Discussion in 'Cars, Motorcycles, Boats, Airplanes Talk' started by Maxvla, Sep 26, 2015.
If the ute is pristine, it’s boring.
As you may head, I got hit with a minor hit n run with my 2023 Subaru Legacy Sedan. Thankfully I was able to obtain the tag of the vehicle that hit me and reported them to the police. Police faulted them for the accident and hopefully they can get my deductible (regardless my insurance will go up again next year....eww).
While my car is being repaired, the local Enterprise Car Rental gave me a 2023 Madza CX-9 AWD Turbo Engine for rental. This is a higher trim level due to vented leather seats, the better engine, AWD, etc.
Let me get out of the way with the stuff I like first about it:
I like the direction Mazda did with their entertainment system. It isn't a touchscreen but it is based on a knob and button system. Some may not like it since it doesn't make sense for some, but once you try it out for a bit it make sense. Super easy to go around the menus when in Apple Carplay and you control the knob when your right arm/hand is already laying on the armrest. In fact, your hands are naturally placed on the knob system so it feels natural without moving your arms and focusing on the road. Leagues faster than the modern Subaru iPad size tablet screen. Downside is the screen is hori focused and vertical focused like the Subaru screen. This means when using Google Maps you don't get a lot of screen real estate. Hard to tell which street you need to turn, which on the Subaru iPad size tablet screen you can see it for miles/minutes away. Major plus here except there's no wireless Apple Carplay/Android Auto. My cheaper Subaru Legacy has wireless Apple Carplay/Android Auto as standard in all trims except base.
Another major plus is the button HVAC system. Thank goodness since more and more HVAC features on most cars (including the modern Subarus) are moving towards the tablet screen. What happens if your screen is having issues? You are screwed. Thankfully Mazda is still wise to continue using buttons for HVAC, including heated and cool seats since the wrong row seats are vented.
On the higher trims the second row seats have their own HVAC controls.
Mini third row seats if you want, but I recommend fold them down for extra storage in the page.
Mazda is still using Automatics, which is a good thing since they are easily repairable over the Subaru CVTs with a cheaper cost. The turbo engine have power to get the CX-9 up and moving quickly on the highway and on the roads. Leagues faster than my Subaru Legacy with the base engine. More road feel means a non-boring driving experience that can be fun in certain moments. Mazda will still do their driving experience even when they go full blown Crossovers/SUVs for the US Market at this point, but I have a problem with it.........
Why Crossovers/SUVs are having Turbo/More Powerful engines in the first place?
I get why some would need it if they live in the mountains where you are going on a uphill, and this CX-9 being AWD will be helpful in those situations in the snow. However, there were moments where I was pushing the CX-9 just a bit and the car felt like it was going to fall over the other side. Furthermore, the passenger experience in the CX-9 was less than stellar. Good bit of body rolling and more road fell while it is great if you are the driver keep making my passengers feeling sick. I had my 82 year old dad driving with me and I was driving slow, he didn't like the CX-9 one bit. He called it "Driving in a box." Other passengers commented on something similar. One of the passengers drove the CX-9 and commented that if he was the driver he would have fun with it, but hated being the passenger when you are feeling everything from the road/turns.
Furthermore, I felt a little too tight in the CX-9. I am having a hard time trying to get my legs in a good position to the point that my body felt cramp at times. Also IMO the brakes/pedals are too close to each other and I keep pressing both of them at times. In the Legacy (and its older brother the Outback, mostly the same vehicles) I have tons more room for my legs and body to the point that I am comfortable. Being comfortable from seating and the driving experience are Subaru good traits, but the soft ride quality on most of their models will make drivers just want to fall sleep. Don't get me started on the viewing angles, the CX-9 is a lot worse than my Subaru Legacy. However, good drivers will know how to deal with it. Car does have blind-spot detection, but the light on the mirror is in a bad location (on the upper part of the mirror near the road) and they are small. Most of the time I didn't realize the light was on! Subaru is better since they put the light on the mirror plastic body facing the car (and they are big and bright). Also I felt the CX-9 on width was more compact size than midsize.
I'm on the point that the driving experience would be better for my taste if it was in a Sedan format. Too bad the Mid-Size Mazda6 is no loner for sale in the US and the Mazda3 is a little too compact for my taste. A Mid-Size Sedan Mazda with the fun driving experience from the Turbo Engine in the CX-9 would be a possibility compelling buy for me and should be a better driving experience IMO. However, Americans love big ass shit and manufactures are giving Americans want they want. I guess I'll always be in the minority in this battle.... One day I guess if there's no more Sedans to buy that I might go into the gloryhole and get the Subaru Outback, since it is just the Legacy Wagon/Levorg lifted up and more plastic.....woo. However, it still mostly drives like a Sedan so I can live with it. Hopefully when it is time to get a new car in many years down the road there hopefully might still be Sedans to buy left in the US.
