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sciguy_0504

The search for a new car...

31 posts in this topic

It's sad to say but I will be parting ways with my xB within the next month or two. My family has decided to do some car rearranging in order to cut down on expenses and stop me from killing my sister. We have been sharing the xB for about the past year but she just started paying her portion last month. She doesn't care for it...allows people to smoke in it, trashes it, etc. I can't stand it. After my dad's Altima lease ends early next month he will get my mom's 4Runner, my sister will get a cheap car (under $3,000) and me and my mom will share a car.

After doing some research this week we narrowed the field down to:

2008 Saturn Vue

Mitsu Outlander

Nissan Murano

Toyota RAV4

Mazda CX-7

Dodge Nitro

Tonight we test drove the first three on the list. The new Vue was first in line and it was very surprising in many different ways. First, it looks much better in person than in pictures...less Korean and more European. The interior was first rate, good design and materials. I found the tan interior with the plood better than the gray interior. We test drove a silver XE V6 AWD model and it was tight. Very solid feeling, quiet. The ride wasn't too hard or soft, steering feel was good, the brake pedal was a little soft. Power was more than adequate and the 6-speed auto was smooth as butter. All was going well...until we priced. It was around $24-25K but the payment for both lease (low $400 for 60 months) and purchase (low $500 for 60 months) bellied the price. I'm guessing because it's a new vehicle with no incentives. For a comparison, our current 60-month 2003 4Runner lease is low $400 a month and that stickered for about $35K. Now, I am not complaining about the overall price of $25K...the car is definitely worth that much money. We just thought the payments were high.

Next up was the Outlander. Again, a surprising vehicle. We test drove a blue base AWD model. It didn't feel as solid on the road as the Vue but the interior was nice, power was adequate, transmission was fine, ride was softer than the Vue but not too soft. The brake pedal was a little soft, steering was fine. It stickered for about $24-25K. They were offering $21K to lease or purchase, though we did not go through the numbers. The price was $2K off of Edmunds' invoice price. Besides the MP3 input jack the Vue had, both the Vue and the Outlander were equipped the same...side airbags, traction control, ABS, etc.

The last car was the Murano. Originally, based on pricing it online, we thought the Murano would be too expensive for us but because it is 4-years old Nissan is running some good incentives. It doesn't hurt that my dad has purchased his past 4 cars from the same Nissan dealer, either. Anyway, the Murano was impressive, too. I always thought of it as being a little cheap inside but I guess Nissan has improved the materials quality since it was introduced. It stickered for $31K and had a little bit more equipment than the Vue and Outlander. The CVT takes some getting used to...very weird but cool at the same time. Handling was good, brake feel was good, there was enough power.

Currently, we are leaning toward the Murano. We can get a good deal and we haven't had any problems with the previous Nissans we've owned. My dad isn't thrilled with Mitsubishi, even though he admitted the Outlander is competitive. I still want to drive the CX-7, though.

Honestly, I was sold on the Vue. The salesman (correctly) said that if we could wait a month or two there may be better financing rates available or maybe a lease special. Unfortunately, waiting is going to be tough. I'm up for it but I don't know if my parents are.

Anywho...that's it so far. Any vehicle suggestions are appreciated. We are looking into a midsize crossover under $30K, mainly under $25K.

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I personally would go for the Vue RL or Nitro...Vue for overall refinement and handsome looks and Nitro for good, muscular looks and functional interior.

CX-7 Sounds like a good choice too. I'd test drive all of them still. I think the Nitro may win points for looks and power (if you get the 4.0L) and functionality, but the interior's design and overall materials is meh. MyGig is sweet though.

Edited by Dodgefan
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I would go for the Vue of CX-7, I think.

What was the financing rate? You may be able to do better than what the dealer is offering from the bank or credit union. A 6% loan on $25000 for 60 months is $440 a month. Were you going to trade in the xB? That would bring the price down somewhat, as well. Even if it is only worth $5k (I have no idea what it is worth), that would bring the payments down to $353/month.

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why not the edge? defintiely cost competitive with the murano.

if you test the outlander, test the endeavor too. they sell for about the same price out the door. just find one with a tan interior. the dark int is dreadful

how bout an outlook xe?

Edited by regfootball
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CX-7 or the Vue

I've heard those new Mitsus have had issues (trans related, i think)

Nitro is junk (sorry Dodgefan)

Rav4 is boring....

And the murano seems a bit pricey to me..(though it is a nice car)...

