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New SUV time!

The Right Car for Me | TrueDelta

Right now I am leaning towards a new 4Runner limited or Grand Cherokee Limited. Love the look of both. I won't be doing much off roading.

Car Needs: Family transporter

Need minimum of 5 seats

Will consider both new and used cars
Maximum mileage: 15000
Maximum age: 2 years

Maximum price: US $ 43000

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Response from willied

10:30 am June 21, 2014

Could you give us some more info on what features/attributes you want? Both of those are good vehicles with their own advantages. The 4Runner will almost certainly be more reliable, but the Jeep will have better road manners and a better interior.

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Response from jasonmreece

11:47 am June 21, 2014

I rented a 2014 Toyota 4-Runner Limited back in April and was very disappointed. The handling and ride felt more like an 80s Cadillac than any Toyota I've ever driven. It leaned noticeably even in low-speed turns, road imperfections caused a bobbling-effect afterward and even moderate braking resullted in a a hard nose dive. Acceleration was adequate, but nothing special and once up to speed, the 5-speed automatic was reluctant to downshift for passing or merging unless you floored it...and waited.

The interior was the biggest disappointment. Cheap-looking, hard plastics, panel gaps and misalignments on doors and dash and the seats and I never found a comfortable driving position. The interior didn't hardly looked it fit in a $30k SUV, much less one costing over $40k!

The Jeep Grand Cherokee is much more impressive in every way...except 'predicted' reliability. It has a much sleeker design, a smoother powertrain, tons of features and it looks like a luxury SUV inside and out. Instead of the Limited, I would suggest moving up to the Overland model. A Limited with the Luxury Package, 20" wheels and other niceties quickly ends up costing just as much. A 2014 Overland 4x4 stickers for $47,190 but sells for about $42k. The interior of the Overland is what really impresses- Nappa Leather Seats, Heated Leather/Wood Steering Wheel, Leather Stitched Dash Cover and Armrests, Alpine Premium Audio, NAV, Bi-Xenon headlights and everything else you can think of. Hopefully the 5yr/100k mile Powertrain Warranty would mititage any reliability concerns.

Other suggestions for a real SUV are very few- the Dodge Durango might be a good fit, but the Jeep is much nicer for the money. If you're open to a Crossover, the 2014 Mazda CX-9 GT is a great deal- selling for around $33,500 (AWD, Tech Pkg) which is $6500 off sticker. I have a 2012 CX-9 and freakin' love it!

A final thought, if you wanted to spend a lot less $$$, is one of my all-time favorite SUVS- a 2012 Nissan Pathfinder LE 4WD (the final year of the real, truck-based model). You can buy one with under 25k miles for well under $30k with a CPO Warranty.

FYI- out of all the SUVs/CUVs mentioned, the Jeep performs signficantly better in NHTSA crash tests than all of the others! It scored 5-stars for front and all side impacts and 4-star for rollover risk.

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Jeep Grand Cherokee
Dodge Durango
Mazda CX-9

Response from mkaresh

4:36 pm June 21, 2014

My impressions of the 4Runner were similar to Jason's, but I've heard that the Limited (which I didn't drive) handles and rides better than the SR5.

Like Willied, I'd like a clearer idea of your priorities.

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