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.
2009 Mazda CX-7 - Sport FWD
Pros: Drinking coffee at the dealership.
Cons: Needs check engine fix, pillars too large.
Advice: AVOID THIS LEMONI purchased this 2207 lemon a little over two years ago and don't drive it much. It only has 8500 miles and will be going into the shop for the FOURTH time for a check engine light problem that seems to be impossible to fix. If you enjoy visiting your dealership every 2000mi, this is the vehicle for you. Run, don't walk, away from your Mazda dealer.
2009 Subaru Forester - X (M5)
Pros: snow handling (AWD)
Cons: stripped version/ questionable parts quality
Advice: If you have to buy, byt premium or limited.Unhappy. The advertized price if for a manual transmission. (Have to add $1200 extra for automatic: (false advertising)). The version 2.5X is stripped down version. (removed roof racks, removed fog lights, manual A/C..) Once you start the car, have to wait for at least 3 min for the blue light (coolant temp low) to go away!!!! Had it for 2 weeks, developed a huge windshield crack (service manager needed a flashlight to find the microscopic chip..) Basically not built to be of outdoorsman quality. If you have to buy, do go with the premium/limited version. (do not recommend the stripped down model.)