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small suv good in snow

gmcunni

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looking to replace aging 4 door sedan with a used small/mid-sized SUV with good snow performance.

Yes, i know, it is all about the tires! That said, anyone have recommendations on a good small SUV? have had a Honda CRV and would happily pick another. considering a Forester too. No experience with Mazda (cx5) or Toyota (Rav4), any comments? Other choices?

prefer the hatchback style of SUV rather over an AWD sedan.
 

yeggous

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looking to replace aging 4 door sedan with a used small/mid-sized SUV with good snow performance.

Yes, i know, it is all about the tires! That said, anyone have recommendations on a good small SUV? have had a Honda CRV and would happily pick another. considering a Forester too. No experience with Mazda (cx5) or Toyota (Rav4), any comments? Other choices?

prefer the hatchback style of SUV rather over an AWD sedan.

Consumer Reports compared the Honda, Toyota, and Subaru AWD systems. Toyota's is garbage. Subaru did best, but budget money for the well documented head gasket failures. Honda's was okay on the CRV, and quite good on the Pilot. The Audi Quattro system is excellent.

The Hyundai and Kia system was not included in the tests. We have a Santa Fe and it has been great. I chase snow all over the place and it has never flinched. Having the AWD lock helps. Plus Hyundai and Kia are now rated among the most reliable brands (according to Consumer Reports), well above both Honda and Subaru. Mazda has similar reliability but I know nothing about their AWD system.


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gmcunni

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Consumer Reports compared the Honda, Toyota, and Subaru AWD systems. Toyota's is garbage. Subaru did best, but budget money for the well documented head gasket failures. Honda's was okay on the CRV, and quite good on the Pilot. The Audi Quattro system is excellent.

The Hyundai and Kia system was not included in the tests. We have a Santa Fe and it has been great. I chase snow all over the place and it has never flinched. Having the AWD lock helps. Plus Hyundai and Kia are now rated among the most reliable brands (according to Consumer Reports), well above both Honda and Subaru. Mazda has similar reliability but I know nothing about their AWD system.


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thanks, hadn't thought about Hyundai. Looks like Santa Fe has little brother, Tucson. will check them both out. I think we had Santa Fe last spring in Colorado during a freak blizzard and it drove great.
 

JDMRoma

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I currently have 3 Rav4s, 2015 XLE, 2013 Limited and 2008 Limited.
Prior to the Ravs I had an AWD Matrix.... actually 2 of them. Always ran snows on the matrix and now on my limited just picked up a set.
I never had any issues with any of them mechanically or in the snow. Granted it's not a chevy 3/4 ton in the snow but it's by no means garbage.

I haven't driven the rav with snows on it yet but it didn't suck without them.

Last 2 Toyotas I bought extended warranties that went unused.
Nothing but brakes,belts and tires

Just my $.02


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yeggous

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I currently have 3 Rav4s, 2015 XLE, 2013 Limited and 2008 Limited.
Prior to the Ravs I had an AWD Matrix.... actually 2 of them. Always ran snows on the matrix and now on my limited just picked up a set.
I never had any issues with any of them mechanically or in the snow. Granted it's not a chevy 3/4 ton in the snow but it's by no means garbage.

I haven't driven the rav with snows on it yet but it didn't suck without them.

Last 2 Toyotas I bought extended warranties that went unused.
Nothing but brakes,belts and tires

Just my $.02


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I think you having only Toyotas is the bias. Try something else and you may be surprised. No doubt they are reliable though. Incidentally I do have a Chevy 3/4 ton and 1/2 ton in my driveway right now.

Here is the Consumer Reports video. Pause it for a screen shot on their Consumer survey results on snow handling:
http://www.consumerreports.org/vide...subaru-forester-vs-honda-cr-v-vs-toyota-rav4/

There is a clear relation between size and handling. Big 4x4 handles better. The Tucson and Mazda are on the not-so-good list. The Tucson not being as good as the Santa Fe may be like the CRV not being as good as the Pilot. I don't know about the difference in the Hyundai systems, but it's a completely different mechanical system between the Honda SUVs.


