Automotive

New SUV Hunt, Narrow Down Choices

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  • Dec 4th, 2017 7:55 pm
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[OP]
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Oct 4, 2006
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New SUV Hunt, Narrow Down Choices

**NEWEST UPDATE**

So narrowing down a few options...

CRV
Tucson
Escape
Rogue

Looking at all of them they would fit our needs in terms of size etc...

My wife saw the Rogue yesterday and fell in love with the looks of it.

For all of these we're looking at a higher trim (may not full on top but leather awd etc...).

I've always heard mix reviews on the CVT transmission. Reviews online are a little lack luster with essentially "it looks good and feels comfortable... but performance is meh"

Tried the escape out, and short of a few cosmetic oddities like the massive vent wheels it drove comfortably and felt good. The Blind spot lights on the mirrors didnt pop as much as other brands.

Tucson wasn't a bad go, I'm not sure if we'd go with the 1.6 turbo or the regular engine. Tried the regular engine.
--------------------------

So did a round of test drives today... took a lot longer than expected.

Wife felt the CX-9 / Pilot were too large and she wouldn't be comfortable driving them.

CRV felt spacious enough to manage. The trunk space dips downward giving more space than expected for dogs in the rear. My wife would prefer leather seats etc... and the trim with that was a bit more than we wanted to spend but doable without a problem. Overall drive felt refined and smooth, wasn't a "fun" drive but a very comfortable one. The video blind spot camera on right turns/parallel parking etc... was nice, the lack of it on the drivers side was odd but wasn't needed either lol.

CX-5 Might have worked size wise but very snug. Drove the GS AWD and oddly felt very uncomfortable. I've driven this one in the past a few times and liked it but this time around it felt a bit choppy, rough and not as clean a drive. Might be because the CRV was right before hand. A little snappier and more fun to drive but not as comfortable overall. Wife didn't like it fairly quickly so its been veto'd

Sportage, was too small in the trunk area, drove it didn't like the dash board, too many red lit buttons at night. Otherwise wasn't terrible. The gent we spoke with brought up the Sorento as an option. Took a higher trim V6 version for a test drive and actually liked it. Was responsive and quick enough, not difficult to navigate or drive. Surprisingly given the larger size to the CUV's my wife actually liked this one a lot.


On the next list to go is the Rav4, Escape, Edge, Tucson and Santa Fe.

Would love to hear some opinions from people on the Sorento (2018 model). Is it reliable and a decent drive? Is there estimated gas mileage reasonable right?

----------------------------------

Settled on trading in the TDI Jetta, hard to not with the offered price.

Looking for a SUV as a more family car with extra storage, got 2x 80lb dogs and want to be able to fit them and kid seats ideally when going on trips.

I've read fairly positive things on:

CX-5
Rav4
CRV

mixed emotions on:

Rogue
Santa fe

Looking for some suggestions/opinions. Test drove a few but anyone who currently owns one and can offer some insight would be appreciated. Be looking at about 160km 5 days a week on it for work so it has to be comfortable and relatively economical.

------------------------------------------------

Updated with last post:

Thanks for all the info guys.

Is there larger SUV options that aren't 7 seaters? Or even 7 seaters that are highly recommended? Prior to buying my Mazda6 I was looking through SUV's and have more or less defaulted to the ones I reviewed a few years back. Obviously the need this time is a bit different now that we have family and dogs.

Venza
CX-9
????

Other suggestions welcomed, I don't have a ton of experience or test driving of these ones.
Last edited by DarkMasterMX on Nov 12th, 2017 11:19 pm, edited 4 times in total.
122 replies
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May 17, 2017
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I literally JUST shopped this segment, here's the lowdown on why you might want to buy one of the 3 listed, and downsides to them.

- CR-V: Buy this if you're looking for an all rounder with good space, tech, and engine.
Downsides include 1st year production glitches that seem to affect the digital dash.

- CX5: Buy this if you're prioritizing sport, style and luxury.
Hands down the best cabin, and premium exterior styling. Super sporty and connected feeling drive.
Downsides include poor equipment and safety tech for your money, and the current engine is a bit weak ALTHOUGH the diesel is coming soon.

