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Crossover SUV Comparison

steverstever Posts: 52,462
edited February 2014 in General
Sort of a mouthful, but crossovers have crossed to the mainstream. Let's bat around the Mazda CX-9, Hyundai Veracruz, Honda Pilot, GMC Acadia, Buick Enclave, Saturn Outlook and Ford Freestyle (which supposedly will be face lifted for '08).

With such a big grouping, a little off-topic drift will be tolerated, so don't get too upset if someone tosses an SRX or Edge or similar into the mix.

(and thanks for the suggestion Jason)


  • carcom2carcom2 Posts: 212
    That's good to know that the sun and heat seem to get filtered out. Hope you enjoy your new Acadia.

    As far as others replying to my subject Title or to any other subject for that manner - if you're not actually replying to the subject Title, it would be better to use a new subject title to keep things straight.
  • music287music287 Posts: 116
    I'll get the ball rolling. All these vehicles are 3-row cuvs. (The Edge doesn't qualify!) As we've shopped some of 'em differences became apparent. The storage space behind the third row is a biggie. Also, the comfort of that third row varied widely. The availablity of hid xenon headlights, a power liftgate and an easy entry/exit were also issues. Some of the most expensive possiblities i.e. Audi Q7/Acura MDX/Volvo xc-90 were absolutely unacceptable for various reasons. (Have you seen the inflatable "spare" in the Q7, for example?!?!) One of the least expensive possiblities i.e. the Pacifica is...not bad. As a car nut, I appreciate the 6-speed trannies now available and I think I'll like having bluetooth capablity. Having a rear view camera is also a nice bonus since some friends have told me visiblity is poor in their cuvs.

    We're eagerly anticipating the imminent arrival of our Mazda CX-9 GT. Other than the current unavailablity of the PLG, it looks like a real winner on paper. I'll let youse know when we get it next month!

  • kjf18kjf18 Posts: 16
    I looked at and test drove most of these in search of a replacement for my 2002 Acura MDX. Key issues for me included, in no particular order: (1) comfort / accessibility of the third row seats, (2) decent power / acceleration, (3) safety features (including side curtain airbags and stability control, along with a reasonable amount of space between the 3rd row headrests and the back glass; I worry about intrusion into the third row in the event of a rear end accident), (4) creature comforts (leather seating, heated front seats, decent sound system, overall quality, etc.), (5) capable four wheel drive or all wheel drive system (primarily for snow; I live in Salt Lake City and drive regularly up the canyons to the ski resorts), (6) overall looks, (7) handling, and (8) last, but not least, price.

    In addition to the crossovers you listed, I looked at the 2007 Acura MDX, the Lexus RX350, the Toyota Highlander and the Nissan Morano (some of which, I know, don't have a third row). I also looked at and test-drove the Toyota 4Runner, the Nissan Pathfinder, the Nissan Armada and the 2007 Tahoes/Yukons.

    The reactions of my wife and three teenagers were a key part of my analysis. They have liked my MDX very much. Nothing like family harmony. :)

    In the end, I ordered an Acadia (silver SLT-1 with ebony interior, sunroof, trailer package and convenience package). It clearly had the best third row seating, and seemed to represent the best overall value. Not half bad looking, either.

    Surprised the heck out of me. :surprise: I have long been a foreign car snob (my last half-dozen vehicles have been Hondas, an Acura and a Lexus). I thought I never again would buy a domestic vehicle.

