2015-2016 Lemon Aid New Car Reviews - SUVs

SUVs: MicroCompact - MidSize - Luxury - All-Terrain

Compact SUVs

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.

New for 2015 are the third-generation Ford Edge and Nissan Murano, with the third-generation Honda Pilot, marketed as a 2016, expected by the summer of 2015. Honda treated its CR-V to a mid-cycle refresh for 2015, and has also updated the Acura RDX, which goes on sale in the sping of 2015 as an early 2016.

The proliferation of vehicles in this segment led us to break our reviews into five distinct categories (micro, compact, mid-size, luxury and all-terrain) too keep competitors in the same segments together.

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 2015 are from the U.S. Department of Energy as figures from the Canada Energuide were not available when our research was being done.

Chevrolet Equinox  Hyundai Tucson  Kia Sorento  Nissan Rogue 
Ford Escape  Jeep Cherokee  2017 Kia Sportage  Subaru Forester 
GMC  Terrain  Jeep Compass  Mazda CX-5  Toyota RAV4 
Honda CRV  Jeep Patriot  Mitsubishi Outlander  Volkswagen Tiguan 
Hyundai Santa Fe       

2016 Chevrolet Equinox, GMC Terrain

 


 

 

What’s new
Very late life update for the Equinox and Terrain as they enter their seventh year on the market. Revised front fascias outside on both nameplates as well as new taillights on the Equinox. Interior updates limited to a new dash centre stack and infotainment screen. Trim variants reduced on both nameplates for 2016. Blind spot with rear cross traffic warning is a new option on both the Equinox and Terrain this year.  

Performance
The 2.4L four furnishes adequate acceleration but can get raucous when working hard. Low highway fuel consumption. The brake pedal has a wooden feel and the brakes 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 climate controls feature too many buttons. The cabins contain a number of hard plastic surfaces, but are relatively attractive. Comfortable seats and plenty of passenger space, front and rear. The cargo bed is narrow and shallow below the window line, limiting cargo capacity. The Equinox and Terrain share no exterior panels and attract different buyers.

Comments
The Equinox and Terrain are near the end of their current lifecycles. 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 take-rate for the V6 is roughly five percent. 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

Upgrading from the LS to the LT is priced roughly twice what the contents included in the LT trim level are worth. In contrast, the LTZ is exremely good value if you desire its features. All-wheel drive is a $2200 option on all three trim levels. Those few wanting to opt for the 3.6L V6 over the 2.4L four will pay $2160 ($1725 for the engine and a mandatory $435 for an uprated audio system). Good value leasing for 2016. The Terrain is priced higher than the Equinox all along its model range. Comparing fully-optionned 2.4 L, all-wheel drive versions of the Equinox LTZ and Terrain SLT, the Terrain is priced around $3500 higher. The Equinox outsold the Terrain by nearly two to one in 2015.

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. Free oil changes (up to four changes, based on oil life monitor in the car) for two years or 40,000 kilometers.

Specifications


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:  10.7L/100 km
Highway Fuel Economy:  7.4L/100 km
Active Safety Features: Forward collision. ane departure, blind spot and rear cross traffic warnings are available 

Additonal Airbags:  None
Warranty: 3/60,000, 5/160,000
Current Generation Debut: 2010
Country of Origin: Canada

IIHS Ratings:

Sml. Front: G

Mod. Front: G

Side: G

Roof: G

Rear: G

NHTSA Rating: 


2016 Ford Escape

 

 

 
What’s new
The expected fourth year mid-cycle makeover for the Escape did not materialze for 2016, perhaps indicating an early release 2017 model by the spring of 2016. Changes for 2016 are limited to a new BlackBerry sourced Sync3 touchscreen infotainment system as well as a OneBox branded navigation system (available on all but the base S model) that employs an internet based seach protocol.

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 but both are affected when the vehicle is loaded up with passengers and cargo. Good visibility. The cabin is very vertical with those in front sit 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 Honda CR-V and ahead of the Hyundai Santa Fe and Mazda CX-5, in an 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 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 680 kg (1500 lbs.) for the 2.5. 907 kg (2000 lbs.), for the 1.6T and 1578 kg (3500 lbs.), for the 2.0T with the towing package.