Being in FL the AWD is useless. I find most crossovers to be useless. Bigger SUVs with faster engines sounds like death to me. Since I drive old people around and I don't want my passengers feeling sick, I buck the tread and gotten the 23 Subaru Legacy before Subaru stop selling them in the US. Boring ass vehicle to drive, but at least I can drive in it for hours without feeling tired on I-95/I-4, so there's that.....
Also most likely the vehicle wasn't aimed for people like me, which is the case......
It's how Mazda tunes their cars, including their SUVs. Want to retain as much sports sedan / cockpit feel.
AWD for rain? (Don't know how much rain you get).
Turbo - Either that or bigger engine. It's really about fuel efficiency for given HP.
Turbo - I've seen how Florida drivers drive here in Texas (those Florida plates). C'mon. I'm surprised they haven't been shot.
Quality of Tires in FL Rain (for grip) is far the biggest important factor than AWD. You can have Front Wheel or Rear Wheel or even my AWD Subaru Legacy, but if the tires are shit with grip then the AWD will not save you from hydroplaning.
Tons of people in FL been driving with Front Wheel cars for decades with no issues. Always check your tires and get them replaced when they are hitting 5/32 on tread life.
Touchscreens in cars suck. I'm not the only person who thinks so.
Real buttons/dials for critical functions are a necessity IMO. Even for entertainment and non-critical configuration I'll take that central control knob (that Mazda one is very similar to mine) over a touchscreen any day.
SUV are a plague! Even in Europe. Lot‘s of car makers stop producing station wagons/estates because everyone buys SUV. Lately I found out that Ford does build the Mondeo anymore. SUV with their raised centre of gravity, so that people who have a hard time assessing the traffic situation feel they get a better overview.
An equivalent to Consumer Reports in the UK, Which?, recently found
It's ridiculous - there's no place for hulking SUVs in a densely populated, small country - one where snow's a rarity - with ancient, narrow roads often designed for horses and carts, and with parking decks and lots designed for 20th-century compacts. It'd be less obnoxious if a good number of the owners of British SUVs could actually drive the bloody things properly.
Yeah. And the irony of the "green" E-SUV. As if a 2200kg vehicle is powered by electricity is planet saving.
It doesn't make a difference anyway. We are doomed. The best course of action is preparing for the effects of climate change instead of preventing the effects from happening.
Thoughts on the Toyota Tundra? They are finally bringing them out in Australia and I am tempted to join the waiting list.
Problem is they are wanting around 130k usd for them here.
Are they indestructible, ultra reliable and a nice ride? If not I'll probably stick with the Landcruiser GR 300 but I really want a tray. I currently have a Toyota Hilux sr5 and find it low tech, terrible on the highway. Otherwise it's awesome.
Not familiar with the Hilux down there but I believe it’s a midsize that’s just a wee bit smaller than the 4Runner / Tacoma?
The Tundra is like a bigger 4Runner / Tacoma, a step up in size. It actually drives quite similarly (with the 4Runner having slightly better front/back balance because it’s not a pickup).
Toyota tunes the suspension on the stiffer side. People I know in MI used to Fords and Jeep SUVs felt the Toyota platforms drove kind of rough. I kind of agree, but this also makes feel confident. Don’t get that wobble wobble feeling that I got the prior Jeep (stock suspension). All the Toyotas midsize up to the Sequoia drive similarly. They track straight and I feel confident for their sizes / weights.
With respect to reliability, can’t beat made in Japan. The 4Runners we have in the USA are made in Japan, unless that changed recently or I got lucky. 50k mi on it and the shocks are still good. This won’t be the case with Jeep or Ford. Although the prior owner may have babied it.
As for tough, I don’t think you have to worry about anything when it comes to body on frame. I’ve taken the 4Runner to Moab UT for off-roading and ran it straight into a ditch on the slate rock. Replaced the bumper and now need to realign hood. The Tundra ain’t gonna be less tough.
Put it this way: South Texans approve of the Tundra. We are asking about outdoorsmen and people who haul shit around like large dead animals, lumber, and bricks over shitty roads.
BTW, the brand new Sequoia (same platform as Tundra) drives really nice. It’s been iteratively improved over the prior model so it’s less boring. I wouldn’t hesitate to drive it like a crazy uber driver in the streets of Hollywood considering its massive size. Well I did do this in the 4Runner “c’mon fucker, c’mon fucker, go for it, cut me off and see what happens”, but it’s actually easier to pull off stuff like this in the bigger new Sequoia.
