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Discussion Starter #1
By way of introduction....
I'm a new member here and looking to buy a small to mid-sized SUV. First off let me say that I drive vehicles for a fairly large independent dealer with 3 locations and have been doing it for a few years since I retired. As such, there isn't a heck of a lot I haven't driven. Like many people, I am not totally without prejudice, so there were vehicles that were eliminated right from the start, namely GM because the majority I have driven are junk, and anything Japanese because I didn't like the fact they tried to kill one of my uncles at Pearl Harbor. That leaves Chrysler, which isn't much better than GM, or Ford, European, and Korean vehicles. I have driven several Hyundai Sonatas, Azeras, Santa Fes and Tuscons and have really been impressed with every one I have driven.
I need to replace my old F-150 and I really don't need a full sized pickup any more. I have a utility trailer I haul anything of any size on anyway because it's handier than loading it in a pickup with a topper. I have some items I haul with me almost all the time, but they would easily fit in the back of a small SUV. I have narrowed my choices to two models... the Ford Escape/Mercury Mariner (edited) platform or the Hyundai Santa Fe. Requirements are automatic w/ AWD or 4WD, and enough power to pull the Colorado mountains with 3 or 4 people and tow capacity enough to pull a total trailer weight of 2500#, but not at the same time. Trailer would be pulled maybe one or two times a month for maybe 20 miles, and rarely more distance than that. I am trying to stay in the $12 to $15K price range and the dealer will sell to me at a small profit.
It seems the easiest '07 and newer for us to get is a GLS with a 2.7L and either FWD, which I don't want, or AWD, but it seems there is some dispute as to what the tow rating actually is. Most of what I see says only 1650# (my trailer weighs 1K empty), whereas the 2.7L '06 and older is higher... is this because of the newer B-W tranny or what is the reason? The 3.3L has a higher capacity, so does it use the same or a different transmission? We have an '06 on one of our lots, but I really like the '07 and newer style. We must have sold an '08 2.7L AWD GLS today as I no longer see it on our website... it was still there yesterday.
I know this is long to get the answer to a simple tow rating question, but I'm kind of long winded :whistling: .
 

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Welcome to the forums!

First off, I assume you mean Mercury Mariner, not Mountaineer. The dealer I work for has Hyundai and Ford and while I think the Escape is nice, it's underpowered and way over priced. I have always liked the styling of the Mariner better. I know the earlier escapes had problems with the motors blowing oil but that has since been resolved.

I have an 08 with the 3.3 and it has been relatively good to me. The difference between the trannys is that the 2.7 has a 4 speed and the 3.3 has a 5 speed. I believe the tow rating for the 3.3 is 3,500. The 2.7 is a smooth engine but the 3.3 would get the same or better gas mileage. The 2.7 isn't the quickest but it's a proven engine.

Can I ask what dealer you work for? I'm looking to trade my 08 for an 05 or 06 and I'm looking for a low mileage example.

Good luck with your search!
 

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You're right, it's the Mariner... Mountaineer is like the Explorer. I work for a dealer home based in NE Kansas (think Federal prison) with two other Kansas locations... I'm at a location 200 miles from there, so quite a ways from Pa. We do sell quite a few over the internet these days and since the home office is close to KCI, it's easy to fly in and pick one up. I have also delivered them 5-600 miles from home. We are in the process in our town, of building at a new location and expanding from 35 to 120 vehicles. Main lot carries 120 and the third lot (think Army Big Red 1) about 35. Not sure I'm supposed to "advertize" a business name on the forum.
We have an '04 Escape at our location w/AWD and3.0L, and although it's pretty clean, it has about 78K on it... my '95 EB Edition F-150 only has 95K. Also have an '08 Mariner that if it were AWD, I wouldn't be here asking about Hyundais... it would be parked where my pickup is right now. The '06 Santa Fe at the main location has 59K, but it's blue and my wife hates blue.
Is your '08 AWD?
added... Just notice your's is FWD. We have a 2010 Genesis 3.8 coupe with 2500 miles if you're interested :grin:
 

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I was hoping to get a response from someone pulling a trailer with a '07 to '09 AWD Santa Fe, but seems no one on the forum does this. I'm going to assume the 1650# IS the 2.7L limit and unless I find one with a 3.3L, I'll stay away from them.
 

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All I can tell you is that I often pull a lightweight (500-600 lb) trailer with my 3.3L FWD 2008 Santa Fe, and I would never know there was anything back there. No noticable change to acceleration or handling at all. So I would have to think that 2500 lb would be very do-able, although you would likely feel it. I used to pull a 1000 lb trailer with my '96 1.4L Elantra wagon, but that was a bit of a strain on hills. The proportions to 2500 lbs and a Santa Fe are probably about the same.
 

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QUOTE (grandpa58 @ Aug 5 2010, 04:33 PM) index.php?act=findpost&pid=347381
.... is this because of the newer B-W tranny or what is the reason? The 3.3L has a higher capacity, so does it use the same or a different transmission?

