What to buy? SUV/Crossover suggestions, please.

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Re: What to buy? SUV/Crossover suggestions, please.

Postby scomac » 23 Jan 2011 14:15

Yukon Maiden wrote:Hearing that Mazda is involved is encouraging. Any other Ford models they have JV on?


Yes, several: Ford Ranger/Mazda B series, Ford Edge/Mazda CX-7/CX-9; as well as some commonality between Ford Fusion/Mazda 6, although not the exact same platform as compared to the other models cited.
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Re: What to buy? SUV/Crossover suggestions, please.

Postby Yukon Maiden » 23 Jan 2011 15:39

Ford is closed today. I will have to check them out tomorrow.
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Re: What to buy? SUV/Crossover suggestions, please.

Postby Springbok » 23 Jan 2011 17:11

Yukon Maiden wrote:Yesterday I was at Toyota, today I will check out Ford if they are open. Not sure about quality and reliablity with the Fords, though.


A friend leased a Ford Edge but was not really happy with it. Several maintenance problems, cheap tires installed as standard. He turned it in and now is leasing a Toyota Venza. But with Toyota's problems, and your only alternatives being the Big Three, I would go have a look at the Equinox. But If you want to go head to head with teh 1ton trucks, get a Suburban or Tahoe! I had a '95 Tahoe and probably still would if it hadn't got written off in a accident with a drunk driver (not me!). They have a "Green" version that sucks a little less gas. But they cost a lot more that $40k.
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Re: What to buy? SUV/Crossover suggestions, please.

Postby FinEcon » 24 Jan 2011 14:41

Most of the opinions posted so far seeem to indicate, to me at least, choices which are much better suited to a city slicker soccer mom wanting some AWD-ability for winter. If you're in the far north (that's anything north of Grande Prarie) you want much more than an Escape, RAV or any other car based SUV. In your shoes, I would go with a true SUV not a car masquerading as a 4x4. You're obviously a Toyota fan, so you're in luck, just so happens Toytota makes the two best production 4x4's ever made: the 4runner and the land cruiser. Here's the bad news, both of those models hold their value like nothing else, i.e you won't find them used on the cheap. There's a slew of very godd reasons for that and nobody ever regretted buying quality. If I were willing to spend big money on a vehicle, without question I would pick up a 4runner or land cruiser. Other bad news, the land cruier was discontinued for sale in Canada back in 96 so you get them from the USA, which is no biggie if you're in Whitehorse but from you are currently located, it's 4runner.
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Re: What to buy? SUV/Crossover suggestions, please.

Postby Yukon Maiden » 24 Jan 2011 14:49

I did notice that there were several used Rav4's on the Toyota lot, but zero 4runners or Highlanders.
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Re: What to buy? SUV/Crossover suggestions, please.

Postby FinEcon » 24 Jan 2011 18:30

Yukon Maiden wrote:I did notice that there were several used Rav4's on the Toyota lot, but zero 4runners or Highlanders.


Dunno how Highlanders hold up to sub-artic use over a full lifecycle. IMO, they are too new to gamble on. The 4runner is the tried and true stalwart. They've been making the 4runner for 27 years and you still see lots of 1st generation models on the road in BC. Post 2008, RAV's were assembled in North America so be sure to look for ones from the made in Japan days. Just check the vin# and make sure it starts with a 'J', not a 1 or 2. Also, IIRC Toyota Venza's are made in Kentucky so I wouldn't buy one on principle much like I wouldn't buy a Benz made in Alabama or a Nissan amde in Tennessee.
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Re: What to buy? SUV/Crossover suggestions, please.

Postby Yukon Maiden » 24 Jan 2011 19:01

That j is good to know to watch for. I remember being disappointed when I found out my new Camry was not built in Japan, but USA. I had a look at Fords today. The Escape was a good price point, but looked cheap. I think I could live with an Edge, but then the price was getting up with the Toyotas. I didn't test drive them, just took the info home to read over. No used Edges on the lot. My hunt continues. I think if I were to buy a 4 Runner, it would have to be a used one to stay affordable enough. None here at this time.
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Re: What to buy? SUV/Crossover suggestions, please.

Postby biker » 24 Jan 2011 23:56

[quote="FinEcon Also, IIRC Toyota Venza's are made in Kentucky so I wouldn't buy one on principle much like I wouldn't buy a Benz made in Alabama or a Nissan amde in Tennessee.[/quote]

What principle is that pray tell??
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Re: What to buy? SUV/Crossover suggestions, please.