I don’t know if the Tundra is all new. I guess is probably is with the launch of the new Sequoia.
It's a great truck... but I don't think its even remotely 130k great.
fwiw, I've always wanted a land cruiser...
Assuming Australian dollar and automobile price premiums there, so not too horrible.
Is it the model Land Cruisers are like luxury SUV nowadays or Toyota still make them without the fluff?
Land Cruisers stopped being made in the USA. 4Runners kind of took their place spiritually and 4Runners are downright primitive (CD Players, no auto climate, no Car Play, etc.) I believe the Land Cruisers outside of the USA are based on the Tacoma / Sequoia platform and have all sorts of fancy stuff.
The Land Cruiser is coming back to the USA using the 4Runner / Lexus LC platform. The Lexus is also another reason why no Land Cruiser here in USA for so long. Just an odd spot in the line up.
Big 200 model.
The "regular" model.
and the 120, older model
Basically the highlight of the LC is that it has proper undercarriage and the suspension is tuned so that it does care whats underneath it. I drove in the later model, a local here and I'd say the car had 80% bias toward offroading.
I once noticed a dude turning around hes J15 on a narrow side street and the drove over the curbstones. The car stayed level through the turn.
The reason ppl buy these is they are not interested in visiting the shop every other month. Same with Hilux .. for a long time there was nothing special about besides reliability. Farmers like them because they are not interested in fixing their car and can go anywhere. Plus they can recover "street cred" with their big € Fendts and John Deers.
However, we have loads of Chevy, Ford and Dodge truck on the roads. Same reason as mentioned above, you can't tow stuff with 2.0 liter eco diesel. Basically everyone here gets it, which is cool... Anything below 3.0 Tdi does not belong in a truck imo. Many use LPG fuel in their V8 so it's not breaking the bank.
Regarding car choice nowadays.. I'd get something fun like Lexus GS, CL500 merc or G30 BMW which have reliable engines now. Otherwise, why not get the Allroad / lifted unversal versions which look quite cool.
The problem with high cars are the intersections, sharper turns and roundabouts. It's so much better in a lower car.
I believe Subaru and some Japanese have made a mistake in not offering any 150kW - 200kW variants for the past 10+ years. Problem is, slightly under 2t car has no felt driving dynamics with 120kW engine that gets its torque at ~3k+.
I drive this: https://www.ultimatespecs.com/car-specs/Honda/23931/Honda-Accord-8-20-i-VTEC-Executive.html
Everything is great.. It would feel more alive with 140 - 150kW. It's quite a light car for its size. I am not a huge fan of its 2.4 brother because its too low torque at 2k to 3 k where you need it.
I am probably keeping it due to its reliability and simplicity. It has decent paddle shifting in S mode and that's about it.
Without fluff are still available in Japan and Australia... Series 70 drool... https://www.drive.com.au/news/2024-toyota-landcruiser-70-series-facelift-unveiled/
The Lexus GX460 was based off the Land cruiser Prado and shared the 4Runner platform. The series 70 is the real deal 4x4, not the Prado chassis.
I test drove a used GX460 2020? Other the the motor (way smoother and slightly more powerful), it was joke. The driving dynamics were exactly like 4Runner. The joke was the “luxury” interior which seemed like an afterthought of fancier panels glued on. I didn’t even think the leather seat quality was as good as the leather seats on the Sahara or Wrangler Jeeps. Toyota knows how to rip people off when they can.
Ultimately since I knew we were going to take it to Moab and do dumb stuff that could poke a hole in the oil pan, we opted for the 4Runner since parts are dirt cheap.
The new GX is a different story.
Sort of, but first off, Toyota truck production is stupidly confusing mostly due to the chicken tax. The Landcruiser line is split between heavy and light duty, and wagon. HD landcruisers (the J80, J100, 200, and 300) are all produced in Japan. the Prado-based (Japanese assembly) LCs that we see over here are Lexus GX/LX and 2G and on 4runner. When Toyota decided to start light truck manufacturing in Fremont, they used much of the same design as the Hilux manufactured elsewhere, but the 1G through 4G Tacoma are essentially their own thing. Sequoia and Tundra share the same US-only platform. The T100 is based on the 1G Tacoma platform. Fun fact! remember when every Tacoma had a frame recall? Yeah, those frames were originally manufactured by Dana Spicer, so when Toyota nerds make a distinction between "made in Japan" and "made in the US" Toyotas, a lot of it comes down to the quality differences in two different country's specifications for what "mild hot rolled steel" is. JIS steel grades /= SAE/ASM steel grades.
I liked the old Hilux.
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