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Old 12-09-2021, 11:58 AM   #15
ayau
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I would be down with a minivan, wife said no way haha
Kia Carnival is the only non-van, van.
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Old 12-09-2021, 11:58 AM   #16
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We absolutely love the CX-9, unfortunately the third row only seats 2, and the 7 seat version makes the second row a bench so that is a deal breaker. If CX-9 was 2-2-3, we would definitely just get that one.
How are you planning to use the 3rd row that you want 3 seats? In most SUVs the main difference between a 2 seats and 3 seats 3rd row is the number of seatbelts, not actual width. Consider that even the widest 3rd rows are well under the 2nd row of even a compact car (50" is about the widest 3rd row (with 48" being more typical) and most compact cars have 52"-53" wide benches). You'd be hard pressed to really seat 3 people back there, not to mention car seats or boosters. Make sure to compare hip room, not shoulder room - hip room is the actual width of the bench and is significantly more important for comfort and usability than shoulder room.

Also don't forget that the all mid-sized SUVs have a pitiful cargo capacity with all seats up. Minivans and the long versions of full-sized SUVs (think Suburban, not Tahoe) are much better for cargo with all seats in use.
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Old 12-09-2021, 11:59 AM   #17
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I believe Mazda is starting with the CX-50 early 2022, with the CX-70 and 90 following, but it may not be later in the year since its when they'll be introducing their new Inline-6.
Last I checked, which was a week or 2 ago, it's CX50, CX90 in Q3/Q4 2022 calendar year, then CX70 in 2023.
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Old 12-09-2021, 12:24 PM   #18
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Didn't @ichitaka05 just get a Highlander? Maybe he could give some insight about it.

I wouldn't take Hyundai/Kia out of consideration as their products have improved drastically with their SUVs being hot-sellers and are considered top 3, 3-row SUVs, according to Car and Driver, KBB, and Edmunds at least.

Yup, I did buy ‘22 Toyota Highlander XSE


Here’s a short feedback:
Choose the one you like driving, features & how long the wait time & if you can wait or not.

Here’s a long ass feedback:
I was looking at these SUV at first.
Toyota Highlander (both gas/hybrid)
Toyota RAV4 (hybrid)
Subaru Crosstrek
Subaru Ascent
Kia Sorento (both gas/hybrid)
Mazda CX-9
Mazda CX-5
Hyundai Santa Fe (hybrid)
Hyundai Tucson (both gas/hybrid)

I didn’t really consider Palisade/Telluride due to crazy long waiting &/or crazy markup (I saw one that was $10k markup).

At first, I wanted hybrid… but after doing few calculation, I wasn’t really saving much money, so throw that idea away.

Test drove all of em (except Sorento) & brought the list down to:
Toyota Highlander
Subaru Ascent
Kia Sorento

Why those three? RAV4, Crosstrek & CX-5 we’re nice… but a lot smaller than expected. I’ll be the main one driving and will be carrying child seat, which takes up a lot of space. When riding in wife’s WRX plus have child seat behind me, I have less than 1” of knee space before ram into the dash. I tested all the cars on leg space & RAV4, Crosstrek & CX-5 didn’t have enough space. Yea, I can put it in 2nd row passenger side, but due to small garage, I can’t really do that.

Tucson felt good, inside was roomy than expected… but felt Sorento was better option.

Santa Fe had a decent space, but wasn’t looking for hybrid. CX-9 was good… but felt outdated & dear god, the key fob was ridiculously HUGE! It reminded me of one of first gen cellphone! lol

Highlander drove good. They have solid engine & trans. They’re Toyota, they’re reliable… even recent drop in quality control issues. Con is not as much feature as I wanted compared in price/trim to others. I wanted features from Limited trim… but wanted XSE facia… can’t add features from Limited to XSE. So it was kinda lost on feature options.

Ascent drove like… Subaru. My wife have WRX. My mom has Forester XT. My in-law have Leggy. Everything felt like Subaru. Cluster gauge is same as WRX/Forester. Power curve, cornering, views & EVERYTHING felt like bigger Forester XT. If you drove or own Subaru, you don’t need to learn anything. It’s same old Subaru. Con was their recall/complaints were a lot! Especially ‘19 model.

Sadly, I wasn’t able to drive Sorento due to so many demands & not on the lot. I can get highest trim Sorento that comes way more features than highest trim Highlander/Ascent and cost $5k less than those two. Cons are reliability, value & dealership. Hyundai/Kia aren’t well known for their reliability. Yes I know they have 10yrs/100k warranty, but I heard several stories on new models to kinda scares me. Atm Hyundai/Kia is booming & their car value is crazy high… but for how long? I know for the fact Highlander & Ascent value will be kept hight, but Sorento is questionable. Local dealership demanded that, if I was financing, I needed to go through from them (minimum of 6 month), I guess that’s how they make money. I asked few simple questions that doesn’t require much thinking, but clearly they failed at answering. Felt like I was talking to NPC. If they can’t answer simple question, I question dealer mechanic to do simple maintenance (it comes w free maintenance for 2yrs).


