BCAInfoSys
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SUV Recommendations: Chevy Equinox?

Wed Aug 01, 2007 11:39 pm

Note: I'm trying to do some car buying research, I don't want your opinions about SUV's in general or if you think I'm irresponsible or hurting the planet. Please keep those thoughts to yourself. Thank you.


My Corolla has served me well for a couple of years, but lately I've been wanting to get into something bigger. The primary reason is the legroom (I'm 6'4" and my little Corolla can be a tight fit.) Secondly, I need something with a little bit of cargo capacity for things around the house. There is no way I'd be able to fit a lawnmower, ladder or anything like that in my 'Rolla.

So the first vehicle I'm going to look at is the Chevy Equinox. Based on the superficial research I've done so far, it looks to be a decent buy. Most places are giving it a 4 out of 5 and are generally pretty positive. Have you heard anything about the car and/or it's reliability? It's a good looking ride and it's fairly reasonably priced, starting in the low-$20k range, a lot cheaper then the Toyota Highlander or something along those lines.



What other alternatives would you recommend looking into for a small to mid-size SUV that's fairly reasonably priced?

Thanks for your help.

[Edited 2007-08-01 16:40:41]
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WildcatYXU
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RE: SUV Recommendations: Chevy Equinox?

Wed Aug 01, 2007 11:51 pm

Well, I have two small points against it:
1. The cheaper versions are only FWD
2. There is not enough space inside, especially at the back seats
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rlwynn
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RE: SUV Recommendations: Chevy Equinox?

Thu Aug 02, 2007 12:00 am

No Way. Just because of the engine. It has a Chinese built pushrod V-6. To me such an outdated motor is just not in the equation in 2007.

The best Theta platform product is the Suzuki XL-7. It is built on the same assembly line as the Equinox but the big difference is the motor. It has the GM world engine "Premium DOHC V-6" This engine is in cars ranging from. Caddy SRX and CTS, Various Alfa Romeos, Opel Vectra and Signum.And I am sure many GM products in America.

The Pontiac Torrent does not have this engine and the Theta Saturn product had a Honda V-6 in the past but do not know about now.


And for sure there are always good sales at Suzuki.
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mt99
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RE: SUV Recommendations: Chevy Equinox?

Thu Aug 02, 2007 12:14 am

Quoting Rlwynn (Reply 2):
Suzuki XL-7. It is built on the same assembly line as the Equinox but the big difference is the motor. It has the GM world engine "Premium DOHC V-6" T

I believe that the Suzuki uses a the GM engine design but the engine itself is built by Suzuki itself in Japan and it is tuned a bit differently giving it a bit more punch. Or so i have read  Smile
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desertjets
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RE: SUV Recommendations: Chevy Equinox?

Thu Aug 02, 2007 12:17 am

Quoting WildcatYXU (Reply 1):
2. There is not enough space inside, especially at the back seats

Have you been in one??? B/c the backseat is huge. As for the AWD thing, in most of the cute utes it is still mostly a FWD affair most of the time. Unless you live up a steep hill in a place that gets a ton of snow and ice, save the money and get a front driver.... and if snow is a concern pony up for winter tires.


The Equinox/Torrent is a decent choice. It is comparable in price to most other compact/midsize CUVs out there. It is fairly roomy inside, but there have been complaints that even though it has more interior space than most of its competitors some of the space is poorly utilized. My biggest complaint is that the seats suck, no lateral support.

Quoting Rlwynn (Reply 2):
The Pontiac Torrent does not have this engine and the Theta Saturn product had a Honda V-6 in the past but do not know about now.

Incorrect, the Torrent has the same 3400 V6 as the Equinox. and frankly it is its biggest downside. It is an older engine, and while fine on power is lacks refinement. Though TBH the 2.7L V6 in the Hyundai/Kia cute utes is just as unrefined. why GM has not put the LZ4 3500 V6 in it is beyond me.



