Сегодня поездили на всех потенциальных кандидатах для покупки. Задача: найти семиместный кроссовер, который в то же время сможет потянуть яхту на прицепе, которую я надеюсь купить в ближайшие год-два. Это мой кросс-пост с яхт-форума. где я какое-то время назад затеял обсуждение этой темы:
We've just done a test drive on all relevant 7-seat SUVs today: Nissan Pathfinder, Mazda CX9, Honda Pilot and Toyota Highlander. My opinion is subjective of course, but here it is for what it's worth:
Nissan Pathfinder: I have to say that Nissan (which has the best towing rating - 6000 lbs) drives like a big truck. Driving experience is by a long shot worst of the bunch. I was shocked, my wife even refused to go on the highway. That's not something we'd enjoy to drive. Rear seats are a joke - worst of the bunch as well. It's a good rugged off-roader, but driving it in a city is terrible. It drives easy, but you feel like you're driving a tank.
Toyota Highlander does not have any cargo room left with rear seats up (even our stroller wouldn't fit, which kinda kills the deal), although it drives very well. Getting into the rear seats is extremely uncomfortable from the left side (?). With towing package it has 5000 lbs rating, but even without cargo room issue finding a used one with towing package would be a challenge: it's not an option people get often.
Honda Pilot is an average drive, not bad but not fantastic, but rear seats are impossible for adults to use even for a short drive - knees are pressed against the middle row. It seats 8 though, but no self-respecting adults would agree to sit in the back. It's the ugliest of them all as well. Towing rating is 4000 lbs.
Mazda CX9 drives amazingly well - the best of the bunch by far, almost like a car. Only Mazda and Toyota were enjoyable to drive today. Middle seat in the second row is very uncomfortable, and cargo room in the back with 3rd row up would barely fit our stroller, but none of those is a deal-killer. So far it looks like this is the only viable option for us. Towing rating of only 3500 lbs means that I would have to be very careful when towing macgregor. I hope I can do it safely - because same car in Australia is rated for 4500 lbs, so it should be able to pull it off, hopefully. Used CX9 would probably be without a hitch, so I would get an aftermarket "hidden hitch", rated for 4000 lbs I guess. The towing prep package is standard on all canadian models (they only sell AWD CX9 here). I wonder if I can improve CX9 towing capacity somehow, maybe install a larger transmission cooler? It definitely has plenty of power and torque, and possibly a longer wheel base of all crossovers.
Out of desperation I even tested Honda Odissey - if we're stuck with 3500 lbs towing capacity it becomes an (unattractive) option because of clear advantages in passenger and cargo space. It actually drives quite well, unlike Toyota Sienna which feels like a very comfortable sofa on wheels. However finding a used one with towing package would be a challenge, and the lack of AWD kills the deal - I'd like to have AWD on a heavy car for winters, and towing and launching the sailboat also means AWD is important.
So any advice on how to improve Mazda CX9 towing experience, whether with hardware upgrades or weight distribution in the boat etc., is more than welcome! Looks like we're stuck with CX9 as our only viable candidate...