2014 Lemon Aid New Car Reviews - SUVs

SUVs: Compact - MidSize - Luxury - All-Terrain
2013 reviews

Volume sales of Sport Utility Vehicles in Canada are increasingly clustered around so-called Sport Cute models based on compact car platforms. These so-called Crossover Utility Vehicles (CUVs), possess a high seating position, good cargo capacity, and can carry four or five people comfortably.

The CUV format is moving into bigger and bigger vehicles. The Dodge Durango, Ford Explorer, Honda Pilot, Hyundai Santa Fe XL,Infiniti QX60, Mazda CX-9, Nissan Pathfinder and Toyota Highlander all have three rows of seats and ample cargo space, if not necessarily at the same time. GM’s massive Acadia-Enclave-Traverse trio can seat up to eight and still haul some cargo as well.

Truck-based SUVs, once at the core of the market, have been pushed to the margins of the segment. The Jeep Wrangler, Nissan Xterra and the Toyota 4Runner are the last popularly-priced body-on-frame SUVs still available. Impressive towing capacity is the key advantage that the truck-based vehicles have over the more common CUVs.

The Ford Escape, Hyundai Santa Fe Sport and XL, Nissan Pathfinder and the Toyota RAV4 were all fresh for 2013. Some all-new 2014 models such as the Acura MDX, Hyundai Santa Fe XL Mitsubishi Outlander and Subaru Forester, went on sale in mid-2013. The second-generation Nissan Rogue went on sale late in 2013 with the third-generation Toyota Highlander debuted to strong demand in the winter of 2014.

If you like the current Honda Pilot and the Nissan Murano, get one now as they are in their last year on the market in their current forms.

SUVs are usually taller and heavier than passenger cars, and weight will count in a crash with a lighter vehicle. The separate ladder frame on the few truck-based SUVs still available provides a stiff protection perimeter for an SUV’s occupants in a collision with a lighter vehicle, but will inflict a disproportionate amount of damage to any car it hits.

SUVs are registering better scores in crash tests than they did even a few years ago. Only the Mitsubishi Outlander and Subaru Forester eaned a Good rating in the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's (IIHS) small frontal offset test. The Toyota Highlander was rated Acceptable in the small frontal offset test, the Honda CR-V and Mazda CX-5 were rated Marginal in the test and the Ford Escape, Hyundai Tucson, Jeep Compass, Kia Sportage and Toyota RAV4 are all rated Poor. Rollover protection, which keeps side-curtain airbags inflated longer in the event of a rollover accident, is common in this segment. Electronic stability control, which can reduce single vehicle accidents by correcting a skid, often before the driver knows the vehicle is losing control, is standard on all the vehicles covered in this section this year. A rearview camera, an important safety feature for an SUV-type vehicle with dark-tinted glass, is either standard or at least available in most of the vehicles in this segment.

The proliferation of vehicles in this segment led us to break our reviews into four distinct categories (compact, mid-size, luxury and all-terrain) for Lemon-Aid last year and we retain the same format for 2014.

Except for the All-Terrain trucks, which are quite capable in rugged conditions, the vehicles reviewed in this section are car-based and intended as daily-drivers for typical families.

A note about mileage: The APA's posted fuel economy figures for 2014 differ from those published by the Canada EnerGuide. Starting in  2012, the APA has been using the U.S. Department of Energy numbers for fuel economy, as they better reflect real-world fuel economy. For more information, read APA President George Iny's article regarding the inadequacies of the Canada EnerGuide test cycle. inadequacies of the Canada EnerGuide test cycle.

Chevrolet Equinox  Hyundai Tucson  Kia Sorento  Nissan Rogue 
Ford Escape  Jeep Cherokee  Kia Sportage  Subaru Forester 
GMC  Terrain  Jeep Compass  Mazda CX-5  Toyota RAV4 
Honda CRV  Jeep Patriot  Mitsubishi Outlander  Volkswagen Tiguan 
Hyundai Santa Fe       

Chevrolet Equinox, GMC Terrain

Specifications


 

 

What’s new
No changes of note for either nameplate in 2014.

