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3 row SUV for the family + towing

GTI Jake

Autocross Champion
Having a slow night at work and kicking around my next SUV purchase. My wife (unfortunately) has a 2016 Kia Sorento LX AWD lease at the moment, until April 2019. I won't go into how we ended up with that mess, but believe me I had nothing to do with that decision lol

So with a little over a year before I finally get to get rid of that pos, I'm impatiently already looking for its replacement. Things have changed recently with me selling my dodge Cummins due to it being extended cab, not a full four door so the next SUV will need to meet a few more requirements than grocery getting. Here's our "must haves" list:

Tow capacity 5k or more

4x4

$30-40,000 price range (CPO or newer used is ok)

3rd row w/captains chairs in the second row would be ideal, but not required.

Also, rear legroom is pretty important too since I'm 6' 2" and will have a car seat behind me (we have on forward facing and one rear)

Opening the floor here for suggestions and input. No, the gti isn't going anywhere. This will be the wife's car/our family car. She's a stay at home mom so I really don't care too much about gas mileage.

She's 100% against a four door truck, which I would prefer. She said "if you want a truck trade in your gti" and that my friends isn't an option lol

So far my interest is level is this.

1: Dodge Durango R/T 5.7 hemi

2: Dodge Durango 3.6 v6

3: Jeep Grand Cherokee (no 3rd row tho)

4: Ford Expedition 3.5 EB

5: Chevy Tahoe 5.3 v8
 

MeltedSolid

Drag Race Newbie
Subaru is coming out with their new ginormous SUV soon. I think it'll meet all of your listed requirements. I don't know how much it will cost, but considering subaru's most expensive vehicle is the STI I can't imagine it being out of your price range.
 

GTI Jake

Autocross Champion
I'll check it out, Subaru has never had anything that interested me before (other than the sti) but at this point anything is an option other than Kia
 

GTI Jake

Autocross Champion
No Atlas love?

Flex EcoBoost?

I doubt we're getting this and I don't know if it has a 3rd row, but looks waaaay better than the old Touareg:
https://www.autocar.co.uk/car-news/new-cars/2018-volkswagen-touareg-spotted-ahead-official-debut

How many kids, btw?
I'm not a fan of the flex, neither is the wife.

She's also not a VW fan. No reason other than I love them lol. I've bought her several (two Tdi Jetta and a golf Tdi). I did just give the Atlas a quick once over, it is rated for 5k towing with the VR6 and has 3rd row

We have two kids, a three year old son (four in Feb) and a two week old baby girl. So technically we don't NEED a third row but I'd like to hang on to this and my gti for a long time. Eventually our kids will be old enough to wanna bring friends everywhere with them, plus with us living 500 miles from the rest of our family (salty NE OH) it'll be nice to have room for visitors
 

Hoon

Autocross Newbie
On that list, i'll take the Tahoe.

The 5.3s are solid besides some of the Displacement on Demand issues that pop up at high mileage. The 6 speed autos are solid also.

3.5 Ecoboost can make great power with a flash, but they definitely have their issues. Ford would be my second choice.

Dodge / Jeep i just won't do. Too many quality issues.

Toyota Highlander has 3rd row and 5K tow capacity if equipped with tow pkg. Also hold their value stupidly well.

4-Runner also meets all the requirements.

Haven't looked at the Pilot, but that probably checks the boxes also.

Tahoe's do not hold their value very well when the age/miles get up there...that would be my one concern with the GM vehicles. Then again neither do VWs.
 

snobrdrdan

former GTI owner
Of all your requirements though...the Atlas meets them

4motion, towing, 3rd row & (optional) captain's chairs, and lots of leg room....plus that new 6yr/72k mile warranty to boot
Plus the access to the 3rd row is pretty trick/super easy.

I'm gonna need something bigger next year after finding out we're having a third kid, so I haven't researched much yet....but I'm gonna be heading down this same road too
 

GTI Jake

Autocross Champion
Of all your requirements though...the Atlas meets them

4motion, towing, 3rd row & (optional) captain's chairs, and lots of leg room....plus that new 6yr/72k mile warranty to boot
Plus the access to the 3rd row is pretty trick/super easy.

I'm gonna need something bigger next year after finding out we're having a third kid, so I haven't researched much yet....but I'm gonna be heading down this same road too
Well hopefully this thread can be helpful for both of us then, congrats on the third!

The Subaru looks surprisingly good, I'll have to see what the boss thinks of it.

As for the dodge/jeep products I've had great luck with them in my personal experience so I'm not worried about them. The main thing is my wife has to be for whichever we go for so that also puts a twist in the equation.

We both like the 4 runner but haven't driven one or really looked at them close. They seem to hold their valve very well and would be at the top of our price range I think.

The Tahoe is also pretty expensive new and with low miles hold value very well. Living in the south people put crazy miles on. I've seen them regularly with 300,000+ miles 5-10 years old :eek:
 

N2fastcars

Ready to race!
Congrats on the new baby!

My wife and I got a Honda Pilot ex l with sensing in April, we needed more room, third row etc. It fell out to much of your criteria, AWD, can tow 5,000 lbs etc. I would suggest research then take a few test drives and see how it works for the family.
 

GTI Jake

Autocross Champion
Thanks! She's mentioned the Honda Pilot, but I honestly haven't looked into it yet. If anyone has pics inside or out of their family car please share. I'm 27 and never really thought much about big ol suvs before haha. I do know it'll be nice to not hear her complaining about my gti + roof box on vacations anymore, or me complaining about how terrible her Kia is. It doesn't even have lumbar support adjustment and downshifts 3-4 gears to maintain 73mph on cruise control :(
 

tknj99

Ready to race!
If 3500lb towing is doable, i would suggest the Toyota Sienna AWD. Nothing beats a minivan when you have a few kids! Plus, having the GTI as a second car takes some of the stigma away ;)
 

MonkeyMD

Autocross Newbie
Currently have a CX9.

Few recommendations.

1) get the 3 row suv with the most cargo room behind the 3rd row. Trust me, at one point you'll be hauling 7 people and all their crap

2) if you have 3 kids, avoid 2nd row captain chairs. You want to be able to put all the kits in the 2nd row and fold down 3rd row for cargo. Vacations, ikea whatever. With captains chairs, there will always be one on the 3rd row.

3) was considering Atlas for the next family hauler probably a year down the road. Since I saw the Subaru, I think that's the choice.
It is actually an 8 seater, so 3rd row will fit 3, not 2. That's a huge benefit and it has 20cuft of cargo behind 3rd row, which is as big as you'll find short of the old body style GM trifecta or suburban/expedition el/max.

Also it has the folding forward 2nd row seats so you don't have to take car seats out for 3rd row access.

Finally, you can get memory seats at lower trim levels then in the Atlas and other SUVs. Probably not a big deal to some, but this is a requirement on the next one.
 

GTI Jake

Autocross Champion
3500# won't cut it, even 5k is the minimum I'd be comfortable with since I'm currently without a truck. We live 10 miles from a lake and will have a boat in the near future. Also, our family rides dirt bikes and if my son starts racing in a few years there's a camper/toyhauler or a decent size enclosed trailer in our future too. Also, it's nice to know if something happens to the gti I can grab my neighbors car trailer and retrieve it lol.
 
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