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Suzuki Grand Vitara vs Subaru Forester vs Hyundai Santa Fe vs Jeep Liberty vs Ford Escape vs Saturn
on other small SUVs. I've found there to be a lot
of comparisons, and I think it makes sense to have
a few on your shopping list before you fall in love
with one of them and sign away your check. Lucky
us, we have several choices today.
Personally, I favor the Santa Fe because it has
the most bang for the buck. It also feels the most
upscale among the three models, in terms of NVH
damping, sophisticated exterior and interior
styling, ride comfort, and lots of gizmos. In
short, it feels more expensive than what you have
to pay for; the sound of the door thud resembles an
upscale German sedan for example.
The Tribute is definitely for the sporting crowd.
Corners, accelerates, stops well for an SUV. But
at the same time stiffer ride and subpar
fit-and-finish penalize its advantages. Also
reliability is a question mark, with numerous
recalls since it hit the market. Room and utility
are comparable to the Santa Fe.
Finally, the Forester is also a good choice
although it is definitely a 'box on
wheels'(translation: homely). The Forester sits
lower than the other two models, giving it an
advantage in handling, but frankly I think it
defeats the purpose of owning an SUV if you have to
do without the commanding view offered by the
higher stance. There are better choices out there
if you opt for an AWD wagon (VW Passat, or even
Subaru's own Outback) that sits low, handles
better, and is more sophisticated. Also the
Forester cannot be had with a V6.
To wrap it up, I'd choose the Santa Fe for
comfort, value and a dose of luxury, or the Tribute
for sporting light off-track duties on the
weekends (although I'd keep a cellphone handy in
case of mechanical failure), or the Subaru for its
proven reliablity and longevity.