I Have an OCD Problem: Shopping for a Car

So, I admit I have a problem - for close to 20 years I have wanted a Jeep. But little things like money, kids, etc., keep getting in the way. And, I don’t need a Jeep (or any SUV) for that matter - I don’t off-road; I lose only several days a year to snow; and I don’t haul enough often enough to need a truck. And my 12-year old Toyota is running smoother than many of the new cars I rent from time-to-time.

But I want a Jeep. Or something new (really, used).

Please, help me: what delivers everyday use road quality (I commute about 30 miles daily); 4WD or AWD (for those couple of weeks we have snow, or days where I am really trapped at the top of hill (front end loaders have gotten stuck trying to plow)); good ground clearance and decent versatility for cargo?

I know I have a problem, but I won’t hold anyone accountable as an enabler if you help me.

A Mazda CX-5 would be at the top of my list, decent mpgs, good handling, useful for cargo. But nothing’s getting out if a front end loader gets stuck…

Rather than a Jeep–with its legendary lack of reliability–I would suggest that you look at any of the following:

Toyota 4 Runner
Nissan Pathfinder
Toyota Highlander
Honda Pilot
Subaru Outback (2010 model year or newer)

These vehicles all feature 4WD or AWD, good cargo-carrying ability, very good ground clearance, and are much more reliable than a Jeep.

I would add Honda CRV to the list.

If the OP is looking to carry more than a small amount of cargo, the CR-V is lacking, as compared to the models that I listed.

Jeep having a legendary lack of reliability? Those 4.0 inline 6’s regularly get over 200k.

Jeep hasn’t used an inline 6 since 2006.

It’s everything else hooked up to the engine that causes problems on Jeeps. Kind of like older Jaguars - great inline 6, but everything else problematic.

Exactly. I had an '04 Cherokee as a company car back in the day - for a while I thought I was driving an old British car, with all the electrical gremlins that thing had (and that most of our other Cherokees had too). I had no idea Jeep had turned to Lucas, Prince of Darkness, to wire their vehicles. :wink:

This morning the local natural gas company slowly drove through the parking lot in a Jeep Patriot with leak detection equipment. I found it interesting the gas company would choose a light duty vehicle for this. Perhaps thier expierences with these vehicles isn’t all negative.

I also see Compass/Patriots used as security patrol vehicles at walmart.

The Patriot has traditional Jeep styling in a car platform. In 2014 a 6 speed automatic transmission became an option, prior years used CVTs for auto transmissions.

Fender1325 wrote:
Jeep having a legendary lack of reliability? Those 4.0 inline 6’s regularly get over 200k.

I had a Jeep Grand Cherokee, bought new and properly serviced. In the eight years I had it, it went into the shop 52 times. (I counted the exact number just before selling it.) The engine may have been fine, but much of the rest of the car certainly wasn’t.

Admittedly we haven’t had a jeep in the family for probably 6 years, but the two Cherokees we did have were great. I can’t speak for more modern ones, but I know the OP wanted used. Depends on their budget I guess as to how old they want/can get.

@lion9car‌ wouldn’t that have fallen under some sort of lemon law way before you owned it that long?

you can get a used jeep Cherokee for 1500 bucks. I did. its the in line 6 , 4.0 liter.

a reliable engine.

I love it.

you can have your fun truck and not break the bank.

it was great in the snow this year.

they are plentiful, parts are everywhere, and there are plenty of enthusiasts who will buy it if you don t like it

If you want a full size SUV, you might consider a GMC Yukon or Chevrolet Tahoe. The price on a 2010 is the same as a 2010 4Runner and the gas mileage is about the same. And you get more cargo room. Reliability is good on the GM trucks and maintenance is not expensive either. Edmunds estimates that the repair and maintenance costs for the 2010 Tahoe/Yukon are the same as the 2010 4Runner.

Knowing Walmart they got their Compasses or Patriots at rock-bottom prices, which suggests sales have been disappointing. Walmart is great at finding vulnerable suppliers with excess product. Then squeezing them.

I’d also be looking at the CX-5, if it is big enough, or the larger CX-9, also very nice. From Toyota you have the RAV4 and Highlander, from Honda the CR-V and Pilot, from Subaru the Forester, Outback, and the rare Tribeca. The newly redesigned Nissan Rogue is now quite nice, plus the Pathfinder and the XTerra, for those who might go off-road (but not too far off)

And that’s just a few, all of which are likely to be more reliable than a jeep, and just as capable off-road as any Grand Cherokee (not at all). Most of these are fairly reliable, comfy, handle well on paved roads, and can be equipped with all kinds of goodies.

IMHO not one of those cars you listed are as capable as a grand Cherokee off road.

In fact they’re all near crossover territory in my opinion. None are designed to be taken off road, but have 4wd maybe for a snowy condition once in a while. They’re all minivans in SUV clothing.

If the OP wants a jeep, he should buy a jeep. But I’d get an older one, back when they were built better.

I’m sure many will disagree, but that’s my opinion.

Not saying those cars listed are bad by any means. They’re great cars, but they’re no jeep.

@Fender1325–I agree that nothing is as good off-road as a Jeep.
However, the OP specifically stated, " I don’t off-road".
As a result, I (and some others) came up with suggestions for reliable AWD/4WD vehicles that would meet the OP’s stated needs.

IMHO–buying a Jeep, but never driving it off-road is about as logical as buying an old Buick Electra 225 and trying to do off-roading in it. Ergo–using a vehicle for a different purpose than it was designed for is filled with a lot of compromises. In the case of the Jeep, those compromises include a punishing ride, high speed handling that is…not very safe…and reliability that is sub-par.

1991 Jeep Cherokee Laredo 4.0L automatic select track 2WD/AWD/4WD purchased new. After 10 years/150K no major problems. Only a few times actual off road but very capable.

I once asked a similar question on a Mopar forum and most of the members swayed me away from Jeeps.