Thoughts on New SUV Purchase

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AJTrenkle
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Thoughts on New SUV Purchase

Post by AJTrenkle » Sun Mar 30, 2014 7:45 am

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livesoft
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Re: Thoughts on New SUV Purchase Options

Post by livesoft » Sun Mar 30, 2014 8:09 am

I'm thinking of buying a 3-year-old Lexus. Such a SUV should easily go another 10 years. I have a 13-year-old Lexus which has had no maintenance in over 2 years except the tires were replaced.

I haven't seen any improvment in safety features over the last 10 years either, so I wonder what you are thinking about there.
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AJTrenkle
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Re: Thoughts on New SUV Purchase Options

Post by AJTrenkle » Sun Mar 30, 2014 8:53 am

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sscritic
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Re: Thoughts on New SUV Purchase Options

Post by sscritic » Sun Mar 30, 2014 9:01 am

When I saw the title of your thread, I thought you wanted to know if a built-in vacuum was a good option or whether a rearview camera was essential. Do all the vehicles you are considering have the options you desire?

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Re: Thoughts on New SUV Purchase Options

Post by livesoft » Sun Mar 30, 2014 9:05 am

AJTrenkle wrote:Biggest issue is current ride doesn't have side airbags or traction/stability control.
Thanks, my older cars have these options.
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AJTrenkle
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Re: Thoughts on New SUV Purchase Options

Post by AJTrenkle » Sun Mar 30, 2014 9:19 am

sscritic wrote:When I saw the title of your thread, I thought you wanted to know if a built-in vacuum was a good option or whether a rearview camera was essential. Do all the vehicles you are considering have the options you desire?
Good call. I just changed the title.

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Re: Thoughts on New SUV Purchase

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Sun Mar 30, 2014 9:32 am

When you read consumer reports, you can read between the lines (or read the actual lines) that if there's any way you can go with a car over an SUV, you will have less visits to the shop, renting an Enterprise car that barely fits 2 people. When I saw a Durango on your list.....well, I don't think there is anything less reliable besides a Rover product. Take the vehicles you will consider and then research them thoroughly.

There are Volvo wagens available with a rear facing 3rd row. While you won't want a couple 6 foot co-workers back there, a couple child seats with kids in there would certainly work.

Where American brands excel over the others is large trucks. Suburbans, pickups, that sort of thing. I think that's mainly because there isn't anything competing from Toyota and the lot with that kind of room at those prices. Look for end of year deals. It's not unusual to see these at $10k off MSRP being advertised. But be warned......Suburbans and the like have been plagued over the years with issues. (I've had one). Transmissions, brake lines rusting through (happened to me coming home from vacation pulling a boat and stranded me for 2 days). If you don't need the heavy duty capability of the bigger vehicle, try as much as you can to go smaller. I used my Suburban to pull a boat, an 18 foot enclosed racecar trailer and to plow my driveway. If you are only karting around people, try to find a smaller 3 seat vehicle. Toyota Matrix? Mazda 5? They're small cars with 3 rows that are fine for very small kids. Not so much for adults. But if you're karting kids around, you can still get good mileage. Not enough storage space? Put a cargo thing on top.
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DonM17
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Re: Thoughts on New SUV Purchase

Post by DonM17 » Sun Mar 30, 2014 9:48 am

Do yourself a favor and read the reviews by actual owners at either of these 2 sites - just be sure to look at the reviews on the vehicles are at least 4 years old to in order to get some idea as to reliability.

http://www.carsurvey.org/

http://editorial.autos.msn.com/articles ... index.aspx

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Re: Thoughts on New SUV Purchase

Post by Rattlesnake » Sun Mar 30, 2014 9:49 am

We ended up buying a Chevy Equinox (V6) for transporting 2 Grand Sons and the stuff that goes along with that.... Sometimes think a Traverse might have been a better choice but no buyer regret.... Just did the Michigan to Florida and return trip and averaged 22.5 MPG (if that interests you)... The Son has a GMC Acadia (same platform as the Traverse) which works well for them....

We also tow a 19 foot boat during the Summer with the Equinox....

A friend has 3 boys and they are big time athletes... They have a Suburban and she tells me about packing that with all kinds of goods to transport the boys to their games and her stories indicate the Suburban can get packed to the gills with her boys and sometimes friends....

Just my $0.02....
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Re: Thoughts on New SUV Purchase

Post by Kenkat » Sun Mar 30, 2014 10:23 am

I think the first step is to try to do a quick look at as many of these vehicles as possible. We were recently in the market for a new vehicle and went to the yearly auto show in town, where you can look at all the vehicles at once. There are a number of vehicles we had high on our list that we pretty immediately ruled out for various reasons.

I don't know if I would immediately rule out the Durango just because it is a Dodge. A number of the Japanese makes have been in the news recently over quality issues as well. I know it is just one data point, but we bought a Dodge Caravan in 2002 with similar trepidations and got 12 years of pretty reliable service out of it.

