Suzuki Grand Vitara vs Subaru Forester vs Hyundai Santa Fe vs Jeep Liberty vs Ford Escape vs Saturn



  • billtungbilltung Member Posts: 255
    Folks like me love Santa Fe is not only because it is new, it also performs very well in handling, the most advance & pleasing in & out looking VS all other angular shape competitors in this class, good milage(with 4wd on), 10 years/100,000 Miles warranty), adequate horse power in real-life driving (not in race course!), spacious & of course u already agree, very good value with all those equips. If SF only look good, I don't think so many buyer will interest in it or Hyundai's will put her life on the gambling table to provide 10 years warranty to end the company. (Hyundai did not guarantee their purposely cheap-made car will last long in the past!) If Hyundai's lies, the consequence is very serious, the company might go bankruptcy due to the large amount of SF under warranty. This is unlikely to happen.
    I really think they already have the technology to make much better car like now the SF & XG-300. Do u get my point? New car doesn't always guarantee can sell for more.

    I think Hyundai's purposely sell SF at cost / very low profit margin to the dealers in order to attract new customers. If the SF is proven long lasting & feel happy by customers, there is no reason for Hyundai's to lower SF's price, whereas SF's price should go up.

    Today u can not assume a company products is good/bad by just look at the past records! Have u buy stock/mutual fund? Do u know there is a lot of people lost all their $$$ because they buy their stock/mutual fund units based on the company past brilliant records? & there is also a lot of people they earn a fortune when buy shares/mutual fund from some company with a very bad records.

    That is why I disagree 100% about what u saying "Demand is high for new models, like the Santa Fe, which then sells near the full retail price, i.e. with higher margings". Will Hyundai's so fortunate can dare to market their new (not too many people will even spend time to test drive it.) SUV in a profitable invoice price? I don't think so!
    I honestly agree Subaru's Forester is a very high performance 4WD "Car/Sedan/Wagon". If not because Forester looks "Car/Sedan/Wagon" I definitely will consider it, provides it offers a much modern "exterior" body design plus taller. I like Santa Fe, one reason is: it is not too tall & not too low & not too Fat & not too small, just fit & strong. For examples, BMW X5 & Acura MDX in my eyes look like 2 fat cats! For sure no one will drive those expensive cars in an off-road environment. (If u do, the dealer's body shop will be very happy to serve u after u return from trips!)

    Remember! luxury vehicle is like woman/fashion, must look good first, if not look good then even how hardworking/warm u still not feeling happy & satisfy!
    and last... why Foresters is selling for $300 under invoice, I think is because Subaru's know people are not interested to pay the invoice price any more!
  • FrankMcFrankMc Member Posts: 228
    a bit of a stretch. As juice and I stated before, Hyundai is trying to improve the way consumers look at its vehicles, thus the 10 year powertrain warrenty. The car companies know that there are so many choices that they have to fight to get customers to even look at their products when the go car shopping.
    Although what you are saying is true... looking at the relibility record of 5 year old Hyundai's may be an imperfect way of predicing what this years Hyundai will be in 5 years, I would suggest that this is the best way available to many people.(I'm not an auto engineer and I don't have access to detailed car data). If Hyundai has actually improved it's quality then I am sure you and the others that have purchased the new higher quality Hyundai's at a low price will have gotten a terrific value. I am hopeful that this is the case( I would think everyone would perfer higher quality vehicles), however for me I would prefer to wait until they demonstrate that they can perform before I would buy one. (Of course at that point the price will rise and the warrenty will go back to the auto average...). Once again good luck with your Hyundai and of course more choices are better than fewer choices.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    Yes, I do think Hyundai has made great strides and is improving their product. It's a good start, no doubt.

    I'm not sure why you don't think demand for the SF is high. That dealer only had 1 4WD left. They are hot right now. Once the "newness" cools down, so will prices.

    When the RAV4 was new some crazed buyers paid above MSRP! Not me, never. I'd be patient and pay thousands less just months later.

    Some reviews mention the SF is a little bit heavy. I wouldn't call it a fat cat, but it is heavier than the class average.

