After 340,000 miles we need a new car

Its a 2000 and still humming…well, limping along.

I think VW has a higher change of having problems. However the majority of their car as any manufacturer do not thankfully.

I know three Passat owners 1998-2001. One is a nightmare(dealer serviced) and the other two are relatively trouble free although never say the garage of a dealer, only a versed european mechanic well known in my locale.

Good points Doc. At the end of the day, it’ll be a number of things which influence the OP’s decision. My wife also works in healthcare, and her hospital is only 6 miles away. I deal with exhaust problems and oil changes at the severe end of the maintenance schedule due to those factors. At one point I was changing one exhaust part or another every year. The engine oil is BLACK after only 3000 miles. Never really gets a full warm-up (unless I drive it on a weekend), but if you keep you eye on things, seems to go OK. My own commute two days a week at my one job is 60 miles one way . . . and my car seems to warm-up only after about 15 minutes or so of careful driving, depending on the temp, of course. Fun, isn’t it? Rocketman

Your wife’s car is an ideal candidate for a block heater. Just put it on a timer to come on 2 hours before you leave and the car will warm up very quickly, since it already half warmed up! When my wife worked, her clinic was only 3.5 miles away. We used a block heater nearly all year round.

Bob Sikorsky who lives in Tuscon, Az. writes a column on car care for the New York Times and other papers. He uses a block heater all year round in Arizona!, and has 400,000 miles on his near perfect Volvo.

A Crown Victoria will hold up on the unpaved road. It can’t be worse than 10 miles on typical New Orleans streets. It is probably a bit bigger than what you are looking for, but they are inexpensive, parts are inexpensive and they are easy to work on.

I think you should get the Toyota RAV4 4-Cylinder with 4WD.

OP is looking for lots of ground clearance because of the very bad dirt road he has to travel. A Crown Victoria is a good car, but does not have enough ground clearance.