Performance
The 2.4L four furnishes adequate acceleration but can get raucous when working hard. Low fuel consumption on the highway. The brakes have a wooden pedal feel and lack initial bite. Small glazed area hinders outward visibility. Except for minor details like the logo on the steering wheel, the cabins of the Equinox and Terrain are essentially the same. The plethora of buttons needed to control the climate and audio systems could easily be replaced by a few knobs. The cabins contain a number of hard plastic surfaces, but are relatively attractive. Comfortable seats and plenty of passenger space upfront, and in the rear. The cargo bed is narrow and shallow below the window line, limiting cargo capacity. The Equinox and Terrain share no exterior panels, look quite different from one another, and attract different buyers.

Comments
Both nameplates look bigger than average for this class, with the Terrain appearing more substantial than the Equinox, which may be part of its appeal. The Equinox and Terrain are near the end of their current lifecycles and are starting to look dated. Most of the examples of this platform are powered by GM's ubiquitous Ecotec 2.4L four, but a 3.6L V6 is optional for those who want more power, or have towing needs. The V6 entices about five percent of buyers. Front-wheel drive is standard, with all-wheel drive optional. Properly equipped, the Equinox 2.4L can tow up to 680 kg (1500 lbs.), with the V6 having a maximum capacity of 1588 kg (3500 lbs.).

Pricing
All-wheel drive is a $1950 option on the Terrain and costs $2200 to $2300 higher on the Equinox. V6 power costs from $1725 to $2025, depending on the trim level. Equinox trim upgrades are short on content for the prices charged. Terrain SLE2 and SLT1 upgrades are good value. The SLT2 and all Terrain trim level upgrades are overpriced. The Terrain sells for more than a similarly equipped Equinox, which may account for higher Equinox sales. Good value leasing for 2014.

Reliability
Average reliability predicted based on limited data. Predicted weak points include premature brake wear and electronic sensor failures. A GM extended warranty is recommended if you plan to keep this vehicle for a long time. 


Body Style:  4SW
Occupants: 2/3
Engines:
2.4L-4 (182 HP)*, 3.6L‑V6 (301 HP)  

Transmissions: 6A 
Drive Layout: Front-wheel drive, all-wheel drive*

City Fuel Economy:  11.8L/100 km
ESC: Standard
Additonal Airbags:  None
Warranty: 3/60,000, 5/160,000

Country of Origin:  Canada 

IIHS Ratings:

Mod. Front: G

Side: G

Roof: G

Rear: G

Sml. Front: N/R

NHTSA Rating: 



 

Ford Escape

Specifications

 

 

What’s new
SEL trim level discontinued. A rearview camera is now standard on the SE and Titanium trim levels. A height-adjustable front passenger seat is a feature of all Escapes for 2014. New colours.

Performance
The 1.6T on our test Escape delivered more than adequate power and good flexibility, but was no faster than a 2L Mazda CX-5 with 23 fewer horsepower. The six-speed automatic transmission, which upshifts smoothly and downshifts with the slightest provocation, feels hyperactive. The more powerful (240 horsepower) 2L turbo four requires fewer downshifts to maintain momentum. Precise steering. Well thought out ride-handling compromise. Comfortable highway ride and confident handling on twisty roads despite needing more minute corrections than either the CR-V or CX-5 tested along with the Escape. Ride and handling are affected when the vehicle is loaded up. Good visibility. The cabin is very vertical with those in front sitting in a very legs-down stance. The front seat cushions are short and the driver and front passenger environments are very narrow. The outboard rear seats can be reclined individually, the seat is comfortable, if a bit thinly padded, and legroom is competitive. The cabin reflects contemporary style and is carefully assembled from attractive components. Luminous gauges and optional MyFordTouch (still not that intuitive) screen. Small climate controls. The slow-moving power tailgate reveals a low load floor. The rear seats fold when cargo-area release toggles are pulled, but create a stepped load floor. The Escape ranked second, behind the CR-V and ahead of the Santa Fe and CX-5, in a recent APA comparison test.

