RAV4, CRV, Pilot, or Highlander? Help!!

gopherit

I'm not in the book, you know.
Joined
Sep 21, 2003
DH and I are looking to replace an old vehicle... we agree that we really need something suitable for inclement weather (4WD would be great.) For wahtever reason, he's not interested in a truck, and I would like it to seat our family comfortably (we have 3 kids (ages 5,8, and 10). We already have a 2000 Sienna van; this car will replace our weary 1990 Honda civic! We really like and trust the Toyota and Honda lines, and have therefore taken a closer look at the 4 names mentioned: RAV4, CRV, Pilot, and Highlander.

Do you own one of these? IF so -- your opinions?


THANKS!!
 

RadioNate

DIS Veteran
Joined
Apr 20, 2002
I love my CRV but the back seat would be cramped with 3 kids on a regular basis especially if you need 1 or more boosters. I think for the pics that your kids could be past boosters but I can't be sure.

I think both the Pilot and Highlander are really nice. I think the Pilot may be a little bigger but the Highlander gets better gas mileage. I think the Rav4 may be smaller than the CRV.

I really do LOVE my CRV but I am considering upgrading to something bigger and the Pilot and Highlander and definately my top 2 choices. I have also looked into the Nissan Pathfinder.
 

LJC1861

DIS Veteran<br><font color=teal>Suffers from a Tag
Joined
Nov 15, 1999
I have a Rav4 and agree, it would be a tight fit for 3 kids in the back seat. Great car though!

Linda
 

Cheap-n-Dale

Mouseketeer
Joined
Sep 29, 2004
You definately need to take the CRV and RAV4 off the list, with 3 kids. Here is the thing I have discovered about children...they only get bigger. :rotfl:

I am partial to Honda's however with your size family, I would look hard at the Highlander with the 3rd row seats. The Pilot does not offer the option. If you are real serious about needing 4WD, you may want to look at the 4 Runner as well. The Highlander is Toyota's yuppie SUV, while the 4 Runner is the serious SUV. The 4 Runner has the 7 passenger seating config as well.
 

gopherit

I'm not in the book, you know.
Joined
Sep 21, 2003
THanks for the input... I too was concerned abuot the seating in the RAV4... my sister has one, and while we took her teen dd and 2 of my kids on a 1 hr drive to / from in a RAV4 with no big problems, long-term, as my trio grows, I think there will be issues. Currently only 1 is in a booster seat. I would probably put that seat in the middle.

Personally, I am leaning to a Highlander, but DH wants to at least consider the smaller SUVs. We both agree, after looking at one, that man -- the Pilot seems HUGE. Maybe too huge.

Anybody else? How 'bout it?
 

Cheap-n-Dale

Mouseketeer
Joined
Sep 29, 2004
Cars a like houses, when you buy them they seem huge, but as soon as you get all your gear in there, you think otherwise.

You guys all seem to be above average height from what I can tell in the picture. I would predict misery and regret in a sub-SUV.

If you think the Pilot seems huge, go test drive the Toyota Sequoia or Nissan Armada. That Pilot will suddenly seem like your old Civic.
 

Minnie824

DIS Veteran
Joined
May 7, 2000
I used to have a Rav4...great car, but after DD2, with a 2nd carseat, it just got too cramped for us. Last year we replaced it with a Pilot. We LOVE this car. Its great, we got the DVD player in it, and there is tons of room. If you have time to wait, I would suggest waiting until the Aug timeframe. We did this last year and got a great deal on a 2004 model. I would definitely go with the Pilot though.
 

PartyofSix

TripMomma + 4
Joined
Apr 7, 2002
You might consider the Acura MDX which is a honda product. I had one and LOVED it. I just got the TL and a larger van for rode trips but plan on going back into the MDX. I highly recommend getting the navi in it. It's awesome for trips. Right now they have a lease special i see on t.v. for the mdx or tl for 359 a month. Totally worth checking out. The MDX is the sister car to the Pilot but there is NO comparision to ride, quality and amenties between the two. :)
 

DoeWDW

I've been a bit naughty since you've been away
Joined
Mar 13, 2002
I have a Subaru Forrester and absolutely love it, but it would be too small for 3 kids in the backseat. It's roughly the same size as the CRV. Believe it or not, there's more backseat room in a Subaru Outback. You get the same all wheel drive and dependability. Just thought I'd mention it if you definitely don't want to go with a larger SUV.
 

toto2

DIS Veteran
Joined
May 13, 2004
I am not starting a debate on SUV , but you should consider something like a Subaru Outback: safer than any SUV , 4 weeldrive , no rolleover, less poluting , might be a bit cheaper on gaz, more carrying space than a lot of SUV , you can actually see child behind the car in a drive way. These are a lot to consider !
 

diznygirl

I have a symmetry thing
Joined
Aug 14, 2004
Well, I will confirm that there is more room in the Outback's backseat than in the Forrester. We have a Forrester now and are looking for something a little larger..

