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SUV with folding 3rd row that can haul teens, messy dogs,home improvement and landscaping items, and last forever.

The Right Car for Me | TrueDelta

Dawn91

In October a man pulled out in front of me on a red light turning left and totalled my PAID OFF 2007 Suzuki XL7.'07 Suzuki xl7 It only had 93000 miles on it. I bought it new in '07 and wanted to drive it until it had no life left in it. I had just spent $3200.00 in repairs 5 months earlier and completely trusted it as I was the only owner and had taken wonderful care of it.

I could fold down the seats in the back and use it like a pick-up...I could take long trips and haul up to six other passengers. I could let my dirty dogs ride in it and drool....I could go around collecting rocks and driftwood and clean it up to look very nice if I needed to. I had leather seating installed right after I bought it for this purpose...and to avoid paying a crazy fee for a bunch of features I didn't need or want. I wasn't ready to look for a new car.

My husband wants something with all wheel or 4 wheel drive capability, a sun roof/moon roof. He's a big guy so he likes a little room if he will drive it.

I like to buy new...and drive it forever so I know it's history and care.

I'm a bit put off with all the bells and whistles new cars have....but my husband loves them.

Ideas wouldbe appreciated.

~Dawn

Priorities: Materials & workmanship / Interior styling / Depreciation

Need minimum of 7 seats

Will consider new cars only

Maximum price: US $ 45000

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Response from danlisahall

7:48 pm November 19, 2017

Sorry to hear about the loss of your beloved Suzuki, sounds like it fit you like an old shoe.All potential replacements are all pretty well equipped & fancy compared to your 10 year old Suzuki so you may have to grit your teeth for the first few months as you dogs drool!

The good news is that your $45,000 budget gives you lots of options. Also,I think you will be pleased with the wonderful safety features baked into most of the 2018s that were not available regardless of price in 2017.

Your 1st consideration will be do you want a genuine SUV or a Minivan with AWD. There are pros and cons to both.

The Minivan doesn't have the "rugged" appeal but will be more comfortable & functional due to lower ground clearance and softer suspension. Your choices are limited to either a Toyota Sienna of Kia Sedona - both very well rated rigs. The Toyota may have the edge on reliablity but as someone who keeps their car long term, the 10 yr Kia warranty is a plus. Which to go with would be purely a matter of personal preference.

Regarding SUVs, assuming you don't want a bemouth such as a Ford Expedition of Chevy Suburban, there are a lot of choices. Personally, I would choose either the Honda Pilot or Toyota Highlander. Again both are great vehicles. Consumers Reports favors the Toyota for slight better fuel economy (better yet in the hybrid version), and somewhat better reliablitiy. I don't know any Highlander owners but have several friends with recent (2015-16) Pilots who are very happy with their rigs. Noteworthy is that several professional reviews commented that they preferred the 6 spd AT to the 10 spd.
https://www.edmunds.com/honda/pilot/2016/long-term-road-test/wrap-up.html

Happy car hunting. It would be fun and helpful to hear what you get.

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Toyota Sienna
Toyota Highlander
Honda Pilot

Response from NormT

8:00 pm November 19, 2017

The XL7 is an extended Equinox with a 3.6 V6. I had to look it up but the dimensions went from 73 cu ft for the Chevy to 95 cu ft for the XL7.

Your best deal today is similar to what we just replaced our Terrain coming off lease with is a 2017 GMC Acadia Limited. It is the last of the large platform with 116 cu ft and one shared with the Enclave which is also being resdesigned for 2018. The Acadia Limited is a SLT model but is basically a Denali without vented seats, twin shocks, embossed leather seats, and satin exterior accents. My wife liked the HUD which is also on my Envision along with the chiseled exterior design of the GMC. They are about 25% off MSRP in the mid-to-low $30's, we'll under your budget. I joined an Acadia forum on Facebook and there quite a few 3.6l engines around 250,000 miles so they last a long time. We were looking at an Enclave also and could get one of the last ones for 2017 for 33% of MSRP of $52,000 Premium model. We didn't like the interior chrome pieces but it had the best ride quality out of any crossover and so quiet. These prices match the least expensive prices on cars.com.

Traverse for 2018 is also being resigned but are around $44,000 with leather. We could only get 10% off of MSRP and just too new for any good discounts.

The Traverse shares the same platform as the 2017 Acadia Limited and Enclave and was the highest ranked crossover by Consumer Reports.

