Author Topic: Time For Something Different  (Read 397 times)

FrankB

  • BOD
  • Hero Member
  • ******
  • Location: San Diego
  • Posts: 1475
  • 4wd Pts: 87
Time For Something Different
« on: May 09, 2020, 03:46:54 PM »
It's really quiet around here, so I thought I would post up some news of sorts.  I've been driving an Xterra since December of 2005, when I bought the Black 2005 S model.  I put a PRG lift, sliders, skids, BFG ATs, and some other stuff on it, and drove it all over the western US.  It was set up as basically a go-almost-anywhere road trip car, and it was great.  The entire time that I had it I also had a second car for commuting to work.  That 2005 Xterra was great, until the rats got to the engine bay.  The rats paid with their lives for what they did, but after that I couldn't trust the truck, it kept showing problems.  I traded it and another car towards to the 2014 Pro-4X, and went to having only one car.  Luckily that was the same time that my work commute went from 25 miles one-way to 5 miles.  Other than sliders and tires, I didn't do much to the 2014.  In reality the stock suspension really sucked, and after having the 2005 with the PRG set up, I never really was very happy with it off the pavement.   

Back in mid-January I traded my 2014 Xterra Pro-4X in towards a 2020 Honda Pilot AWD.  Huge change.  I guess it's a good thing that the Safe Place for Former Xterra Owners section was created.



Not many pictures of it at this point, due to recent events that have kept me stuck at home.  Hopefully that will change soon.

It's an interesting car (and yes, it is definitely a car). Compared to the Xterra it is longer by about a foot, wider by about 6 inches, about half again as much in weight of load carrying capacity - but it's really just an oversized station wagon, with no real ground clearance to speak of, and all-season highway tires.  I've always liked station wagons.  It looks like a soccer-mommy car, which is fine with me, since that means someone is less likely to think I've got expensive camera gear and other stuff inside.  I'll probably never use the third row seats, but I sure like all the cargo space behind the second row.

I just wasn't taking the 2014 Xterra off the pavement much at all in the last few years.  This thing should still be good for long road trips (probably better actually), and it's fine on a graded dirt road as long as there are not too many deep ruts.  I do get a laugh out of the online reviews and ads which say that the Pilot can go "off road" - hardly; it's got unibody construction, no ground clearance, no articulation, and shallow approach and departure angles.  In a pinch it might get to some remote spots without too much damage, but I very much realize this is totally different than an 4WD Xterra with sliders and BFG ATs.  I plan to keep highway tires on it.

I have to say, it does drive really nicely so far, and has lots for room for all the "stuff" I like to keep in my vehicle at all times.  Also, the torque-vectoring AWD really does work, and this thing handles winding mountain roads very nicely.   The picture above was up on Sunrise Highway, and a week after that we took it the back way up to Idylwild for a day trip. Great road trip car.

I have a feeling that at some point in the future I'll look for a body-on-frame real 4WD to have as a second car, mostly for trips to Anza Borrego.

 

Celt

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Location: In the basket of Deplorables.
  • Posts: 3333
  • 4wd Pts: -20001
  • #22
Re: Time For Something Different
« Reply #1 on: May 09, 2020, 04:26:17 PM »
So essentially if I understand you right. You sold the Xterra and bought a Prius? Tisk, Tisk, Tisk......... I'm just not sure exactly what to think. I guess in the end better a Prius than one of those Taco's.....
Isaiah 6:8

FrankB

  • BOD
  • Hero Member
  • ******
  • Location: San Diego
  • Posts: 1475
  • 4wd Pts: 87
Re: Time For Something Different
« Reply #2 on: May 09, 2020, 05:38:33 PM »
So essentially if I understand you right. You sold the Xterra and bought a Prius? Tisk, Tisk, Tisk......... I'm just not sure exactly what to think. I guess in the end better a Prius than one of those Taco's.....

It's not a hybrid, a real gasoline engine (V6, 280HP). A lot bigger than a Prius too.  It's actually bigger than the Xterra, just doesn't look it because of the height difference with the roof rack on the X.

I can't believe how much Toyota wants for the Tacos and 4Runners (and everything else they make), especially for what they are.  The interior layout of the 4Runner is nowhere near as usable as that in the Xterra; the seats don't even lay flat.  By the way, the interior space in the Pilot is huge - just as flat as in the X, but more more of it.

