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Need some Car/SUV advice...

Old 01-05-2008, 07:46 AM
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Default Need some Car/SUV advice...

Many of you may recall we purchased a 2007 Ford Taurus back in October to replace our 2002 Taurus that was totalled in September. Well, as luck would have it, we were sitting at a stop sign when were rear ended Dec 26th by some douche bag with no insurance - hit us probably doing 40 MPH. He even ran, but I caught him and the lies started flying why he ran - can you say suspended license too??

So, we're looking at the SUV's and Sedans again. Mileage is a consideration since we don't need/want 2 big V-8's (I have a 5.4 F-150) so we're considering cars a little more (again) and so far have looked at the foillowing and I've noted the high/low points in our opinion:

Toyota Seqouia - still love it, still hate the price! with the new 2008 redesign out, prices will still take a while to drop. Gas mileage is rotten for a 4.7 too - as bad as my 5.4 in a full size truck. Again, still love it overall for the looks, ride and it's a Toyota - lasts forever.. Fit and Finish very good, dated controls (resolved in the 08). Mileage not good 15-16

Toyota 4 Runner - with the 4.7 V-8, great runner but the back seat sucks and if you're sittting in the back seat (2nd row) you can't even put your feet under the front seats so the legroom is that much worse. F and F very good, somewhat dated controls... Mileage not good (~15-16 MPG )

2008 Toyota Highlander - this is the new redesigned and while we didn't drive it, it was quite impressive with the interior room and thought put in the storage. 3.5 V-6

Ford Edge - It's a Ford product, runs fine, handles fine, a little less refined in the fit and finish dept. compared to the Toyotas, Nissans and even the GMC Acadia. Quiet inside and nothing really jumps out as a WOW! - mileage in the 16-17. Braking and Handling a plus...

GMC Acadia - Lots of bells and whistles in the model we looked at. I felt it lacked power (it was sufficient, nothing stellar) and braking and handling felt spongy, laccked the crispness that Nissan and Toyota have. I summed it up when we drove the Acadia by tapping the brakes, the GMC sort gradually grabbed in a smooth fashion like it carried a lot of weight (sort of lumbered in the braking) whereas the Ford, Nissan and Toy would grab immediately.. Handling was kind of the same way and feel of the steering seemed a little loose, especially after having just driven the Nissan. Leg room and third row seating was quite good.

Nissan Murano - Beautiful running SUV with the 3.5 and CVT tranny. Gets over 20 MPG and after driving an Altima a few months back, I fell in love with the CVT. If you've never driven a car with the CVT, you wouldn't understand.

That said, love the Altima - great driving car but a little smaller than we'd like so... We're gonna check out the Maxima.

I've driven and ridden in plenty of Expeditions, Tahoes and the like since everybody has 'em. Don't really need to drive one to see how it feels. I feel the Tahoes rattle too much, good engines, but too much cheap plastic feel. The Expy's aren't much better. The 07/08 Tahoes look and feel better, I'll give them that, but they haven't had time to really start loosening up so I don't know if they turn into rattle traps.


We will consider the Tahoes, Expeditions but again, we don't want to get into a two vehicles both getting 15 MPG's. It will add up for us significantly with the round trip driving to work. Also, we have our cars paid off and we want to keep our financed amount as low as possible ($20k or less) and we will put down $10k-14k.

We also prefer the feel, fit and finish of the Toyotas and Nissans. They just feel better and if you want to know why they are consistently high in the ratings and beat our products so much, drive 'em..

Here are some of the others we still want to look at - opinions?

We know this is a wide range, but each have their plus and minus.. 2nd row leg room is a top consideration (that's we wouldn't buy a 4Runner) and cargo/trunk space is a major factor too. We have one child (18 months) and plan to have at least one more. Again, we don't want to finance more than $20k so used on most models, is not an issue. Used for us means 25k miles or less and anything over, up to 50k miles would have to be looked at on a case-by-case.

Mazda CX7
Mazda CX9
Infiniti FX35/45
Nissan Maxima
Honda Pilot
Honda Accord (new body)
Infiniti G35
Toyota Camry
Volvo XC90
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Old 01-05-2008, 08:12 AM
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Default Re: Need some Car/SUV advice...