  • arumagearumage Posts: 922
    The only thing I don't like about the Acadia is that it is a beast. The CX-9 is less than 2" shorter but is 400 lbs lighter. I'm beginning to think the Chrysler and GM got together and decided to build their 3-row crossovers from bricks. ;) Overall, enjoy the look of the CX-9 a the best, followed by the Veracruz (The Buick Enclave breaks the bank). I think the Veracruz will remain the value of the group since fully loaded CX-9's, MDX's, and Acadia's break $40k with ease. I just wish Hyundai would have kept more of the features available in the Korean model.
  • We're expecting our second child in April, and we we're planning on purchasing a crossover in some form or fashion. We were looking at Yukons, and Odysseys or Siennas. However, after we laid eyes on our local dealer's newest arrival, a fully loaded white Acadia, we are definitely in the market for a crossover. It has the features of a full size SUV plus better fuel economy and handling. It has all the features we are needing and wanting in a vehicle; however, I'm not planning to pull the trigger just yet. I feel the prices are inflated, and should come down after the "new" wears off. Plus, I'm sure they'll be throwing out some incentives too. I also want to look at the Mazda CX-9 and Acura RDX before making my decision, though. But, my wife really likes the 2nd row Captains' chairs. Does anyone know what other car companies to offer captains' chairs on the 2nd row??
  • arumagearumage Posts: 922
    As far as crossovers go, I think it's just the GM units (Outlook, Acadia, Enclave) and the Pacifica. Lots of minivans have that option though. Do you mean MDX instead of RDX? The RDX is pretty small. The GM models are absolutely huge, followed by the CX-9 as far as new models go. The MDX and Veracruz are even smaller, but offer very similar passenger space, just less behind the 3rd row. As huge as the GM crossovers are, getting 3 into the 3rd row will require a shoehorn. :)
  • The Freestyle in its current form has captains chairs for the second row. When the '08 is shown in Chicago it will be interesting to see if it kept them as features. That new Sync feature Ford showed in Detroit is really cool, and it will be available on the '08 as well.

    The MDX is more expensive than these vehicles and after looking at it at the Detroit show was really disappointed, for $47,500 there is no auto dimming mirror, no power folding outside mirrors, and an exterior and interior that is substandard in that category. The new Enclave in the looks department seems to beat the Acura into the ground. Now how they drive remains to be seen.

    The GM vehicles are fat and need to lose some weight, though they do drive very nice and the Acadia overall visually looks great. I was disappointed with the Veracruz as there is no NAV, HID's, Bluetooth, LED tail lights on the N/A version, I will drive one but the absence of all those features pretty much takes it off my list Navigation being the major one, also while most of the parts seemed very nice and high quality some seemed cheap but that is true of any car I guess.

    The Mazda dealer says they will have a CX-9 in stock in a few weeks so I will go drive one then, the only thing that concerns me with it is the long slant hood, I wish they had front parking sensors on it could be hard to judge, at least early on.
  • I own a 2005 Ford Freestyle with second row buckets. We also have the second row center console which is perfect for storing DVDs and such for the DVD entertainment system. We love our Freestyle and I'm a bit surprised that these come to the party late offerings are getting so much attention when the Freestyle was basically ignored. They don't seem to be offering anything really new and don't even improve on the one area I'd like to see do better and that is gas mileage. Our AWD Freestyle averages in the low 20s. It seems these "lighter" crossovers should be able to get closer to 30 on the highway since they don't have a huge heavy SUV frame to haul around.

  • arumagearumage Posts: 922
    The Freestyle was a great entry, but it gets overshadowed because it is underpowered and styled very blandly. The 3.0L is a little harsh and dated, not that it's a bad engine. It's tow rating is also the lowest in it's class.

    The reason most crossovers don't get as good in the mpg department is because they are geared for peformance. The Veracruz should be able to pull 0-60 in less under 8 seconds, making it over 1/2 second faster than the Freestyle. It gets 17/24 AWD, which puts it close to the AWD Freestyle. People don't want to give up their performance and hp bragging rights for better gas mileage.
  • albookalbook Posts: 1,282
    on paper, the Acdia may sound big, but it's got the power. No one (besides Acura) has been able to touch 275 horsepower. So it's hp to wieght ratio is like 17lbs per horsepower- better than Old MDX and pilot. I had no clue Freestyle would get update- but it needed it badly. It lacked in features, power, and looks.
  • arumagearumage Posts: 922
    But it doesn't have alot of torque. The smaller CX-9 only has 2 ft lbs less despite weighing 400 lbs less, and the much smaller Veracruz has atleast 6 ft lbs more. Horsepower is all well and good, torque turns the wheels. What the Freestyle lacks in some areas, it makes up in other... like price and fuel efficiency, especially for the space. Power to weight in the Veracruz is less than 16 lbs per hp, and the CX-9 is just over 16 lbs per hp. The Louisville Auto Show is this weekend. I should be able to check out the Outlook, Acadia, and Freestyle there. Since it's not a huge show, I doubt I'll get to see a CX-9 or Veracruz though.
  • C'mon people, the Freestyle looks good. It has rugged good looks that Jeep has used to gain market share. I like the flared wheelwells and all-business demeanor that says "no foo-foo stuff here, just a great Volvo-derived chassis and functional features". The Acada/Outlook has my vote, too. Very well engineered vehicles, if a bit porky.
  • bobw3bobw3 Posts: 2,992
    I noticed in your list of 8 requirements, quality/reliability was not one of them. Maybe that's why you choose GM ;)
  • arumagearumage Posts: 922
    I'm not a huge GM fan because of my absolute horrible experience with a 1995 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme. It was a total :lemon: . Although the 1989 Oldsmobile 88 was a great car, except for the cheap plastic interior bits. That has to be my biggest problem with GM. I'm going to check out the Acadia this weekend. Hopefully, they will have improved in this department. All the Fords we've owned have been wonderful, especially our old 1988 Aerostar. That thing was only in the shop once in over 10 years for something non-maintenance related. I'm also had good luck with my 1999 Toyota Camry LE, although I think it is so unrefined when compared to my 2000 Dodge Intrepid ES (but more mechanically sound).

