2010 SUV recommendations

We've been hunting for a mid sized SUV for a week.
Have narrowed it down to a Holden Captiva, VW Tiguan, and Mazda CX-7.

I am interested in anyone's opinions about these or any SUVs.

My view is
elevated seating postion
more storage than a sedan.
reasonable resale value.
diesel option
tiptronic gearbox.

difficult reversing them even with rear camera and sensors.
not the most fuel efficient. The CX-7 got 16L/100km on the test drive today, despite being rated around 11L.
Tyres for 18-19 inch wheels can be $600 in the city, and higher in the country.

At this point the CX-7 is winning.

The VW was smaller than expected, and the diesel engine was much noisier than the others, and its turbo lagged noticeably like cars from 20 years ago. Apart from that, its build quality was impeccable (made in Germany).

The Captiva imho offered the best driving experience. Its diesel was surprisingly quiet and responsive. The build quality wasn't as good as the VW but was still ok.

The Mazda is winning based on styling and, amazingly, price.
The Luxury Sports model has come in the cheapest of similarly specced models.
I love the CX-7...just check the fuel consumption figures, it's older brother is a thristy sod. Nearly bought one until I saw the fuel and fell over.

I like the look of the VW, but the mazda does it for me on many points. if it had 7 seats I would definitely have one!!

not a fan of the captiva...few friends have them - Holden doesn't make soft roaders, they make commodores...for me it showed.

just imho though!!:D
Well, we own a Prado but use its off road capability.

The cars you listed here have such a limited off road capability they are next to useless for that purpose. So why buy a SUV?

My opinion - road cars are designed for the road and SUVs for off road. Trying to include an "elevated driving position" in a road car design brief just compromises road ability (consumption and safety in terms of swerving and braking) for no good reason. If you need space then get a station wagon.

If you need off road capability then get something that actually has it.

I really don't want to come across negative - it's just that these cars seem to be more about form than function (compromised designs for no good reason) and I'm an engineer... :eek:
I have owned a LOT of cars over the years and driven many more...from a kermit green ford escort thru to new mercedes and audis and a hummer. We have a CX7 in the family at the moment and I can honestly say it is the best car I have ever driven. it's at the end of the lease and it's the first time I have ever thought the 3 years is simply not long enough to have had it for. The ONLY criticism is fuel... chewing on average 13.0 of premium and that includes quite a lot of country driving, tho city isnt a great deal thirstier.
WW, have a look at the KIA Sorento. There's a new model out now that looks great, very torquey diesel engines (145kW, 436nm), six speed auto with good fuel economy 7.4 l/100km. Well worth a look, given some of the others you've seen. Also available in 2WD or AWD.:)
I would go the CX7 for build quality, reliability and resale.

I would also throw into the mix a Toyota Kluger. Not the best looking car but seems popular.

Many of the wagon cars are based on the sedan chassis so would always prefer something with more room. We have a Pajero and Navara but both would probably be too big for your needs.
I agree with twobobs - The Kluger was the best SUV we drove. My wife wasn't comfy with its size else the car is brilliant. Shares the same engine as the Lexus RX350 with half the price :)
Any thoughts on the CX-9? We've driven it a couple of times and we like how it drives but 50 large is a lot of dough so we're hesitating a little about it.

We need a 7 seated and it seems the best available, this side of $80k. The Odyssey is a great car but he child restraint point positions are an absolute joke.
Thanks for the feedback everyone.

Other criteria we considered:
-the other half will be driving it most and she wants to downsize from current Nissan X-Trail. Kids are getting their own cars, so less need to carry more than 2 people most of the time.
-We regularly put two road bikes in the back, or dog, so prefer higher luggage space than a station wagon.
-She is used to being higher off the ground in the X-Trail, which is another reason we've cooled on a Tiguan, which has lower road clearance.

vvsingh, thanks for that excellent resource....

the accountant recommended we not buy this one as a company vehicle (long story) so we miss out on the superior discounts available for such.
at this point we're looking at 46.5k for the luxury sports from local Brisbane dealer, which is a 7% discount on the drive away list price they showed us originally.
Hi Winston

We went through this entire scenario just recently and ended up with a shortlist of the following:

Toyota Kluger (excellent car having just sold our old one but new back seat design let it down for us with 3 kids- just very uncomfortable)

Mazda CX 7 and 9 (didn't like the heavy fuel consumption and the floor tracks for moving the rear seats- perfect trap for dirt, food and other undesirable bits and pieces) but this was a close second

Subaru Tribeca- we ended up buying this over the Forester (we also like the height) and am quite happy. Very smooth drive, comfy seats, loads of room in rear, ok on fuel. Only letdown is the rattling the back seats make when empty, but only on rough roads. We had Subaru look at it but, even after tightening with a special bracket, it hasn't made any difference. If you do test drive, make sure you take it on a few rough streets at 80km+

