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Posted: 2/8/2012 6:14:40 PM EST
I was looking at the RAV-4 offerings and size wise they would be perfect, but not having real 4 wheel drive is gonna suck. I am looking for a SUV that I can commute during the winter in the northern midwest. It must be reliable as hell, able to handle to cold, and something that has enough room to allow me to bug-out in for a few days if I get caught in a winter storm and get decent gas mileage. I will be looking at a 13 hour trip every few weeks or so with the vehicle plus around town and a lot of time sitting in a parking lot. It needs to be rugged, but doesnt exactly need to be a wall climber either, it will be a road vehicle used to get me out of trouble every now and then. A small side profile would be nice as well to help with bucking those winds.




Its too bad we cant have Toyota Diesel landcruisers in the states, a bare bones basic version would be kick ass, like what you see on the nature shows and the like.




Back to reality though, I don't need anything full sized as I don't need to haul or tow anything that heavy and the lack of gas mileage would be a waste. The only other options I am seeing out there are Jeep and I really don't want to go the route of another Chrysler product, I do not like their lack of quality and really crappy body fitment. All of the Chrysler products I have seen or used over the past 10 years or so leak dust betweek the doors and seals into the interior on really dusty dirt roads and its a pita to keep up with when you live on 2.5 miles of gravel roads.




I appreciate any suggestions.

Sin lies only in hurting other people unnecessarily. All other “sins” are invented nonsense. (Hurting yourself is not sinful—just stupid.) ~ Robert Heinlein
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Posted: 2/8/2012 6:42:19 PM EST
Define decent gas mileage
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Posted: 2/8/2012 6:51:54 PM EST

Originally Posted By Krochus:
Define decent gas mileage

Ideally in RAV4 range, 27mpg or so with the 4 cylinder.





I am doing a lot of looking online, and it looks like the best I am gonna get is gonna be 22ish and its either going to have to be GM or Ford, no one else really makes anything in that range it seems and they are all over priced. Its been 10 years since I have been car shopping, I am suffering from sticker shock from hell here.

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Posted: 2/8/2012 7:33:32 PM EST
[Last Edit: 2/8/2012 7:41:50 PM EST by GlutealCleft]
Originally Posted By Angry-American:
Ideally in RAV4 range, 27mpg or so with the 4 cylinder.


I think you're trying to defy the laws of physics. RAV4s get better mileage than "real 4WD" SUVs precisely because they are not "real 4WD" SUVs.

Some of the real 4WD suvs can get you into the low to mid 20's in highway MPG, but that's going to drop a LOT in the city... by 30-50%.

If it's mostly a road vehicle... do you really need real 4WD? My wife's Element, with on-demand 4WD and GOOD tires has truly impressed me in snow, ice, and mud, and I've taken it places where a lot of folks wouldn't think such a vehicle would go. In the high Rockies in passes where they won't let you drive without chains or 4WD, I've never had a problem. My daily driver is real 4WD, but honestly, for street and highway use (including winter), I've never seen a situation where it would have made a difference over her on-demand setup.
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Posted: 2/8/2012 7:56:14 PM EST

Originally Posted By GlutealCleft:
Originally Posted By Angry-American:
Ideally in RAV4 range, 27mpg or so with the 4 cylinder.


I think you're trying to defy the laws of physics. RAV4s get better mileage than "real 4WD" SUVs precisely because they are not "real 4WD" SUVs.

Some of the real 4WD suvs can get you into the low to mid 20's in highway MPG, but that's going to drop a LOT in the city... by 30-50%.

If it's mostly a road vehicle... do you really need real 4WD? My wife's Element, with on-demand 4WD and GOOD tires has truly impressed me in snow, ice, and mud, and I've taken it places where a lot of folks wouldn't think such a vehicle would go. In the high Rockies in passes where they won't let you drive without chains or 4WD, I've never had a problem. My daily driver is real 4WD, but honestly, for street and highway use (including winter), I've never seen a situation where it would have made a difference over her on-demand setup.