    The Forester came out in 1998, and there is a flood of new competition. It's only normal that dealers would discount them (especially because they carry premium retail prices to begin with). It'll get a redesign for model year 2003.

    The new Consumer Reports gives the Santa Fe a kind review. Check it out. It rates highly, just below the Forester, but still very well.

  • tonychrystonychrys Member Posts: 1,310
    They talk about "good value" and "smart choice"... I hope all that money you save helps pay for the hospital bills if god forbid you are in an accident. Hmmm, no one ever mentions safety when talking about Hyundai. Doesn't matter! Think about all the money you are saving.

    No side airbags, no active skid control systems. Thank god it's bottom heavy, should help in keeping the thing from rolling over.

    Hyundais are traditionally poor overall when it comes to safety. You get what you pay for.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    No need for hostility. We should respect people's choices.

    Interestingly enough, your link only shows one score for the Sante Fe: "Excellent". Other tests have yet to be conducted, and the Santa Fe could very well turn out to be the safest Hyundai.

    I peeked at your profile, and you drive a Grand AM. Wow, look at those scores! Terrible, with an overall rating of "Marginal". You'd be much better off in a Santa Fe!

    The Santa Fe goes for around $22k, or more than $10 grand less than that RX300 your profile says you are shopping for. That plus stability control is an extra-cost option on the RX, so get your wallet ready!


    PS Look at the Highlander. More for less, minus unnecessary luxury bits.
  • tonychrystonychrys Member Posts: 1,310
    No hostility intended, but folks need to get a grip on reality.

    You are absolutely correct in the Grand Am. I originally bought it as a "station car" for something to drive 2 miles each way to the train station for work. We do not use it for long/family trips. Had I done my homework two years ago, I would not have bought it. "Price" got the better of me, but at least I'm willing to admit it.

    Uhh, VSC (Vehicle Stabilty Control) is now standard on ALL rx300s. Not an "option."

    In terms of unnecessay "luxury bits", hell, that's exactly what I wanted. The ride and features are incredible, and I've driven every SUV out there in the past two months.

    We already got the RX300. One of the top 3 on the IIHS offset crash tests, it's a bargain considering the top 2 (BMW X5 and ML320) cost significantly more. $10,000 more than the SF? Who cares, unless you are putting a price on your family's safety. It's that simple. I'm ashamed to admit that looks do matter a little to me, and had I not been turned off by the ML320's looks, we probably would have bought that instead of the RX300 because it is an even safer vehicle.

    I guess everybody has different priorities. To each their own.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    Got me on the VSC, but it was optional for 2000 and I believe not available before that. So it's hardly shocking that a Santa Fe about 5 steps down in price wouldn't have it yet.

    However, if you want the luxury bits, I think you're in the wrong topic. Surely you can't expect these compact, entry-level SUVs to match your luxury SUV in content (or price, no matter how much you put on it).

    You can get good safety, though. Look at the Forester's IIHS scores - the only small SUV with a "Good" rating. Another look at reveals not a single score worse than "Good".

    Given you can get a Forester L for $18,893 freight included from Guess that is the starting price for safety! :-)


    PS Did you check out the MDX? Seems like a lot of SUV for the money.
  • drew_drew_ Member Posts: 3,382
    Tony and I went through that M-class, MDX phase already :-) I think the stability control system and permanent AWD won him over, right Tony? ;-)

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  • tonychrystonychrys Member Posts: 1,310
    I think Drew and I are pretty much on the same page when it comes to safety. But believe it or not, the deciding factor on NOT getting the MDX was it's size! That 1/2 foot wider width is actually too big for my narrow driveway (just the way the house was built)! So basically, any mini-van wouldn't have worked for me either.

    The MDX is a good vehicle, if they add some active safety systems, it'll be great.

    I think the Sube's are good too, they really don't get enough credit for the permanent AWD and VDC.

    Juice, you are right, it probably was unfair of me to compare a RX or ML with a Hyundai. I just get really worked up when when people talk about "value" in cars and they don't even consider safety. I guess it's just the parent coming out in me. I apologize.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    That's cool. Just keep in mind safety is only one factor in the buying process.

