Originally Posted by Pops
Neither.... My vote is for an BMW X5 with the optional 3rd row seat. Besides the sweet twin-turbo finesse, the Plastic Body Panels will help alot for preventing door dings and scratches while unloading & loading the kids in tight parking spots. Bang for the buck, it's a better deal than either of the previously mentioned IMHO.
Also, be sure to take a look at a Mercedes GL450. My mother bought a GL350 because I talked her into a diesel since she was concerned about MPG then added HID headlights into the purchase deal, and she absolutely loves it. It is the largest German SUV we looked at for her and there is plenty of room in the GL if an X5 is too small for what your wife is wanting. The GL450 is a Twin-Turbo 4.6L w/ 7-sp Auto kicking 362hp. The GL550 is a Twin-Turbo 4.6L w/ 7sp Auto kicking 429hp, so the GL is a nice alternative to an X5 if the X5 is too small. My pop bought a loaded out Mercedes CLS 550 4matic for $90k and that is one badass little sedan.
Pops the X5 hands down is the best driving SUV if not vehicle. I know I owned one. Other than the gas fume and fire issue (can explain if you ever want to know) the third row is useless. Second with two car seats in the second row access to the third row is impossible. My kids aren't old enough to strap themselves in
The GL was on the list but the third row access killed it. We would have to mount two car seats in the third row and my wife is too short to reach back there so she would have to climb in the vehicle to strap them in. (again if you mount two car seats in the second row no easy access to third row) Was too difficult for her. Drove the GL350 (love the diesel) and the 550 (oh my so fast) and the interior is so sweet. Second if you saw my wife drive you would not put her in a $90k SUV...BODY SHOP ANYONE. Only reason she had a 7 was because I bought it for the price of a 550i.
Both the X5 and the GL are amazing SUV's but not a fit for us right now. 3 small kids really killed our options. We looked at the following:
2013 GMC Acadia Denali
2013 BUICK Enclave
BMW X5 and Acura MDX I have owned
2013 Nissan Pathfinder
2013 Mercedes GL
Chrysler Town and Country
Land Rover LR4
If it was me there are quite a few on this list I would have picked first but she needs to be able to drive it and it needs to be easy for her to get the kids in and out.