Overall the Equinox/torrent are good choices. I would also check out the new Saturn Vue, based on a new global GM platform that will be sold in various forms throughout the world. And look at the usual choices out there like the CRV, RAV-4, Tucson/Sportage, Santa Fe, Escape/Mariner/Tribute, and don't overlook the new Mitsubishi Outlander.

This segment is pretty good right now with lots of newer product... only place I would not look is at a Chrysler/Jeep/Dodge dealership. Frankly they don't have anything in this segment worth looking at. and what they have is disappointing.
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Superfly
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RE: SUV Recommendations: Chevy Equinox?

Thu Aug 02, 2007 12:24 am

BCAInfoSys:
You're hurting the planet you irresponsible pig!  hissyfit 

Just kidding! Big grin

Have you considered the Chrysler Pacifica?

All the seats can be folded down and make a flat plane inside. I think this is adecent buy with 6 trip levels availible.



The Mercury Mariner is also a good buy.
Comes loaded with plenty of standard features.


Mercury Mountianeer
Has availible V8 and loaded with plenty standard features. You can pick one of these up at a decent price, including some used models.
http://www.2fastlane.com/wallpapers/mercury/Mountaineer_2005_1.jpg
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rlwynn
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RE: SUV Recommendations: Chevy Equinox?

Thu Aug 02, 2007 12:25 am

Quoting DesertJets (Reply 4):
Incorrect, the Torrent has the same 3400 V6 as the Equinox.

No,I was talking about the torrent being available with the premium V-6. I know that the Torrent comes with the pushrod motor.

And the Vue is the Saturn I was referring to.

And all these GM car/trucks are the Global platform you were taking about. The Theta platform.
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desertjets
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RE: SUV Recommendations: Chevy Equinox?

Thu Aug 02, 2007 12:30 am

Quoting Rlwynn (Reply 6):
No,I was talking about the torrent being available with the premium V-6. I know that the Torrent comes with the pushrod motor.

And the Vue is the Saturn I was referring to.

Both the Equinox and torrent get the 3.6L V6 in SS and GXP trims for 2008. however the new Vue no longer has the Honda V6. IIRC it gets the 3500 and the 3.6L V6, depending on trim level.

Quoting Rlwynn (Reply 6):
And all these GM car/trucks are the Global platform you were taking about. The Theta platform.

I try and keep abreast of what is going on in the automotive world, but all these new GM platforms coming it all looks like Greek to me....  Smile
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WildcatYXU
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RE: SUV Recommendations: Chevy Equinox?

Thu Aug 02, 2007 12:38 am

Quoting DesertJets (Reply 4):
Have you been in one??? B/c the backseat is huge.

As a matter of fact, it was the Torrent (same car, different badge). Less space than in my midsize.
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BCAInfoSys
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RE: SUV Recommendations: Chevy Equinox?

Thu Aug 02, 2007 12:38 am

Both the Chrysler Pacifica and Subaru Tribeca were options that I considered, but they are substantially more expensive and a little bigger. The Equinox seems to fit that niche for me that is perfect, between compact and mid-sized SUV's (larger then a RAV4, but smaller then a Trailblazer).

How do the Suzuki Grand Vitara and Mitsubishi Outlander compare on reliability?

What about the Nissan or Mazda offerings?
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asuflyer05
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RE: SUV Recommendations: Chevy Equinox?

Thu Aug 02, 2007 12:44 am

When I worked at Honda I had a customer who purchased two of them, one for her and one for her husband. They had some reliability issues, one was deemed a lemon and purchased by the manufacturer. The other vehicle had some reliability issues that led them to want to trade it in. Due to the resale value on the Equinox we couldn't trade them out of it.

Other than that, I haven't heard any compaints or compliments. It was rare to have someone crosshop the Equinox to the CR-V since the CR-V is a bit smaller.
 
desertjets
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RE: SUV Recommendations: Chevy Equinox?