    Also, it's hard with brand new vehicles. Santa Fe and Tribute/Escape owners can at best guess at how those vehicles will perform safety tests.

  • big_guybig_guy Member Posts: 372
    The side impact results are in on the Tribute. It scored 5 stars for for both the front and rear passengers.
  • tonychrystonychrys Member Posts: 1,310
    "Also, it's hard with brand new vehicles. Santa Fe and Tribute/Escape owners can at best guess at how those vehicles will perform safety tests"

    While this is true, the history on Hyundai vehicles is not good. There is a simple law of physics: you can't get something for nothing. And usually on lower price "great values" there is usually a trade-off to get the vehicle at that price. Corners are cut somewhere. And obvious example in the Santa Fe case is the weight of the AWD version. They could have gotten the weight down but high-strength, low-weight components cost extra. And 181hp is NOT a lot for a vehicle of this weight. What's even more distrubing is that the rated torque number is actually lower than the HP number. I've never seen this in most SUVs.

    Directly regarding safety, they made available the option of 4-channel ABS, instead of a 3-channel or less system. 4-channel ABS is the first "building block" in a VDC/VSC/ESP type system. If Hyundai really wanted to make this vehicle a contender in terms of safety, they would have offered a VSC type of system as an option, which is entirely doable since you already have the 4-channel ABS capability.

    Just some things to ponder...
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    The Forester is a good example. $18.8k and great safety scores across the board, including tests conducted in Japan, Australia, and Europe.

    Hyundai's HCD6 concept, from Chicago, has the same 2.7l tuned for 215hp and a 6 speed manual. The Santa Fe could really benefit from that powertrain!

    Give them a break, though, and some time. It's their first year of their first SUV. The fact that it offers traction control in a low-end segment is actually remarkable.

  • sasquatch_2000sasquatch_2000 Member Posts: 800
    You mean airbags and ABS?

    Who the heck wants all the extra gew-gaws?

    The best "active safety" is the one between your ears!

    I'd rather get a nice comfy bench seat, an aftermarket CD player, a lift kit, cam, and some big wheels and tires for the extra money; not chrome plated or burled wood ashtray and coin holder or lighted mirrors.

    Please someone, put the S and the U back into SUV's!!!!
  • tonychrystonychrys Member Posts: 1,310
    Is not that hard to do once you have ABS. My approx $20k 1999 Grand Am SE2 has ETS (electronic traction system). There's even a cut-off switch! (Something I wish more cars had so that one could compare the difference) Hell, I think GM throws ETS onto almost all their cars with ABS. Nothing more than a sensor which detects speed differentials between the wheels and applies the brakes appropiately.

    Granted, this is all speculation regarding Hyundais, but like I said, I didn't like what I found after doing my own due diligence. Everyone else might come to a different conclusion.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    Still, whether it's easy or not, no other small SUV under $25 grand comes to mind that offers traction control.

    Stability control is more complicated. Think about it - look how long Lexus took. That in their best selling vehicle, after years of production, and at price points $15k higher!

    Maybe your expectations are too high for this price class.

    I think it's not a bad start. The AWD is full-time, plus it has the traction control and rear disc brakes. Remember, that's for $22k retail.

    The SF needs either a diet or more power. Then add features every once in a while to keep it competitive. I think it'll sell well for them.

  • tonychrystonychrys Member Posts: 1,310
    "Maybe your expectations are too high for this price class."

    Did you you see the ABC Primetime report on SUV rollovers?

    They basically raise the question of whether a technology that exists that could save lives should be considered a "luxury" rather than a standard feature.

    Here's a quote:

         "More affordable models do not offer the electronic stability system. Even though manufacturers say it adds just $600 to $1,000 to the sticker price, it’s not an option on many lower-end SUVs.

         “Putting this as an option only on the high-end models of an SUV discounts the value of the life of someone who drives a basic model,” says David Pittle of the Consumer’s Union. “People who drive the basic model deserve the same safety protection as someone driving a high-end model …. This is not like picking leather seats or a high-end stereo. This is a critical safety device. It should be on all SUVs.”