You will have to do this the old-fashioned way - got out to the dealerships and get inside! We were considering the Highlander - like the idea of the 3rd row - but once getting inside we realized that it is waaaaay too cramped. In order to use the 3rd row you have to slide all the other rows forward.... check it out.

We are leaning toward the Saturn Relay (also sold by GM under different names) cuz it looks like an SUV but has all the perks of a minivan like the power sliding side doors AND has all the room that we want AND it doesn't feel like I am driving a big truck. (I previously owned a GEO Metro before the Forrester, so I'm not used to driving anything big!) It's still a little bigger than I want, but the inside is what counts.

Good luck!
 

two-foxes

DIS Veteran
Joined
Sep 9, 2002
We are Toyota fans. We have a 4 Runner and we love it. No kids, but the dogs take up just as much room, if not more! But, this is what Consumer Reports says about the Highlander....

The well-rounded Highlander blends the virtues that appeal to most SUV buyers. It's similar to the Lexus RX330, though it's roomier, less costly, and has a third-row seat. A 2.4-liter, four-cylinder engine is standard; a smooth 3.3-liter V6 is available. The Highlander is quiet and roomy, with a comfortable ride and easy-to-use controls. Handling is sound and secure, though not particularly agile. A DVD rear-entertainment system is optional. Excellent offset-crash results as well as outstanding reliability and low depreciation round out this highly rated SUV. A hybrid is now available.

Yuppie SUV or not, it has a smoother ride and a third row of seats...sounds like a good, reliable family car (and available in a hybrid to boot!)
 

RadioNate

DIS Veteran
Joined
Apr 20, 2002
Cheap-n-Dale said:
I am partial to Honda's however with your size family, I would look hard at the Highlander with the 3rd row seats. The Pilot does not offer the option. If you are real serious about needing 4WD, you may want to look at the 4 Runner as well. The Highlander is Toyota's yuppie SUV, while the 4 Runner is the serious SUV. The 4 Runner has the 7 passenger seating config as well.

The Pilot does offer a 3rd row. I actually think it's standard.
 

DisneyAddict_M

I want my tags back :(
Joined
Feb 11, 2004
I have a CRV and I LOVE it, but I think it would be too cramped with 3 people in the backseat. I fit 3 carseats back there once, but it was a tight squeeze.
 

nowellsl

<font color=purple>my car finds out everytime I ha
Joined
Dec 18, 2002
Cheap-n-Dale said:
You definately need to take the CRV and RAV4 off the list, with 3 kids. Here is the thing I have discovered about children...they only get bigger. :rotfl:

I am partial to Honda's however with your size family, I would look hard at the Highlander with the 3rd row seats. The Pilot does not offer the option. If you are real serious about needing 4WD, you may want to look at the 4 Runner as well. The Highlander is Toyota's yuppie SUV, while the 4 Runner is the serious SUV. The 4 Runner has the 7 passenger seating config as well.

My sister has a Pilot with the 3rd row seat. It is a little cramped back there though - but they only have one kid so far. My daughter has a CRV and loves it, but it would be too small I think.
 

SleepyMom

DIS Veteran
Joined
Sep 9, 2004
We also have a Pilot and love it, and it does have a 3rd row seat. The Pilot is mainly DH's vehicle. I drive a minivan and will probably be looking to get something new in a year or so... I am considering the CRV, so I can have a "baby Pilot". I won't be needing to haul kids around as much as in the past, so I will be looking for something smaller. We love Honda's, the Pilot is our 4th one, they are very reliable and our local dealer is top-notch.
 

cepmom

DIS Veteran
Joined
Apr 9, 2004
I am looking at getting a new car soon too and have looked at both the Pilot and the Highlander. The thing I didn't like about the Highlander was the trunk space with the third row seat up ~ it was practically non-existant. It literally had about 6 " of space. We need the third row seat all the time so that immediately ruled out the Highlander. The Pilot has a good size trunk with the third row up and seems wider than the Highlander. I went with some friends to NYC in a Pilot with three adult women in the second seat and we fit very comfortably. Good luck with your search!
 

fourdaughters

Mouseketeer
Joined
Mar 17, 2005
Love my Pilot! It fits 8. The third row is small, so really only 3 kids can fit (adults would be a little cramped) Our 4 kids fit fine and we have two carseats. I like the Highlander too, but back when we were looking, it didn't offer the third row like it does now. My brother has the Subaru and he loves that. Good luck.
 

DukeStreetKing

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jan 24, 2004
My previous vehicle was a RAV4 and about the only complaint I had was with the engine. While it was a great engine and always started it was just way too enemic for highway driving. If you want to stay in the slow lane and be content with eventually arriving at your destination, it's fine. But if you need to try and pass another vehicle or do some quick merging, forget it, the 4-cylinder just didn't have enough power to give me any confidence.
 









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