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Old     (brichter14)      Join Date: Jul 2010       12-09-2013, 3:15 PM Reply   
I am currently starting a search for a new vehicle for my wife. She has a 2004 pontiac grand am that she has had since she turned 16, in 2004. She is the type that could care less what she drives as long as it goes from A to B but it will be our "run around vehicle" because my truck gets 13mpg.

Anyways we are a young couple who are planning on starting a family in the near future so we need something with a decent amount of space. We are currently talking about the following.

2011 or 2012 ford escape hybrid

2010-2012 ford edge - like more room, dont like less milage

2014 Jeep cherokee - this is new and i really like the looks and new 9 speed tranny

Anybody have experiences with these?
Old     (scottb7)      Join Date: Oct 2012       12-09-2013, 6:29 PM Reply   
I got the wife into the 2014 jeep grand cherokee limited. Not 9 speed tranny, but tows 6200 lbs. she loves it!
Old     (cbarguy1)      Join Date: Dec 2012       12-10-2013, 8:24 AM Reply   
The new Cherokee is interesting. i would definitely look at it. I'm planning to buy a 2014 grand cherokee soon. I've driven the escape (non-hybrid) as a rental and was impressed. The 6 cyl in the one I drove was fast, really fast and it got good mileage. The ford would be high on my list of cars in that segment.

The new Rav4 gets good reviews but I'm not a Toyota fan. I owned a previous gen Rav 4 for a couple of years and sold it. I didn't like the way if felt and drove. It had zero character and felt like I was driving an appliance.

Last edited by cbarguy1; 12-10-2013 at 8:25 AM. Reason: .
Old     (whatshesaid)      Join Date: Jun 2013       12-10-2013, 8:31 AM Reply   
I purchased my Wife a 2013 Chevrolet Equinox LTZ about 10-11 months ago and she loves that thing! Its got the 300hp V6 3.6L., and she gets 25-26mpg back and forth to work, and we got 31mph on our last road trip, and those are real numbers not sticker numbers. She came from a Lexus IS250.
Its doesnt look like you are even looking at Chevrolet tho, but they sure have a lot of new stuff coming out these days, and worth a look.
I do like the looks of the Edge, and Grand Cherokee, but they are not for me.
Old     (acurtis_ttu)      Join Date: May 2004       12-10-2013, 11:27 AM Reply   
bought a 2014 grand cherokke for my g/f this year. great car IMO, I luv driving it. the transmission is an 8's a bit quirky sometimes with gear changes. Its' the 6 cylinder. gas mileage is mediocre IMO...under 20 mpg.

I like the size...not too small...not to big, and parking it is very easy.
Old     (bcrider)      Join Date: Apr 2006       12-10-2013, 12:24 PM Reply   
If you plan on starting a family soon the Escape and Edge will be useless as there really isn't a lot of room in the back seat or trunk area. You will be amazed at how much room a car seat can take up and most strollers nowadays (mountain buggies) take up a lot of space. My wife and I picked up a 2010 ecoboost flex in the end of summer and it's been awesome. It's my daily driver for work and my wife drives our F150 as she only drives to the hospital and back. The Flex isn't the best on fuel (mines and AWD) but it's got that boost when you want it and it has tons of room. My friends bug me sometimes about it but I absolutely love the thing. Can't wait to put some 22" detroit steel wheels on it in the spring.
Old     (rottenland)      Join Date: Sep 2013       12-10-2013, 12:31 PM Reply   
According to consumer reports, the reliability of the two ford products you listed are "well below average". I'd pick the brand new jeep if forced to pick off your list.

The 9 speed is really just for bragging rights. The push of car manufactures to add additional forward gears is to increase MPG in the EPA test to meet CAFE minimum standards. In the real world this translates to a transmission that is always changing gears and no real-world MPG savings over a 6 speed transmission.

