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Sonor

Mid Sized SUV?

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Sonor

Well finally Honda has come out with a 5 seater SUV, the Passport.  Totally unlike the original, it is fully a shortened version of the Pilot.  We test drove it - not impressed.  It has electronic steering to avoid quick wheel jerks which impacts its handling.  Other than that it is a great vehicle.

So the question, what other 5 seater SUV's are out there that you would recommend?  Subaru, Volkswagen, Acura, etc ....  Let's have it.  I want to do a full compare after I receive your thoughts and review them myself.

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realshelby

A bit over a year ago we were in the market for a mid size SUV. Drove many of them. Went to the Houston Auto Show to actually sit and look at a LOT of them. 

 

I was pushing my wife toward an Acura at first. Until we drove one. Driving the different brands sure puts a different perspective on them! 

 

We ended up with a 2018 BMW X3. Really couldn't be happier with it. But they are on the more expensive side. She wanted something nice, that is what she got. 

 

But if price is a point that has to be addressed, or simply you just want value, I think I would have ended up with a Hyundai. They are GREAT vehicles. I think they are the  "Honda and Toyota" of this time. 

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chrisolson

Mazda ... but  all new vehicles are very close these days .

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realshelby

Chris, we drove the Mazda CX9. Quite a disappointment in road noise, harsh ride, lack of power.

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roadscholar

While I get buying something new for your wife that she likes, for me I'll always chose something already depreciated that still has a lot of life left in it. I've had a few ML 320/350's that have been great trucks. They're competent off road (1st gen have low range, few other AWD SUV's do) and drive like a Mercedes on road. Somewhat recently I picked up this '08 320 CDI, it has 400 ft lbs of torque and gets 18 mpg towing 5000 lbs and 25 solo. 

 

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And for sheer grins I came across this little monster last week (they should've named it something bad because it is). It's an '02 ML55, 340hp, 380 lbs of torque and literally catapults itself onto the freeway, few modern SUV'S can match it's performance.

 

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chrisolson
4 hours ago, realshelby said:

Chris, we drove the Mazda CX9. Quite a disappointment in road noise, harsh ride, lack of power.

 

Yes, power is not one of Mazda's great assets as of now

 

11 hours ago, realshelby said:

We ended up with a 2018 BMW X3

 

Well .....yeah :classic_sleep:  Not in the same league ... 

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Skywagon

wife and I did almost the same as Terry...Her car..she chooses.  She drove Audi, BMW, Acura, VW, Buick, Chevy, Ford, Lincoln, and Lexus.  She chose the Lexus RX 350.  She loves it...I'm not wild about it but I don't have the hear her say you made me pick this car, this color, etc...from that perspective it is the perfect car :classic_biggrin:

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TEWKS

The Highlander has a better ride and a quieter cabin compared to the Pilot. Not that it's high mileage but not a single hiccup in thirty-two thousand miles.

  805e16ca825287c760994896d95a3d7a.jpg

 

 

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Sonor

Thanks everyone for the input.

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ltljohn

I am very happy after 3 years with the Kia Sorrento.  Worth at least a look and a test drive.

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longjohn

I sat in a lot of them at the auto show and the Subaru Forester fit me the best, being 6'2" with long legs. It gets good mpg with a 2.5 boxer, but not much punch. Haha, if I want to zoom around I have the rt. Standard 4 wheel dr., great safety features. It might be a bit small for you tho. 

 

Edit:. Auto week tv show picked the Ford Edge in their year end show fwiw. 

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chrisolson
On 2/7/2019 at 6:08 AM, Sonor said:

Thanks everyone for the input.

 

Do post back your impressions of any test drives or final choices you have made !

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Sonor

My main objectives are: functional interior cargo space, good performance, 5 passenger not 8, high reliability, and new.  I am staring at retirement in a few years so I want to purchase now while still making dollars.  That way I have a good vehicle that is only a couple of years old when the pay gets cut.

8 Passenger or third row seating is completely not needed nor wanted.  When the seats fold down I need it to be contiguous and flat.  Between the third and second row seating there is a gap of at least three inches and some do not fold flat.

 

SIDE NOTE: for those also joining a car investigation, do not let the dealer tell you that it has a rear backup camera like that is an add on, they are federally mandated on all new cars now and join the market along with the three point seat belts.  Both, for some reason, dealers like to hype as if they are doing you a favor.

 

So far:

Honda Passport - great size, too many electronic gadgets but acceptable, true interior comfort, good cargo space with seats down, just not happy with the floating feeling when driving.  The steering is accurate but the vehicles seems to float meaning the shocks should be different or tension bars added - something to make it seem more like a sedan than a REALLY high vehicle which it is not. {keep in mind I have only owned Honda's since 1980 - this was a dissapointment}  Towing is 3000 lbs. with 2 wheel drive, 5000 with 4 wheel drive. Depending upon the source, interior cargo area is anywhere between 76 cubic feet to 100 (again, depending upon the source).  No standard roof rack with a number of models. I will go back and test drive the vehicle one more time to ensure it does not meet my performance expectations.