Postby AltaRed » 25 Jan 2011 00:07

The principle that Americans do not build vehicles as good as offshore assembly lines.

Anecdote: An Infiniti manager in Calgary told me last week they were finally able to get their lame duck Q56 SUV that was built in USA out of production, re-design it and now manufacture it in Japan. They could not wait to cease production in USA. They now have great hopes for what was the black eye in their lineup and cannot keep up with orders.
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Re: What to buy? SUV/Crossover suggestions, please.

Postby Yukon Maiden » 25 Jan 2011 00:19

I am starting to think I am going to have to travel "outside" to find a realistic priced vehicle. I see on the Internet much better prices down south. I would have to concider travel costs and hotel, though. It would be a three day trip at least if I go to Edmonton. But it is fun to go to a big city, too.
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Re: What to buy? SUV/Crossover suggestions, please.

Postby bindexit » 25 Jan 2011 01:40

I'm not sure how it handles off road but in chilly Ottawa today (-32C), my V6 Rav4 (2007 with a J VIN) started with no problems. I do mostly highway and am very happy with this used car purchase last year. It is roomy (for me) and has been reliable. The only knock is that gas consumption is much higher than advertised. I guess that is to be expected for a 'city" SUV. Our in-laws bought a used 2007 4-Runner are also very pleased with it. Chalk me up as another who uses Consumer Reports "religiously".

Your criteria seems to exclude small economy cars due to the road conditions you describe but if you want an economy car suggestion...a used Pontiac Vibe. Essentially a Toyota Matrix that is roomy, economical, and you get great used prices for this small crossover compact. Last year, we got a used 2007 for only $10K and runs like a charm....so far. The model is discontinued but you may find great prices in the city.
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Re: What to buy? SUV/Crossover suggestions, please.

Postby AltaRed » 25 Jan 2011 11:19

bindexit wrote:Your criteria seems to exclude small economy cars due to the road conditions you describe

In the far desolate north, you want a truck or something close to a truck. Something with some clearance and that you can winch if you have to. Few unibodies will do the trick although a RAV4, Equinox or similar might suffice.
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Re: What to buy? SUV/Crossover suggestions, please.

Postby Yukon Maiden » 25 Jan 2011 12:41

When these dealers are talking about car based platforms, do they mean unibody? Then they are talking about truck based platforms. Is there more to it then wider and higher?
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Re: What to buy? SUV/Crossover suggestions, please.

Postby Springbok » 25 Jan 2011 13:10

FinEcon wrote: Also, IIRC Toyota Venza's are made in Kentucky so I wouldn't buy one on principle much like I wouldn't buy a Benz made in Alabama or a Nissan amde in Tennessee.


Do you know where other models of these manufacturers are made? Many Japanese cars are made in Canada or USA. Some Benzes are made in USA but what about the others? How many would realise that the MB C-Class is made in South Africa? As are many BMWs that SA exports around the world. VWs made in Germany? Need to check that - maybe Mexico or Brazil for some?

I really don't think it makes much difference where a car is built - If MB make sure the South African or USA plant is up to their own standards (I believe they are), then I would have no problem with that.

But for those with concerns, is there a site somewhere that clearly states where each model we can buy in Canada is actually built?
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Re: What to buy? SUV/Crossover suggestions, please.

Postby AltaRed » 25 Jan 2011 13:32

Yukon Maiden wrote:When these dealers are talking about car based platforms, do they mean unibody? Then they are talking about truck based platforms. Is there more to it then wider and higher?

Yes and yes. Car based platforms are mostly, if not all, unibodies now. Truck based platforms are frame based, usually 2 longitudinal box frame members with cross-members to add strength and stiffness for heavier payloads and more rugged use. Unibodies are lighter in weight and thus generally better in gas mileage. The RAV4 and Highlander are unibodies while the 4runner is truck frame based.

If you are doing mostly 'road' driving, not going off-road a lot such as logging roads and seismic lines, then unibodies are just fine.
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Re: What to buy? SUV/Crossover suggestions, please.

Postby FinEcon » 25 Jan 2011 13:58

Springbok wrote:
FinEcon wrote: Also, IIRC Toyota Venza's are made in Kentucky so I wouldn't buy one on principle much like I wouldn't buy a Benz made in Alabama or a Nissan amde in Tennessee.


Do you know where other models of these manufacturers are made? Many Japanese cars are made in Canada or USA. Some Benzes are made in USA but what about the others? How many would realise that the MB C-Class is made in South Africa? As are many BMWs that SA exports around the world. VWs made in Germany? Need to check that - maybe Mexico or Brazil for some?

