Question Honda Pilot totaled; thoughts on Nissan Murano, Rogue, Honda CR-V, Subaru Forester

willoL

New member
DH was in an accident and his 2004 Honda Pilot is a total loss. (He walked away with only minor cuts and bruises, thank God!)

Between the promised insurance payout and cash savings, I can spend $20,000 for a new vehicle without incurring any debt. We could take out a loan and buy something much more expensive, but it wasn't in the budget for another few years and might mean we can't afford to send our little guy to the preschool we'd chosen for next year. :(

Will I get "that much" more safety buying something new at the top of our possible price range, or will we do just as well with a late model used car that seems to have all the safety features that I want?

We live in New England and DH must go to work regardless of weather conditions, so AWD or 4WD is very important to him. I want both stability control and traction control.

He's considering a step down in size from the Pilot (seats 8) to a CR-V or Nissan Rogue or Subaru Forester (2009+ redesign.) We sometimes carried 6 people, but rarely, so we could rent a car for those few times we need that much passenger capacity... (I drive a little Nissan Versa, so it is nice to have one larger vehicle for family trips, though there are only 4 of us.)

We did some test drives yesterday, and DH prefers the Nissan Murano, but the one he likes is the most expensive car we're seriously considering. ($33k for a 2009 with only 5000 miles on it.)

His next favorite drive was the 2010 Nissan Rogue, followed by a 2007 Honda Pilot, then the 2010 Honda CR-V. (We're very open to a late model used version of the Rogue or CR-V, but it was simpler to just test drive the new ones that were ready to go. We'll test drive any particular used model before buying, of course.) We haven't made it to the less-conveniently located Subaru dealer yet, plus DH isn't very enthusiastic about that brand, for some reason.

Do you get more safety above $20,000? Or would we only be paying for more comforts?

Thanks for whatever help anyone can provide.

--willo
 
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Pixels

New member
The 2010 Forester isn't really a 5-passenger vehicle, it's more of a 4-passenger vehicle. The center rear seat isn't compatible with carseats, and it's not wide enough for an adult behind.

AWD or 4WD help you go. They do not improve your ability to stop. In snow, slush, and ice, I see more AWD/4WD vehicles get into trouble because they drive too fast for road conditions. 2WD vehicles slow down.

Anti-lock brakes improve braking distances on dry or wet pavement. On soft surfaces, such as gravel or snow, ABS actually increases braking distances. Since (living in a snowy climate) I'm more likely to have problems stopping on snow than I am on dry or wet pavement, I chose to get a vehicle that did not have ABS.

For comparisons on safety, check out informedforlife.org.
 
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Lys

Senior Community Member
What about a Mazda 7?
We test drove one a few months ago. They are really nice and would probably fit closer in your price range. IIRC, a 2010 was $22,000(?).
 

Jeanum

Admin - CPS Technician Emeritus
Staff member
Pixels, are you possibly thinking of the Toyota RAV4 or the Subaru Tribeca, perhaps, which do have third rows (std. in the Tribeca, IIRC, and an optional third row in the 2007 and newer RAV4) instead of the CR-V, because the Honda CR-V doesn't have a third row? :confused: I know the RAV4's third row is pretty cramped and its second row has overlapping rear driver's side and center position seatbelt buckle stalks. Not sure about the Tribeca's third row as I've never checked out one of those in my shopping or car snooping. Not that the OP listed the RAV4 or Tribeca as possibilities, just trying to clarify about the CR-V's features. :)

If the OP and her DH weren't keen on possibly downsizing, I'd suggest another Pilot since it fared so well in the crash, thank goodness. :twocents:
 

Pixels

New member
Jeanum, I was thinking of the Rav4. I'll edit my post so as not to confuse anyone.

Lysandra, I believe you mean the Mazda CX-7.
 

willoL

New member
Pixels-- Thanks for the link. :2thumbsup:
It is exactly the kind of information I want. Now looking through the pages of data is making my head swim, but it is well worth it. :) After a very quick look, I'm happy to say it makes it much easier to dismiss the very expensive (but fun/sexy!) Murano.

I can't change DH's commute. I can't change what the other drivers do. I am thinking of getting DH a skid car training course as a gift :whistle:, but that's about all I can do to change his driving habits (which are okay, but not as cautious as mine!) Insisting on the safest car possible is about the extent of what I can bring to the party.

We are definitely considering a used Pilot of the previous design. (Neither DH nor I like the newer, bigger, boxier Pilot, nor do we want to spend so much right now.) DH likes the idea of his car being almost identical to the old one--he doesn't like change. HOWEVER, he felt that he might've avoided the crash (someone plowed into him from the side) if his car had been more maneuverable. Still, he appreciated how well the Pilot took the crash impact. Our local dealer has a 2006 and a 2007 that seem like great contenders.

We are well aware that the 4WD only helps one to start, not to stop. DH goes to work well before our secondary street (or our driveway!) get cleared, so he needs to be able to bully his way out of the driveway and down one block to the state highway that is cleared right away.

ABS is probably helpful for us as other Boston-area drivers are our main hazard. Also, we are very near (a few blocks from) the ocean, so our snow melts more quickly than further inland. There are idiots barreling around in bad weather, but perhaps more idiots (like last week) barreling around in dry weather, so he might slam on his brakes at any time. (Personally, my single experience of my own car's ABS came when an SUV driver on her cell phone cut me off last week. I really thought I would be crashing my car the same week DH crashed his!)