Pricing

All-wheel drive, standard on the Titanium mode, is a $1958 option on the SE and not offered on the base S model. The normally-aspirated 2.5L four is standard on the S model and the front-wheel driver version of the SE. The 1.6L turbo is a $430 option on the SE trim level. The 2L turbo four, standard on the Titanium trim level, is an $860 option on the SE. Moving from the S to the SE trim level is very good value and is necessary for those seeking all-wheel drive. The Titanium upgrade is a bargain. An Escape SE 1.6T is priced rougly $2000 less than a Honda CR-V EX-L. Reasonable value leasing for 2016.

Reliability
Below average reliability. Numerous complaints regarding poor fuel economy and well as glitches in the dashboard and electrical system. Turbo engine maladies are not unknown. The normally-aspirated 2.5L four is a better bet than the turbos but many features buyers like are not available on 2.5L cars. An extended warranty from Ford of Canada is recommended if you plan to keep your Escape past the warranty period.

Specifications


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
Highway Fuel Economy:  8.1L/100 km
Active Safety Features: Standard
Additional airbags:  Driver's side knee airbag

Warranty: 3/60,000, 5/100,000
Current Generation Debut:  2013
Country of Origin: United States

IIHS Ratings:

Sml. Front: P

Mod. Front: G

Side: G

Roof: G

Rear: G

NHTSA Rating: 


2017 Ford Escape

 

 

 
What’s new

 

Mid-cycle refresh of the Escape went on sale in the spring of 2016 as an early 2017. Exterior styling updates include a new hood, grille and front fascia. Interior revisions encompass a revised dash centre stack, centre console, cabin trim changes and SYNC-Connect, which allows owners to start, stop and unlock their vehicles from their smart phones. The previous 1.6L turbo has been replaced by the 1.5L engine used in other Fords; while the biggest available engine remains a 2L, Ford maintains the engine is all new. The tubo engines features an auto stop/start system for 2017. Active safety equipment including lane keep assist, adaptive cruise contol and collision warning with brake support, is optional for 2017. 

Performance
The 1.5T turbo delivers more than adequate power and good flexibility, but was no faster than a 2L Mazda CX-5 with 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 but both are affected when the vehicle is loaded up with passengers and cargo. Good visibility. The cabin is very vertical with those in front sit 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. 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. Tested prior ot its 2017 update, the Escape ranked second, behind the Honda CR-V and ahead of the Hyundai Santa Fe and Mazda CX-5, in an 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 Escape's cabin are very attractive. Engine choices include a normally-aspirated 2.5L four, and two turbo fours, a 1.5L 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 680 kg (1500 lbs.) for the 2.5. 907 kg (2000 lbs.), for the 1.5T and 1578 kg (3500 lbs.), for the 2.0T with the towing package.

Pricing

Very complex model range with three engines, front and all-wheel drive and numerous option packages. The front-wheel drive $25,099 S base model, powered by the proven 2.5L normally-aspirated four, lacks equipment such as heated seats, even as an option, that many buyers consider essential. Moving up to the SE trim level brings a wealth of features such as heated front seats, accoustic glass in the front doors, a rear centre armrest, satellite radio and alloy wheels that many buyers want, for less money than the content would indicate. Upgrading from the SE to the Titanium model includes luxury equipment such as leather upholstery and a power driver's seat, at a tempting price. The180 horsepower (12 more than the base 2.5L four) 1.5L turbo four is mandatory with the SE, with the stout 245 horsepower (with 275 lb.ft of torque) being optional on the SE and standard on the Titanium. Equipping an SE to approach the feature content of the Titanium highlights what a good value the Titanium is. The SE 201A package is a bit expensive for its extra content and the SE Sport package is significantly overpriced. The Titanium 301A option group contains lane departure warning, lane keep assist, self-parking and xenon headlamps for a reasonable fee. All-wheel drive, not offered on the S, is optional on the SE and Titanium models. The 2L turbo four, standard on the Titanium model, is a $1000 option on the SE. Very good value leasing for 2017.     

Reliability
Below average reliability. Numerous complaints regarding poor fuel economy and well as glitches in the dashboard and electrical system. Turbo engine maladies are not unknown. The normally-aspirated 2.5L four is a better bet than the turbos but many features buyers like are not available on 2.5L cars. An extended warranty from Ford of Canada is recommended if you plan to keep your Escape past the warranty period.