Thu Aug 02, 2007 12:50 am

Quoting BCAInfoSys (Reply 9):
How do the Suzuki Grand Vitara and Mitsubishi Outlander compare on reliability?

What about the Nissan or Mazda offerings?

The Vitara is a still body on frame and the most truckish of the compact SUVs, I believe it has a low range transfer case. Its a decent enough vehicle, though not something I would look at in this segment. The Outlander looks nice and has a good warranty to back it up. The new Mitsubishi product is fairly good and the platform is also shared with some of the new Chrysler products. I'd say go out and test drive em.

As for Mazda, the Tribute is an Escape clone, which was heavy refreshed for 2008. IIRC the Mazda has a better warranty and is more or less the same. But it is an older design overall, and it is on the smallish size. The CX-7 is on the higher end of your price range and isn't the best on gas, even for an SUV. From what I have read the turbocharged 2.3L 4 cylinder may not be the best choice for that vehicle. But it is certainly one of the most sporty in that segment.

Nissan doesn't have anything YET. The Murano is out of your price range, and the XTerra is a pure truck (though a pretty good one at that). Its fuel economy with the V6 is pretty bad as well. HOWEVER Nissan has the Rouge coming out in the fall. Looks ok, but a lot of Nissan's recent product (save the new Altima) have underwhelmed me.
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AC773
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RE: SUV Recommendations: Chevy Equinox?

Thu Aug 02, 2007 12:54 am

Quoting BCAInfoSys (Thread starter):
My Corolla has served me well for a couple of years, but lately I've been wanting to get into something bigger.

Since your only reasons for getting an SUV are legroom and cargo capacity, how about a "soft-roader"? It wouldn't hurt to use a little less gas:



Ford Escape hybrid or (basically the same car) Mercury Mariner hybrid

If you want some of that Toyota reliability that you've no doubt grown to like, you might try the Highlander. It comes in hybrid form as well, but at 30k it's a few grand more pricey that the Ford models.

And finally, have you thought about a station wagon?  mischievous 
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AsstChiefMark
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RE: SUV Recommendations: Chevy Equinox?

Thu Aug 02, 2007 12:55 am

Quoting Superfly (Reply 5):
Have you considered the Chrysler Pacifica?

My neighboe across the street has one. I'm not usually impressed by Dodges, but I was impressed.

Quoting Superfly (Reply 5):
Mercury Mountianeer

Ford Explorer is the same truck and it's cheaper.
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BCAInfoSys
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RE: SUV Recommendations: Chevy Equinox?

Thu Aug 02, 2007 12:57 am

Quoting AC773 (Reply 12):
And finally, have you thought about a station wagon? mischievous

Never...in...my...lifetime.  laughing 

As far as the Hybrids go, I'm just not sold on the benefits for the cost.

The Highlander is a good practical choice, I just don't like the body lines/look of it. It just screams "middle-aged suburbia", not to mention the fact that it's a lot more expensive.
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WildcatYXU
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RE: SUV Recommendations: Chevy Equinox?

Thu Aug 02, 2007 12:58 am

Quoting AC773 (Reply 12):
And finally, have you thought about a station wagon?

Made by who, if I may ask?
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LON-CHI
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RE: SUV Recommendations: Chevy Equinox?

Thu Aug 02, 2007 1:10 am

The Suzuki Grand Vitara and Mitsubishi Outlander are no bigger than the RAV4. The second row seats in the RAV4 move fore & aft several inches allowing you to trade cargo space for leg room & vice versa. With the second row all the way back, there is a ton leg room.

I was recently in the market for a compact or mid-size SUV/crossover and my top 2 were the RAV4 and the Hyundai Santa Fe. We eventually went with the larger Santa Fe since it fit our needs better, but it was hard giving up the RAV4 and the huge (yet relatively efficient) optional V6 is has.
 
rlwynn
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RE: SUV Recommendations: Chevy Equinox?

