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New Car Dilemma!

Bostonian

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So already I am starting to think about my next car... With my little guy already 2 years old now, wife and dog in tow, I am going to say goodbye to my Audi A4 6 speed quarto. Not enough room in the car especially during ski season when I have to fold down the back seat. So this are my options... Just curious to see what you guys think!

here are the cars I am looking into:

1. BMW X3
2. Audi Q5
3. Jeep Grand Cherokee
4 Subaru Outback
5. Infiniti EX


I am going to test drive both the X3, Q5 and the Jeep this weekend. I am leaning towards the jeep since it has the most space and the best 4WD system other than the Audi. But we shall see!
 

ctenidae

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The X3 is smaller than you think it is. We briefly considered it, but there's no room for the dog if you have anything else in teh back (of course, our dog is rather large, so YMMV).

The Q5 is nice, and decent sized. Infinitis always seem plasticky to me. The Subaru may be small, too, I don't know.

I'd lean towards the Jeep, too.
 

mlctvt

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I was thinking the same about the X3. Even an older smaller A4 Avant is much larger in back than an X3 or Infiniti EX and maybe even the Q5. These SUVs just give you additional headroom but not length.
Wagons have much morer cargo space than most small SUVs.
Look at your larger choices Outback or Cherokee.
 
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xwhaler

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Not sure how you feel about Kia but we have a 2012 Sorento EX V6....fully loaded model other than the SX which didn't appeal to us as we'd have been locked into the in-dash navigation which we didn't feel was needed with smart phones these days.
Lots of space (3rd row seating), plenty of power and the inside is nicer than you'd think of a Kia.
5+ yrs ago I'd have never considered a Kia but they have come a long way----35k miles on ours and we're happy with the choice.
Averaging abt 24 mpg mostly all highway which is pretty good for a heavy SUV with a v6.

Just my $.02 on a different perspective.
 

hammer

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Our 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee is around 42K miles and is doing fine...rides nice, has a good amount of space for 4 (no third row seat) and gets good fuel economy for its size (average 19 MPG in mixed and 22 MPG on the highway). We have the base AWD system which is fine for snow (OEM tires are kind of crappy), but if you want to do off-roading you would want to get the Limited or Overland versions with the 4WD. We do some towing with it but if you want good tow capacity and don't mind the fuel economy hit you should go with the Hemi.

We went for the service contract because of concerns about reliability, but so far have not had to use it. The biggest issue I've read about so far (but we have not seen) is that the V6 engines can have issues with the cylinder heads under high heat loads, but it looks like Chrysler has been making good on the repairs.

Interestingly enough the Jeep had the best quality feel of all of the SUVs we tested which included a number of Japanese models. Not quite up to the feel of a european make vehicle but getting there.
 

Warp Daddy

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we drove Saabs for 30 yrs BUT traded a yr ago for a new 2012 Outback Ltd , fully loaded has 73 cu ft storage with the seats down . We got the 2.5 CVT get 32/33 in the summer and all ski season we got 28/29 mpg . asily accommodates all our ski and golf gear for 2 of us PLUS all other baggage for vacation travel . We love it and enjoy the ride , appointments and dependability.
 

Hawkshot99

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The Q5 is nice, and decent sized. Infinitis always seem plasticky to me.

Infinitys are just expensive Nissans. My boss has Nissan Armada "Platinum" and friends have the Infiniti version of it. There really is not kuch difference besides price tag.

Sent from my SGH-S959G using Tapatalk 2
 

HD333

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It is not on your list but what about an Audi Allroad? I have to think you are in the Q5 ballpark price wise. Probably a little more room.

I have to 2nd the Kia Sorrento, my mom got one to cart grand kids around in and it is surprisingly nice, she has the v6, it has held up nicely over almost 2 years. Pretty good trunk space with the 3rd row down, the 3rd row is small when up but how often will you need that.

Off of your list I would go with the Jeep, it will give you the most room and is a comfortable ride. X3 is tiny, Q5 intrigues me but from what i remember has bad MPG, I'd rather have a Forester than an Outback, and Infinity IMHO is an overpriced Nissan.

Good luck with the search.
 

Geoff

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I was thinking the same about the X3. Even an older smaller A4 Avant is much larger in back than an X3 or Infiniti EX and maybe even the Q5. These SUVs just give you additional headroom but not length.
Wagons have much morer cargo space than most small SUVs.
Look at your larger choices Outback or Cherokee.

Yep. I was wondering why the A4 wagon wasn't on your list.

The price spread between 87 octane and premium is starting to become annoying. Turbos like the 2.0T in an A4 are now costing $5.00+ extra per tank compared to a car that can run on regular fuel. It's still chump change compared to the per-mile cost of depreciation but you get hit with it every time you fill up.