Maybe I am worrying it to much but I am looking at year round driving from Iowa to northern North Dakota every few weeks. I plan to keep a kit(arctic sleeping bag, food/water, shovel, lantern etc) in the vehicle in case I need to pull over due to bad weather and just live it out in the vehicle if needed for a day or two. I just figured it would be smarter to have a more capable vehicle, but I think your right, the chance of that happening is a lot less than what I will need which will be a good run about town/commuting vehicle.




Still, it would be damn nice if the EPA would lift off a little and allow small diesels in American vehicles.


Sin lies only in hurting other people unnecessarily. All other “sins” are invented nonsense. (Hurting yourself is not sinful—just stupid.) ~ Robert Heinlein
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Posted: 2/8/2012 8:10:21 PM EST
Unobtainium.....


I've got a 2nd gen CRV 05. Great vehicle its by no means an offroad SUV or truck but the traction control and Honda's realtime AWD does a great job when roads are slick. Best part its a FWD and shifts power back if necessary so the weight is always over the drive train.
It gets me around Idaho no problem, I run decent all seasons and have no difficulties getting to the ski runs.

If you want a true 4wd you will pay for it in cost, ride comfort,and milage. If its what you want great and if you will actually use it awesome, but lets face it 80% of the 4wd crowd doesn't

For your purposes your basically at crossover care based SUV's CRV, Rav4, Forrester, or the domestic equivalent. Your lookigng at mid 25-30 hwy and 20-26 in town. If you want better mpg your down to FWD sedans.

Realistically it comes to how much space inside the vehicle do you need. (I've fit a chest freezer and a recliner in mine before on separate occasions and have a 4x8 trailer for dirt bikes etc.

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Posted: 2/8/2012 8:19:41 PM EST
I was told at a stealer ship that my 2002 grand Cherokee with 100k on it,
is worth 2500 bucks in a trade. I think I will drive it another 100k.
The door seals are fine on my gc, I get about 15 mpg with the V8.

A "crossover" suv like a rav or an element or a Suzuki won't hold up
to the rough stuff like a like a truck base suv, but they do get decent mileage
and tend to float on top over stuff rather than sink in.
I had a sidekick that ran great on the snow covered roads,
but it could not push through deep drifts.


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Posted: 2/8/2012 8:27:39 PM EST
Honestly? It sounds as if you want a Subaru station wagon/5-door.
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Posted: 2/8/2012 8:29:16 PM EST

Originally Posted By Rook85:
Unobtainium.....


I've got a 2nd gen CRV 05. Great vehicle its by no means an offroad SUV or truck but the traction control and Honda's realtime AWD does a great job when roads are slick. Best part its a FWD and shifts power back if necessary so the weight is always over the drive train.
It gets me around Idaho no problem, I run decent all seasons and have no difficulties getting to the ski runs.

If you want a true 4wd you will pay for it in cost, ride comfort,and milage. If its what you want great and if you will actually use it awesome, but lets face it 80% of the 4wd crowd doesn't

For your purposes your basically at crossover care based SUV's CRV, Rav4, Forrester, or the domestic equivalent. Your lookigng at mid 25-30 hwy and 20-26 in town. If you want better mpg your down to FWD sedans.

Realistically it comes to how much space inside the vehicle do you need. (I've fit a chest freezer and a recliner in mine before on separate occasions and have a 4x8 trailer for dirt bikes etc.


Space wise I just need enough room for me, my gear and a place to lay down stretched out if needed as I may need to spend a night every now and then in the vehicle. Any one of the SUV's you have mentioned would probably work. The Subaru Forester and Honda CRV I really like on paper more than the RAV4, they seem to have more features for your dollars. Unfortunately the closest Honda or Subaru dealership to where I live is 2 hours away, not sure I want to deal with long distance warranty work and the like.





Thanks again for the brain juice, you guys have gotten me thinking along the right track I beleive.

Sin lies only in hurting other people unnecessarily. All other “sins” are invented nonsense. (Hurting yourself is not sinful—just stupid.) ~ Robert Heinlein
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Posted: 2/8/2012 8:31:32 PM EST

Originally Posted By doc_Zox:
I was told at a stealer ship that my 2002 grand Cherokee with 100k on it,
is worth 2500 bucks in a trade. I think I will drive it another 100k.
The door seals are fine on my gc, I get about 15 mpg with the V8.