Comments
Like other European-designed Fords, the bold lines, unusual shapes, slick detailing, matte finishes and more soft-touch surfaces of the new Escape's cabin are very attractive. Engine choices include a normally-aspirated 2.5L four, and two turbo fours, a 1.6L and a 2L.The sole transmission offered is a six-speed automatic. An "On demand" all-wheel drive system is optional. Properly equipped, towing capacities for the Escape are (1500 lbs.) for the 2.5. (2000 lbs.), for the 1.6T and (3500 lbs.), for the 2.0T.

Pricing
Upgrading from the S to SE model is good value. The range-topping Titanium model which includes a wealth of features as well as the bigger 2L engine, is a bargain. The 2L engine is a $1600 option on the SE model. All-wheel drive, not offered on the 2.5L S trim level, is a $2200 option on all other models. Good value leasing. 

Reliability
New car, insufficient data. The 2013 Escape was subject to five recall campaigns. Except for the base 2.5L engine, all the mechanical units on the Escape are new and unproven. An extended warranty is recommended.


Body Style:  4SW
Occupants: 2/3
Engines:
1.6L-4 T  (178 HP)*, 2L‑4  T (240 HP),  2.5L-4 (168 HP) 

Transmissions: 6A 
Drive Layout: Front-wheel drive, all-wheel drive

City Fuel Economy:  10.7L/100 km
ESC: Standard
Emissions ratings:

Warranty: 3/60,000, 5/100,000

Country of Origin:  United States

 

IIHS Ratings:

Mod. Front: G

Side: G

Roof: G

Rear: G

Sml. Front: P

NHTSA Rating: 



 

Honda CR-V

Specifications


 

 

What’s new
No changes of note for 2014. 

Performance
Careful development trumps high-tech with the CR-V as its simple 2.4L four and five-speed automatic transmission triumphed over the powertrains of rivals (Escape, Santa Fe and CX-5) that employ direct injection, turbochargers, or both, in a recent four vehicle group road test. The CR-V's supple four develops good grunt low down and revs enthusiastically to deliver good high-end power. The intuitive five-speed automatic transmission is always in the right gear. While not especially quick or communicative, the CR-V's steering is adequately precise. Absorbent ride and predicable handling. Noise from the road and the wind intrude at highway speeds. Powerful heating and defrosting combine with quick-acting seat heaters to keep occupants comfortable in the winter.

A generous glazed area delivers good visibility except for rear of the vehicle. Though carefully assembled, the CR-V's hard and shiny cabin plastics are disappointing, especially on high-end models. The clear gauges are easily scanned but pale graphics undermine their appearance. Most controls are straightforward but the climate controls demand excessive button pushing. The front seats are large and supportive, but do little to retain occupants in brisk corners. Excellent driving position for all types of drivers. Supportive rear seats, good legroom and a flat floor combine to make three passengers as welcome as possible. Big cargo area with a low floor. 60/40 rear seat less flexible than previous 40/20/40 seating.

Comments
All CR-V's are powered by a 2.4L four hooked up to a five-speed automatic transmission. All-wheel drive, standard on the EX-L and Touring, is optional on the LX and EX.  The CR-V was ranked first in a four vehicle test that included the Ford Escape, Hyundai Santa Fe 2.0T and a 2L CX-5.

Pricing
Bluetooth, heated seats and a trip computer are standard on all models. All-wheel drive, a $2100 to $2300 option on the EX and LX respectively, is standard on the EX-L and Touring trim levels. Good value EX-L trim upgrade. The EX package is priced to reflect the value of its extra features compared with the LX. When measured against the EX-L, the range-topping Touring model lacks value for the money asked. Excellent leasing terms.

Reliability
Predicted reliability is above average due to the carry over mechanical units. 