I think that Pacific Honda sold the Xterra locally, so who knows, it may show up here again.  I did see that they took the SCCX sticker off the back window before they sold it though. Oh well.

Oh, and by the way, if there is ever another Food Truck thing, I do have an SCCX sticker on a magnet so I can put it on the back of the Pilot and blend right in.   :D



Celt

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Location: In the basket of Deplorables.
  • Posts: 3333
  • 4wd Pts: -20001
  • #22
Re: Time For Something Different
« Reply #3 on: May 10, 2020, 01:37:04 AM »


Oh, and by the way, if there is ever another Food Truck thing, I do have an SCCX sticker on a magnet so I can put it on the back of the Pilot and blend right in.   :D




 Nice! I somehow knew you would come through in a pinch!!
Isaiah 6:8

JFanaselle

  • BOD
  • Hero Member
  • ******
  • Location: Murrieta, CA
  • Posts: 2265
  • 4wd Pts: 12001
    • 2010 Xterra S 4x4
Re: Time For Something Different
« Reply #4 on: May 11, 2020, 09:49:38 AM »
Nice new ride Frank! I'm definitely sad to see your Xterra go, but you made your point well - it just wasn't getting used as it was intended to be, and probably wouldn't have been unless you modified it like your previous one. We've been a "3 vehicle household" for about 6 years now. We have the Honda Civic, which I use for commuting to and from work. We have the Xterra, which is our "fun," or "recreational" vehicle. And then we've always had a nice "family vehicle," which my wife uses as her daily driver (her commute to work is only 4 miles each way) and typically acts as our road trip car unless we are specifically taking an off-road/exploring type road trip.

For her car, we usually lease, because we keep the mileage low overall and we can keep her in something modern that is loaded with all the bells and whistles. We went from a 2008 Rogue to a 2013 Pathfinder, then to a 2016 Rogue. Last August, the lease ran up on the Rogue and we decided to get something bigger again, but we decided to venture out to other brands and see what we thought of everything on the market. We went to nearly a dozen dealerships over the course of about a month and literally looked at EVERYTHING that was the same size or larger than the Rogue... we looked at the Honda CRV (and the Acura RDX, which is the same chassis), the Pilot, and the reintroduced Passport. We looked at the Toyota Rav-4, the 4-Runner, the Highlander, and the Sequoia. We looked at the Mazda CX-5 and CX-9. We looked at the Subaru Forester, the Outback, and the Ascent. We looked at the Chevy Blazer, Suburban, Tahoe, and the Traverse. We looked at the Ford Explorer and Expedition. And we looked at the Nissan Pathfinder and Murano. We sat in at least two different trim-levels of every single one of these cars, and we even test drove about 7 or 8 of them (if we hadn't ruled it out of our process for any other reason, such as it not being big enough or not liking the interior layout).

Some of them were cut from the list really quickly, like the Rav-4. It felt very cheap and basic for how expensive it was, especially when we compared it to the CRV and the Acura RDX. The Subarus were very unique, but a little too "utility" for our needs, and once again, the inflated price tags were not very attractive for how much (or how little) vehicle you actually get. Besides, I wasn't really sure how much granola I could eat over the course of 3 years of owning a Subaru, and my sensitive skin would probably rash up from hugging too many trees. The American brands were very underwhelming and had mixed reviews (or in the case of the Tahoe, Suburban, and Expedition- they were WAY more vehicle than we needed). The Mazdas were super fun to drive, and were definitely more "sporty" than all of the others. In the end, based on a combination of value, features, comfort, quality, and the overall experience/treatment we received at each dealership, we narrowed it down to the Toyota Highlander, the Mazda CX-9, and the Honda Pilot. She test drove all three again and decided there were some things that she didn't like about the Mazda, so we crossed it off the list. On the day that we were ready to sign paperwork, the Toyota dealer made us a more attractive offer, and we ended up with the Highlander instead of the Pilot. But it really could have gone either way, and we would have been just as happy.

Her Highlander has been on several road trips back to visit my parents in southeast Arizona so far, and we've gotten it off of the pavement a few times. On one trip, we spent several hours exploring dirt levee roads in the Oxbow BLM area along the Colorado River, and it did great. I'm sure your Pilot will take you almost anywhere you want to go at this point! I will say though that I was really excited about the Passport, and I'm surprised that you didn't end up with one of those instead of the Pilot. It is geared more toward adventure and exploring. It only has two rows of seats, but has almost just as big of a cargo area as the Pilot (with the 3rd row seats folded down). It also has higher ground clearance, and if I remember correctly, it came with an all-weather type interior and cargo area, so that you can get it dirty and not worry too much about it.