I really don't think it makes much difference where a car is built - If MB make sure the South African or USA plant is up to their own standards (I believe they are), then I would have no problem with that.

But for those with concerns, is there a site somewhere that clearly states where each model we can buy in Canada is actually built?


The VIN number tells you everything. If you're in the research phase, wikipedia entries for most models list all the locations that model is assembled. There is often substantial variance in defect rates between various locales of assembly plants (see AltaRed's Nissan/Infiniti post above for a good recent example on a high end model). The reason for 'local' assembly is almost always 100% political, you think Toyota wants to assemble a single vehicle outside of Japan? They don't. Nor does Audi wish to assemble any outside of Germany. They are all forced to, so they manufacture their flagship models 'at home' and spread the rest of the manufacturing around.

If it doesn't matter to you that's ok, but it does matter to me. If I'm paying a price premium for Japanese quality, I want the thing engineered and assembled there, not in Cambridge, Ontario or whatever.
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Re: What to buy? SUV/Crossover suggestions, please.

Postby HardWorker » 25 Jan 2011 14:08

FinEcon wrote:Most of the opinions posted so far seeem to indicate, to me at least, choices which are much better suited to a city slicker soccer mom wanting some AWD-ability for winter. If you're in the far north (that's anything north of Grande Prarie) you want much more than an Escape, RAV or any other car based SUV. In your shoes, I would go with a true SUV not a car masquerading as a 4x4.


Why this? What makes a truck better in cold weathers?
Seeing what YM wanted in a vehicle, a car based SUV or crossover is plenty. It doesn't sound like she tows anything or drive really rough offroad, so why spend the extra money upfront on the purchase, on maintenance, and fuel consumption? For cold weathers I can tell you a bigger engine takes more power to start, so batteries don't last as long, and they take longer to warm up. From what I've seen, many unibodies are much better sealed against the elements, so they resist rust better. Some models also have higher safety ratings. If she was content with the Camry, and sounds happy with something a little bigger, higher off the ground and bigger tires, then I don't see the use for a truck at all.


Springbok wrote:
Do you know where other models of these manufacturers are made? Many Japanese cars are made in Canada or USA. Some Benzes are made in USA but what about the others? How many would realise that the MB C-Class is made in South Africa? As are many BMWs that SA exports around the world. VWs made in Germany? Need to check that - maybe Mexico or Brazil for some?

I really don't think it makes much difference where a car is built - If MB make sure the South African or USA plant is up to their own standards (I believe they are), then I would have no problem with that.

But for those with concerns, is there a site somewhere that clearly states where each model we can buy in Canada is actually built?


I don't know of a site that lists where every single model is made, and to complicate things a bit further, certain models are made in multiple location. For example, the GMC Yukon (Chevy Suburban and the like), are made in either Wisconsin, Texas, or Mexico, and you can only know for sure by checking the VIN.

I agree with you that the country of origin isn't the final determining factor for quality, but its rather the manufacturers demands and quality controls. I have a couple of "Made in China" tools that have held up very well, but its a brand name product.
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Re: What to buy? SUV/Crossover suggestions, please.

Postby FinEcon » 25 Jan 2011 14:37

HardWorker wrote:Why this? What makes a truck better in cold weathers?
Seeing what YM wanted in a vehicle, a car based SUV or crossover is plenty. It doesn't sound like she tows anything or drive really rough offroad, so why spend the extra money upfront on the purchase, on maintenance, and fuel consumption? For cold weathers I can tell you a bigger engine takes more power to start, so batteries don't last as long, and they take longer to warm up. From what I've seen, many unibodies are much better sealed against the elements, so they resist rust better. Some models also have higher safety ratings. If she was content with the Camry, and sounds happy with something a little bigger, higher off the ground and bigger tires, then I don't see the use for a truck at all.


It's not so much the cold but the long run effects of using the vehicle on very poor/rough roads. We're talking about primary use in the far north. The extra outlay is for a tougher, more tried and true model which, on average, will last far longer. Rust is not so much of an issue where snow is done by plow and sand and the weather is very cold and very dry for much of the year. I think of the 4runner, not only as an off road superstar but as a family vehicle which will, in harsh conditions, outlast pretty much anything on the market. It depends how long you want to keep it. Just my opinon, no more, no less.
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Re: What to buy? SUV/Crossover suggestions, please.