Body Style:  4SW
Occupants: 2/3
Engines:
2.4L-4 (185 HP) 

Transmissions: 5A 
Drive Layout: Front-wheel drive, all-wheel drive*

City Fuel Economy:  10.7L/100 km
ESC: Standard
Additional Airbags: None

Warranty: 3/60,000, 5/100,000

Country of Origin:  Canada, United States

 

IIHS Ratings:

Mod. Front: G

Side: G

Roof: G

Rear: G

Sml. Front: M

NHTSA Rating: 



 

Hyundai Santa Fe Sport

Specifications


 

 

What’s new
The smaller of the two Santa Fes is now called the Sport, conforming with the name used to market it in the United States. Roof rails are now included on Sante Fes equipped with the panorama roof. Blind spot monitoring and a memory system for the driver's seat and door mirrors are now standard on the 2.4L Luxury and 2.0T Limited models. For 2014, the 2.0T Limited variant features L.E.D. taillights and a saddle colour leather upholstery option.

Performance
Tested with the 264 horsepower 2L turbocharged four-cylinder engine hooked up to a six-speed automatic transmission, the Santa Fe's smooth, flexible and punchy engine delivered effortless performance whether being operated in town or on the highway. The 2.0T turbo engine uses little more fuel than the normally-aspirated 2.4L. The Santa Fe's ride is a model of absorbency at all speeds and its suspension goes about its business silently. Unfortunately, the whipped-cream ride is at the result of soft springs and flaccid shock absorbers that cause excessive oscillations over big bumps and considerable lean in corners. This lack of precision isn't helped by numb steering that masks anything going on under the Santa Fe's tires. Like the upscale-looking exterior, the Santa Fe's cabin could be mistaken for a Lexus if you were placed inside of one shorn of logos. The cabin is fronted by a dash featuring clear gauges which are somewhat obscured by the large tubes they reside in. Centre stack controls are simple, logical and easy to use. That said, the centre stack is enormous, especially considering the controls that are contained, or to some observers, lost on its expansive surface. The large screen on navigation-equipped models forces the minor controls into a smaller space which has the right visual balance. Front occupants are treated to large, enveloping seats that are perhaps too soft to maintain proper support on a long trip. Outboard rear seat riders are pampered with supportive, reclining seat and generous legroom. Luxury touches for second-row passengers on the 2.0T Limited tested included rear air vents, heated seats and window sunshades. Those riding in the middle position of the rear seat will enjoy the luxury ambience but won't enjoy sitting on what is essentially just a perch. Good cargo space unfettered by a spare tire, which is stored, outdoors, under the back of the Santa Fe. 
The Santa Fe was ranked third, behind the Honda CR-V and Ford Escape, but ahead of the Mazda CX-5, in a recent APA comparison test.  

Comments
The third-generation Santa Fe went on sale in the fall of 2012.
With clean lines and carefully-judged detailing, the Santa Fe, which is dimensionally similar to its predecessor, is a good looking vehicle. The rising beltline and triangulated third side window look rakish, but limit visibility. Two four-cylinder engines from the Sonata, a non-turbo 2.4L and the 2L turbo, power the Santa Fe. Power reaches the front wheels, or optionally, all wheels, via a six-speed automatic transmission. An Active Eco mode, activated by a dash-mounted switch, is standard with both engines.

Pricing
All-wheel drive, standard on the 2.4L Luxury, 2.0T SE and 2.0T Limited, is a $2000 option on the 2.4L Premium. When equipment variations are accounted for, turbo power costs $1600. The 2.4L Luxury and 2.0T SE trim upgrades are priced to reflect their additional contents. The 2.4L Premium and 2.0T Limited packages are bargains. Poor value leasing. A Santa Fe 2.4L Luxury is priced about $300 more than a Honda CR-V EX-L but boasts equipment such as a panoramic sunroof, a power passenger seat, memory system for the driver's seat and door mirrors and a much more luxurious cabin ambience. 

Reliability
New car, not rated. Predicted reliability is average to a bit above average. The previous Santa Fe was reliable except for automatic transmission failures on models equipped with the previous five-speed automatic, premature brake wear and some rust issues.


