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Old 01-14-2011, 12:07 AM   #1
Chris
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Thumbs down What the hell!?!

Alright, mini-rant time here for me...

I'm sitting here watching the Leaf game and I see a commercial for the New 2011 Ford Explorer. Hmmm...new Ford Explorer, I think I'll Google it and check it out. Now let me say and admit, that I'm not really a Ford guy per se. I'm more of a GM man, although my preference has always been to buy from one of the "Big Three" as that's what I like best and also, I like to support North American companies.

So anyway, I Google "2011 Ford Explorer" and what do I find? Another one of these damn, frickin' "soccer-mom" cross-over thingys! Say it isn't so Ford!

Let me ask...what is it with these stupid "cross-overs"? Can we not have at least one real, truck based, mid sized sport utility? Just one!

Why is it that we are being forced as buyers, to buy these car based, uni-body FWD or AWD cross-overs? What about if we tow a boat? What if we actually go off-road? Or take our vehicle out of the city and to the cottage?

See, here is the basis for my frustration...we've had a bunch of sport-utes and pick up trucks over the years. Normally I have one and Yolie has one. We usually have one pickup and one sport ute. We've had so many over the years, that there are too many to recount here to be honest. And for us, these type of vehicles fit our needs and lifestyle best. So what we do is, one week we take my truck to the cottage and the next week we take Yolie's vehicle to the cottage. But a few years back when Yolie's GMC Envoy lease was up and we were ready to replace it, there wasn't one real, truck based mid sized sport utility in GM's line up to buy. Sure there were Yukons and Tahoes, but they're too big for us. I asked our trusty old sales guy what he hell was up and he more or less touted all the advantages of these cross-over things. Better fuel economy, nicer car like ride, etc. etc. Suffice to say, they were supposed to be the best of both worlds.

Now for me, I wasn't really interested in the cross-overs, so I was only half listening as what I'm wanting is a real truck based vehicle. One with real four wheel drive and capable of taking on the old back roads to the cottage, towing the boat once in a while etc. Now my sweetie on the other hand, is diggin' the GMC Acadia as it looks like her beloved Envoy and she is also diggin' the Caddy SRX. And Yolie is demanding whatever we get, has to have some kind of 4 wheel drive capability, for winter and the cottage. And that makes total sense. But truth be told, what she's really wanting is just another Envoy.

Me on the other hand, I'm pushing for something truck based and I'm poo-pooing the cross-over crap. So I'm pushing for a GMC Canyon, perhaps the Chev Colorado or as an option I'm suggesting we move to Ford and get an Explorer or move to Jeep and get a diesel Cherokee. We test drive a bunch and in the end, can't really agree, so we decide to just get by for a few months, essentially, short one vehicle. Two or three months pass and I find an almost new Caddy SRX on Lease Busters at a really good price, so we decide to take it on. The result? It's worse on gas then the Envoy, in fact, it's worse on gas than my full sized GMC Crew Cab Sierra 4X4! This thing goes through a complete set of brakes at 45K. We're talking full set of brakes all around! The timing chains fail at 55K. It needs a complete set of tires at 60K and on and on the list goes. And keep in mind, this is a fairly new vehicle on a lease. Never on a three year lease have I had to do anything substantial on a vehicle...NEVER! Needless to say, Yolie and especially me are not too Happy as you can well imagine.

So, the SRX Lease starts getting close to the end, with three months to go (thank God!) and without asking, I just go out on my own while the GM Employee Pricing Event is on and I just take my chances and order a Chevy Colorado Crew Cab pickup. A week or so before the new truck is to arrive, I announce to my sweetie that I've ordered her a new vehicle. She sorta gives me the Spockian eyebrow look, so I tell her what I got her. At first she seems sorta sceptical, but when we go to get her new truck, she fall's in love instantly. It's black has 4x4, Z71 off road, leather, it has nerf bars, a tonneau cover, lots of chrome and it's a crew cab.

Right away she notices that the Colorado is WAY better on gas versus the gas guzzling V6 SRX AWD. It's more sporty and lighter feeling and best of all, she can load whatever she likes in the bed at any time.

Which brings me back to this new Ford Explorer. Why Ford? Why GM? Why Jeep? Why won't you have at least one real, mid-sized ,suv in your lineup? One with real 4 wheel drive? One with a body on frame construction? I would suggest there are others like me out there, who feel the same. And essentially what we're being forced to do is to buy a full sized SUV or to settle for a soccer mom cross over thingy!

Please, is it too much to ask for you to have just ONE real mid-sized, truck based sport ute?

Just one is all I ask!

Just my .02 cents.

-Chris
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Old 01-14-2011, 03:56 AM   #4
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I can relate to what you are saying, crossovers seem to be popular right now, kind of like a trend, like wakeboard boats, this is this first I've seen of this explorer and I'm not impressed.

