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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I'm shocked at the 16th place finish and the low "7" ratings for the new PF in the new US News Car Ratings for "Affordable SUV" category.

http://usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/cars-trucks/rankings/Affordable-Midsize-SUVs/


I have looked them over and am conflicted with which to buy: a 2013 CX-9 (#1 rated as a 2012, and the 13 looks better...) or the new PF. I really like the looks of the PF Premium and look forward to more comparison tests in the magazines. I'm shooting for a spring purchase so I have a little time to compare and contrast. Anyone else compare these two?
 

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I owned a 2006 Mazda6s Grand Sport Wagon that I purchased new in 2006. That miserable ownership experience soured me for life. Within a week, the lumbar support failed - I was told that the part was "cheaply made" - and had to wait 3 months for a redesigned part. That foreshadowed a series of failures in "cheaply made" parts (per the dealer) that made the car sheer horror to own and drive. I won't even get into the mechanical problems with the 6-speed Aisin transmission (that were "within specs", according to the dealer), rust (in the interior on the seat frames), amongst other quality problems. Within 18 months, I traded the vehicle - and in that time, it lost 40% of its value. I've purchased quite a few new cars in my time, and that was the worst - I won't even set foot into a Mazda dealer as a result.

I know the press likes the CX-9 due mostly to driving dynamics, which are always a Mazda strong suit, but if you plan on keeping it for the long-term, I would be wary.

In my opinion, having owned two Pilots , test driven the Ford Explorer, the Highlander and now owning a Pathfinder, these are the dominant players in the segment. The GM large crossovers like the Enclave, Traverse and Acadia are too big and thirsty for my taste.
 

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There are a few vehicles on that list that don't have seating for 7 passengers so I'm not sure if they should really be compared to the Pathfinder. If you need that extra room they should be removed from the list altogether. I've also found that a fully loaded Pathfinder is considerably cheaper than most of the others with comparable options (navigation, remote start, leather seats, heated seats and steering wheel, etc.) It seems that you get more bang for your buck with the new Pathfinder as far as bells and whistles go.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Sucks about your Mazda 6 experience, but appears for the last 6 years that Consumers Reports (with all the little shaded bubbles charts) rates the Mazda CX-9 as a “Recommended Buy’ along with the MDX (which I will look at, but the styling of the MDX is not to my liking and the $7,000 premium doesn’t look warranted), the Pilot (too boxy and BAD brakes), and the Highlander (hum, I think too average).

Apparently that CX-9 is one reliable SUV crossover so it’s hard to resist. But guessing a few years of good PF repair records and (cross your fingers) that the first year steel belt CVT works out then all will be well, and it will move onto all these “Top Rated” lists.

To be truthful, bBuying a first year vehicle that is completely new also worries me, but then I think about the three drive modes with the 4WD and the 120v plugs and all and really go back and forth. When I drive these cars in the next few months and finally decide it will be fun to put them through their paces : )
 

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It is hard to rate the reliability of the CX9 considering it hasn't been out for that long.

My parents own a Mazda 3 and I think it's the biggest pile of sh!t ever. Its cheaply made and it has so many problems for a brand new vehicle. Just look at it this way. How many old mazdas do you see on the street that aren't rusted to death or broken down? Thats if you see old mazdas at all. They just don't last that long. Def would NOT recommend Mazda. Sorry Mazda fans.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
cfrp, first off I'm no Mazda troll, I'm truly looking for the best third row crossover overall with handling first, reliabilty a close second, and bang for the buck next... between $35-45K. I notice that Acura has a new MDX set to debut on Jan 14 so that may be interesting too. I just got rid of an Odyssey after 10 years and MOST had to spend $4k for new transmission, I was lucky and got out before it went out... Oh and the '13 CX-9 only has a new front facade (to look like CX-5) and revised Nav system, otherwise mostly unchanged since 2007 when it came out.