Why not stay with a Taurus? While perhaps not as good as the Toyota, it is still a good, dependable car. Of the other vehicles on your list/that you mention, I would focus on the Maxima, Pilot, Accord, Camry, Murano and Highlander. They seem to fit your needs best.
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Old 01-05-2008, 08:24 AM
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Default Re: Need some Car/SUV advice...

Hey Chris,

Man, sorry about you getting hit again, but glad you're all ok. That's quite a list to choose from, and it can be confusing. My wife and I have also been car shopping these past 2 weeks, and here's what we found.

We test drove the Altima and Maxima, and they were both nice. The seats and ride were better in the Max, but the quick handling was s-l-i-g-h-t-l-y better in the Altima. We also drove the Camry, Avalon and Accord. In spite of the fact that you can buy a Nissan Maxima for $2500 below dealer invoice right now, she chose the new Camry XLE. Although the 'floatie' ride of the Maxima and Avalon would have the edge in strictly long distance driving, the Camry's overall better ride and handling won out. even over the Accord. (The Accord a re-design for '08 and it looks super). Also, Accord may give slightly better mileage with the new engine computer that drops down to 3 cylinders on highway driving.

I'm looking for a 'new' SUV, and have zeroed in either on a new Honda Pilot, or more that likely, a pre-owned Acura MDX. I have driven both, and the MDX will spoil you. I have owner a Highlander Limited, (bought new on '02), and it was one of the best vehicles I have owned (and that includes Caddies, Mercedes, and other American and foreign cars). But I owned it at a time when I was on the road in a company truck, nearly 7 days a week, and in 18 months of ownership, I only put 1800 miles on it. I sold it for lack of use. I would consider one again, but for my present needs, the Acura or Pilot, with an over 4' wide cargo floor and some other factors, and pulled me over to Honda.

Good luck in your search. Again, glad you and your wife are ok.
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Old 01-05-2008, 08:25 AM
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Default Re: Need some Car/SUV advice...

Frank007 - 1/5/2008 8:12 AM

Why not stay with a Taurus? While perhaps not as good as the Toyota, it is still a good, dependable car. Of the other vehicles on your list/that you mention, I would focus on the Maxima, Pilot, Accord, Camry, Murano and Highlander. They seem to fit your needs best.
Agreed, a very good dependable car and I think people overlook this bargain of a car. The reason we're moving on for lack of a better term, karma. While both Tauruses protected us VERY WELL and served us beautifully at ~28 MPG's, we feel maybe a change is in order. Ya know?

Right now, the Murano is tops. Drives so beautifully, quiet, comfy leather and very roomy inside and over 20 MPG's to boot. The only detractor is the cargo area is a tad small.


Oh yeah, failed to mention:

Nissan Pathfinder - too small... Drove well, nothing fancy - what you'd expect from a Nissan.
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Old 01-05-2008, 09:26 AM
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Default Re: Need some Car/SUV advice...

If you get a car for 2500 below dealer invoice - that's with factory rebates, right? Or
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Old 01-05-2008, 09:27 AM
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Default Re: Need some Car/SUV advice...

ReelWork - 1/5/2008 8:25 AM
Frank007 - 1/5/2008 8:12 AMWhy not stay with a Taurus? While perhaps not as good as the Toyota, it is still a good, dependable car. Of the other vehicles on your list/that you mention, I would focus on the Maxima, Pilot, Accord, Camry, Murano and Highlander. They seem to fit your needs best.
Agreed, a very good dependable car and I think people overlook this bargain of a car. The reason we're moving on for lack of a better term, karma. While both Tauruses protected us VERY WELL and served us beautifully at ~28 MPG's, we feel maybe a change is in order. Ya know?
I thought that would be the case, and I was thinking that myself. Perhaps you and that car are magnets for careless drivers. I have been hit from behind twice and it is irritating (I looked in my rearview mirror to see a woman looking back down into her back seat floor just before she hit me).


I have 2 SUVs - a 2001 Suburban and 2004 4Runner V-8. I suggest not going that route now that gas prices are so high, and it seems like you agree even though you keep mentioning truck-based SUVs like the 4Runner and Pathfinder.

I would have bought the Murano or Maxima when I bought the 4Runner except that I needed towing capacity. I think those two, plus the Camry, would be really good choices.
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Old 01-05-2008, 09:30 AM
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Default Re: Need some Car/SUV advice...