Thu Aug 02, 2007 1:11 am

Quoting DesertJets (Reply 11):
The Vitara is a still body on frame and the most truckish of the compact SUVs,

The Grand Vitara new. unibody now. Just a bit smaller than the Theta platform. And the team that designed the new Grand Vitara is also behind the Theta platform. The Vitara was built in Canada but that line has changed to the Equinox and XL-7. The Grand Vitara is now built in Japan.
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CV990A
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RE: SUV Recommendations: Chevy Equinox?

Thu Aug 02, 2007 1:15 am

My wife leased a '05 model, and just turned it in for a new '07 Equinox LT. She loves it, I'm not so sold. From the driver's perspective, I find the seat is difficult to get into a position I find comfortable, and the gas pedal is akwardly located- I can only drive it for 2 hours or so before I start to fatigue. Also, the A pillar is HUGE and creates a nasty blind spot in turns. Gas mileage is also an issue- yes, it takes 87 octane gas, but with similar driving habits, I get an extra 100-150 miles on a 2 gallon smaller tank in my Volvo S60- she has to fill up every week, while I typically refill twice a month. Getting nitpicky, the Vent Trim is crap- she's had the car less than a month, and it is already coming off- something she had an issue with in the old car as well.

On the plus side, it is very roomy, and we have been able to cram lots of stuff in the car.

Quoting WildcatYXU (Reply 1):
There is not enough space inside, especially at the back seats

Not at all- I am 6'5" and drove from Connecticut to Virginia in the backseat once, without a problem. We are able to regularly take 5 adults on trips in the car without issue. Also, the car does handle fairly well, and has surprisingly good acceleration.

Oh, and don't get the dark grey paint- it's the color my wife got on her new one, and depending on the light, it either looks dark grey, brown, or purple. She got pissed when my dad joked she should put some UPS stickers on the car, because it does look like a UPS truck sometimes.
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Superfly
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RE: SUV Recommendations: Chevy Equinox?

Thu Aug 02, 2007 1:15 am

Quoting WildcatYXU (Reply 15):
Quoting AC773 (Reply 12):
And finally, have you thought about a station wagon?

Made by who, if I may ask?

Dodge Magnum comes with availible AWD.

Quoting AsstChiefMark (Reply 13):
My neighboe across the street has one. I'm not usually impressed by Dodges, but I was impressed.

Same here. My sister had rented one after I told her to rent a Grand Marquis but she never listens to me.  mad 
Anyhow, I was impressed with the Chrysler Pacifica and I'd consider one if I had a family and needed an AWD vehicle.

Quoting BCAInfoSys (Reply 14):
As far as the Hybrids go, I'm just not sold on the benefits for the cost.

The hybrids are just a bunch of hype and is a fad.

Quoting BCAInfoSys (Reply 9):
Both the Chrysler Pacifica and Subaru Tribeca were options that I considered, but they are substantially more expensive and a little bigger.



Quoting AsstChiefMark (Reply 13):
Ford Explorer is the same truck and it's cheaper.

If you get a 2006 or 2005 model with low miles, they are considerably less and the Mercury would sale for the same as the Ford.

The Equinox isn't a bad choice by the way.
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KaiGywer
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RE: SUV Recommendations: Chevy Equinox?

Thu Aug 02, 2007 1:21 am

Quoting WildcatYXU (Reply 15):
Made by who, if I may ask?

Dodge Magnum. That's a damn hot wagon Big grin

Then of course the Volvo V-series.
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LON-CHI
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RE: SUV Recommendations: Chevy Equinox?

Thu Aug 02, 2007 1:21 am

Edmunds.com and the message boards at Carspace.com are two great places to research a new or used car purchase.

[Edited 2007-08-01 18:24:31]
 
Mir
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RE: SUV Recommendations: Chevy Equinox?

Thu Aug 02, 2007 1:35 am

Quoting WildcatYXU (Reply 15):
Quoting AC773 (Reply 12):
And finally, have you thought about a station wagon?

Made by who, if I may ask?

