• The development of any software program, including, but not limited to, training a machine learning or artificial intelligence (AI) system, is prohibited using the contents and materials on this website.

Lets talk SUV's

JCE

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 12, 2005
Messages
2,714
Location
DFW Texas
Car(s)
2016 Dodge Charger RT / 2015 Jeep Renegade
Getting a saloon car is out the future wife says. I (we :lol:) want something with more space and bigger. Now, the only SUV I was considering was the Infiniti FX35 and the Ford Expedition. However, after driving a few SUVs lately on my hunt for a new car I'm left with a couple of burning questions. I want something newer than 2004, fast and or has a massive V8. And by fast I mean at least as fast as my SVT Focus. 0-60 mph in ~7s average in real world driving. :mrgreen:

PRICE RANGE:
Low end $16,995
High end $24,995

YEAR RANGE:
Low end 2005
High end 2008

MILEAGE RANGE:
10,000-79,999


The data.

What I've driven so far:
  • Toyota Sequoia (granted it was the new one)
  • Toyota 4runner
  • Ford Edge
  • Ford Explorer
  • Ford Expedition (EL)
  • Infiniti FX35

What I haven't driven yet:
  • Ford Flex
  • Subaru Forester XT
  • Cadillac SRX


I DO NOT WANT THE FOLLOWING:
  • ANY GM product that isn't the SRX posted below
  • Honda
  • Chrysler/Dodge/Jeep
  • Lexus
  • Mercedes*
  • BMW*
  • Audi*
  • Volkswagen*
  • Land Rover/Range Rover*
  • Porsche Cayenne
  • Kia
  • Hyundai
  • Suzuki
  • Ford Escape
  • Mazda
  • Nissan Pathfinder
  • Nissan Armada
  • Nissan Murano
  • Infiniti QX

*-Out only because of the initial cost to buy and cost to maintain/repair. I really want a Porsche Cayenne V8 or VW Touareg V8 actually.

Highlights:

9951248.jpg

Infiniti FX35 = Still the daddy on my list. Is literally 100% perfect in every concievable way. The only problem isn't with the car, it is with the availability of the year, mileage and price of the vehicles out there. I'm picky about my car color and there are only a couple of colors I want. Hell, I could get lucky and find that Sapphire FX45 I've always wanted. Doubtful...saw only one within 200 miles a few months ago.



07la_sequoia_opt1.jpg

Toyota Sequoia = Extremely good road manners and handling for such a large beast. Very good engine (381bhp 5.7L V8, 0-60mph in 6.7s), and makes all the right noises. Very comfortable and has a good interior quality feel. Was pleasantly surprised on how awsome it actually was from every angle. The 2008+ models are very good looking too. If I can get a 2008 model with the 5.7L in my price range I'd be hard pressed to not get this over the FX or Edge. I really do love this thing, and it's from a car company I do not like as a whole. Odd...:lol: This is my #2 choice behind the Infiniti FX!



left-front.jpg.jpg

Toyota 4runner = Not as impressed with anything I just mentioned above. Everything is a couple of ticks down from the Sequoia. Granted it was less money new...but pre-owned the prices are close enough. I was left a bit "meh" and feeling empty really. Too bad because it looks very good too.



medium_2009%20Ford%20Edge%20Sport.jpg

Ford Edge = Great handling car, easily the 2nd best behind the FX35. Very good and very strong engine. Interior was good and it was comfortable. Downside is it wasn't "sporty" feeling enough and the engine didn't make a noise that I'd prefer. I want something manly (*see Sequoia or Expedition). I'd have to get the chrome grille painted body color and I'd have to get at least a good exhaust put on it otherwise I'd be bored without any stimulus. Odd really because it isn't slow but without the atmosphere of speed it feels it.



2007-Ford-Expedition-for-sale_190501116016.jpg

Ford Expedition = We have the best all-rounder here. Does everything as good as the Sequoia except for one "tiny" item...it is 2 seconds slower to 60mph at 6.7s for the Toyota and 8.7s for the Expedition. Acceleration is important in my choice actually. I'd literally have to have it upgraded at the dealer before purchasing it and that adds at least $4,000-5,000 to the price for a supercharger or some other upgrades. Thus puts this out of my price range. Sad really due to my overwhelming Ford bias. :sly:



