Good, reliable car that can handle the snow.

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by TSE, Jul 29, 2013.

  1. TSE macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2007
    Location:
    St. Paul, Minnesota
    #1
    In the market for a car that can handle the snow, reliable, and good MPG. Performance doesn't matter. Looks don't matter. Nothing fancy required. Comfort not required.

    Just needs to excel in these categories:

    1. Reliability and upkeep cost
    2. Snow performance
    3. MPG

    Max price is $20k, but honestly, the cheaper, the better. Will consider used.

    As for new cars, looking at a 2013 Subaru XV Crosstrek or Impreza 5-door, or Chevy Cruze FWD with the Ecoboost engine. I am aware that the Crosstrek is just an Impreza with upgraded suspension and brakes, so is it really worth the extra $2000?

    Anyone have any recommendations for used cars that are comparable to those 3 models? Really needs to get at least 25 MPG.

    Love ya MacRumors!
     
  2. Plutonius macrumors 603

    Plutonius

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2003
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    #2
    For a 20K max price and meeting your requirements, it will most likely be a used car.

    Anything I might suggest with all wheel drive is in the upper 20s - 30s.
     
  3. SMDBill macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2013
    #3
    While the Crosstek is an improved Impreza, you get more ground clearance, which is an advantage in the snow. I have considered it for myself and the Subaru AWD system is well proven.

    Used AWD Ford Escape is a good value and very capable in snow. Same with the Honda CRV. Toyota Highlanders perform superbly in snow in AWD. I used to rent one on travel to New Hampshire in the winter and it was an awesome snow vehicle (on roads).
     
  4. WAM2 macrumors 6502a

    WAM2

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    Jan 6, 2011
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    United States
    #4
    As a Colorado Native, for the snow it is a no no to have RWD, for cars FWD is the best; for SUVs, AWD is the best; and for trucks/vans, 4WD.

    Depending on what you want, for a car, a FWD Dodge Dart or Caliber or either Subaru you listed. For an SUV/CUV, Mazda CX-5/CX-7 or a AWD Durango. For a Truck, any 4WD Ram or F150.
     
  5. TSE thread starter macrumors 68030

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    Jun 25, 2007
    Location:
    St. Paul, Minnesota
    #5
    I heard bad, bad things about Dodge reliability. Can you speak to that?
     
  6. G51989 macrumors 68030

    G51989

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    NYC NY/Pittsburgh PA
    #6
    Subies are all good.

    The Ford Escape, or a Used Ford Ranger with real 4WD is a good choice to.
     
  7. mobilehaathi macrumors G3

    mobilehaathi

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  8. G51989, Jul 29, 2013
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2013

    G51989 macrumors 68030

    G51989

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    Location:
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    #8
    Yeah don't buy a dodge. They're awful automobiles.

    I would push a lightly used 2011 Ford Ranger, they have a very simple, bulletproof 4.0 V6 engine, real 4WD, a decent offroad package if you find one, they can, tow, haul, and have a decent sized bed for a truck that small, the interior can be had in an extended cab with decent features. And because the platform has been the same for almost 20 years mechanically, you'll average over 20MPG if you keep your foot out of it, and it will be reliable and cheap to repair.

    Plus its kinda fun having a truck, you can haul pretty much anything with a truck and you'll have tons of room, and because it sits pretty high up compared to lots of cars, you'll be safe in a crash.
     
  9. TSE thread starter macrumors 68030

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    Jun 25, 2007
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    St. Paul, Minnesota
    #9
    The Ford Ranger was a good idea, my dad who is paying half just wants a bit more mpg for me. It came down to Dodge Dart or Chevy Cruze. Getting a Cruze manual with eco.
     
  10. Gav2k macrumors G3

    Gav2k

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  11. designs216 macrumors 65816

    designs216

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    #11
    Up in the NC mountains I see tons of Subarus. I drive a CR-V which is FWD most of the time (good for mileage) and AWD when the front wheels slip. It has been reliable, versatile and easy to work on. Mine also has a manual tranny which is handy in slick conditions. Not sure if you can get a manual on recent model years.
     
  12. Mac'nCheese macrumors 68030

    Mac'nCheese

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    Feb 9, 2010
    #12
    Rav 4s start at about 23K but maybe a used one? Works great for my wife in the snow and she's a horrible driver.
     
  13. MacNut macrumors Core

    MacNut

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    CT
    #13
    The Ranger is too small, even in 4 wheel it doesn't have the ground clearance.
     
  14. TSE thread starter macrumors 68030

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    Location:
    St. Paul, Minnesota
    #14
    That's what I liked about the Crosstrek. My dad read some reviews on the Subaru Crosstrek and a lot of people complained about how bad it drives at higher speeds.

    He seems to really like the Cruze, a few people at his work own one and have convinced him to get it. He is paying for half the car, so I can't complain.
     
  15. quagmire macrumors 603

    quagmire

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2004
    #15
    Cruze is a good vehicle. Even better with the Eco. The 1.4T is a much better engine than the 1.8. Shame you couldn't get the Eco-D with it being out of your price range.
     
  16. TSE thread starter macrumors 68030

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    Jun 25, 2007
    Location:
    St. Paul, Minnesota
    #16
    Yeah, the Diesel sounds good, but the Eco seems to be just great... similar miles to the gallon, just less torque.