A "crossover" suv like a rav or an element or a Suzuki won't hold up
to the rough stuff like a like a truck base suv, but they do get decent mileage
and tend to float on top over stuff rather than sink in.
I had a sidekick that ran great on the snow covered roads,
but it could not push through deep drifts.


Come on up to Iowa about August, we will run your jeep down a dirt road. I guarantee you will need to roll the windows down to get some clean air as the interior will be full of dust roiling around. Hell, bring a brand new one, it will leak as well. Chrysler does not do bodies well at all.

Sin lies only in hurting other people unnecessarily. All other “sins” are invented nonsense. (Hurting yourself is not sinful—just stupid.) ~ Robert Heinlein
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Posted: 2/8/2012 8:58:14 PM EST
My fwd accord did just fine in NE and IA snow.

I would try and find a low miles saturn vue, with the honda sourced v6 in it. Same motor that's in the pilot and odyssey, except the vue is like 1000lbs lighter. FWD or AWD, plenty of room in the back, lots of power, and decent gas mileage. I'm getting about 23 in the city hauling ass with my K&N CAI.
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Posted: 2/9/2012 3:28:22 AM EST
Originally Posted By jdubya87:
My fwd accord did just fine in NE and IA snow.

I would try and find a low miles saturn vue, with the honda sourced v6 in it. Same motor that's in the pilot and odyssey, except the vue is like 1000lbs lighter. FWD or AWD, plenty of room in the back, lots of power, and decent gas mileage. I'm getting about 23 in the city hauling ass with my K&N CAI.


My girlfriend has been very happy with her V6 AWD VUE. It is not an off road ride, but it does great in the snow and on our long gravel driveway. She drove it through some really deep mud taking feed to the farm this fall and somehow managed to drive it out of that too. Honda powered smooth ride on the highway too.
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Posted: 2/9/2012 4:44:55 AM EST
OP i have been looking at the new Grand Cherokee's.

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Posted: 2/9/2012 4:46:07 AM EST
Originally Posted By ArmedPete:
Originally Posted By jdubya87:
My fwd accord did just fine in NE and IA snow.

I would try and find a low miles saturn vue, with the honda sourced v6 in it. Same motor that's in the pilot and odyssey, except the vue is like 1000lbs lighter. FWD or AWD, plenty of room in the back, lots of power, and decent gas mileage. I'm getting about 23 in the city hauling ass with my K&N CAI.


My girlfriend has been very happy with her V6 AWD VUE. It is not an off road ride, but it does great in the snow and on our long gravel driveway. She drove it through some really deep mud taking feed to the farm this fall and somehow managed to drive it out of that too. Honda powered smooth ride on the highway too.


+1 to all that. Make sure to swap the atf at least annually, and flush it (passive, ie no pressure) at least once in its lifetime. Honda transmission is an icky slush box.
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Posted: 2/9/2012 4:48:42 AM EST
[Last Edit: 2/9/2012 4:52:26 AM EST by ColtRifle]
Wife and I have a Highlander and like it a lot. Gets the same MPG roughly on slick roads as on pavement. For your driving conditions AWD will work much better. True 4x4 is better if you are doing true off road stuff. However, AWD is better for on road driving IMO. My 4x4 truck's gas milage crashes when I use the 4x4. The Highlander gets pretty much the same regardless.

We get about 24 mpg on the highway and 21 around town.

The wife drives harder than I do so her mpg is always a little lower than mine.
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Posted: 2/15/2012 10:54:42 AM EST
Quite looking at little bitch cars, I mean really a Rav4? You might as well be searching for a Geo Tracker.............Go get you a Hummer and be done with it! Or if your a solid import yuppie then Sooby's and Toy's are all great like a Forester or even a 4runner.....................
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Posted: 2/15/2012 11:04:39 AM EST
Have you looked at an old Jeep Liberty or Cherokee Diesel? I cant remember what year they made them but I read they got decent mileage.

