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dirt road traveler

The Right Car for Me | TrueDelta

horseyhands

I live on a farm down a gravel road. The road has tree debris from time to time, floods from time to time, and we are the last on the state maintenance list for snow removal. Currently, I have an AWD Acura sedan that handles everything fine as far as not getting stuck and moving around in snow less than 6 inches, but I'm looking to upgrade to something a little tougher. I've put 8 tires on the Acura in less than 2 years and also had the rims re-machined due to bending, all while driving no more than 15 mph on the road. Love the car but it wants to live on paved roads. I picked up a Prius for my 40 mile-one way commute so I'd like to replace the Acura with SUV that isn't quite so prissy and sensitive.

Interested in a Grand Cherokee but concerned about its reliability.... all ears for opinions on the GC and/or suggestions for other midsize SUVs.

Priorities: Exterior styling / Interior styling / Warranty, maintenance cost

Need minimum of 5 seats

Will consider new cars only

Maximum price: US $ 35000

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Response from LectroFuel

8:59 pm May 31, 2018

The Grand Cherokee (and any Jeep for that matter) is not reliable. If you are looking for reliability your best option is a Toyota 4Runner. It is one of the best off-roaders out there and resale value is extremely good. I think it is more of a "man's car" than a Jeep as most Jeeps seem to be driven by teenage girls and a few off-road enthusiasts.

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Toyota 4Runner

Response from Dnslater

9:30 pm May 31, 2018

Serious question.... are your issues with the Acura due to it's overall toughness and reliability or simply due to the fact that it likely had low profile tires which did not hold up well against rough roads? It sounds like you aren't doing hard core off roading, so a modern unibody SUV will do just fine, but just make sure you get something with a tall tire profile and research your tires to find something with a more aggressive tread for gravel surfaces. Any mid size SUV should work.

A Subaru Forester, with it's full time AWD setup and unibody construction will give you a nice blend of ride and handling.

The 4runner mentioned above is a tough SUV, but the body on frame construction will ride more roughly. It is an equal to the Grand Cherokee for off road prowess, while being more reliable. For something more comfortable, consider the Toyota Highlander.

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Response from horseyhands

11:15 am June 1, 2018

It's definitely the low profile tires. It has oversized after-market Acura rims. Its a beautiful car and mechanically sound, much nicer than the newer TLX. I bought it for the AWD and relatively good gas mileage. But now that I have picked up a Prius think an SUV is a more appropriate "weekend" vehicle for my lifestyle.

I do like the 4Runners. The price point is higher and the willingness to negotiate is lower.

I know the reputation of Jeeps but I also know several people who have owned them and rave. They are also the type of people who do all recommended services. I'm not sure your typical Jeep owner is that kind of car owner which could scew the reports.

My 70 year old mother drives a Forester and I feel like I'm sitting on bleachers in that thing. Plus, I'd rather not fit in with the 70+ crowd. :)

I appreciate your comments. Luckily, the Jeep and Toyota dealers are side by side in my small town so I can go take a look.

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Response from NormT

6:33 am June 2, 2018

"According to J.D. Power research, Forester buyers are older, more affluent, and more often female compared with Compact SUV segment averages. At an average age of 61 (vs. 56 for the segment), 55% of Forester owners are women (vs. 51%)."

You were not too far off on age of a Forester buyer. It has to be about tops in the segment as the Honda CR-V average buuing age is 60 uears old.

Did you need a big suv or would a smaller one work?

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Response from horseyhands

6:35 pm June 5, 2018

Haha! I'm 37... so the average age for the Subaru driver is pretty far off. Midsize is more my style. I used to drive a Ram 5500 with a 10 horse trailer for work and so I'm quite comfortable in a larger vehicle. The smaller ones seem to be more oriented for the city. As I've mentioned, the road I live on car be quite the off-road experience. I think something on a truck chasis versus a car chasis would probable fair better, I'm definitely going to check out the Jeep, Toyota and, might as well throw in, Ford dealerships since they're all lumped together in my town.

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Response from NormT

8:29 pm June 5, 2018

"According to J.D. Power research, Outback buyers are 60 years of age, on average, compared with the typical Midsize SUV buyer, who is 55 years old. In fact, 72% of Outback buyers are members of the Boomer (those born between 1946 and 1964) or Pre-Boomer (prior to 1946) generations, compared with 57% of Midsize SUV buyers. Gender splits 41% women for the Subaru, compared with 42% for Midsize SUVs, and an Outback buyer earns a median household income of $121,875, compared with the segment average of $111,964."

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