Looking for a good new or used car make & model

I am considering buying a new or used car. I am the type of owner/driver that comes from a reasonably adept mechanical background. I tend to look at the engine compartment first to see how easy the maintenance will be on the car.

I live in a snow/ice winter climate so I have mounted studded tires on winter wheels I do myself.

I can do maintenance like replacing water pumps but don’t like having to dismantle part of the engine to do it (Mitsubishi?..is that true?). I am willing to do regular stuff like brakes, hoses, filters, coolant systems etc.

What is out there that is truly easy to work on?

I’m looking for the following features;

FWD or 4WD, 2.3-2.5 liter I4, ABS, in either a 4 door sedan with 7" minimum ground clearance or a small to mid size SUV.

I’ve looked at all the brochures but what has easy maintenance and reasonable maintenance intervals?

Would you like a cherry on top? :wink:

Seriously, your list of requirements is far too specific to give you a chance at having a choice of cars. I think you’re the first person I’ve ever seen that lists as a requirement a water pump that doesn’t require disassembly of anything to change.

The rest of your requirements pretty much describe a Subaru Outback, but you’re going to have to relax the “easy major maintenance” requirements.

There are cars out there that are very easy for routine maintenance. Any other ease of repairs needed, you won’t find out till it has to be done. Unless you really like working on cars for no reason at all, the easiest tend to be rwd cars for me with frames. A 4 cyl extended cab PU would be my first choice…Small SUVs are just cars with ground clearance and upright seating. Compact Toyota/Nissan Pu with crew cab in 2 or 4wd. I believe both have LSD, mechanical or electronic traction control,. so 4wd would be unnecessary except for off road.

Honda CR-V also comes to mind.

If you’re looking at used cars, I’ve found the Edmunds.com site very useful. Click on “used cars”, then “appraise”, then “consumer reviews.” You’ll find a lot of useful info in the consumer reviews.

Kia Sportage or Sorrento

FWD or 4WD, 2.3-2.5 liter I4, ABS, in either a 4 door sedan with 7" minimum ground clearance or a small to mid size SUV.

your near-perfect vehicle:

2.5L offers up to 28mpg on the highway and the 2.3L has 244hp and is turbo charged(which requires 91+ octane). Both have about 8 inches ground clearance and tons of extras that you might not get with a Toyota or Honda in the same price range. While it’s AWD, it’s only part time, which means it’ll only send power to the rear wheels if it detects slipping in the fronts

A Ford ranger extended cab would be very easy to work on and cheap to keep running.

New or used kinda leaves it wide open. I know that the 90s model toyota pickups are dependable and easy to work on

Brother bought them for years, all for that reason. Then, complained constantly about how they rode, handled and performed. That’s the other side of the Ranger.