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586 posts

Ultimate Geek

#277317 7-Oct-2020 18:03
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Currently in the market for a SUV. Currently driving a very old Subaru Forester that has done almost 250ks. 


Have been focusing on a used Toyota Highlander circa 2010-2013 (based on my price range). 


Just saw an advert for a Subaru Tribeca.


It has a  3.6L 6 cylinder boxer engine. 


I'm not really looking for high performance, just want a 4wd/Awd for towing the boat and a car full (7 seater) on family trips. 


The Tribeca really looks the business, but it is discontinued and I'm not really sure what to think about that aspect. 


What I can see is that the resale value will be terrible. Whereas a used Toyota even with high kms will hold its (or some of its) value.


Loved the Forester, was a great car and still drives fine although is a very boring and uninspiring car. Leaning towards the Toyota for long term reliability. 


But interest piqued by the Tribeca. The shape looks a bit ugly and the internal console looks like 60s spaceship.

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354 posts

Ultimate Geek

  #2580924 7-Oct-2020 21:20
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The first gen was super ugly and underpowered with a 3ltr engine. The second gen one you have linked fixed some of the ugliness and the 3.6 is a much better fit. The back two seats are really only useful for kids... if the 7 seater is important.


It is basically a bigger Forester (Based on Legacy platform instead of Impreza from memory) - but they just got the styling wrong and it didn't sell due to everyone else having a better option for the money... eg Santa Fe, CX-9 etc




They have a new model in the US called the ascent which is awesome but it's assembled in the US is unlikely we'll see it here... looks like it's destined for left hand drive markets only :(




They drive / handle like you'd expect a Subaru to - but are thirsty compared to the 2014 Forester 2.5 I have now.









1149 posts

Uber Geek

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  #2581464 8-Oct-2020 15:31
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Never been in one, but it gets middling reviews:


Often described as under-rated. As with many Subaru's the main downside seems to be the high maintenance costs associated with accessing parts of the horizontally opposed engine.


High fuel use is also also mentioned, but with an 11.6L/100km rating, fuel consumption will be similar to other non hybrid 6 cylinder SUV's of the era.


I wouldn't worry about it being discontinued. For comparison the second generation highlander you are comparing to is also discontinued with the 3rd (and 4th) generations sharing only limited bits. The engine is used in other subaru's. The car being rare may be a bit of an issue if you ever need the likes of a new wing mirror etc.




In general, a lot will come down to how big is your boat (Kg's on trailer fully fueled etc - good idea to take it to somewhere like the dump to find this out if you don't already know), how much the towbar downforce is.


I recommend looking for vehicles with genuine / dealer towbars fitted. Generally they cost quite a bit to put on that is not reflected in the used value of the car. Not such a big fan of aftermarket towbars, often they have quite a low towball downforce rating compaired to aftermarket units.


Also important is:


- how much space you need (the third row in pritty much all SUV's is only suitable for kids), as they pritty much has no boot space with the third row in use, so you will need a roofbox or to load stuff in the boat when going on holiday.


- If you are willing to go for a mpv/van to get more space.


- What your budget is (Guessing $15k - $20k) based on the cars mentioned above.


- How many annual km's you do - determines how important fuel economy is.


- If you are willing to go for a diesel - more economical when towing & loaded, but modern diesels often need a decent open road run every couple of weeks to clear out the particulate filter. Also some people prefer to avoid them as their exhaust fumes have been confirmed to cause cancer.


With regards to the 2010-2013 highlander. They look quite nice, but note the 2nd row configuration. Middle seat can be removed for a (child sized) walkthrough to the third row, but doesn't look comfortable for sitting. Seems to run at $18k - $22k.


I have done 1000km+ in a 3rd generation highlander rental car in the south island. Really nice comfortable car to travel long distances in, but a bit of a beast to park etc. Has normal second row. They start at about $26k, but are rated to use 1l/100km less fuel than than the prior generation, so some could expect to claw back $300 odd a year in fuel savings. Still used 13-14L/100km in town, but much better on the open road (around 10L/100km). These are one of the most spacious 7 seater suv's around.


Interesting to note that easily next year a new Highlander (on a new platform) is coming out. The 3.5L 225kW v6 is getting dropped, and the sole powertrain offering in NZ with be a 179kW hybrid.


Other examples to consider in this class are the:


  • Kia Sorrento (Diesel or 4 cyl petrol) - bit cheaper than the highlander.
  • Misti Outlander current shape (Diesel or 4 cyl petrol) - best value offering segment
  • Maxda CX-9.

Could also consider low range (off road style) 4x4's. Typically deisel.


  • Prado cira 2010. Expensive at cira $30k, comfortable, and great at load lugging, but slow & poor handeling. 2800kg+ tow rating.
  • Ssangyong rexton. Cheap because of obscure Korean brand. Cira $15k for a 2012 (with roof racks and towbar). Proper low range 4x4 setup. Well regarded mercies sourced 2.7L diesel engine. 3200kg tow rating.

AWD van's / MPV's


  • Delica D5. - Based on previous generation outlander platform. (very common car on NZ roads). Van body means a lot more room than the 7 seat SUV's. Can actually fit adults in 3rd row. Had 3rd row airvents etc. 8 seats. 4wd system where optioned is similar to that of most soft SUV's. Luggage area with all seats in use small but bigger than many suv's. Will need to have an aftermarket towbar fitted as most are fresh imports, they are rated to 1500kg normally. Fairly cheap. Typically 2.4L petrol, but there are some diesels available.
  • 4wd Hiace minivan 10 seater. 2.7L petrol auto. Basic interior but having an isle is a lot more covenant than having to more seats around if you are often traveling with 7 people. Could remove a couple or seats for more cargo space, or just pile stuff on them. The ability to spread people out is also valuable if you have kids. Suspension will be set up for a load, so less concern about overloading the rear than in other vehicles.

2wd mpv / vans:


  • Kia Carnival, current generation. Kinda expensive at $26k (with towbar), but would be my pick. Powerful R series diesel engine. 8 seater, with some workable luggage space with all seats in use.
  • Hyundai iMax. 8 seater van with big cargo bay. I have rented one for two weeks in NZ, and family have a luxury trimmed one overseas. Diesel goes hard (but less powerfull than the one in the carnival above). 2.4L petrol also available. RWD. 1500kg tow rating (I think) can fit adults in all seats. Tight turning circle. I have towed 1500kg with the cargo version and it did so with ease. Despite the size, I don't have an issue using these as a daily driver when I am with my family overseas. The current version has a locking rear differential to help with off road performance. Could have one fitted to older models if you wanted I assume.
  • Mercadies V350. More luxurious variant of the above. Available in diesel and v6 petrol. Quite cheap for what you get. These are designed as commercial vehicles so don't write them off for poor euro reliability.






586 posts

Ultimate Geek

  #2583138 12-Oct-2020 15:00
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Thanks for all the feedback @Shapenz @Scott3, tried to post a reply last week but kept coming up with a cloudflare error. 


In the end I've opted for a used Highlander. I've had no problems with the Forester but prefer the Highlander for its looks and that it is much more common in NZ for parts and servicing etc. 

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