Body Style:  4SW
Occupants: 2/3
Engines:
2.4L-4 ( 190 HP)*, 2L-4 T (264 HP)  

Transmissions: 6A* 
Drive Layout: Front-wheel drive, all-wheel drive*

City Fuel Economy:  12.4L/100 km
ESC: Standard
Additional Airbags: Driver's side knee airbag

Warranty: 5/100,000

Country of Origin: United States

 

IIHS Ratings:

Mod. Front: G

Side: G

Roof: G

Rear: G

Sml. Front: N/R

NHTSA Rating: 



 

Hyundai Tucson

Specifications


 

 

What’s new
Direct injection leads to a one horsepower loss on the 2L engine and a gain of six horsepower on the 2.4L engine. New headlights with L.E.D. running lights and restyled L.E.D. taillights. Redesigned navigation system and audio equipment. Heated rear seats and three steering effort choices are available on selected models. Revised packages and packaging.

Performance
Smooth, quiet and flexible 2.4L engine. The responsive six-speed automatic transmission shifts very well. Predictable handling with little roll. Harsh, unsettled ride. The Tucson's rear suspension slides easily on slippery pavement during low-speed manoeuvres like taking a corner at an intersection. Nicely weighted steering and progressive brakes. Noisy at highway speeds. With clear gauges, logical controls, pleasing shapes and attractive materials, the Tucson’s cabin is quite chic. Interior space is ample for this segment. The front seats are comfortable despite short cushions. Very slow seat heaters. Cargo room is good but could be better with a more vertical tailgate.
Comments
Two four-cylinder engines, a 2L and a 2.4L, are available. Power reaches the front wheels (all-wheel drive is an option) via a six-speed automatic transmission in most cases, with a six-speed manual available on the front-wheel drive Tucson. Properly equipped, the towing capacity for the Tucson is 907 kg (1995 lbs.).   

Pricing
The base Tucson L with manual transmission is aggressively priced. At $2750, the automatic transmission on the L is witheringly expensive but does include about $400 worth of additional equipment for the money. .All-wheel drive, standard on the Limited, is a $2000 option on the GL and GLS trim levels. Upgrading to the GLS brings about $4000 in content plus the 2.4L engine for just $3150. The Limited package is priced to reflect its extra contents over the all-wheel drive GLS. Compared with a Tucson Limited with navigation, a Honda CR-V Touring is priced $2100 more, but will have better resale value and can be leased on good terms, which the Tucson cannot. 
Reliability
Reliability is a above average. 


Body Style:  4SW
Occupants: 2/3
Engines:
2L-4 (164 HP), 2.4L‑4 (182 HP)*

Transmissions: 6M, 6A* 
Drive Layout: Front-wheel drive, all-wheel drive*

City Fuel Economy:  11.8L/100 km


ESC: Standard


Additional Airbags: : None
Warranty: 5/100,000

Country of Origin:  South Korea

 

IIHS Ratings:

Mod. Front: G

Side: G

Roof: G

Rear: G

Sml. Front: P

NHTSA Rating: 



 

Jeep Cherokee

Specifications

NEW

 

 

What’s new
Jeep reprises the Cherokee name for its Liberty replacement.

Comments
By replacing the truck-like Liberty with the unibody Cherokee based on the platform used under the Dodge Dart, Jeep moves closer to the core of the high-volume mainstream CUV market. Compared with the Patriot, the Cherokee is built on a 65 mm (2.6 inch) longer wheelbase, is 210 mm (8.2 inches) longer, 101 mm 4 inches) wider and roughly the same height. The Cherokee's side profile is attractive but the triple lighting elements, multi-planed grille and various air intakes of the front ends (there are two) create visual confusion. The Trailhawk version has a different frontal treatment to permit steeper approach angles off-road.
The cabin is impressive, with big gauges, logical controls, abundant soft-touch surfaces, comfortable seats and good space for passengers and cargo. Two engines, a 2.4L four with 184 horsepower and a 3.2L V6 with 271 horsepower, are offered. The sole transmission is a 9-speed automatic. Three AWD systems will be offered: Active Drive I, a single speed unit, Active Drive II, equipped a with a two-speed transfer case and Active Drive Lock, which adds a locking rear differential.
Optional active safety equipment includes adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning, lane departure warning, blind-spot monitoring and rear cross traffic detection. Self-parking is a new option for Jeep.