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GMC Acadia Limited
Chevrolet Traverse
Buick Enclave

Response from danlisahall

12:42 am November 20, 2017

The features and test drive ofGMC Acadia won praise from CR for sure. I was really impresssed until I say the reliablity ratings. Despite Norm's research indicating "quite a few V6s around 250,000" CR rates their reliablity of 1/5. Not sure what the problems are but yikes -- doesn't make me eager to recommend them or put one in my driveway.

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Response from NormT

5:42 am November 20, 2017

Honda/Acura has a well known problem with their9-speed trabsmissions. They have all sorts of problems for most of this deadening with their automatic transmissions so I would make sure you have a warranty that covers it.

http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2017/11/nine-speeds-another-problem-hondas-gear-iest-transmission/#postcomments

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Response from NormT

9:22 am November 20, 2017

danlisahall, GMC played a gotcha on you. The redesign GMC Acadia was in 2016 when it shrunk and just sitting in the back seat was the noisest new vehicle I have ever been in. The 2016/2017 Acadia Limited continued througb 2017 as the old style, large crossover and has received 4 out 5 stars reliability from Consumer Reports for 2016 and averages 23 repairs per 100 on Truedelta, where the 2016 Honda Pilot was worse with rank 3 out of 5 stars for reliability on CR and averaged 33 repairs per 100 on Truedelta.

As I mentioned above the Acadia Limited is basically a Denali minus three features like vented seats and trim pieces.

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Response from LectroFuel

1:04 pm November 20, 2017

Sorry to hear about your accident and am glad you are OK. I would seriously consider a minivan as your next car. It does everything you want your next car to do better than an SUV can. The only downside to the minivan is that it does not go off-road and can only tow 3500 lbs, which is enough for most people. It is really smart to get a car with all the bells and whistles. Active safety features are known to save people's lives. Sorry for the long write-up :).

My wife's 2002 Honda Odyssey hauls our teenagers and all of our stuff when we go on week-long road trips. Minimal problems over 175k miles aside from 2 recalls. Landscaping items should be easy to put in because in a minivan you can take out the 2nd row middle seat if it has one and slide in 18 ft items. I bought a 65" 4k TV from Best Buy yesterday and I don't think I could have slid it into a midsized 3 row SUV with the much higher load floor. It really is amazing how much you can stuff into the back of a minivan. We rented a 2015 Chevy Traverse a few years ago and instantly I knew I should have gone with the minivan. The Traverse would not hold our family of four's luggage and a Costco trip's worth of groceries. We've made the same trip to Maui 5 times, used 2 Grand Caravan minivans, 1 Nissan Quest minivan, 1 Traverse SUV, and 1 Infiniti SUV. Every time, the minivans were superior in hauling cargo and people in comfort while getting better MPG than an SUV. Plus, we don't have to make another trip to Costco with a minivan. Once we took 6 people's luggage and a Costco trip.

So for the recommendations, I suggest a new 2018 Toyota Sienna AWD. They mildly refreshed the Sienna for 2018 with standard active safety features that automatically stops the car when about to get into a collision. Tons of space for your family and stuff and is comfortable. If you decide to not get AWD, the Honda Odyssey is a better minivan overall because it is more modern and comfortable overall. Both are reliable. They are more spacious for your husband and the rest of your family than an SUV. The Sienna has two moonroofs, one for front seats, one for 2nd/3rd rows. The Odyssey has only one normal sunroof for the front.

For SUVs, danlisahall made good suggestions; the Toyota Highlander and Honda Pilot. They are not as practical as a minivan, but are still pretty good. Hondas and Toyotas will have the lowest depreciation of any brand and are the most reliable brands (Toyota more so). The Highlander will give you all the safety features standard. Pilot has a nicer and newer interior overall, but the Highlander's is more practical. The Pilot Touring and Elite trims have a jerky 9 speed transmission that may have problems later on (danlisahall meant to say 9 speed). This may be a deal-breaker.Toyota has a reliable 8 speed. The safety features work better in the Highlander than Pilot. Highlander and Pilot can be had with panoramic sunroofs. Overall, if you have to get an SUV, the Highlander is the best package.