For the other posters- the Jeep Cherokee has a 9 speed, the Jeep GRAND Cherokee has an 8 speed.
Old     (MICAH_HARPER)      Join Date: Apr 2010       12-10-2013, 12:46 PM Reply   
I bought my wife a 2013 Hyundia Santa Fe with the 2.0 Turbo and love it. And we got one with every option on it for $31k out the door. Its got like 275Hp out of a 4cylinder. We where in the same boat when we bought it. Looking to start a family soon and wanted a something that was roomy and safe. She averages about 26mpg with about 60/40 highway and city
Old     (nautiquesonly)      Join Date: Sep 2007       12-10-2013, 1:44 PM Reply   
We have the 2013 Santa Fe turbo as well. Her first choice was the escape. It torque steered so bad with the Eco FWD that I didn't like it. The deal breaker was the front passenger seat not adjusting up and down. I am 6'2" and was completely uncomfortable in the passenger seat. The dipstick also required two hands to pull. It had to be bent to avoid the under side of the firewall. If this small detail was missed then I wondered what else ford made a pain in the butt. The Hyundai engine bay has lots of room for work. The Hyundai interior in leather seems a lot like the Lexus Rx300. Even has heated and sliding rear seats. It will fit two rear facing car seats as well. We have no kids yet but borrowed a car seat for our test driving quest. The Hyundai was 3-4 k cheaper than the equal optioned ford. We also have a 100k power train warranty standard. With the blue link the car can be started from your cell phone. We love the car so far. 25000 trouble free miles and one year in. It is very quick and fun to drive.
Old     (obriengotwake)      Join Date: Feb 2003       12-10-2013, 4:50 PM Reply   
I have been looking for my wife too. My final choices fall to the Jeep Patriot and the Subaru Crosstrek.
The Crosstrek is fun to drive a lot of pick up great MPG and with good tire can handle anything. If you live anywhere with snow these are great cars ground clearance is only like 0.4 inches lless then the Patriot. You should be able to get a fully loaded one for under 28,000 on the road.

I would at least give them a look.
Old     (brichter14)      Join Date: Jul 2010       12-10-2013, 5:09 PM Reply   
Sadly i think we are going to need to stay in the mid-size suv market because it is my wifes daily driver and she has a 30 min commute one way 4 days a week. And like i said it will be our run around vehicle because my truck is a hog. After doing a side by side comparison of all three i am leaning slightly towards the jeep.

She doesnt like hyundai and neither do i, subarus are out for me also.. And i could never own a chevy, i am too much of a ford guy. The possibility of getting a jeep is a stretch for me lol.

I know we want to stay away from leather also because "its hot in the summer and cold in the winter". She is starting to be a bit pickier than i expected.

Does anybody see advantages to the ecoboost in the for as opposed to the hybrid?
Old     (Fixable)      Join Date: Oct 2012       12-10-2013, 5:52 PM Reply   
Originally Posted by rottenland View Post
According to consumer reports, the reliability of the two ford products you listed are "well below average". I'd pick the brand new jeep if forced to pick off your list.


You gotta read into that a little bit..... Consumer reports rated all fords low, because of the infotainment system being "hard to use", not because the vehicles had problems. MyFordTouch is not a user friendly system for baby boomers, and baby boomers are the generation that reports in to complain about such things.

I don't really think suggesting a Chrysler product is a good idea, if we are talking "reliability"..... They have been at the bottom of that list for 20 consecutive years, and the Grand Cherokee was a large part of that, for the entire time.

That being said, even the worst vehicles for reliability, are still very good these days. Chrysler products might average the worst of any of them, but that doesn't mean they are 2x as bad as any other choice. They are just a little bit worse...... on average.

If you want to go by stats...... The ford is going to cause you headaches with your stereo system, and touchscreen controls,. The Jeep is going to give you headaches with driveline noise, transmission failure, ball joints, and carbon buildup.