ford-flex-ecoboost-i-15_460x0w.jpg

Ford Flex = Brilliant at everything when equipped with EcoBoost (2010 model). This looks awesome and from what I've heard from several car reviewers very good to drive on the road. I sat in one but not drove it. The seats were perfect, the interior was very good and the cargo space was just massive. Also, the 3rd row seat actually was quite good even for my 6ft 237lb frame. The only downsides to the Flex are you have to get a 2010 SEL AWD or Limited AWD to get the EcoBoost and it is quite bloody expensive. And, the normal V6 while good in other lighter vehicles with well over 4,000lbs to lug around the 0-60 time is only around 8.6~8.8s. Not fast, but the reviewers did comment that the passing power was decent. The last downside is the non-AWD model is FWD. Ugh, something this large should NOT be FWD. Therefore I'd ONLY accept the AWD model. These apparently hold their value too...even 2009 models with AWD are decently pricey.



2007%20Ford%20Explorer.jpg

Ford Explorer = Does everything well enough to get on my list. It is like the 4runner compared to the Sequoia when this and the Expedition are lined up. The downside is the Explorer feels less stable in the handling department. Plus the gas mileage is about the same as the Expedition despite being lighter...



2007_Cadillac_SRX_ext_1.jpg

Cadillac SRX = The only GM product that is worth a damn to me and only in the 1st generation. Does everything well enough to get on my list. The only thing is I will not get the V6. The interior is very nice for a GM product and the cargo space is acceptable for it's size. The pricing is good too even with the V8 and they are available relatively easily in the colors I want. I still have to get over my hatred for GM before I buy it however. When I test drive it this thing better knock my socks off and be perfect otherwise I'll dismiss it. :D



2007-Subaru-Forester-for-sale_270715142849.jpg

The wild card on this discussion is the Subaru Forester XT (might as well call it an STI). If I find a good low mileage one to test drive it might make this decision harder. It is one fast SOB, and I really mean it. 0-60 in less than 5.5s is no joke. A couple of upgrades for not much money and it gets less than 5. Looks good, comfortable enough in the front and a decent interior layout make it ok. There are a few downsides that are huge. The rear seat room is terrible, the interior while good looking doesn't feel like a quality product and of course the big one to me is the potential repair costs on the AWD system as well as the turbo engine. Those aren't cheap. I will be getting a huge extra warranty with whatever I purchase but that only lasts a few years...

Yes, all of this is my fault but I need to live with this as the kid and grocery hauler for years to come. This means I will make a decision on something I WANT, but, at this point I just need the stimulating discussion that this web forum provides to help me make that decision. I would appreciate any owners of the posted vehicles to share their ownership experience.

-----------------------------------

QUESTION #1: Of these SUVs listed and using NO bias what are the pros and cons that you can think of each of these?

QUESTION #2: Is AWD/4WD vs FWD/RWD actually something I should consider?
 
Last edited:
Ok, first of all we need to establish some criteria:

What is the primary use of the vehicle?
Will you be towing?
Will you be driving off road? I mean real off road, not grass and gravel.
Will you be using it to road trip?
Do you need three rows of seating?
Do you want a street sport SUV/Crossover?
Do you need high clearance? I only ask because to me the Flex is more of an estate than a crossover and isn't even close to being an SUV.
 
After posting about our BMW X3 (which you should consider, even though no V8) and getting slammed for not buying a 3 series wagon (gag) I look forward to all the help you will recieve. :D

Right now with all the Mideast uncertainty I for one would stay away from a thirsty V8 super barge like an Expedition or Sequoia, but thats me.
 
Ok, first of all we need to establish some criteria:

What is the primary use of the vehicle? = Family vehicle, shopping cart, haul the usual household stuff like landscaping, possibly hauling new furniture home and in my case car parts for the Camaro project.
Will you be towing? = Yes, the Camaro eventually. No boats or jet skis.
Will you be driving off road? I mean real off road, not grass and gravel. = No.
Will you be using it to road trip? = Yes, definitely will be the road trip vehicle. My fiancee's RX-8 is a terrible road trip car.
Do you need three rows of seating? = 50/50 yes and no. Depends on if we have more than 3 kids down the road?
Do you want a street sport SUV/Crossover? = I would prefer one as long as it was RWD or AWD (I take exception with the Ford Edge here) and it was as quick or quicker than my SVT Focus. That's 0-60 in about 7 seconds or less. But that's not to say that I don't REALLY like the Sequoia or Expedition/Navigator.
Do you need high clearance? = Not a huge deal, the stock ground clearance on an FX, Edge or Flex is fine. Any more is also fine.