- RAV4: Buy this if you are looking for a hybrid, or want the safety tech at the lowest price possible.
Downsides include cheap af plastic in the interior, and rather crashy over bumps. While it gets good on the IIHS Small Overlap Driver's side crash test, it gets poor result on the passenger side.

For you, I'd probably look at the RAV4 Hybrid, or CR-V.

Your mixed feelings are correct:
- Santa Fe: Outdated and outgunned in every aspect by its competitors.
- Rogue: Recently updated, but CVT issues and Nissan build quality are always a question mark.
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Jan 23, 2017
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OP I would hold out for the CX-5 Diesel to be released if I were in your position.
Driving 180km's per day, 5 times per week..You'll miss your TDI very quickly (torque and mileage).

Added benefit, Mazda has an unlimited mileage warranty right now that you'd surely get good use of - you'll blow through every other manufacturers powertrain warranty in under 3 years.

I'm thinking you're going to be very tight packing 2 dogs, wife & kids in a compact-SUV shy of getting a decent roofbox for any cargo.
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You will need to go one size higher to a Pilot/Highlander/CX9. Those dogs will suffer in the cargo area with the back seats up in those small cuvs.
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sandikosh wrote: You will need to go one size higher to a Pilot/Highlander/CX9. Those dogs will suffer in the cargo area with the back seats up in those small cuvs.
+1 not to mention where your cargo would go if your dogs are in the back in a CRV/RAV4/CX-5
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Feb 9, 2006
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AstulzerRSX wrote: I literally JUST shopped this segment, here's the lowdown on why you might want to buy one of the 3 listed, and downsides to them.

- CR-V: Buy this if you're looking for an all rounder with good space, tech, and engine.
Downsides include 1st year production glitches that seem to affect the digital dash.

- CX5: Buy this if you're prioritizing sport, style and luxury.
Hands down the best cabin, and premium exterior styling. Super sporty and connected feeling drive.
Downsides include poor equipment and safety tech for your money, and the current engine is a bit weak ALTHOUGH the diesel is coming soon.

- RAV4: Buy this if you are looking for a hybrid, or want the safety tech at the lowest price possible.
Downsides include cheap af plastic in the interior, and rather crashy over bumps. While it gets good on the IIHS Small Overlap Driver's side crash test, it gets poor result on the passenger side.

For you, I'd probably look at the RAV4 Hybrid, or CR-V.

Your mixed feelings are correct:
- Santa Fe: Outdated and outgunned in every aspect by its competitors.
- Rogue: Recently updated, but CVT issues and Nissan build quality are always a question mark.
If you're comparing this segment it's the Tuscan that's the competitor. The Sante Fe is the midsize unit.
The Tuscan is brand new for 2017. It's got some teething issues in the DCT and turbo Unit. It's basically the best Gen 1 Tiguan that isn't a Tiguan. But it's pricey.

My Money is on the CR-V then the Tuscan.

For the OP tho. These CUVs are quite small for 2 80lbs dogs and 2 car seats. You'd want to be looking at something the size of the Pilot or Highlander. My Money again on the Pilot unless you want the Hybrid. The Atlas and CX-9 are worth a look too but the Atlas is the initial release so I'd wait. The CX-9 is a great all round SUV, but I'd give the Edge to the Pilot because of the available V6 or else the CX-9 wins in all categories.

Notable Mention for the Mid/Full SUV is the Ford Explorer. If you can get it during Ford Employee Pricing it's good value. The only downside is the current design is more than half a decade old (released 2010 for MY2011) and you can feel it aging when you compare it to the current contenders, it's still very competitive so it's a testament to Ford's design. Rumor is 2019 we'll see a new model, taking styling cues and engineering bits from the new Expedition.
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CuriousJack wrote: Not to minimize your enthusiasm but it will be faster for you to search the thread....tons of info about this...in no time you will be able to pick your vehicle...no need to wait for answers here...
exactly, this topic gets discussed pretty much weekly.
tebore wrote: If you're comparing this segment it's the Tuscan that's the competitor. The Sante Fe is the midsize unit.
The Tuscan is brand new for 2017. It's got some teething issues in the DCT and turbo Unit. It's basically the best Gen 1 Tiguan that isn't a Tiguan. But it's pricey.

My Money is on the CR-V then the Tuscan.
There's no such model as a Tuscan.

