The prior Jeep Cherokee (the “XJ”) is highly regarded by offroaders when appropriately equipped, it’s a unit body. But it’s the only one I can think of that could be considered for real off road use.
I think @Colleen41 comment about the Jeep Cherokee that “Locally there are a lot of then on the road” would be a factor I would take into account if I lived in the area. To me, parts and service are important. If there is a good Jeep dealer and a poor or non-existent Toyota dealer, I would choose s Cherokee over a Highlander. I had a colleague who was on a research team in a third world country. He found out that the popular car was a Citroen 2 CV, so that is what he bought. Others on his team had Mercedes Benz, Volvos and other cars that were considered reliable at the time. My friend was able to use his 2 CV while the others on the team had their cars laid up awaiting parts or a mechanic that understood enough about their cars to repair them.
I had an uncle who spent three years in Indonesia. He ordered a Rambler Station Wagon (this was 1961) to be delivered in Indonesia. He should have gotten a VW. Sometimes parts had to be snuggled in to keep the Rambler on the road.
Even closer to home, I had a 1965 Rambler when I was in graduate school. In that university town, there was no Rambler dealer. Some parts, specific to the Rambler had to be sent by bus from a city 50 miles away and of course I had to pay the charges. At that time, I should have owned a Ford, Chevrolet, or VW Beetle even though the Rambler had a better reliability record. I want a car that when it needs service or repairs, it can be put back on the road quickly. If I lived in International Falls and Jeeps were popular, I would have a Jeep.
Like I said. Calling an automobile and SUV takes away the shame of driving a station wagon. Compare a Grand Cherokee to any number of 1960s and 1970s domestic wagons. The Cherokee is just a wagon with 4 wheel drive offered as an option.
So I’m comparing the GC to a non-existent vehicle?
Well no. There are plenty of station wagons now but like the GC they are also called SUVs to mollify the egos of their owners and give a technical advantage with CAFE standards which was the reason for the differentiation in the first place.
A Grand Cherokee with the Trailhawk package is WAY more than an AWD Vistacruiser…
Well what is this?
The Subaru Brat was a tax dodge, by putting seats and beltsin a pickup they avoided the 25% imported truck tax… I don’t think anyone would leave the seats in.
And likewise SUVs are tax dodges @oldtimer_11. Look at that link and compare the CAFE fuel mileage for a sedan(station wagon) and a truck (SUV).
That article says “a crossover is defined as a car for fuel economy purposes.” So the majority of “SUVs” (which are actually CUVs) aren’t a tax dodge.
edit - nevermind, I’ve tried to find out what ‘light truck’ is, only thing I could find is that about 45% of all vehicles sold are now categorized for CAFE as light trucks, so LOTS of CUVs must be in there!
AWD not withstanding I really did like my 1966 VistaCruiser. Only vehicle i ever had that had sun visors for the rear seat passengers.
Minivans are tax dodgers, too. When we bought our Silhouette in 2003, we thought about registering it as a car. Then we looked at the gas guzzler tax, and decided that we’d love to have a truck.
Oh, I have great memories of the Vistacruiser. Friend’s family in grade school had one, I remember taking trips with them.
Ain’t it funny how things are mysteriously shifted, renamed, reclassified, etc and then Viola(sic) profits increase, taxes are eliminated and violations slip off the books. But it’s all in fine print on the back of the Constitution so it’s OK.
My first SUV was a Tax Dodge. 4-door 1990 Nissan Pathfinder. Congress passed a law in 1988 that made all imported 2-door SUV’s subject to a 25% import tax. So Nissan and Toyota made 4-door SUV’s. The original bill was to put the tax on all imported SUV’s. But Nissan and Toyota lobbied (i.e. paid off politicians) to exempt 4-door SUV’s. The bill was fixed 2 years later.
It’s comical how easily we Americans are so easily guiled out of our money by marketing gurus. And just as comical how easily our elected statesmen can be swayed to legislate to benefit deep pockets and wrap the legislation in the robes of constituent largesse which we also fall for. CAFE standards, ethanol, cash for clunkers, etc., How many automobile manufacturers survived the Great Depression and in the long run who got rich from that Crash? And BTW, how long will we stand for this ethanol scam?
Why is the Grand Cherokee not on the recommended car lists?
As far as Consumer Reports, one of their criteria for a vehicle to get a “recommended” check mark is to have an average or better reliability record. That has the effect of knocking about one half of the models they test out of contention for their recommendation.
CR’s overall description of the GC in their April 2108 Annual Auto Issue (I quoted a lot of it above, in an earlier reply) is very positive. CR denies it their recommendation, apparently, for its below average reliability record - not for overall inadequacy.
Probably until some key members of Congress stop accepting bribes from the ethanol lobby.
But at this point corn farmers across the midwest and great plains are tied to the unintended consequences of a three way marriage of OK/TX oil-USDA-misguided environmentalists. And divorces of such unions are difficult to obtain. Can you imagine the consequences of the corn market hitting rock bottom for a few years? And then there’s the investment in the manufacturing of ethanol, transporting ethanol, marketing ethanol, and the myriad of banking involvements in land, tractors, seed corn, etc., ad nauseum.
So Americas gasoline consumers will be paying a heavy price for many years to support an entitlement to the corn belt farmers and ethanol producers. Could Cuba be doing a better job of regulating its economy than the US?
What do we replace ethanol with? We can’t go back to MTBE IMO. I don’t mind using 10% ethanol since it meets the requirements as an octane enhancer. I am definitely not in favor of an increase to 15%, however. More good news! I can’t remember the last time I stopped at a gas station that sold E85. I don’t live in the Midwest where it is popular, though.