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vehicles w/ 3 row seating - any recs?

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JanaGreen posted 5/30/2013 09:57 AM

Anyone have any recommendations? Warnings?

Due to a family friend, we have the option to get preferred pricing on the GMC Acadia or the Buick Enclave. But they are still kind of pricey. They are pretty much the same car and they are both great to drive. We looked at the Pilot and the Highlander as well - of those two I much prefer the Highlander. Now DH is throwing the Pathfinder in the mix and I am overwhelmed.

The Acadia and the Enclave are both REALLY nice as far as the interior and the way they drive, but I have no experience with Buicks, and my coworker had an Acadia that had really bad transmission problems (according to the salesman, there were a couple of years where they did have transmission problems, but OF COURSE that's fixed now). I haven't test-driven the Highlander yet, but I currently have a two-row 2006 Highlander that drives great, love it.

Anybody have any experience they want to share with any of these cars?

lieshurt posted 5/30/2013 10:02 AM

I have a cousin who purchased a Chevy Traverse that had 3 row seating. She loves it.

KeepCalm_CarryOn posted 5/30/2013 10:04 AM

My MIL had a Buick, nothing but problems.

I have the Honda Pilot and LOVE it! Maintenance is easy, handles great in the snow and rain. Plus has plenty of room for alllllll the things I need!

wifehad5 posted 5/30/2013 10:06 AM

I am personally morally and ethically opposed to three row vehicle where the 3rd seat doesn't face backwards, but I recently put 1,200 miles over a weekend on an Enclave, and I really liked it. I know the early ones had transmission issues, but that has been corrected. I rode in the middle seat when we went to dinner one night, and wasn't real impressed with the room it offered.

JanaGreen posted 5/30/2013 10:10 AM

I have a cousin who purchased a Chevy Traverse that had 3 row seating. She loves it.

I forgot the Traverse - it's really similar to the Enclave and Acadia as well - and we can get the preferred pricing on it. They just didn't have many options on the Traverse at the dealer we visited.

Analysis paralysis.

h0peless posted 5/30/2013 10:25 AM

Resale value is going to be better on the Toyota and Honda. If that isn't a concern, you might want to throw Hyundai and Kia into the mix. They are right up there in reliability and they cost less to purchase.

Frankly, the American companies have come so far over the past couple of years just to try to get back to competitiveness that I wouldn't hesitate to buy the GM products either.

luv_lost posted 5/30/2013 10:27 AM

I just had a 2013 GMC Yukon as a rental and it had the 3rd row seating. I loved how it drove and it actually did pretty good on gas - we were doing both city and highway driving.

JanaGreen posted 5/30/2013 10:28 AM

I'm not too too worried about resale just because I plan to drive this car for a long time. Now that you mention it, my good friend has a Santa Fe that she LOVES.

*running off to google Santa Fe to see if it has 3rd row seating*

metamorphisis posted 5/30/2013 10:33 AM

Of the two I prefer the Enclave aesthetically and it's interior. However I was looking at the Highlander last night actually and it's pretty nice too.

If you qualify for preferred pricing (we can get an employee discount) my vote would be the Enclave. The Traverse looks like a boat to me. I realize the specs aren't all that different but it just feels *too* big.

And now I will go back into my "Can't get a new car until next summer" corner and pout that it will likely be the Equinox to get the discount or the Sante Fe if I get what I really want.

Hey there's another option. If you are willing to forget the discount there is 3rd row seating options on the Sante Fe. I really like them

metamorphisis posted 5/30/2013 10:34 AM

Ha!! Didn't see your post above mine. Sante Fe!!! Do it!!

JanaGreen posted 5/30/2013 10:35 AM

I like the captain chairs (is that what they're called?) in the Enclave and the Acadia. And with the Highlander, they have that removable middle seat in the second row, so it's pretty much the same thing.

My mom has a Pilot and it's a PITA to get in the third row. That's why I like the Highlander better.

The Enclave is one nice-looking vehicle, Meta. I agree!

annb posted 5/30/2013 10:41 AM

I have driven a Toyota Sienna for it, and the reliability is is the resale value.

Previously owned three different American models, each one had transmission problems at about 65,000 miles.

NotDefeatedYet posted 5/30/2013 10:48 AM

I wanted a Durango, but the gas mileage killed that idea. We ended up with a Mazda CX9. I swear it's only a station wagon, but it rides better than any truck based SUV. Gas mileage isn't bad either, usually in the low to mid 20s. I think when it's time to get a new car, I'm just going to upgrade to the newer model of this one.

Tred posted 5/30/2013 11:04 AM

We are getting ready to buy a new Highlander 4X4 limited. We've had a Durango for 10 years, and it's been "ok". The Highlander is built on the Camry chassis, so it has a decent ride. It just fits what we are looking for. I like the Mazda's as well - the CX9 is a nice vehicle. I'd say that most vehicles these days aren't separated by much in terms of quality or aesthetics. I usually look at the reliability on Consumer Reports - it will all depend on the trim package and add ons that you get. When we test drove mid size sedans last year we had our son come along and sit in the back, like he would on a trip. His comfort was a big part in what vehicle we picked (that, and gas mileage because I commute).

marchmadness posted 5/30/2013 14:04 PM

I have a Mazda CX9 and absolutely love it.

SuperDuperWonderboy posted 5/30/2013 14:11 PM

I love my Durango with the three row seating. The 2012's are a nicer ride..less "trucky" than the earlier versions. Gas mileage is an issue, but it can tow anything.

My favorite thing about it, is that even with all three rows up, there is still plenty of storage room.

We had a highlander for a while (a 2009) With the third row up, we had no cargo space..couldn't even fit groceries in...I don't know if they fixed that, but Really like the durango's capacity. (plus I have some negative feelings associated with the Highlander--but that's not for this forum)

sunandmoon posted 5/30/2013 14:12 PM

Have a two year old Acadia and have loved it for the entire time. Had and Envoy xl before that. GMC has been good to me...


heartbroken_kk posted 5/30/2013 14:45 PM

I love my Sienna. Love it. I live on a steep mountain dirt road, and it does great with only front wheel drive, plenty of ground clearance. It is also cavernous. I take out the middle seats (I have no children, just a dog and a bicycle) which is easy to do, and fold down the third row into the cubby in the floor, and I can fit 10' long pipe or lumber in on the floor, sliding it between the front seats, and shut the rear hatch. It has a low floor so loading bags of potting soil (even bags of concrete!) is easy. As a 7 passenger vehicle it has a good payload capacity without bottoming out. It actually carries more weight and more volume of stuff than the Tacoma.

It has modest size tires. I get 23-24 mpg on road trips on the highway, with a Thule pod that rides on the top and bikes on a bike rack in the hitch receiver on the back. Two people can sleep in the back as it fits a double bed mattress. I get 19 in town. I have had basically zero mechanical issues with it and it's up to 83,000 miles.

Weatherly posted 5/30/2013 16:08 PM

We looked at a few 3rd row vehicles before we bought our Jeep. I liked the Pilot best out of all of them.

I don't know if you are looking at new or used vehicles, but, I've always looked through owner reviews online and made pretty good choices based on that. The key is, to ignore the "everything is perfect all the time" reviews, and the "omg this piece of crap is the worst thing ever I hate everything" reviews and pay attention to common themes int he reviews between the two extremes.

I like this site:

Betrayal posted 5/30/2013 16:19 PM

I owned a Yukon, they're really Mom has a Pilot, and I LOVE it. If I had to choose, I'd go with the Honda, they just run better long term imo. My dad has a Honda CRV, about 11 yrs old and they have had zero trips to the repair shop(i don't care for them as much though).

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