But I think ConsumerReports is pretty objective and tracks about 15 areas of every car for numerous years in a row... Here are their BEST OF THE BEST right now:

2 Nissans: Altima & Rogue
5 Mazdas: CX-9, Mazda-3 (yep), Miata, Mazda-6, and Protege

So as far as overall quality goes, I think Mazda may be above Nissan. Here's my personal list (your results may vary):

1) Toyota
2) Honda/Acura
3) Niassan
4) Mazda
5) Subaru
6) Other Japanese brands (mitsu, etc)
7) Europeans (Volvo, VW, BMW, MBZ, etc)
8) Ford
9) Other American brands

Just really worried about performance and reliability of CVT in a 4,300 lbs car -- I would REALLY be interested in see those quality numbers but I don't have 5 years of hindsight to look at -- although the Murano may be pretty close and I think those are holding up?
 

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I would agree with your assessment for the most part, and given everything I've read, with handling being at the top of your priority list, the CX-9 should be a good fit. The PF handles pretty well, but its suspension leads more toward the complaint side.

Reliability is a crap shoot at this point with the PF - just not enough data, it's too new. Mine seems to be pretty well screwed together - certainly much more tight than the '10 Pilot it replaced. I have a hard time believing that Mazda has improved to the extent that CR is reporting, just given my own personal experience, but the CX-9 is and has been the darling of the automotive press for quite some time. I'm certain it's a very impressive vehicle. I'll be interested to see your driving impressions once you've had a good chance to compare and contrast in person.

This is our second vehicle with a CVT, the first being a 2010 Subaru Legacy. Thus far we've had zero service visits related to anything aside from routine maintenance and we love the smoothness of the CVT, instant power delivery, and mileage. I expect the Pathfinder to follow suit as Nissan has a lot more experience in CVTs on mass-market vehicles. The Subie's CVT, like the new Pathfinder's is chain driven. Previous Nissan CVTs used a belt. I expect the Nissan design to be every bit as good as the Subaru, if not better - but that's mere speculation on my part. Nissan has a lot to prove here, given that this is their first foray in a CVT equipped model designed with moderate towing capabilities.
 

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BTW, surprised you rated the Euro brands over the Americans, from what I've read, the American brands (particularly Ford) have improved greatly over time. Consider, for example, that the CX-9 is underpinned by the same platform and drivetrain as the Ford Edge (including the engine, which is a Ford design).
 

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BTW, surprised you rated the Euro brands over the Americans, from what I've read, the American brands (particularly Ford) have improved greatly over time. Consider, for example, that the CX-9 is underpinned by the same platform and drivetrain as the Ford Edge (including the engine, which is a Ford design).
Ford has improved but from what I noticed, if it wasn't for European influence in the new Ford models, they wouldn't be selling as well as they are now and wont be as attractive.

The new Ford Focus is a great example of this.
 

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I don't find Mazdas to be reliable at all. All these new cars with all their electronics aren't as reliable as their older cars but what is important is that the drivetrain remains reliable.

This is where I find Mazdas lack. The CX-5/9 is a great car. Raved by many reviewers as a great package at a low price.

I agree 100%

But I would never own one. If you GAVE one to me I'd sell it for something more reliable. All those new Mazda engines (skyactiv) are turning out to be not very reliable. My coworker has an old MX-5 that has proven to be very reliable for him.. But he also only drives it in the summer. The MX-5 is likely my favorite Mazda. The older Rotary RX-7s and newer RX8s are plagued with problems. Older Proteges are all rusted to death. My parents bought a used Mazda 3 a few years ago which ended up having problems with the transmission (doesn't downshift when its suppose to - doesnt shift up when you want it to- super eratic) and the motor started going out (sounded like the piston rings were going + the valves were becoming loose - rattled like crazy). The rear hatch and quarter panel started rusting really badly as well (this is with rustproofing every year) The suspension was blown and rusted when they bought it so they purchased new struts and end links for the car - end links went out again 2 years later from rust. They sold it before it stopped working one day. The Mazda 3 they own now (god knows why they bought another Mazda) has been at the dealership more in the past 3 months of new ownership than I have ever been to with all my cars combined in my life. One thing I'll admit is that the new Mazda 3 is pretty fun to drive.