Happy buying!
The new Model KIA Sorrento in top spec with the little diesel and 6 speed auto

Stoopid levels of torque from something so small

5 star Euro NCAP safety, nice fast glass, HID low beams and a chassis that doesnt drive anything lik a

bit cramped in the back back , but the next gen vehicle on from the Captiva et all

and for those that do lotsa ks , shes unlimited prvate use for 5 years

an outback is NOT an SUV.

drive one and tell me it can everything you want it to do - they're awesome for sand and gravel - pretty shocking over rocks though - active levelling suspension or not.

i had a forester is would NOT attempt the stuff i attempt in my...

split fold seven seat, turbo diesel 2.5L (400Nm!!!), sequential shift auto, IRS front and rear, 3t braked towing capacity, 300mm ground clearance, R51 Nissan Pathfinder - most solid f*cking car EVER built and drives like a commodore.

lights up 275/75 R16 bags like they were cheesecutters, at a standstill. SO MUCH TORQUE!!!

Well the final decision was tbh's......and a silver luxury sports mazda cx-7 it is. contract signed today. delivery in mid Feb.

Based on what has been said here, the Kia Sorrento should have got a look in....

TBH didn't like the shape of the Subaru Forrester (too dated and boxy) or the Tribeca

I could have swayed her towards the Hyundai's and Kia Sorrento....but she honestly found the whole research and test thing very tiring.....and she winds back into work next week.

Ultimately, the decision was made on the car's aesthetics and luxury appointments, and the expectation that Mazda's have always cost a little more but was competitive with the others.

I didn't discuss the matter with the accountant, but the long and short is that the acct can't justify this car as a deductible asset in the pty ltd stable. However, I had thought it might be possible to buy the car with fleet discount through the company but not make deductions for it. Messy but worth it if it tapped fleet discount.

Anyway, we'll massage the company structures a little over the next 2 years and changeover to something more fuel efficient. My preference had been on diesel but Mazda only do them in manuals, which is quite bizarre.

Troy, not sure exactly the handling issue of higher cars you referring to, but the recent trend in SUVs is to taper the tops in (less boxy), wider wheels and bodies. This with AWD has to compensate their higher cog.
The Mazda has 19" wheels which is a hell of a lot of traction.....and hopefully we'll upgrade before new tyres are needed :(
on the crash "prone ness" of of SUVs or even 1950s series 1 land rovers

fact.......they have a higher centre of gravity, so if you insist on driving a FJ45 landcruiser like a Mazda MX 5, sooner or later your will be shiny side down. A people mover can not handle the same as go cart.

fact.........Boring old 4wds like cruisers and patrols have low crash ratios per k driven, despite their hippo like road manners, hence their category 1 rating with most insurers.

fact..........if you have a really bad prang where impact intrusion isnt an issue, you dont want to be in a full chassis 4wd..........there isnt enough energy absorption in the shell, vs the chassis, which cant dump the energy., so you end up with major head injury or death.

fact..........the monocoque SUVs ( aka woosy 4wds) cope with a really bad crash very well where impact intrusion into the cell isnt an issue. Their shell design usually does a great job of dissipating the crash energy.

fact.............if you have a bad prang, its hard to beat an S class Benz, 7 series BMW, A6 Audi or large Volvo, porsche etc. While little Vw Polos have 4 and 5 star crash ratings, you cant beat meat when things get tight.

Just my 20 c worth

Well, we own a Prado but use its off road capability.

My opinion - road cars are designed for the road and SUVs for off road. Trying to include an "elevated driving position" in a road car design brief just compromises road ability (consumption and safety in terms of swerving and braking) for no good reason. If you need space then get a station wagon.

I think my hilux is a fantastically safe car on the road (even better off road). The elevated driving position I think is one of the safest things about 4WD's. It increases you line of sight which in turn maximises the time response for stopping distance, etc.(great for looking over other cars)

I have had Patrols, Tritons and Rodeos.

I do like the Prados though.

I do hear you though Hi Equity. There are so many SUV's on the road these days, and they look to nice to be taken off to the beaten track.

I prefer my AUV.


we've had the CX-7 for a year or so now, and been very happy with it. Fuel consumption noticeably improved after the first 6 months or so.
My biggest complaint is that the boot isn't big enough. I used to be able to fit about 2x as much stuff in the subaru liberty we had before this car. But that is its main downside, for me. We bought a demonstrator sports model as well, and it also took me afew months to get used to the leather seats..... I was sliding all over the place initially.
Otherwise, its great to drive, seems reliable etc.

I'll think you'll enjoy it!