Hyundai does sell a Tucson however.
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Jun 27, 2009
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not to hijack, but im in the same boat as you are......going through the buyback on my TDI

test drove the new Tiguan...feels just like my jetta (but bigger obviously) and is the front runner so far

going to try out the CX-5 Gas (but would wait for diesel equivalent if i like it), CR-V and possibly the Q5 as well.
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Swerny wrote: exactly, this topic gets discussed pretty much weekly.



There's no such model as a Tuscan.

Hyundai does sell a Tucson however.
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Mar 9, 2009
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CRV or Forester since you'll need a good amount of cargo space for the doggies

You should really check some of these out in person to get a feel for the interior room of the car. The CX5 is a lot smaller on the inside than the rest of them.

Also consider looking at a few midsize SUVs (Honda Pilot, Toyota Highlander, Mazda CX9) if you need more room.
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2 x 80 lb dogs plus kid...all those CUV are too small. You need to go for the Subaru Outback.
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1. CRV or Forester or Outback [all spacious and reliable]

2. Sante Fe Sport or Rav4 [also spacious but tad bit less then above]

3. Mitsu Outlander or CX-5 [refined but not as spacious or reliable]

Does depend where you want the space; from the above some have more 2nd row space and some more cargo space. The CRV, Forester, Rav4 would be leaders in all around space.
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May 17, 2017
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tebore wrote: If you're comparing this segment it's the Tuscan that's the competitor. The Sante Fe is the midsize unit.
The Tuscan is brand new for 2017. It's got some teething issues in the DCT and turbo Unit. It's basically the best Gen 1 Tiguan that isn't a Tiguan. But it's pricey.

My Money is on the CR-V then the Tuscan.

For the OP tho. These CUVs are quite small for 2 80lbs dogs and 2 car seats. You'd want to be looking at something the size of the Pilot or Highlander. My Money again on the Pilot unless you want the Hybrid. The Atlas and CX-9 are worth a look too but the Atlas is the initial release so I'd wait. The CX-9 is a great all round SUV, but I'd give the Edge to the Pilot because of the available V6 or else the CX-9 wins in all categories.

Notable Mention for the Mid/Full SUV is the Ford Explorer. If you can get it during Ford Employee Pricing it's good value. The only downside is the current design is more than half a decade old (released 2010 for MY2011) and you can feel it aging when you compare it to the current contenders, it's still very competitive so it's a testament to Ford's design. Rumor is 2019 we'll see a new model, taking styling cues and engineering bits from the new Expedition.
I think if OP were to buy a new car for his family, safety is absolutely key if he's spending this much money. Huge improvements have been made in the last year or two with regards to IIHS Small Overlap, while Automatic Emergency Braking is absolutely key in the city and on the 400 series highways.

For reference.. here are my thoughts on the Tucson, Atlas, Explorer, and CX9.

- Tucson: Less road noise and better ride quality than the RDX that I also drove, nice interior materials as well.
No AEB/PCS or ACC until the very top trim. Way underpowered with the 2.4, and issues with the DCT scare me from the 1.6.
- Atlas:Large interior and nice VW driving feel.
We don't get the 6 year warranty in Canada that the US get + 1st model year from VW is why I avoied this.
- CX-9: Nice styling and turbo engine. Can fit 7 passengers if needed as well.
Not meaningfully bigger than the CR-V or RAV.
- Explorer: Masculine styling and available sport trim are nice. Can also seat 7.
Only gets MARGINAL on the IIHS Small overlap. Awful interior packaging from the old platform means it's huge on the outside but cramped af on the inside
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May 17, 2017
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onslaught192 wrote: not to hijack, but im in the same boat as you are......going through the buyback on my TDI

test drove the new Tiguan...feels just like my jetta (but bigger obviously) and is the front runner so far

going to try out the CX-5 Gas (but would wait for diesel equivalent if i like it), CR-V and possibly the Q5 as well.
How did you find the 2.0T in the new Tiguan?

Review seem to indicate that it's a turtle of an engine - 9 seconds to 60, 5.1 second 30-50, 6.5 second 50-70.
For reference, the Tiguan 0-60 and 30-50 is slower than a Versa.
The CX-5 does 0-60 in 7.6, 30-50 in 4.3, and 50-70 in 5.3.
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AstulzerRSX wrote: How did you find the 2.0T in the new Tiguan?

