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.)
2009 Toyota Venza - V6 FWD
Cons: Gave up my heated seats
Advice: Drive it!Lots of places to put 'stuff'. Engine has phenomenal power and 'feels' like a Rhino running down the road. Get the feeling that the tires are squeezing the life out of the road. A very tight ride, great suspension on 19' wheels, and people in the back seat have stated that they are as comfortable back there as they were in my 2005 Avalon. Contemplated a Honda CRV, but I felt every bump all the way up my spine. Wanted an AWD because of the hilly terrain and the problems that were happening with the Avalon in the snow. I got an Avalon with AWD with this vehicle.
2008 Hyundai Veracruz - Limited AWD
Pros: Smoothness and the incredible stereo
Cons: Want brighter headlights, but that is minor
Advice: Test drive it last and always compareThis is the second Hyundai I own and after having my Santa Fe for a few years, I am not surprised. The SUV rides so smooth, the road noise is non-existent, the interior is awesome, features inside and out are fabulous, and the price was thousands lower than anything else. All of this with a great warranty. I must say that dealerships do make the buying experience good or bad also, so consider this with the purchase. Do your homework and test drive this vehicle last that way you will appreciate what it has to offer just a little more.