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cdskier

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My dad has a Pilot. I'm personally not a fan of driving it in general (but I drive an Avalanche myself, so take my opinion with a grain of salt as I probably wouldn't be happy in any small/mid-size SUV). The snow performance of the Pilot with stock tires I thought was average at best. Even locally in NJ I'd feel it slipping with small amounts of snow on the roads. With real snow tires it seems much better, although there weren't a ton of opportunities last year to drive it in the snow.
 

yeggous

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In forgot to mention...
Ground clearance is a big factor that goes a long way to explaining all those test results and rankings. The Subarus and larger SUVs have a higher clearance. I made sure the Santa Fe had a bit higher clearance than the Forester when I have shopping. Clearance does not make a big difference on slick it snow-packed pavement but matters a lot of unplowed driveways.


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JDMRoma

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I think you having only Toyotas is the bias. Try something else and you may be surprised. No doubt they are reliable though. Incidentally I do have a Chevy 3/4 ton and 1/2 ton in my driveway right now.

Here is the Consumer Reports video. Pause it for a screen shot on their Consumer survey results on snow handling:
http://www.consumerreports.org/vide...subaru-forester-vs-honda-cr-v-vs-toyota-rav4/

There is a clear relation between size and handling. Big 4x4 handles better. The Tucson and Mazda are on the not-so-good list. The Tucson not being as good as the Santa Fe may be like the CRV not being as good as the Pilot. I don't know about the difference in the Hyundai systems, but it's a completely different mechanical system between the Honda SUVs.


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I watched the video , interesting.
Find it odd that they tested on snow with all season tires but yeah I know they all had all season.

And not all All season tires handle well in deeper snow that was on the test course.

Before my Toyotas I owned all Chevy trucks until the gas prices went through the roof. I plowed for years..... I get it.
Last truck was a Chevy HD crew cab
It was unstoppable in the snow. Great plow truck and the best tow vehicle I ever owned. Yup there's no substitute for a full size Chevy. That I totally agee with.



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WoodCore

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2013 Outback or later. Newer engine.

Or the 3.6L motor. On my second 6 cylinder without issue. 256 HP, plenty of giddy up. Makes that 4 car pass on a twisty section of VT 100 just a walk in the park.
 

yeggous

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My dad has a Pilot. I'm personally not a fan of driving it in general (but I drive an Avalanche myself, so take my opinion with a grain of salt as I probably wouldn't be happy in any small/mid-size SUV). The snow performance of the Pilot with stock tires I thought was average at best. Even locally in NJ I'd feel it slipping with small amounts of snow on the roads. With real snow tires it seems much better, although there weren't a ton of opportunities last year to drive it in the snow.

Your reply motivated me to dig deeper. The Pilot only got Acura's AWD system with torque vectoring starting with the 2016 model year. Prior years are probably less capable.


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deadheadskier

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Maybe look into the new VW Golf All Track? I'm assuming it has the same AWD system as Audi without paying for the luxury brand premium.

I'm a huge Mazda homer for their driving dynamics and the very good reliability I've enjoyed. That said, I've read the AWD system on the CX5 is just mediocre.

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yeggous

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Maybe look into the new VW Golf All Track? I'm assuming it has the same AWD system as Audi without paying for the luxury brand premium.

I'm a huge Mazda homer for their driving dynamics and the very good reliability I've enjoyed. That said, I've read the AWD system on the CX5 is just mediocre.

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I've driven the AWD Golf hatchbacks in Europe. Those are some sweet cars. But they are terribly overpriced in the states. For whatever reason Audi reliability is great but VW... not so much.


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machski

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Maybe look into the new VW Golf All Track? I'm assuming it has the same AWD system as Audi without paying for the luxury brand premium.

I'm a huge Mazda homer for their driving dynamics and the very good reliability I've enjoyed. That said, I've read the AWD system on the CX5 is just mediocre.

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He said looking at used, those won't be available as such for a while. Plus, I'm not a fan of VW putting just the 1.8L in that. It was suppose to be TDI as well, which would have been awesome except for some emission cheating scandal.
 

deadheadskier

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I've driven the AWD Golf hatchbacks in Europe. Those are some sweet cars. But they are terribly overpriced in the states. For whatever reason Audi reliability is great but VW... not so much.


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The new Golf All Track isn't a hatchback. It's a rebadged Jetta Sportwagen with more ground clearance and AWD. I think the base model starts around $26K

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4aprice

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thanks, hadn't thought about Hyundai. Looks like Santa Fe has little brother, Tucson. will check them both out. I think we had Santa Fe last spring in Colorado during a freak blizzard and it drove great.

Glad to hear that as we have a Santa Fe out in Colorado under the care of our son at UC. Had plenty of power for the mountains when we were out there in August so as long as she's ok in the snow we are golden.

Alex

Lake Hopatcong, NJ
 
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