DH needs a different vehicle

2BunniesMommy

New member
He has a 1997 Ford Expedition with only around 100,000 miles. It is still in pretty good shape and KBB estimates it to be worth around $4000 for private party. We would sell it for $3500 in a heartbeat because that is what we paid for it a year and a half ago. We need something smaller because this thing is such a gas hog we can't keep up with it and we have no use for an 8 seater, so no reason to keep something so big. We have actually had the
3rd row sitting in our shed since we got it.

We live on a bad dirt road. It is just over a mile in the dirt to get to our house. It doesn't rain here often at all (California desert) but when it does, our road gets really bad and my Honda Insight is not safe to drive then. (I've tried and it was very scary, almost got stuck and was super thankful when I finally got to pavement.)

So, the requirements for his is the best gas mileage possible in something that sits kind of high up and has 4 wheel or all wheel drive. It also has to be able to pull a small trailer, just one for making dump runs and occasionally big items from Home Depot etc. Needs to have shoulder belts and headrests in the back seat. We'd like to keep it around the price range that would allow up to buy it outright with the money we can get by selling the Expedition. My first thought it a Ford Escape Hybrid from the 1st or 2nd year they made them. I think those would be new enough to be trustworthy and old enough to be in our price range.

Looking for any others that would fit our needs. Please suggest away!!
 
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UlrikeDG

Admin - CPS Technician Emeritus
Subaru comes to mind, but I'm not that familiar with their models. The smallest Ford SUV has decent mileage even without being a hybrid, and won't be as expensive up front.

P.S. If you don't need the privacy of this forum, I can move this post to the Car & Vehicle Safety forum.
 

2BunniesMommy

New member
Is the Escape their smallest SUV? Moving the thread is fine if that is likely to get me more suggestions, I was debating whether to post there or here and went with here only because it wasn't a safety question.
 

DawgDad

New member
Probably a 2002 Subaru Forester would give you want you want. Good mpg, plenty of room in the car to haul stuff and/or with a small trailer (I think you can tow up to 1,500lbs). Should find one in your price range. AWD w/ moderate ground clearance (better than your Insight).

I wouldn't get one of the older Ford Escape Hybrids. One, you probably won't find one, so the price won't be as favorable as you think. And two, if you do, you are near or probably at the point where you will need to start replacing some of the electrical components like batteries and cabling on the car from age. Early hybrids have more tied components (i.e. when one thing goes, they all need to be replaced), so the expense is much higher than hybrids today. Plus, the Escapes didn't come standard with 4WD, so that will make it a little harder to find.

Perhaps an XTerra could be an option. It's based on the Nissan Frontier, so it has very good ground clearance and they made/sold plenty of 4WD versions.
 

SavsMom

New member
Probably a 2002 Subaru Forester would give you want you want. Good mpg, plenty of room in the car to haul stuff and/or with a small trailer (I think you can tow up to 1,500lbs). Should find one in your price range. AWD w/ moderate ground clearance (better than your Insight).

I wouldn't get one of the older Ford Escape Hybrids. One, you probably won't find one, so the price won't be as favorable as you think. And two, if you do, you are near or probably at the point where you will need to start replacing some of the electrical components like batteries and cabling on the car from age. Early hybrids have more tied components (i.e. when one thing goes, they all need to be replaced), so the expense is much higher than hybrids today. Plus, the Escapes didn't come standard with 4WD, so that will make it a little harder to find.

Perhaps an XTerra could be an option. It's based on the Nissan Frontier, so it has very good ground clearance and they made/sold plenty of 4WD versions.

I agree with all of this.

Another vehicle to look at would be a Toyota Highlander. The older 4 cylinder models are fairly fuel efficient and may be easier to find than the Escape hybrid, plus the reliability is great.
 

2BunniesMommy

New member
Yes, the Escape is the one I meant.

I moved the thread. :)
Thanks!

What is your budget? $4000?
Yes, around there. Less if possible, a tiny bit more if we have to.

Probably a 2002 Subaru Forester would give you want you want. Good mpg, plenty of room in the car to haul stuff and/or with a small trailer (I think you can tow up to 1,500lbs). Should find one in your price range. AWD w/ moderate ground clearance (better than your Insight).

I wouldn't get one of the older Ford Escape Hybrids. One, you probably won't find one, so the price won't be as favorable as you think. And two, if you do, you are near or probably at the point where you will need to start replacing some of the electrical components like batteries and cabling on the car from age. Early hybrids have more tied components (i.e. when one thing goes, they all need to be replaced), so the expense is much higher than hybrids today. Plus, the Escapes didn't come standard with 4WD, so that will make it a little harder to find.

Perhaps an XTerra could be an option. It's based on the Nissan Frontier, so it has very good ground clearance and they made/sold plenty of 4WD versions.

I was thinking a subaru could be a good option, but no idea on what model to look into. The one you mentioned sounds like it would be a great one for us. I will see what I can find.

An XTerra is also something that could work and something I had not thought of. Will be checking to see what the gas milage looks like on those. Had a friend with one around 10 years ago and remember it being decently sized, so might not be as good on gas as I'd hope.

Good to know an older Escape Hybrid wouldn't be as good as I was thinking.

I agree with all of this.

Another vehicle to look at would be a Toyota Highlander. The older 4 cylinder models are fairly fuel efficient and may be easier to find than the Escape hybrid, plus the reliability is great.

I have a friend with a 2006 Highlander and MIL has a 2010 or so, neither are
4wd, but it is at least something we are familiar with and wouldn't mind having if we could get one in our price range etc.


Thanks for the great ideas so far, feel free to keep them coming!
 

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