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Old 09-17-2012, 06:40 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Need suggestions for a winter beater

looking for a car/SUV for the winter, prefer all wheel drive and four doors. This will be a 5th car so I want to spend under $10k.

The vehicle needs to be great in the snow/rain, reliable, cheap to fix.

It will probably have to get through some unplowed roads in the winter and will have to accomodate two baby seats in back and my hockey equipment, but not at the same time.

For example, a two door Wrangler would work because when the kids are not in it, I can fold up the back seat to create a bigger trunk for my hockey equipment.

I was thinking 2001-2003 Nissan Pathfinder or Jeep Cherokee. I was also thinking Subaru Outback or Audi A4, but both seem expensive to fix and not that reliable. WRX is a candidate too, but can't seem to find an unmodified one.

Any suggestions? What do you drive in winter?

thank you,

G
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Old 09-17-2012, 07:26 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Well, I purchased a used Wrangler Sahara about 6 months ago and have been having a blast in it.
Under $10k.
It is the two door. A 4 door would've been nice, but difficult to find under $10k. I too have baby seats that are anchored in the back. I spent quite a bit on the seats, but it was worth it. They have a lot of support, especially around the head and neck.
The kids (4&7) absolutely love it and if given a choice, refuse to ride in my wife's SUV (Tucson) if they can ride in the bumpy Jeep.
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The wife loves it too. We take the top down and doors off when we head off to the beach. I don't think you can do that with the Pathfinder or WRX. Lol.

I don't think the snow covered, unpaved roads would be an issue.
My friend took us out in a 2,500 acre quarry so I could see what it is capable of.
It is to offroading what our Lotus are to the track. The right tool for the job at hand. I'm not sure what the towing capacity is on the Audi or WRX. I tow some 4 wheelers and is part of the reason I went with the Jeep over the WRX, which was also on my short list.
I give a biased two thumbs up to the Wrangler for moving a couple of kids/equipment and having a smile on your face while you're doing it.


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Old 09-17-2012, 09:19 AM   #3 (permalink)
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2001 Audi S4 (B5) - pretty much the best all-arounder on the planet...
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Old 09-17-2012, 01:28 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
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2001 Audi S4 (B5) - pretty much the best all-arounder on the planet...
I had an Audi S4 B6 (2005). It was great.
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Old 09-17-2012, 01:32 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Well, I purchased a used Wrangler Sahara about 6 months ago and have been having a blast in it.
Under $10k.
It is the two door. A 4 door would've been nice, but difficult to find under $10k. I too have baby seats that are anchored in the back. I spent quite a bit on the seats, but it was worth it. They have a lot of support, especially around the head and neck.
The kids (4&7) absolutely love it and if given a choice, refuse to ride in my wife's SUV (Tucson) if they can ride in the bumpy Jeep.

I don't think the snow covered, unpaved roads would be an issue.
My friend took us out in a 2,500 acre quarry so I could see what it is capable of.



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A Wrangler was very high on my list, had a 92 Wrangler previously. Most of my snow driving will be long highway trips, not sure if it would be best for that.

Compared to my other cars it takes me an extra 20 minutes to get anywhere with a Wrangler, LOL.
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Old 09-17-2012, 01:45 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Personally I'd say get a Subaru. I've loved both my 2002 WRX and my current 2012 STI. They make amazing winter cars. But yeah you've got to find one unmodded. Stock they last forever (had my 2002 for 10 years and never once had to take it to the shop). They are way too easy to blow up modding them improperly.
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Old 09-17-2012, 02:47 PM   #7 (permalink)
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dude get a nice as ford explorer and be done with it for life
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Old 09-17-2012, 05:26 PM   #8 (permalink)
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2001 Audi S4 (B5) - pretty much the best all-arounder on the planet...
T'is a very nice car. Good taste, sir.
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Old 09-17-2012, 10:07 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Any used American truck with the 4 door crew cab configuration would be fine and you can find some good examples under ten grand easy.

I bought my 04 Dodge Ram 5.7 Hemi Quad Cab SLT with a SnugTop hard tonneau and under 80k miles for under ten G's.

You can drive it for another hundred thousand miles, and as long as you don't beat the crap out of it, you can still sell it for a decent price and people will buy it. Mileage on trucks don't make too much of a difference.

