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SUV's - Chevy, Dodge, GMC... any recommendation?

SUV's - Chevy, Dodge, GMC... any recommendation?

Old Aug 30th 2010, 1:36 pm
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Default SUV's - Chevy, Dodge, GMC... any recommendation?

Hi all,
i've been looking at car options for the U.S. I have two growing boys, who enjoy sport and adventuring, the odd camping trip, cycling, and who eat like horses so i do a lot of shopping.... right now in the UK i have a Mazda 5 which i really love - i love how the rear doors slide, i love that theres an extra row of seats for friends, i love that everything flattens down totally in the boot to make a massive useable space, and i love that the driving position is fairly high.

Cars i've been looking at: Dodge Journey - looks lovely but i've read some bad reviews on the interior and overall performance
Chevy Equinox - seems to get great reviews
GMC Arcadia.. is this just toooooo big?

Any other contenders in the midsize SUV range i should be looking at?

Thanks for any input / experiences!

Maddy xxxx

p.,s i'll be buying it in the North Georgia / Atlanta area, in case you have any recommendations for dealerships also
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Old Aug 30th 2010, 2:14 pm
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Default Re: SUV's - Chevy, Dodge, GMC... any recommendation?

Originally Posted by Madelina View Post
Hi all,
i've been looking at car options for the U.S. I have two growing boys, who enjoy sport and adventuring, the odd camping trip, cycling, and who eat like horses so i do a lot of shopping.... right now in the UK i have a Mazda 5 which i really love - i love how the rear doors slide, i love that theres an extra row of seats for friends, i love that everything flattens down totally in the boot to make a massive useable space, and i love that the driving position is fairly high.

Cars i've been looking at: Dodge Journey - looks lovely but i've read some bad reviews on the interior and overall performance
Chevy Equinox - seems to get great reviews
GMC Arcadia.. is this just toooooo big?

Any other contenders in the midsize SUV range i should be looking at?

Thanks for any input / experiences!

Maddy xxxx

p.,s i'll be buying it in the North Georgia / Atlanta area, in case you have any recommendations for dealerships also
If you love the Mazda 5 why not just get one of those here?

If you want something bigger we recently bought a Mazda CX-9, which has a 3rd row that gets occasional use, no sliding door though. I think it's a great car.
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Old Aug 30th 2010, 2:18 pm
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Default Re: SUV's - Chevy, Dodge, GMC... any recommendation?

I can only comment on the SUV's we have had...first we had a chrysler grand voyager van, lots of room, 3 rows of seats, had it for three years and never had a problem with it.

Then we traded up for a Chrysler Pacifica. Loved this one the best, we had all the bells and whistles on ours, dvd players in back etc, kids loved it. Wish we had never got rid of it, but hubby wanted a hybrid!

Now we have a Ford escape, comfy, roomy (small boot space I think, if all seats are in place) no third row seating, I really don't like it as much as the pacifica, already had one recall and some issues with the auto gearbox.

We looked at getting the GMC terrain, I think that would have been a better choice, but we would have had to wait another month to get it.
Good luck, lots of choices, lots of different opinions. You could always wait on your decision till you have test driven the ones you fancy
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Old Aug 30th 2010, 3:32 pm
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Default Re: SUV's - Chevy, Dodge, GMC... any recommendation?

Originally Posted by Madelina View Post
Hi all,
i've been looking at car options for the U.S. I have two growing boys, who enjoy sport and adventuring, the odd camping trip, cycling, and who eat like horses so i do a lot of shopping.... right now in the UK i have a Mazda 5 which i really love - i love how the rear doors slide, i love that theres an extra row of seats for friends, i love that everything flattens down totally in the boot to make a massive useable space, and i love that the driving position is fairly high.

Cars i've been looking at: Dodge Journey - looks lovely but i've read some bad reviews on the interior and overall performance
Chevy Equinox - seems to get great reviews
GMC Arcadia.. is this just toooooo big?

Any other contenders in the midsize SUV range i should be looking at?

Thanks for any input / experiences!

Maddy xxxx

p.,s i'll be buying it in the North Georgia / Atlanta area, in case you have any recommendations for dealerships also
Hi:

The term "SUV" can get tricky -- it started out as a passenger vehicle on a truck chassis. The Ford Explorer was among the first -- and it quickly supplanted the car-based minivan as the vehicle of choice. [Note: many US drivers think that a vehicle which is heavier, higher, less stable and a gas hog is safer.]

There is a pronounced move towards "cross-over" vehicles going on. These are car based but don't look like the now unpopular mini-van. I think the Ford Fusion is downright ugly but it has gotten good reviews. Also, have you considered a hybrid [more expensive to buy, cheaper to run and you can feel good doing it]. I've heard good things about the Ford Escape [but it may be too small] and the Toyota Highlander [both gas and hybrid].

