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Midsize SUV Shopping/Research

  1. #26
    is not wearing pants Point37's Avatar
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    Re: Midsize SUV Shopping/Research


    any other features that i should put on my want/need list?...i went on edmunds last night and looked up all the towing numbers and updated the original post...puts highlander and pilot at the top of my list at the moment

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  2. #27
    Lifer
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    Re: Midsize SUV Shopping/Research

    Quote Originally Posted by Point37 View Post
    any other features that i should put on my want/need list?...i went on edmunds last night and looked up all the towing numbers and updated the original post...puts highlander and pilot at the top of my list at the moment
    I think that you should realistically check out the third row seat. The Atlas has a huge third row seat and I loved how it drove. Will it last for 200k without a problem - not sure. The 3.6 liter V6 seems reliable. The reason I mention is that the Pilot has the best third row seat from the three you mentioned and can accommodate adults. The Mazda's is the worst by far despite it's physical size.

    As far as towing capacity, neither the Pilot nor the Toyota would enjoy towing a 5000 lbs trailer. The rating of the Mazda in the US is lower but is fine. I don't know that you would notice a difference between the three if you are towing a 3000 lbs boat. Although it is a 4 cylinder turbo, 310 lb-ft of torque at low rpm is very good. In Australia, the rating for the Mazda is 2000 kg, or 4400 lbs. All of these SUV's should be able to work fine for your needs. If I was to tow something in the 5000 lbs range regularly I would want a slightly stronger SUV (Grand Cherokee or Toureg, but those are two row). Drive them, see what deals you get, and then decide. If you don't plan to use the third row often the Mazda should be the nicest to drive.

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    Burns retinas nhbubba's Avatar
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    Re: Midsize SUV Shopping/Research

    I've never been impressed with any of the 3rd row SUVs. IMO if you want 3 rows go minivan. We have an Odyssey as my wife's daily and it is amazing. The 3rd row is even usable as an adult. Unfortunately it falls short on the towing front. It specs out at 3500 lbs and that is a bit underwhelming.

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  4. #29
    Lifer
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    Re: Midsize SUV Shopping/Research

    Quote Originally Posted by nhbubba View Post
    I've never been impressed with any of the 3rd row SUVs. IMO if you want 3 rows go minivan. We have an Odyssey as my wife's daily and it is amazing. The 3rd row is even usable as an adult. Unfortunately it falls short on the towing front. It specs out at 3500 lbs and that is a bit underwhelming.
    I agree with you - minivans are better if you use the third row often. We have a used Odyssey with a class III hitch. It needs to be modified to tow 3500 lbs (AT oil cooler and rear suspension). It is much more economical than any of the SUV's, but the SUV's are built better for towing in terms of suspension. The Odyssey also drives very well - very much like a car. I was pleasantly surprised by the VW Atlas on how it drove, the built in hitch, the third row seat that easily accommodates adults and space behind the third row. We looked at it when it came out and prices were at MSRP. Now, it sells for well under MSRP and is a much better deal.

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    Burns retinas nhbubba's Avatar
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    Re: Midsize SUV Shopping/Research

    I should also comment that demand for minivans seems to be very low. We got ours CPO. We had our pick of at least 2 CPO that met our specs and they were quite .. uh .. cooperative on pricing.

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  6. #31
    is not wearing pants Point37's Avatar
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    Re: Midsize SUV Shopping/Research

    Quote Originally Posted by dankatz View Post
    I think that you should realistically check out the third row seat. The Atlas has a huge third row seat and I loved how it drove. Will it last for 200k without a problem - not sure. The 3.6 liter V6 seems reliable. The reason I mention is that the Pilot has the best third row seat from the three you mentioned and can accommodate adults. The Mazda's is the worst by far despite it's physical size.

    As far as towing capacity, neither the Pilot nor the Toyota would enjoy towing a 5000 lbs trailer. The rating of the Mazda in the US is lower but is fine. I don't know that you would notice a difference between the three if you are towing a 3000 lbs boat. Although it is a 4 cylinder turbo, 310 lb-ft of torque at low rpm is very good. In Australia, the rating for the Mazda is 2000 kg, or 4400 lbs. All of these SUV's should be able to work fine for your needs. If I was to tow something in the 5000 lbs range regularly I would want a slightly stronger SUV (Grand Cherokee or Toureg, but those are two row). Drive them, see what deals you get, and then decide. If you don't plan to use the third row often the Mazda should be the nicest to drive.
    thanks...yea i'm not a vw/audi fan for reliability reasons which is why i didn't include them...the mazda i'm sure would be the most fun of the 3 but a 4cyl trying to move the same amount of weight as a v6 is moving on the others is going to put a beating on the engine i would imagine and the lower towing is pushing it lower on my list off the bat but it's still an option