Pricing
Drivetrain options include all-wheel drive at $2200 and the V6 at $1700. The North trim level is priced to reflect its contents but the Limited package is a bargain. Leasing not available.

Reliability
No data on this all-new model. An extended warranty from Chrysler is strongly recommended if you plan to keep this vehicle past the warranty period.   


Body Style:  4SW
Occupants: 2/3
Engines:
2.4L-4 (184 HP), 3.2L‑V6 (271 HP)*

Transmissions: 9A* 
Drive Layout: Front-wheel drive, all-wheel drive*

City Fuel Economy:  12.4L/100 km


ESC: Standard


Additional Airbags:  Front occupant knee airbags and outboard rear side airbags
Warranty: 3 60,000, 5 100,000

Country of Origin:  United States

 

IIHS Ratings:

Mod. Front: G

Side: G

Roof: G

Rear: G

Sml. Front: N/R

NHTSA Rating: Not rated


 

Jeep Compass, Jeep Patriot

Specifications


 

 

What’s new
Conventional six-speed automatic transmission replaces the previous CVT in all variants except the Patriot Freedom Drive II. Standard seat-mounted airbags for both front occupants. Minor cosmetic updates inside and outside on both models.

Performance
The 2.4L furnishes adequate urge and is reasonably refined unless it is pushed really hard. The new six-speed automatic transmission operates in a more "traditional" manner than the continuously variable transmission (CVT) employed in these vehicles since they were launched. Freedom-Drive II (the more capable of the two optional all-wheel drive systems), maintains higher engine revs on the highway, increasing fuel consumption. Avoid the 2L four as it develops less power and is little more frugal than the 2.4L. Competent handling as a result of suspension improvements made for the 2011 model year. Absorbent ride. After several rounds of improvements, the steering is now precise and nicely weighted. Prominent road noise. Spongy brakes. Roomy cabin and cargo area. Comfortable seats. Good cabin fit and finish. The Compass was ranked last in an APA four hatchback vehicle comparison test.

Comments
Car-based sport-cutes dominate the tall wagon market in Canada, and these car-based Jeeps inhabit the heart of the market. Though they look different outside, these vehicles are identical under the skin. The Compass is all soft enveloping forms, whereas the Patriot displays traditional square-rigged Jeep styling cues. Power comes from either a 2L or a 2.4L four also seen in other Chrysler vehicles. Transmission choices are a five-speed manual, a six-speed automatic or, on the Freedom Trail II exclusively, a continuously variable transmission (CVT). Power goes to the front wheels, or optionally, to a part-time "on-demand" all-wheel drive system. The Freedom Drive II option makes these Jeeps “Trail Rated”. Properly equipped, the Compass and Patriot can tow up to 909 kg (2000 lbs.). 

Pricing
The Compass is priced $400 (Limited), $1000 (Sport) and $1300 higher (North) than Patriot of the same trim level. All-wheel drive models are priced $2600 more than front-wheel drive variants of the same trim level. The North upgrades are significantly overpriced considering the additional features included in the packages. The additional outlay to move up from the North to the Limited versions of this platform is neatly balanced by content. A fully-equipped Compass Limited is priced about $2500 less than a Honda CR-V Touring, but the Honda has much better resale value and can be leased as well.  

Reliability
Below average reliability. These vehicles age poorly. Complaints include premature suspension and brake component wear and oil pan leaks. Unproven CVT and all-wheel drive systems starting from around 130,000 km.  