Still, at the end of the day, they are so close, you may as well just buy the one that looks, and feels the best to YOU. Reading consumer reports is only going to prevent you from buying a vehicle you like, for no good reason at all.....
Old     (ttrigo)      Join Date: Dec 2004       12-10-2013, 6:01 PM Reply   
take another look at the subaru's. the outbacks are fantastic family vehicles for a mid size. they get great mileage as well. a little "granolaey", but they are fantastic vehicles. we over looked those when we were in the market for a "slightly larger than our civic vehicle", that my wife would drive 100 miles per day in. we went accord, and couldnt be happier. but we didnt have the need for a center placement car seat either. thats tougher in a sedan.
Old     (Cabledog)      Join Date: Dec 2013       12-10-2013, 6:25 PM Reply   
If you are talking about apples to apples model comparisons and both suit your driving needs I personally would weigh the Eco boost vs. Hybrid by the cost of ownership over the period you expect to have to have the vehicle before trade in. If you only plan to keep it a few years the additional cost of the hybrid drivetrain might not pay for itself in the gas savings at a few bucks per tank. Projected residual trade in values and current tax incentives for hybrids should also to be taken into consideration.

I also agree with Fixable, Fords recent low ratings are due to customer issues with the infotainment systems. Younger drivers should adapt to it as easily as switching from an iPhone to a Droid platform. Expect to see the same from GM in the coming years even though they are building higher quality vehicles than ever as they have recently launched new infotainment systems that customers have not adapted to yet.
Old     (MIKEnNC)      Join Date: Nov 2012       12-10-2013, 6:42 PM Reply   
I'm not trying to be rude because I have received my share of bashing on wakeworld but it seems u want opinions however will only consider two or three vehicles. Have u considered a Honda pilot? I haven't seen that one mentioned. The Hyundai is actually a good option also and they have came a long way in quality. I'm really against jeep as others have mentioned chryslers quality as a whole company is terrible. I work in the automotive industry and get to know most of these cars well.
Old     (rallyart)      Join Date: Nov 2006       12-10-2013, 6:47 PM Reply   
Wife's car needs to have a tight turn radius. There are up to 5' difference in brands. Tight turn radius means the parking is easier and your life is better as a result. Narrower by a couple inches gives a similar benefit but you lose some interior room.
Seat heaters is critical. One she sees well out of and is comfortable when seated. Probably she's a different size than you and what you love might giver her a blind spot or a cramp.
After that make a choice from what is left available but don't forget that if you put in car seats it has to be easy to reach and buckle them in. (The end of 2 door cars unless it's a convertible Viper which does not meet the other requirements)
Old     (dahmsy686)      Join Date: Feb 2004       12-10-2013, 6:57 PM Reply   
My dad had a 2012 Ford Edge 2.0L Ecoboost for a company car. He really enjoyed it and I really enjoyed the time that I got to ride in it and drive it. We took it to visit my brother, road trip from Mpls, MN to Milwaukee, WI. Four adults and a 2 year old. There was plenty of room for our luggage for a long weekend as well as a stroller. The doors opened nice and wide to get the car seat in as well as getting my child in with ease. We averaged 27mpg for trip. I don't care for the ford touch but it always worked and did what my dad asked, changed radio stations and made phone calls.

My wife really liked it, She said if it was AWD I could get one.

The 2.0L ecoboost models are pretty hard to find in my area if you can find one, I would consider it.
Old     (nautiquesonly)      Join Date: Sep 2007       12-10-2013, 7:19 PM Reply   
I thought the same thing about Hyundai. I didn't even want to stop and look at them. Turned out that was the first place we went and after I drove it I knew we couldn't beat it for the price. I drive a ford truck and consider myself a ford guy but after riding in and driving the escape no way I would even consider it . I am a relatively tall guy and it just wouldn't fit me in the from seat comfortably with rear facing child seat in the back. Do yourself a favor and take a rear facing seat with u when u test drive or you may be sorry later.
Old     (brichter14)      Join Date: Jul 2010       12-10-2013, 8:20 PM Reply   
Yeah im 6'4" so that might be a problem. I had an 03 escape that i liked alot but i also didnt put a child seat in it
Old     (MattieK27)      Join Date: Mar 2010       12-10-2013, 8:54 PM Reply   
Something to keep in mind, the new Cherokee was delayed at release because of that 9 speed trans and its software. Chrysler had thousands of them built and they stockpiled them in storage lots until they 'fixed' the shifting. From what I have heard, it still isn't quite right. On the other hand, the Grand Cherokee's 8 speed has worked pretty well, at least on the hemis. The V6 seems to have some odd shift issues as it is a slightly different trans.

