So the lease on our 2006 Pontiac Pursuit (G5) is almost up and it's time to get something new. We already have an antique in the garage (67' Camaro) so we'll stick with the new genre. We want something big enough to support a family but not so big that it can't fit in the garage. We like the idea of an SUV but don't want it to look like a car/van. There is a lot of selection when it comes to these SUV/Crossover vehicles so we really needed to focus on what we wanted and what we could afford (in the long run).
Our top contenders were the Ford Escape,Toyota Rav4, Chevy Equinox and the Dodge Nitro. All of the vehicles fall between $30,000 & $40,000 but some come with a lot more than others. More than anything it comes down to what packages you can get and what options they come with. Another thing to take into consideration is gas mileage and maintenance costs. They all have lots of similarities but have differences as well.
I have always been a Chevy guy, there is no way to hide that. However in todays market it's not about who produces the best small block powerhouse. We talked to some friends about their experiences with these manufacturers and got mixed results on all of them. We would talk to one friend who would say that the vehicle was a total junker, and another friend to say that it was the best they had ever owned. Obviously you can't really take the word of others on it's own as a deciding factor.
The Ford Escape is the best on gas but suffers from a few outdated components. The Rav4 is a very well rounded vehicle but looks a bit like a station wagon. The Equinox is very luxurious both inside and out but is tainted by its terrible reviews from the 2008 and earlier models. Lastly, the Nitro has a very distinct look at a good price but has a bit of a plasticy feel on the inside.
We've already taken the plunge and purchased a black 2010 Ford Escape Limited. The limited model is the "fully loaded" version and we selected the 2.5 litre 4x4 model with charcol heated leather seats, ambient lighting, Ford Sync and moonroof. The Ford Escape has all features of the other vehicles but it comes in several thousand dollars cheaper. Even being cheaper Ford was willing to pay out the remaining time on our lease so we could get it sooner. I'll be doing a more in depth review of it when it arrives in mid December. So what do you think about our choice? Will we be FixingOr Repairing Daily?