    Like I've said before, I can always buy a new car, I can't buy a new family.



  • losthat1losthat1 Member Posts: 93
    Just a point of reference. The ABS and TRACS on my Santa Fe are far superior in winter driving than on my Volvo XC which cost almost twice as much!

    Now if we could just eliminate drunk drivers, wreckless drivers, inexperienced drivers and those with road rage from the roads we'd all be safe 99.9% of the time.

    Even those is the "safest" vehicles can't be completely sure that when an accident occurs they will avoid injury. An eighteen wheeler with a driver asleep at the wheel will do in anything! Try sitting at a toll booth with one headed toward you-- all the safety devices in the world won't help.

    Buckle your seat belts is still the primary key to safety no matter what you drive!
  • hung0820hung0820 Member Posts: 426
    I choose Santa Fe because of Warranty, Style, Room space. After the test drive! There is not much different than the RX300. I order the Santa Fe right away. After driving for a few hundred miles I got hook into wanting to drive the car forever.

    Most SUV will roll over easy but I think the Santa Fe won't. The Santa Fe is Shorter than most competitor SUV but most important is a little wider. "You know what I mean".

    Paid Under $25k for the Top of Line Modern Santa Fe. Get Almost everything for my Car. Add additional $3000 dollars to get more stuffs such as Digital Multimeter, Automatic Climate Control, Better Stereo System w/ cd changers, Front Chrome grill Guard, Chrome Side steps, Rear Bumper Guard, Blue Head lights, Chrome Pedal covers, Wood Dash, etc...

    Forester does not look like a SUV at all. People always said it was a Sedan. Even initially I thought it was just a little high Sedan. The look the room and style are out of questions.

    If any need the ride of the real Sedan! You can simply change the rims and the tires from the Santa Fe to be lower and have a very stable ride but can not do Off-Road good enough.

    In the future, I will install the wider Chrome Wheels with the lower profile tires to make my Santa Fe a little lower for best cornering and ride stable. However, this will or may loose a little gas or miles.

    I can wear any type of clothes to ride on my Santa Fe. Riding the MB,BMW,Lexus you really have to dress good but the pocket might be empty. Dump to be a pretender. I see this happen a lots here (San Francisco).

    Nobody know how the Crash Test is going to be for the Santa Fe yet! Do not bring up this subject until the report comes out first. Nor it does for most 2001 SUV Modern. Stupid to prove the Crashtest since there is no data for the Santa Fe and etc. yet!

    I paid $24980 out the door for my Santa Fe Top of line Modern. Last time I went to Oakland and try to get good deal but they eventually only give me around $27k Out the Door. Ridicously price for the Santa Fe. After calling them back when I got my Santa Fe. They told me that they sell a lots of Santa Fe with this price and therefore they are happy to says so. They said that I got good deal and they told me that they can give me that price too but they know they can it for more. That's why they don't want to sell it for me. I understand why now. The value of the Santa Fe is increasing and popular.
  • p0926p0926 Member Posts: 4,423
    Gee, how can you disagree with such well stated arguments?

    hung0820- Sorry you don't like either the look or the style of the Forester.

    -Frank P.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    LOL, Frank!

    The press is too sensationalist. Technology ain't free. Stability Control is optional on the A4. It adds $550 to the price.

    I bet if Hyundai offered it as an option for that price, 20% or less would pay for it. I doubt that would sway a lot of buyers on the fence.

  • texsubarutexsubaru Member Posts: 242
    I had the chance to take a closer look at a Santa Fe this week, and thought I should soften one comment I previously posted about the Santa Fe's interior. At my first brief Santa Fe encounter last year, I came away pretty unimpressed with the interior, but the lengthier inspection I made this week left me with a mostly favorable impression. Not altogether sure why my first impression last year of the Santa Fe interior had been more negative, but the one I was looking at this week was a heavily equipped GLS; perhaps the first Santa Fe I saw was a cheaper model with a lower trim level? Anyway, the design of some of the Santa Fe's controls is a little quirky, but not at all unattractive. The front passenger cabin space was pretty comfortable, although it felt a tad tighter to me than my Forester. The Santa Fe rear seating was a little less impressive, but it had better rear legroom than my Forester. However, it did look to me like Hyundai got that rear legroom by taking it out of the rear cargo compartment; with the rear seats up, the usable storage space in the Santa Fe cargo compartment seems quite a bit smaller than in the Forester.
  • billtungbilltung Member Posts: 255
    Thank Tonychrys for telling me the results. I find there is a much improvement in Hyundai's 99-01 models (Sonata was impressed, SF is based on Sonata frame, I hope also do good in future crash test), except Pony & Excel because the light weight factor. I also link it to SF owners club to let them know.