Subaru. The Outback is a damn good car, and I would definitely take a look at one.



Also the CR-V.



-Mir
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BCAInfoSys
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RE: SUV Recommendations: Chevy Equinox?

Thu Aug 02, 2007 1:44 am

Quoting Mir (Reply 22):
Also the CR-V.

I priced out the CR-V, and it seemed like an ok choice, but I'm not 100% sold. Something about the lines doesn't do it for me. And it was in the high 20k/low 30k range for the equipment I wanted. I'm trying to stick to the $25-28k range. We'll see what I can get for that. if not, then I'll consider bumping it up a little bit.
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Superfly
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RE: SUV Recommendations: Chevy Equinox?

Thu Aug 02, 2007 1:47 am

Quoting Mir (Reply 22):
the CR-V.

Are the rainbow stickers easy to remove from the rear bumper?
Everyone I see has one. Do those come with Bonnie Raitt and Melissa Ethridge CDs?  Wink
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AC773
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RE: SUV Recommendations: Chevy Equinox?

Thu Aug 02, 2007 1:53 am

Quoting BCAInfoSys (Reply 14):
As far as the Hybrids go, I'm just not sold on the benefits for the cost.

While we're using our brains on this, I thought I'd compile a list of the true cost to own of all the cars you might be looking at. I included hybrids and wagons just to give a complete picture. If it looks botched together, that's because it is - I had to cut and compile a few screenshots for this. If you want to see the originals, go to http://www.edmunds.com/apps/cto/CTOintroController where you can look up any model you like.  Smile

Big version: Width: 547 Height: 561 File size: 266kb


Big version: Width: 745 Height: 561 File size: 331kb
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AsstChiefMark
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RE: SUV Recommendations: Chevy Equinox?

Thu Aug 02, 2007 1:56 am

Quoting BCAInfoSys (Reply 23):
I priced out the CR-V

I've responded to a few car crashes involving those things. They don't hold up all that well. Most of the people in highway speed CR-V crashes tend to go to the hospital in a helicopter.
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BCAInfoSys
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RE: SUV Recommendations: Chevy Equinox?

Thu Aug 02, 2007 2:06 am

Thanks AC773, that's some great information!

So far (without seeing the vehicles or driving them), I'm still liking the Equinox. Though the RAV4 and Santa Fe are still possible contenders.

(Would it be ironic or just dumb if I got a Santa Fe while living in Santa Fe?)  laughing 
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AC773
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RE: SUV Recommendations: Chevy Equinox?

Thu Aug 02, 2007 2:09 am

Quoting AsstChiefMark (Reply 26):

That said, times change...and not all CR-Vs are created equal.

The 1997-2001 generation performed poorly on safety, the next generation did much better, and the newest 2007 model is a top safety pick by the IIHS.

EDIT: Anecdotally, you'll notice that the CR-V also has the lowest true cost to own; even among the wagons and hybrids!  thumbsup 

[Edited 2007-08-01 19:12:41]
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BCAInfoSys
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RE: SUV Recommendations: Chevy Equinox?

Thu Aug 02, 2007 2:38 am

So I've looked and it appears that there's some good deals to be had for the year-end sales for the Equinox, if I go with the 2007. The 2008 looks like it's going to be $2-3k more expensive.

What are the differences between the 2007 and the 2008 models? Are they substantial enough to warrant the extra money or is this a good time to get a screaming deal on the '07?
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Superfly
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RE: SUV Recommendations: Chevy Equinox?

Thu Aug 02, 2007 2:49 am

Quoting BCAInfoSys (Reply 27):
(Would it be ironic or just dumb if I got a Santa Fe while living in Santa Fe?)

Makes sense to me.
If you ever get rich and move to New York, you can buy a New Yorker.  Smile
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AC773
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RE: SUV Recommendations: Chevy Equinox?

