I buy a car and drive it for years. My last car was a 2005 Dodge Durango Limited with a Hemi in it. Bought it new, now has over 125k miles on it. While it's been a great car, the AC has gone out 2 sum...
I buy a car and drive it for years. My last car was a 2005 Dodge Durango Limited with a Hemi in it. Bought it new, now has over 125k miles on it. While it's been a great car, the AC has gone out 2 summers in a row and I was pretty envious of my sister and brother in law who've both gotten newer cars with pretty cool features in the last few years. So, I went car researching and shopping. My requirements: SUV with 2 inch hitch that tows at least 3k. Lot's of room in far back for large dogs. At least as good or preferably better gas milage than the Durango (which is not as bad as you'd think. I was getting around 16.5 city/21-22 freeway). And it couldn't be black or white for exterior color. Or gold.
So, with that in mind, I went out and looked at/drove the following: Chevy Traverse, Chevy Avalanche, GMC Acadia, Buick Enclave, Ford Explorer, Dodge Durango, Jeep Grand Cherokee, Lexus GX 460, Acura MDX, Toyota Highlander, FJ Cruiser, Honda Pilot, Honda Ridgeline, Infiniti JX, and finally, the Nissan Pathfinder.
I'm in the fortunate position to not care too much how much it cost and did not need to finance any of them. However, why spend well over $60k on a Lexus if I'm just as happy with something less expensive? The Pathfinder simply hit all the right notes in terms of luxury items that I've not had in my Durango (power tailgate, remote start, heated and cooled seats, etc, etc) and has enough room for the dogs/cargo that I'm looking for. And a hitch is standard, something that is missing from some of the more "luxury" SUVs. I liked the Pilot and the Traverse a lot, but the Pathfinder seemed more comfortable than the Pilot and I disliked the really, really small rear window of the Traverse. Made me feel closed in.
I bought the loaded Platinum version, red exterior with black interior. It has been an absolutely marvelous car so far. It is so comfortable and so easy to drive. I love the power liftgate to no end. So much better than the Durango. Obviously going from a Hemi to a V6 is a bit of a tradeoff, and freeway ramps are more interesting than when in the Dodge, which could outrun all but high end sports cars. However, once up to speed it's very smooth. I've honestly not noticed any issues with the CVT.
In summary, I looked at every car I thought could meet my needs. The Nissan Pathfinder exceeds them. Planning to put at least 100k on this great car too!