Escalade or Infinity QX 56? Other SUVs You Love?

Sam_I_AmJuly 2, 2006

We're an active family with three kids, between the ages of 4 - 8. I need a BIG car with lots of cargo space. I'm tired of my minivan. I'm considering the Escalade ESV or the Infiniti. It seems like the Infinity QX 56 has poor reliability from what I've read. Anyone experience with these SUVs? Thumbs up or down? Other good choices? Thanks- I appreciate any input!

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We rented a car while on vacation last fall and got upgraded (YES!!!!) to a QX 56 when the Taurus pooped out in the rental garage.

No reliability information to give you, but DH and I fought over who could drive. It was comfortable, roomy and just a dream to tool around in for a week.

Wonder why it has poor reliability stats? The QX4s were great - SIL has had one for years and no issues at all. Infinity has a good rep all-around. Hmmm. Can you give them a year to work the bugs out?

    Bookmark   July 2, 2006 at 10:37AM
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I have a Honda Pilot and love it. It has a third seat that fold down totally flat so that you can seat three more there - adults would fit but it would be a little tight, but three kids fit fine. I've taken 6 kids in the back of my Pilot on field trips - all have shoulder restraint seat belts.

The other nice thing about the Pilot is the second seat is adjustable forward a bit so you can get more leg room in the third seat. The third seat is also a 3/4 1/4 config so many times, I used just the 1/4 seat and left the other 3/4 flat for cargo. My little guy loves riding there in his "special" spot.

The Pilot is also so easy and smooth to drive. We got the DVD player and it's great for long drives.

If you want more luxury, the MDX is basically the same SUV, just a little nicer inside, but for the price difference and with three kids, I didn't want a car I'd be screaming at them to not spill, kick the seats etc.

Goodluck with your choices! I have a friend with an Escalade and she loves it, but it's a gas hog...

    Bookmark   July 2, 2006 at 11:07AM
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DD recently got rid of the BMW SUV and replaced it with a Lexus. She loves that and it's one of the best rated by the car people. Better gas mileage as well she says.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2006 at 1:05PM
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I also think the Lexus SUV comes as a hybrid...

Here is a link that might be useful: lexus hybrid

    Bookmark   July 2, 2006 at 2:01PM
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Hybrid's the one they got. Thanks flyleft.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2006 at 4:22PM
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Jane, what kind of mileage does your DD get?

    Bookmark   July 2, 2006 at 5:58PM
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I have an Explorer with a 3rd row seat (same car as the Mountaineer and Aviator as well). I can fit 6 passengers plus myself. It came with a DVD player as well that has saved my sanity.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2006 at 6:45PM
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I will comment on the Q-ship's drivetrain, for I have the very same thing in my Nissan Titan. The engine and five-speed auto are sweet. The Infiniti is rated @ 315hp on Premium gas. It's a blast to drive, and I've put on 57k miles since Jan 2004. Fuel economy could be better, but my motto is pedal to the metal. The new Escalades have just come out with a revamped drivetrain as well, with a lot more HP, AFAIK.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2006 at 7:26PM
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Pecan I'll ask her when she gets back (wedding in Mexico). She hated the BMW and likes the new car.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2006 at 9:40PM
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As an FYI, the Escalade is the most stolen SUV out there, so depending on where you live, you might want to take that into consideration.

Also, depending on how much money is a factor for you, Ford (well, all the American companies) right now is having crazy deals trying to sell the Explorer. A co-worker got an Eddie Bauer, pretty much loaded, on a lease for $320/month with nothing down, which is a bargain. It's gotten great reviews from all the relevant sources.

You mght want to consider the new Tahoe as well - basically the same thing as the Escalade, but not as theft worthy. :-)

    Bookmark   July 3, 2006 at 10:33AM
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DS has a Tahoe. Rides pretty 'trucky' but it's a great car. When he got it this time last year, it was cheaper to buy a brand new one off the lot than a 1 or 2 year old Tahoe.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2006 at 11:29AM
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I LOVE my Honda Odyssey Minivan. Seats seven (in a pinch) and comfy...AND it gets decent milage.


    Bookmark   July 3, 2006 at 4:23PM
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Yes, Tony Soprano is having the Escalades stolen so his pals can have matching cars.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2006 at 10:33PM
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mjsee, we're thinking of getting the Honda Odyssey redesign--is that what you got? This year's model? Not a hybrid but has an interesting way it conserves gas, right--switches to a lower number of cylinders at certain times?