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VUE, CX-7, or a great deal on an Outlander.

The Murano's CVT is very irritating and you won't get good fuel economy. The novelty of the interior design wears thin quickly, imo.

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xB (ducks and runs) i might try to do that myself today.

another plea....at least PLEASE drive the edge (right satty?)

try a base cx-9, too. just for comparison.

i've got a buddy who racked up his impala, he is looking at a mazda6 today. i am trying to talk him into the cx-7. i want to drive the cx-7 and cx-9 myself.

the murano aesthetic is way tired.

used SRX? certified preowned?

sportcombi?

Edited by regfootball
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the edge is not bad looking for a Ford, but that's not saying much.

I'd go with the Vue or the CX7.

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Edge=better than any 5-passenger SUV/CUV GM offers.

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Edge=better than any 5-passenger SUV/CUV GM offers.

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I don't see what's so great about the Edge. It's good-looking but not jaw-dropping, is heavy for it's size, and the interior leaves a lot to be desired. On top of that, it's thousands more than a comparable model of any of the vehicles sciguy listed other than the Murano (which has much better deals on it than the Edge).

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I do like the Outlander a lot too...it's sharply styled.

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We may trade the xB but it needs some cosmetic fixes (scratch on hood, front bumper has a chunk missing) in order to get the value up. Northstar, I think the financing rate was 7-7.5% on the Vue without checking credit. The salesman said the best rate Saturn had was about 6.5% with perfect credit.

Reg, I wouldn't mind looking at the Edge but my parents worst car ownership experience was with a late-80's Aerostar. My dad has said he'd never buy another Ford. The Lambdas are unfortunately out of our price range and more car than we need.

Today we test drove the CX-7 and Nitro. Like I said before, my favorite before driving any of these cars was the CX-7 but it was a letdown in person, IMO. We test drove a silver Sport AWD model (base) and it felt solid but the ride was a little stiff for me. Handling and acceleration were good but the reviews I've read noted fuel economy was poor, probably because of the supercharged I-4 (think RDX). The interior looks better in pictures, too, and I wasn't too impressed with the materials. The Vue owns the CX7, IMO, though it is smaller.

The Nitro was surprising. It is cheapy inside but seems well put together (even though on our blue tester a piece of cloth by the gas pedal was hanging down). The bright blue color is awesome. Accerlation was good and handling was better than I thought it was going to be. You can tell it's on a truck platform but not bad. Steering feel was horrible...very light and not communicative, as was the brake pedal. Overall, though, I would not have a problem owning the Nitro. We had the same problem as with the Vue...payments were higher than what we were expecting but we didn't haggle, just got a price and left.

Overall, I'd say it's between the Nitro and Murano but I will get my parents to revisit the Vue once we know whether or not we're going to trade the xB. We owe less than $8,000 on the xB and I know it's worth more than that.

Edit: Thanks for your comments and suggestions, too.

Edited by sciguy_0504
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The Edge is overrated IMO.

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The Edge is overrated IMO.

It needs to lose weight, better interior and reduction in price, and please for-the-love-of-god Ford make the MKX different by a wide margin.

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Edge=better than any 5-passenger SUV/CUV GM offers.

yeah. totally. its barely much more $$$$ than a vue XR. the weight is not an issue since the vue is as porky and much smaller to boot so anyone who uses the weight as an issue against the 5 star crash tested edge is being slightly hypocritical. few other vehicles in this class weight much less. the extra weight of the edge contributes to the extremely solid chassis and quiet and solid ride. the edge is still 500 pounds lighter than the lambdas across the board.

i can understand having an issue with an aerostar TWENTYFIVE YEARS AGO but think, this is the same 'my citation sucked', 'my vega sucked', 'my olds diesel blew up' arguments you hear import humpers using over and over again to buy less useful vehicles for more money. it's time to stop using that logic. that's like saying 'my sister stole my candy when we were 6'. my fords, my gm's all have been rock solid and in case you haven't noticed fusion is outranking accord and camry in cr and also my 500 is recommended and so are other fords. the duratec 35 is most proven engine in testing ford has ever built, is used in mazda products from japan and the new 6 speed is shared with GM so you can be confident in that. mazda would not put the motor in its cars if it were junk. the edge is built on a large chassis where the vue is a billeted redo of the theta which may not be able to handle the excess it is carrying. the edge has mazda6 componentry which is proven.