My wife and I bought a new Kia Sorento last November and it is "suppose" to get 30mpg on the highway but we have not got any where near that yet. It is an AWD model fully loaded with the 3rd row. It really suits our needs as we do not need a 4x4 around here.
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Posted: 2/15/2012 1:07:40 PM EST

Originally Posted By GoRebels:
Quite looking at little bitch cars, I mean really a Rav4? You might as well be searching for a Geo Tracker.............Go get you a Hummer and be done with it! Or if your a solid import yuppie then Sooby's and Toy's are all great like a Forester or even a 4runner.....................

First I want decent gas mileage, the 4runner aint gonna get it plus its way to high priced, trying to be practical here, and the Forester is in the same category as the RAV4 so it must be a bitch car as well. I am not a improt yuppie, but I sure as hell don't like the lack of quality in GM/Chrysler products and I don't like the Ford offerings in the small SUV category.

Fuck a Hummer, shitty mileage and a civilian cant buy a new real hummer anyway so whats the point? Id rather have a vehicle that is practical and can get in and out of parking a lot easier. If I had my druthers I would be driving an old diesel FJ40 but that's about as practical as a parka in the Sudan.

I am actually torn between the Forester and the CR-V right now, both seem to give you more for your buck than the RAV4 and are all in the same price point. Quality seems to be the same for all three as well.
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Posted: 2/15/2012 1:11:48 PM EST
[Last Edit: 2/15/2012 1:12:47 PM EST by fxntime]
Ford Escape. May not be quite the mileage you want but they are pretty dang decent. I would suggest you go for the V6 because the 4 is not very peppy.

You might not like Ford but I can't really fault the Escape.
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Posted: 2/15/2012 2:11:26 PM EST
Go with a 4runner or xterra if you want body on frame and real 4wd.
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Posted: 2/15/2012 3:16:10 PM EST
Originally Posted By Angry-American:

Originally Posted By GoRebels:
Quite looking at little bitch cars, I mean really a Rav4? You might as well be searching for a Geo Tracker.............Go get you a Hummer and be done with it! Or if your a solid import yuppie then Sooby's and Toy's are all great like a Forester or even a 4runner.....................

First I want decent gas mileage, the 4runner aint gonna get it plus its way to high priced, trying to be practical here, and the Forester is in the same category as the RAV4 so it must be a bitch car as well. I am not a improt yuppie, but I sure as hell don't like the lack of quality in GM/Chrysler products and I don't like the Ford offerings in the small SUV category.

Fuck a Hummer, shitty mileage and a civilian cant buy a new real hummer anyway so whats the point? Id rather have a vehicle that is practical and can get in and out of parking a lot easier. If I had my druthers I would be driving an old diesel FJ40 but that's about as practical as a parka in the Sudan.

I am actually torn between the Forester and the CR-V right now, both seem to give you more for your buck than the RAV4 and are all in the same price point. Quality seems to be the same for all three as well.


Not sure how you are seeing that since Honda has been sitting on its ass with the crv for the past several years and subaru has its own quirks.

The rav4 has been #1 since the current gen entered the market:

http://www.caranddriver.com/comparisons/terrain-vs-cr-v-rav4-tiguan-mariner-outlander-forester-grand-vitara-comparison-tests

http://www.caranddriver.com/comparisons/2008-toyota-rav4-vs-honda-cr-v-nissan-rogue-ford-escape-and-five-more-compact-suvs-comparison-tests
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Posted: 2/15/2012 3:57:46 PM EST
Originally Posted By rfm05:
Go with a 4runner or xterra if you want body on frame and real 4wd.

+1. Toyota followed by Nissan would be my first two choices for your criteria.

I wanted a real 4wd frame based SUV for a company car. Because I was limited to domestics in a certain price range, I chose a new Jeep Liberty 4wd. Chrysler still makes big piles of garbage, but I actually really liked the Liberty. I put it through hell and back, and it never let me down. MPG's were around 18 with a moderately heavy foot.