Specifications


Body Style:  4SW
Occupants: 2/3
Engines:
1.5L-4 T  (180 HP)*, 2L‑4 T (245 HP),  2.5L-4 (168 HP) 

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

City Fuel Economy:  n/aL/100 km
Highway Fuel Economy:  n/aL/100 km
Active Safety Features: Available lane keep assist, adaptive cruise control and collision warning with brake support
Additional airbags:  Driver's side knee airbag

Warranty: 3/60,000, 5/100,000
Current Generation Debut:  2013
Country of Origin:  United States

IIHS Ratings:

Sml. Front: NA

Mod. Front: NA

Side: NA

Roof: NA

Rear: NA

NHTSA Rating: NOT RATED


Honda CR-V

 


 

 
What’s new
No changes for 2016, the last year for the current CR-V.

Performance
The CR-V’s new “Earth Dreams” four is quick, smooth and economical. The CVT is well matched to the engine and works very well. A driveline vibration experienced by the APA and by CR-V owners in 2015 seems to have been eliminated for 2016.  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 interior fittings don’t have a luxurious look. Big, clear gauges. Most controls are straightforward; with the revised climate controls being more logical than before. 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.

Comments
All CR-V's are powered by a 2.4L four hooked up to a CVT. All-wheel drive is standard on all models except for the base LX. 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. Towing capacity is 680 kg (1500 lbs.).

Pricing
All-wheel drive, standard on most CR-Vs, is a $2360 option on the base LX trim. The SE model is a bargain and the best value of the lineup. Prices to upgrade to the EX and EX-L trim grades reflect the value of their contents. Good value Touring model. Very good value leasing, 
Reliability
Predicted reliability is above average but the engine and transmission are unproven.  

Specifications


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

Transmissions: CVT 
Drive Layout: Front-wheel drive, all-wheel drive*

City Fuel Economy:  9.4L/100 km
Highway Fuel Economy:  7.6L/100 km

Active Safety Features: Collision mitigation braking, lane keep and departure devices and adaptive cruise control are standard on the Touring model.

Additional Airbags: None


Warranty: 3/60,000, 5/100,000
Current Generation Debut:  2012
Country of Origin:  Canada, United States

IIHS Ratings:

Sml. Front: G

Mod. Front: G

Side: G

Roof: G

Rear: G

NHTSA Rating: 


2017 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport

 


 

 
What’s new
Mid-cycle remake includes new fascias front and rear and a new grille outside, with revised trim and a new navigation system inside. Hyundai claims updates to the 2.4L engine enhance refinement and fuel economy and has unleased an extra five horsepower at the same time. The 2L turbo four has been retuned to deliver better mid-range acceleration and increased fuel economy, but has lost 25 horsepower in the process. A rearview camera is standard on all trim levels for 2017, with a multi-view camera standard on premium models. Adaptive cruise control with stop and go capability and autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian detection are newly available for 2017. New Ultimate range-topping model.

Performance
Tested with the 240 horsepower 2L turbocharged four-cylinder engine and a six-speed automatic transmission, the Santa Fe's smooth, flexible and punchy engine performed effortlessly. 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. Unfortunately, the whipped-cream ride is at the result of soft springs and flaccid shock absorbers that cause excessive oscillations over big bumps as well as significant lean in corners. This lack of precision isn't helped by numb steering that masks anything going on under the Santa Fe's tires. The Santa Fe's upscale cabin could be mistaken for a Lexus if there were no logos inside the car. The dash features clear gauges. Centre stack controls are simple, logical and easy to use but looks a bit empty on low-spec cars. 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. 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
Two four-cylinder engines from the Sonata, a non-turbo 2.4L and the 2L turbo, power the Santa Fe Sport. Power reaches the front wheels, or optionally, all wheels, via a six-speed automatic transmission.
Pricing
The Premium trim upgrade is a bit expensive for what you are getting but the SE trim upgrade is very good value. Moving up from the SE the to 2.4L Luxury model represents exceptional value. When additional equipment standard on the 2.0T SE compared with the 2.4L SE is accounted for, the price to move up from 195 to 240 horsepower is roughly $3000. The 2.0T Limited is great value for the money but the supplement to move up to the Ultimate trim level is roughly twice the value of the contents included in the range topper. All-wheel drive is not offered on the base Santa Fe Sport, is a $2000 option on the Premium trim level and is standard on all other versions of the Santa Fe Sport. No leasing was available when the 2017 model launched in April 2016.

Reliability
Predicted average reliability. The previous Santa Fe was reliable. Some rust-related problems reported on the last Santa Fe.

