Best SUV?

spoozbucket

Likes Dirt
I have a 2.5ltr Turbo VW van, goes like a shower of shit for what it is Yeah I know, no restrictions ha ha. and uses sweet F A fuel.
Same with an Exs VW Diesel Golf.
But yeah, hear the diesel mechanic wont own diesel thing pretty often.
Loved my 2ltr Forrester GT, but drank like a mofo. I do have a heavy right foot, but never made the VW diesels drink to excess.
I'd get either really.
Forgot to ask if it's auto......? I don't know a huge amount about the boxes but I know they go boom a lot and if it is one of the stupid filled or sealed for life get the fluid changed, I think a rebuild is 7-8k. Euro stuff is good when it's good but it will make you cry when it goes bad. Even with trade discount and being able to work on vehicles myself I still wouldn't touch a modern Euro car if it's needed on a daily basis, they are fine over there but parts in Oz are stupidly expensive to the generally more reliable Asian cars. My sister still has a spare car because it's cheaper than doing a couple of runs to a VW dealer rather than waiting to go to the Indie.

EDIT- That is very poorly worded but I can't be stuffed fixing it.
 

dcrofty

Eats Squid
Ive inherited 2 RAV4s from my parents when they upgraded. Took the first to 370 000km and it was still going strong when we used it for a trade in. Current one is about 180 000km. Ill get another 5-10 years out of it I reckon if I service it regularly.

Good on sand, I used to take the first one shooting, its by no means a proper 4WD but it will get places you might be a little surprised by, especially as mine was hail damaged and I didnt care about dinging it a bit.
I could fit a couple of bikes and gear in no worries but its not huge inside. 2L engine is a decent compromise of economy but still going all right.

Pretty solid vehicle all up and parts/servicing should be pretty reasonable
 

crank1979

Likes Bikes and Dirt
Maybe older ones are small, but newer models are very roomy inside.
We could fit more in the back of the old 2007 Impreza wagon than we can in the 2013 Forester. The Forester is a much nicer car for general driving, but as you'd expect, not as much fun around twisty roads.
 

hazza6542

Eats Squid
Maybe older ones are small, but newer models are very roomy inside.
Found the opposite. Got an 01, downhill bike slides in with wheels still on around the fully sic subwoofa and both front seats back as far as they go. New ones, can't get it in. Real tall but not as wide I thought.
 

No Skid Marks

Blue Mountain Bikes Brooklyn/Lahar/Kowa/PO1NT Raci
Forgot to ask if it's auto......? I don't know a huge amount about the boxes but I know they go boom a lot and if it is one of the stupid filled or sealed for life get the fluid changed, I think a rebuild is 7-8k. Euro stuff is good when it's good but it will make you cry when it goes bad. Even with trade discount and being able to work on vehicles myself I still wouldn't touch a modern Euro car if it's needed on a daily basis, they are fine over there but parts in Oz are stupidly expensive to the generally more reliable Asian cars. My sister still has a spare car because it's cheaper than doing a couple of runs to a VW dealer rather than waiting to go to the Indie.

EDIT- That is very poorly worded but I can't be stuffed fixing it.
My
VW van is manual, the EXs Golf was Auto.
 

macca_1972

Likes Dirt
What about repair expenses? I'll do oil etc myself though. but say an exhaust or belts etc.
Will check em out.
Had a wish list similar to yours, and bought a Koleos back in July. Great car, wife and I both love it. They come in both 2 and 4 wheel drive, so obviously you'd want the 4x4 version.

Best thing about them is they were not all that popular (maybe the Euro thing put people off), so depreciation helps you get a very nice car for not many $. Ours is a 2010 4x4 model, had 58K on the odo and with a bit of haggling we got it for $12,500. We plan to hang onto it for a while (stopping at 2 kids!) so any further depreciation isn't a worry for us. For the money we paid, nothing else came close.