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Posted: 2/15/2012 4:12:32 PM EST
[Last Edit: 2/15/2012 4:12:54 PM EST by 94TBlazer]
Last summer I bought a 2000 Tahoe. Real 4WD, good old 350 V8. Leather with heated seats, nice shape. Paid $5K cash. Gas mileage is better than the monthly payment, which is $0.
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Posted: 2/15/2012 5:00:39 PM EST
I vote 4Runner, Xterra, or and XJ. My sister has a 2001 4Runner that is still running despite her frustrating inability to maintain it ...ever. Xterras seem to be about the same. XJ's are cheap, capable, usually reliable, and cheap.
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Posted: 2/15/2012 5:08:08 PM EST
[Last Edit: 2/15/2012 7:01:10 PM EST by Warhawk]
Go drive a CRV, in comparison to the 4 cylinder RAV4, well there is no comparison.

My daughter is now driving the '07 CRV that my wife bought new. We put 130K on it and it's over 160K now, and she lives on a fairly rough dirt road up in Kansas. The total repairs have been a brake master cylinder that went out at shortly after 130K. Gas mileage has always been 25-28 mpg. And it's the AWD version.

My wife bought an Accord this time, and wishes she had gotten another CRV.
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Posted: 2/15/2012 5:45:39 PM EST
CR-V or a Subaru sounds perfect for your needs.
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Posted: 2/15/2012 7:39:55 PM EST
I had an '06 Chevrolet Equinox with a V6 and AWD that averaged 23mpg around town, and 24+ on the highway. It was a great driving SUV, had a decent amount of power, and was very reliable. Not sure how the newer models compare, but I was very happy with the Equinox.
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Posted: 2/15/2012 7:49:36 PM EST
1st gen 4runner with 22re can get you just under 20 mpg.

I've got 7 years of data to prove it.
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Posted: 2/16/2012 7:02:07 AM EST
[Last Edit: 2/16/2012 7:03:00 AM EST by FMD]
AA: Seriously consider a Subie 5 door Impreza. You're looking at ~5 cubic feet less total cargo space than the Forester with a 36 MPG highway rating (I'd probably call real world results closer to 33 - but it will be ~9MPG better than the Forester either way). Most of the rest of the numbers (headroom/legroom/shoulder room/etc.) are close enough not to matter unless you're 6'6" tall and weigh more than 300#. The Forester really isn't that much bigger on the inside, it just seems like it is.

On street tires, a NA 5-door Impreza can make it through the winter in WI just fine , do so without sacrificing fuel mileage, and can haul all but the largest items/family. I can't see it getting you stuck unless you're trail driving.
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Posted: 2/16/2012 9:04:40 AM EST
Originally Posted By FMD:
AA: Seriously consider a Subie 5 door Impreza. You're looking at ~5 cubic feet less total cargo space than the Forester with a 36 MPG highway rating (I'd probably call real world results closer to 33 - but it will be ~9MPG better than the Forester either way). Most of the rest of the numbers (headroom/legroom/shoulder room/etc.) are close enough not to matter unless you're 6'6" tall and weigh more than 300#. The Forester really isn't that much bigger on the inside, it just seems like it is.

On street tires, a NA 5-door Impreza can make it through the winter in WI just fine , do so without sacrificing fuel mileage, and can haul all but the largest items/family. I can't see it getting you stuck unless you're trail driving.


148hp and a cvt kill it.
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Posted: 2/16/2012 12:25:45 PM EST
Ouch. Just saw they dropped half a liter and 30 horses off the engine.

On the bright side, you can still get a manual transmission.
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Posted: 2/16/2012 3:03:57 PM EST
[Last Edit: 2/16/2012 3:04:53 PM EST by unseenSNIPER]
Originally Posted By Warhawk:
Go drive a CRV, in comparison to the 4 cylinder RAV4, well there is no comparison.

My daughter is now driving the '07 CRV that my wife bought new. We put 130K on it and it's over 160K now, and she lives on a fairly rough dirt road up in Kansas. The total repairs have been a brake master cylinder that went out at shortly after 130K. Gas mileage has always been 25-28 mpg. And it's the AWD version.

My wife bought an Accord this time, and wishes she had gotten another CRV.


Always been 25-28?

