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



  • billtungbilltung Posts: 255
    Before I go on... I want to reply to all Subaru fans that all Subaru car are very very safe, very good performance in this class, very reliability 4 cylinders engine... OK! What I don't like is just the look & I think there are still many new SUV's choices out in the market still can provides adequate handling & good safety features(may not match Subaru but good enough!)

    I have seen the April issue of the Today SUV magazine in Chapters last nite, I've almost finish reading the whole magazine, today I went back want to get my copy but guess what?.... All copies gone in one day! I Can't believe it!

    What I remembered was the SF project pictures in SEMA show Las Vegas was unbelievable great, I love it so much than any of the SUV pictures I ever seen, no wonder why the SF special project had the most attention among the 6 different 2001 new SUV's in SEMA show.

    Here is the link to see the SF picture in the SEMA show, I browse through all pics in

    But the SF I like is not there, only can see its side in one pic

    The Pewter SF on the right hand side is the one I mentioned! It show on Today SUV magazine in & out!

    It show on Today SUV magazine in & out!

    2 more pics of SF in SEMA show:

    I'm so proud that I had bought this "Angry Pikachu"(I like this name so much, heard the name from ateixeira, Thks ateixeira for this wonderful name! (ateixeira enjoys his Subaru so much than the SF))

    The audio & the video features inside the show project SF projects is unbelievable expensive & top of the line. It means the guys convert the SF think SF can be one of the most luxury SUV despite of its cheap window price.

    Today SUV also has a 2001 new SUV's test, the Santa Fe test results is better than other magazine's test results. (Quite interesting find out SF accelerates faster than the new Rav4! But still heard people count on the acceleration of SF? For my delivery SF now already 11000km, on road everyday, still no problems, very adequate acceleration on city & highway, I find out my full load SF handling improves on wet & snow day especially on corning)

    Talking about reliability, I don't know why I suddenly met a lot of old Pony & Excel (15 to 18 years old... maybe.) on Vancouver's road. Had taken pictures to prove, will post later! (My brother in law 2nd hand Excel still performs very well after he bought it 5 years ago, he is the one I consulted him about the reliability of Hyundai's car before I made my decision to go for SF.)

    Those cheap people whose had ruined directly or indirectly these cheap Hyundai's toys should be reasonably be fair to Hyundai's don't go too far about their compaints (Be understand the meaning of "U paid what U get" in the past. Consider how much U pay for SF & XG300, forget about the non-sense unreliability term those non-sense people apply on these 2 beautifully made cars.

    Remember! Every proven reliability & safety & high performance will make car price go up, it is a universal rule, unless the car had no demand on it or the auto makers do
    not want to make more profit otherwise.

    I believe Gasoline engine days is about to end within this 10 years. Don't rely on your expensive powerful engine too much, think about the high tech future, save some $$$ for your future electric car, the gasoline engine will definitely go to the museum like the Typewriter(VS the computer) do.

    Thanks for reading my long .....long post.


  • losthat1losthat1 Posts: 93
    Tack sa mycket. Ne ar en snell poyka!

    Sasquatch, I'm a little rusty. This may an example of how difficult it can be to communicate in one's second language! Don't be so critical.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Saab will get a version of the Buick Rendesvous. It's on the same platform as the Aztec!

    The 2002 Forester is on the way, earlier than expected:

    No big changes - they made the cargo cover standard and added DRLs, with no price increase. Freight is up $30 but that's it. Also, leather is now offered on the S Premium, which will make a lot of people happy.

    The flat price is pretty amazing. It really has not gone up since it came out in 1998. The 2002 is only $330 more than the original 4 years ago, with a lot more standard equipment. That doesn't even account for inflation, so the actual cost is way down.

    It could be pressure from increased competition. Thanks, Hyundai!


  • tonychrystonychrys Posts: 1,310
    You're welcome... I think.

    I actually don't speak a word of swedish, but being very resourceful I can usually translate anything ;-)
  • billtungbilltung Posts: 255
    Recently met a lot of old Hyundai Pony & Excel on the road, about 6 of those!