Personally I've always been a ford man, had a few new chevy's and they where nothing but problems so have stuck with ford as much as I could, we have a awd pontiac vibe for running around town which is actually a toyota matrix, love that car, never any problems, we also take that car to the lake a lot if we aren't towing anything but I did put a hitch on it and it's my main launch vehicle once at the lake because of the awd it works great.

Last year when my f-150 was at 300k and getting tired my mom's lease was up on her 07 montana van (the loser cruiser)and the buy out was cheap, $3300 with 90k so I figured I couldn't lose, in the last year I've spent more fixing it than I did the 10 years I had my f-150, it doesn't tow the boat very well either.

Anyway, getting to my point my mom went with a 2010 ford flex crossover with the tow package, trans cooler and rated at 4500lbs, I've towed the Eluder a few times with it and it does have lots of power but you can feel the boat pushing the thing around when you try and stop and even just driving down the road it jerks it around, just like the mini-van, we have to borrow the father-in-laws truck if we take the pontoon anywhere.

My wife doesn't feel comfortable driving or being in either one with the boat hooked up so we are now looking at either a ford expedition or if I get my way a crew cab f-350, I also had a f-350 a few years ago that I used for a work truck and really liked it.

good luck with your new colorado, I hope you like it.

crossovers are like a$$holes, everyone has one
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Old 01-14-2011, 06:24 PM   #5
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To me, one of the biggest issues is these cross-overs either have, FWD or AWD.

A sport ute with FWD? Give me a break. I call that a mini-van.

And if you get one with AWD it's total over-kill.

With AWD on the SRX it was a total gas hog. Why? Because essentially it's always in four wheel drive. It burnt through brakes at 45K because it's always in four wheel drive. Tight turns, you could feel it binding, because again, it's always in four wheel drive. The SRX is the first car I've ever had, that you literally had to keep your foot on the gas, going down hills or you would lose speed. And I'm talking some seriously big hills coming home through the Muskokas.

I've also test driven some other AWD cars and most seemed to suffer from the same afflictions. So therefore, I simply dont' get the attraction.

Why not just put real 4 wheel drive on these things? Need 4 wheel drive? Turn it on. Don't need it? Turn it off. Get stuck in mud or snow? Click it into low. Once you're out, click it off. It's so damn simple!

These cross-overs things, to me offer no real advantage over a real truck based sport ute.

But at this point, it's pretty well impossible to find a real SUV and now GM and Ford are talking about discontinuing the compact trucks as well.

I dont' get it...

-Chris
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Old 01-15-2011, 11:55 AM   #6
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My AWD Vibe is also a pig on gas, I don't notice anything binding on sharp turns but it's the same way as far as having to give it gas going down a hill.

One thing I can say about it is Toyota started using a pretty advanced AWD system in 09', it sort of takes the fun out of winter driving but I would feel safe putting a 16 year old kid behind the wheel, in our old 04' Vibe in the winter I would always pull the E-brake and do a 180 degree turn in front of my house because it was faster than turning around and kind of fun, or just sliding around corners, I'm used to taking it easy in my semi truck so when I get in a car I like to have some fun

In this new Vibe I have tried to slide around a corner and it just won't do it, the first time I drove it in snow I was like what the hell?, I took it in to an empty parking lot and did everything I could to make it lose control and it wouldn't, at 80 km/h turn as hard as it could and pull the E-brake and it would just turn, it will actually apply power or brake to each wheel required to keep it from losing control, a little disappointing to someone that likes to play in the snow

I wish I could take this function off but it's nice to know it's there when my wife is driving it around with the kids in the back, I don't know why they can't put a off switch there somewhere.

Another story, I went to baton rouge, la last Feb to pick up a Yukon Denali and a 22ft Baja for my Boss, I was told it was a 4x4 so it would be fine for towing the boat back through the northern states and sask in the snow, I get there and pick them up and start driving back, I start looking around for a 4X4 switch and can't find one, what the hell, I guess it isn't 4X4 I'm thinking, that's gonna be fun to drive in the snow with a boat behind, I get a bit north and into some snow and it seems pretty decent, taking off from a red light I knew it had to be AWD, AWD on a full sized SUV, that was a new one to me.

The trucks just keep getting lighter, smaller, and less functional to me, I think that there will be a time soon that you will have to either live with crossover or buy a 1 ton F-350, I'll be the one in the F-350.
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Old 01-15-2011, 12:29 PM   #7
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I think the 6.0L Yukon Denali's have AWD.

They're pretty much similar to the Escalades.

I guess I'm trying to figure out what the big advantage is of these AWD crossovers. It's not gas mileage I don't think. So what is it? Lower height? More car like ride?

I think I'll stick with my trucks as long as I can. I just wish there were more mid-sized options.

-Chris
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