By on September 24, 2008

Forbes hit the SEO (search engine optimization) mother lode when someone realized that Google hearts ten best lists. Since that fateful discovery, we’ve had The Ten Best Subcompacts for Badminton Players, The Ten Best Minivans In Which to Play Badminton and The Ten Best Muscle Cars for Overcompensating Badminton Players. Normally, I ignore these lists. But you gotta sit-up and take notice when Forbes expands their advertiser-pleasing OCD to a dead genre guzzling– SUVs– and ups the ante to “15 SUVs Worth Buying.” Huh? “Just because the movement in fuel-efficient or green cars looks poised to take another step forward [with the Volt], doesn’t mean SUVs are going the way of the dodo. It doesn’t even mean that they’re bad cars–or even bad buys.” The doubly negative (positive?) Jacqueline Mitchell reckons low prices and safety, safety, safety make SUVs OK again. But fifteen recommendations? I mean, who doesn’t get a look in? Just because you’re pandering to the major playas doesn’t mean you shouldn’t not widen the remit to the point where no one’s not included, does it? And let’s not even factor in depreciation, ’cause that would be a major downer. [Mercedes M-Class, Audi Q7, Acura MDX, Volvo XC90, Acura RDX, GMC Acadia/Buick Enclave/Saturn Outlook; Subaru Tribeca, Honda Pilot, Ford Taurus X, Volkswagen Tiguan, Saturn Vue, Hyundai Sante Fe, Honda CR-V, Mitsubishi Outlander and Subaru Forester.]

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21 Comments on “15 SUVs YOU MUST BUY NOW! Or not....”


  • avatar
    Casual Observer

    So they just took every SUV on the market and listed them highest pricetag to lowest? Do journalists learn that in college?

  • avatar
    AKM

    Safety? Soccer moms should know by now that if they want safety, they should get a minivan.

    And while I can forgive 10-best lists that called on a voting panel (TTAC-like) or use actual research, the whole “I’m going to sit in front of my laptop and come up with a 10-best list all by myself because I know best anyway” is just plain ridiculous.

    That said, funnily enough, the only major automaker missing seems to be…Chrysler!

    EDIT: no actually, the BMW X5 is inexplicably missing from the love list.

  • avatar
    sean362880

    Mazda, Jeep, and Dodge were left out. Insufficient ad buy in Forbes?

  • avatar
    golden2husky

    Forbes really should have been pushing used SUV’s as the smart money choice. All those rebates and incentives are killing resale values. I guess they want to help their friends in industry. Also, they chose a very biased position regarding safety (not that this topic hasn’t seen its fair share of exposure on TTAC). None of this should come as a surprise, considering the source. Seems that a lot of people are becoming car experts these days. The slant you get seems to depend more on whether the writer has a copy of CR or Mother Earth News in their briefcase as to real knowledge about cars. These are the kind of people that when you ask why there would be an oxygen sensor on both sides of a cat, they go “what’s an oxygen sensor”

  • avatar
    Buick61

    AKM & Sean362880:

    Toyota and Nissan are also missing. How’d you miss that?

  • avatar
    highrpm

    A lady wrote the article and excluded the Lexus RX330 but included the Vue?

  • avatar
    AKM

    AKM & Sean362880:

    Toyota and Nissan are also missing. How’d you miss that?

    Good catch.

    My answer: because it was before my 2nd cup of coffee :-D

  • avatar
    1981.911.SC

    No RAV4??? 265hp V6, 26mpg Hwy AWD $25,500(ish)
    Seating for 7(ish)

  • avatar
    TEXN3

    It looks as if these were rated solely on safety features…however, I’m not sure how a few made it on the list.

    SUVs I’d buy right now: Explorer

  • avatar
    joeaverage

    Hey an SUV would be a grand family hauler…

    For Occasional Use Only. Side effects may include empty bank account, bloated garage, hallucinations causing confusion between needs and wants, and gas mortgages in your neighborhood.

    Seriously – I’d have a thirsty vehicle like an SUV for weekend use. Less than 5,000 miles annually.

  • avatar
    Landcrusher

    The X5 is missing, but it’s no mystery. BMW does a much better job controlling inventory, and I would bet the X5 is still selling well.

  • avatar
    volvo

    A little off topic but a serious question.

    Where are all these “great deals” on used SUVs and CUVs? I have been looking for a mid sized 4WD/AWD vehicle and find that the off-lease listed price on 3 year old models is approximately 70% of a new model. The new model usually is improved (mpg/VDC/electronics)and comes without the risk associated with a used vehicle.