Body Style:  4SW
Occupants: 2/3
Engines:
2L-4 (158 HP), 2.4L‑4 (172 HP)* 

Transmissions: 5M*, 6A. CVT 
Drive Layout: Front-wheel drive, all-wheel drive*

City Fuel Economy: 11.2L/100 km
ESC: Standard
Additional Airbags: None
Warranty: 3/60,000, 5/100,000

Country of Origin:  United States

 

IIHS Ratings:

Mod. Front: G

Side: G

Roof: G

Rear: G

Sml. Front: P

NHTSA Rating: 



 

Kia Sorento

Specifications


 

What’s new
A surprisingly thorough update to a vehicle that is late in its lifecycle. New direct injected 3.3L V6 replaces the previous 3.5L engine. Revised subframes and bushings. The steering has three different effort choices. Restyled front and rear fascias outside with a new dashboard centre stack inside.

Comments
Fronted by a dashboard stocked with big, clear gauges and straightforward controls, the Sorento’s cabin is a paragon of conservative, tasteful design. Good cabin space and supportive seats. The Sorento's third-row seat option gives it an extra measure of utility compared to the Santa Fe it is based on. Two engines, a 2.4L four with 191 horsepower and a 290 horsepower 3.3L V6, are available. All Sorentos feature a six-speed automatic transmission. Front-wheel drive is standard, with all-wheel drive offered with either engine. Driven briefly by the APA, the V6 in the Sorento furnishes swift, sonorous acceleration via a smooth and responsive automatic transmission. Some torque-steer on hard acceleration. The steering is reasonably precise and better weighted than that of the related Santa Fe. The brakes stop well despite spongy pedal feel. The Sorento's ride is firmer than it is in the related Hyundai Santa Fe, but never harsh. The overall performance of the Sorento places it in the top rank of compact SUVs. Sorento sales held steady at around 15,000 last year. Properly equipped, the Sorento V6 can tow up to 1588 kg (3493 lbs.).
Pricing
The V6 engine, standard on the EX and SX models, is a $2800 option on the LX, but includes roughly $2000 in additional equipment plus the engine. All-wheel drive, standard on EX and SX trim levels, is a $2000 option on LX models. EX and SX buyers can move from five to seven seater variants for $1200. The supplements requested by Kia to upgrade from the LX to EX and from EX to the SX are excessive when the content included in the packages are accounted for. Unattractive lease arrangements. Although the $41,795 SX seven-seater looks expensive, it is nearly $6000 cheaper than a fully-equipped Honda Pilot Touring.

Reliability
Predicted reliability is a bit higher than average, like that of the previous-generation Santa Fe it is based on.


Body Style:  4SW
Occupants: 2/3, 2/3/2

Engines:
2.4L‑4 (191 HP),  3.3L-V6 (290 HP)* 

Transmissions: 6A 
Drive Layout: Front-wheel drive, all-wheel drive*

City Fuel Economy:  13.1L/100 km
Additional Airbags: None
Warranty: 5/100,000

Country of Origin:  United States

 

IIHS Ratings:

Mod. Front: G

Side: G

Roof: G

Rear: G

Sml. Front: N/R

NHTSA Rating: 



 

Kia Sportage

Specifications


 

 

What’s new
No changes of note.

Comments
The Sportage (Kia’s spin on the Hyundai Tucson) is visually spare and elegant compared to the visually busy, pudgy Tucson. It is another triumph from Kia design chief Peter Schreyer, who styled the first Audi TT and all recent Kias. The cabin is fronted by a dashboard containing big, clear gauges, as well as too many buttons for minor controls. There are large amounts of matte-finished hard plastics in the cabin. Good space and comfort in the front and the rear. Ample cargo space which is better than it is in the Tucson due to the Sportage's more vertical tailgate. Power is from either a normally-aspirated 2.4L four or a 2L direct-injection turbo four with 260 horsepower. The 2.4L four delivers ample power to the road via a smooth-shifting six-speed automatic transmission. The Sportage is a pleasant car to drive despite a rough and noisy ride. Precise, nicely-weighted and communicative steering. Limited outward visibility. The turbo has a 1930s style fuel-saving free-wheeling system that disconnects the transmission from the drive system when not propelling the car. The base LX front-wheel drive model is offered with a six-speed manual transmission, all other variants feature a six-speed automatic. Properly equipped, the Sportage can tow up to 907 kg (2000 lbs.).
Pricing

All-wheel drive, standard on the EXL and SX models, is a $2300 option on the LX and EX trims. Good value EX trim upgrade. Compared with the EX, the EXL is priced exactly to reflect the additional contents in the package, with the EXL Navigation package worth a bit more than the tariff demanded. When equipment variations are accounted for, the turbo engine in the SX Luxury is worth about $2500 compared with the EX Luxury with Navigation. The SX Luxury package defines poor value. Good value leasing.