Specifications


Body Style:  4SW
Occupants: 2/3
Engines:
2.4L-4 ( 195 HP)*, 2L-4 T (240 HP)  

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

City Fuel Economy:  12.4L/100 km
Highway Fuel Economy:  7.6L/100 km
Active Safety Features: Available blind spot, rear cross traffic warnings. Adaptive cruise control with stop and go capability and autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian detection are available

Additional Airbags: Driver's side knee airbag

Warranty: 5/100,000
Current Generation Debut:  2013
Country of Origin: United States

IIHS Ratings:

Sml. Front: M

Mod. Front: G

Side: G

Roof: G

Rear: G

NHTSA Rating: 


2016 Hyundai Tucson

 

NEW

 

 

 
What’s new
All-new third-generation Tucson went on sale in the fall of 2015. A hydrogen fuel-cell version of the previous-generation Tucson is now available.

Comments
Hyundai representatives at the New York Auto Show stated that this new Tucson represents the first in a cycle of product renewal for the Korean firm. Built on an all-new platform, the Tucson is a bit larger than its predecessor and has become a viable alternative to the bigger Santa Fe Sport.
The cabin of the new Tucson reflects contemporary style and is fashioned from materials that are attractive for a vehicle at its price point. The interior features comfortable seats, good legroom front and rear and plentiful cargo space
The base engine will be a 2L 164 horsepower normally aspirated four, with a 175 horsepower 1.6L turbo four optional. With so little power difference between the 2L and the 1.6T, opting for the turbo seems pointless and is most likely meant solely to flatter U.S. Government fuel economy tests. The suspension, not a strong point on the previous Tucson, is said to be improved.
Active safety technologies include lane departure, blind spot and rear cross-traffic warnings, as well as lane change assist and autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian detection– an impressive array of safety devices for a vehicle in this class.

Pricing
Massive model range including front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive systems, two engines, two transmissions and seven trim levels. Upgrading from the Base to the Premium trim level is priced to reflect the value of the content in the package. Adding all-wheel drive the to Premium trim level will cost buyers $2300. Upgrading from the 2L to the 1.6L turbo engine on the Premium all-wheel drive Tucson is priced about $1500 if additional standard equipment is accounted for. The 2L Luxury package is tremendous value as is the 1.6L Limited model. The Ultimate trim level is overpriced. Good value leasing. Once beyond the Premium trim level, Tucson equipment and prices are seriously infringing on those of the Santa Fe Sport. The next Santa Fe Sport will have to move upscale or be rolled into the Santa Fe XL if it is to survive.

Reliability
New model, not rated. The previous-generation Tucson generated few complaints.

Specifications


Body Style:  4SW
Occupants: 2/3
Engines:
1.6L-4 T (175 HP)*, 2L-4 (164 HP)

Transmissions: 6A*, 7A (dual clutch) 
Drive Layout: Front-wheel drive, all-wheel drive*

City Fuel Economy:  9.8L/100 km
Highway Fuel Economy:  8.4L/100 km
Active Safety Features: Available blind spot, rear cross traffic and lane departure warnings. Available lane change assist and autonomous emergency braking.
Additional Airbags: : None
Warranty: 5/100,000
Current Generation Debut:  2016
Country of Origin:  South Korea

IIHS Ratings:

Sml. Front: G

Mod. Front: G

Side: G

Roof: G

Rear: G

NHTSA Rating: 


2016 Jeep Cherokee

 


 

 

What’s new
Drag and drop feature added to cars with the 8,4 inch touch screen. Siri Eyes Free is a new feature as is a Do Not Disturb feature for incoming communications.

Performance
Equipped with the 3.2L V6, the APA's test Cherokee was quick, quiet and economical. Other than being in too high a gear when exiting a corner, the transmission worked very well. Steering, ride and handling are very well tuned for the Cherokee's intended "family hauler" role. Strong brakes. The cabin is impressive, with big gauges, logical controls, abundant soft-touch surfaces, comfortable seats and good space for passengers and cargo.

Comments
The Dart-based Cherokee gave Jeep a competitive product in the mainstream compact CUV segment and buyers responded enthusiastically, buying over 22,000 units in 2014. Two engines, a 2.4L four with 184 horsepower and a 271 horsepower 3.2L V6, are offered. The sole transmission is a nine-speed automatic. Three AWD systems 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, are available.
Optional active safety equipment includes adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning, lane departure warning, blind-spot monitoring and rear cross traffic detection.