    Most of all, though, I'm looking forward to learning a manual! Now to decide what color to get... I want red but my parents say insurance is way more for red cars, and the summit white isn't available anywhere here!
     
  17. AngryGerbil macrumors 6502a

    AngryGerbil

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    Aug 26, 2012
    #17
    I just bought a used Rav 4 a few months back. Love the thing but I didn't have a 20K budget so it's an '04.
     
  18. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem

    GoCubsGo

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2005
    #18
    I hated how my ranger handled in the snow and ice. It was awful. Besides, ford doesn't make them now.
     
  19. quagmire macrumors 603

    quagmire

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2004
    #19
    EPA testing for diesels suck. You could expect 50 MPG+ on the highway. One person got 816 miles on one tank of diesel.

    But yeah, the gas Eco isn't bad. A lot of people say the Eco is more fun to drive compared to the regular models. My vote goes to black for the color. ;)
     
  20. mrkramer macrumors 603

    mrkramer

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    Jul 11, 2006
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    #20
    Sounds like you've made up your mind now, but I figured I'd add in a post. I've been driving a CRV up in the winter in Canada and it has handled the snow well, plus hasn't needed any repairs other than regular maintenance.
     
  21. josh995, Aug 3, 2013
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2013

    josh995 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2012
    #21
    I wholeheartedly disagree with Dodges being bad vehicles.

    My family, since my Grandma and her damn ugly Chrysler Concorde, has always been Chrysler/Dodge/Jeep owners and have never had problems.

    My mother has a 2006 Ram with 170,000 miles on it and she pulls a horse trailer with it. No problems. She even hit a deer going 55 and she had it repaired and says it runs like the day she bought it. I drove it recently and she's right. She's had other Dodges since I was little but I don't remember them all. But this is her current vehicle.

    Her fiance has a Durango, not sure what year but it's late 2000's, like a 2009 or something and he pulls a large boat with it. He also has a 2012 Wrangler, both with no problems.

    I have 2 Dodges, a 2008 Caliber R/T AWD (GREAT in the snow!!) with 48,000 and ZERO problems, and a 2012 Ram 1500 with 25,000 miles and ZERO problems. Before my Ram I had a 2007 Charger R/T that I was T-Boned in. The car was just awesome with the V8, again I had zero problems.

    My other half has a 2006 Jeep Commander with 68,000 miles on it and has only needed the alternator replaced. Total cost? $268 parts and labor.

    My neighbor also has a Caliber, a base model, his is a 2007 and his has 190,000 miles on it! He says he hasn't had problems but I can't really vouch for that because we don't talk everyday.

    Modern Chrysler/Dodge/Jeep vehicles have come a long way, and with regular maintenance last just as long as any other. With this many Dodge/Jeep vehicles in my family and ALL of them having no problems, you can't tell me that Dodge's are not good vehicles and expect me to believe you.

    Don't cross Chrysler/Dodge/Jeep off your list.

    My personal recommendation, based on the vehicles I own, is a Ram 1500 4X4, you can find them for under 20K, or a Caliber, but ONLY the R/T AWD model. They got for around 12K-14K depending on miles. It's got the bigger engine, and the AWD works great. I had a lot of fun with it in the snow. :)
     
  22. 4JNA, Aug 4, 2013
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2013

    4JNA macrumors 68000

    4JNA

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2006
    Location:
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    #22
    cool commercials, cooler trucks.

    strange to say as i'm not really a mopar guy, but i'd agree with this based on personal experience.

    bought a used 01 Ram 1500 4x4 about 7.? years ago. only thing wrong in that time and the 100k or about that i've put on it is tires and oil. replaced the cooling fan clutch because i'm picky and hate squeeks, but it was an optional fix none the less. only downside in that time is needing to add gas more often than i'd like (mileage, she is not so good).

    people have been telling me to expect the transmission to fail and the ball joints to fall out any day now with no results yet to speak of. couple years ago, go snowed in due to 4 day blizzard conditions. after digging the thing out of a drift, i was the only one moving about in my neighbood for most of a week.. that truck does anything i've ever asked and gone anywhere i've tried everyday all day. ram tough and all that. looks like hell after all these years, but couldn't stop the thing if you tried.

    back on topic, we also own an 01 subaru outback that was bought new. 150k and counting, never been stuck in any of the snow we've encountered, only thing wrong so far was a stuck thermostat. we've stuck to the recommended maintenance schedule and it's been perfect. average over the last 13 years has been 22ish mpg, and yes i have the paper records to back that up (thanks tax guys!). best of luck with your search.
     
  23. Shrink macrumors G3

    Shrink

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2011
    Location:
    New England, USA
    #23
    My rear wheel drive, 343hp BMW M Roaster is just wonderful on snow. And, you seldom have to look out through the windshield since you are going sideways all the time and looking through the door window!

    Highly recommended for high snow areas!:p

    ;) :D
     
  24. 4JNA macrumors 68000

    4JNA

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2006
    Location:
    looking for trash files
    #24

    a roadster with windows?!? i think your doing it wrong, should be topless and glass-less. :D

    the car that is, driver/passenger optional of course. :p
     
  25. TSE thread starter macrumors 68030

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    Location:
    St. Paul, Minnesota
    #25
    Oh you! :D Gave me a chuckle.

    Still going with the Cruze Eco.
     

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