    Why still has people drove it if it is a junk car & not reliable?

    Why u want your car safe while other don't?

    PS: I'm not saying Hyundai is good but at least not so Junk!!!

    Bill :)

  • suvshopper4suvshopper4 Posts: 1,110
    Re post #245:

    Bill, There's an old saying: "One swallow does not a summer make."

    May you enjoy your Santa Fe for a long, long time.

    Nice photos, by the way (#245 and #246).

  • billtungbilltung Posts: 255
    Glad to know u enjoy the pics.

    It is so handy to have a digital camera in our car, we can capture whatever happen!

    BTW, What is the meaning of "One swallow does not a summer make." I don't understand.....
  • suvshopper4suvshopper4 Posts: 1,110
    For billtung, because you asked, post #248.

    "One swallow does not a summer make."
    [A swallow is a bird.]

    Meaning: Seeing one swallow does not mean it is summertime; you need to see a lot of swallows to be sure that it is summer.
    Seeing ONE old Hyundai on the road does not mean a LOT of them are still on the road, which would prove they were well-built cars.

    In fairness, I remember that in their early days, Hyundai Excels were among the most-stolen cars in the US. Apparently, the demand for parts was great and the parts were not in great supply (maybe expensive too), and a lot of Excels were stolen and sent to "chop shops" to be cut up and sold for less money than factory parts. So that took a lot of them off the road before their time.

    I was always impressed with how many VW Rabbits stayed on the road for a lot of years and racked up a lot of miles. For an inexpensive car (less expensive than just about any other car available at the time, including the Chevette,I think), the Rabbits held up pretty well.

  • billtungbilltung Posts: 255
    Thks for you reply!
    I didn't try to convince people Pony or Excel are great cars, but just very interesting to see so many(about 6, in different occasions) on the Vancouver's road in about 1 week.

    Here the road usually filled with lot of expensive cars, we ranked the best livable city in the world, that why a lot of good & bad rich guys like to live here to enjoy the rest of their life! (I'm the good one, of course!))

    I used to be realtor before, but I give it up in December & work full time in my wife's flowershop as a delivery guy, I almost spent about 6 hours on the road everyday. I never see so many Hyundai old Excel & Pony before in 1 week, maybe I don't paid too much attention for cheap cars on the road before I owned my SF in last Nov!

    My point is that if these 2 cars is not reliable than why those people still drive it? This is so expensive to repair a Pony/Excel because its market value. (maybe only few hundred Canadian dollars). We have a very tough Air-care program here in Vancouver, all cars have to pass the emission test once a year before u can renew your car insurance. Of course it(the Hyundai previously purposely cheaply-made cars) can not compare to those VW Rabbits, beetle, Toyota Corona or Civics(They all in market much longer than Hyundai's & They're purposely better-made but stay in lower prices to attract customers like what the SF is doing now)!

    I think Hyundai auto is gonna to be more & more acceptable here now, For the Accent(CDN$12,000) I've seem so many on road now, I almost can see one every 10 blocks of driving. It make me remember the earlier stage of Honda Civic.

    With the changing platform of Honda Civic & more expensive now, I think the Accent will fill up a large portion of the market used to be filled by the previous cheap & reliable Civic.

    Question! What is cheapest Subaru's model available in North America?
    Do they carry any hatchback model like VW Rabbit / Civic ?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    The Pony was never sold in the US. I've seen some in Suriname, though. Along with many of those little scooters!

    In a motorcycle, the safety lies in the driver's defensive technique. Always leave yourself an out and practice situational awareness. Very different than driving a car.

    I rode them for several years, during my wild and crazy young days.

    Bill - LOL! Love that Pikachu pic!

    That Forester is an older one, though. It got a face lift in 2001.

    The smallest Subaru was the Justy. It was tiny, but ahead of its time with full time AWD and a CVT (continuously variable transmission). They stopped selling it here because small cars just don't sell much.

