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I just happened to pick up the new MotorTrend, as I was reading it I flipped onto the "SUV SIX WAYS" comparison. The Competition:

-Chevy Traverse
-Mazda CX-9
-Ford Explorer
-Honda Pilot
-Dodge Durango
-Toyota Highlander

It got great praise for its ride and handling. Good chassis, quick steering, and drives like a small sedan. It got bad reviews for its looks "A blue berry flavored jelly bean", its interior cheapness and the only suv without a nav. It also had the worst MPG during their test at 13.8 MPG, it was the AWD LTZ.

The results:

6th - Ford Explorer
5th - Honda Pilot
4th - Chevy Traverse
3rd - Toyota Highlander
2nd - Dodge Durango
1st - Mazda CX-9

LINK:

http://www.motortrend.com/roadtests/suvs/1105_three_row_crossover_suv_comparison/index.html
 

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Lousy comparison. They compared different aspects of every vehicle. No A vs A, B vs B, etc. When I hear "hard plastic" on the Traverse, I think durable. Looks are subjective, and while I do like the looks of the almost all of the vehicles in that comparison, the Traverse certainly has one of the "cooler" looks, IMHO (and definitely better than the CX-9 or Highlander). Ride handling should be a top factor. Then again, the Mazda always gets good reviews because the reviewers think it handles the most like a car. I don't want the handling of a car. If I did, I would buy a car. The Traverse feels better. How they can ding it for not having a nav, when the nav has always been an option, I don't understand. Maybe because it's an option and not standard? But
not everyone wants a nav. (More specifically, not everyone wants the Traverse's nav, which isn't the best, but does have some nice exclusive features).

Seems like MPG values vary considerably from vehicle to vehicle (see the numerous threads on that topic on this and the other Lambda forums). I wonder if they drove all of them the same way, distance, etc. I know EPA ratings aren't that accurate, but they should be similarly inaccurate across different vehicles. Doesn't make sense that the one with the highest EPA rating would get the lowest mileage, but you never know...
 

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I just read the article...
There are a lot of subjective things in there, like the mileage numbers. I've never gotten as low as 13.8 MPG, but then, I don't floor it to keep up with traffic either. Mileage numbers mean almost nothing, as you don't know what driving style was used. If the same person did all the in-town driving, and took pains to use the same techniques, then I'd tend to believe the numbers they publish.
Same with looks. I personally can't stand the fronts of any of the newer Mazdas. That's just my opinion, but I don't get to publish that in a magazine! I don't like any of the boxy SUVs either. I don't want to be driving a brick down the highway.
None of this changes my opinion of the Traverse. For me, it's the best looking of the bunch, and has fewer negatives than the others. I'm still happy with mine!
 

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I read it and well as with most articles in motortrend they go for the imports. I know this I love my traverse and ill never buy any jap crap
 

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At the auto show last month I looked at all these vehicles. The Traverse's interior is plastic, but it fits together well and seems durable and long-lasting. However, I saw the Pilot, CX-9, and Highlander's interiors and in my opinion they were no better. The Ford Explorer's interior did look a bit nicer, though the packaging of the Traverse is superior. For all the buzz on the Explorer I felt let down when I saw it - it was good but not as impressive as I might have expected. They look cool, and Ford will sell a lot of them, but I don't see their advantage over any of the GM products.

The one competitor I was most impressed with is the Dodge Durango. It's interior was very well done and fit and finish topped any Honda, Toyota, or Mazda product. Plus it seemed rock solid when I closed the doors, hatch, etc. Based on a Mercedes ML/GL chassis, with rear or 4 wheel drive, this one is a "bargain Mercedes" and may be easier to service than the GM products due to its engine layout. In terms of interior packaging, though, the Traverse is still superior and has more room. The Durango needs better gas mileage, and when they add the 8 speed automatic hopefully it will go up. Dodge has really started to get back in the game with their newer products.
 

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My only problem with Dodge or the whole company is lately they just wait to see what everyone else does then build their new vehicles using all the good idea's from the others. Then just fill in the fleet with retro cars.

Dodge succeeded though it's a nice final result but look how long they waited to bring it out. Everyone else is about to bring out their next renditions soon.

Ford did the same thing and just built their own version of a lambda and failed to deliver. We test drove one and it sucked compared to our Traverse. Other than some better switch locations. Everything else was bad. Even the engine struggles like mad to move it.

There was no question for me here in Canada all the off shore exports all have a huge premium on them here and are NOT price comparable to the Traverse. You also forced to a more expensive model to get base GM features.


The Highlander is the only thing with decent towing out of the the imports and you have to get the 4x4 to get it so up goes the price.

So as far as I'm concerned the Honda and Mazda are not in this class. They are smaller and can't tow in the same class.

Plus my biggest biggest beef with all imports. "THE SEATS ARE TO SMALL" Wide shoulders = bad fit.
 

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I kind of ignore all car reviews as the writers are generally frustrated would-be race car drivers who feel it is beneath their dignity to have to test or drive anything but a high dollar european sport sedan. I quit reading Motor Trend and Car and Driver years ago because of this bias. If Car and Driver could get away with it, they wouldn't test anything but Beemers.
 

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I agree totally with Bayner66...
Read the 'Letters' section of both mags, Car and Driver especially, and you'll see that their readers constantly rip them for their European bias.
I have a free subscription to Motor Trend, needless to say, I won't be paying to continue it.
 

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All Car Mags are bias to who buys more ad space these days.

The best thing is still research and test drives.

I still find it funny how they all criticize the traverse for it's looks and we first spotted one in 2009 at the MIS raceway on display and fell in love with it right away.

Before we even test drove one and when we did we were even more blown away.
 

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Funny that they have a European bias. I occasionally read German bike magazines, and the European reviews are VERY objective. They literally tear the bikes apart to see how many stress cycles they can withstand and run a bunch of direct comparison tests. I never get the feeling that their reviews are influenced by advertising dollars like they are here. When I lived over there (many moons ago), I remember the car magazines being the same way.
 

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I didn't think it was that unfair, in all honesty. I have to agree the plastic on the dash is hard to touch. Looks good, granted, but still hard to touch, and they could do better on a 40K LTZ. Legitimate beef with the rear window wiper not on the stalk - really, was that that hard to engineer in, so that I do not have to look down to find the switch? And my mileage -I get 16.7 mpg at last check, so nothing like advertised. And no, I do not race it.

They gave very good marks on the ride, interior space, captain chairs, etc etc. It was overall well received, with some scope for improvement. That's bad?

And I disagree completely with the generalized classification of bias in Motor Trend. Okay, so they like their BMW's a bit too much. But I wouldn't say they are biased against American cars. Their opinions have been quite fair. I know bias in auto magazines all too well - pick up almost any copy of Car & Driver or Road & Track. They are outright hostile - their write ups against the EPA or Obama govt rescuing the American car industry were dripping with hostility. And I canned both subscriptions.

Now I have Automobile and Motor Trend - both have been very fair in praising tremendous improvements in American companies, while calling out possible cheapness. Remember the beat-down MT took for giving Chevy Volt the COTY award? They are not all about Honda and Toyota all the time..
 

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Whoa! Car & Driver and Road & Track did write ups against the EPA and Obama? That ups their credibility considerably. Guess I should give them another chance. Maybe they are legitimate after all...
 
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