if you dissect the murano and edge pricing, buy or lease, you will find that they are about the same. in this case i give the nod to the ford for various reasons. i do not think i would want to have a 1st gen NISSAN CVT, and the murano interior is tired as is the exterior. i know the murano handles well. the ford has the folding front passenger seat which is awesome for versatitility and i guarantee it will be cheaper to insure. the edge is only expensive for the very very top mostly equipped models. it is overall priced as good or better than most of its competition.

enough sales job. just try one. :) satty and i recommend it. try the taurus x too. i understand if you've got reasons to not you might find it a better drive for the money than some of your other vehicles listed....or maybe not. who knows.

ah, its always fun to see folks have the opportunity to get a vehicle they like that will suit their needs. good luck with the rest of the hunt.

re: the nitro...i drove one, and i was appalled. I know it looks cool but the handling ride and interior were just not great. the seats were terrible. i'm certain you'd find an edge more refined overall even if you liked the way the nitro looked. the new pacifica with the 4.0l 6 speed combo was much better. was your nitro an R/T?

Edited by regfootball
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The Edge is substantially more than the VUE. The VUE XR AWD with all options other than accessories such as a cargo tray is $32735. An Edge with the same options (but not loaded because the Edge has rear DVD that the VUE doesn't) is $36140. That's nearly a $4k difference, and over a 10% price increase.

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The Edge is substantially more than the VUE. The VUE XR AWD with all options other than accessories such as a cargo tray is $32735. An Edge with the same options (but not loaded because the Edge has rear DVD that the VUE doesn't) is $36140. That's nearly a $4k difference, and over a 10% price increase.

you conveniently forget the ford dealer will be knocking at least 3-4 grand off that edge MSRP. most edges on the lot are in the 27-33 range anyways. example. just on the lot, new edge sticker was 26800 dealer had it marked at 22,999.

saturn will not be doing that.

Edited by regfootball
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you conveniently forget the ford dealer will be knocking at least 3-4 grand off that edge MSRP. most edges on the lot are in the 27-33 range anyways. example. just on the lot, new edge sticker was 26800 dealer had it marked at 22,999.

saturn will not be doing that.

Why does the Edge need a $4k price reduction if it is such a great vehicle, then?

I do not think the Edge is too great. As I said before, the interior leaves much to be desired, it's not exactly light, and it's really rather expensive for only having 5 seats. You can get a Lambda for not a whole lot more (comparing MSRP, not a $4k discount).

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priced to move, most GM vehicles have similar discounts.

so again, its the same price as the vue and they weight about the same for having more size etc. in the edge. weight is not an issue since the smaller vue is as porky.

besides, vs. the murano, yeah the murano is lighter but go find user reports, it gets crap mpg despite the light weight. I'll take the crash safety, thanks.

find a lambda on the showroom floor you can buy for 28k. a stripped fwd outlook. that is 5 grand more than the SE edge which is pretty well equipped.

sorry.

at a minimum the edge destroys the equinox. GM has nothing to go against the edge.

the only edge complaint that is legit is interiors but that is the same complain you can level on any GM vehicle produced ever. and even then its not that bad. the plastic spec and center stack could just use an upgrade. the seats are fabulous.

Edited by regfootball
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Equinox Sport? I drove the $h! out of one yesterday and thought it was impressive. It feels much more responsive than the Edge yet it's more livable than the CX-7. Not sure how much it'll cost, but if it's $24K like the RAV4 Sport V-6, it's a good deal. AWD and leather, which were present on the one I tried, might be more, though..

And CX-7s have great lease deals around here... $249/mo, $0 down, 27 mo, 10.5K mi/yr. The basic Sport models have flaws and are cheap-feeling, but for that price, you get unrivaled levels of technology and engineering. It has what I like to call "great backbones" or underpinnings... try to look beyond the cheap interior plastics and black interior.

Edited by empowah
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there won't be a lot of equinox sports out there. the bulk of them will have chinese pushrods. and all of them will be door side elbow knockers from lack of girth and have the ancient theta and power window swtiches on the center console area.

Power window switches were intended by God to be on the doors. To have them anywhere else is insane.

I would not dispute an equinox sport being a good drive, if they drive as advertised. I never found the old vue with honda motor a good drive or good suspension. the front end was too heavy, there was driveline lag, and it didn't feel rock solid. In Sport guise, if it turns out to have good suspension and handling, then you could really pick the sport because its more involved and such.

I think if the equinox sport is priced ok on the actual lot, its a worthwhile option. too bad a gasoline can has more nicely textured plastic than the equinox.

Edited by regfootball
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