Anyway, congrats again on the recent purchase. There's a reason that the SUVs in this class (Highlander, Pilot, Explorer, CX-9, etc.) are ALL OVER the road.. They are very practical and useful vehicles that easily switch between daily-driving/commuting, family/soccer-mom duties, road-trips, and mild to moderate utility. I'm sure you'll enjoy it for many more years to come!
« Last Edit: May 11, 2020, 09:53:47 AM by JFanaselle »

FrankB

  • BOD
  • Hero Member
  • ******
  • Location: San Diego
  • Posts: 1475
  • 4wd Pts: 87
Re: Time For Something Different
« Reply #5 on: May 11, 2020, 10:48:03 AM »
. . .  I will say though that I was really excited about the Passport, and I'm surprised that you didn't end up with one of those instead of the Pilot. It is geared more toward adventure and exploring. It only has two rows of seats, but has almost just as big of a cargo area as the Pilot (with the 3rd row seats folded down). It also has higher ground clearance, and if I remember correctly, it came with an all-weather type interior and cargo area, so that you can get it dirty and not worry too much about it.

Anyway, congrats again on the recent purchase. There's a reason that the SUVs in this class (Highlander, Pilot, Explorer, CX-9, etc.) are ALL OVER the road.. They are very practical and useful vehicles that easily switch between daily-driving/commuting, family/soccer-mom duties, road-trips, and mild to moderate utility. I'm sure you'll enjoy it for many more years to come!

I looked at the Passport first, but unfortunately it had a few things I just could not get past.  If you ever want a laugh, look up the owner's manual and read the section on what to do with the flat tire once you've swapped in the donut spare.  The Pilot has a donut spare under the vehicle, and there is enough room to carry a full-size spare wheel and tire under there. I just need to buy one, which I plan to do.  The other two issues were the 20" wheels and the transmission. The tires/wheels are a problem which could be solved with about $2,500, but really? For a vehicle they tout as being "adventure ready" and all that, they only offer it with low-profile tires on 20" wheels.  Also, that push-button shift for the 9-speed on the Passport and higher trim level Pilots bothers me.  If you want an even bigger laugh, go look up what it takes to get that transmission into neutral if the engine is not running for some reason. 

In the end I went with the EX-L trim on the Pilot, which is fancy enough for me.  I swore I would never buy a car with leather or sunroof, but now I have both.  I leave most of the "electronic nanny" stuff turned off (adaptive cruise control, lane keep assist, road departure mitigation).  If you ever want another laugh, or just to mess with a car salesman, take a Honda out on a test drive with the Road Departure Mitigation turned on, and, without using the turn signal, casually drift over the solid white line on the right side of a freeway exit ramp at speed, as if you were going to turn right.  Just make sure there is no one following close behind you at the time.  The Forward Collision Mitigation is afraid of its own shadow, but so far it has not clamped on the brakes on me, only flashed its "We're All Going to Die . . . Hit the F'ing Brakes" warning banner in the middle of the dash.  Mostly it gets scared on winding roads when the oncoming car appears to be coming right at you.

I drove a V6 Hyundai Santa Fe as a second car to the Xterra for a long time, and really liked it, especially the times we took it on long drives.  I really like this style of car.  Enjoy your new Highlander, it looks just as nice as the Pilot.


JFanaselle

  • BOD
  • Hero Member
  • ******
  • Location: Murrieta, CA
  • Posts: 2265
  • 4wd Pts: 12001
    • 2010 Xterra S 4x4
Re: Time For Something Different
« Reply #6 on: May 11, 2020, 11:09:36 AM »
Great points about the Passport. When we looked at them, I didn't realize that they ONLY option for wheels was those 20" ones. They looked cool, but to your point, they'll be garbage in any kind of off-road environment. I did not like the transmission, and it's kind of funny how much the transmissions are all over the place in these vehicles. From traditional 4 and 5 speed automatics to CVTs to these new 8 and 9 speed options. Even when we looked at the CRV and the Acura RDX (which are supposedly the same car, with fancier luxury items)- the Honda CRV version came with Honda's CVT transmission, and the RDX came with a 10 speed automatic.