Last weekend, got my Highlander. If you’re keeping it stock, it’s a nice car… but if you’re thinking about modding, forget about it. Aftermarket wheels? Fuck, there ain’t much… very small options. Stock runs 20x8+30!!! What crazy mind run stock wheel offset of +30!?!?!?!?! And you know how hard to find 20x8.5+20 wheels? It’s already hard as is, made it worse. HL don’t have much aftermarket community either. Especially new gen have very handful on brands that make parts for them. So you’ll be doing a lot of custom parts.

So look for ones that fit your needs like interior space & features. If you’re thinking of modding, might need to look deeper.
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Old 12-09-2021, 12:28 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Ohio Enthusiast View Post
How are you planning to use the 3rd row that you want 3 seats? In most SUVs the main difference between a 2 seats and 3 seats 3rd row is the number of seatbelts, not actual width. Consider that even the widest 3rd rows are well under the 2nd row of even a compact car (50" is about the widest 3rd row (with 48" being more typical) and most compact cars have 52"-53" wide benches). You'd be hard pressed to really seat 3 people back there, not to mention car seats or boosters. Make sure to compare hip room, not shoulder room - hip room is the actual width of the bench and is significantly more important for comfort and usability than shoulder room.

Also don't forget that the all mid-sized SUVs have a pitiful cargo capacity with all seats up. Minivans and the long versions of full-sized SUVs (think Suburban, not Tahoe) are much better for cargo with all seats in use.
thanks for the tip on hip room.

2nd row is for 2 car seats. 3rd row is for visiting family, which would be 2 adults and a child without car seat.
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Old 12-09-2021, 12:31 PM   #20
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Yup, I did buy ‘22 Toyota Highlander XSE
Here’s a short feedback:
Choose the one you like driving, features & how long the wait time & if you can wait or not.
thanks for the thorough feedback! no plans on modding. need the second row for 2 carseats as well.
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Old 12-09-2021, 12:34 PM   #21
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thanks for the thorough feedback! no plans on modding. need the second row for 2 carseats as well.
You consider bench seat or captain chairs for the 2nd row? Cuz that changes options/trims as well. To add, how often you gonna be using the 3rd row. If you're using 3rd row often then captain chairs option might be better.
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Old 12-09-2021, 12:37 PM   #22
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thanks for the tip on hip room.

2nd row is for 2 car seats. 3rd row is for visiting family, which would be 2 adults and a child without car seat.
This in particular screams Tahoe/Suburban to me.

The new suspension in 2021 let the 3rd row gain 10 inches of leg room, and they've increased the behind the 3rd row storage.

Plus with the new diesel option you can get an epa rated 28MPG on the road.

(I know, I know, I'm done now)
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Old 12-09-2021, 12:39 PM   #23
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This in particular screams Tahoe/Suburban to me.

The new suspension in 2021 let the 3rd row gain 10 inches of leg room, and they've increased the behind the 3rd row storage.

Plus with the new diesel option you can get an epa rated 28MPG on the road.

(I know, I know, I'm done now)
Next time the wife starts again I will throw her in this direction! Wasn't even on our look list but you sold me.
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Old 12-09-2021, 03:29 PM   #24
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I turned in my youth card yesterday because I saw a chrysler pacifica and said “wow, someone finally made a good looking minivan.”

To be fair it was black on black with tasteful aftermarket wheels so not a typical Pacifica.

If I had the same requirements as the OP without awd, I think this would be on my list with a few tasteful mods.
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Old 12-09-2021, 08:26 PM   #25
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I turned in my youth card yesterday because I saw a chrysler pacifica and said “wow, someone finally made a good looking minivan.”

To be fair it was black on black with tasteful aftermarket wheels so not a typical Pacifica.

If I had the same requirements as the OP without awd, I think this would be on my list with a few tasteful mods.
The Pacifica has an AWD option (mechanical driveshaft) and so does the Sienna (electric motor in the back).
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Old 12-09-2021, 08:47 PM   #26
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My list for replacing the family car is (in order):
Chrysler Pacifica (cost effective, good internal space, enough power)
Nissan Armada (Was in the top before gas price rise)
Buick Enclave (Really good SUV, often ignored, should take a look)
Ford Explorer (new platform is really good for dynamics, but for that, I have the twin)
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Old 12-09-2021, 08:48 PM   #27
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This in particular screams Tahoe/Suburban to me.

The new suspension in 2021 let the 3rd row gain 10 inches of leg room, and they've increased the behind the 3rd row storage.

Plus with the new diesel option you can get an epa rated 28MPG on the road.

(I know, I know, I'm done now)
Really good vehicle, but pricey
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Old 12-09-2021, 08:48 PM   #28
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I turned in my youth card yesterday because I saw a chrysler pacifica and said “wow, someone finally made a good looking minivan.”

To be fair it was black on black with tasteful aftermarket wheels so not a typical Pacifica.

If I had the same requirements as the OP without awd, I think this would be on my list with a few tasteful mods.
Black accent package helps a lot already.
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