Honda Pilot: 8 passenger

Volkswagen Tiguan: Smaller vehicle than desired and unfunctional cargo space for my needs.

Volkswagen Atlas: Too big for my tastes - did not drive also 8 passenger.

Subaru Outback: while technically it is a "crossover" or wagon, it does meet a number of the criteria boxes.  The pick up in the four cylinder was just not what I want but add the six cylinder and it was great making this the top choice so far.  The seats folded down are not 100% flat which is a slight concern.  However, the dealer has stated he will allow me to come back with my cases and verify sizing.  The vehicle has a number of electronic gadgets and some you can actually turn off (YEAH) unlike other vehicles.  While in some ways the vehicle is lagging behind others (i.e. HID headlights not LED), it is rock solid.  And while the gas mileage goes from the low thirties (4 cylinder) to the mid to upper twenties (6 cylinder), I feel that always on four wheel drive needs that extra power and it really comes through in the performance with the 6 cylinder.  We completed the 4 cylinder test drive and I was thinking, "yeah it is okay."  We hadn't even gone over 150 feet in the 6 cylinder and I said out loud, "Now that's what I am talking about."  The difference was that remarkable.  Towing is 2500 lbs (some sites say 2700) and that is all I would need but cannot use a 1500 lb tow capacity. We looked at the Forrester but no 6 cylinder.

Kia: went to the dealer on a Sunday and they were not open.  Many people have told me about how much better they are now than years ago when I wouldn't have even looked at one.  Well, they had better be for the price they are posting these days.  That said, it also seemed like the 5 seater did not have the interior cargo room we need so more research is to be done.

BMW and High End: All require 93 octane and so to does the Acura I am trading in.  I really do not want that extra price on a every three day expense.

Next up: investigating the Honda CRV (probably not the performance I want), the Toyota Rav4, Ford Edge, and ???

 

Side note: Looked at the Nissan Rogue - not enough interior cargo space.

 

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realshelby

To give a reference, the 2018 BMW X3 does "require" premium 91+ octane.  The 4 cylinder turbo engine is surprisingly peppy, especially in low end power. I don't think you would want more power. But the point of this post is the fuel mileage. The X3 is full time 4wd. My wife gets 28 mpg driving Houston traffic to work. It gets 31 mpg cruising interstates at a bit over 70 mph. Compared to some others, the fuel costs are actually less than some that run on regular. Regardless of what you buy, cost per gallon of fuel is only part of the cost factor. How far it goes compared to others on that gallon has to be calculated in to see which is actually cheaper to  operate. 

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Patallaire

Take a look at the Lexus RX 450H.  Great SUV, will last and may become your very last car.  It has so many features, it is not, however a sports car in the handling department, but you have your bike for that, it does retain its resale value really, really well.  So the cost of driving it over an extended period is lower.  I usually keep mine 10 years, so it works for me.  On my 4th Lexus RX.

 

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Rider1200RT

Having owned two Subaru Outbacks I can say that both were great cars. I had a 2011 3.6R and used it as my tow vehicle for my business as I was a fishing guide in the Keys. I put 88K miles on it and only replaced the rear wheel bearings. Like I said I used it as a truck. Took that car to Colorado for MTB trips and it climbed all the trails I needed it to as well.

I traded that car in for a 2017 2.5 after I was done with my business and liked it a lot but that 2.5 bored me to death so I sold it and got my money out of it.

One thing is for sure, Subaru's hold their value much better than any other brand. If you decide on an Outback, get the 3.6 as it is more fun to drive and uses regular gas too...YMMV

 

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Living the Dream
12 hours ago, Sonor said:

My main objectives are: functional interior cargo space, good performance, 5 passenger not 8, high reliability, and new.  I am staring at retirement in a few years so I want to purchase now while still making dollars.  That way I have a good vehicle that is only a couple of years old when the pay gets cut.

8 Passenger or third row seating is completely not needed nor wanted.  When the seats fold down I need it to be contiguous and flat.  Between the third and second row seating there is a gap of at least three inches and some do not fold flat.

 

Get a truck,....five passenger and the bed is always flat.  ;)  GMC Sierra currently holding at 22mpg with the 6.2L engine.

 

12 hours ago, Sonor said:

 

BMW and High End: All require 93 octane and so to does the Acura I am trading in.  I really do not want that extra price on a every three day expense.

 

 

As stated, not "required" only "recommended" and, from personal experience, will run fine on less than recommended.