    Quote Originally Posted by nhbubba View Post
    I've never been impressed with any of the 3rd row SUVs. IMO if you want 3 rows go minivan. We have an Odyssey as my wife's daily and it is amazing. The 3rd row is even usable as an adult. Unfortunately it falls short on the towing front. It specs out at 3500 lbs and that is a bit underwhelming.
    Quote Originally Posted by dankatz View Post
    I agree with you - minivans are better if you use the third row often. We have a used Odyssey with a class III hitch. It needs to be modified to tow 3500 lbs (AT oil cooler and rear suspension). It is much more economical than any of the SUV's, but the SUV's are built better for towing in terms of suspension. The Odyssey also drives very well - very much like a car. I was pleasantly surprised by the VW Atlas on how it drove, the built in hitch, the third row seat that easily accommodates adults and space behind the third row. We looked at it when it came out and prices were at MSRP. Now, it sells for well under MSRP and is a much better deal.
    thanks but minivans are out...wife doesn't want one...i have ridden in an odyssey and it was a great ride with plenty of space...but the rear seat will be used occasionally but not constantly and the low tow rating isn't great

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    is not wearing pants Point37's Avatar
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    Re: Midsize SUV Shopping/Research

    is anyone aware of any issues with regular simple maintenance on any of these?...namely oil changes and changing headlight/tail light bulbs as these were the things that i did most of the time...most other things i just took it to a family friend local mechanic...oil changes on my legacy are great with a fumoto valve and the inverted filter on top of the engine...light bulbs in the headlights are a pain in the ass...have to pull off the wheel and go though the wheel well

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    Re: Midsize SUV Shopping/Research

    Quote Originally Posted by nhbubba View Post
    I should also comment that demand for minivans seems to be very low. We got ours CPO. We had our pick of at least 2 CPO that met our specs and they were quite .. uh .. cooperative on pricing.
    That's a change then, because the last time I was looking at used Odyssey mini vans, they were crazy priced. They held their price very well, even for ones with well over 100k miles on them

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  9. #34

    Re: Midsize SUV Shopping/Research

    Get the pilot. We are heading that direction next. Love our Mazdas but the Pilot is really nice.

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  10. #35
    is not wearing pants Point37's Avatar
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    Re: Midsize SUV Shopping/Research

    Quote Originally Posted by tsorfas View Post
    Get the pilot. We are heading that direction next. Love our Mazdas but the Pilot is really nice.
    i had an 05 mazda 6 before the legacy...it was a great car and had over 230k on it before i sold it...that said i like the highlander and the pilot over the mazda so for me it's really between those 2 at the moment

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    Re: Midsize SUV Shopping/Research

    Wooo weee...CX-9 Grand Touring, 2nd row captain's chairs, machine gray metallic, sand leather....$44k. Pants fitting a bit tight in the frontal region.

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  12. #37
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    Re: Midsize SUV Shopping/Research

    Quote Originally Posted by Point37 View Post
    i had an 05 mazda 6 before the legacy...it was a great car and had over 230k on it before i sold it...that said i like the highlander and the pilot over the mazda so for me it's really between those 2 at the moment
    I was just in Norwood yesterday for work. Look at Volvo of Norwood (Boch Volvo) used car inventory, especially the Toyota and Lexus offerings.

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    Re: Midsize SUV Shopping/Research

    We loved our Pilot but the rust got to be too much after 14 Boston winters. So last year we test drove a Pilot back to back with the Telluride. There is sort of no comparison, the Telluride is much quieter, better ride, much better interior, etc. I had to call like five dealers before I found one that would order the vehicle for list price, and then I had to wait three months but it was worth it. We've had it for nearly a year now and still really like it.

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    Re: Midsize SUV Shopping/Research

    Is a Telluride considered to be midsize?

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  15. #40
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    Re: Midsize SUV Shopping/Research

    Yes the Telluride is basically identical in size to the current Pilot -- length/width are within 1/4 inch, Telluride wheelbase is a couple of inches longer. Standard setup of three rows, eight passengers. When you add a cargo box to the roof and a bike rack on the back it can haul an impressive amount of people and stuff. Read some reviews and take a test drive, it's a really well designed vehicle.

    There is also the Hyundai Palisade which is the same platform, but doesn't look as good in my opinion. The Telluride really rips off the current Land Rover styling.

