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rough road capable, 4x4, reliable

The Right Car for Me | TrueDelta


My drive is 4.5 miles of gravel, 2.5 of that is fairly rough, has some steep places and sharp curves. So I need a fairly tough reliable vehicle with a full sized spare. I prefer manual transmission but will consider automatic. Don't care about fancy frills like leather seats, trim, etc. Must have light tow capacity, roof rails or rack, all terrain tires.

Jeep Patriot: I have one with 80K and no problems but would prefer more cargo space. I like the flat roof profile, the option to switch to true 4wd.

Considering Rav4, Honda Pilot, Toyota Tacoma (ext cab). Subaru Forester was a possibility, but too many complaints about reliability.

Priorities: Off-road capability / Cargo capacity / Reliability & durability

Preferred Bodystyle(s): SUV / Pickup

Car Needs: Towing or hauling / Off-roader

Primary Driver(s): Senior driver

Need minimum of 5 seats

Will consider both new and used cars
Maximum mileage: 20000
Maximum age: 3 years

Maximum price: US $ 25000

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Response from mkaresh

8:52 am December 11, 2015

Sounds like quite a driveway. Do friends and family ever visit?

The best match could be a Toyota 4Runner. To get one for your price you might have to be flexible on age and/or miles, but they are among the most reliable models in our survey.

No manual transmission in recent years, unfortunately.

You could get a manual transmission in the related FJ Cruiser, which would also be less expensive, so that might be an option if you don't mind limited rearward visibility and a small, hard to access rear seat.


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Toyota 4Runner
Toyota FJ Cruiser

Response from taconia

7:05 pm December 12, 2015

Thanks, I have placed a few alerts. If my new book sells, maybe I'll move up the ladder.


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Response from Member885

3:38 pm December 18, 2015

I agree with Michael---the 4Runner is a fantastic SUV---going to be at or above your price range though. I truly believe with that car, you get what you're paying for.

You're not the first very satisfied Patriot owner I've heard about. That car gets shunned a bit in the press, but they seem to hold up well.

Your other contenders are good ones, in my opinion. Pilots are among the more capable midsize crossovers out there.


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Toyota 4Runner
Honda Pilot

Response from mkaresh

6:11 pm December 18, 2015

I checked Autotrader before posting, and SOME 4Runners were available in his price range close to his age/odometer limits. It's not easy to find them at good prices because they do depreciate slowly.

I did not check FJ prices, I just assumed they'd be less expensive. But someone has since told me that the FJs could even be increasing in value, since they're no longer available.


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Response from taconia

12:16 am December 19, 2015

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