Chris - the list you posted in the orig post all look pretty good..they do some nice comparisons here, along with "costs to own":

http://www.edmunds.com/
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Old 01-05-2008, 09:34 AM
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Default Re: Need some Car/SUV advice...

Chris ...look at the Saturn line up...

Wifes side of the family hav had 3 so far and beat the crap out of them with no major issues...


We purchased an Ion for the daughter and it's doing well although she is not racking up miles yet...


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Old 01-05-2008, 09:46 AM
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LI Sound Grunt - 1/5/2008 12:26 PM

If you get a car for 2500 below dealer invoice - that's with factory rebates, right? Or
Yes, dealer will sell me a brand new Maxima for $500 below invoice, and there is a $2000 rebate on that car from Nissan, according to the dealer. He REALLY pushed us to take one home for a few days, to see how we liked it, without signing any contracts. I didn't want to do that since we had other test-drives yet to do, and Max wasn't on our short list. I think it would have made a heck of a good buy, had she liked over the Camry XLE, but in the end, she has to be happy.
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Old 01-05-2008, 10:17 AM
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The toys are the right way to go . I have a 2005 Tundra 4.7 eng. and my wife has a 2007 Rav 4 with the v6 in it. Gass milage is 23 to 28 and the thing is fast with the 6 in it. Try driving one the wife did not like it till she drove it. Any questions you have about the rave PM me.
Good luck.

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Old 01-05-2008, 03:14 PM
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Honda CRV should be on your list if you are looking for a decent small SUV. Maxda cx7 has received decent reviews as well.
So many choices...
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Old 01-05-2008, 04:45 PM
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FireFly - 1/5/2008 3:14 PM

Honda CRV should be on your list if you are looking for a decent small SUV. Maxda cx7 has received decent reviews as well.
So many choices...
A little too small in my opinion, but you're right it being one to look at for smaller SUV's.
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Old 01-05-2008, 05:30 PM
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Default RE: Need some Car/SUV advice...

Currently we have the honda pilot, and we have really enjoyed the vehicle. BUT we have 2 kids, 1 year old and a 3 year old. I think we are going to switch to the honda odyssey. It is a pain in the butt to get the kids in and out of the car in parking places now a days, because you can't really open the door, but with the mini-van they slide back, plus they have a ton of room, including storage. I know you have one kid and not sure if you will have another but I think the mini-van is the only way to go.
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Old 01-05-2008, 06:16 PM
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I agree and of the mini-vans, the Odyssey is the ONLY minivan I would own, but... No mini vans for us (yet).
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Old 01-05-2008, 07:39 PM
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As often as you seem to get in wrecks, I would strongly recommend a F-650 truck.....splurge and get some heavy duty bumpers and a reinforced crash cage. I like the UGA red paint job.

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Old 01-05-2008, 07:47 PM
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Tireless - 1/5/2008 7:39 PM

As often as you seem to get in wrecks, I would strongly recommend a F-550 truck.....splurge and get some heavy duty bumpers and a reinforced crash cage.
It would sure seem that way... Actually, I had one wreck while towing the boat (no damage to the truck) and my wife had a wreck, then this guy rear ended us.. That said, it had been almost 15 years or more since my last wreck and I have 92k miles on my truck. 2007 was a year I would like to forget.... Still haven't sold the house in VA either!

Ok, so where do I get an F-550?

Oh yeah, we got a call today and the car was totalled.. It had $11,200 estimated, so we'll get the check this week and buy sometime next week/weekend.
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Old 01-05-2008, 07:54 PM
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4runner. V-6 will get mid 20's on the highway, V8 2wd will get low 20's and about 15-17 in town. And it's a toyota.
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Old 01-05-2008, 08:11 PM
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Default RE: Need some Car/SUV advice...

Tireless - 1/5/2008 6:39 PM

As often as you seem to get in wrecks, I would strongly recommend a F-650 truck.....splurge and get some heavy duty bumpers and a reinforced crash cage. I like the UGA red paint job.

Put on a track suit and climb behind the wheel in that unit.


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Old 01-06-2008, 07:21 AM
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If it has more than two rows of seating, it is a Bus.
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Old 01-06-2008, 08:55 AM
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Friend of mine bought a CX7 a couple months ago. Talked to him last night and he loves it. Has all the safety equipment, good power, handles well, leather, etc for about $27K. Says mpg in low 20s. It has a turbo 4.
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