    The cheapest car in the current lineup is the Impreza TS wagon, but it's hardly stripped. It has AWD, ABS, CD player, power package, 2.5l 165hp engine, and A/C all standard.

  • suvshopper4suvshopper4 Posts: 1,110
    ...always intrigued me, especially with the Continuously Variable Transmission.
    Was it a durable, reliable car?

  • billtungbilltung Posts: 255
    Thanks for anwsering my questions. Now I know more about Subaru!

    U have a great day!
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    The Justy was a little better than average in reliability, IIRC, but nothing to write home about. I remember an article in a magazine where the Justy took 2nd in a large group of cars in their test of braking in snow. Who won? The Subaru SVX.

    Subaru improved a lot after the 1993 Legacy was introduced. Every vehicle since then has had good reliability ratings (and gets Consumer Reports' "Good Bet" stamp of approval).

    OK, some more history, anyone? Subaru was the first company to put 4WD on a car platform, and that was way back in 1973! So the Outback was not the world's first sport utility wagon, but the AMC Eagle wasn't either. It was the Subaru wagon!

    Subaru also pioneered the FWD import movement, but the 360 wasn't exactly a car to brag about.

    What else? Well, the 1995 Outback opened the floodgates for all the crossover vehicles we see now, including the Santa Fe.

    Finally, they offered AWD before it became trendy. It's rather funny to see Mercedes, BMW, and now Jaguar copy them.

  • tincup47tincup47 Posts: 1,508
    The 360 was rear engine RWD.

     I believe the first US FWD Subaru's were the 1100's that came out in 1971. FWD had actually been successfully used in Europe for years before that. Saab, Citroen, Mini all had mass produced FWD vehicles prior to Subaru and all had imported to the US. The Honda 600
    was also FWD, although sales were mostly on the West Coast.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I stand corrected. The 360 may have been the first Asian FWD import, at least I read that somewhere.

    It's one funky looking car, no?

  • drew_drew_ Posts: 3,382
    Um, MB offered AWD back in 1989 ;-) It was a very sophisiticated full-time system, similar to the Porsche 959 supercar's and with an auto locking rear differential. The first generation 4-matic system was replaced in 1998 by the current system which is much less complex, far lighter, less expensive, and even more effective.

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  • ateixeira says: "In a motorcycle, the safety lies in the driver's defensive technique. Always leave yourself an out and practice situational awareness. Very different than driving a car."

    No way!!! That is EXACTLY how I drive, how I live my entire life. You never trap yourself. Period.
  • ateixeira: "Subaru also pioneered the FWD import movement, but the 360 wasn't exactly a car to brag about."

    What about SAAB?

    "Finally, they offered AWD before it became trendy. It's rather funny to see Mercedes, BMW, and now Jaguar copy them."

    I thought the BMW ix series was around a while ago. What about Audi?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    OK, here is the true 4WD-on-a-car-platform pioneer, folks:


    Before Audi and AMC. Way, way before Mercedes or BMW. More than two decades before cross over vehicles became popular.

    PS Side-note: anyone else see the styling resemblance to the new Sante Fe?
  • hung0820hung0820 Posts: 426
    Hyundai has made safety the number one priority when developing the Santa Fe, which has been recognised by the organisers of the North American NCAP crash test survey. Thanks to the use of a Cray super computer which simulates crashes at many angles, along with many actual tests, the Santa Fe earned some impressive scores.

    It earned four stars (drivers side) and five stars (passenger side) in the American NCAP front offset crash tests. And in the side impact tests, the US testers awarded it five stars on both the driver and passenger sides.

    The Santa Fe has a frame-type monocoque body and seven-way impact dispersion to give it maximum strength and protection in the event of a collision.

    All Santa Fe models come with standard anti-lock brakes with Electronic Brake Force Distribution, enabling maximum braking force to be applied to the wheels with the most grip whilst preventing wheel lock up.

    Santa Fe also has an automatic fuel cut-off facility in the event of a severe accident, as well as a collision sensor and lock release mechanism to allow a quick exit for all passengers in such an event. The central locking system will automatically unlock the doors if the airbag is deployed.