Reliability
Predicted reliability is above average. 

 


Body Style:  4SW
Occupants: 2/3
Engines:
2L-4 T (260 HP), 2.4L‑4 (176 HP)*

Transmissions: 6M, 6A* 
Drive Layout: Front-wheel drive, all-wheel drive*

City Fuel Economy:  12.4L/100 km
ESC: Standard
Additonal Airbags: None

Warranty: 5/100,000

Country of Origin:  South Korea

 

IIHS Ratings:

Mod. Front: G

Side: G

Roof: G

Rear: G

Sml. Front: P

NHTSA Rating: 



 

Mazda CX-5

Specifications

 

 

What’s new
2015 model went on sale early in 2014.

Performance
On a recent APA multi-vehicle test, the CX-5 2L kept pace with a Ford Escape 1.6T with just the driver on board, but needed to work harder than the CR-V, Escape or Santa Fe to maintain speed when laden or on mountain roads. Frequent downshifts, often two gears at a time and exhibiting some hesitation, can send revs soaring, hurting refinement. The 2.5L engine powering the GS and GT trim levels of the CX-5 for 2014 should make for punchier performance and a more relaxed demeanour. The beautifully weighted, quick and communicative steering combines with a carefully developed chassis to deliver class leading driving pleasure and agility. The big-tired GT delivers a firmly resilient ride, and the GS rides with even more compliance. Strong, progressive brakes. The CX-5 can be affected by crosswinds. The cabin is very functional but some thought the style a bit stale and the black cabin is definitely sombre. Big, clear gauges and logical controls. Comfortable seats. Roomy enough but not as spacious as either the Santa Fe or CR-V. Good cargo space. The rear seat folds in two sections on the GX and three sections (40/20/40) on the GS and GT.

Comments
With Ford and Mazda undergoing a slow divorce process, Mazda needed a home-grown replacement for the Ford-based Tribute. The base GX model is powered by the same 2L, 155 horsepower four found in the 3, with the 184 horsepower 2.5L four from the 6 under the hood on the GS and GT trim levels. A six-speed manual is offered on the front-wheel drive GX model, but all other variants employ a six-speed automatic transmissions. According to Mazda, the CX-5's SKYACTIVE system includes, in addition to the engine, a lighter structure and components to save on weight while maintaining performance and enhancing fuel efficiency. All-wheel drive, standard on the GT trim level, is optional on the GX and GS models. Properly equipped, the CX-5 can tow up to 907 kg (2000 lbs.).

Pricing
Standard on the GT, all-wheel drive is a $2000 option on the GX and GS trim levels. The GX Convenience package is priced to reflect the value of its contents and is a great overall value if the 2L four has enough power for you. GS and GT trim upgrades and the GT Technology package are all excellent value. Very good value leasing.   

Reliability
New car, insufficient data. Not rated. Unproven SkyActive engine technology. 


Body Style:  4SW
Occupants: 2/3
Engines:
2L-4 (155 HP) , 2.5L-4 (184 HP)*

Transmissions: 6M, 6A* 
Drive Layout: Front-wheel drive, all-wheel drive*

City Fuel Economy:   9.8L/100 km
ESC: Standard
Additional Airbags: None

Warranty: 3/80,000, 5/100,000

Country of Origin:  Japan

 

IIHS Ratings:

Mod. Front: G

Side: G

Roof: G

Rear: G

Sml. Front: M

NHTSA Rating: 


 

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