My point, I would be a bit leary of that Cherokee and its 9 speed, at least for its first year. (And I am a die hard jeep guy)
Old     (bstroop)      Join Date: Apr 2005       12-10-2013, 8:56 PM Reply   
Picked up a 2013 Dodge Durango for the wife a while back. V6 has plenty of power and gets 25-27 consistently on the hwy at 4500ft. Third row seat folds flat for lost of storage space and we really like the new body style. Full time AWD does well in the snow too.

No dislikes so far
Old     (azeus17)      Join Date: Feb 2010       12-11-2013, 9:29 AM Reply   
We leased a 2014 Grand Cherokee Limited with the V6 and 8 speed trans. I agree the shifting is a little quirky in Eco mode, but turn that off and it is ok. That is usually what I do around town. On the highway, I leave it on and get about 23 MPG. I would reconsider the cloth seat thing if I were you, and looking to start a family. Leather is so much easier to clean and you can get seat warmers/coolers if that is a huge deal to you. We have two car seats in the Jeep right now, one rear facing and one forward facing. I would not go with anything with less leg room than the Jeep. The rear facing seats take a TON of room. We put ours on the passanger side because no way I could drive with it behind me. Also, the stroller comment was a good one. Those things are space hogs as well. If you are serious about starting a family soon, I would find a friend with a stroller and car seat and put them in whatever you are thinking about buying. Sometimes bigger SUV's (third rows) actually have less room. Thats why we ended up with the GC over a Durango.
Old     (NotSure123)      Join Date: Nov 2012       12-11-2013, 10:23 AM Reply   
Have you considered an Acura MDX? We're leaning on getting one... I think they look great, good reviews, power, and gas mileage...not sure on your budget but a nice used one might be something to consider...?
Old     (steveo142)      Join Date: Dec 2012       12-11-2013, 10:33 AM Reply   
you might check out the Toyota 4runner also. my wife LOVES hers.. they hold their value very well and will run forever if you take care of them. Not sure if there is snow in your area but the 4runner is the best thing I have ever driven is the snow/ice, It will climb a telephone pole with the locking diffs. we have had one for 5 years and have only had to do tires, oil changes and a timing belt. they ride nice and are still built on a truck frame so if you wanted, you could still tow up to 5k. Ours has the V8 but the V6 still has lots of power and will prob have better mileage. Another option to look at...
Old     (polarbill)      Join Date: Jun 2003       12-11-2013, 5:40 PM Reply   

If you are thinking a smaller SUV you may want to look into the Mazda CX5. My wife just picked a 2014 up about 8 months ago. It is a great vehicle. They get great mpg for a non-diesel or hybrid. Even though they aren't going to win any races it at least is a fun car to drive like Mazda is known for. Zoom Zoom.
Old     (Ttime41)      Join Date: Nov 2011       12-11-2013, 6:41 PM Reply   
Originally Posted by polarbill View Post