Review seem to indicate that it's a turtle of an engine - 9 seconds to 60, 5.1 second 30-50, 6.5 second 50-70.
For reference, the Tiguan 0-60 and 30-50 is slower than a Versa.
The CX-5 does 0-60 in 7.6, 30-50 in 4.3, and 50-70 in 5.3.
As you discovered on paper the new Tig is a boat compared to the old. VW took everything about the old Tig that made it a fav and tossed it, looked at the Rav 4/Highlander and said ok how we do make a Mexican/German version of that?

While the Koreans took the Old Tig and said hmm we can rebadge that in to the Tuscon.

Paraphrasing here but you get the gist.
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May 17, 2017
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tebore wrote: As you discovered on paper the new Tig is a boat compared to the old. VW took everything about the old Tig that made it a fav and tossed it, looked at the Rav 4/HIghlander and said ok how we do make a Mexican/German version of that?

While the Koreans took the Old Tig and said hmm we can rebadge that in to a the Tuscon.

Paraphrasing here but you get the gist.
If the Tucson offered AEB on lower trims, and either didn't have a sketchy DCT with 1.6T or had a 2.4 that was fast enough to not need flat footing everywher, it'd be my absolute pick. It struck me as very refined in the interior, ride, noise, and handling.

The CR-V just seems to have a strong yet reliable powertrain combined with the active safety tech across all trims, making it an easier recommendation for families where safety is key.
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AstulzerRSX wrote: If the Tucson offered AEB on lower trims, and either didn't have a sketchy DCT with 1.6T or had a 2.4 that was fast enough to not need flat footing everywher, it'd be my absolute pick. It struck me as very refined in the interior, ride, noise, and handling.

The CR-V just seems to have a strong yet reliable powertrain combined with the active safety tech across all trims, making it an easier recommendation for families where safety is key.
That it is.
As I mentioned in the 2017 CR-V before being derailed by Pete_Coach was I wished they offered a choice for more power. Since the CR-V is larger than ever, some more pep to help tow, lug around the family with enough luggage would be nice. The 2.0T + Transmission should be an option from the Accord, and tow package to be able to pull 3000/3500 lbs would be ideal.
The new CR-V is about the same size as the original Pilot and that offered a sweet V6. The new HR-V occupies the space the old CR-V left behind.
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May 17, 2017
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tebore wrote: That it is.
As I mentioned in the 2017 CR-V before being derailed by Pete_Coach was I wished they offered a choice for more power. Since the CR-V is larger than ever, some more pep to help tow, lug around the family with enough luggage would be nice. The 2.0T + Transmission should be an option from the Accord, and tow package to be able to pull 3000/3500 lbs would be ideal.
The new CR-V is about the same size as the original Pilot and that offered a sweet V6. The new HR-V occupies the space the old CR-V left behind.
I actually really enjoy the Honda CVT - it appeared to be quite responsive, had stepped gears when appropriate while doing CVT things when it would be best (light/full throttle), but the engine is just 'appropriately quick' for its size... would be really great if it had another 10-20hp.
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AstulzerRSX wrote: I actually really enjoy the Honda CVT - it appeared to be quite responsive, had stepped gears when appropriate while doing CVT things when it would be best (light/full throttle), but the engine is just 'appropriately quick' for its size... would be really great if it had another 10-20hp.
I gotta see how the CVT plays out long term. Apparently there's reports of it smelling burnt on heavy load.
I don't know about HP, but Honda knows the apparently crowd that's looking at the car because they tuned the engine for more Torque over the Civic. It's either the combo of the CVT, Engine, Combo or calibration but I'd like to see more Torque(power) and a higher tow rating as an option. Toyota is going this way with their slow as molasses Rav4 there's going to be high tow rated one.
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tebore wrote: That it is.
As I mentioned in the 2017 CR-V before being derailed by Pete_Coach was I wished they offered a choice for more power. Since the CR-V is larger than ever, some more pep to help tow, lug around the family with enough luggage would be nice. The 2.0T + Transmission should be an option from the Accord, and tow package to be able to pull 3000/3500 lbs would be ideal.
The new CR-V is about the same size as the original Pilot and that offered a sweet V6. The new HR-V occupies the space the old CR-V left behind.
Honda is saving that motor for the new RDX

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