My comparison: Midsize/large crossovers

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Thread: My comparison: Midsize/large crossovers

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    My comparison: Midsize/large crossovers

    For families looking for a large family vehicle with three rows of seats, it's hard to beat the space and practicality of a minivan. If you can stomach a van's image, you can pretty safely stop reading and head over to last month's comparison of minivans.

    But maybe you want all-wheel-drive, which only one van (the Toyota Sienna) presently offers.

    Or perhaps you want smaller exterior dimensions than today's less-than-svelte minivans, but still three rows of usable seats with more passenger and cargo room than half-size-smaller Dodge Journey or Kia Sorento.

    And even if it's just the look and the image of today's pleasant and practical crossover SUVs that's winning you away from the sliding-door sect, there is a wide range of models with a different set of strengths and weaknesses...
    Continued at link:

    http://www.examiner.com/cars-in-nati...s-introduction
    Edit: Update to include the rankings summary up here: http://www.examiner.com/cars-in-nati...anking-summary

    In an experiment, I've changed the format of the comparison slightly from the past ones: Instead of releasing the ranking order bit by bit, I'll be releasing steadily increasing level of detail:

    Today, the ranking is published in the slideshow, with a one-sentence explanation. (Constrained to a 255-character limit.)

    Tomorrow, I'll put up what's normally the last thing to be published: the discussion of how the models rank in different areas (comfort/luxury, value, etc).

    And only after that will I put up the full reviews, still one at a time.

    Thoughts on whether this system is an improvement will be welcome.
    Last edited by bradyholt; 07-26-2011 at 02:57 PM.

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    Re: My comparison: Midsize/large crossovers

    I look forward to this. The Explorer is the only one I have no experience with aside from sitting in it, but I'd say:

    Dodge Durango
    Ford Explorer
    Honda Pilot
    Chevrolet Traverse

    The Chevy badly needs an improved interior, but otherwise it's pretty competitive. The Pilot would win in my personal book because it drives better and has a better interior, though is short on some features and power. I think the Ford and Dodge look great; the Chevy and Honda are not ugly but very blah and look generic, cheap.

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    Re: My comparison: Midsize/large crossovers

    Traverse & Durango are where it's at IMHO.
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    Re: My comparison: Midsize/large crossovers

    Interesting that the Flex beat the Explorer.

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    Re: My comparison: Midsize/large crossovers

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael_S View Post
    Interesting that the Flex beat the Explorer.
    Dealers can't keep the Explorer on the lots and can't get rid of the Flex, and are discounting the pair accordingly. Plus there's the ever-frustrating MyFord Touch, and the Flex's excellent seats.

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    Re: My comparison: Midsize/large crossovers

    The Ford Flex is a "connoisseur's crossover" so to speak. There's all this complaining about its low sales figures, but neither the Chrysler Pacifica nor Mercedes R-class sold in large numbers. I don't know what Ford was smoking when it seriously thought it could get 100 thousand Americans to cough up 50 large for a family wagon. I think 25,000 per annum is about all any manufacturer will see with this type of wagon. There simply aren't enough well-to-do buyers with large families out there.

    Like I've said a few quintillion times before... the Flex should have been a Lincoln and the wheeled-manatee-with-haemorrhoids MKT forgotten altogether.

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    Re: My comparison: Midsize/large crossovers

    Quote Originally Posted by bradyholt View Post
    Thoughts on whether this system is an improvement will be welcome.
    I'll reiterate my constant critique - just release the entire comparison all at once. Who is going to remember to come back days later, and then day after day, to read your work in full? It's frustrating.

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    Re: My comparison: Midsize/large crossovers

    Quote Originally Posted by t-rex View Post
    The Ford Flex is a "connoisseur's crossover" so to speak. There's all this complaining about its low sales figures, but neither the Chrysler Pacifica nor Mercedes R-class sold in large numbers. I don't know what Ford was smoking when it seriously thought it could get 100 thousand Americans to cough up 50 large for a family wagon. I think 25,000 per annum is about all any manufacturer will see with this type of wagon. There simply aren't enough well-to-do buyers with large families out there.
    Between the discount at the dealership and the above-market value we got for our trade, I would say our Flex SE was effectively priced at $27,000, maybe even $26,000. That's not out of line with an entry level 2011 minivan from Honda or Chrysler and one level above baseline for the 2011 Sienna or Quest. Only the Kia and Dodge minivans are consistently cheaper.