    The Santa Fe is equipped with the latest in depowered airbags which are standard equipment for both driver and passenger. The front seatbelts have pre-tensioners, which tensions the belt and then gradually releases it in the event of a collision.

    Childproof locks are standard on all three models.

    The 60/40 front/rear drive split on normal roads of Santa Fe's full-time all-wheel-drive is unusual, 50/50 being the norm for such systems, and it matches the car's approximate kerb weight distribution. This 60/40 ratio can vary either way according to load and/or changes in wheel grip conditions.

    Strong Word:
    ***Hyundai has made SAFETY THE NUMBER ONE (#1) PRIORITY when developing the Santa Fe***
  • drew_drew_ Posts: 3,382
    I'm afraid that the above seems to pretty much be just marketing info to me. FYI, the US NCAP is pretty lacking and hasn't been updated since the 1970's. A better indicator of the strength of the vehicle's structure and the safety cage + the effectiveness of the crumple zones is the IIHS 40mph offset crash test (into a deformable barrier carefully designed to simulate the front of another vehicle). The NHTSA/NCAP's tests mainly focus of the effectiveness of the vehicle's restraint systems. Not many people crash the entire width of the vehicle's front end into a flat concrete wall.

    Most vehicles nowadays have gone through the Cray supercomputer virtual crash tests as well, and the automatic fuel cutoff can even be found in a Ford Tempo.

    The four/five star NHTSA results are good, but IMHO, it would be wise to take the IIHS's crash test into account too since it is entirely possible for a vehicle to do well in the NHTSA's test, but poorly in the IIHS's test. The Nissan Pathfinder is one example of this.

    Side impact airbags would be nice...I'm surprised that Hyundai doesn't offer them here (if I recall correctly from your earlier posts) since safety is supposed to be the "number one priority".

    Good luck...

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  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    We'll have to wait for the IIHS results.

    To be fair, it is the first model year for the Santa Fe. I'm guessing new features will appear within a year or two.

    Hyundai actually deserves credit for including rear disc brakes and offering traction control from the get-go. Toss in stability control and side air bags and they could lead their price class.

  • drew_drew_ Posts: 3,382
    juice, the Sante Fe's TRACS seems to be for the front wheels only. No biggie for them to add it since it was probably developed more for the FWD models w/o AWD.

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  • p0926p0926 Posts: 4,423
    Hung- You really should list the source of your information when quoting it verbatim from another site. Regardless, it's pretty apparent that a Hyundai marketing type was the source for your last post. Next time, it would be easier if you just provided the URL to Hyundai's official Santa Fe web site.

    -Frank P.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Drew: that seems odd. If you have traction control technology on 2 wheels, why not all four? Are you sure?

    That gives it one managed differential, and one open diffy.

    Interestingly, the Forester has the reverse - only the rear diffy is managed.

  • hung0820hung0820 Posts: 426
    I have TCS on my AWD Santa Fe a plus with the ABS as well. Some of the USA Santa Fe already have the side airbags and will be add to the next year model or so. Just to give the Santa Fe without the bore feeling. There is also the A/T climate control and maybe the Digital Multimeter System add to the Santa Fe and LSD as well.

    Well I guess NHTSA crash test does not convince any good then. IIHS crash test result: Will we be able to find this out?

    My DAD Sienna Van show good on the IIHS but Okay on the NHTSA. Which mean is the opposite. What is going on with the CRASH TEST result on this 2 (IIHS and NHTSA)?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    The LSD is not necessary if it has 4 wheel traction control. They're probably figuring out the programming, and will offer it soon.

    The NCAP results were good, actually. NHTSA does the NCAP at 35mph straight into a wall.

    IIHS tests them at 40mph at an angle. 5mph doesn't sound like much, but the potential energy involved is much higher, so it's regarded as a very challenging test.

    At least according to, the Sienna aces both tests, pretty much. Your dad is in good shape.

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