I need some advice.
My wife and I are in our early 50s. We live in Colorado and do a lot of snowshoeing and mountain hiking, (Check out the report of our first 14er we climbed here. http://brauker.com/mtsherman.htm ) We need to get a four wheel drive vehicle to get us into the mountains better than our Volkswagen Jetta can do.
We don't want a great big SUV, so we have been considering used Subaru Outbacks or Forresters, (Seems like every other person in Colorado has one.) Ford Escapes and Jeep Libertys and perhaps, Grand Cherokees.
We also could lease a new 2004 Jeep Liberty for approximately $1300 down and $249 a month. We would be driving the vehicle less than 10,000 miles a year.
We are concerned about the roll over factor with the Escape, Cherokee and Liberty.
Are any of the Subarus made in the US?
Any advice on the reliability, safety factors, etc. on the vehicles mentioned above, would be appreciated.
The VW Jetta are not very good at climbing mountains since they're front
The Subaru Outback are nice SUV cars. The only disadvantage of the Subaru
Outback is that they don't have the 4-LO feature if you want to prevent
skidding down an icy hill. The Subaru Forester and Ford Escape are great
compact SUV's and they are safe. The Jeep Liberty are nice, but has poor to
marginal crash test results.
and $249 a month. We would be driving the vehicle less than 10,000 >miles a
I would not reccomend the Jeep Liberty, the Jeep Grand Cherokee or the old
Jeep Cherokee because of their crash test results. The newer Ford Explorer
are safer now. However, they may be out of your price range.
I understand your concern about the roll over factor and the crash test
results. That is always my number one concern in purchasing a vehicle. You
may want to check out the crash test results from the links below. They may
help you decide on what compact SUV suit your needs.
http://www.hwysafety.org/ (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety)
http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/ (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration)
I don't think so.
mentioned >above, would be appreciated.
See links above.
However, if the lack of a 4-lo is an issue for the use of the lower
gearing and engine braking coming down the hill, the Escape ALSO won't
help you, as it too is a AWD suv, not a 4wd.
If you don't need the true off-road ability of a Liberty or even the
Explorer, you may consider the Land Rover Freelander. About the
size/price of an Escape, without the 4-lo, but very good offroad and it
has a 'hill-descent' feature to control your downhill excursions!
I looked at Ford Escapes and Jeep Libertys when I wanted to buy a new SUV. I
had owned a Jeep Cherokee in the past and will NEVER buy another one. Way to
many breakdowns. Because of my past experience with Jeeps, I decided not to go
with the Liberty. I purchased the Ford Escape last year. I now have 45,000
miles on it and have never had any problems. I would highly recommend this
I'll second that opinion, and also add that I've had to do emergency
maneuvers in our Escape that I'm nearly positive would have rolled a larger
SUV. Once you test drive one you'll see why, it's really more car than SUV.
It's an awesome winter vehicle.
If you're buying an Escape, then you should be getting a minivan instead. They
will have the same offroad capabilities, since they're both front-wheel-drive
vehicles. (Unless you get the 4WD model). FWD vehicles shouldn't ever leave
the pavement, the dust from dirt roads can get inside the CV boots and increase
wear and tear on the CV Joints.
However, I also agree that the Cherokee is junk. I had a little 4cyl Mazda that
weighed nearly twice as much as my mother's 96 Cherokee Sport. That thing was
awful. The steering was way too tight. Nudge the wheel and you'd nearly roll.
Also got stuck more often than her old Subaru Legacy station wagon. (She drove
both of them on a mail route, and both were 4WD, she couldn't stick the Subaru,
but she got the Jeep stuck several times, and had to get pulled out. After the
second time getting stuck, she added a small winch to the front.
Personally, I would choose the Outback, given only these three choices, as
Subaru's are known for their AWD, and are excellent vehicles both on and offroad.
(If you arent going offroad, or towing, then why in the world would you buy a
I love my Rodeo, and it's only been stuck once, and that was when it had "donut"
tires on it.. the previous owner was an idiot and put tires about 4 sizes too
small on it... Since I put the right size tires back on it, it hasnt been stuck
yet since (came close once or twice, but rocked out of it) and its not even 4wd.
(I only go mud-ridin when there's other vehicles there, so we can help get each
other out.. but its a BLAST.. try it, you'll LOVE it!)
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