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    Re: Midsize SUV Shopping/Research

    Quote Originally Posted by joeswamp View Post
    Yes the Telluride is basically identical in size to the current Pilot -- length/width are within 1/4 inch, Telluride wheelbase is a couple of inches longer. Standard setup of three rows, eight passengers. When you add a cargo box to the roof and a bike rack on the back it can haul an impressive amount of people and stuff. Read some reviews and take a test drive, it's a really well designed vehicle.

    There is also the Hyundai Palisade which is the same platform, but doesn't look as good in my opinion. The Telluride really rips off the current Land Rover styling.
    My wife's friend just got one. I was really impressed with the interior layout.

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    Re: Midsize SUV Shopping/Research

    The two Korean offerings are terrific which is why they sell well. That being said, how will they be in the 100k-200k mile range is left to be seen. Will they be as reliable as the Japanese offerings or not I don't know. They are not discounted at all these days

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  18. #43
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    Re: Midsize SUV Shopping/Research

    This is the big question. Supposedly Hyundai/Kia have really gotten some good reliability ratings in the last decade or so, and fit/finish is very good on these vehicles. They also are relatively simple, the engine is naturally aspirated with no cylinder deactivation, there's no CVT, etc. Finally, these things come with super long warranties (5yr/60k basic, 10yr/100k powertrain) which is what put me over the edge.

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    Re: Midsize SUV Shopping/Research

    Quote Originally Posted by nhbubba View Post
    I've never been impressed with any of the 3rd row SUVs. IMO if you want 3 rows go minivan. We have an Odyssey as my wife's daily and it is amazing. The 3rd row is even usable as an adult. Unfortunately it falls short on the towing front. It specs out at 3500 lbs and that is a bit underwhelming.
    Iíve towed 3500 lbs with an Odyssey and a large FWD sedan.

    It is not confidence inspiring.

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  20. #45
    Burns retinas nhbubba's Avatar
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    Re: Midsize SUV Shopping/Research

    I've towed probably 2k lbs worth of boat and trailer behind a mid 1980's VW with a 1.8L motor. I understand what you are on about. And that was a tiny outboard powerboat.

    It gets worse when trying to pull the boat out of the water once it's soaked some water up in its bilge and the ramp is soaking wet.

    This is why I brought the towing spec up earlier. The older I get, the more I think over spec'ing for towing is appropriate.

    I had a ~3k GVWR single axle enclosed for a while. Towing that behind a half-ton pickup (~9k tow rating) was luxurious. I could throw anything I wanted into it without any worry. That experience has spoiled me.

    I'm now sweating this whenever the wife talks about campers.

    I guess boats are lighter than I remembered. OP says he's not going far either. By those accounts I think these 5k rated mid-sizers seem reasonable. No?

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  21. #46
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    Re: Midsize SUV Shopping/Research

    Quote Originally Posted by joeswamp View Post
    This is the big question. Supposedly Hyundai/Kia have really gotten some good reliability ratings in the last decade or so, and fit/finish is very good on these vehicles. They also are relatively simple, the engine is naturally aspirated with no cylinder deactivation, there's no CVT, etc. Finally, these things come with super long warranties (5yr/60k basic, 10yr/100k powertrain) which is what put me over the edge.
    The 6 cylinders have had timing chain tensioner issues and cam phasing problems, but they are the more bullet proof of the motors in general. You'll hear them rattle on cold start more and more around 60K.

    Make sure the dealer is using 5W-30 if you're bringing it in for oil changes. The 4 cyl cars spec 5W-20 for the most part and some dealers just like to use one bulk tank for that and call it good.

    The Koreans have come a loooong way over the years and do stand by the warranty for the most part. Occasionally they come up with some derp but I've also seem them replace motors that were beyond neglected without blinking.

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  22. #47
    BMW track whore e30addict's Avatar
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    Re: Midsize SUV Shopping/Research

    Quote Originally Posted by nhbubba View Post
    I've towed probably 2k lbs worth of boat and trailer behind a mid 1980's VW with a 1.8L motor. I understand what you are on about. And that was a tiny outboard powerboat.

    It gets worse when trying to pull the boat out of the water once it's soaked some water up in its bilge and the ramp is soaking wet.

    This is why I brought the towing spec up earlier. The older I get, the more I think over spec'ing for towing is appropriate.

    I had a ~3k GVWR single axle enclosed for a while. Towing that behind a half-ton pickup (~9k tow rating) was luxurious. I could throw anything I wanted into it without any worry. That experience has spoiled me.

    I'm now sweating this whenever the wife talks about campers.