My 2011 AWD CRV is getting about 20.5mpg combined/75% city milage right now. Only 4000 miles on it though. Heard that these little Honda engines need to break in a bit. And the cold weather doesn't help at all.
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Posted: 2/16/2012 3:18:34 PM EST
Originally Posted By 501st:
Originally Posted By FMD:
AA: Seriously consider a Subie 5 door Impreza. You're looking at ~5 cubic feet less total cargo space than the Forester with a 36 MPG highway rating (I'd probably call real world results closer to 33 - but it will be ~9MPG better than the Forester either way). Most of the rest of the numbers (headroom/legroom/shoulder room/etc.) are close enough not to matter unless you're 6'6" tall and weigh more than 300#. The Forester really isn't that much bigger on the inside, it just seems like it is.

On street tires, a NA 5-door Impreza can make it through the winter in WI just fine , do so without sacrificing fuel mileage, and can haul all but the largest items/family. I can't see it getting you stuck unless you're trail driving.


148hp and a cvt kill it.


Then go find a 2011 or older model... only the 2012+ Imprezas have the smaller, less-powerful engine and CVT for the auto.

(Also, having test-driven Subarus with CVTs, I can say that their CVT isn't bad at all.)
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Posted: 2/16/2012 3:50:29 PM EST
Originally Posted By Walkure:
Originally Posted By 501st:
Originally Posted By FMD:
AA: Seriously consider a Subie 5 door Impreza. You're looking at ~5 cubic feet less total cargo space than the Forester with a 36 MPG highway rating (I'd probably call real world results closer to 33 - but it will be ~9MPG better than the Forester either way). Most of the rest of the numbers (headroom/legroom/shoulder room/etc.) are close enough not to matter unless you're 6'6" tall and weigh more than 300#. The Forester really isn't that much bigger on the inside, it just seems like it is.

On street tires, a NA 5-door Impreza can make it through the winter in WI just fine , do so without sacrificing fuel mileage, and can haul all but the largest items/family. I can't see it getting you stuck unless you're trail driving.


148hp and a cvt kill it.


Then go find a 2011 or older model... only the 2012+ Imprezas have the smaller, less-powerful engine and CVT for the auto.

(Also, having test-driven Subarus with CVTs, I can say that their CVT isn't bad at all.)


The 2011 is ugly as sin and gets horrible mileage.

This entire conversation is pointless though since the impreza is a compact car, not a midsize suv.
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Posted: 2/16/2012 4:47:05 PM EST
Originally Posted By 501st:
The 2011 is ugly as sin and gets horrible mileage.


The hatchback is quite ugly, I'll admit. I love the sedan, though. And I wouldn't call the mileage horrible. 26~28 with my 2011 in mostly city driving. 33~34 on longer highway trips.


Originally Posted By 501st:
This entire conversation is pointless though since the impreza is a compact car, not a midsize suv.


The hatchback was proposed as an alternative, for the OP to evaluate with his specific needs.


I do think a Forester sounds like a good option. Their gas mileage is supposed to be fairly comparable to my 2011 Impreza, IIRC; it's not that much heavier.
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Posted: 2/16/2012 4:54:48 PM EST
The outback 4 cal with cvt is listed at 170.

Close to 30 mpg highway supposedly.
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Posted: 2/16/2012 5:03:11 PM EST
[Last Edit: 2/16/2012 5:05:22 PM EST by 501st]
Originally Posted By Walkure:
Originally Posted By 501st:
The 2011 is ugly as sin and gets horrible mileage.


The hatchback is quite ugly, I'll admit. I love the sedan, though. And I wouldn't call the mileage horrible. 26~28 with my 2011 in mostly city driving. 33~34 on longer highway trips.


Originally Posted By 501st:
This entire conversation is pointless though since the impreza is a compact car, not a midsize suv.


The hatchback was proposed as an alternative, for the OP to evaluate with his specific needs.


I do think a Forester sounds like a good option. Their gas mileage is supposed to be fairly comparable to my 2011 Impreza, IIRC; it's not that much heavier.


2011 impreza wagon 20c/26hw

2012 forester 21c/27hw

So not all that different (and comparable to a RAV4/Highlander which are somewhat larger).

