Need a new commuter vehicle

Greg

Wanderlusting
Admin
With my job change, I've been driving in the mountains of Colorado and putting over 500 miles/week on my vehicle. I'm driving in very remote country, in an area where winters are brutal, some of my driving has me going over passes that are 8000' in elevation and we're already getting harsh snow storms.

I've seen many deer and a couple of elk on the road, locals hit animals quite often, especially in the early morning hours when it's pitch black out. Actually had an elk cross the road in front of me, 2 weeks ago.

So far I have been driving my front wheel drive Volkswagen Jetta, my 2002 Chevy 3/4 ton truck and this week my Jeep Wrangler. The Jetta won't do well when the deep snow and ice hits, the Chevy gets terrible gas mileage and the Jeep has a high center of gravity, isn't great on the freeway and I don't like putting 2000 miles per month on it.

What I really need is a vehicle that gets good gas mileage (20-25 mpg), is completely reliable and could stand up to hitting an animal (with the help of an aftermarket bumper) if the unthinkable ever happens.

Any suggestions for a vehicle that will get decent mileage, be excellent in deep snow and icy roads and possibly stand up to a deer or elk collision?
 
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Homefryy

Premium Member
Supporting Member
Location
Salt Lake City
Not sure about the animal collision side of things but it sounds like you need a Subaru. I would go for an older Forester XT.
 

Greg

Wanderlusting
Admin
Keep the Chevy. We call it a 12mpg insurance policy. Sure it will cost more in gas, but your life is worth it.
You have a damn good point... a beefy bumper would go a long way in case of an animal collision.


Not sure about the animal collision side of things but it sounds like you need a Subaru. I would go for an older Forester XT.
I was looking at Subarus today, actually. My concern is reliability... seems the head gaskets and transmissions are questionable at best. Not sure about the most recent ones though.
 
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Homefryy

Premium Member
Supporting Member
Location
Salt Lake City
You have a damn good point... a beefy bumper would go a long way in case of an animal collision.




I was looking at Subarus today, actually. My concern it reliability... seems the head gaskets and transmissions are questionable at best. Not sure about the most recent ones though.
In all the Subarus I have owned as well as family members I have never heard of any issues with transmissions. I think maybe the newer Forester XTs had an issue when they put a CVT behind a turbo'd engine. Head gaskets definitely are a thing but they should only need to be done once. They also like to burn some oil but you can't beat their AWD system.
 

Greg

Wanderlusting
Admin
Does your new job pay for your gas? IF so drive something heavy and big.
Kinda... I've been getting $75 every week for mileage. At 500 miles per week, driving the Jetta (30-35 mpg) I put money in my pockets. Driving the truck or Jeep, I end up spending a decent amount of my money to cover gas costs.
 

Greg

Wanderlusting
Admin
Keep the Chevy. We call it a 12mpg insurance policy. Sure it will cost more in gas, but your life is worth it.
The issue with the Chevy is that it needs enough work as it sits that it's not real fun to drive. And any money I put into it, I won't get back out. Lastly, it's getting up there in miles and age, I wonder how reliable it'll be.
 

moab_cj5

Well-Known Member
Look for a Lexus GX470. Put a good arb on the front and enjoy the smiles per gallon rather than the miles per gallon. The AWD system rocks in the snow, and it can be super reliable with proper maintenance. MPG's will be in the low teens though.
 

Greg

Wanderlusting
Admin
Look for a Lexus GX470. Put a good arb on the front and enjoy the smiles per gallon rather than the miles per gallon. The AWD system rocks in the snow, and it can be super reliable with proper maintenance. MPG's will be in the low teens though.
We had a '03 4Runner with the V8... that was an awesome roadtrip & all weather vehicle. Not a bad idea...
 

Greg

Wanderlusting
Admin
Sounds like you need to get going on that Sport-Trac TDI swap!
I wish, I already have too many projects and now that I'm working away from home, even less time to wrap up the ones in progress. :(

That sure would be ideal, but at this point it's just a dream...
 

Gravy

Edd China of Dirtbikes
Supporting Member
Since we've owned our Subaru Impreza I can honestly say it's one of favorite cars I've owned.
You know my propensity to take things where they're not intended to go - I've been surprised at it's capabilities. There's a reason they rip apart rally events.

It's sturdy and I love that Subarus are built like Legos: most the parts work on the other models.

Also if you want fun and AWD: we got my brother into a higher mileage Infinity G35x and it's a riot. Very comfy and Very very quick. Also that 3.5L is built to take some punishment.

I very likely will buy my wife the G37x (same car +0.2L) just so mine is faster than my brother's.
 

sawtooth4x4

Totally Awesome
Why don’t you look at a Jeep Compass (or whatever the little one is) AWD put a brush guard on it.

Good on mileage. AWD and hopefully a real transmission and not a rubber band transmission.
 

mbryson

.......a few dollars more
Supporting Member
Since we've owned our Subaru Impreza I can honestly say it's one of favorite cars I've owned.
You know my propensity to take things where they're not intended to go - I've been surprised at it's capabilities. There's a reason they rip apart rally events.

It's sturdy and I love that Subarus are built like Legos: most the parts work on the other models.

Also if you want fun and AWD: we got my brother into a higher mileage Infinity G35x and it's a riot. Very comfy and Very very quick. Also that 3.5L is built to take some punishment.

I very likely will buy my wife the G37x (same car +0.2L) just so mine is faster than my brother's.

My son has a G37x with 170k on it. He LOVES it. He’s been trying to sell it of late as he wants something a little different to use as he shows houses but he’s sticking to his price a little despite the KSL clowns telling him what his car is “worth” to them.
 
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