I only ask because to me the Flex is more of an estate than a crossover and isn't even close to being an SUV.

See answers in your quote. And we did a trip to Houston in her RX-8 and I about got out and walked once we got past Dallas. SO UNCOMFORTABLE!!

Yes the Flex is a large estate but it has the size of an SUV and you can use it for utility purposes so I categorized it as such. Yes, technically it is a very large Ford Taurus estate sort of. :lol:

Right now with all the Mideast uncertainty I for one would stay away from a thirsty V8 super barge like an Expedition or Sequoia, but thats me.

Gas mileage doesn't matter. I (we) want something that fits our size, space and my performance needs as rolled into one as possible. We'll take the mileage and not complain like the morons who buy a Hummer. :)
 
Last edited:
If you want AWD with V8 power and good fuel economy why not a Ford Flex AWD with the Ecoboost V6? I drove one and it was fantastic, also it has some of the best visibility of any car I've ever driven.

Which Edge trim did you test? They have very good Sport and Touring trims that I believe are available with more power than the standard one.
 
I'm surprised that on all the forums I've posted this topic on that no one has comments on a certain few of these--one being the Sequoia (2008+). Am I the only one who was impressed after driving one? :lol:

If you want AWD with V8 power and good fuel economy why not a Ford Flex AWD with the Ecoboost V6? I drove one and it was fantastic, also it has some of the best visibility of any car I've ever driven.

Which Edge trim did you test? They have very good Sport and Touring trims that I believe are available with more power than the standard one.

I agree with the Flex being a great alternative to a V8. I'm interested in your driving experience on that Flex you drove, can you give me more detail? :D

Also, having not only worked for a Ford dealer but having a dad who is a Sales Manager at said dealer I literally get to drive what I want--except the Ford GT, GT500 or for some odd reason the new Taurus SHO. I've driven every Edge trim out there minus the Sport with the upgraded wheels (which are too much). :) I like it, just wish the exhaust was a bit more manly.
 
Did they sell V10 or W12 Touaregs over there? :D
By now they might be cheap to buy... not to maintain though.
 
I agree with the Flex being a great alternative to a V8. I'm interested in your driving experience on that Flex you drove, can you give me more detail? :D

The Flex was a great ride, the engine is smooth and powerful and the transmission was about as close to seamless shifting as you can get without a CVT. The interior quality was fantastic, both in terms of material and fit-and-finish. The controls were intuitive and comfortable, the seating position was arguably one of the most comfortable of any car I've driven. The visibility was fantastic, it was more like sitting in a greenhouse. While the exterior styling looks like they fell into the trap of a high shoulder line, you don't get that feeling inside the cabin which feels very open and airy even with four adults. The ride is very good, it took driveway dips and railroad tracks the way some cars take seams in the concrete.

I hate people movers, but I would have the Flex if I didn't go off road.

EDIT: As for the Toyota, I'm not a fan. I've never driven the Sequoia but I did sit in many of the Toyota and Lexus line at the last auto show and I thought the interiors were junk. They were a mish-mash of different plastic textures and finishes and nothing felt nearly as solid or high-quality as even the cheapest Ford. Toyota is still coasting on their reputation for reliability, but they have been slipping ever since the early to mid 2000s.

My personal preference would be for the Ford over the Toyota, both because the Flex is geared more for street use, sits lower, gets better fuel economy and can carry almost as much stuff while being more stylish and higher quality for less money.
 
Last edited:
I would have to wait for a gen2 or at least a facelift...I just...it just doesn't grab me. I don't know what it is. And the headlight clisters just look cheap and dated. *shrugs* I'd rather have an explorer over the Flex, just on looks. But the Flex, done right, could be nice.
 
The 2006+ Range Rover and Disco seem to not have a lot of issues going by the Land Rover forums. If you have suspension issues the third party air suspension parts are vastly cheaper and more reliable than the OEM ones. However for your use LRs would be over kill (that dual chassis is fucking heavy and you won't be using the off road snazzities).

I'd check out the new 2011 Grand Cherokee, I've been hearing good things about it.
 
While I like the new Grand Cherokee that is way out of my price range. :(

I've been researching Infiniti EX35's and they are quicker than the FX35's. Granted the FX looks better but the EX is full of extra tech the FX doesn't have like the 360 degree camera view. But the FX has more space as the EX has a tiny rearseat. Maybe the test drive will narrow between the two.

The Sequoia is about $5,000 more expensive than the FX... Still would consider it but the FX still appeals a bit more with the car-like handling.

