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Discussion Starter #1
For those of us who can't afford the $500/month or $40k for an X, I think this would be a good alternative. What do you guys think of a fully loaded 2003 Kia Sorento with Garmin Streetpilot III. Same amenities as an X for about $25k.

Would welcome your opinions.....Thanks
 

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It looks nice... but it STILL is a KIA... :( don't know too much about their reliability, but the reason their cars are so cheap cuz well they use cheap stuff... i think it comes with a 10yr/100,000 mile warranty which is awesome... but u might be makin A LOT of trips to the service center... which is NEVER good... if you do buy it... i'd like to know how everything turns out. If you're pressed on money, go with the Pilot, it's the best SUV (non-luxury) out there! just my $0.02... later
 

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I'm not completely sure about Kia, but the South Korean company Hyundai now makes cars that have slightly ABOVE AVERAGE reliability. I think Kia and Hyundai are now related on a corporate level due to some bankruptcy (or nearly so?) activity. Consumer reports list the 2002 Kia Sedona (minivan?) as average for a 2002 vehicle. (The MDX is well above average, and the Odyssey is as well).

On an overall reliabilty scale, Hyundai rates just barely above BMW and Below Buick. Ahead of them, from best to worst (still all above average) are Acura, Toyota, Lexus, Honda, Mazda, Subaru, Saab, Nissan, Mistsubishi, Lincoln, then Buick. Worst in the list? Cadillac, with VW and Mercedes barely ahead. I think a lot of people would be surprised to see how far Mercedes has fallen. (The other Daimler-Chrysler makes are all ahead of Mercedes).

So, if you're willing to accept probably "average" reliabilty (which is pretty good these days compared to what it used to be), and you are confident Kia will still be around in a few years, and you have dealer support near you, you might want to investigate. (Also, don't expect it to hold its value as well as an MDX, percentage-wise).
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Hyundai now owns Kia. I dont expect the level of reliability or resale value you get from an acura to be anywhere near that of a Kia. I'm just looking at it from a cost standpoint. On a 48 month lease I would save $200/month over the X.
 

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The data I gave above, by the way, was from the just issued April auto issue of Consumer Reports, and represented compiled reliability values for all models of each make for 2000 model year (3 year old) vehicles. It comes from data that owners of the cars provide to CR as part of their annual survey.

I was interested to see that the 01 and 02 MDX show no trouble spots for transmission troubles (well above average). From reading this forum a couple of months ago, one might expect a big black mark there. (Solid black means more than 14.8% of owners reported a problem). The other Acura models (TL, CL) also don't show anything but above average or well above average for transmission problems - as good or better than the competition. Well above average means that under 2% of owners reported a problem. Above average means that 2 to 5% reported a problem.

Anybody curious what the absolute worst car models out there are this year, for reliability? Worst: Oldmobile Bravada at 193% more problems than the average vehicle. Next in line was the Jaguar X-type (135%), then Cadillac Seville (117%), TrailBlazer and Envoy (tied at 116%), BMW X5 (100%). The Mercedes M class has "improved" to about 80% more problems than average.

The best vehicles: Looks like Lexus RX300 at about 80% fewer problems than average. (This says to me that a Bravada could have almost 15 times the problems of an RX300 - all based on averages, of course, not particular individual cars). The MDX appears to be at about 60% fewer problems.
 

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If you care about reliability, you should consider getting a CRV if you can't afford either a Pilot or an MDX.
 

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I've looked at several in the lower priced range and really like the Ford Escape / Mazda Tribute. There is a great forum for it at Escape-Central.com. Everything I've read in reviews is good.

It is not as "goofy" looking as the Santa Fe, is more powerful and has larger than most in it's price range. (Data from last year so forgive bad memory.)

It doesn't feel like the MDX, but it doesn't have the $40K price tag either. The 2003 model year will have a hybrid option that reportedly get up to 40 mpg highway.
 

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A CR-V is surprisingly big inside so can be a good choice.

The Sorrento is a surprisingly capable vehicle, many reviewers have been very positive about it.

I would wait on buying a Sorrento until crash tests come out, though. Most Kias have not done well, despite Kia's advertising (e.g. they'll brag about a five-star score in NHTSA's test, but not mention that the vehicle didn't score a "good" in the IIHS test).

It's quite possible the new Sorrento will do well, but I don't think one has to sacrifice crash safety (at least measured by the tests) to get a poor man's MDX.