If you are thinking a smaller SUV you may want to look into the Mazda CX5. My wife just picked a 2014 up about 8 months ago. It is a great vehicle. They get great mpg for a non-diesel or hybrid. Even though they aren't going to win any races it at least is a fun car to drive like Mazda is known for. Zoom Zoom.
The Mazda gets my vote as well. One of the few cars in its segment that actually has a soul.
Old     (brichter14)      Join Date: Jul 2010       12-11-2013, 7:00 PM Reply   
I like he mazda too. It looks good and is a ford company also. Im afraid it will be small though. Need to get to a dealer and check it out
Old     (Ttime41)      Join Date: Nov 2011       12-11-2013, 7:03 PM Reply   
Originally Posted by brichter14 View Post
I like he mazda too. It looks good and is a ford company also. Im afraid it will be small though. Need to get to a dealer and check it out
They actually separated a little while back, but they seem to be doing quite well on their own
Old     (polarbill)      Join Date: Jun 2003       12-11-2013, 7:59 PM Reply   
Here is a motor trend article that compares the cx5, escape, rav5 and forester. The escape finishes last and the CX5 first. There is a page on there that has the specs of the CX5 compared to the escape. They are very close on size and space.
Old     (nautiquesonly)      Join Date: Sep 2007       12-12-2013, 8:44 AM Reply   
We looked at the mazda and the crosstreck as well. if you are 6'4" and ride in the passenger seat a rear facing baby seat won't fit unless you put your knees in the dash. I rented a durango a while back and it was nice. Didn't test the car seat on it.
Old     (rottenland)      Join Date: Sep 2013       12-12-2013, 9:33 AM Reply   
Why are you all putting a rear facing child seat behind your seat? Put it in the middle until you have more than one kid. My family car was an IS300 until I had a 2nd kid, then I bought a bigger sedan. I'm 6'2"
Old     (brichter14)      Join Date: Jul 2010       12-12-2013, 10:06 AM Reply   
If i am in the vehicle i will be driving. I as well as my wife agree that i am the navigator and better driver
Old     (the_right_kind)      Join Date: Oct 2005       12-12-2013, 1:30 PM Reply   
VW Tiguan
Old     (phathom)      Join Date: Jun 2013       12-12-2013, 1:56 PM Reply   
My wife had a 2004 Corolla as her first car. She liked it, but we needed something with a bit more room and utility. We initially got a 03 Pilot, but it developed major tranny problems and the mpg wasn't worth it. We traded that in and got her a 2007 Pontiac Vibe (Toyota Matrix) Basically the same car as her Corolla, but newer, a lot less miles, and a little more interior room.
Until we got my truck that worked wonders for all kinds of stuff like picking up furniture and hauling stuff and it made it a lot easier for her to get a stroller in and out of the back versus the Corolla. Also with cars and suvs with a lift back hatch, if you don't have a bunch of crap in the back, it makes a great place to change a diaper that is nice and covered from the elements.

Nowadays the only real difference between SUVs/CUVs and 4dr hatcbacks is normally a little better ground clearance (but not always, my friend's CUV had less ground clearance than my lowered BMW) and the option of 4wd/Awd, but that isn't always the case either. The lines between the classes are blurring so much that unless you need to tow something with it, take it off roading, or possibly need a 3rd row seat, you might as well pick the one that gets better mileage.
Old     (xstarrider)      Join Date: Jun 2007       12-13-2013, 9:00 PM Reply   
I just went through this entire process. We were looking to upgrade my wife's 06 Corolla. It had 175k and we needed some space. I have the Tahoe and we always had one huge one, one small one. I have two girls who are now playing hockey, snowboarding and we needed bit more space without sacrificing too many mpg's as our one way trip with the car to work is 55 miles. We focused on the 4 bangers.

We test drove Mazda CX5, Honda CRV, Mittsu Endeavor, Hyundai Tuscon, Kia Sportage, Toyota Rav4, Chevy Equinox, GMC Terrain

Ended up with Equinox

The CX5 although rated by Consimer reports the highest was probably my least favorite. It was cramped, lacked any ummf, sounded like a lawnmower, and was loud as all hell on the highway. There seemed to be less space in that than the corolla. I know that not true but it felt like it.

My wife has owned 5 Toyotas and she was hell bent on a 5th. She almost didn't even want to test drive anything else. Then she drove it and neither one of us liked the way it felt. It seemed top heavy and really leaned in the turns. Was kind of bumpy on the hwy as well. Cargo area was nice size though.

CRV. Well it's a CRV. Was solid. Still felt smaller than I anticipated. It's a honda though. I am sure it will run forever. Just didn't wow us

Kia and Tuscon were very very similar. While I never thought I would consider either brand the did impress me for sure. They are not the crap of the past. They were both smooth and handled well. Decently powered. 4cyl models. Their downside for the both of us was ther blind spots. Their rear windows were really hard to see out of.

Endeavor was actually nice as well. Just lot of plastic inside not sure how it holds up in the long run. Also felt more like wagon than mini SUV.

The Terrain well it just fit like magic. I felt comfy and roomy from the minute I sat in the car. Never felt cramped. The rear sliding bench is awesome you can add cargo space or leg room. Really nice feature. The rear seats also have reclining increments. Really nice touch. I loved the styling "box" look. The rear side windows give you great view. Wife wanted more of rounded edges styling.

