Should I Buy Subaru Tribeca, Nissan X-Trail or Hyundai Santa Fe?

QUESTION

Hi John, we're looking at a new seven-seater with two primary school kids, the third row will be "a nice to have", used for small trips and kids so we don't need a people mover. I was thinking of the Hyundai Santa Fe Highlander but the recent run out price of the Subaru Tribeca has given me a dilemma. The Subaru Tribeca is almost $10,000 cheaper and I'm a loyal Subaru owner: I've owned an Impreza , Liberty and an Outback as my last three cars. Discontinued Subaru Tribeca for mid-$40,000s, or impressive Hyundai Sante Fe for mid $50,000s? The $10,000 difference is worth asking your opinion! How would you justify your choice? Any advice you give me to help my decide? Thanks, Tim.

ANSWER

Hello Tim, Thank you for visiting AutoExpert.com.au. I understand the Subaru brand's appeal. I have owned four. Great cars. However, the Subaru Tribeca isn’t - and was never - very popular, nor was it especially good Down Under. It was designed for America, and now sadly outdated. It’s an old car with new car smell. 

Subaru Tribeca

(Click to enlarge)

For:

Affordability, brand reputation, symmetrical AWD

Against:

Neither that popular nor that impressive; out-dated

Hyundai Santa Fe

(Click to enlarge)

For:

Great diesel, impressive packaging, excellent warranty. Sensational overall drive experience

Against:

Not a cheap Hyundai. It's still a secret (plenty of people don't put Hyundai on their shopping list - and they should). Left-footrest is a joke.

Nissan X-Trail

(Click to enlarge)

For:

Great value proposition. One of the most affordable seven-seat SUV options. Excellent build quality and impressive overall packaging and value.

Against:

Smaller than Santa Fe, can't match the South Korean on Warranty, and no diesel engine (at the time of writing)

I agree with you that the new Hyundai Santa Fe is significantly more expensive than the run-out Subaru Tribeca. I strongly suggest you also go for a test drive in the new Nissan X-Trail (ST-L spec with seven seats @ Nissan’s estimated drive-away price of $40,631). This is a very well sorted out, quality vehicle. I have just driven one for a week, and I’d own the Nissan X-Trail over an ageing Subaru Tribeca any day. So, in summary the Nissan  X-Trail will give you everything you want in relation to the third seating row, and be cheaper (and better) than a discounted Tribeca. Of course the Hyundai Santa Fe is still my preferred option - if you can justify the price.

I will have the brokerage call you. This is certainly the best, safest and easiest way to achieve the right price, and the brokerage is achieving consistently good results with Nissan X-Trail and Hyundai Santa Fe in particular. The brokerage will certainly do substantially better than Nissan’s recommended drive-away price above, and they will shave a few thousand off the Santa Fe as well. If there’s anything else I can help you with, please let me know. Sincerely, John Cadogan

More SUV Advice