    Here are some of the SF photos u can find in SF owners club:


    2) My 2 sons were lying on the cargo space, its still has room for another kid. Very spacious.



  • drew_drew_ Member Posts: 3,382
    You didn't take those pictures in Port Moody, did you? The building in the background looks like the Port Moody Public Library! I can't say that I've seen a single Sante Fe on the road yet though. Yours is the first one that I've seen in the Lower Mainland area.

    Also, the picture of "dinoq62"'s Sante Fe looks like it has Singaporean license plates on it. The front brushguard looks good, but I could do without those fender flares.

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  • billtungbilltung Member Posts: 255
    Surely, You eyes won't miss our hotel-looked city-hall & library complex.

    We run the world-class Florist & Gifts shop in Newport Village (2nd to Whistler Village in Whistler, BC, claimed by BOSA Development in village style shopping).

    We are so glad we have purchased the Santa Fe for our business use along with our GMC safari. In October last year we thought we needed to purchase a SUV 4x4 for our flower delivery service, because we extended our wire services to cover the whole north shores (West & North Vancouver) everyday as well as Belcarra, Anmore & Belcarra used to be. The snowing days delivery just drive my '98 2WD Safari van CRAZY!

    We have a couple of Customers they have bought Tribute & Escape, they recommend to us. But after test-drive all 3, I prefer Santa Fe.

    Too bad, there is no Hyundai's dealer in Tricity, I'm very lucky had passed through a Hyundai dealership in Surrey where I saw the SF while I delivering flowers there. Otherwise, I think I have to pick either Escape or Tribute, (No choice! We want 2001 SUV, under CDN$30K).

    My SF really help my X'mas delivery very much, with the back seat fold down, I can carries 16 8" poinsettias per trip.

    You are right! there are not too much SF in Tricity. I have only seem about 6 in Tricity roads, including 1 exactly the same color as mine in Newport village own by another tenant. So may be u confusing these 2 grey color SF as the same one. Yesterday, I passed through Austin Ave in Como lake saw a brand new Sandstone color on the road very attractive. I try not to put our company LOGO in the car window, because I don't want to angry other SF owners, for sure no SF owner want to see somebody use SF to do delivery job like I saw the coquitlam police use new Bettle to do ticketing & so many pizza restaurant use new Bettle to deliver pizza!

    My SF had visited hundreds of house throughtout these 3 months, I heard all good comments form our customers including a lot of millionair's customers, one thing interesting to mention, they told me they are all looking for a SUV like the SF's look, but when I mention it is from Hyundai, almost no one know what is HYUNDAI!
    I think..... in their mind...only BMW, BENZ, LOTUS, ROLLS ROYCE,.......etc!

    Hope to see u in Valentine's week. U can visit us at Http://
  • drew_drew_ Member Posts: 3,382
    Ah ha! It's a small world after all it's a small world after, oops, not the right place for that in here ;-)

    I knew it was the library/city hall and Ioco Rd. FWIW, your store is very close to the area where I live. I pass Newport Village nearly everyday. I'll keep my eye out for your Sante Fe the next time I'm at the video rental place next door. :-)