On fuel consumption, US prices can vary widely, but they are lower than in Europe. So US vehicles tend to be thirstier. But, again, figure out what you need.

As mentioned, the Mazda 5 is sold in the US. And, according to edmunds.com, a new version is due in the Spring. [Many people believe that the last year of a particular model is often the best in quality, however due to the fact it is about to depreciate wildly, you can get good prices].

Also note that many of the "Japanese" vehicles are manufactured in the US -- and most of the foreign owned factors are in the South. In fact, the BMW X-5 is manufactured in the US [European now come from Kalingrad] as is the Mercedes "M" class.

I would recommend that you wait until you get here to try out the cars and figure out EXACTLY what you want. [In the meanwhile, you can get a long-term rental on a van. And November might be a good month to do that. Last car I rented was a VW Routan]. I know that when I have rented cars in advance for European trips, I really had no idea what I was getting into until I got there. One time, I had a Renault Laguna and there is no US equivalent. Next time I ended up with a Skoda Octavia wagon [estate car in British english] TDI. It was almost identical to the VW Jetta TDI sold in the US. Moral -- try it out when you get here.

As to dealerships, I am of the opinion that it really doesn't matter where you PURCHASE the car. In a metropolitan area, there will be several. Also, most dealerships have an internet department. I remember the first new car I ever purchased in 1976 -- we were driving from San Francisco to San Jose and decided to scout Honda Civics -- started in San Francisco, then Oakland, then Hayward, then Fremont. And the price kept getting lower and lower. It started at $4,100 in San Francisco and we ended up buying a car in Fremont for $3,217 out the door. [younger daughter just purchased a used 2003 Mini for $8900, sigh].

Last edited by S Folinsky; Aug 30th 2010 at 3:37 pm.
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Old Aug 30th 2010, 3:42 pm
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Default Re: SUV's - Chevy, Dodge, GMC... any recommendation?

Originally Posted by S Folinsky View Post
There is a pronounced move towards "cross-over" vehicles going on. These are car based but don't look like the now unpopular mini-van. I think the Ford Fusion is downright ugly but it has gotten good reviews. Also, have you considered a hybrid [more expensive to buy, cheaper to run and you can feel good doing it]. I've heard good things about the Ford Escape [but it may be too small] and the Toyota Highlander [both gas and hybrid].
Fusion? That's a small sedan. Do you mean the Flex? If so, I agree.

Highlander wouldn't be a bad choice because it's available with a third row of seats. I like my 4Runner - bought it used, no third row, don't know offhand if it's available that way.
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Old Aug 30th 2010, 11:07 pm
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Default Re: SUV's - Chevy, Dodge, GMC... any recommendation?

Are you working under the assumption they only sell American cars in the US (I call this the "Top Gear assumption")?

Avoid everything you mentioned like the plague. The Journey and Equinox aren't competitive offerings in any way and while the Arcadia is OK, it's a fairly dated design at this point. I wouldn't recommend an American car... maybe the Chevy Traverse if you're really stuck on an American SUV.

Nothing European is affordable here in the US except maybe VW. VW's have horrible reputations for quality over here, I personally wouldn't get one...

You probably won't need 4WD in GA. You can get a Mazda5 here as others have pointed out ( I really like the Mazda 5 as well). The Kia Rondo is similar, cheaper and apparently pretty good. Ford's about to start selling their very popular small European minivan here as well (forget the name...).

If you want a full minivan, the Honda Odyssey and Toyota Sienna are the default choices. Both are a lot bigger than a Mazda 5 but just about the most practical vehicles you can buy.

If you want a small SUV, get a Honda CR-V or Toyota Rav4. The Mazda CX-7 is really nice too. The CR-V is the benchmark as far as I'm concerned.

If you want a "mid-sized" SUV, get the Honda Pilot or Mazda CX-9. (I have an 09 Pilot but I live where it snows.) I think the Nissan Murano's hideous but lots of people like that car as well.

Maybe you want a smaller wagon (estate). If you want a cheap but good wagon, Hyundai sells a version of the excellent European i30 here as the Elantra Touring. Subaru's Forester is a nice "crossover" with 4WD and a slightly higher riding chassis. Acura is about to offer the excellent European-spec Accord wagon here as the TSX wagon.

Last edited by Hiro11; Aug 30th 2010 at 11:11 pm.
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Old Aug 31st 2010, 3:25 am
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Default Re: SUV's - Chevy, Dodge, GMC... any recommendation?

The Mazda is actually highly recommended by some sites. I personally enjoyed my Nissan Xterra but eventually (after 200,000 miles and rough driving) it had to go. I also had a growing family with some extended folks so I moved up to the GMC Yukon XL and Chevy Suburban world (full-size SUVs).