    Bookmark   July 4, 2006 at 2:22AM
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Thanks for all your opinions. I presently have a 2001 Odyssey. It has over 100,000 miles. It's a great van. I'm sure I could get a few more years out of it. I just wanted something that was a little more snazzy. Economically, the Honda is a MUCH better choice than the Infiniti. I'm just tire of driving a minivan!

    Bookmark   July 4, 2006 at 7:58AM
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Just a thought - did you realize you'd be paying about $100 at the gas pump to fill up an escalade? I'd guess right now you're spending about $60 to fill up the odyssey?

    Bookmark   July 4, 2006 at 10:43AM
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Sam-I-am--we are driving the same car. Mine is also the 2001--but it has about 25,000 fewer miles than yours. I plan on driving it until it dies. Or for at least the next four years--we have one kid in college and another starting in August.

Fly-left--I'm jealous. I really like the new features and styling of the new Odyssey--particulalry all the new airbags--but it's just NOT in my budget right now!

Chiefneil--I usually fill up when the light comes on--that's about 5 gallons left-and usually put about 15 gallon in. Gas is running about $2.75 for regular (which is what the Odyssey likes) around here--so that comes to $40.50. I get about 20 mph city, 25 highway.

I found a handy-dandy side-by-side fuel economy comparison... linked below!

As to wanting to drive something snazzier--cars are not my thing--so I can't comment on that. (My car gets a bath every year on Mother's Day, whether it needs it or not!) As long as it gets me where I want to go, in reasonable comfort, and will haul what I want to haul--I'm a happy girl.

My GARDEN is where I tend to get competitive!


Here is a link that might be useful: Fuel economy site

    Bookmark   July 4, 2006 at 11:38AM
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We purchased a used Suburban (two yrs old) a few years ago and that is my mommy car. It was old enough that we did not feel the pain of depreciation nor did it break my heart when my small children made a mess of things, which they always do.

It gets better gas mileage than my brother'e Suburban that has a some kind of towing package, although it is certainly not great. It has a ton of cargo space.

DH owned a towing business for years and worked some wicked wrecks and doesn't want me or the boys in anything that doesn't have a truck chassis.

Just thought I might present another option to you. I can't imagine anyone trying to steal my Suburban.

I do love the looks of the Escalades.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2006 at 1:46PM
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If you want a reliable SUV, continue to get Honda. I have the CR-V, which is too small for you, but the Pilot would probably work very well.

I'll never get an American car again, every one I had was so poorly made and unreliable, they cost me an arm and a leg to keep running (so did my Mazda). My 3 Honda's (so far) needed little more than routine maintenance and tires.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2006 at 7:08PM
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Okay- thanks for the reality check. You guys have me rethinking the whole thing. I really do like my Odyssey. Maybe I'll just get another one. I'd go for the upgrades to make it more snazzy. I really want the rear camera. I can do without the DVD system! The Odyssey really would be the more practical, economical, and functional choice for me. I'll keep you posted. Thanks!

    Bookmark   July 4, 2006 at 8:37PM
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sam i am--

Does your Odyssey have the (almost) universal left (or right)rear bumper dent? Mine does! As do MOST of the Odysseys I see on the road. (For those of you who don't drive one--our minivans have a weird blind spot.) When we do replace it I WILL be getting that backing camera.


    Bookmark   July 5, 2006 at 8:03AM
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Our 2001 Odyssey EX also has over 100,000 miles. I love it except for the problematic power doors (one of them froze shut last winter and DH hasn't gotten it fixed yet. Big $$$$.) We paid off our loan last month and ran out to test drive a new Odyssey. Lots of changes since 2001 - an extra 30 HP, 5-speed automatic transmission instead of 4-speed, retuned suspension, rear disc brakes instead of drums, front side airbags and a new mechanism for the power doors. And my kids' favorite upgrade: power rear windows (my 11yr old DS hates that he can't open his window). The test drive was awesome; more power, better handling than our 2001. The Odyssey isn't selling as well as in 2001 (we had paid full price back then and had to wait 6 months!) so you can get some great deals.
So test drive a new one before deciding on an SUV.

As for me, practicality set in; since we still love our 2001 we decided to enjoy some time without car payments. But I had to live with three unhappy campers for awhile. :-(

    Bookmark   July 5, 2006 at 9:53AM
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Oh man, $2.75 for gas! I usually pay around $3.15 - $3.25 and it seems like it's higher every time I visit the gas station!

