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Need advise on what vehicle
Old 11-22-2017, 06:49 AM   #1
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Need advise on what vehicle

Need advise on what vehicle I am looking for. I'm in the market for a SUV/Small Truck with a 4 cylinder but all wheel drive or 4 wheel drive. I want economy plus some off road driving and needs to be 4 wheel drive.

Does anyone have the ideal outfit (make and modal) for me? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks
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Old 11-22-2017, 07:08 AM   #2
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Need advise on what vehicle I am looking for. I'm in the market for a SUV/Small Truck with a 4 cylinder but all wheel drive or 4 wheel drive. I want economy plus some off road driving and needs to be 4 wheel drive.

Does anyone have the ideal outfit (make and modal) for me? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks
Economy and off-road ability do not go together as well as you think.

Economy= Honda CRV, Toyota Rav 4. Nissan Rogue- all available in all wheel drive but not really made to off-road much.

Off-road ability- Jeep Cherokee, Toyota Tacoma, and many larger models.

You may have to pick your priority and go with it.

good luck on the search,

VW
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Old 11-22-2017, 07:16 AM   #3
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Do you just need awd or 4wd for bad weather on the road? Or for real off-roading? A lot of the small crossover style SUV offer awd capability that works good for bad weather. Most are fwd normal operation and then kick in the awd as needed automatically. This helps mpg since not full time awd. You still pay a small penalty in mpg having awd vs fwd only versions.

The small trucks are not so small anymore. They will be lower mpg than a crossover SUV. But if you need a truck with a bed, then a SUV won't cut it.
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Old 11-22-2017, 07:18 AM   #4
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My advice would be a Subaru Forester or Outback. I own a Forester but don't really go off road much, except to get to trail heads that occasionally are down some rougher roads. They get good gas mileage and have high ground clearance and good center of gravity. Get a CVT transmission so you get X-mode. Not everyone likes the CVT though. Those are certainly two models to consider.
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Old 11-22-2017, 07:51 AM   #5
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Your choices will depend very much on what you mean by "off-road". Most SUVs on the market with AWD do not have the ground clearance or built rugged enough to handle true off road driving. If you mean off paved roads or on graded forest roads to get to a trailhead with mud or snow, most SUVs can handle that. If true off-road, need to get a small pickup or one of the trail-rated Jeeps.
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Old 11-22-2017, 08:29 AM   #6
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Wow! Some great questions and advise. As for off road would mostly be gravel and two track roads with elevation and curves etc.. I will be in some mud conditions but mostly snow and ice. I hunt, ice fish and do many outdoor activities that I do but in most cases the roads are fairly good some snow but I'm not out busting trials.

I also want a good MPG economical outfit. I would prefer a choice of 4 wheel drive instead of all wheel drive. I don't and won't need 4 wheel drive all that much.

Tell me which outfit fits my use?
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Old 11-22-2017, 08:37 AM   #7
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So really you need your normal SUV and not so much something like this:


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Old 11-22-2017, 08:41 AM   #8
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My advice would be a Subaru Forester or Outback. I own a Forester but don't really go off road much, except to get to trail heads that occasionally are down some rougher roads. They get good gas mileage and have high ground clearance and good center of gravity. Get a CVT transmission so you get X-mode. Not everyone likes the CVT though. Those are certainly two models to consider.
The Subaru Crosstrek has become very popular in the Caolinas. Dealers can't seem to keep them in stock.

I think it's a good looking vehicle and if my 2008 Accord wasn't humming like a dream, I'd go look at that.

I
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Old 11-22-2017, 08:45 AM   #9
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Wow! Some great questions and advise. As for off road would mostly be gravel and two track roads with elevation and curves etc.. I will be in some mud conditions but mostly snow and ice. I hunt, ice fish and do many outdoor activities that I do but in most cases the roads are fairly good some snow but I'm not out busting trials.

I also want a good MPG economical outfit. I would prefer a choice of 4 wheel drive instead of all wheel drive. I don't and won't need 4 wheel drive all that much.

Tell me which outfit fits my use?
Remember that the tires are a big part of how good an off road works...

We have a Honda Pilot 4wd and street tires... it can handle going off road, but I would not want to get back in the hairy stuff with mud and streams and no 'road'... We have been on some sandy roads going up hills and you can feel the tires spinning... my BIL who has mild off road tires has not problem with the same condition....
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Old 11-22-2017, 10:14 AM   #10
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If the "4 cylinder" requirement is strictly for fuel economy, I'd suggest also considering diesel engines. I have a '15 diesel Grand Cherokee and I'll get 30 mpg on the freeway as long as I'm not one of the faster drivers on the freeway.

You haven't mentioned your wants regarding towing or payload capacity or interior space, so I'm not able to point out pros/cons much better.