Pricing
Drivetrain options include all-wheel drive at $2200 and the V6 at $1600. Overpriced North trim upgrade but the Limited is priced to reflect the value of its contents. Leasing is not available.

Reliability
Below average for this model in its first year. Some transmission control issued and outright failures have been reported. Some owners report electrical problems as well. An FCA Canada extended warranty is recommended is you plan to keep your Cherokee past the three-year/60,000 km basic warranty.

Specifications


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:  11.8L/100 km
Highway Fuel Economy:  8.4L/100 km
Active Safety Features: Available active cruise control with stop and go, forward collision warning with active braking, lane departure, blind spot and rear cross traffic and and lane keep assist.
Additional Airbags: Front occupant knee airbags and outboard rear side airbags
Warranty: 3/60,000, 5/100,000

Current Generation Debut: 2014
Country of Origin: United States

IIHS Ratings:

Sml. Front: M

Mod. Front: G

Side: G

Roof: G

Rear: G

NHTSA Rating:


Jeep Compass, Jeep Patriot

 


 

 
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. This model will eventually be supplanted by the Renegade.

Performance

The 2.4L furnishes adequate urge and is reasonably refined unless it is pushed really hard. The six-speed automatic transmission operates in a more "traditional" manner than the continuously variable transmission (CVT) it replaces. 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 a CVT (Freedom Trail II only). 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 $2300 to $3300 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 offers high-value leasing.

Reliability
Below average reliability. These vehicles age poorly. Complaints include premature suspension and brake component wear and oil pan leaks. An extended warranty from FCA Canada is recommended if you plan to keep the vehicle after the basic and powertrain warranties expire. Vulnerable to corrosion, an oil-based anti-rust treatment is recommended.

Specifications


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:  11.8L/100 km
Highway Fuel Economy:  9.0L/100 km
Active Safety Features: Standard
Additional Airbags: None
Warranty: 3/60,000, 5/100,000
Current Generation Debut:  2008
Country of Origin:  United States

IIHS Ratings:

Sml. Front: P

Mod. Front: G

Side: G

Roof: G

Rear: G

NHTSA Rating: 


2016 Kia Sorento

 

NEW

 
What’s new
The all new Sorento went on sale in the spring of 2015.

Performance
While it feels like a tank when you first leave from a stop, the feeling dissapates once you become accustomed to the vehicle. Our SX test vehicle was powered by Hyundai-Kia's punchy  3.3L V6 that is silken smooth under most conditions but delivers a delicious, precision snarl when pushed. The operation of the Sorento's six-speed automatic transmission goes completely unnoticed as its operation is essentially faultless. The brakes do shed speed quickly enough but pedal travel is excessive and pedal effort is too soft. A firmer pedal and greater initial bite would be big improvements and would be more reassuring in stop and go traffic. The Sorento's combination or resilient ride and tidy handling is very pleasing for a large family bus. The Sorento is a very refined machine.
The Sorento's cabin doesn't push any stylistic boudaries but is totally functional, tasteful and fashioned from attractive components. The dashboard featurers clear gauges, and considering the vast array of functions it controls, the dash centre stack is straightforward and works very well. The first two rows of seats are roomy and very comfortable. Access to the third-row seat on our test vehicle was for the nimble, with room enough for children or small adults. Good cargo space when in two-row mode, with limited space available when the third row is arrayed for passengers. Excellent sound system in our SX test vehicle and the heating and air conditioning worked very well in a varied week of weather.

Comments
Available engines include a normally-aspirated 2.4L four, a 3.3L V6  and a new 2L turbo four that produces 240 horsepower. Power reaches the front wheels, or optionally all wheels, via a six-speed automatic transmission. Active safety equipment such as active cruise control with forward collision warning and blind spot and rear cross traffic monitors are available.  
Pricing
All-wheel drive is a $2000 option on the 2.4L LX and 2L turbo LX+ models but is standard on all other variants. The $1100 price for the available third-row seat includes the smooth, punchy V6 engine. Except for the SX+ package, all trim upgrades are very good value. Good value leasing. As of June 2015, a Sorento SX V6 seven seater is priced about $3000 less than a Toyota Highlander Limited and monthly payments for leasing and for financing are roughly $30 less per month than they are for the Toyota.  

Reliability
New model, not rated. The previous Sorento was rated above average. 

