I just got home from the Milwaukee Auto Show, where we were looking for a replacement for our family hauler 9-7x. Our basic requirements are that it needs to haul a family of 4 on long road trips comfortably. Note that I am 6'5", most of which is in my legs, and my kids are trending tall. So legroom is key. Also, my wife wants all the cold weather options. Heated seats, heated steering wheel, and remote start.
Here’s my quick rundown of of what we sat in while dragging around two young boys. All of these comments are based on just sitting in them, not driving them.
Lexus: My God, my ass is way too big for your sport seats. Who needs such high side bolters in a mid size CUV??? Why are all your knobs missing???? Also, the predator grill works on some models, but others make me want to wash my eyes with bleach. Which is too bad because I actually have a great dealer in my area.
BMW: We have no dealer support in our area, so I’m not serious about BMW, but the interior was really nice in the 5 series.
Maserati Quattroporte:. Yes yes yes yes yes. Get in my garage now. Dealer support in my area? Sigh, nevermind.
Cadillac: The CT6 is so much nicer and more spacious than a CTS. One of these with a V8 is my dream-car-that-doesn’t-exist.
Lincoln:. I sat in an MKZ thinking it was the Continental and was wondering why it wasn’t as nice as I remembered. Then I got in the actual Continental and was reminded why this is at the top of my list. I’m hooked on the Black Label. Crappy rear headroom though...
Volvo:. Hey they actually let us sit in some of the Volvos this year! The long wheel base S90 is no joke for rear legroom. Acres of space. Great seats.
Mazda CX-9:. One of the better 3 row CUVs out there. However, the beltline is almost over my shoulder, and I’m 6'5". It felt weird sitting in that bunker of a minivan.
Chrysler Pacifica: I really liked this car when I sat in it last year, but it just seemed crappy this year, especially the seats.
GMC Acadia/Chevy Traverse: Huge improvement over the last generation. Like the CX-9, it was nice enough for us to consider a CUV.
Buick Enclave:. Ugh, this dumpster fire. Why do interior designers have to swoop the dashboard in front of the passenger in towards the center console, effectively reducing left knee room by a couple of inches. Deal breaker. #tallpersonproblems
Buick Lacrosse:. Plenty of room, nice interior. These should be more popular. Maybe if they ditched the lacrosse name they would sell more. Electra? If I bought one, I would take off the name badge.
Fiat 500x: Not as fun inside as our old 500, but would work alright with two kids around town.
Chevy Cruze hatchback: OK, this car is legit. Nice interior, nice seats, decent storage in the back. When we bought our Fiat back in ‘13, we cross shopped it with the Cruze. If we did that again today, we would be walking out with the Cruze hatchback. Both are still too small for long road trips.
Chevy Tahoe:. This will be my car in about 3 years when I retire my truck to just work duty. It could not be more suited to someone my size. Sadly, we’re shopping for my wife’s car so we moved on.
Toyota Land Cruiser:. $90k?!?? I’ll be down at the Maserati display....brb.
Genesis G90: Wish I could report on this one, I never found the Genesis display. 😞
Kia Stinger:. Like the Genesis, I really wanted to check this out. Too bad the only one they brought was on a turn table.
Buick Regal TourX:. Basically the car we came to see, and the one you’ve been dying to hear about. Surprising amount of legroom, possibly more than the lacrosse. The interior wasn’t as nice as the lacrosse, but it wasn’t bad at all like some reviews have said. For a mid-$30k AWD wagon, the interior is appropriate. However, the cloth seats were sub par. Not super comfortable, not up to Buick’s current standards. This car was the mid grade trim, so maybe the essence trim seats will be better. TONS of room in the back. My wife hated the plastic cladding over the wheels and would only consider a color that minimized that, like grey. Here’s my 3 year old sitting on the floor behind the driver’s seat after my wife adjusted it to her driving position:
Here’s my wife’s knees after I adjusted the driver’s seat to MY position:
I think we’ll end up test driving the Continental, lacrosse, TourX, CX-9, and Acadia. We’ll also check out the Regal sportback when we have a chance, especially the GS.
In the end, I’m not sure we’re any closer to making a decision. Being tall sucks, people! It really limits the choices, and I’m tired of being miserable on trips. In end we’ll probably buy a Metris conversion van or something...