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Re: Thoughts on New SUV Purchase

Post by jimgour » Sun Mar 30, 2014 10:51 am

We traded in our fairly new Toyota minivan that had airbag problems (we fixed it before we traded it in), and purchased a new 2013 Jeep Grand Cherokee last year. We couldn't be happier, and we found it difficult to believe how nice a Jeep could be. It is American made and has pretty good ratings. Check out this site, and then test drive one. We were very impressed with how it handled:

http://www.boston.com/cars/news-and-rev ... story.html

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Re: Thoughts on New SUV Purchase

Post by Polaris » Sun Mar 30, 2014 12:37 pm

We did the search for a three row SUV last year to replace our fifteen year old Nissan Maxima and looked at some of the same models you're interested in.

o My parents have a Mazda CX-9 they like very much and IMO it's a nice car inside and out. I eliminated it from consideration due to crash ratings and gas mileage that lagged other comparable models.

o Our top two choices were the Honda Pilot and Hyundai Santa Fe. We have a ten year old Pilot and it has been an excellent family car (trouble free and very versatile for hauling around the family and/or stuff) and I would have been quite happy to buy another one. Then we drove the Santa Fe. The biggest difference for my wife was that it was more "car-like" as compared to the "truck-like" Pilot. The styling of it reminded me of the Audi Q7 my brother had, although at a much lesser price. To top things off, it had slightly better crash ratings than the Pilot and a much better factory warranty. We bought the Santa Fe six months ago and have been very pleased with it.

Several models were reviewed by AutoGuide.com recently: 2014 Three-Row Crossover Comparison Test and they had good things to say about many of the models. As for "buying American", that has become such a grey area these days that it's hard to keep track (although Chrysler's TIPM woes the past few years would make me weary of Chrysler/Dodge/Jeep). Basically, if I can bring myself to buy a Hyundai, then I figure can buy anything. :)

Good luck!

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Re: Thoughts on New SUV Purchase

Post by AJTrenkle » Sun Mar 30, 2014 1:05 pm

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Re: Thoughts on New SUV Purchase

Post by bottlecap » Sun Mar 30, 2014 3:03 pm

If it were me, I'd look at the Highlander, the Mazda or a Ford if you can find one you like. I want to like the Durango, but Dodge isn't exactly known for their reliability and I can't get past it. A Tahoe or a Suburban will nickel and dime you to death, as a lot of little things go wrong with them and, of course, less frequently some very major things. They are just not well built, despite being powerful and sharp looking. I've got a friend that buys GM and sells them once they hit 100k miles - that works if you want a new truck every 5 or 6 years, but I'd look elsewhere if you want long term reliability.

I understand where you're coming from about your desire to buy American, but I would keep your options open. The best thing to do for America is to buy the car you want at the best price. Buying American and not what you otherwise would have doesn't help American car companies, it subsidizes them. Subsidizing them permits them to continue to produce sub-par quality vehicles (assuming they would not be your first choice otherwise) which will bankrupt them in the long run. It's no coincidence that American car companies began putting together better products when the foreign automakers swept in and started eating their lunch...

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Re: Thoughts on New SUV Purchase

Post by TheOscarGuy » Sun Mar 30, 2014 7:30 pm

AJTrenkle wrote:Hello all,
1) American vs Import: All things being equal I would like to buy American. While I know this isn't exactly black and white anymore with what is even "American", it's just something I find important all else being equal. Of course the problem is that the Japanese models on Consumer Reports are always so much more reliable and this is important to me with the goal of keeping the vehicle for a long time. I really like the new Durango for example, but don't want to be in the shop all the time. I know this is perhaps more of an emotional thing vs a logical one, but do you all consider or care about this much when purchasing a vehicle? Please just provide your reasoning as I don't want this to turn into a major fight back and forth :-).
I continue with what works for me. I have never owned American, and since the Japanese manufacturers have treated me *very* well, my advise will be to stick with Japanese. I do realize however, that the choice sometimes is driven more by that (its American), than which one is more value, over the period of ownership of the car.

I do not care about whether its American or foreign brand (full disclosure: I am not a US citizen). To me, I only care about whether or not this car is a good value to me.
2) On a related note: What exactly does reliable vs unreliable mean nowadays? I mean it seems like most cars run decently well, I never hear horror stories anymore about major lemons from friends and colleagues (just major settlements with the government from GM and Toyota!), so what is the marginal benefit of reliable vs below average?
Reliable means having to take the car to the shop only for routine maintenance items -- brakes, tires, oil change. For my Japanese car, I have to ask the mechanic if the car needs anything to be looked at -- and its usually the case that I don't need to spend a lot of money on the car.

Reliable means not having to wait for AAA when your car overheats and leaves you stranded. It means not having to spend more money when the car has visited the shop the same week. These things happened with our German manufactured car, which had treated me exceptionally well until then. I had held that car in high regard until very close issues having to do with car leaving us stranded.

I am sure others have different definition of reliability, but this is, for me. :D
3) Any specific model advice? My shortlist right now includes the Durango, Traverse, Highlander, CX-9 and Santa Fe. Like I said though that list is most of the major models and it seems like they are all rated well and it's a real competitive part of the market.
If I am restricted to only these two, I would consider (and probably buy with very high certainty) only Highlander. It got a major facelift this year, and has a lot of bells and whistles. Be aware however, that the "chronic" problem AFA fuel economy goes, with all Toyota trucks, has not been addressed. So if you visit the forums of Highlander you will see posts about 2014 owners not being happy with mileage. Unless you are thinking hybrid.

Since you mentioned you can wait, I will certainly recommend waiting for Honda Pilot 2015 -- I am hopeful that they take care of the VCM issue, because without that issue, Honda Pilot (improved one of course) competes very well price-wise, with the rest of them. Obviously its a Honda, so you know reliability is going to be there. Imagine a Pilot looking more like MDX, with a much lower price tag :)

I am sure you know this but I will restate: the third row has marginal usability in mid sized SUVs.

Thanks in advance![/quote]

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