But then you have this gem:

2013 mazda cx-5 awd 25c/31hw

The 2013 ford escape should also have good mpg ratings.
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Posted: 2/17/2012 6:05:31 AM EST
Originally Posted By JPratt06:
Next time they visit, answer the door in a tinfoil hat and underwear, clutching a beltfed and a copy of 1984.
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Posted: 2/17/2012 6:09:37 AM EST
2012 Kia Sorento 4WD 4 cyl, 2.4 L, Automatic 6-spd, Regular Gasoline

City: 21
Highway: 23
Combined: 28


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Posted: 2/17/2012 6:41:28 AM EST

Originally Posted By FMD:
Honestly? It sounds as if you want a Subaru station wagon/5-door.

Yep. Outback with the CVT for "decent" mileage. Will handle snow better than many "4wd" trucks. Just be sure you are man enough to be called a "Lesbian" by those who don't appreciate the its capabilities.
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Posted: 2/17/2012 10:28:24 AM EST
Originally Posted By evo7011:
City: 21
Highway: 23
Combined: 28


What?
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Posted: 2/17/2012 11:00:08 AM EST
Originally Posted By 94TBlazer:
Originally Posted By evo7011:
City: 21
Highway: 23
Combined: 28


What?


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Posted: 2/17/2012 11:18:07 AM EST
Been driving 4runner/Pathfinders/Titans/Tundras/Landcruisers for a while. They are great. I have taken them to the Yukon/Alaska you name it. Never got stuck on any road/offroad. What I have seen is plenty of RAV4/CRV/Subaru's abandoned where the road go too rough. They were not designed to go offroad and shouldn't be taken in the depths of the wilderness.

If you really want to get out there, be prepared to buy a body on frame truck or SUV with real 4WD and lose on the gas mileage.

If you are driving on roads, get a unibody/car based family SUV and get decent gas mileage.



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Posted: 2/17/2012 1:15:08 PM EST
[Last Edit: 2/17/2012 3:09:29 PM EST by NVcarbine]
My wife and I own a 2009 rav4 v6 4wd (Really an AWD) limited. It has been a great vehicle for her. We get 21 to 22 in town and on the highway she gets about 26MPG doing 70 to 75mph. Sticker say 19 city and 26 highway.

Not sure about the current year, but ours has a 4 hi lock for the center diff, but no low range 4wd. It has been pretty good in about 8inches of snow up on MT Charleston here in Vegas.

We have about 27000 miles on ours right now, no problems and it's been great. I just replaced the stock worn out bridgestones for some Michelin Green AS tires. Hoping to get around 27 to 28 MPG on the highway with them.

Drivetrain: The 3.5L V6 is really nice and scoots the little SUV around pretty good. The AWD is flawless from everything I have thrown at it (dirt roads and snow) the Trans shifts nicely and has never been confused.

Interior: The leather seats are very comfortable, but if you are taller than 6'0 it might feel a little cramped with a sunroof option. LOTs of legroom for the backseat and the backseat reclines a lot that the passengers can almost sleep comfortably while driving. Cargo area it pretty nice with a hidden compartment under the cargo mat ( I made a lock box for this area and hide an AK and Glock 34 with bugout bag in here). The back seats also fold down to make a very large cargo area, large enough for me to be able to lay down completely and im 5'9.

Overall it is a great SUV. If I had to live somewhere very urban in the snowbelt and could not have my current F150, I would just have this rav4 with good snow or all season tires and it should take you almost anywhere you need to go in a snowy urban or suburban environment.

let me know if you have anymore questions.
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Posted: 2/18/2012 8:14:06 PM EST
I've already said it, get an H3 and be done!! What you seek you will not find I dont believe, but you might. While the mil version of the Humvee(H1) is very capable they are shit. We put more motors in them fuckers than you can ever imagine. Good luck in your quest and post up that Fantasy Find when ya get er...........
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Posted: 2/18/2012 8:19:57 PM EST
[Last Edit: 2/18/2012 8:31:13 PM EST by InfiniteGrim]
My father's 2011 Honda Pilot is a very nice ride. Very smooth on the highway, and its roomy inside. Unfortunately it only gets around 22mpg. Odd that it gets so little because the engine will turn off 2-4 cylinders depending on your acceleration.

