New vehicle comparison

my wife & I are in our early 60’s & have minor physical difficulties. We have decided it’s time for comfort as well as stability. We want to purchase an AWD, 2010 model mid size SUV. It must require regular gas (not premium), have decent power & milage (for an SUV) & excellent ride (stability & handling). We’re looking at the Cadillac SRX, Lincoln MKX, & GMC Acadia. Does anyone have any comments that may help us decide which may be more within our criteria for comfort & ride?

I’d add the Venza to that list. We got an MKX, we’re happy with it, but I wish the Venza had been available when we bought. I’ve not read a good review of the new SRX, I’d avoid it. The Acadia is a size bigger (full 3 row), if you’re looking at that (it’s good), you might also look at the very-well-reviewed Ford Flex.

Why do you “need” an SUV?"

You’re only two people. Wouldn’t a sedan or station wagon fulfill your needs?

If you must have an SUV, the Honda Pilot is something you should check out. If you want to spend more money, look at the Acura MDX.

Lexus has something in this class as well.

The first-year depreciation on a Caddy, Lincoln, or GMC will be enormous. Are you sure that’s what you want?

My wife and I have a 2003 Toyota 4Runner. We get between 22 and 24 mpg on the highway and about 16 mpg around town. This is our road car and we find it very comfortable. I’m in my late 60’s (I’m definitely a Geezer) and my wife is in her late 50’s. The Toyota 4Runner with the V-6 that we have runs on regular gasoline. It has selectable 4 wheel drive. It can be run in 4 wheel drive all the time, or it can be run in two wheel drive. There are two 4 wheel drive ranges–4 wheel drive high which can be used continuousoy, and 4 wheel drive low. In addition, there is a switch to lock the differentials in 4 wheel drive low. As I remember,the V-8 4Runner has permanent 4 wheel drive (4 wheel drive is always engaged), but the mileage isn’t quite as good as the V-6.

We like the ride of the 4Runner, especially on long trips. I can drive 350-400 miles at a stretch and not have any back or leg pain. For us, cars sit too low. We had a really nice 1993 Oldsmobile 88 with every feature imaginable. We found for long distance travel that the 1990 Ford Aerostar we had at the time was much less tiring.

We love our o4 4Runner for the same reasons, but would not recommend it for anyone that did not require off road/towing needs. The Pilot Highlander would suit flatlanders well IMO W/O TRUCK NEEDS THE 4 Runner provides. I have trouble recommending anything that does not have a good repair record. Neighbor loves his Saturn SUV which I believe is the Arcadia.

You seem to be into the domestic name plate preference by your post, so I have nothing to recommend beyond that comment.

Last year we wanted a wagon, to carry the dog in back, and one low enough to get a canoe on the roof. Most of the few remaining station wagons seemed too small, or too expensive, and the SUVs were generally too big, or if smallish (like the Jeep Liberty) had seating positions my wife (it was to be her car) found uncomfortable.

We finally settled on a year-old Subaru Outback, an SUV-like (all-wheel drive), modestly priced, station wagon. It’s a pretty nice car; adequate power with the base 2.5L boxer engine, handles well (better than the pricey Volvo wagon and the overlarge Jeep Grand Cherokee), and even comes with amenities like heated seats.

The new Outbacks have grown a few inches, so are closer to the “mid-size SUV” you are looking for.

/Mr Lynn

Do you need such big SUVs? Why not get a crossover like the Lincoln MKT?

Unlike some other people on this thread I am actually going to reply to your specific question. The reviews on all three of those SUVs have been generally positive. I believe the Acadia would be the cheapest of the three, but also the largest. Is size a big consideration? If you like the Acadia why not look at the Buick, Saturn or Chevy Versions of it? The Buick will be a bit more luxurious and you might be able to get a killer deal on the Saturn as they are phasing out that brand. Really though any of the cars you mentioned would be a good choice.

I’ve gotten through winter roads in 4 wheel low that other vehicles couldn’t make it. The 4Runner is on a frame, while I believe the Honda Pilot is unit construction. For us, it does well in 2 wheel drive for interstate travel.

The MKT looks like a Lincoln version of the Ford Flex, and a size larger than the MKX/Edge.

Why do you “need” an SUV?"

You’re only two people. Wouldn’t a sedan or station wagon fulfill your needs?

You’re only 1 person, why have a car when a scooter will fulfill your needs?
SUVs offer a higher seating position and they require one to step up into them. When one has knee or leg problems, this can be a lot better than falling into and crawling/climbing out of a sedan. This is one of the reasons I’m looking at them myself.

If you must have an SUV, the Honda Pilot is something you should check out. If you want to spend more money, look at the Acura MDX.