Thu Aug 02, 2007 2:58 am

Quoting Superfly (Reply 30):

If you move to Tenochtitlan, you can buy an Aztec.  silly 

Quoting BCAInfoSys (Reply 29):
What are the differences between the 2007 and the 2008 models?

They did an oh-so-mild refresh of the Equinox for 2007, but AFAIK 2008 is a carbon copy. I'd go with the 2007 and pocket the difference. Actually, I'd go with a CR-V and pocket the even bigger difference in the long run, but I've tried to talk you out of that Chevy for long enough.  biggrin 

Go with the '07.
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IFEMaster
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RE: SUV Recommendations: Chevy Equinox?

Thu Aug 02, 2007 2:59 am

I have a 2007 Saturn Vue Green Line, and it's fantastic.



Delivering Anecdotes of Dubious Relevance Since 1978
 
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WildcatYXU
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RE: SUV Recommendations: Chevy Equinox?

Thu Aug 02, 2007 3:09 am

Quoting KaiGywer (Reply 20):
Dodge Magnum. That's a damn hot wagon

It is hot...but definitely not an environmentally friendly SUV replacement. Friend of mine has the R/T. He's averaging 15.6 l/100 km...
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BCAInfoSys
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RE: SUV Recommendations: Chevy Equinox?

Thu Aug 02, 2007 4:29 am

Lunchtime Research Trip

Went down to the dealership and was instantly bum-rushed by a shyster salesman who ignored everything I wanted and immediately tried to talk me into a Suburban or Trailblazer. Tried to be nice and let him know what I was looking for, but I eventually had to just walk away. Turns out, they didn't even have a damn Equinox to look at! Not a single one! (So if I want to keep looking into that one, I'll have to drive to ABQ or Espanola to take a look.) Went to the used section and took a look at the Suzuki Grand Vitaria; definitely too small. Ditto on the Hyundai Santa Fe.

Went across the street and was fairly impressed with the Ford Edge, even though I don't know much about it. It seemed about the right size and had OK legroom considering. All in all though, for the same amount of money I want to get something a little bigger.

Last stop was at the Honda/V dealership where we kept going past the over-priced VW Toureag and didn't even bother with the CR-V (it was too small). The Pilot looked OK, but it just wasn't doing it for me.

Conclusion: I haven't found anything yet that I like. After work, I'm going to go take a look at a Toyota 4-Runner SR5. Priced it out on Edmunds and pretty much fully-loaded, I can get into it for $31-32k.
Militant Agnostic - I don't know and you don't either.
 
An-225
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RE: SUV Recommendations: Chevy Equinox?

Thu Aug 02, 2007 5:03 am

Go for a slightly used Toyota 4-Runner. Those things just don't die.

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AsstChiefMark
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RE: SUV Recommendations: Chevy Equinox?

Thu Aug 02, 2007 5:09 am

Quoting AC773 (Reply 28):
That said, times change...and not all CR-Vs are created equal.

They made them back then? Anyway... I'm talking about the newer ones.
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rlwynn
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RE: SUV Recommendations: Chevy Equinox?

Thu Aug 02, 2007 5:15 am

Look at the Suzuki XL-7. It is the best of the GM crossover family. The base model comes with the good engine that you cant even get in the equinox.
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AC773
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Joined: Wed Nov 30, 2005 6:03 am

RE: SUV Recommendations: Chevy Equinox?

Thu Aug 02, 2007 5:40 am

Quoting AsstChiefMark (Reply 36):
They made them back then? Anyway... I'm talking about the newer ones.

Well, the Equinox got nearly the same IIHS score as the CR-V; only difference is the Equinox didn't get the "top safety pick" award. I don't doubt your accounts, but I don't see how the Equinox would be any better.

Interestingly, EURO-NCAP thought much less of the CR-V, giving it 4/5 stars; lending credence to my belief that the newer European tests are much more stringent.

Either way, Let's just be glad that the Chinese haven't sent their SUV over here. EURO-NCAP gave it zero stars.  Wow!

Better to be nouveau than never to have been riche at all.

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