    Bookmark   July 5, 2006 at 11:03AM
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mjsee, don't be that jealous--we *never* buy new cars--we only buy used, so we're waiting for that 2006 Odyssey until at least 2008 :) (hoping our beloved Camry holds out that long)

    Bookmark   July 5, 2006 at 11:50AM
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Hey--what constitutes and "American" car these days anyway? Many of the Fords and Chevys (how does one pluralize "Chevy?")are made in Canada or Mexico--while Honda makes most of it's cars sold in the USA here IN the USA. And, of course, Chrysler is now DAIMLER Chrusler--and a German company...

Our 2001 Odyssey is also paid for. I hope to drive it for a few years more. If anyone is looking for a LITTLE car-be sure to look at the new Honda "Fit." Elder Son took an internship away from home this summer and needed reliable transport. We might have gotten him a Fit if we could have secured one in the limited time-frame we had. Though perhaps not. We always hesitate to purchase a car it's first year out...and then DH and I feel there's something WRONG about giving a kid a new car...weird prejudice from OUR up-bringings, perhaps. I didn't have a NEW car until my FIRST minivan. (1992 Villager...)

As it was, we picked up a used 2005 Scion aB with fewer than 10,000 miles on it. It's in our name--we just let him use it. We'll probably give it to him when he graduates college in 2007. It's a lot of fun to drive-and relatively safe for a small car. I just wish it had the side curtain airbags that the Fit has. Ah well, it DOES have ABS. And it got 39 mpg's on the highway when he drove it up to Cincinnati.


    Bookmark   July 5, 2006 at 11:55AM
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I went from a BMW 5 series to an SUV. It was a hard pill to swallow, but once I had triplets I had to make the change. Anyway, I refused to go from a BMW to a Toyota or Honda, I know, very stupid. So I looked at Lexus SUV, Cadillacs, and Acuras. I liked the Lexus, but it wasn't big enough. Did not really like the Cadillas. I loved, loved, loved the Acura MDX and was all set to buy, when I started looking at the size. For three growing girls, it was just going to be too small. My husband really wanted me to look at the Toyota Sequoia, so I did and ended up loving it and buying it. It is big, big, big. Is very nice in the inside. Easy to drive. Etc. Etc. I could not be happier with my Sequoia, except the gas, but I am the queen of my neighborhood and rarely drive more than a few mile a day, and I only miss my BMW sometimes now.

Also, I am not so worried about the kids spilling stuff in the car because we got husky floor liners.


    Bookmark   July 5, 2006 at 12:22PM
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We have had only the Toyota variety - Toyota Landcruisers, Lexus RX300 and now a Toyota Highlander. There are only two of us but we go to our lake cabin every weekend in the summer with three cats, a large cooler, a few bags of groceries, two or three duffle bags, a couple briefcases, one or two sets of golf clubs, and a couple tennis rackets and we could often use more space.

The Landcruisers were great for space but I'm glad I'm getting more than 12 mpg these days. Also the truck chassis is overkill for our needs - regular all wheel drive is all we need in the winter and we only need modest towing capacity for a lightweight sailboat. I'm also only willing to spend so much on a depreciating asset like a vehicle hence the plain old current non-luxury brand.

I myself am more partial to Hondas and couldn't wait to get a Pilot - unfortunately they were released without a sunroof for the first few years so we went with the Highlander instead. Next one will likely be a Pilot. Were it not for gas prices I might have considered something bigger but not any more. I think a Highlander or Pilot might be kind of small for your needs though - especially when you're used to all that space in the van.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2006 at 10:12PM
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Personally I love my BMW. For me I drive a TON so having a vehicle that had the bells and whistles mattered a lot. I wanted the nav system, and love the parking sensors when I'm parking downtown.

I like the feel of the german vehicles and don't like the feel of driving a japanese car. I have no idea what my milesage is like, mostly because I don't really care. I want to enjoy the vehicle I spend so much time in. I think the handling is superior, and love the fact that I can throw stuff in it so easily. Check and see how easy it is to flip down the seats.

We looked at the Volvo but the navigation system was horrible, and frankly we just refused to spend that kind of money on a volvo. BMWs include the maintenance for 5 years which is a huge incentive.

I will say this - RUN AWAY from the Land Rovers. I also didn't like the Mercedes, and was very happy to trade in my C class towards the X5.

I didn't like the fit/finish of the Infiniti when I looked at those for what it's worth.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2006 at 8:50PM
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Our DD has a 2004 Rav4 and it is the most Safe and comfortable SUV I have ever rode in!

Here is a link that might be useful: Rav4

    Bookmark   July 14, 2006 at 12:23AM
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We recently leased our 5th Jeep Grand Cherokee. We find them roomy and reliable. Plus, I like the way they look!

    Bookmark   July 14, 2006 at 11:08PM
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