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Discussion Starter #1
Looking for a family hauler now. The perfect one, on paper, seems to be Ford Expedition. (Really don't want to buy an auto dinosaur like Sequoia. The mpg is horrendous as well.) But having owned exclusively Japanese cars from a long time ago, I find I have developed a strange mentality that it is very hard for me to trust the reliability of cars made by American or German companies. So I am looking to find a certain type of people to solicit their opinions. I am looking for guys who have enjoyed the superb reliability of Gen 3 & 4 Camry's, AND who also had a good amount of exposure to Ford trucks, esp. the newer ones.


I am really curious as to whether the 3.5T EcoBoost engine and the 10AT have been perfected enough to be trust-worthy. Also how DIY-friendly is Expedition? The biggest draw of Expedition for me is (1) Superb space (2) Safety (3) Good highway mileage. I really hope that it is a vehicle that I can reply on for around 15 years and the repairs won't cost me an arm and a leg. Normal maintenance should be fine. I am handy enough to make that expense negligible.


I don't want to hear it from some Ford fan boys who can easily look past all sorts of costs and headaches. I don't enjoy doing unnecessary repairs and preventive R&R's. Thanks for your opinions!
 

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^this, a million times this

LOL Ford. OK, I'm going to offer a slightly different perspective than a consumer could (not just because I would never buy a new Ford). I used to be an emissions control engineer, and the equipment I designed was used in most manufacturers you've heard of's skunkworks to develop engine emissions, EFI, etc. So I got to see the inside workings of a lot of these guys, and the way Ford works internally is best characterized as "fiefdoms." Great when you're trying to sell stuff to them, not so good when they try to put together a cohesive product because there's no concurrent design going on. That's why Fords tend to be terrible to work on, including the new ones...one team designed the cooling system, one designed the engine bottom end, one designed the emissions system, and nobody talked to each other during development. No real communication, in fact, until it came time to put it together into a car...which is why when you work on Fords you're like WTF, this stuff looks like it's been jury-rigged onto the back of the intake (the EGR on my Taurus' Vulcan engine, for example).

Back to the powertrain in the new Ford trucks. EcoBoosts aren't bad engines, it'll do what you want but don't expect great fuel economy (and I mean, even for a truck). Some claim they get good fuel economy, but the vast majority of my customers running EcoBoosts pay through the nose for gas. The 10AT has some very well-known problems and should be avoided, Google.

Dunno how much space is needed, but IMO you should buy a used LC or Sequoia, or a nice GM truck without AFM. These cars will be increasingly DIY-unfriendly, especially to a weekend wrencher...the best example I can provide is O2 sensors on a UR engine vs a UZ (literally quadruple the time required, due to how packed the engine bay is). The Toyotas will still be the easiest to work on for anything modern, unless you buy a Honda but they don't really make anything big-big.
 

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One of the main reasons I am not fond of Ford F-150 type trucks is that I don't ever see any F-150s from the 90s. The only ones I have seen are typically rusty and the one good one I sorta worked on while in the shop had a inline-6. At this point I have seen more Toyota Previa's than F-150s from the 90s. I have a better chance at seeing Chevy C/K's, T100s, Tacoma's, Rangers, and Ram's. I've noticed a decline in the C/Ks and some Rams but I still see them. F-150? Good luck finding one that is not already built or only rusted away. (I don't count F-250's, 350's, etc.)
 

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No.
If you want reliable family hauler, buy Tahoe. Pretty much, any year. Solid cars. Hybrid will give you average around 17mpg. Maybe a bit higher, depends.
But no, god no, stay away from FORD. Some fellow at DIY forum has Lincoln version of it, Navigator. He's dominating entire forum with continuous repairs.
 

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Out of curiosity - what happened to your MDX?

Do you need to tow? While full-size SUVs on truck platforms may be safer in frontal collisions due to their weight, crossover SUVs on unibody frames are safer in side collisions as the unibody absorbs the impact better. On a truck platform, it's really just the doors absorbing most of the weight.

If you want space and reliability, and you don't want a minivan, I'm curious why not a new Honda Pilot?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Out of curiosity - what happened to your MDX?

Do you need to tow? While full-size SUVs on truck platforms may be safer in frontal collisions due to their weight, crossover SUVs on unibody frames are safer in side collisions as the unibody absorbs the impact better. On a truck platform, it's really just the doors absorbing most of the weight.

If you want space and reliability, and you don't want a minivan, I'm curious why not a new Honda Pilot?

Thanks for asking. I am glad that you still remember I have a 2007 MDX. That car is running like a clock. Super reliable. But sadly, our kids are older now and I cannot keep asking them to squeeze in the tight 3rd row. Pilot is slightly better but in a couple of years, Pilot will be too small as well. The case against a minivan is easy. First, wife is very resistant to minivan in general. Also, Sienna is too old and the new Odyssey is too unreliable. (It is one of the top 10 worst new vehicle in many rankings. Can you believe it? It is quite expensive as well.) Gosh, if Toyota offers a 6-cylinder Sequoia Hybrid, I am sold instantly.
 