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John in VA

After driving an X3 M40i. Nothing like that twin turbo six motor.

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MikeRC

I was in the market for a similar vehicle 4 years ago.  My 2007 Toyota RAV4 (with the Toyota corporate V6) was getting long in the tooth and requiring more maintenance.  Since I have to tow one or two motorcycles on a trailer many of the 4 cylinder small SUVs just didn't cut it.  

 

I ended up with a 2016 Outback 3.6R (without Eyesight) and it is a pretty good vehicle.  It is one of the quietest vehicles I have ever owned, and gets about the same gas mileage as the RAV4 (23 mpg city and 27 hwy (US gallon)) that drops to about 21 mpg towing the GS on a Kendon 2 bike trailer.  No problems up to this point (42,000 mi).  

 

What I don't like is the CVT transmission that hesitates on upshift/downshift while I'm just trying to accelerate and decelerate smoothly.  And motorboats.  It will accelerate quickly when I push it hard or switch to manual, but isn't as smooth as my Toyota 5 speed auto in the RAV4 in daily driving.  Also, the tongue weight limit on the hitch is just 180lb (less then 10% of the 2700lb towing limit).  If you do buy one, don't get the Subaru hitch installed (1-1/4" receiver & it replaces part of the bumper assembly).  

 

I would also look at the Hyundai Santa Fe or Santa Fe XL and Ford Edge.   One member here has towed a K1600 on a Kendon single rail trailer cross-country with a Santa Fe (2.0T engine) and it still got 24 mpg.  

 

Mike Cassidy

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JohnnyJ

I'm in the early stages of investigating the RAV 4 Hybrid. I like what I see so far: 219 HP, MPG: 34 city / 30 highway. 

 

Johnny J

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Sonor

The only thing (for me) about the Rav 4 is lack of interior cargo space.

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Sonor

I drove the Honda Passport and the Subaru Outback again today.  Turn off all of the safety electronics on the Passport and it is much better.  Still rather anemic in its pickup both from a stop and from slowing down then speeding up on the highway.  Great interior and lots of room for cargo.  The Subaru clearly outperformed the Honda but its cargo space is so close to too small it is concerning.  I believe what I transport will fit but only one or maybe two ways only.

Best of both worlds would be the either the Honda has more get up and go or the Subaru has a little more cargo space.  Still on the fence.

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Dennis Boyce

We just bought a 2019 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk with V8 and all the bells and whistles.  360 HP on 87 octane, 4wd, air suspension, etc.  Couldn't be happier!  Only thing I don't care for is the sunroof.  Otherwise, nothing to change/improve, given that SHMBO wouldn't let me get the Trackhawk!!  This is our 4th Jeep and all have been reliable, strong, comfortable.  Traded in a 2014 Grand Cherokee with the V-6, which was okay, but not even close to the HEMI!!

 

Dennis

 

 

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Living the Dream
8 hours ago, Dennis Boyce said:

 but not even close to the HEMI!!

 

Dennis

 

 

 

You do know that "Hemi" in it's modern form is just a trademark/marketing scheme and not really the hemis yore......right ;)

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Sonor

Don't crucify me for this comment, but I have a real bad time thinking of purchasing a USA car.  Years ago I had a Camero and in the three years of ownership I spent as much on it in repairs as I did the purchase price.  I traded it for my first Honda and have enjoyed the lack of repair bills ever since.  Now yes, everyone's mileage is different and there will be those that have had the reverse happen to them.  But in the seven Hondas I have owned only one had a major repair, the AC system.  I called American Honda customer support, complained about it, and they paid for half the cost of the repair.  And the vehicle was five years old.  This is why I am also having a tough time thinking about a vehicle that is not a Honda. 

So there you have it.  Probably more info than you wanted and some saying, "Meh - who cares."  Just wanted to explain why some vehicles were not on my list.

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marcopolo

I can appreciate your comment.  In 1977, I bought my last car from the so-called Big Three, a Chevy Impala.  It was such a piece of crap, so poorly made, that I vowed never again.  And, I haven't.  It's been Japanese, and one European, since then.

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Dennis Boyce
11 hours ago, Living the Dream said:

 

You do know that "Hemi" in it's modern form is just a trademark/marketing scheme and not really the hemis yore......right ;)

You do know that 360HP is still 360HP, right?  But thanks for trying to harsh my mellow ;-)

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Living the Dream
4 minutes ago, Dennis Boyce said:

You do know that 360HP is still 360HP, right?  But thanks for trying to harsh my mellow ;-)

 

Yes, I just got rid of a 2018 "Hemi" Ram for a 2018 6.2 GMC.  Just don't dig the marketing of Hemi when it's actually not a hemi,....heck, Toyota's have/had Hemi's if you really want to get down to it.

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