Any Joe Bob Cooter service station can fix it and parts are everywhere. You never have to worry about not finding a fan belt or radiator hose almost anywhere you go in this country with an American truck.
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Old 09-18-2012, 06:01 AM   #10 (permalink)
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I am a big fan of Dodge Durango SUVs. I own two. They just run and run with little more than basic maintenance. The second one was purchased (4 months ago) with 30k miles (2001 model) for less than 10k bucks. I used one of them to tow my Elise 1000 miles and had no problems (4.7 Litre overhead cam engine, tow package). It has 8 seats available, but all the seats behind the driver fold down to create a larger interior storage area.
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Old 09-18-2012, 06:07 AM   #11 (permalink)
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im on my 3rd wrx variant. They have all been great cars. I actually find them easy to work on (besides spark plugs). My current wagon has 80K miles on it. So far I had to replace an oring on an AC line and one of the cv boots is cracked. Otherwise it has been flawless.

I think a decent one costs 12k in todays inflated used car market, at least a 2.5l model. The 2.5l is much more enjoyable than the 2l (to 2005) in my experience.
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Old 09-18-2012, 06:31 AM   #12 (permalink)
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I seriously debated getting an Outback or Legacy Wagon or something like that and use it to haul my stuff around while still being a bit lower to the ground and getting better gas mileage, but then with the things I carry and toss around in the car, I decided a truck would suit me better, but I would love to have a nice boxer engine Subaru. You can find those under ten all day long too and mileage also doesn't matter on a Subaru.
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Old 09-18-2012, 06:37 AM   #13 (permalink)
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My Vote is older 22re Toyota 4runner. Parts are SUPER cheap, it is probably the MOST reliable of anything on here, gas mileage isn't have bad, you can work on it yourself easily (if that is your thing), and they do well in the snow.

But warning, make sure it is ONLY the 4cyl 22re and NOT the V-6. The V6s are famous for blowing head gaskets.
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Old 09-18-2012, 06:44 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Id go for a subaru. .. Wagon or forester. ..or even wrx if you don't like bigger cars
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Old 09-18-2012, 06:45 AM   #15 (permalink)
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I recently picked up a 2003 Jeep Liberty with 70k miles for under $6,000.

Not sexy and not much fun, but clean, 4x4, easy to get in and out of, big enough to store stuff, but not too big to find parking. One of the other advantages for me at least was that there is not much of an "aftermarket world" for these cars, which prevents me from "wasting" money on upgrades for what was purchased as a "beater".

Had I felt comfortable spending a few thousand more, I probably would have purchased a ~2005 Jeep Grand Cherokee limited, which would have offered more comfort.

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Old 09-18-2012, 06:52 AM   #16 (permalink)
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dude get a nice as ford explorer and be done with it for life
I had a 2000 Ford Explorer from 2004 through 2007 and only had to replace tires, battery, brakes, and a pulley (effectively identical to the Ford Mustang I had for a few years before that).

That being said, just watch out for those transmissions....

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Old 09-18-2012, 07:10 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Don't pick which car you want first. Just go out prepared to buy (no loans) and get whatever is the best deal. Every time you look at it and use it you will remember that you got a great deal, making it very good looking and fun to drive.

Something like a low maintenance sorta plain but loyal woman who can cook and clean great, does not talk too much and "looks good in the dark".
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Old 09-18-2012, 08:06 AM   #18 (permalink)
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T'is a very nice car. Good taste, sir.
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Thats a B6 Audi S4 (2004-2005) like the one i had, not a 2001 B5. If i could get a B6 S4 for under 10k, i would buy it
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Old 09-18-2012, 08:11 AM   #19 (permalink)
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dude get a nice as ford explorer and be done with it for life
I work with two people that are original owners of 2004 Explorers. Both have problem after problem.
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Old 09-18-2012, 08:12 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by XHILR8N! View Post
Don't pick which car you want first. Just go out prepared to buy (no loans) and get whatever is the best deal. Every time you look at it and use it you will remember that you got a great deal, making it very good looking and fun to drive.

Something like a low maintenance sorta plain but loyal woman who can cook and clean great, does not talk too much and "looks good in the dark".
Exactly what i was thinking, i will keep an eye out for all the vehicles suggested above and try to buy the best example i can.
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