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Yeah.. Sequoia is ridiculously overpriced too. I have several buddies that run repair shops. They swear by Tahoe. Or, Suburban, for that matter, if you need even more space - and that, none of T products will be able to match.

Tahoe is very comfortable and literally feels like tank. 5.3L Vortech is rather easy to work on, just in case. So is entire stuff under the body, you just need set of large tools. If not for the need for property truck, I'd have bought Tahoe no questions asked. Engine is quite peppy, I test drove one 4 months ago, when I started looking for replacement for my then NX. I drove Pilot, Highlander and Tahoe, all with about 20K miles on them. Tahoe outperformed the rest.

I, generally, do not recommend domestics. But Tahoe I shall. Also, what you get for the buck in one will cost you grossly more in a Toyota.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Yeah.. Sequoia is ridiculously overpriced too. I have several buddies that run repair shops. They swear by Tahoe. Or, Suburban, for that matter, if you need even more space - and that, none of T products will be able to match.

Tahoe is very comfortable and literally feels like tank. 5.3L Vortech is rather easy to work on, just in case. So is entire stuff under the body, you just need set of large tools. If not for the need for property truck, I'd have bought Tahoe no questions asked. Engine is quite peppy, I test drove one 4 months ago, when I started looking for replacement for my then NX. I drove Pilot, Highlander and Tahoe, all with about 20K miles on them. Tahoe outperformed the rest.

I, generally, do not recommend domestics. But Tahoe I shall. Also, what you get for the buck in one will cost you grossly more in a Toyota.

The issue with Tahoe/Suburban/Yukon/Escalade is that they do not use independent rear suspension. So the ride is not as good and the 3rd row space is similar to a much smaller vehicle. That is why Ford can keep selling Expedition/Navigator at such high prices. I really wish GM can update this lineup so that Ford will have some real competition. BTW, I in general find Ford SUV/truck look better than GM ones. Don't know why.
 

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Thanks for asking. I am glad that you still remember I have a 2007 MDX. That car is running like a clock. Super reliable. But sadly, our kids are older now and I cannot keep asking them to squeeze in the tight 3rd row. Pilot is slightly better but in a couple of years, Pilot will be too small as well. The case against a minivan is easy. First, wife is very resistant to minivan in general. Also, Sienna is too old and the new Odyssey is too unreliable. (It is one of the top 10 worst new vehicle in many rankings. Can you believe it? It is quite expensive as well.) Gosh, if Toyota offers a 6-cylinder Sequoia Hybrid, I am sold instantly.
You may find a hybrid truck in the 2020s but not right now. I've heard that they may be developing it for the next generation of Tundra. (someone confirm this?)
 

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Discussion Starter #12
You may find a hybrid truck in the 2020s but not right now. I've heard that they may be developing it for the next generation of Tundra. (someone confirm this?)

I actually tried a new MDX hybrid and it is REALLY fantastic. However, the 3rd space is a killer. If Acura can make it bigger, it will be a no brainer. That thing got 27/26 MPG, handles like a Civic and accelerates like a rocket. Try it you will see.
 

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I actually tried a new MDX hybrid and it is REALLY fantastic. However, the 3rd space is a killer. If Acura can make it bigger, it will be a no brainer. That thing got 27/26 MPG, handles like a Civic and accelerates like a rocket. Try it you will see.
I friend of mine I think has a MDX Turbo and he likes it a lot. Honda isn't too known for bigger consumer vehicles... I didn't even know that the new Ridgeline was based on the Oddessy (or so they say...).
 

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I have no idea why someone would even care what a bunch of unknown people on a forum thinks about a vehicle . When we buy a vehicle it is a joint decision between my wife and I after we make a choice we still don't care what anyone else thinks.
 

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I actually tried a new MDX hybrid and it is REALLY fantastic. However, the 3rd space is a killer. If Acura can make it bigger, it will be a no brainer. That thing got 27/26 MPG, handles like a Civic and accelerates like a rocket. Try it you will see.
I read that the newer MDX has a smaller third row than yours. I haven't been in the third row of a 2nd gen MDX, so I don't know what it's like, but my uncle had a 1st gen, and it was the smallest 3rd row I've ever seen. I actually really like the MDX, considering one for my next car.