I need to drive an Outback 2.5L CVT up and down the Sherburne pass and up and down Killington's East Mountain Road with 500 pounds in it. I've driven the Legacy as a rental and I can live with the interior. I'd like to see how bad it is in my typical worst case hill climbs and I'd like to see if I can drive down a steep hill without burning up the brakes.
 

MR. evil

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What about a Jetta Speed Wagon TDI? 45mpg and plenty of room.
 

Savemeasammy

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Even though it's not on your list, we have a jetta tdi wagon. It is very torquey, and when you go down steep hills it automatically downshifts. Ours has keyless entry and start - it's handy because you never have to dig the key out of your pocket to open the doors. Pretty handy when you have a armload of gear and a kid or 2 to corral! 40+ mpg doesn't hurt when you drive a few hundred miles to ski!
 

Bostonian

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Hmm didn't realize the X3 is so small, I still have the appointment tomorrow to check, but the jeep and q5 sound better by the day. As for the allroad, I was thinking about it, although I am looking for is a little bit more of ground clearance. Another issue is that my commute is route 2 from Acton to Alewife, which well... sucks in a 6 speed. A slush box, plus an SUV will make it a little more manageable. On the highway though, I will miss the shifting of gears... I am still 6 months out from making the dive into anything new, but now is the time to have fun and test drive things :)
 

marcski

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I've never driven it...but I have driven a bunch of Audi's. Won't the Q5 be sluggish to you, coming from an A4 with a Manual in the same engine?

Edit:

I see they are now offering it in the Supercharged 6. Get that, hands down. The torgue range on that engine is great.
 

octopus

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if you can wait a bit, theres a diesel grand cherokee coming soon. nearly 30 mpg hwy, we're thinking of getting one in a couple years.
 

WoodCore

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Just moved into a 2013 Subaru Outback 3.6R Limited and enjoying every aspect of it so far. It's far roomier than my 2005 Legacy wagon, has way more tech (bluetooth, satellite radio, usb ports, etc) and even some really cool features like reclining/heated rear seats etc. I thought I'd be disappointed moving away from the 2.5 turbo in my last Subbie but the 3.6 liter 6 cylinder is plenty powerful! Doesn't have the same explosiveness off the line but impressive power for climbing and passing for sure. The power is there if you need it and the best part is you don't need to feed it premium grade fuel! The suspension rides great and even with the high ground clearance doesn't exhibit excessive body roll like some of the older outbacks.
 

deadheadskier

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In the same size, but for far less dough than the X3, I think a Mazda CX-5 is worth a look. About the best gas mileage on the market for an AWD cross-over. I drove a friends and I found the auto transmission to be fantastic and I'm a MT guy. Superb handling. I drive a Mazda3, which is fun as hell on curvy back roads and the CX-5 didn't lag too far behind my 3 in handling feel even with the auto trans.

Need more space than what the CX-5 offers and I'd take a look at the CX-9.

I'm becoming a really big fan of the vehicles Mazda is putting out right now and I'm sure I will be even more so when they start offering Skyactiv Diesel engines in some US models. There's a chance that engine might be available stateside for the CX-5 by the time you're ready to purchase.
 

wa-loaf

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What about a Jetta Speed Wagon TDI? 45mpg and plenty of room.

I have this and the space is fine with two kids, but I do use a roof box for trips. I might get 45mpg in the summer on an all highway cruise, but winter with box and snows mpg drops to high 30's. Plus he wants AWD ... Audi Allroad seems like a good choice though VW is coming out with an Allroad in 2014 I think based on the new slightly larger 2014 Sportwagon. I'm keeping my eye on that for a future replacement. The Sportwagon was pretty good in the snow, but I did miss the AWD of my old Outback a few times.
 

Skimaine

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I suggest adding the Volvo XC60 to your list. Nice mix of comfort and utility. As you would expect it is built like a tank and loaded with safety features. One downside is mileage. It is mediocre at best.
 

bigbog

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Another choice might be Nissan's (new highway) Pathfinder vs the Grand Cherokee and Infinity. Ditto on looking at things Mazda and VW are putting out... Would like to demo the 13'(or 14') Mercedes GLK diesel 2.1L, 4-banger. Wonder what the gearing and suspension component arrangement is like....
 
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Bostonian

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So an update...

I test drove an X3 yesterday, bigger than I had anticipated and nicely built. However it will be a no go, because the the wider center console made my right leg uncomfortable. It's too bad though, because I would have seriously considered it before that. Next is the Q5 and the Grand Cherokee....
 
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