    I'm not going to judge the Acadia or Outlook just because it's a GM. I think they are getting better everyday. I think they are less complacent than they were in the '90s.
  • hardhawkhardhawk Posts: 702
    I have read repeatedly that the Freestyle is being dropped by Ford due to lack of sales. It's too bad, because if they had put the larger engine that is going in the 2008 500 it would have probably sold much better.
  • nxs138nxs138 Posts: 481
    The Freestyle is okay, but I don't like how bland the front end looks. Those headlights make it look "tired". A little more artful design with the headlights/grille would do wonders for this vehicle. As would a more sporty package.
  • arumagearumage Posts: 922
    It is being replaced with a new model very loosely based on the Fairlane concept.
  • kjf18kjf18 Posts: 16
    Oops. Clearly, I didn't spend enough time on that post! :blush: I should have included quality/reliability; it definitely was a factor. And it's very hard to quantify with a first-year release.

  • The SLT2 version of the Acadia and the Grand Touring version of the CX-9 (both with NAV and rear entertainment)are the two vehicles I'm primarily looking at (may also look at the new 2008 Highlander when it arrives). I just saw my first CX-9 yesterday and have looked at the Acadia a couple of times in the past couple of weeks. From my perspective, advantages of the Acadia include the 2nd row Captain' chairs, a better powertrain warranty (100,000 miles versus 60,000 miles), and better fuel ecomony on AWD versions (rated 17/24 versus 16/22). Advantages of the Mazda include the preservation of a 6 disc in dash CD when the rear entertainment center is ordered since the DVD is located in the rear entertainment console (the Acadia has only a single disc in dash CD/DVD that has to be used for either the rear entertainment center viewing or listing to a CD), electroluminescent guages, bluetooth capability, amber rear turn signals (IMHO, but I don't know if this is backed by scientific data, these are easier to see than red ones due to the contrast with the red taillights-? fewer rear end collisions), the availability of rain sensing wipers (I love these on my VW Jetta), and the availability of a backup camera when navigation is ordered. As always, there is no one "perfect car" that meets everyone's needs. If only the Acadia had some of the aforementioned features that the Mazda has, it would be a no brainer decision for me- as it is now, it's a bit more difficult a decision. I'm hoping GM might make some of the modifications later in this model year or 2008 at the latest (I actually suggested this in an e-mail to them earlier today, but who knows if anyone other than customer service personnel will ever see it).
  • albookalbook Posts: 1,282
    Saw the new front on Freestyle (googled it). Now it looks worse. Front worked in the 500 but not here-very stationwagon like. The old one lacked refinement. I think the only benefit was the gas mileage- which Acadia compares closely to. The acadia does handle well despite it's weight. very good acceleration. And great cabin space. It's the way to go coming from a minvan. I really want to see how Honda and Highlander will resond to it.
  • The Freestyle was supposed to be freshened up and converted to a Mercury, so I've heard. I don't know what the truth really is. I've also heard it will be back for '08 with the bigger 3.5L V6. Only Ford seems to know what's going to happen.
  • albookalbook Posts: 1,282
    All you guys looking for alternative crossovers look at the new chrysler crossover. It should compete with the Acaida/ CX-9 and is codenamed "JC49."
  • arumagearumage Posts: 922
    It's definitely smaller by the look of it, but it is supposed to be quite a bit cheaper as well.
  • arumagearumage Posts: 922
    I actually like the '08 Freestyle front better than the old one, but since it's just a freshen up, they can't really change the greenhouse. One review of the Acadia said that it had the engine had to kick into a lower gear quite a bit to move the heft, but that it wasn't terrible about it. I know that's one thing I don't like about my Camry 4-cyl.
  • srangersranger Posts: 106

