitsu v. Toyota. While I'm no fan of Toyota, Mitsu did/does have reliability issues and at one point people were talking about them not being around here in the US for much longer. They just discontinued their re-badge Dakota pickup I heard.

  • >> Mitsu did/does have reliability issues

    Mitsu DOES have reliability issues? Are you sure? Any hard data to support your statement? Until 2005 Mitsubishis sold/made in US, were based on Chrysler powertrain, and on parts, which was made by Detroit suppliers. The result is mediocre reliability, damaged reputation and lower resale values.

    On the other hand, the current Outlander is build entirely in Japan. As a result the Outlander demonstrates excellent best in its class reliability. The Outlander along with Eclipse made Consumer Reports top 5 most reliable in its class: CR Best and Worst (there are NO any Mitsubishis there wich appear in the least reliable list). Also according to Consumer Reports auto reliability forecast for 2008 vehicles, The Outlander along with Honda Element, named the best for predicted reliability in its segment, beating Toyota RAV4 and Honda CRV: Outlander is best for predicted reliability. Mitsu also demonstrates spectacular reliability in 3-week long world toughest Dakar rally beating every other brand 7 years in a row.

    Forget Consumer Reports and Dakar for a moment. Check out the real world owner satisfaction at all there major sites: Edmunds, Yahoo Autos and MSN Autos: the Outlander consistently across all three sites has higher owner satisfaction ratings vs. RAV4, while RAV4 owners report various problems.

    In addition to an excellent reliability, better owner satisfaction record, the Outlander offers much better warranty, free roadside assistance, better AWD system, better transmission and more equipment. Overall the Outlander is a much better balanced car, while RAV4 has not much going besides a great engine. Look at this comparo:
  • >> at one point people were talking about them not being around here in the US for much longer.

    People WERE talking, but not anymore. No way Mitsubishi is going tio leave world biggest market.

    >> They just discontinued their re-badge Dakota pickup I heard.

    Thanks god. Mitsubishi is done with Chrysler, like I've said. Getting rid of dodge based track is completely consistant to the Mitsubishi's quality commitment.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Well the "all new outlander" has no reputation to go on. So we'll see how it is in a few years, like 5 :)

    Good for Mitsu getting rid of Chrysler. See that's the problem, you make a bad bed, then you are dinged for it, even if it's not your fault.

  • Oh, so you don’t have any hard data, that Mitsu DOES have reliability issues! That’s what I thought :--)

    >> Well the "all new outlander" has no reputation to go on. So we'll see how it is in a few years, like 5

    The Consumer Reports has an opposite opinion, so they put the Outlander on CR's top 5 most reliable in its class for the past reliability, AND they name the “all new” Outlander as the best for predicted reliability in its segment, beating both Toyota RAV4 and Honda CRV. Why? Because the highest in industry Outlander’s reliability ratings are based on both 2nd generation and 1st generation data, both of which was build in Japan and both have nothing to do with Chrysler.

    No coincidence that the real world owner satisfaction at all there major sites Edmunds, Yahoo Autos and MSN Autos is consistently higher for the Outlander vs. RAV4, which only proves that the CR made the correct assessment of the Outlander’s both past and predicted reliability.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    I never said I had hard data on the outlander. I was merely commenting on Mitsubishi reliability over the past 10 or so years as a concecept. They would not have been contemplating pulling out of the US market because they were the most reliable vehicles, let's be honest.

    I have no problems with Mitsu, heck for the longest time I wanted a Eclipse GSX, and I'm no fan of Toyota, however, percieved reliability by the general public will outweigh the actual data in the court of public opinion. Toyota and Honda IMHO have been living on their past reputations, whereas smaller/less known companies such as Mitsu, Subaru, Hyundai, Kia, must have higher reliability in order to compensate for the lack of reputation they have v. Honda/Toyota.

    Unfortunately for those who aren't "car nuts" as I'm sure many folks here know and have in their families generally will keep buying Toyota/Honda because they don't know or care about anything other than that their previous Honda or Toyota worked w/o a problem for the 5 years they had it. That is why the Rav4 and CRV will likely outsell Outlander and Forester.

  • ronnronn Posts: 398
    I would like to say that I drove an Outlander, and the RAV4 in my opinion has a much better ride and finish.
    Also, I would like those of you to look at the bumpers real close on the Outlander....every one of them at the dealership I went to , the paint on the bumper did not match the car. Every one I looked at had that problem.....also, the RAV4 is more fun to drive.
    To each their own....... I love mine!!
  • cl8855cl8855 Posts: 1
    Looking for a 7 passenger, preferrably car based SUV.

    Top choices right now are the Verzcruz and Highlander, with the CX-9, Enclave/Outlook/Acadia on the back burner, mostly because they are so long. Any other choices I am overlooking that are low $30s or below?
  • me and my wife are looking to switch from a too small car to a suv for myself,( she has a canyan truck) we need one with a third row because of parents family etc we have no kids.Dont know if we should take a chance on hyundai veracruz or kia borrego, we have ruled out the small sized models I know the honda pilot is great but pricey also we also need to have power seats and lumbar because of back issues, any help would be appreciated thanks
  • Hello,
    I am looking to get an SUV for my girlfriend, but I have never bought an SUV or looked into them so I don't even know where to start. Here are the basic things we are hoping to get and the rough price range we are looking to stay in. Also, like I said we are looking for an SUV or similar type of a smaller "SUV" or whatever they call the small SUV's. I am mechanically inclined and do auto body work and painting so I can always pick up one that needs a little attention if need be.

    We are looking to spend between $5,000 to $9,000. We are hoping to get a 2004-05 or newer. We live in Northern Michigan so we need 4WD or AWD. She wants an SUV or small SUV-type vehicle. Other than that we're not too picky.

    Please let me know if you have any ideas, or if you know SUV's to steer clear of. Just let me know if you know types of SUV's that are good, you don't have to find me one thats actually for sale, I have a lot of places to find SUV's, I just need to know what models are good. (If you know of one for sale though, feel free to let me know about it). Like I said, I am just not very familiar with SUV's, I am good with cars but not sure on SUV's. I really apreciate the help! Thank you!!
  • arbysarbys Posts: 12
    edited February 2010
    Going to have 2 kids very soon, and will likely have various relatives staying with us on and off after that. Thus looking for an SUV with the following: 1) comfortable 3rd row seating, 2) handling closer to a car than truck, and 3) minimal visits to the shop. I think they all look "good" to me from the inside and outside. Which of the 3 best suits my purpose? I rarely see the Mazda one on the road, but have read good things about it. Never owned anything but sedans in the past...

    (Currently own 2 Honda sedans, so am partial to them.)
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