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Okay, my Ford Explorer has just died and I am in the market for a new SUV. I don't want to spend a ton of money and have narrowed my search down to the Mazda Tribute, Ford Escape, and Toyota Highlander. The Mazda and Ford are basically the same SUV and the Toyota is the more expensive one.

Does anyone here have one of these three and if so how do you like it? I am leaning towards the Mazda (price & safety ratings).

Thoughts, ideas?
 

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The mazda and Ford are identicle.

I really would recommend looking at the Chevy Equinox. I have had many Chevy's over the years and have never been dissappointed. I have a trailblazer now and couldn't be happier. I looked at the Equinox at the Auto show and was extremely impressed by the size and the comfort of it. I Highly recommend it.

http://www.chevrolet.com/equinox/

Fully loaded IIRC is about $26,000 Reasonable fuel economy too.
 

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Schilly said:
The Highlander IIRC is really nice , but is quite a bit more $$ than the others.
A friend of mine has the highlander, while impressed, it's expensive for the car.

There are other options out there unless you love the brand, which some people do.

-Petey
 

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If your planning on keeping this car for a long time rule out the Mazda. Their cars are great for 100K then go into repair nightmares. The Toyota will last forever although more expensive and the Ford will probably have the most power and be the easiest to work on.

If you're an outdoor kind of guy who uses your SUV for those purposes I'd go with the Ford. If you or your wife wants features go with the Toyota.
 

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My brother just traded in his Escape - for another Escape. He loves that car, drives it a TON (doing real estate in L.A.), and never has had a problem with it.
 

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YardApe said:
If your planning on keeping this car for a long time rule out the Mazda. Their cars are great for 100K then go into repair nightmares. The Toyota will last forever although more expensive and the Ford will probably have the most power and be the easiest to work on.
The Ford and Mazda are Identicle vehicles with different badges.

Find
On
Roadside
Dead

Fix
Or
Repair
Daily
 

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Schilly said:
The Ford and Mazda are Identicle vehicles with different badges.

Find
On
Roadside
Dead

Fix
Or
Repair
Daily

ah yes, but there's always

First
On
Race
Day



of course, they don't include the ending of that saying...

To
Need
A
Repair
 

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Schilster Supreme
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Another thing I'd like to point out about the Chevy is it is All Wheel Drive as opposed to Four Wheel Drive.

You get far better traction and control of the vehicle with AWD, as AWD is all the time rather than only when you select it.
 

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AS a fellow parent one thing you really need to analyze is the Cargo space.

Ford Escape 29.3 Cubic Feet
Chevy Equinox 35.2 Cubic Feet

Fuel Economy
Ford: 20/25
Chevy: 19/25
 

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Im partial to Hondas (and Chevrolets actually). I don't know anything about the Honda SUV's (or SUV? do they have more than 1?)...but I do like their mini-van. Gets great mileage, and iirc, wasn't too incredibly priced.

Of course, you living out in the 'dale, you kind of need the 4wd, and I dont think the HOnda van does have that (the Chevy Astro Van does have it, but it's a gas hog).
 

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Give the Subaru Forester a look. Crash-Safety, reliability, economy, and performance. All wheel drive all the time.

$22K-28K new depending on frills.

Not a lot of choice in interiors or exteriors.

This will probably be my next choice when I get to 200,000 miles on my 96 Ford Explorer. (Only 30K to go.)
 

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Ohh another thing to consider....Will the Baby's car seat fit in the middle position in the back seat? That is always the safest spot for a kiddo. I seriously doubt it would on the Ford. The Chevy has a wider backseat so that may be more likely...

Can you tell I like the Chevy? I was considering downsizing from our Trailblazer, and really looked at the Equinox and saw very little loss space wise.
 

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You might also give Jeep Liberty's a try

I love mine, and I can get my 3 kids all in the back seat easily. Lots of room


I drove a Ford Escape Hyrbid this last weekend.. awesome... very very quiet when the gas engine turns off. Like driving a golf cart. A bit more money, but you get a $2000 tax credit next year. Fuel economy is great 33mpg or so
 

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Go with the Tribute. It is cuter than the Ford (body style). I think it would be more reliable than the Chevy and I'm a Chevy guy. I test drove one and loved it. If it weren't for the fact that I wanted a bigger rig, I would have bought it.

I might be inclined to see what Isuzu had to offer in your price range. We ended up with a Trooper for almost the same price as a Tribute. It was bigger with a better engine and transmission, fully made in Japan (sorry U.S. union workers, but JP reliability is much better these days). They had long warranties and we still love ours at 50k+ miles.
 

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Schilly said:
Ohh another thing to consider....Will the Baby's car seat fit in the middle position in the back seat? That is always the safest spot for a kiddo. I seriously doubt it would on the Ford. The Chevy has a wider backseat so that may be more likely...

Can you tell I like the Chevy? I was considering downsizing from our Trailblazer, and really looked at the Equinox and saw very little loss space wise.
I haven't driven the Chevy, but I test drove the Saturn Vue, which IIRC is built on the same platform. It has a 6-cylinder that's built by Honda and is pretty hot. I liked it a lot. I also test drove the Escape. I liked it, but it was a dog compared to the Vue when it came to acceleration. I ended up going with a Subaru Outback, but I kind of wish I'd gone with the Vue. If you decide to test drive one, don't bother with the 4-cylinder version. It has a weird variable transmission and isn't worth consideration, IMO.

By the way, if you need advice, you can always count on Dear E_B. ;)
 

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I might be inclined to see what Isuzu had to offer in your price range. We ended up with a Trooper for almost the same price as a Tribute. It was bigger with a better engine and transmission, fully made in Japan (sorry U.S. union workers, but JP reliability is much better these days). They had long warranties and we still love ours at 50k+ miles.
That's what I drive and I've never had a problem.....Its hard to find anyone who does maintenance on them, but their is a guy on Lombard who does a good job......Pretty good gas mileage, and tons of room....
 
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