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Old 07-23-2013, 01:45 PM
 
1,768 posts, read 3,240,337 times
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Looking to buy new family SUV. We are hoping to keep it for a while. Looked at Toyota Highlander, Pilot, and Mazda CX9. Mazda is perhaps most fun to drive of the three, but I am still debating if buying a vehicle with fairly low safety crash ratings (by today's standards) makes any sense. Pilot and Highlander are OK, but nothing very exciting. Solid, boring, vanilla flavor SUVs.
I would like to expand my search into US made SUV market. My spouse would like something with higher visibility (and higher mounted driver seat). I would like to get something safe, reliable, and capable. I have not driven anything US made for a while. I am hearing about Chevy Traverse, Buick Enclave, Dodge Durango and all being very highly rated. I am also seeing more and more on the road.
I am not sure if any of these models is more reliable that others? Ford still scares me for some reason. Jeep has some appeal but not sure about quality in the long run, including all the other SUVs mentioned. Not having to worry about frequent repairs is huge plus for me. We tend to maintain our cars well, and they last us for quite a long time. So far, we have always had great experiences and very low headache (if any) with our cars--German and Japanese made stuff.
If any of car-enthusiasts can set me straight, I appreciate any insight/experience I can get. Part of me would really like to support US auto industry and our people, but I do not want a lemon. Thank you.
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Old 07-23-2013, 02:14 PM
 
Location: Vancouver, B.C., Canada
11,155 posts, read 29,316,613 times
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If you want a truly Off-Road capable SUV from the factory the a Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon is what would suggest OP

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Old 07-23-2013, 02:36 PM
 
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The American car companies of today are NOT the American car companies of 10 years ago - in a good way.
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Old 07-23-2013, 02:42 PM
 
1,768 posts, read 3,240,337 times
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I care about safety and reliability more than being able to climb rocks with my car. Although, I respect what Jeep can do in that regard, I am primarily looking for family hauler for 5 or more people (we are leaning toward having some flexibility and third row seat would be a welcome addition). We do go skiing here and there, and it is nice not to get stuck in the snow/ice, but for the most part we are on the local (bumpy) roads.Thanks.

Miller88 do you have any experience with any of these bigger cars?
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Old 07-23-2013, 02:42 PM
 
Location: Central Texas
13,714 posts, read 31,173,187 times
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Is this SUV a people carrier only or is it expected to go off road?
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Old 07-23-2013, 02:48 PM
 
Location: La Mesa Aka The Table
9,823 posts, read 11,546,362 times
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Go Test drive the Ford Edge.I guarantee you'll buy it!
I was scared of ford at one time also but they have really turned the corner.Ford has some of the best vehicles on the road right now!
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Old 07-23-2013, 02:54 PM
 
865 posts, read 2,161,409 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kingeorge View Post
I care about safety and reliability more than being able to climb rocks with my car. Although, I respect what Jeep can do in that regard, I am primarily looking for family hauler for 5 or more people (we are leaning toward having some flexibility and third row seat would be a welcome addition). We do go skiing here and there, and it is nice not to get stuck in the snow/ice, but for the most part we are on the local (bumpy) roads.Thanks.

Miller88 do you have any experience with any of these bigger cars?

I'm a Jeep person, but not very fond of Chrysler products or their quality. The newer 12+ wranglers have a MUCH better engine and transmission than the 07-011. The back seat in a 4 door wrangler is not all that big, however.

The ford Explorer, Edge and Escape are all very nice, small SUVs. I have put a good amount of miles on a 2013 escape and it's just great to drive.
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Old 07-23-2013, 03:00 PM
 
Location: Cincinnati, OH
1,716 posts, read 3,583,698 times
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How much are you looking to spend? That will give us a better guide of what to recommend for you. For example, the Traverse starts at 31k, but it's premium cousin, the Enclave, starts at 38k. From what I've experienced and read, though, the Durango is the best SUV on the market right now. It shares the same underpinnings as the M-Class (as does the Grand Cherokee). The GM triplets are still pretty good, though. It's amazing how Ford, GM, and Chrysler have turned things around in the past 5-10 years. I'm glad to see you aren't one of those people who won't consider them because of a bad product in the 80s or 90s.
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Old 07-23-2013, 03:07 PM
 
865 posts, read 2,161,409 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by American Luxury View Post
How much are you looking to spend? That will give us a better guide of what to recommend for you. For example, the Traverse starts at 31k, but it's premium cousin, the Enclave, starts at 38k. From what I've experienced and read, though, the Durango is the best SUV on the market right now. It shares the same underpinnings as the M-Class (as does the Grand Cherokee). The GM triplets are still pretty good, though. It's amazing how Ford, GM, and Chrysler have turned things around in the past 5-10 years. I'm glad to see you aren't one of those people who won't consider them because of a bad product in the 80s or 90s.
I'm always entertained by the peole who refuse to buy american because of a vehicle they had 20+ years ago.
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Old 07-23-2013, 03:28 PM
 
Location: Prosper
6,255 posts, read 17,097,598 times
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How many of you posting actually HAVE an American SUV? It's all fine and dandy to say that US automakers have turned things around, but considering they were at the bottom of the heap, they still have a long ways to go in terms of reliability and longevity.

That's probably my biggest gripe with American SUV's, is their longevity. They work fine when you first get them, and maybe even for 5 years with no serious problems. After that however, it seems everything breaks at once. Plastic parts snap, suspension components/bushings are all worn out and cracked, chassis is starting to creak, plastic radiators fail... Ugh.

I have a Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland, 2004. For a midsized SUV, it weighs 4200 lbs. For comparison, we also have a Porsche Cayenne S. They are very similarly sized vehicles, both seat 5, etc. It weighs 5200 lbs.

That extra 1000 lbs is felt on the road every time you get in it. It's simply a much more solid vehicle, and its even more capable offroad than the top of the line Overland is, not that we ever use it for that. Jacking up both vehicles and taking a look under them, it's easy to see which one is made with cost cutting in mind and which one isn't. The Jeep's frame and underbody aren't anywhere near as robust as the Cayenne, and you can feel it in the handling especially, the Jeep flexes over any little bump in the road.

I spent this morning replacing the track bar on the Jeep, damn bushings worn out (not replaceable, have to get an aftermarket bar or stock one) because if you don't, these vehicles (and a LOT of American SUV's and trucks that do not have independent front suspension and use a track bar) get what is called "death wobble." If you've ever experienced it, it isn't something you want to ever have happen again.

Anyway, just keep in mind that while US automakers have starting making better automobiles, they are still behind the curve IMO. I have heard good things about the Buick Enclave believe it or not, but nothing about long term use yet. As far as Jeeps go, I think the WJ was a much better model than the WK that replaced it.

Dodge Durangos used to have horrible reliability with their transmissions. Not sure if that has been remedied.

All in all, I think you're better off sticking with a German or Japanese SUV, especially if you've had good results and take care of your vehicles.
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