    I guess boats are lighter than I remembered. OP says he's not going far either. By those accounts I think these 5k rated mid-sizers seem reasonable. No?
    I "learned" how to tow with 120ish HP and a 16' bow rider. That experience taught me so much speed, momentum and heat management amongst other things. People who have only towed with something built this century have no clue what it's like to have to plan simple manuevers so far in advance and are spoiled!

    I'm a fan of vastly over speccing if something is gonna be towed far and regularly. Otherwise, I'm also the guy who hooked up a trailer to a 4 cyl Mazda and am considering a small utility one for a Prius.

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    Re: Midsize SUV Shopping/Research

    I am huge fan of taking improper equipment above it’s rating and/or intended use. Also something that is changing drastically with age.

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  24. #49
    is not wearing pants Point37's Avatar
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    Re: Midsize SUV Shopping/Research

    Quote Originally Posted by joeswamp View Post
    We loved our Pilot but the rust got to be too much after 14 Boston winters. So last year we test drove a Pilot back to back with the Telluride. There is sort of no comparison, the Telluride is much quieter, better ride, much better interior, etc. I had to call like five dealers before I found one that would order the vehicle for list price, and then I had to wait three months but it was worth it. We've had it for nearly a year now and still really like it.
    Quote Originally Posted by joeswamp View Post
    Yes the Telluride is basically identical in size to the current Pilot -- length/width are within 1/4 inch, Telluride wheelbase is a couple of inches longer. Standard setup of three rows, eight passengers. When you add a cargo box to the roof and a bike rack on the back it can haul an impressive amount of people and stuff. Read some reviews and take a test drive, it's a really well designed vehicle.

    There is also the Hyundai Palisade which is the same platform, but doesn't look as good in my opinion. The Telluride really rips off the current Land Rover styling.
    Quote Originally Posted by dankatz View Post
    The two Korean offerings are terrific which is why they sell well. That being said, how will they be in the 100k-200k mile range is left to be seen. Will they be as reliable as the Japanese offerings or not I don't know. They are not discounted at all these days
    Quote Originally Posted by joeswamp View Post
    This is the big question. Supposedly Hyundai/Kia have really gotten some good reliability ratings in the last decade or so, and fit/finish is very good on these vehicles. They also are relatively simple, the engine is naturally aspirated with no cylinder deactivation, there's no CVT, etc. Finally, these things come with super long warranties (5yr/60k basic, 10yr/100k powertrain) which is what put me over the edge.
    Quote Originally Posted by nhbubba View Post
    I've towed probably 2k lbs worth of boat and trailer behind a mid 1980's VW with a 1.8L motor. I understand what you are on about. And that was a tiny outboard powerboat.

    It gets worse when trying to pull the boat out of the water once it's soaked some water up in its bilge and the ramp is soaking wet.

    This is why I brought the towing spec up earlier. The older I get, the more I think over spec'ing for towing is appropriate.

    I had a ~3k GVWR single axle enclosed for a while. Towing that behind a half-ton pickup (~9k tow rating) was luxurious. I could throw anything I wanted into it without any worry. That experience has spoiled me.

    I'm now sweating this whenever the wife talks about campers.

    I guess boats are lighter than I remembered. OP says he's not going far either. By those accounts I think these 5k rated mid-sizers seem reasonable. No?
    Quote Originally Posted by e30addict View Post
    The 6 cylinders have had timing chain tensioner issues and cam phasing problems, but they are the more bullet proof of the motors in general. You'll hear them rattle on cold start more and more around 60K.

    Make sure the dealer is using 5W-30 if you're bringing it in for oil changes. The 4 cyl cars spec 5W-20 for the most part and some dealers just like to use one bulk tank for that and call it good.

    The Koreans have come a loooong way over the years and do stand by the warranty for the most part. Occasionally they come up with some derp but I've also seem them replace motors that were beyond neglected without blinking.
    Thanks fellas...Iíve seen the Hyundai and the Kia around on the road and they do look really nice but Iím more worried about the reliability...I have read that they have come a long way and I do see quite a few on the roads but how is resale?...I would def take the Kia over the Hyundai...as far as towing Iíd like to be at 5000# if I can manage it...rather have more than less


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  25. #50
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    Re: Midsize SUV Shopping/Research

    Resale on the Koreans is getting better. A well cared for one will get you to 200K. A neglected one will crush your will to live. Either way lots of irritating little things are gonna crop up along the way, especially 75K plus. Toyonda they are not. They do require a lot more care and feeding as they age. Money is spent on flash, infotainment and upfront value. Mechanical is not a priority and long term costs catch up with you as they age.

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