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  • schragemschragem Member Posts: 16
    Just purchased a silver S+ on Thurs. from Fitzgerald White Flint. Very pleased so far!! My wife and I found one on their website that closely matched our desired car (5 spd, color, etc. (plus a bonus stereo upgrade ;)) and they held it for us without us even explicity telling them to do so (great sales staff). Have the car for a few days before they add some parts not in stock. They did think I was strange when I asked them to swap the current toothy "Sport grill" for the traditional grill, but I told them the newer grill makes it look more like a Lincoln Navigator and less like a Subaru. Anyone else agree? Also, they're curious to see how the brush guard will look on a premium, but we think it will look rugged and cool. Finally, we were told that no moon roof guards are avail. in the U.S. Is this true? Thank you Juice, Ken, and others for helping make our decision a well-informed one.--Matt
  • p0926p0926 Member Posts: 4,423
    Matt- Congratulations on the purchase! I too think the "sport grill" looks far too much like the Navigator's. I think the Forester's stock grill looks far sportier.

    -Frank P.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    Congratulations, Matt. You gotta love that moonroof!

    I think the "sport grille" looks like it belongs on an Infiniti I30.

    They do not offer a moonroof deflector (but there is one built-in). The moonroof is so huge that if you open it all the way, you should crack the rear windows open too. I don't think there is a deflector in the world big enough for that roof!

    Join us in the Owners Clubs topics, under Subaru Crew. We're an active bunch with several organized events, and MD is the most active location.

  • schragemschragem Member Posts: 16
    I'll check out the Owners' Clubs topics! Sounds like fun...I've really enjoyed learning about Subarus and am feeling the enthusiasm owners of them seem to share.

    Rode around in the Forester yesterday with the roof open, and it wasn't that noisy, but it was a little chilly!

    One more question: What are the three latches on the ceiling near the rear hatch for?

    Thanks again,
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    Those are child seat tether anchor points. Foresters have had them since 2000, and earlier models can be retrofitted (I have them on my '98).

    It gives the child seat an anchor point in the rear to keep the seat from moving forward in a crash. It also makes the entire seat more secure.

    They've been required by law since September.

  • drew_drew_ Member Posts: 3,382
    I saw your Sante Fe today. Looks quite nice. Those window visors are interesting. I've never seen any like that before.

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  • cpearson1cpearson1 Member Posts: 30
    The latest issue of Car and Driver compares 7 small SUVs. Winners are the Escape and Tribute. Xterra, Sante Fe, Forester are further down the list.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    It was 11, actually. They ranked it Escape/Tribute (separately, tied), RAV4, Forester, CR-V, Santa Fe, then the rest.

    The catch is they never own the vehicles, so long-term reliability isn't a concern. Neither is fuel efficiency, since they aren't paying for gas.

    I think the Forester really held its own. It was the quickest 4 banger, beating several V6s (XTerra, Grand Vitara, Tracker ZR2, and Santa Fe) and still returned the 3rd best fuel efficiency. It also had the 2nd best brakes, and won all the noise measurement categories. It also got the highest score for handling, and tied for most fun to drive.

  • billtungbilltung Member Posts: 255
    The window visors was purchased from Hyundai & I installed by myself. I will install the rear spoiler & stepbar when available.
  • billtungbilltung Member Posts: 255
    Hi hung0820! I'm still waiting for the genuine rear spoiler & step bar from Hyundai, dealer told me will probably availbles in early summer (In Canada). So I just sit back & wait! Have seem your pictures in, your must love your SF very much! Right?

    Can't wait to see your SF exterior's pics, pls post ASAP, I want to see how your SF step bars look like!

    Good luck to your SF's modification project!
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    Just a thought - but you should know that by adding a lot of heavy add-ons you are decreasing your payload. You may want to check out how much each accessory weighs before buying it.

  • 204meca204meca Member Posts: 369
    Over the past 8 months we looked at all the SUVs for under $25,000. We almost bought a Forester. We never looked close at the Sante Fe due to higher weight and less HP. The others just fell short compared to the features of the Trib. The real deciding factors were the engine (we tow a 2,000 lb. boat over the Cascades several times a year), the rear seat room, appearance and decent price (not cheap but we got everything but leather for $24,000 -- after 2 months of haggling, we finally got dealer a tad below MSRP although our bargining did cost us the ES we prefered). Reliability is a concern, but we felt that 3yr/50K warranty was reasonable safety net.