I don't think you can judge longterm reliability on a car that hasn't been out for very many years. So I wouldn't trust consumer reports with a report saying the Mazda CX5 is the most reliable car. The pathfinder has been around for many years. The engine really hasn't changed all that much. Reliability to me means 10+ years later will the car still work. Will most of its functions still work. And most importantly is the health of the drivetrain still good. Are BMWs reliable? Sure for the first 5-10 years they are great.. After that you should brace your wallet. This has been the german reputation for decades. Will it change this decade? Maybe. Only time will tell.

And if you look at the manufacturer record for reliability. Mazda has never been known to be a very reliable brand. The #1 stereotype is that they are rust buckets. And this might actually be true considering how many rusted Mazdas I see 5 years down the line (i detail cars for a living)

Nissans haven't been the most reliable brand either but they for sure aren't as bad as Mazdas. I see more old Toyotas, Lexus, Acura, Honda, Nissan, and Infinitis on the road over any other cars.

Now if you see the value in the CX-9 (like many people do including me) and you are willing to take the chance to buy a car that hasn't even been on the market for very long - go ahead. It really depends on how long you plan to keep the car for. But just as I said. When I look around the street, I don't see very many old mazdas.

The VQ V6 from Nissan has been around for a LONG time.

just my few cents
 

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sorry I meant I don't find Mazdas to be very reliable. Not very reliable at all. They are reliable.. Just not for very long from what I've seen.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Sorry to be pushing this but not convinced that the PF will work out any better than X or Y. It is my #1 choice at this point and since it's a big decision I'm studying up on all good crossovers. Read a little on the Edmunds.com PF transmission forums and you'll get scared like this new '13 PF driver, granted most are mid-2000s PF issues -- those aren't THAT old:

"I wish I read this before I bought my 2013 Nissan Pathfinder two months ago. My Pathfinder stalled and was towed back to the dealership where I bought it from after enduring three hours of waiting time for the wrecker to show up. The engine of my Pathfinder was revving but it was not moving. I was told by the service advisor that there was a crack from the radiator causing the coollant to leak into the transmission similar to what you have described. REALLY??? Nissan is aware of this issue and obviously never corrected it? And, how can this be not a safety related issue? Your vehicle can get stalled in the middle of the road and motorist may not be paying attention and hit your stalled vehicle with you inside it. Isn't that a saftey issue. NHTSA really need to do something about this."

Is the exchange of fluid thing really still a PF issue? I hope not! On the JX35 forum there are stories of dropping all the transmission leaving the dealer after purchase -- hope this is an anomoly but they are built in the same plant... We'll see but I will keep reading all the competing forums and hope to make an informed decision in a few months.
 

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Forums are not a good gauge of reliability of any mass-produced product.

In every mass-produced product (and I'm not talking about just cars, but computers, consumer electronics, you name it), there will always be a certain failure rate. People are far more likely to join a forum and post when something bad happens, than solely to sing the praises of a given product. As a result, the product is misrepresented, because you aren't hearing from the people that are perfectly happy with their product.

As an example, I am one of the admins over a very large computer forum for a specific brand. This brand makes some of the most consistently high quality computers in the industry, and yet, to read the site, you'd think the vast majority are DOA. This is certainly not the case, but given that they are some of the best selling computers in the US, even with a .1% failure rate, that's still hundreds of machines that are bad right from the factory.

Beyond that, you will always have a certain element of idiots who are either trolling, or are having a legitimate problem, but don't understand it - or are making a mountain out of a molehill. How many times have you read about someone driving a new car out of a lot, only to find that the transmission "falls out"? I've heard that same sordid tale about GMs, Chryslers, Fords and yes, even Hondas. Given the integral nature of the transaxle (in FWD cars), I find it very hard to believe that the vehicle could even gain momentum if it were so loosely mounted as to "fall out". Seems like an urban legend or perhaps a fun story to make people paranoid.

Regardless - I'm not saying that no one will ever have a problem with a new car, shortly after taking delivery - but don't let a couple of forum posts make you think that every one is a lemon. All major manufacturers make the occasional lemon - that's what warranties and lemon laws are for.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Sorry, it didn't drop the transmission, it dropped all the transmission fluid. I figured looking at the Murano reliability may be more appropriate than the old PF since the Murano has had the CVT type transmission for a while. There is a lot of mention that the CVT sucked initially and forced Nissan to offer a 120,000 mile warranty on them, but apparently they have gotten better since they just are covered by usual powertrain warranty.

