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Discussion Starter #1
I'm looking for an SUV with a "panoramic sunroof" and the ability to perform well on dirt/gravel roads and *occasionally* on unmaintained roads. I'm not planning on off-roading/rock-crawling/etc, just need something that handles the rural roads that I'll be using it on.

I've narrowed the search to the AWD flavors of the SRX, Venza, and Edge. My understanding is that the overall construction of each of these is more like a car than a truck so I have grown concerned that I may be asking too much from this design. What do you guys think?
 

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91 Allante (gone), 06 SRX (gone)
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My usual commute includes about 5 miles of gravel road each way. I turn off traction control on my RWD SRX and have no problems. If the road is muddy, icy, or badly washboarded, I take a longer route on pavement.
 

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2010 CTS-4 3.6 & 2008 SRX-4 V6
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My usual commute includes about 5 miles of gravel road each way. I turn off traction control on my RWD SRX and have no problems. If the road is muddy, icy, or badly washboarded, I take a longer route on pavement.
The bolded part is key in lower-speed muddy/loose conditions. Otherwise, you should be fine - there's certainly enough of a ground clearance. But you'll have to keep your speed down in really rough conditions to avoid punishing the monocoque "frame".
 

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Turning off the traction control seems odd. It would appear that having it on under such conditions would enable you to better negotiate the slippery stuff.
I recall watching a video of a Corvette on frozen snow and ice with and without TC. The difference in control with TC on was substantial.
But, I'm from Florida...so what do I know?
 

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Turning off the traction control seems odd. It would appear that having it on under such conditions would enable you to better negotiate the slippery stuff.
I recall watching a video of a Corvette on frozen snow and ice with and without TC. The difference in control with TC on was substantial.
But, I'm from Florida...so what do I know?
Note the conditions that I cite. Yes, at higher speeds, TC makes a difference. Plus, I do not advocate turning off the Stabilitrak. But, if you're stuck in snow or mud, you'll be far better off if you turn off the TC than not.
 

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The problem with GM's implemention of traction control is the excessive throttle interruption to the point of being dangerous. Turning from a dirt road onto a paved road and having TC leave you hanging there in approaching traffic is scary.
 

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The problem with GM's implemention of traction control is the excessive throttle interruption to the point of being dangerous. Turning from a dirt road onto a paved road and having TC leave you hanging there in approaching traffic is scary.
This is an important point as well - I have experienced just that in our SRX although never in our '09 CTS. I now typically turn off the TC in good conditions when I'm at a stop and need to move quickly (and reliably) and re-engage it once I am at traffic speed. Could be why I never experience the throttle interruption on take-off in the CTS.
 

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I have discovered the SRX handles very well on dirt roads. I also do what c5 rv does with the TC. Every summer the family goes camping in the middle of idaho. Have to drive down 10 miles of old loggings roads to get to the cabin. Freaks the people who drive Cherokees and chevy blazers to see a SRX in their rear view mirror. Excellent handling vehicle.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks everyone for the responses!

But you'll have to keep your speed down in really rough conditions to avoid punishing the monocoque "frame".
Any reason to believe that the monocoque frame will make the UltraView sunroof vulnerable to cracking on rough roads? That's a big piece of glass and if the body is taking the punishment instead of an internal frame I worry that it might flex the glass. Are the Edge and Venza also monocoque?
 

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Thanks everyone for the responses!



Any reason to believe that the monocoque frame will make the UltraView sunroof vulnerable to cracking on rough roads? That's a big piece of glass and if the body is taking the punishment instead of an internal frame I worry that it might flex the glass. Are the Edge and Venza also monocoque?
It sure would be a risk but a risk that you'd experience in anything other than a true body-on-frame truck/SUV. The Edge and Venza are, like the SRX (and virtually every one of their competitors) monocoque or unibody designs...
 

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Discussion Starter #11
It sure would be a risk but a risk that you'd experience in anything other than a true body-on-frame truck/SUV. The Edge and Venza are, like the SRX (and virtually every one of their competitors) monocoque or unibody designs...
Just what I needed to know. Thanks!
 
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