Specifications


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

Engines:
2L-4T (240 HP), 2.4L‑4 (185 HP),  3.3L-V6 (290 HP)* 

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

City Fuel Economy:  13.8L/100 km
Highway Fuel Economy:  10.2L/100 km
Additional Airbags: None
Warranty: 5/100,000
Current Generation Debut:  2016
Country of Origin:  United States

IIHS Ratings:

Sml. Front: G

Mod. Front: G

Side: G

Roof: G

Rear: G

NHTSA Rating:


2017 Kia Sportage

 

NEW

 

 
What’s new
All-new Sportage goes on sale in the spring of 2016.  

Comments
Kia showed the newest iteration of its popular compact crossover at the Montreal show. The design, while very elegant and bearing fantastic surfacing and detailing, breaks no new ground for the model or the brand. The new Sportage is 40 mm longer than the previous model, most of it due to a longer wheelbase, which results in substantial rear legroom. The Sportage's cabin is fronted by a dashboard with big, clear gauges and logical controls. Soft-touch surfaces cover the upper dash and upper door panels, with hard trim panels on the lower dash and rear doors. Most surfaces look good but the plastics on the lower dash and console look a bit too shiny. The Sportage cabin has plenty of cupholders, bins, cubbies, slots for water bottles as well as cupholders.Comfortable seats, front and rear.
The platform, which also underpins the new Hyundai Tucson, is reportedly stiffer, safer and delivers enhanced refinement and driving precision.
Most versions of the 2017 Sportage will be powered by a 181 horsepower 2.4L four. Optional will be a 2L turbo four that produces an estimated 237 horsepower. Power reaches the front, or optionally, all wheels, via a six-speed automatic transmission. Available active safety equipment includes intelligent cruise control, forward object and pedestrian detection with automatic braking, lane departure, blind spot and rear cross traffic warnings.

Pricing
Vast model range. Good value EX and SX trim upgrades, especially as the SX includes the 237 horsepower 2L turbo four.The EX Premium package includes a lot of content for the money but the EX Tech package is a bit expensive. All-wheel drive, standard on the SX trim, costs from $2000 (EX) to $2200 (LX) higher than a front-wheel drive model of the same trim level. Very good value leasing. The days when Kias were less expensive than key rivals are over as the EX Premium model is priced roughly the same as a Honda CR-V Touring. Very good value leasing for 2017.

Reliability
Predicted reliability is above average. 

Specifications


Body Style:  4SW
Occupants: 2/3
Engines:
2L-4 T (237 HP), 2.4L‑4 (181 HP)*

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

City Fuel Economy:  11.2K/100 km
Highway Fuel Economy:  9.4L/100 km
Active Safety Features:  Available active safety equipment includes intelligent cruise control, forward object and pedestrian detection with automatic braking, lane departure, blind spot and rear cross traffic warnings.
Additonal Airbags: None

Warranty: 5/100,000
Current Generation Debut:  2017
Country of Origin:  South Korea

IIHS Ratings:

Sml. Front: NR

Mod. Front: NR

Side: NR

Roof: NR

Rear: NR

NHTSA Rating:


2016.5 Mazda CX-5

 

 

 
What’s new
Mazda sprung a 2016.5 model CX-5 unto the market in the spring of 2016. The biggest change for 2016.5 is that, except for the base GX model with manual transmission, all CX-5s are powered by a 2.5L four.

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 hilly 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 doesn't have to work as hard as the 2L to maintain momentum and is quieter. 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. 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
The base GX model is powered by a 2L, 155 horsepower four, with the 184 horsepower 2.5L four found under the hood of the GS and GT models. A six-speed manual is offered on the front-wheel drive GX model, but all other variants employ a six-speed automatic transmission. 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 2016
Standard on the GT, all-wheel drive is a $2000 option on the GX and GS trim levels. The GX Convenience package is good value but the GS Luxury and GT Tech packages are priced to reflect the value of their additional contents. Moving from the GX Convenience to the GS (including an upgrade from the 2L to the 2.5L) and from the GS Luxury to the GT represent tremendous value.    

Reliability
Not rated, insufficient data, Few complaints received thus far.  

Specifications


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
Highway Fuel Economy:  7.8L/100 km
Active Safety Features: Standard
Additional Airbags: None

Warranty: 3/Unlimited, 5/Unlimited
Current Generation Debut:  2012
Country of Origin:  Japan

IIHS Ratings:

Sml. Front: G

Mod. Front: G

Side: G

Roof: G

Rear: G

NHTSA Rating: 


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