Haven't taken it off road yet, but there are a number of videos on youtube showing that it has some reasonable off road ability. The petrols have around 200mm ground clearance, for some reason the diesels only have 180mm or so. You'd only fit a bike in the back if you fold the rear seats down. The rear window slopes forward a fair bit, so the space above the seat back level is limited if you ever want to pack to the roof, but the floor area is exactly the same as my old Mitsubishi Challenger so they aren't tiny. The 2.5L petrols have bang on 125kW, we get around 11L/100km around town on 95RON which isn't too bad. Haven't done a highway consumption measurement yet. Tried 98 in it once but there was no difference in the urban fuel consumption figure.

As mentioned, they share their platform and mechanicals (engines, brakes, suspension, gearbox, 4WD system) with the T31 X-Trail. Basically just a different body and interior. The previous owner included a few parts and some of them are just Nissan ones with a Renault sticker over them. Don't know a great deal about parts pricing, but I do know that a genuine fan belt/tensioner/idler kit is around $700. Ours had a major service due at 60k, this was around $900 at a Renault dealer. It was pretty comprehensive though (oil, air/oil filters, brake fluid, coolant, spark plugs, pollen filter, etc), the next few minor services should be a fair bit less than this. Even less if you skip the dealer I imagine. I understand Nissan dealers can service them too, but I've read the prices are about the same.

A big plus for us is that these also have a full-size alloy spare wheel. A lot of SUVs in this class are starting to use space savers (that I hate with a passion) which I regard as a deal breaker. Other great features we like are the split tailgate, rear side window blinds that retract into the door, airline-type tray tables behind the front seats for rear passengers, rear a/c vents, lots of storage hidey-holes and the list goes on. One other thing to note was that, at our price point, these were the only SUVs with rear airbags.

It's a great car, meets our family needs perfectly and should last us a long time. They never really caught on here and as such are are extremely underrated. Good news for us 2nd hand buyers a few years down the track though! If you have any other questions about them just shoot.

Matt
 

silentbutdeadly

Eats Squid
If you like the van then consider a dual cab 4motion version of the same. I've run something similar for nigh on 15 years and are yet to be more than very occasionally disappointed.

I can fit more bikes in my thing than Santa. And it has been twice round the country and seen more ground than most SUvs will ever take fright at...
 

ozzybmx

Likes Bikes and Dirt
What about an older model Nissan Pathfinder, very capable 4WD's and not too bad on the diesel consumption.

Forrester's are great car also.
 

No Skid Marks

Blue Mountain Bikes Brooklyn/Lahar/Kowa/PO1NT Raci
Thanks Macca(brother Rat) for that write up. Good points. Glad you're happy.

Found a nice turbo forester, not checked it out yet, loved my last one(2ltr this ones 2.5), but some natural induction power would be nice.
For what it's worth my last Forrester died after I got the belt changed. Lasted 6 months then the little tensioner failed, piston and valve love didn't work out. Shortened long story peruses bail out now.
Happened after dam wall in Jindabyne on way home to Canberra. I sold it to local mechanic for $1000 after talking to my mechanic and hitched home(nobodies picking up a Nigger with an attitude), was a long day. Mechanic sold my car to canberra mechanic who came to get keys off me. He told me of the tensioner, I demanded warranty from my other mechanic and got car back. Loads of shit fights in there getting it back, but won't bore you.
Point being, even the best cars can be screwed by a shitty little part.
 
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spoozbucket

Likes Dirt
Thanks Macca(brother Rat) for that write up. Good points. Glad you're happy.