Postby Bylo Selhi » 25 Jan 2011 14:42

FinEcon wrote:If it doesn't matter to you that's ok, but it does matter to me. If I'm paying a price premium for Japanese quality, I want the thing engineered and assembled there, not in Cambridge, Ontario or whatever.

Maybe it shouldn't matter to you too ;)

Toyota’s Cambridge Lexus plant tops quality ranking
Toyota’s Cambridge, Ont. plant has scored a gold in the 2010 J.D. Power automotive quality awards, and three Canadian-made vehicles made into the top three of their segments.

Toyota Motor Manufacturing Canada Inc.’s (TMMC’s) Cambridge South plant, the only Toyota plant outside of Japan making the Lexus RX, won the North/South America region award for averaging just 30 problems per 100 vehicles, according to the annual Initial Quality Study by J.D. Power and Associates, a global marketing information company...

In the Asia Pacific region, Toyota Motor Corp.’s Kyushu 2 plant in Japan, which produces the Lexus ES, IS and RX, received the Gold Plant Quality Award.


The article goes on to say:
Overall, this year’s industry average for initial quality is 109 problems per 100 vehicles (PP100)...

Porsche topped the rankings with 83 PP100...

Toyota’s problem count increased by 16 PP100, moving it from sixth rank position in 2009 to 21st in 2010.
IOW Toyota's IQS is slipping, but apparently not in Cambridge.

(Granted this is just for initial quality. It only indirectly reflects on quality and reliability over the useful life of the product.)
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Re: What to buy? SUV/Crossover suggestions, please.

Postby Yukon Maiden » 25 Jan 2011 15:09

If I go offroading, it wouldn't be on purpose. That said, the roads tend to be crappy and falling apart in the summer, and too deep in snow in the winter for a car. Most of my driving is around town, but when I travel outside of town there are some very long stretches without any kind of services or settlements. Thus, I need reliability.

1. AWD or 4WD with ground clearance so I can make it down the street in winter.
2. Bigger then my Camry, so not to be a bug in someone's grill.
3. Reliable, so not to be stranded 200 km from help.
4. Not so big that I am uncomfortable driving it, or need whole parking lot to turn in.
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Re: What to buy? SUV/Crossover suggestions, please.

Postby HardWorker » 25 Jan 2011 16:07

Well if the roads are rougher than the typical gravel roads in Northern Ontario, then I second FinEcon's suggestion on a heavier duty vehicle. The Toyota 4Runner is very well proven, and I have friends who offroad them in some rough spots, and the hold up well. Right after that I'd say the Chevy Tahoe, its been around for ages, well built, and cheaper to own, but the fuel mileage is a sour spot. The Ford Explorer is car based now, and as I said earlier, stay away from Jeep because of reliability issues.
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Re: What to buy? SUV/Crossover suggestions, please.

Postby biker » 25 Jan 2011 17:29

I agree that a Toyota 4Runner might fit your needs. Also you may want to consider this Toyota for your driving conditions.

Click on Toyota for a look at this car in Edmonton.

saw this ad on http://autotrader.ca and thought you might be interested in checking it out..





Make/ModelPriceYearKm

TOYOTA FJ Cruiser$27,995.00200843,589 kms
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Re: What to buy? SUV/Crossover suggestions, please.

Postby biker » 25 Jan 2011 17:29

I agree that a Toyota 4Runner might fit your needs. Also you may want to consider this Toyota for your driving conditions.


Make/ModelPriceYearKm

TOYOTA FJ Cruiser$27,995.00200843,589 kms


for a look at this car in Edmonton.look it up on Autotrader
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Re: What to buy? SUV/Crossover suggestions, please.

Postby Yukon Maiden » 25 Jan 2011 18:26

I could live with something used that has less then 50,000 kms on it. I worry a bit buying from a private party. I remember seeing a new FJ at Toyota. I am going to go back to Toyota today at see how big the 4runner feels. I will look at the FJ too.
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Re: What to buy? SUV/Crossover suggestions, please.

Postby scomac » 25 Jan 2011 18:44

HardWorker wrote:Right after that I'd say the Chevy Tahoe, its been around for ages, well built, and cheaper to own, but the fuel mileage is a sour spot.


Don't! The fuel consumption is pretty darned good for a V8, at least the Tahoe I had would easily averaging over 20 mpg. The problem that I had was repair costs were atrocious, most of which revolved around the electrical system. I take our vehicles to an independent garage owner and he had 5 customers get rid of their Tahoes over the course of a year or two (ours included) due to maintenance costs. Once you start repairing the same system over again, it's time to move on. I swear there were ghosts in those machines. :evil:
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