    I will be getting a new company vehicle some time this year or next. It has to be a SUV type to haul equipment and and at least 5 adults. ( Basically a minivan that I would be caught dead driving ;) ) It has to tow at least 3500lb. Handle reasonable, get at least 20mph with a 50/50 HWY/CITY. 6 CD in MP3 player. Aux MP3 input. Has to be comfortable for me 6'-4" 230lb...

    So far Here is my List of vehicles that I have ruled out:

    Mazda CX-7 - No towing capacity...
    Honda Pilot - Can't stand the looks...
    Ford Edge - Horrable Brakes.
    Ford FreeStyle - Can't stand the looks and hate the small foot well on the driver and passenger side. ( I guess I have big feet )
    BMW X5 - Not worth the price...
    Lexus RX330 - Not worth the price...
    Toyota Forunner - Not enough shoulder room. Just felt cramped...
    Exployer/Expedition - Poor gas milage... Horrific Re-sale vale.
    Toyota Rav4 - Toyota simply will not build a Limited with the 3500lb towing package, leather heated seats and AWD??? Also, I Hate the side opening door.

    Still in the running:

    CX-9 - Will wait to see if it's brake are good or bad since it is loosly based on the same platform as the edge. I love the interior. High demand will probably make it too expensive for a while. I'll wait until the new wears off to purchase.
    Outlook - Looks good so far...
    BMW X3 - Really like it, it is fun to drive, but expensive and a little small..
    2008 Hylander - Looks like it will be built on the Avalon platform with a 269hp V6 + 6 Speed trans... I Will wait to see it before making a purchase...

    So far the CX-9 is at the top of the list, but I suspect that the new Hylander will be the winner....
  • kjf18kjf18 Posts: 16
    So you'll consider the Outlook but not the Acadia? Is it a GMC/Buick service kind of thing? Just curious.

  • arumagearumage Posts: 922
    What about a Hyundai Veracruz? It meets all your criteria. The CX-9 will have different brakes. Most of the car aside of the engine block and chassis is not used by Ford. The engine block is the same, but it has Mazda specific goodies and is assembled in Japan. The Outlook was a GM product the last time I looked. :confuse: Expect to be on a waiting list for a Highlander.
  • "Acadia + Encalve - I WILL NEVER OWN ANOTHER GM PRODUCT..."

    The Saturn Outlook is 100% GM, too. Remember there are a lot of engineers at the various GM divisions and suppliers, and the Outlook/Acadia look to be great vehicles.
  • Freestyle underpowered? People say it so much it might someday make it true..... The reality is that 8.5 seconds 0-60 times of the Freestyle shows plenty of power. There are slower and faster cars/trucks out there. If a vehicle is in the middle of the pack going 0-60, then you can say it has "average" power, not underpowered. Porsche actually designed the sweet, 60-degree V-angle, DOHC, all-aluminum, Freestyle 3.0L engine that Ford then bought the design rights to. Yes, Porsche. I say more MPG, less acceleration. The Freestyle is a good compromise, as I get 27 MPG regularly in mine in mixed driving with average, not underpowered, acceleration. It might be that people look at the 203 hp figure on the 3.0L and think the automatic tranny is as wastefull as trannies of the past, when the CVT actually puts the power to the ground using optimal profiles and doesn't waste power through excessive heat build-up like conventional torque-convertor automatics do.
  • arumagearumage Posts: 922
    The fact remains that the new crossovers are doing sub-8 (or just over) second runs without a marginal loss of fuel economy with added room(Acadia is only 1 mpg behind). It is a shame that the CVT can't handle the 3.5L V6. It might make 0-60 in 7.5 seconds (like the 2007 Pacifica, not that I'm advocating the Pacifica's 16/24 mpg rating). Not all people are as educated about cars as we forum-dwellers are. A 60 hp difference will be a much bigger deal to the less educated consumer. The problem with the Freestyle is that it doesn't have anything that just reaches out and grabs the consumer. It disappears in a croud. That doesn't mean it's any less of a good vehicle.
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