2009 Jeep Patriot - Limited 4x4
Pros: Low price for a usable 4x4
Cons: Road noise
Advice: Make sure you test drive at high speed on a variety of roadsJust a quick bit of info if you are thinking of buying one of these. Most of what you need to know you can get from the staff reviews. I was thinking of buying a Patriot 4x4 to replace my 92 ford explorer and get the 4500 rebate. So I rented a patriot for a day. Here's a few things I think the 'average' person should keep in mind when reading the reviews of the Patriot. With the current rebates, which can add up to $9000, you will get a heck of a deal for this kind of vehicle. Here's the good news - pay little attention to complaints that the engine doesn't have enough power or that the CVT is a drawback. I found that the power is adequate for any sort of normal driving. You can easily zip away from stoplights and merge into traffic, just give it the gas and let the engine and transmission do their thing. The engine noise isn't all that bad even at redline during hard acceleration. Here's the bad - as almost all the reviews say, you get a lot of road noise. It was just too much for me and it gets tiring after a while, you really have to speak up to be heard over the noise. Keep in mind that different road surfaces create different amounts of noise and it's mostly noticable at speeds over 50 mph. My old explorer has a full frame that really isolates the body from the suspension and it's a very quite vehicle, these new unibody, lightweight vehicles just don't have that kind of isolation without the car maker working at it. Chrysler needs to work harder in the noise area. If most of your driving is around town it may not be a big issue for you.
2008 Suzuki Grand Vitara - Luxury (A5) 4x2
Pros: Steering Wheel Audio Controls
Cons: Back swing door
Advice: BUY IT! You'll Love It!I was very surprized with how well this SUV handles and drives! It surprizes me all the time! It is a great car! I love it!
2009 Jeep Liberty - Limited Edition 4x2
Pros: all around capability and comfort
Cons: engine sounds like its straining on accerleration or load.
Advice: this is the best towing capacity you can get without going truck. (I searched a lot)ride is a bit rolly on turns or washboard roads but totally secure. towing is amazing. i had to back up a soft, gravel road uphill backwards with a 5000lb boat/trailer and it did the job amazingly well. pulling the boat up a slippery ramp is easy with 4w-low. miserable winter conditions are handled easily, and with remote start, awd and high clearance, i didn't have to worry about getting started in the morning, or whether roads were plowed. i carry lots of cargo and it has great space. my last car was a grand cherokee ltd hemi and i like this one better. ( my 21 yr old daughter got one, too)
2008 Hyundai Santa Fe - Limited (A5) FWD
Cons: Firm ride
Advice: Definitely test drive before buying another brand.Very nice vehicle. The ride is a bit firm but not bad. Great vehicle for the price. Watch out Honda and Toyota, Hyundai is moving up fast.
2008 Subaru Outback - 2.5 i (M5)
Pros: I love the 'sport' shifting. Gives me better acceleration when getting on the freeway. As a second time Subie owner....I love the AWD!
Cons: Cabin wind noise above 60mph is disappointing. After 14 years making this car I would have thought Subaru would resolve this issue.
Advice: Just drive one......and fall in love with a Subie!!The 2008 Outback is responsive and handles well. The 170 hp, 2.5L engine is more peppy that I expected. Controls are easy to read and get to. Rear seat room is a little cramped compared to older Outback models, but front seating is comfortable. Plenty of cargo room in rear. I'm averaging about 23 mpg (combined city and freeway driving in L.A.)....not bad for AWD!! This is my second Outback.....I'll never drive anything other than a SUBARU!!!!
2008 Jeep Liberty - Sport 4x2
Pros: Outer body style and appearance.
Cons: Maybe a few things inside could be less plasticy looking but not a big issue for me.
Advice: In todays market negotiate for a good deal, you should get one for considerably less than sticker as all American made cars arehorribly over pricedWell, first off it is a jeep so it is not going to drive like a luxury car. But that being said, it is remarkably comfortable even on longer rides, handles quite well and while at first I was wondering about room, it is actually quite roomy. Mileage wise is only average but with only an 8 mile commute to work not a big deal. Good options and a very very big improvment on the 2007 and earlier Liberties. I like the fact it is more retro and harkens back more to the boxy older Cherokees of the 80s and 90s.
2008 Mitsubishi Endeavor - LS AWD
Advice: You guys can't be wrong !Very smooth, very good transmission and very fast. Perfect SUV. Just drive 10 minutes and you will love it. Very strong, you fell this SUV like a tank, but easy to handling.