To purchase a new midsized crossover vehicle to replace my well worn 2002 Subaru Outback for under $25,000. I also wanted a vehicle whose company was based in the USA. My reasons for this are many and are best left for another discussion. My mission took me to the local GM, Ford and Chrysler dealers.
AT the GM dealers I looked at and test drove the Chevrolet Equinox, Pontiac Torrent and the Buick Enclave at Ford I test drove the TaurusX and the Escape and of the Chrysler vehicles the Jeep Liberty, Patriot and Compass and the Dodge Nitro.
While I can not say anything bad about the Subaru Outback that I owned (it never had a major failure) there was always something I didn't like about it and I just could not put my finger on it until I test drove all the new entries from GM, Ford and Chrysler and it was called comfort. All of the entries from the US "BIG THREE" were a cut above. The fit and finish inside and out, performance, handling, braking and gas mileage were either equal to or surpassed the Subaru. Thinking that I may have been trying to compare new vehicles to my old vehicle I also test drove a new 2008 Subaru Outback LL Bean and while it felt like an old friend there was still the same lack of comfort feeling. I must have test driven 35 different vehicles in a 4 day period and some how I kept coming back to the Chevrolet Equinox and the Pontiac Torrent. After finally narrowing the field to these 2 vehicles it was another day of test driving to figure out which one I wanted.
All of the vehicles that I test drove had pluses and minuses, there were things that I liked on some models and disliked on others because of their functionality but I kept coming back to the Equinox/Torrent for several reasons;
fit & finish
All vehicles were on a par with performance, braking and handling
Everyone knows that the Equinox and Torrent are basically the same car under the skin but there are differences. The Torrent has a better (plush) interior better handling suspension and more standard equipment than the Equinox and in my opinion better front and rear end styling. To option out the Equinox to equal the Torrent in standard features I would have had to purchase things I really did not want and it would have brought the cost of the Equinox thousand more than the Torrent (no brain-er for me).
I purchased the Pontiac Torrent and while I am still in the wringing out stage I can report on these things with about 6000 miles currently on the odometer;
smooth and quiet ride
no squeaks or rattles
average fuel usage for combined city/highway 19 mpg
more than adequate power from the standard 3.4 V6 engine
versatile cargo area
excellent fit and finish
smooth operating AWD system
If you are looking for a full blown off road vehicle the Pontiac Torrent is not for you, but if you want an AWD crossover with excellent cargo capacity, comfort and sedan like power, handling, braking and ride with a splash of style for $ 25,000. look no farther than the Pontiac Torrent.
Amount Paid (US$):
2008Model and Options:
Base model AWD pw,pl,ps,V6,cruise,tilt wheel,a/c,am/fm/cd/mp3,17"wheel