You will not get the same reliability, practicality, feature value, or resale value in the Chevy, GMC, or Buick. GMC and Cadillac are the two least reliable brands on Consumer Reports, both made by GM along with Chevy and Buick, although Buick is mostly reliable. (The Acadia is on the "10 least reliable cars list"). The Acadia Limited is more reliable, but you are getting a car that has a design from 2007; a decade old design and reliability not up to Toyota's standards. It is mainly used for rental car companies now. There is no reason to buy an Acadia Limited when your budget is $45k.

Good luck and I hope you respond with what car you bought!

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Toyota Sienna
Toyota Highlander
Honda Pilot

Response from NormT

3:51 pm November 20, 2017

Highlander Limited/Platinum $39K in 2017 to to $20K for a 2012 under 70,000 miles.

Acadia SLT -2 $32K in 2017 to $21K for a 2012 under 70,000 miles.
The Highlander loses half its value in 5 years and the Acadia loses only 1/3rd. Should I drop down and use a Chevy vs the Toyota? The Acadai has 30 cu ft more cargo area and can tow 5,000 lbs. Twice as many Acadia's at 150,000+ miles than Highlander's.

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Response from LectroFuel

5:59 pm November 20, 2017

Most reliable cars list (Acadia is not on the lists, Highlander is):

https://www.consumerreports.org/car-reliability-owner-satisfaction/10-best-cars-to-get-to-200000-miles-and-beyond/

https://cars.usnews.com/cars-trucks/most-reliable-cars-cars-that-last-forever

Through TrueDelta reliability generation-by-generation:https://www.truedelta.com/GMC-Acadia-vs-Toyota-Highlander-reliability-comparison,731-268

... the Acadia is proven to be significantly more unreliable for every year and generation compared to the Highlander. Consumer Reports will give you the same ratings. There is no reason to give false information.

For year-by-year reliability: https://www.truedelta.com/GMC-Acadia-vs-Toyota-Highlander-repair-frequencies-comparison,731-268

For KBB resale value: Highlander wins by over $4k for 2012 Limiteds vs. SLTs with the same conditions.

https://www.kbb.com/toyota/highlander/2012/limited-sport-utility-4d/?vehicleid=365948&intent=trade-in-sell&mileage=70000&pricetype=trade-in&options=6377921|true&condition=very-good

vs.

https://www.kbb.com/gmc/acadia/2012/slt-sport-utility-4d/?vehicleid=364402&intent=trade-in-sell&mileage=70000&pricetype=trade-in&options=6377500|true&condition=very-good

For cargo space 2018 Highlander is83/42/14 cu. ft. with each row being unfolded. 2017 Acadia is 79/42/13 cu. ft. 2017 Acadia Limited is 116/70/24 cu. ft. Toyota Sienna is 150/87/39 cu. ft. Here's an interesting way to measure cargo space:

https://www.caranddriver.com/reviews/2017-gmc-acadia-in-depth-model-review-2017-gmc-acadia-cargo-space-and-storage-review-car-and-driver-page-7

Dawn91 did not say he or she needed to tow. Pilot AWD is rated to tow 5k lbs. I don't see any reason to get an Acadia Limited over the Highlander except for towing and space. The Highlander does pretty mucheverything else better.

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Response from NormT

6:19 am November 21, 2017

Kevin, GMC played gotcha to you too! I'm talking about the 2016 generation Acadia not least years update. It is less expensive and bigger than the Highlander at 116 cu ft of cargo with swats down that why it 30 cu ft larger.

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Response from NormT

9:24 am November 22, 2017

The Highlander is old and Toyota shouldn't be charging $40's for such dated SUV. Even the reviews have it in last place for the refreshed 2017 model.

2017 Three Row SUV Challenge | MotorWeek

Response from LectroFuel

11:32 am November 22, 2017

The GMC Acadia Limited does not even haveany advanced safety features because it is a car from 2007. The Highlander PCS does work. Look at the government tests and go to the crash prevention section:http://www.iihs.org/iihs/ratings/vehicle/v/toyota/highlander-4-door-suv

It avoided a 12 mph crash and reduced the speed by 24 mph in the 25 mph crash. Why would Toyota put the feature in the car if it doesn't work? There would have been a lawsuit. The 3rd row is pretty small in the Highlander when I sat in it. Then again, the Acadia Limited is still smaller than a Sienna in every measurement.

Comparing the Highlander and Acadia Limited is like comparing apples and oranges. The Acadia Limited only beats the Highlander in towing and space. The GMC looks and feels like a car from 2007.