On to the Equinox. All the same features as the GMC terrain. Both cars were also extremely quiet on the hwy. Really low sound noise. Very smooth ride. It really feels big inside compared to the others. (Except terrain) I am 6 1 not a problem. We fit 3 hockey bags in there no problem. My sticks have to be laid down the middle but other than that no problem. My only complaint on the equinox/Terrain is the wide turning radius. Getting into store ste parking spaces usually requires a 3 point turn. I feel like it is even wider than my Tahoe as I almost bet have to make a 3pt'r to get in a spot. To me though it shines so far ahead in space and ride that negative was minor for us.

We avg 30-31mpgs at 68-70 mph. In the summer with AC cranking though best we saw was 27.5. It's quite a bit of dropoff. She loved the styling on the Equinox more than the Terrain so she won out and I save 6k. I did a 2wd 4Cyl. The Corolla never had an issue in the chicago snow so we didn't feel 4wd was necessary. And to get 4wd u needed to ul to the 6cyl. I highly recommend the My Link system. It works and integrates everything nicely with iPods , GPS , phones , backup camera. Just my preference though.

13 Equinox LT 4cyl is what we ended up with. 15k already and it's still smooth.

Last edited by xstarrider; 12-13-2013 at 9:02 PM.
Old     (brichter14)      Join Date: Jul 2010       12-13-2013, 11:45 PM Reply   
I also like the equinox but my good friend and his wife just got one and i am just not that into chevys to spend over 20k on one.

Great input on everything though.

Wife likes the idea of rear activated lift gate and keypad entry on the fords. Might be leaning that way.
Old     (Cabledog)      Join Date: Dec 2013       12-16-2013, 4:50 PM Reply   
My F150 has the keypad entry and I didnt give it much thought when I bought the truck. Now I use it all the time. One of those options you didn't really know you needed it until you have it.
Old     (kstateskier)      Join Date: May 2002       12-16-2013, 9:50 PM Reply   
Not sure what the keypad looks like on the Escape, but I know the keypad on our Explorer doesn't work near as well as the one on the F-150 I had. The keypad on the new Explorers doesn't really have buttons. Not sure if it's just a sensor or what, but it SUCKS in bad weather and doesn't work well very often. Seems to work about as well as an iPhone screens when your fingers are sweaty. The truck had actual buttons and was great.

I am also not very sure about the option packages on the Escape, but if you go that way and since you are looking at cloth anyway, I'd try to avoid the Microsoft Sync system. Ours went back 4 times under warranty and finally works about 90% of the time. It once shut down both the dash and center console screens on my wife. She had to pull over and restart. Seems like they are getting some of the bugs out but it's very annoying with as many different things as it runs. Very cool when it works well, but it rarely works well.
Old     (baitkiller)      Join Date: Jan 2010       12-17-2013, 6:16 AM Reply   
Starting a family?

Suck it up man and get the minivan. We put 220K miles on the Sienna with 3 kids. Forget about being hip and cool. Its all about schlepping tons of crap everywhere you go. Its about taking 150% longer to get out the door then realizing what you left behind and turning around to go get it. Its about parking close cause you gotta haul stuff. Its about door dings and wet wipes.

For a family with small kids a minivan has it on lock. Period. That makes you about as cool as all the other dads.

Also: definitely get the leather, Ketchup and puke clean off leather easier than anything else.

NO SUN ROOFS: Your wife will loose 1/2 of her brains giving birth and leave that sucker open.

After she did her 7 years in the mini van the wife was done with it and the kids were grown a bit. I bought her the Flex. Simply because no other car lets the third kid get to the back seat without stepping on a sibling or or doing the seat-flip-sister-squash twice a day at school pick up and drop off.

Again, suck it up and look ahead. That Sienna was fast too, much quicker than the Flex or my F150. No way you were gonna scoop me on the on-ramp if I didn't want you too!
Old     (shawndoggy)      Join Date: Nov 2009       12-17-2013, 6:22 AM Reply   
^^^^ bait killer knows what he's talking about. I hated buying an odyssey, but really missed it when it went. Never got a speeding ticket in it either.


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