    When these vehicles start selling at 30-40% of new prices then that in my mind is a “great deal”.

    Do any of TTAC readers know where these “great deals” are? I can’t bid at auctions and I don’t know where these cars go after auctions. 3 year old off lease Certified used at 80% of new doesn’t do it for me. Do I go into the dealer and offer 50% of what they are asking? That seems like a waste of time to me.

  • avatar
    Landcrusher

    Oh my, I started to read the Forbes article.

    Do we really want to take financial advice from these people?

    “Hefty cash incentives of up to $4,000 on certain 2008 model SUVs, such as the Acura RDX and the Honda Pilot can offset high fuel costs in the first year of ownership.”

    If you drive so much that you can’t cover your whole fuel bill for one year for $4,000, don’t buy an SUV.

    Here is the real argument for buying an SUV (whether you agree or not, it’s the argument, please don’t argue with the likely outcome because you are simply anti-SUV): Buy a highly discounted SUV now. When everyone forgets about the fuel crunch in a few years, the SUV will be a desirable used vehicle that will sell for high dollars. The combination of a huge up front discount and low depreciation will more than make up for extra fuel cost.

    Yes, if gas goes up to $5, this would turn out to be a bad investment. It’s your money.

    Still, $4,000 is enough to offset all the extra fuel costs for me for well over 5 years. You gotta believe, if I were shopping, a highly discounted SUV would be the deal for me.

    You would think that at least the editors at Forbes could do the math. Certainly they know what the words mean.

  • avatar
    Landcrusher

    volvo,

    Your problem is looking at midsize. Look at full size.

    In Houston, TX. every other car is a Yukahoeban (Before the storm it was every third car, but many of the lower, smaller vehicles that were south of town aren’t running anymore). You can now get 25% to 30% off of MSRP on NEW Tahoes, Suburbans, and Silverado’s. That’s the advertisement, and they say it’s on EVERY one, not just a few loss leaders.

    I haven’t shopped, but I can only assume that the 3 year off lease ones go for much less.

  • avatar
    derek533

    @Volvo:

    I agree with you. Where are all the “good deals” on SUV’s. I live here in OKC where SUV’s outnumber everything else it seems 5:1. I always read through the ads and check the prices just to stay current on the market. The used SUV’s here seem to be pretty much what they were selling for two years ago used. For instance, I’ve seen many Armada SE’s selling for mid 20’s recently (used 2006 and 2007 with low miles). This is the same range they were selling for a couple of years ago. I’ve also noticed Expeditions and Tahoes selling for the same they used to be as well. Maybe all these good deals are in strictly urban areas or on the coasts. It also may be that the older BOF mid-size SUV’s are the real steals since a unibody CUV has the same space and better economy. I dunno but I do agree with you that the “deals” are few and far between in my area.

  • avatar
    Geotpf

    I thought Forbes used those ten best lists because they could get ten page views out of one article, and therefore ten times the ad revenue.

  • avatar
    Axel

    The only two SUVs I would come close to considering – the Jeep Patriot and the Ford Escape – didn’t make their list. Hmmm.

  • avatar
    dean

    Just because these SUVs are being advertised for $x doesn’t mean they are selling for $x.

    Vehicles are worth what people will pay for them, not what the dealer hopes to get for them.

  • avatar
    cgd

    I agree on the where-are-the-SUV-deals questions. Other than a few financing deals, there don’t seem to be many deals to be had here either. We do have the dearth of Honda Fits, Priuses, etc., on the small car end, but this apparently doesn’t translate to deep SUV discounts, at least from what I can see.

  • avatar
    Landcrusher

    Are you guys really looking for an SUV deal? Have any of you called the local GM dealer and asked about any of their full size SUV deals?

    In addition to the 25% off which our dealer is advertising, you also get a 5 grand rebate. That means that a list price 40k Tahoe now goes for 25k.

    Is it a great vehicle, no. But it’s a good vehicle, and has a lot of luxury, room, and utility for 25k. That’s a good deal.

    If you are looking for a deal like that on a CUV its going to be harder to find. Many CUV’s get great mileage for their size, so they aren’t selling any worse than the midsize cars. It’s the real SUV’s that they can’t seem to give away.

    If you actually do the math on your mileage, even using $5 gasoline, you may find it’s a better deal than the smaller vehicle you were looking at.

  • avatar
    davey49

    I’d want my SUV to at least tow a 25 foot RV.
    Over 7000# tow capacity would be my starting point.

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