When we were tailgating in the hilly grassy fields at a Penn State game it snowed the whole time we were parked there, 5+ inches total and it started to melt and make the fields muddy and covered in slush. Nearly every truck/SUV/CAR had issues getting out, but his Pilot drove out no problem. Its got pretty large tires which help.


This was only 1 hour into the day.

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Posted: 2/18/2012 8:36:16 PM EST
Originally Posted By unseenSNIPER:
Originally Posted By Warhawk:
Go drive a CRV, in comparison to the 4 cylinder RAV4, well there is no comparison.

My daughter is now driving the '07 CRV that my wife bought new. We put 130K on it and it's over 160K now, and she lives on a fairly rough dirt road up in Kansas. The total repairs have been a brake master cylinder that went out at shortly after 130K. Gas mileage has always been 25-28 mpg. And it's the AWD version.

My wife bought an Accord this time, and wishes she had gotten another CRV.


Always been 25-28?

My 2011 AWD CRV is getting about 20.5mpg combined/75% city milage right now. Only 4000 miles on it though. Heard that these little Honda engines need to break in a bit. And the cold weather doesn't help at all.


Yep, the only time the odometer (and MPG gauge) ever got reset is when I drove it, always had thousands of miles on it and was usually on 26.x for gas mileage. I checked that for accuracy shortly after she got it and found it to be very close, and if anything the actual mileage was a bit better than the gauge indicated. My 2012 Civic is the same way, always 1-2 mpg better than the gauge says.
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Posted: 2/19/2012 3:27:21 AM EST
[Last Edit: 2/19/2012 3:28:28 AM EST by FMD]
Originally Posted By 501st:
Originally Posted By Walkure:
Originally Posted By 501st:
The 2011 is ugly as sin and gets horrible mileage.


The hatchback is quite ugly, I'll admit. I love the sedan, though. And I wouldn't call the mileage horrible. 26~28 with my 2011 in mostly city driving. 33~34 on longer highway trips.


Originally Posted By 501st:
This entire conversation is pointless though since the impreza is a compact car, not a midsize suv.


The hatchback was proposed as an alternative, for the OP to evaluate with his specific needs.


I do think a Forester sounds like a good option. Their gas mileage is supposed to be fairly comparable to my 2011 Impreza, IIRC; it's not that much heavier.


2011 impreza wagon 20c/26hw

2012 forester 21c/27hw

So not all that different (and comparable to a RAV4/Highlander which are somewhat larger).


Real-world combined is going to be closer to 28/29 driving either vehicle (primarily highway driving and cruise set at something reasonable, say <75MPH). Walkure is correct that I suggested the hatchback as an alternative for the OP to evaluate with his specific needs. The Forester just doesn't have that much over the 5-door Impreza as far as interior space, and I found the Impreza to be much more comfortable to drive on long trips.

But then you have this gem:

2013 mazda cx-5 awd 25c/31hw.


That's a damn good looking vehicle, IMO.

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Posted: 2/19/2012 4:25:29 AM EST
Originally Posted By InfiniteGrim:
...but his Pilot drove out no problem. Its got pretty large tires which help.


Having the right tires should really be priority #1 for driving in inclement weather.

AWD isn't going to help too much if your tires can't find and maintain traction in the first place.
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Posted: 2/19/2012 4:36:35 AM EST
Originally Posted By evo7011:
2012 Kia Sorento 4WD 4 cyl, 2.4 L, Automatic 6-spd, Regular Gasoline

City: 21
Highway: 23
Combined: 28


This is what I own




There is no way that you can get 23 hwy, 21 city, and 28 combined. If you said you got 22 combined, I could believe that. You can't combine 21 and 23 and get 28. The math doesn't add up.
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Posted: 2/19/2012 4:54:37 AM EST
Our Grand Cherokee V6 with the cruise set at 65 gets 24mpg on the interstate. It is capable enough offroad. I don't push it hard off road as it is the wife's daily driver and trail damage would be the death of me.
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