Many Chrysler products are also eligible for an additional factory warranty for up to unlimited miles/years. It's pricey, but if you might keep a vehicle 10 + years I'd factor that in to the equation.
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Old 11-22-2017, 10:42 AM   #11
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I got a 2017 Mazda cx5 because I didn't want CVT. Was in AZ showing my sister & BIL around last week and she took great joy in noting that her Subi Forester has a longer sunroof, much more cargo area, more comfortable back seats, and she can get 31+mpg. I like to think I go faster, but get 26-28mpg depending on altitude with the cx5. Like the looks of the cx5 better, but BIL got the Forester with turbo and CVT, and it does scoot. A whole bunch of Oregonians choose the Forester over the Mazda, which says something about very mild off-road & bad weather capability.
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Old 11-22-2017, 10:51 AM   #12
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If the 4x4 function is important to you, the Subarus seem to have an edge over the part time / AWD operation of Honda and Toyota. Consumer Reports has warmed to Subarus over the past few years.

For small trucks, the Nissan Frontier is real 4x4 at a pretty reasonable price.
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Old 11-22-2017, 11:06 AM   #13
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If the 4x4 function is important to you, the Subarus seem to have an edge over the part time / AWD operation of Honda and Toyota. Consumer Reports has warmed to Subarus over the past few years.

For small trucks, the Nissan Frontier is real 4x4 at a pretty reasonable price.
hopefully Subaru has finally fixed that pesky head gasket problem. We just traded in a Subaru, and every salesperson in the world seems to know about the head gasket problem.

The latest "we have it fixed" models are just starting to hit the 80K-100K marks, so I guess the results will soon be in. Our issues made DW not return to Subaru, although she liked the vehicle the best of the cars she test drove, she was not willing to give them another shot at it. She chose the Honda CRV AWD...not really an "off road" vehicle. But hopefully a good snow car.
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Old 11-22-2017, 11:25 AM   #14
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hopefully Subaru has finally fixed that pesky head gasket problem. We just traded in a Subaru, and every salesperson in the world seems to know about the head gasket problem.

The latest "we have it fixed" models are just starting to hit the 80K-100K marks, so I guess the results will soon be in. Our issues made DW not return to Subaru, although she liked the vehicle the best of the cars she test drove, she was not willing to give them another shot at it. She chose the Honda CRV AWD...not really an "off road" vehicle. But hopefully a good snow car.
I think they fixed it. I have a 2010 Subbie. People are not complaining about it. Old timers have even mentioned it looks to be fixed.

Instead... wait for it ... they are complaining about the CVT. I has locking issues (mostly torque converter) when coming to a stop. Can kill the engine if it happens. Subaru sent us a notice of extended warranty. I'm a bit worried about it. I think I'd like a conventional auto tranny next time. I'd really like a manual, but knees are not cooperating anymore.

BTW, the "fix" costs $2k to $7k depending on whether it is just the TC or goes into the tranny. Not cheap. Afraid it may show up when the warranty evaporates.
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Old 11-22-2017, 12:01 PM   #15
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Outstanding information. I'm back and forth from the ranch but if the road is very bad I walk in the mile and I never chance it to drive. I've lived in snow country all my life and know what I can do and can't. I have had many 4x4 pickups through the years and I still have one I don't drive much. What I want is fuel mileage and a 4 wheel when I need it. I will start my shopping soon and look into the outfits you people have recommended to me. Thank you again.
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Old 11-22-2017, 12:03 PM   #16
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hopefully Subaru has finally fixed that pesky head gasket problem. We just traded in a Subaru, and every salesperson in the world seems to know about the head gasket problem....
Old news... fixed long ago.
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Old 11-22-2017, 12:10 PM   #17
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We have a Subaru Outback and love it. We have had it about 30,000 miles and have averaged about 29 1/2 mpg in mixed driving. I was skeptical that the 4-cyl would be peppy enough but it is fine... won't win any speed records but is fine IME for everyday driving.

I haven't done much with it off-road but the AWD is solid in snow and IIRC it has one of the highest clearances of SUVs... about 8 3/4"... more than the 8.4" for my GMC Canyon pickup which surprised me.

While I like the Canyon, if I had a choice at the time I would have waited for the Honda Ridgeline to come out. That may be another vehicle worth looking at too.
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Old 11-22-2017, 12:41 PM   #18
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While I like the Canyon, if I had a choice at the time I would have waited for the Honda Ridgeline to come out. That may be another vehicle worth looking at too.
It sounds like the Ridgeline would be a good one to look at for OP.

But if OP has a 4x4 truck now, why not just keep that for the occasional off road trip and then buy a small SUV-type vehicle for normal on road driving. Sounds like the truck is paid for and works when needed. Then the small 4 cyl SUV will save fuel vs driving a new truck around.

BTW, I am not a good one to say stick with one vehicle, I have several ranging from mid size SUV to full size trucks. Not to mention several old hot rod vehicles.
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Old 11-22-2017, 12:44 PM   #19
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Good point.... I missed that.
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Old 11-22-2017, 01:17 PM   #20
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Subaru owners like them, however they are most often seen in snow country. In the south, dealers are few and far netween.

Only Toyota is sticking with real automatics on small and medium size vehicles--and larger 4 cylinder nonturbo'd engines. Most all new models are 1.5 liter and CVT, especially with hybrids.

My new generation Camry Hybrid is new generation engine and CVT and it is doing great--52 mpg city, 48 mpg on interstates. And it is surprisingly quick.

As far as an off-road vehicle, Jeep is about all there is that is not a pickup.
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