    Our LX V6 WAD is doing wonderful so far, we like the firm ride, wind noise is no worse than previous vehicles (Honda & Ply Colt Vista). I swapped 235-70x16 stones for 235-70x16 Bridge stones which are far superior according to; this helped with noise some. No fuel odor or other problems so far. I did manage to take an icy corner too fast last weekend and plowed the passenger side into a 2' snowbank. This provided a vivid illustration that it is not a true 4x4 as the two tires on ice spun and the ones in the snowback just sat there. But with a little stategically placed sand, we were on the road again.

    Despite all the low MPG complaints, we have average 19.5 in mixed driving a got 23 on a 150 mile trip highway driving, averaging 65mph. If you are having poor milage, try upping tire pressure to 32 & drive like you have an egg between accelerator and your foot.
  • ctnativectnative Member Posts: 4
    Some Info: I am 5'0' female, commuting 100+ miles each day who MUST be able to get to work 24/7 in the event of an emergency. Decided to get an all-weather vehicle after being stuck 13 hours in a CT snow storm this past February.

    However, now I am totally torn as to which vehicle to buy.

    I had pretty much decided on the Forester I Premium Package and then started reading Edmunds posts on the manta e. Went and saw one yesterday---Wow, Wow, Wow!!! I liked the look and styling much better than the Subaru. Was able to see the DX 4WD version I/leather. Did not test drive any though.

    I did notice, though, that Subaru does offer a few more things--heated mirrors/wipers, moon roof, rubber cargo protector (which I really like). And, although seemingly much smaller inside, Subaru seems to have better quality interior.

    Therefore, I now defer to all of you wise and experienced Subaru Forester and Santa Fe owners to help me decide.

    Phil K.

    (sorry for the additional post--had to correct some errors!)
  • losthat1losthat1 Member Posts: 93
    Hi Phil,
    I have a Santa Fe LX with ABS and TRACS. I can only tell you that driving it in snow or ice is
    a blast! Seriously, it drives better than anything I've ever driven in bad weather. I feel safe and secure. If you take it out in the worst of a storm you will get where you need to go. I can't comment on the Forrester, but I sure think the SF would have better visibility based on the fact you are sitting so much higher. Remember with the SF you have a great warranty including roadside assistance if you ever need it! Test drive a SF as soon as you can...they are not staying on the Hyundai lots for long. Good Luck
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    The Forester has heated seats, heated mirrors, and a heated windshield. The S Premium you drove also has the world's largest moonroof, a big plus, and side air bags, besides all the stuff you'd expect (ABS, AWD, rear LSD, etc). It makes for a pretty good winter package overall.

    If you drive 100+ miles per day, the biggest advantage the Forester will have over the SF is the gas mileage. I'm charting my mileage for a full year now, and I'm averaging over 25mpg, with some trips very close to 30mpg. If those are highway miles, you ought to be quite happy with how little gas it uses. This despite the fact that the power/weight ratio is better for the Forester.

    Having said that, you should buy the car that brings the biggest smile to your face, and if that's the Sante Fe, you should get the Hyundai.

    Good luck.

  • billtungbilltung Member Posts: 255
    Both Cars are good! u should not worry to much!

    But u have to decide according to your own taste, the body styling (like lady fashion, look good but might not keep warm! whereas keep warm but good ugly!),warranty, the uniqueness of the car (if too many on the road, u definitely will feel a little bit boring (May be that why the president of united state don't pick the Japanese 3 musketeers brand name..Ha Ha! just kidding!) ...etc.

    For uniqueness, my Santa Fe bring me a lot of jealousy, during the past few months, everywhere I go people surround my car like they saw a space ship, I feel so proud of it. But in the future when more people have it I think it kind of feeling may gone with the wind, maybe or maybe not?

    lostthat1 is right, I have the same feeling to Santa Fe. Even my heavy, gas sucking Durango 5.9L can not perform better handling than SF in snowing city road (on-road) driving. I had experience several very heavy snow falls in the winter flower deliveries. My Santa Fe never disappointed me.

    - Bill :)

    My SF reached almost 9500km today, still no problem.

