We are looking at crossovers now and having a difficult time making our mind up. Mostly because in 2011 we bought a CRV that ended up being too small and noisy for us and lacked power, so we got rid of it. Thanks to good resale, we weren’t burnt much, but not planning on trying our luck again. This is going to be mostly a hwy/road trip car. Our Caravan with 150K miles might not have much life in it and we don’t want the decision to be an emergency one. At this point we are not taking the kids out of town with it, mostly due to its history.
Our choices are between the Honda Pilot, Toyota Highlander and Mazda CX-9. I am listing our pro cons, so feel free to add/delete your.
Honda; Pro, comes with rear-view camera standard on the base model. Nice interior room. Overall expected to be reliable with good resale. Kids liked their sitting space.
Honda ; Con, has timing belt (still!), needs valve lash adjustment. Has variable cylinder management that goes in & out eco mode with some noticeable vibration-I have been told this could be annoying. I could feel it on test drive. Also sit a bit higher, so wife is able to drive but not too keen on the driving position.
Toyota; Pro; V6 speeds great. Seating was comfortable in the front. No timing belt. Easy to DIY transmission service. Overall expected to be reliable with good resale. Wife happier with seating position.
Con; Middle seat in the 2nd row is useless (kids no thrilled about the 2nd row). Extra $2K to get the rear-view camera.
Mazda: Pro: Great handling, drives like a car. Kids rank this level with the Pilot as rear seat comfort.
Con: re-sale value not so good (might want to buy a 2 year old). Rear view camera should be added as aftermarket on the trim I am looking at. Reliability for the long term remains to be seen. Longer than the other two by 12".