A Range Rover would be ok except I'm not entirely convinced on the reliability. And the cost of repairs puts it out of my list. And the speed isn't what I'd like when compared to the aforementioned.
 
Last edited:
If you are going to be towing, I don't think either the FX or EX will be very well suited for that job. According to the Infiniti Website, even the new FX50 can only tow a paltry 3,500 pounds. Most car haulers will nearly max that out, without the car on it.
 
Any car-like SUV you can haul significant amounts with (like 6000lbs of Camaro + trailer + supplies) isn't going to handle, you have a mutually exclusive set of requirements. Get a car and a hauler.

Edit: In fact, neither the Edge nor the Forester can tow more than 3500lbs. And Ford says you shouldn't tow at all with a Flex. The SRX is limited to only 1000lbs.

The Sequoia is a heap, a client of mine has one. It reminds me of 90's GM products. The 4Runner is a joke.

Edit 2: The EX35 has this to say about towing in its manual:

Your vehicle was designed to be used to carry passengers and cargo. INFINITI does not recommend
trailer towing
, because it places additional loads on your vehicle's engine, drivetrain, steering, braking, and other systems.
 
Last edited:
Toyota Sequoia = Extremely good road manners and handling for such a large beast. Very good engine (381bhp 5.7L V8, 0-60mph in 6.7s), and makes all the right noises. Very comfortable and has a good interior quality feel. Was pleasantly surprised on how awsome it actually was from every angle. The 2008+ models are very good looking too. If I can get a 2008 model with the 5.7L in my price range I'd be hard pressed to not get this over the FX or Edge. I really do love this thing, and it's from a car company I do not like as a whole. Odd...:lol: This is my #2 choice behind the Infiniti FX!
Not recommended due to a known fault in the air induction pump as seen here. It shouldn't be a problem because this is for emissions but if it throws a check engine light the truck goes into limp mode rendering the engine useless. Toyota claim they fixed it, but 2010 models also seem to have this problem. There are still transmission issues lingering despite supposedly fixing them in the 2007 Tundras which are very prone to them dying.

I'd also give support to the Flex, its a very nice vehicle to drive and the interior is very user friendly. Its also less thirsty than a Sequoia, a Flex on a bad lead foot day will get the same fuel economy as the Sequoia being driven by a hypermiler.
 
An LR3 might be worth considering (LR3 is a Discovery not a Range Rover). 2007+ cars are pretty sturdy according to LR support forms (avoid 2005 and 2006). It has the towing capacity and a rock solid Jag V8.

If towing is your goal you'll need a truck based SUV, like a LR or Toyota LandCruiser.
 
Edit: In fact, neither the Edge nor the Forester can tow more than 3500lbs. And Ford says you shouldn't tow at all with a Flex. The SRX is limited to only 1000lbs.[/B


Are you serious? Even my 15 year old Miata should be good to tow like 1000 pounds...
 
Basically, everything that can tow (except for the expedition) is on your 'No' list.

Power
Handling
Towing

Pick 2 (except for handling and towing, but you get the idea).
 
I'd also give support to the Flex, its a very nice vehicle to drive and the interior is very user friendly. Its also less thirsty than a Sequoia, a Flex on a bad lead foot day will get the same fuel economy as the Sequoia being driven by a hypermiler.

Ford Flex towing capacity: 0lbs. Ford says no towing with the Flex, period.

An LR3 might be worth considering (LR3 is a Discovery not a Range Rover). 2007+ cars are pretty sturdy according to LR support forms (avoid 2005 and 2006). It has the towing capacity and a rock solid Jag V8.

If towing is your goal you'll need a truck based SUV, like a LR or Toyota LandCruiser.

The problem with towing on an LR is that if you do it much you pop the air suspension. Just check with your local LR dealer about that little fun fact. Technically, yes, an LR4 can tow 7700lbs. You don't want to do it much.

Are you serious? Even my 15 year old Miata should be good to tow like 1000 pounds...

Yup. http://auto.howstuffworks.com/auto-parts/towing/towing-capacity/vehicle/towing-capacity-chart5.htm

Still loving that GM 'engineering'? :p
 
The problem with towing on an LR is that if you do it much you pop the air suspension. Just check with your local LR dealer about that little fun fact. Technically, yes, an LR4 can tow 7700lbs. You don't want to do it much.

I haven't heard of it, but the after market has much better airbags if it does happen. I'd suggest a used Land Cruiser instead however if you can get them that cheaply.
 
Top