Opinions: Cheap Used AWD Station Wagon/Hatch/SUV?

my wife's family has some vaction property in the mountains. we're going to start spending some time there every year so the kids can be around their old relatives before everyone dies off.

i have a 4wd vehicle, but the property's about six hours away and i may have to travel seperately for work. we're in the market for a second cheap and reliable awd vehicle. we're not looking to spend more than maybe $3k but i can go as high as $5k if it's worth it/necessary to find the right solution.

i've been looking at older kia sorrento's. they're cheap, but finding one with low enough mileage to trust it is proving to be an issue. obviously, i'm looking at models prior to the GDI engine debacle. mitsubishi outlanders from the same period have pretty good reliability ratings and are nearly as cheap and tend to have fewer miles. i assume a more affluent or older driver base.

of course, i'd like a subaru, but i'm not paying subie tax on a beater forester that should cost 15% less at every price point. when i started looking i thought i'd be able to find an older crv anaywhere, but apparently people hang onto them forever.

Depending on where you live, you might pay a bit of a premium for those kind of vehicles, especially from a dealer. I imported a Subaru last year. If you do end up going the subie route, and it's naturally aspirated, make sure the head gaskets and timing belts were done. Head gaskets especially

Peixes - 

my wife's family has some vaction property in the mountains. we're going to start spending some time there every year so the kids can be around their old relatives before everyone dies off.

i have a 4wd vehicle, but the property's about six hours away and i may have to travel seperately for work. we're in the market for a second cheap and reliable awd vehicle. we're not looking to spend more than maybe $3k but i can go as high as $5k if it's worth it/necessary to find the right solution.

i've been looking at older kia sorrento's. they're cheap, but finding one with low enough mileage to trust it is proving to be an issue. obviously, i'm looking at models prior to the GDI engine debacle. mitsubishi outlanders from the same period have pretty good reliability ratings and are nearly as cheap and tend to have fewer miles. i assume a more affluent or older driver base.

of course, i'd like a subaru, but i'm not paying subie tax on a beater forester that should cost 15% less at every price point. when i started looking i thought i'd be able to find an older crv anaywhere, but apparently people hang onto them forever.

 

There's a reason Subarus hold their used values better than others.  Plus, the Subaru AWD system is a shitload better than anything else in its cla_ss

 

If AWD is important to you, Subaru is the only choice.  You can also get a Jeep but their reliability is nowhere near that of Subarus. 

1 Like

Look for an older 4.0  Jeep Cherokee

B/c of the extra you'd pay for a Subaru, CR-V, or Rav-4 in your price range, the Mitsubishi Outlander might be the best way to maximize the bang for your buck. I assume ~2010-2012 should be in your budget 

angryinch -
Peixes - 

my wife's family has some vaction property in the mountains. we're going to start spending some time there every year so the kids can be around their old relatives before everyone dies off.


i have a 4wd vehicle, but the property's about six hours away and i may have to travel seperately for work. we're in the market for a second cheap and reliable awd vehicle. we're not looking to spend more than maybe $3k but i can go as high as $5k if it's worth it/necessary to find the right solution.


i've been looking at older kia sorrento's. they're cheap, but finding one with low enough mileage to trust it is proving to be an issue. obviously, i'm looking at models prior to the GDI engine debacle. mitsubishi outlanders from the same period have pretty good reliability ratings and are nearly as cheap and tend to have fewer miles. i assume a more affluent or older driver base.


of course, i'd like a subaru, but i'm not paying subie tax on a beater forester that should cost 15% less at every price point. when i started looking i thought i'd be able to find an older crv anaywhere, but apparently people hang onto them forever.


There's a reason Subarus hold their used values better than others.  Plus, the Subaru AWD system is a shitload better than anything else in its >


If AWD is important to you, Subaru is the only choice.  You can also get a Jeep but their reliability is nowhere near that of Subarus. 

True. I have an old 2005 forester that has been reliable from day 1. Has 87k on it now. excellent in the snow and I take it on some light off-road use on rutted, muddy, steep logging trails when I go hunting. 

Subaru, end of discussion.

05-09 H6 Outback. 

sicko - 

B/c of the extra you'd pay for a Subaru, CR-V, or Rav-4 in your price range, the Mitsubishi Outlander might be the best way to maximize the bang for your buck. I assume ~2010-2012 should be in your budget 


this is exactly what i'm finding. i'm surprised so many outlanders were only optioned with fwd, though. the vast majority of what appears to be out there is 2wd, which to me completely mostly defeats its purpose.

I had a Subaru Forester XT and it was a money pit. 
 

Mark

Mark1 -

I had a Subaru Forester XT and it was a money pit. 
 


Mark

 


You should have bought a Tesla! 

JonnyW -

Look for an older 4.0  Jeep Cherokee

This is good advice. 


AMC Eagle or go fuck your mother!

Look at Honda pilots 

10eroftheyear -



AMC Eagle or go fuck your mother!

no shit, that was my absolute favorite car when i was a kid. saved all my after school job money for years to buy one after high school, but my aunt wound up handing me down a woodside olds firenza wagon and that cash went to the college fund.


 


as rare and popular as those eagles have gotten, it would arguably have been a better investment to buy one!


 

1 Like

If it's in the mountains, get the Subaru. 

 

The AWD systems of the other brands you named are crap in comparison. (For mountain driving, they are decent enough in the flat lands.)

10eroftheyear -



AMC Eagle or go fuck your mother!

I remember reading about a special run of like 200 of those that had a 2nd engine in the rear. A push me pull me crazy thing. 


 


Anyone else remember that or have I done too many drugs?

rubbermonkey -
JonnyW -

Look for an older 4.0  Jeep Cherokee

This is good advice. 

If not a Subaru, this. Have some common issues but very easy to work on yourself. 

Honda Element.

Peixes -
10eroftheyear -



AMC Eagle or go fuck your mother!

no shit, that was my absolute favorite car when i was a kid. saved all my after school job money for years to buy one after high school, but my aunt wound up handing me down a woodside olds firenza wagon and that cash went to the college fund.


 


as rare and popular as those eagles have gotten, it would arguably have been a better investment to buy one!


 

Love em I'm  gonna have to look at the market, they're probably stupid expensive now a days eh?