Need a new commuter vehicle

DAA

Premium Member
Premium Member
#21
My Subaru was a great little vehicle. It only shortened up about a foot when I hit a deer at 55 with it. And I was able to pull the core support out far enough with just my hands to continue my trip. Actually, I pulled it out close enough to where it was supposed to be, that I did no other repairs, just tied the hood shut, then removed the hood when I got home and drove it like that for another three or four years. Used to carry spare fluids inside the rim, of the spare that lived under the hood, that wasn't there. Made for quite the picturesque little rig :D.

But that car was awesome in snow. Not nearly the MPG every other Subaru owner seems to get, but pretty good. Only one really solid deer strike (another much milder one...), no injury to occupants (from the deer strike - the hood broke the rope I had on it and peeled up and caved in the roof on my head later in that trip, bumped my head and blocked my view coming down Parleys all in one shot, that was not a thrill...). I was always kind of worried about a deer coming through the windshield though. That happened to me when I was driving my Wife's little crap box car (whatever it was). Didn't get hurt that time either, but it was pretty exciting.

- DAA
 

Houndoc

Registered User
Location
Grantsville
#26
Not sure there is really anything that meets all your criteria.

Good in the snow, decent gas mileage, reliable= Subaru.


Large/sturdy enough to take a blow from an elk= poor game mileage and generally more expensive to drive.


Seems like one of the two criteria needs to give. Perhaps a good compromise would be something in the 4Runner/Xterra class. I get about 18mpg mixed use with my Xterra, 20-21 on long freeway only drives. 200K+ and counting without issues.
 

UT410

On jack stands.
Premium Member
Location
Holladay
#27
I saw a pic of a recent gen Shrockwork's equipped 4Runner slide into a rock-cut wall on a snowy/icy road and it held up really well. Meanwhile there was a later pic, same area, of a sedan/car that hit the rock-cut and it was destroyed.

Do you still have your cruiser? Put a bumper on that thing. It seems like that would be pretty much the perfect vehicle... minus the fuel costs.
 
#30
Any crossover...
2005 Ford Escape here. 3.0L V6 AWD with the 4spd. Currently at 281k mi without opening up the drivetrain. Still get 20+ combo driving, and have achieved 25 going to Elko from SLC. Ours has been rock solid, and fairly easy to work on. The alternator is buried though, and the intake manifold needs to be pulled to access the back 3 plugs. I've been doing the fluid every 40k on the 'non-servicable' trans.

She wasn't going fast, but my wife smacked a deer coming down from Brian Head. I pulled the core support back inline by hand, and replaced the headlight assembly.

If buying used, I don't know how reliable the 'newer' ones are with the 6spd. The 4spd of course has wide spacing and you're revving it good in 3rd on a hill if you want to maintain speed. If you drive the hills a lot, the extra gears would be a benefit.

A 2013+ with the 2L Ecoboost could prove to be a good mountain commuting vehicle.
 

BCGPER

Starting Another Thread
#32
We went through this same issue a while ago. Ended up with a 2018 Chevy Equinox. Consistently pulls 30 mpg cruising at 85 to 90. It’s actually kinda fun to drive once the boost comes into play. It was cheapish, which is what I wanted for my 1000 mile commutes. I’ll likely sell it off once I’m in Az full time and the warranty expires.
 

UT410

On jack stands.
Premium Member
Location
Holladay
#36
I just sold some parts to a guy with a diesel Colorado, 2017 I think, and he loves it.

I'm driving a rental LT base model 2018 Colorado, right now, and I feel like it's pretty tinny and overall cheap feeling. It's not comfortable, though I'm getting used to it. I could never get used to the small bed. However, his looked more higher end all around.

His commuting (and towing MPG) sounded unbelievable until I looked it up... it's 19 city and 28 highway.
 

Greg

Wanderlusting
Admin
#37
I just sold some parts to a guy with a diesel Colorado, 2017 I think, and he loves it.

I'm driving a rental LT base model 2018 Colorado, right now, and I feel like it's pretty tinny and overall cheap feeling. It's not comfortable, though I'm getting used to it. I could never get used to the small bed. However, his looked more higher end all around.

His commuting (and towing MPG) sounded unbelievable until I looked it up... it's 19 city and 28 highway.
I priced one of those not long ago..... $$,$$$
 

Greg

Wanderlusting
Admin
#38
Take a train.... :rofl:
That's not how it works.... that's not how any of this works. :p


Going for a cheap option what about something like a Suzuki Vitara or XL-7? They went up to a larger engine than the old sidekick so they handle hills fine, not too big, not too small, 4 wheel drive, etc.
Yeah, they're an option... I think I'd prefer a 1/2 ton GM pickup for the sheer size though.
 
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