Also the dud part of a car is critical, don't care as much if there is a problem with the NAV menus, as if there is an issue with the mechanicals pieces : )

Please let this forum know if things are going well, that gives confidence to new buyers that they will want to purchase one.
 

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Forums are not a good gauge of reliability of any mass-produced product.

In every mass-produced product (and I'm not talking about just cars, but computers, consumer electronics, you name it), there will always be a certain failure rate. People are far more likely to join a forum and post when something bad happens, than solely to sing the praises of a given product. As a result, the product is misrepresented, because you aren't hearing from the people that are perfectly happy with their product.

As an example, I am one of the admins over a very large computer forum for a specific brand. This brand makes some of the most consistently high quality computers in the industry, and yet, to read the site, you'd think the vast majority are DOA. This is certainly not the case, but given that they are some of the best selling computers in the US, even with a .1% failure rate, that's still hundreds of machines that are bad right from the factory.

Beyond that, you will always have a certain element of idiots who are either trolling, or are having a legitimate problem, but don't understand it - or are making a mountain out of a molehill. How many times have you read about someone driving a new car out of a lot, only to find that the transmission "falls out"? I've heard that same sordid tale about GMs, Chryslers, Fords and yes, even Hondas. Given the integral nature of the transaxle (in FWD cars), I find it very hard to believe that the vehicle could even gain momentum if it were so loosely mounted as to "fall out". Seems like an urban legend or perhaps a fun story to make people paranoid.

Regardless - I'm not saying that no one will ever have a problem with a new car, shortly after taking delivery - but don't let a couple of forum posts make you think that every one is a lemon. All major manufacturers make the occasional lemon - that's what warranties and lemon laws are for.
So true, I agree with every part of it. I'm on a handful of forums, not just car forums and IT HAPPENS ALL THE TIME. This is why if I love a product and see that it's problem area's aren't common enough i'll get it.

Easy way is to check the production numbers companies release, the issues they announced, and the people complaining about those issues and base your decision off of that.
 

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It is hard to rate the reliability of the CX9 considering it hasn't been out for that long.

My parents own a Mazda 3 and I think it's the biggest pile of sh!t ever. Its cheaply made and it has so many problems for a brand new vehicle. Just look at it this way. How many old mazdas do you see on the street that aren't rusted to death or broken down? Thats if you see old mazdas at all. They just don't last that long. Def would NOT recommend Mazda. Sorry Mazda fans.
I had my Mazda cx7 for seven years, and never had any issues.
Also I have mazda3 with no problems so far (also over seven years)
My Mazda dealer treat me like **** when I try to buy cx9, that's why I bought PF.
 

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My wife used to have a 2003 Mazda 6 and own it for over 6 years. I used own a Mazda CX-7 before I upgraded to something bigger in the Pathfinder. My sister bought a new Mazda 3 in 2007 and still own it. My brother used to own a Mazda RX8 and he takes good care of the rotary engine. My family never had any problem with all the Mazda we owned. I guess some people just have bad luck with the car/suv just like how some have problem with the Pathfinder while others don't.
 

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Hello to all contemplating purchasing a 2014 Nissan Pathfinder. Don't! I live in San Antonio, TX and recently purchased a 2014 Pathfinder from Ancira Nissan. Prior to purchase, I told the salesperson my concerns about the Pathfinder shudder problems and she assured they were corrected and only the 2013's had problems...2500 miles later my 2014 Pathfinder has started to shudder. The problem is intermittent and has occurred several times within the last couple of months. The problem is NISSAN, despite knowledge of the problem, the dealer is claiming that hey must duplicate the problem prior to fixing it...my thoughts are it's well documented and Nissan knows it, but refuses to correct it. Any opinions/advice concerning my options?
 

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Any opinions/advice concerning my options?
The shutter/jutter issues have been widely discussed on this board. I suggest you read the other discussions and join the conversation in one or more of them.
 
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