    A fully loaded Honda Odyssey, Chrysler Town & Country, or Toyota Sienna is comfortably north of $40,000 these days and they don't offer all wheel drive or more than 285 horsepower. I don't think the price of the Flex is that crazy, and it's notably more spacious than the R-class or Pacifica, more fuel efficient, and better crash-rated than the Pacifica (the R-class isn't tested because the sales volume is too low and the price is too high).
    Last edited by Michael_S; 07-25-2011 at 04:47 PM.

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    Re: My comparison: Midsize/large crossovers

    Quote Originally Posted by K-1 View Post
    I'll reiterate my constant critique - just release the entire comparison all at once. Who is going to remember to come back days later, and then day after day, to read your work in full? It's frustrating.
    I don't like it either, but I'm sure the examiner gets its revenue from ad views. Releasing the whole comparison at once would reduce the number of page hits, and that could put bradyholt and his coworkers out of a job.

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    Re: My comparison: Midsize/large crossovers

    The Flex ain't bad-looking. I wish it was selling better. Same for MKT.
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    Re: My comparison: Midsize/large crossovers

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael_S View Post
    I don't like it either, but I'm sure the examiner gets its revenue from ad views. Releasing the whole comparison at once would reduce the number of page hits, and that could put bradyholt and his coworkers out of a job.
    The other thing is that we're asked as writers to post somewhat often. So if I put up 10 articles at once and then went dormant for weeks, I'm not really doing what they want me to.

    Even as it is, everything in Examiner.com's format discourages long-form writing. They prefer quick-hit Google-snappy pieces as often as possible to a long review, much less a series of long reviews.

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    Re: My comparison: Midsize/large crossovers

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael_S View Post
    A fully loaded Honda Odyssey, Chrysler Town & Country, or Toyota Sienna is comfortably north of $40,000 these days and they don't offer all wheel drive or more than 285 horsepower.
    The Toyota offers AWD. The Flex is also plenty expensive itself. A loaded Flex without AWD or EB can still ring in over 46K. Otherwise I agree with you. I'd rather have a Flex EB and like the Flex a lot.

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    Re: My comparison: Midsize/large crossovers

    I love the Flex. Any change I get to drive one, I take up the offer. If i had kids the Flex would be my choice.
    Current:
    2016 Lincoln MKX 2.7 Reserve AWD

    Former:
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    2004 Nissan Maxima 3.5 SL
    2008 Ford Edge Limited AWD
    2008 Jeep Commander Sport 4x4
    2010 Jeep Liberty Sport 4x4
    2011 Chevy Cruze LT
    2013 Ford Explorer XLT 4x4
    2015 Ford Explorer Sport
    2016 Lincoln MKZ AWD

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    Re: My comparison: Midsize/large crossovers

    I got a chance to crawl all over an Explorer Limited, this last weekend.

    Wow. I was very impressed with the interior. My Mom was having a fabulous time playing with the MyFordTouch, and the cooled seats. The 9-year-old was having a great time with the power fold and tumble seats. Frankly, I can understand why they can't keep them on the lots.

    This was my first opportunity to get actual hands on experience with one. They have never had one last more than a day or two, before it is gone. I don't expect this one to be here long. It was a beautiful bronze metallic. Frankly, if the vehicle was available with the Ecoboost V6, it would be an incredibly compelling package.

    BTW, for those who have deemed the 2012 Focus to be a boy racer wannabe compact.................... my 68-year-old mother fell in love with it, at first sight. She desperately wants one. I think that if she gets a job up here (she is now living with us), that she will buy one.

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    Re: My comparison: Midsize/large crossovers

    Quote Originally Posted by Amphibian View Post
    The Toyota offers AWD. The Flex is also plenty expensive itself. A loaded Flex without AWD or EB can still ring in over 46K. Otherwise I agree with you. I'd rather have a Flex EB and like the Flex a lot.
    You're right, of course, on the pricing. Still, I think t-rex's statement that $50k is too much is misleading. Yes you can option a Flex to $50,000, but it's a very nice vehicle even at the entry level, and it really is surprising that at that price Ford is not selling more.

    I still wouldn't expect it to reach 100,000 per year. It's good, but not that good.

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