--willo
 

Lys

Senior Community Member
Sounds like you live where my sister used to live, Gloucester.

If that's the case, I would look for an 06-08 Pilot. I have an 06. And while I don't live where it snows regularly, I do like the safety ratings on it. It's the main reason we bought it, other than it seats 8.
 

SuzaBanana

New member
ABS is probably helpful for us as other Boston-area drivers are our main hazard. Also, we are very near (a few blocks from) the ocean, so our snow melts more quickly than further inland. There are idiots barreling around in bad weather, but perhaps more idiots (like last week) barreling around in dry weather, so he might slam on his brakes at any time. (Personally, my single experience of my own car's ABS came when an SUV driver on her cell phone cut me off last week. I really thought I would be crashing my car the same week DH crashed his!)

Ha! You must live near me because DH & I call this the North Shore "move"...you'd think we'd be used to it by now, but it's shocking every time.
FWIW - we've had 2 Foresters over the past 10 years & they've been fantastic in our New England weather & I won't consider a vehicle without AWD while living up here. It just feels that secure...and I am super-cautious too! :thumbsup:
 

bubbaray

New member
My Honda service advisor tells me (repeatedly, actually) that the CR-V is the most reliable vehicle Honda makes. I love my Ody, but am considering a CR-V when its time to get a new vehicle (not for a long time, though).

We demo'd most of the vehicles on your list in the past 2 years when DH was vehicle shopping. Of those, scratch the Rogue, its VERY small IMO. I really liked the '09 Forester, though there was zero possibility of 3 across in that vehicle due to the slope of the seat bottoms in the rear seat. In the CR-V, it is possible to do 3 across. You may want that possibility with carpooling, etc..

The Rav-4 is a nice vehicle, but the way the rear gate opens (for righthand drive in Japan) is a deal breaker for me. Plus, I like rear tailgates that open upwards so that I am shielded from the rain. 3 across isn't possible in the Rav-4, but there is an available 3rd row.

The Murano is very nice, but I'd still take a CR-V or Forester over the Rav-4. JMHO.

Of course, if you go with the used Pilot, you know what you are getting.

FWIW, my DH went with a Toyota Tacoma crew cab, after demoing literally every small and medium sized SUV in the market. He's very happy. The dog (see avatar), not so much (he rides in a crate in the box -- poor puppy!).

HTH
 

willoL

New member
DH is about to test drive a 2010 Hyundai Veracruz--seats 7 and has a very good safety rating at informedforlife.org. He liked driving the Hyundai Sante Fe, but the available 3rd row seats don't seem to be available right now, and the Veracruz is closer in size to his Pilot anyway with a supposedly more useable 3rd row. (I'm the one who wanted to trade down a size. DH is happy to stay in a large car.)

I think we're deciding between the Veracruz (new) or a 2007 Pilot. I don't think we'll try for a smaller vehicle until both kids are out of harnessed seats full-time.

It is really too bad about the Pilot re-design. We just don't like it, so we can't really consider a new one!

(I also decided to use the insurance payout from the old car to pay off my small/cheap car and as the down payment on the new car. We'll still have only one payment, and it'll be bigger, but I'll be able to work it into the budget.)

Thanks to everyone who shared their ideas. :)

--willo
 

willoL

New member
DH is about to test drive a 2010 Hyundai Veracruz--seats 7 and has a very good safety rating at informedforlife.org. He liked driving the Hyundai Sante Fe, but the available 3rd row seats don't seem to be available right now, and the Veracruz is closer in size to his Pilot anyway with a supposedly more useable 3rd row. (I'm the one who wanted to trade down a size. DH is happy to stay in a large car.)

I think we're deciding between the Veracruz (new) or a 2007 Pilot. I don't think we'll try for a smaller vehicle until both kids are out of harnessed seats full-time.

It is really too bad about the Pilot re-design. We just don't like it, so we can't really consider a new one!

(I also decided to use the insurance payout from the old car to pay off my small/cheap car and as the down payment on the new car. We'll still have only one payment, and it'll be bigger, but I'll be able to work it into the budget.)

Thanks to everyone who shared their ideas. :)

--willo
 

Lys

Senior Community Member
I have to agree with you on the Pilot re-design. I don't like it at all.

Good luck with your new car choice.
 
I don't so much have an opinion on which car you should purchase as I do advice on purchasing any used car - beware! Here is my story, which after the fact I found was not a fluke, but actually somewhat common. This summer we purchases a late model Pilot. Clean, low miles, clean car-fax, etc. Thank goodness 2 days after purchase the check engine light came on. Bad we thought, but actually knowing this asap saved us thousands. Long story short, lots of painstaking digging and research---the Pilot had been in a severe front end collision with frame damage and engine replacement. The Honda dealership who fixed it (most likely a leased vehicle) promptly shipped it off to auction and out of state. Carfax is only about 50% accurate! If the DMV is not notified, carfax will never pick it up. Dealerships often suspect things may have happend to a vehicle, but do not investigate because they "don't want to know". Thankfully in our case a friend in the car biz instructed us on what to do in our state, which was call the seller, inform them of proof of prior frame damage, and demand another vehicle or refund. We did, and came to the conclusion all of the vehicles were coming from most likely insurance auctions and had previous substantial damage. We got a full refund with only minor hassle. If the check engine light hadn't of come on so quickly we would have been like most and not known until it was too late to get our $ back. Moral--have any used car checked by a unbiased mechanic, usually the cost of 1 hour labor, regardless of the seller.
 

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