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Response from Dawn91

9:54 am November 23, 2017

Wow! Thanks so much to you all. I should mention, my husband won't have a minivan.

We are kind of looking at the Traverse and 4Runner (with 3rd row). I do tend to be a little rough on a vehicle...so off road durability is a appreciated.

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Response from LectroFuel

6:10 pm November 23, 2017

The new 2018 Traverse is a competitive SUV. You won't get the same reliability or resale value as the Toyota or Honda, though. The new Traverse is more like an impractical minivan similar to the Highlander and Pilot, but larger and more practical than the 4Runner. The 2018 Traverse is better suited to family-use than the 4Runner and would be the one I would pick between the two. Won't be nearly as durable on the interior or exterior than the 4Runner. Drives better than the 4Runner on pavement.

The 4Runner will last to over 250k miles without a major problem, being possibly the most dependable car on the road. The reliability comes at the cost of ride comfort, noise, and luxury. My wife owned a 1996 4Runner V6 for 4 years and sold it early to get the Odyssey minivan because she realized we could not live with the harsh ride forever with kids (the ride really was that bad). It was a great car otherwise. 4Runner does really well off-roading and is durable. My friend owns a 1999 4Runner he put 275k miles on with minimal problems and a couple weeks ago he bought a 2006 4Runner SR5. He loves how reliable and easy to fix they are. Your husband would probably like the look of the Toyota more because it looks like a body on frame truck compared to the unibody (minivan) platform Traverse. The Traverse will not do well off-road because of the shorter ground clearance and and the fact that it is a unibody platform.

I would still pick the Highlander or Pilot over the Traverse or 4Runner. Good luck and Happy Thanksgiving!

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Response from NormT

8:49 am November 24, 2017

I would avoid the 4runner as the 10-20 year old ones have a higher rate of repair history than the current Traverse. Even the 2018 4runner is a not a recommended buy by Consumer Reports.

The 2016 Traverse, Acadia, and Enclave built on the Lambda platform are the best selling, largest crossovers you can buy. 2017 the Acadia downsized and shares it platform and engine with Cadillac XT5. In 2018 are newly resdesigned Traverse and Enclave and on the lots now. I liked the Traverse as it had the most space and a quieter ride than just about all crossovers while sitting in the rear seats. I like the tidy Chevy Suburban look that doesn't quite stand out like that beast. But there was only about 10% off MSRP where the older style 2017 GMC Acadia Limited (basically a Denali minus 3 features ) was 25%. We could have gotten 33% off on an Enclave Premium and that thing rode like a dream! But my wife liked the HUD in the Acadia better along color combo as there are not many reamining.

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Response from LectroFuel

2:20 pm November 24, 2017

Yes, a 10-20 year old car will have more problems than a new car. I don't know where you got that, but Consumer Reports rates the 4Runner 5 out of 5 for every year from 2000-2018 except the 2005, which got a 4 out of 5. Owner satisfaction is also 4/5 or higher for every year. The reason they don't recommend it is because of the reason we sold ours: it's uncomfortable to drive. This makes durability, off-road capability, and reliability the main selling points.

From 2009 to 2012, the Traverse had "poor" 1 out of 5 reliability. From 2013 to 2017, the reliability went to average. The 2018 is a 2/5 reliability. If you click on this link, you'll find that the 2013-2017 Traverses have more repair trips than the 2003-2009 4Runner. The 4-year-old Traverses have a higher repair frequency than the 14-year-old 4Runner, even though the 4Runner is 10 years newer. The 2003 4Runner had 33 repair trips per 100 cars and the 2009 Traverse had 101 repair trips per 100 cars. Consumer Reports' overall score for the 2018 dropped from 95 to 67 just because the reliablility is below average.

But if your budget is $45k, you'd look at new cars. I forgot to mention that the 3rd row in the 4Runner is pretty close to being unusably small.

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Response from Dawn91

4:17 pm November 24, 2017

Thanks everyone! This is all great to know and consider! Happy Thanksgiving!

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Response from NormT

8:58 am November 27, 2017

The Highlander is old and outdated by today's 3-row crossover standards. The Pilot in Tour in and Elite trims should be avoided because of their poor 9-speed transmission.

Both finished bottom of the barrel in a comparison a couple of weeks ago.

http://www.motorweek.org/reviews/comparison_tests/2017-three-row-suv-challenge

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