Lexus has something in this class as well.

I believe most Acuras require high octane.

While not mid-sized, I don’t think so anyways, Ford Escape/Mercury Mariner, Toyota Rav4, Honda CR-V

Is there a stigma attached with owning a car that requires preminum? At least you are barking about it now and not after you buy the car. When cars cost as much as the ones you are looking at the nix on preminum can’t be a cost issue.

[i]  We want to purchase an AWD, 2010 model mid size SUV. It must require regular gas (not premium).. [/i]  

How about helping us out a little more.  Rather than say "I want an AWD, how about telling us why?  We see a lot of confusing about many car features so if you give us a little more information we might be able to help out more.

For example AWD is often purchased because it is believe to be safer in snow.  However it does not stop faster or prevent skidding in the snow.  It will help get you out of the ditch if you skid into one however and it may get you down a very snowy road where you might have become stuck without AWD or FWD, but it has it's down points as well.  You must keep all the tyres the same, so if one tyre is damaged you may need to replace all four or risk expensive AWD repairs. 

I would also suggest that SUV is not a very specific term and covers a lot of territory. Don't rule out non-SUVs a and don't assume they will all meet your needs. 

Why do you say you require regular?  In some cases you may find a car that is better and gets enough better fuel mileage to more than make up for the difference in price between regular and premium.

I would take you at your word that you have decided you need an awd SUV. Personally, any car based SUV is just that, a car on a raised body with AWD and should not be used for anything other than what a car is used. I personally agree there is much to offer in the raised body style in both comfort, visibility and perceived safety. otherwise, I feel a loss of handling is the norm, along with the stability you say you want. I think there are more compact models, and for the price, Acura, Mazda and Nissan offer some very car like products that are may fir the bill. The compact US name plates IMO, are much more crude compared to others. The luxury models you mention compete with any other makes.
How important is reliability ?

For example AWD is often purchased because it is believe to be safer in snow. However it does not stop faster or prevent skidding in the snow.
Joseph and I agree on absolutely everything except this point. Modern AWD with stability control, when use as intended and with comparable tires, offers control in slippery and emergency situations (wet and dry),including engine braking and skid prevention, that fwd can never approach. Stability control works better with awd than with fwd even though it works on the brakes as the traction during acceleration and engine braking is more easily monitored and controlled by the computer over the drive train on all 4 wheels with this braking action which diverts power to any of the “most helpful” drive wheels. Power % shifts front to back is extremely important in this application.
It offers a margin of safety that can be surpassed w/o good tires. Otherwise, it’s a worthwhile feature for all conditions, but only if you are willing to pay the added expense. For many it isn’t.

we want a mid size SUV for the space. We want a luxury SUV for the comfort & stability. We don’t want to pay for premium gas, so the MDX, Lexus and all European vehicles are out of the question. Honda & other small vehicles don’t have the luxury, comfort or the stability we are looking for.
ThanX for your reply.

actually, with the upgrades, all three vehicles are priced within $2K MSRP (which can be negotiated down)so the price isn’t that different. The stability & comfort are most important, as well as the regular gas requirement (which is the only reason we have ruled out most imports). We had considered the Buick, but the size actually puts it in the large SUV catagory & I don’t think it has the stability of the others, but I could be wrong about that.
ThanX for your reply.

I have yet to find a “premium gas” vehicle to get better milage than the regular, with the exception of the Lexus. But, the calculation at a 20 cent differenvce in price requires a minimum of 4mpg to be equal in cost. Most gas stations charge more than 20 cents more for the premium than the reular. Also, the mentioned vehicles get the same or better milage than most. So it’s now a matter of comfort range.
ThanX for your reply.

I agree about the snow. You can’t beat a good 4WD vehicle in the snow which I have and use for that. The AWD is good for wet and dry conditions and cornering (pretty much as you mentioned). That helps with “ride” control or stability, which in turn can provide comfort & peace of mind. I use the word SUV losely. We are actually talking about “crossover” vehicles, which are really a mid size SUV in my opinion.
ThanX for your reply.

I don’t know anything about the Venza, but will check into it since you seem to think it may be better than your MKX. We agree the Acadia has a third row of seating you pay for whether you want it or not, and we don’t want or need it. We prefer the open cargo space and would never need to carry 8 people.
TjanX for your reply.

all three of these mid sixe SUV/Crosovers MSRP around $40K. They provide luxury & comfort on the road which you wont get in any compact 40 mpg vehicle made today unless you like feeling all the cracks in the road and the squeeze to get in & out of the vehicle. The cost of premium is anywhere from 20 to 45 cents per gal more than regular which adds up quickly on road trips.