    I can not comment too much on Forester, because I don't own one. But I heard they have a very good all-wheel-drive system for small car. But there are so so many on the road, they must be very good for that price range in the past that why so many people go for it & u see, word of mouth & their extensive advertising really work! Question! Who pay the extensive advertising?

    I think Subaru will lost a certain number of customers to Santa Fe just because of the look of the Santa Fe & warranty, their price is almost similar.

    I picked SF because I like new nice-look's body styling & want unique(or not ordinary - I mean don't want to drive those car u can see everywhere. I feel so boring to drive the Durango now, because I find it everywhere!)

    Some day later I might trade my SF for whatever nice looking SVU in the market, Remember life is short! Enjoy as much as u can, too bad my budget only have CDN$29,000 so this time pick Santa Fe!)
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    SF appears to have a price advantage, but the Forester sells at invoice and has far more comprehensive standard equipment, so it's a wash.

    Check out, and you'll find Forester L's starting at around $19k with freight. That's not bad, considering the L has ABS, AWD, power everything, A/C, and cassette, all standard. So even a stripped Subaru is not stripped.

    The S Premium has everything you could want, basically. Even autos go for around $23k, freight included.

    Most of their advertising budget goes towards the Outback, not the Forester.

  • p0926p0926 Member Posts: 4,423
    Phil- Test drive both. The Santa Fe does look more SUV'ish but the Forester handles better. I'd think with that long of a commute the Forester's better mpg is also certainly a factor.

    Bill- Actually both vehicles are relatively low volume models. I'm sure that Canada has alot of Foresters due to its cold snowy climate but there are many places in the states where Foresters are quite rare. The CR-V has by far been the segment leader in sales though the Escape/Tribute may soon replace it.

    -Frank P.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    These are rough sales per year:

    CR-V 120k
    Forester 50k
    RAV4 50k
    Santa Fe ?
    Escape ? I think 120k projected
    Tribute ?

    Also, the RAV4 has been around since 1996 and the CR-V since 1997, so there are many more of those on the road.

    Subarus are popular where it snows a lot, like in Colorado. John Elway owns a Subaru dealership, isn't that funny?

  • losthat1losthat1 Member Posts: 93
    Just for a comparison point, with 5,000+ miles my Santa Fe 6 with ABS and TRACS is averaging 24.8 mpg in mixed driving. I'm getting better mileage than I expected!
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    That is better than you'd expect.

    Hyundai showed a concept with the same 2.7l engine as the Santa Fe (I forget the name), but it produced something like 220hp or more. Seems to me they could really open up that engine to make some serious power.

    Subaru will have a more powerful engine by next year for the 2003 model year redesign.

  • hung0820hung0820 Member Posts: 426
    Heated Seats, Heated Mirrors, Heated Windshield, and leather seats, was already available in the Santa Fe LX modern, beside you can also get AWD, ABS, Traction Control as well. Moonroof can be add on the Santa Fe from any dealers at price of $1200.

    Yes! The Subaru can do better in gas mileage but disadvantage compare to Santa Fe when it comes to Off-road because of the Ground clearance (Height). To be honest: The look, style, and warranty already convince to buy over the Subaru.

    Worry about the Santa Fe options: and also from dealers have almost everything ready for the Santa Fe. All Season floor mats, rubber cargo liners, spoiler, rear deflector, side steps, rear bumper protectors, wood dash, front hood deflector, window visor, front grill guard, sport roof rack and "Many", "Many", "Much" more available for the Santa Fe as well. I have all of these in my Santa Fe.

    Think about this: I added all of these options in my car and still drive around two times with 6 people in my Santa Fe. I have my nephew and my younger brother (12 & 15) sitting in the rear trunk and they play gameboy. 1/2 hours trip to the Church in Sacramento. "No Kidding". The car still go normal like I ride by myself. My dad was "SHOCK" when I open the rear trunk. You know what I mean.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    Too bad they don't offer a 5 speed manual with the V6. That would probably perform better and get better gas mileage to boot. Hyundai ought to offer that combination.

    The price is right, though.

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