Like said, the 2.7L uses the old tried and true F4A51 4spd AT, which was originally a Mitsubishi spec'd trans. Do you mean Borg-Warner with the B-W comment? As far as I know the newer A5H51 5spd AT mated to the 3.3L is an all Hyundai trans. There's some good info here: http://www.hmatraining.com/hmalegacy/HMA_2...Model/main.html

Joel
 

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QUOTE (grandpa58 @ Aug 11 2010, 01:55 PM) index.php?act=findpost&pid=348693
I was hoping to get a response from someone pulling a trailer with a '07 to '09 AWD Santa Fe, but seems no one on the forum does this. I'm going to assume the 1650# IS the 2.7L limit and unless I find one with a 3.3L, I'll stay away from them.
Welcome to the forum!

I pull a 1600-2200 pound camper with my '08 3.3 AWD. 1650 is the limit without trailer brakes for my model, and I have no problems exceeding this slightly. The maximum tow rating with brakes is 3500 pounds. In Europe they go 5,000 pounds with the Santa Fe.

Haven't tried any of this with an Escape, but it is a smaller, less powerful vehicle that IMO is closer to the Hyundai Tucson. Not much in reserve there if you ask me.

Don
 

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I was reading a write-up somewhere that said the newer design '07 > Santa Fe had a Borg-Warner electronic controled transmission. I thought it was both the 4 and 5 speed, but maybe it was only the 5 speed with the 3.3L engine. This electronically "modulated" the percentage of front to back traction in the AWD.
I think I am about to make a deal on the '06 we have in stock. I was at our "home" location yesterday and looked it over more closely. It has 59K miles, 2.7L w/4WD, a few small scuffs and dings, but overall pretty good shape. If I am reading the specs right, it has the 2500 tow rating with the 2.7L and without a "tow package".
Another thing I have noticed, and I think this is "mis-labeling", the '06 and older called it a 4WD (sticker on the lift gate) and not AWD. I don't believe it has a true 4WD. Also the one we have is dark gray and not blue... write-up on the net is wrong. In a certain light it may have a very slight blue tinge to the gray.

added: here is the tranny I mentioned... BorgWarner High Energy ITM3e™ AWD System
 

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QUOTE (grandpa58 @ Aug 14 2010, 02:45 AM) index.php?act=findpost&pid=349290
I was reading a write-up somewhere that said the newer design '07 > Santa Fe had a Borg-Warner electronic controled transmission.
You are correct in that the Borg-Warner part of the equation is the device that balances the front/rear power on the AWD models. That lives post-transmission. The tranny itself is Hyundai.
 

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QUOTE (canderson @ Aug 14 2010, 10:03 AM) index.php?act=findpost&pid=349318
You are correct in that the Borg-Warner part of the equation is the device that balances the front/rear power on the AWD models. That lives post-transmission. The tranny itself is Hyundai.
I didn't know that was an external part of the system... thank you.
What ever I end up with, I hope to have it before I'm in your state for vacation the end of Sept. I want to take the Fall River road in RMNP in it. My wife (and daughters) drove it in her Lincoln LS last year... I don't think I would have done that, but we have had it, and her Continental before that, on some "roads" that we shouldn't have been on in a car.
Where you located in CO in case I have trouble with a Santa Fe while I'm there? :grin:
 

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QUOTE (grandpa58 @ Aug 14 2010, 12:13 PM) index.php?act=findpost&pid=349345
I didn't know that was an external part of the system... thank you.
What ever I end up with, I hope to have it before I'm in your state for vacation the end of Sept. I want to take the Fall River road in RMNP in it. My wife (and daughters) drove it in her Lincoln LS last year... I don't think I would have done that, but we have had it, and her Continental before that, on some "roads" that we shouldn't have been on in a car.
Where you located in CO in case I have trouble with a Santa Fe while I'm there? :grin:
You don't show a location in your profile, but if you're headed to RMNP from the east, you'll pass within my place by 1/2 mile or so as you cross the north end of Longmont on CO Hwy 66. Nice piece of road. Watch the females with credit cards in Estes Park, though.

You'll find the Santa Fe more than happy to tackle pretty much anything that's got a sign on it out here (and quite a few that don't) apart from some forest service roads that require purpose-built vehicles!

If you're curious to see where some of the history of the area was made, look up the Switzerland Trail. Big loop just west of Boulder a bit that follows the old narrow gauge railroad tracks past all of the old mining camps in the mountains. A Santa Fe has no issues with that kind of road, either. Drop by Gold Hill on the loop (and the Gold Hill Inn, but be sure to make a reservation for dinner).
 

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My daughter works for the Boulder Co. Land Use Dept. and does the historical preservation administration for the county. You need money approved for preserving your old mining building in the county, she's the bureaucrat you deal with. My last dealing in Longmont was having the LS worked on on our way back from Yellowstone in June '09. Heater valve went south (3 weeks out of warranty) on us on our way to Yellowstone, but never hit over 72 degrees the rest of the trip. Had the car checked out in Cody Wy and part forwarded to Ford dealer in Longmont, close to where my daughter lives, and they installed it on our way back to Kansas.
We will be in Boulder/Longmont area Sept. 23-25 and Estes Park 25 to 30. Wife will go to the big quilt expo at the fairgrounds in Longmont on the 24th. Hope to catch some of the elk rut in the park.
 
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