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Hi, I'm hoping you may be able to give some advice regarding a new family vehicle. We are needing to upgrade to a 4WD with good ground clearance for access to tramping trails on rough roads. We've always been a Toyota family and have loved the reliability, but the cost to purchase and run something like a Highlander or Pathfinder is pushing our limits; and the Rav doesn't appear to have great ground clearance.
We're currently considering a Nissan X-Trail, but it's a little on the small side for luggage for an adventurous family. Can you advise us on the performance and reliability of the Mitsubishi Outlander? The 7 seat option would be a good extra, but not essential if another vehicle ticked all the boxes.
The Hyundai Santa Fe has come highly recommended by friends but we would need to get a model with much higher kms to match the price of an Outlander.
We're also considering a Subaru wagon - but uncertain on reliability as people seem to either love them or hate them?
Any recommendations of these models, or other options that we may not have considered, would be much appreciated.
Thank you!


Hi there,
The Outlander is one of the best selling SUV's and has been very reliable ever since they came out both NZ new and used Japanese import. They even have a PHEV version. You may even want to look at the Mitsubishi Pajero?
Subaru product is great I have had a few, they are reliable but not the most fuel efficient. Santa Fe is a bit more expensive and not always trouble free. The X-trail is popular, might be a bit small and has a CVT transmission that has potential for issue in some cases (the diesel model available NZ new till 2014 had a conventional 6-speed transmission though).


Thanks Cade, that's really helpful! Can I please ask a few more questions?
Are there any years/versions of the Outlander that we should be aware of or particularly look for or avoid?
We know nothing about the PHEV, and had wondered if it was just something else that could go wrong and need maintaining, but would you suggest we should consider it?
What do you think is more important - kms or year? :) Do you reckon there is a 'perfect' balance of age, where you benefit from that fast depreciation over the first years but still get a really good car out of it?
Appreciate your insights!