We looked at the Acadia. It's an interesting cross over. Are you really going to be needing the 4x4 functionality of an SUV, or just looking for a big vehicle that is not a minivan, like many other folks. If you are in a snow area or a rough area (I lived off a 200 yard long dirt road) then you might want something a bit more truck like.

But I'd check out the reviews of the Mazda over here. Might be easiest all around.
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Old Aug 31st 2010, 4:41 am
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Default Re: SUV's - Chevy, Dodge, GMC... any recommendation?

Originally Posted by Bill_S View Post
Fusion? That's a small sedan. Do you mean the Flex? If so, I agree.

Highlander wouldn't be a bad choice because it's available with a third row of seats. I like my 4Runner - bought it used, no third row, don't know offhand if it's available that way.
Mea culpa -- I did mean the Flex. I think the appearance is such that [thank you Dan Niel] it makes babies cry.
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Old Aug 31st 2010, 10:21 am
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Default Re: SUV's - Chevy, Dodge, GMC... any recommendation?

the Mazda CX-9 really does look very nice indeed, that ones definitely worth a look-see! Thanks for all the input folks, i can't wait to go and testdrive a few... interesting that nobody mentioned Dodge
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Old Aug 31st 2010, 11:51 am
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Default Re: SUV's - Chevy, Dodge, GMC... any recommendation?

Originally Posted by Madelina View Post
the Mazda CX-9 really does look very nice indeed, that ones definitely worth a look-see! Thanks for all the input folks, i can't wait to go and testdrive a few... interesting that nobody mentioned Dodge
Ahh, but you didn't want a truck!
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Old Aug 31st 2010, 11:52 am
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Default Re: SUV's - Chevy, Dodge, GMC... any recommendation?

Originally Posted by Englishtart View Post
Ahh, but you didn't want a truck!
Actually i quite fancy driving around in a nice big Dodge Ram but i was more interested in the journey, i dont think thats defined as a truck? seems to be more of a people carrier kinda like my Maxda but bigger.... what do you think?
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Old Aug 31st 2010, 12:22 pm
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Default Re: SUV's - Chevy, Dodge, GMC... any recommendation?

Originally Posted by Madelina View Post
Actually i quite fancy driving around in a nice big Dodge Ram but i was more interested in the journey, i dont think thats defined as a truck? seems to be more of a people carrier kinda like my Maxda but bigger.... what do you think?
I'm not familiar with that one, (I'm sure some are) Hubby has a Ford truck, huge bloody thing, I have no need/want to drive it, even being a passenger gives the effect of sitting in a tank It has it's uses though, you will always have 'friends' when you have a truck, especially ones that just remembered they have a couch/fridge/bed that needs moving!!
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Old Aug 31st 2010, 12:35 pm
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Default Re: SUV's - Chevy, Dodge, GMC... any recommendation?

Originally Posted by S Folinsky View Post
Also note that many of the "Japanese" vehicles are manufactured in the US -- and most of the foreign owned factors are in the South. In fact, the BMW X-5 is manufactured in the US [European now come from Kalingrad] as is the Mercedes "M" class.
Yup. The X-series BMWs are made in Greenville, SC. Personally I'd avoid any of the "Big 3" US manufacturers. Go Japanese and you won't regret it. The Honda Odyssey is a popular choice for a van. I can't resist this. Jeremy Clarkson reviews a "classic" 70s American car...


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Old Aug 31st 2010, 4:35 pm
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Default Re: SUV's - Chevy, Dodge, GMC... any recommendation?

We have a Chevy Suburban, know as the Bus or the great blue whale in my house. It seats 8 comfortably plus luggage.
If I only needed it for occasional camping trips (which I don't do) then I wouldn't bother with an SUV. Ours is used for towing but once the boat is gone the SUV will follow.
We have been to the snow and on holiday in the car, packed the trunk well and bought some cables for the wheels and bingo we were off.
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Old Aug 31st 2010, 4:53 pm
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Default Re: SUV's - Chevy, Dodge, GMC... any recommendation?

Originally Posted by Madelina View Post
Actually i quite fancy driving around in a nice big Dodge Ram but i was more interested in the journey, i dont think thats defined as a truck? seems to be more of a people carrier kinda like my Maxda but bigger.... what do you think?
I have the Dodge Nitro and love it, it gets slanted quite alot but its what your personal preference is I tend to find that the SUV's out there all look much of a muchness these days in looks, thats why I chose the Nitro they have a unique look, infact I am now selling mine to get the 4X4 SXT version, I have been shopping around for weeks I like the new Kia Sportage but its over priced the new Chevy Equinox would be my number 2 choice..but I would really like to stay with Dodge...the BF has a Ram and its a nice ride but a gas guzzler.
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