How frequently are you using the 3rd row? As much as I know people hate minivans, if you're using the 3rd row frequently, they really are the way to go. The Sienna will be redesigned for 2020, I think. Buying pretty much any full-size SUV will cost a lot more in gas (and upfront purchase price) than a Sienna will. Also, have you checked out the 3rd row of the 16+ Pilot in person? Maybe it's still too small for you, but I was really surprised at how spacious it was. WAY more space than my uncle's 2003 MDX.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Never sit in a 1st gen MDX. But I know as a fact that for 3rd row, 3rd gen is more spacious than my 2nd Gen. The 1st and 2nd row, 3rd gen is not as comfortable as 2nd gen. Regular 3rd gen MDX suffers from that trashy ZF-sourced 9AT. So I won't recommend. But 3rd gen hybrid is a hidden gem. If you want to buy an old MDX, 2008-2009 are the best. Acura cheaped out on 2007 a little bit. But not a big deal. 2010-2013 has more issues.



6AT Pilot (lower trim ones) are reliable, but boring. 9AT Pilot also use that junk ZF 9AT. Don't touch them. If no good choices, I'd rather wait for next gen MDX or Sienna.





I read that the newer MDX has a smaller third row than yours. I haven't been in the third row of a 2nd gen MDX, so I don't know what it's like, but my uncle had a 1st gen, and it was the smallest 3rd row I've ever seen. I actually really like the MDX, considering one for my next car.

How frequently are you using the 3rd row? As much as I know people hate minivans, if you're using the 3rd row frequently, they really are the way to go. The Sienna will be redesigned for 2020, I think. Buying pretty much any full-size SUV will cost a lot more in gas (and upfront purchase price) than a Sienna will. Also, have you checked out the 3rd row of the 16+ Pilot in person? Maybe it's still too small for you, but I was really surprised at how spacious it was. WAY more space than my uncle's 2003 MDX.
 

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Maybe look for an older model that you can buy cheap. I would not get all charged up about the new tech. If you want reliability then look for older models that have a reputation already and proven reliability records. The new tech in all vehicles is a rocky road as far as reliability and a 15 year lifespan. Saw a GM full sized Suburban on a salvage auction with 435,000 miles, so they will last.

I'm not so down in US made anymore, the GM Subdivisions (old joke) are good reliable vehicles and they are everywhere with good used parts available and techs who know them. My suggestion is buy one that is 5-8 years old with fairly low miles, owned by grandpa and kept in a garage, for a lot less than half the new price. Check that specific model (once chosen) for issues on a model specific forum.
 

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Post Government Motors 2009 and up, will be the better choice. Before that they were crapshoots. I talked with a GM service manager who told me the used to do 90% warranty work, before Y2k then GM got their act together and now the warranty work is only about 15% and they actually had to get aggressive with incentives to bring the customers back to the dealership for maintenance-repairs.

Fords are good, but as with about every new generation transmissions, they will not be as reliable as the old tech. For the benefit of a couple more MPG the reliability cost may not be your best choice.

Where are those kids going to be in 15 years?

The IRS rear axles in the older Explorers and others were very trouble prone, so consider that when deciding to go with the newer tech, there is a reliability consideration versus the ancient tech proven over decades.

My neighbor has a Transit 250 with the 3.5 ecoboost, closing in on 90k miles and he carries a lot of weight all the time (construction). He has had no problems with engine or transmission, but brakes are an issue, probably payload related. Also an oil leak at the turbo supply lines that the dealership wanted a lot of money to fix but I think he found another option. Again look to the forums for vehicle specific issues, when you choose a specific vehicle.

GM is lagging behind Ford or new tech. It's a double edged sword, might be better to get the last of the old tech, since it may be more reliable, without much sacrifice in economy. I like the new Transit vans myself based on my neighbors experience. Another neighbor with a F150 with the 3.5 ecoboost raves about his fuel mileage, but that is basically a function of driving techniques, getting mid 20's average.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Well, if it is going to be a used SUV, I have no problem with a used Sequoia then. The only issue is price. A 2008 one with 150k miles is asking for $18k. I cannot believe it. 2014 one with 60k miles is asking for $34k. These are sold like made out of gold.
 

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I don't want to hear it from some Ford fan boys who can easily look past all sorts of costs and headaches.
At the same time, don't listen either to the Ford Haight Boys, facts will serve you much better.

I've only ever had one Ford, still do and it's a 2002 Explorer which has done really well for me and I still enjoy driving it. Excellent handling, plenty of power and I think you'd do well to go and test drive as many of the options you've got available to you.

Last year I found out there were two non-Astro AWD minivans in the form of the Sienna and the Uplander, both of which seemed to be contenders when I first drove them. Liked the Uplanders quite a bit but slowly found myself preferring the idea of the Sienna, so here I am. A fairly recent Sienna owner who still likes the Explorer, which is just a smaller version of the Expedition.

Go drive some of them and compare to the other options that meet your requirements. Oh, and laugh at the Ford jokes, then come back to reality and go with your own judgement. None of us would have a Ford if all the jokes were facts.
 
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