I pretty much ruled out the Escape/Tribute after the umpteenth recall on them. Overall crash test results on them aren't too great too:

http://www.iihs.org/vehicle_ratings/ce/html/0105.htm

It's quite possible that the Hyundai Santa Fe is better than the Kia.
 

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I actually like the Kia. With a 100,000 mile warranty at 25K can you really go wrong? If the Kia had a third row seat, I would have considered it, but then again, I would have to look at its crash test result. Hmmm, www.nhtsa.org. I can't say what the inside looks like.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
You guys are correct. Someone told me always get the safest car you can afford. I can afford an X, its just that I'm being cheap. Pilot is 10% cheaper than the X its just that the looks are so plain vanilla. It looks like what a Mitsu Montero looked like a few years ago.

Anyway hopefully, by the end of the year when I get my X, these acura dealers will be willing to deal a bit mor than they are now.
 

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As DaleB knows, I have a 2001 RAV4 2WD. Almost 60,000 miles with virtually no problems. When I first got it, to replace a 1999 QuadCab Dodge RAM, I thought it was too girlie. But now I don't even think of it, especially when I get around 30mpg.

BTW, on Ford's website, the Hybrid Escape, gets close to 40 mpg for city driving and 29 mpg for highway driving for a 4X2 configuration. Fuel economy for a 4X4 configuration will be slightly lower.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
My very first car was a 1988 Ford Taurus. Having that car for 7 years was truly an absolute nightmare. Nothing but problems and thousands of dollars in repairs. Since then I swore to myself I will never ever never ever ever never buy an American made car for the rest of my life. Sure Ford Escape is a good loking SUV, but to me FORD will always stand for Fix Or Repair Daily.


Or Found On Road Dead.
 

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Hi Zubinh:

___I had a much better experience with an 87 Mercury Sable LS. It was one of those all white Sables including the rims. It lasted 162,000 miles although I did go through 3 sets of rotors in 60K miles before a recall. After 90K, there was an idle surge in the engine that I never could track down. For $17K off the showroom floor, it was a nice looking, riding, comfortable, and relatively reliable ride for the family and I.

___Good Luck

___Wayne R. Gerdes
___Hunt Club Farms Landscaping Ltd.
___[email protected]
 

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amazent said:
As DaleB knows, I have a 2001 RAV4 2WD. Almost 60,000 miles with virtually no problems. When I first got it, to replace a 1999 QuadCab Dodge RAM, I thought it was too girlie. But now I don't even think of it, especially when I get around 30mpg.
To affirm your point, my 1997 Rav has never had a single problem other than replacing the battery and tires. It's not a high mileage car but I have had it for 6 years. Very reliable and easy to drive. The redesign made it even better IMO.
 

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Kia Sorento Rocks!

I was quiet impressed when I first saw the Kia Sorento when comparing it to my MDX. Inside, it looks very similar to the MDX and very classy looking. The engines are the same size in both MDX and Sorento but not the performance. The outside styling is nice too. It has all the gadgets inside like the MDX for the exception of the "computer" in the dash. The only thing I didn't like about it was the body and paint did not look like a quality job. Awesome warranty on the ride.

Perhaps Kia should offer a "luxury" brand name to overcome people thinking that its just a "Kia"? All they have to do is come up with a name, get the emblems, and market it. They can even leave the Kia name on all the windows like Honda is all over the MDX windows. You could allways get some lexus emblems and attach them to the Sorento if that makes you feel better :)
 

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Has anyone ever test driven the Sorento?

I think Sorento looks better than MDX. Just curious, anyone test drove it?
 

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Someone was taking one of these for a test drive a couple of weeks ago and pulled up next to me at a light. I took a look over at the window sticker and could not believe the horrible MPG rating on the window sticker. I believe highway was way down around 18 or so. Other than that it is not a bad looking rig.
 

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My neighbor recently bought a Sorento. It has the worst looking Plood I've ever seen. Otherwise, very nice. Actually, the day I checked out my neighbor's Sorento, a sad thing happened. I was out walking my dog. The Sorento was parked in his driveway next to their Blazer. On the roof of the Blazer was a huge piece of a sectional sofa (the corner seat). He and his wife were trying to get it down. Before I could run to help out, the sofa fell off sideways into the new Sorento.... Dent! :eek: He was so pissed!
 

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Re: Has anyone ever test driven the Sorento?

TDF2003 said:
I think Sorento looks better than MDX. Just curious, anyone test drove it?
Sorento looks like Lexus RX300,
but how come they use a name such as KIA?
Killed in Action?
 
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