Found a nice turbo forester, not checked it out yet, loved my last one(2ltr this ones 2.5), but some natural induction power would be nice.
For what it's worth my last Forrester died after I got the belt changed. Lasted 6 months then the little tensioner failed, piston and valve love didn't work out. Shortened long story peruses bail out now.
Happened after dam wall in Jindabyne on way home to Canberra. I sold it to local mechanic for $1000 after talking to my mechanic and hitched home(nobodies picking up a Nigger with an attitude), was a long day. Mechanic sold my car to canberra mechanic who came to get keys off me. He told me of the tensioner, I demanded warranty from my other mechanic and got car back. Loads of shit fights in there getting it back, but won't bore you.
Point being, even the best cars can be screwed by a shitty little part.
I'd imagine he wouldn't warrant it because he left the old tensioner in, some mechanics will take the easy route if the can. I recently had to do a forced timing belt change as the car popped out a cam seal and started dumping oil inside the belt cover, it wasn't replaced at 100000km and had gone hard and shrunk a little so it popped out. Some mechanics will throw the cam seals out to speed the job up a bit or just buy a belt and a tensioner instead of a kit, I figure do everything while you're in there, on some cars it's a good idea to do the water pump(at 1 or 200000 depending on the car) too as they are pretty labour intensive to do if you aren't doing a timing belt.

The Forester you are looking at should have a timing chain I think.
 

SF Trailboy

Likes Bikes and Dirt
Own an outback - love it.

2nd choice was an X-trail.

What ever you do don't buy a craptiva. My brother is a mechanic at a holden dealer and say they do more warranty work on them than anything else they sell. He also says that it should be more considering how poorly built they are. For reference his pick was a Forrester for his family car.
 

Anthony B

Likes Dirt
We could fit more in the back of the old 2007 Impreza wagon than we can in the 2013 Forester. The Forester is a much nicer car for general driving, but as you'd expect, not as much fun around twisty roads.
swaybars, spring, shocks - I can put $100 bet my foz would leave the imprezza for dead in the corners lol


Be aware of the repair cost to the modern diesel engines, injectors are a minimum $370 for a Toyota Denso injector, euro diesels use Bosch items & most start around $450ea. Common rail is a relatively new engine design & unfortunately lack the reliability the old sooty diesels where known for.
 

No Skid Marks

Blue Mountain Bikes Brooklyn/Lahar/Kowa/PO1NT Raci
I'd imagine he wouldn't warrant it because he left the old tensioner in, some mechanics will take the easy route if the can. I recently had to do a forced timing belt change as the car popped out a cam seal and started dumping oil inside the belt cover, it wasn't replaced at 100000km and had gone hard and shrunk a little so it popped out. Some mechanics will throw the cam seals out to speed the job up a bit or just buy a belt and a tensioner instead of a kit, I figure do everything while you're in there, on some cars it's a good idea to do the water pump(at 1 or 200000 depending on the car) too as they are pretty labour intensive to do if you aren't doing a timing belt.

The Forester you are looking at should have a timing chain I think.
Was a new tensioner, and yup, I did water pump too.

Own an outback - love it.

2nd choice was an X-trail.

What ever you do don't buy a craptiva. My brother is a mechanic at a holden dealer and say they do more warranty work on them than anything else they sell. He also says that it should be more considering how poorly built they are. For reference his pick was a Forrester for his family car.
Sweet, thanks for the heads up. Captivas are off the list.
 

spoozbucket

Likes Dirt
Was a new tensioner, and yup, I did water pump too.


Sweet, thanks for the heads up. Captivas are off the list.
Wow, pretty odd he wouldn't chase warranty, just an A-Hole I guess.
Captiva sounds like a 4WD version of the Viva, they are also horribly unreliable but usually just as the warranty runs out, such a shit car.


Big turbo and a straight cut gear set for the Subie, it will send your young one off to sleep nicely ;)
 

Haakon

veni, vidi, volanti
Should you go down the Renault road, I can point you at a bunch of parts suppliers and assist in finding a decent indpendant (although a Nissan specialist will do as well).

For example, that $700 alternator belt kit is a rip, a quick ebay search suggests you shouldnt pay more than $200 for an OE supplier brand item without the Nissan/Reno sticker and dealer gouging.
 
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