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Looking for advice on V6 AWD Crossover replacement for beloved 2005 Pontiac Aztek

Hello–Is there anyone who can advise me on a decent V6 AWD Crossover to replace my beloved 2005 Pontiac Aztek? I LOVE my Aztek, but my 92-year old Dad just cannot get into this car any longer, even with the use of a broad step-stool.

Even though I visit him only a couple times a month, we both suffer when he tries to get into the car–Dad loses his balance, and I end up with back strain. I need a vehicle that can traverse the Northern Tier Mountains of Pennsylvania and the snow-bound winters of Western New York, and that can be stepped into, rather than climbed into. So to speak.

If new, limit around $25 K-ish; If pre-owned, within 2 model years.

THANKS for all advice !!!

Slightly Addled, though Well-Meaning Blonde

Is there a reason it must be a V6? My aging mother has similar issues getting into vehicles, but doesn’t have problems with her Honda CRV. You’d have to take a 4-cylinder for that, but if you want the V6 because you think it gives you more power, you might be surprised. . .

I like the V6 for getting through the mountains in Northern PA, but I could be swayed by a peppy 4-cylinder. Thanks !

No modern car sold in this country is going to have any problems getting through any mountains. Even the Rockies.

I had rented a 4-cyl Kia something or other last summer for a trip to PA, and it was putt-putt all the way.

If you’re looking for learjet performance in the mountains, what you really want is a turbo.

I recommend looking at a lightly-used Acura RDX, which is the Acura turbocharged version of the CRV, for good mountain (and all-around) performance.

while we don’t really know how tall your father is, it’s going to be difficult to suggest anything. The only thing I will say is that you should take him with you car shopping so he can see what he’s comfortable with.
This will provide you with a few things at once. 1, you’ll get to shop for a new car. 2, you’ll get to spend time with dad. 3, you’ll make him feel like he’s needed/wanted; at 92 they probably don’t feel like anyone wants to do anything with them, and you just never know how much time they have left.

I like the Rav4 V6 fwd version for your needs. Good economy, power, and pep. I’m not a turbo fan.

Consider a Ford Fusion.

We own (my wife is the primary driver) a 2008 Fusion (V6/AWD). No problem at all with winter time driving (we live in Western Michigan). Our previous vehicle was a 1998 Mercury Mountaineer. My wife finds The Fusion to be much easier to get into and out of (her limitation was arthritic knees - they’ve recently been replaced). We both find the handling and the ride to be an improvement. We paid about $25,000 new in 11/2007. I think this vehicle may meet your criteria

Thanks very much ! Will be looking at a Focus on Sunday. I appreciate your time.

Oops. Meant to say I will look at a Fusion on Sunday when I go browsing.

When you combine a v6 with awd in an SUV package with it’s more upright stance and easier entry, nothing that I know of is more efficient then a RAV4. You will not get one for under $25k. Go with a 4 and you have lots of choices.

Consider that getting in/out of a sedan might be harder for him than your Aztek. He’ll most likely fall in and have a harder time climbing out of it.

Good thought. Actually, I’m a nurse, and I’m accustomed to hauling people in and out of chairs and cars etc. My brother has a Ford Taurus, and Pop can get in and out of it with some assistance. The Taurus has a grab bar, so to speak, above the passenger side window and Pop grabs on to that, to stabilize himself. The Aztek doesn’t have the grab bar. The biggest issue has been getting him up on a step stool, and the pivoting to get his backside onto the car seat in the Aztek.

I appreciate your thoughtful comments.

The crossovers mentioned will have entry heights similar to the Aztek. Folks I know with arthritic knees or back problems have been happy with the Honda CR-V because they could slide right into the seat with minimal flexing of the back and knees. You’ll have to check one out with your Pop. If you find one with power passenger seat, you get the most adjustment. You wil probably need to adjust seat height to make entry easy. Also, you can test drive a new one even if you have no intention of buying one.

What a good idea about the power passenger seat. Also, thanks for the insight about the entry heights of the other vehicles.

Thought I’d throw out one more possibility, the Ford Transit Connect. If you haven’t seen one, they are a small work van. It looks like the seating isn’t too high but the front door is pretty high. If the seat is at the right height, then it should be easy for pop to get into and out of.

Another advantage would be if pop looses his ability to walk and is confined to a scooter or wheel chair, you should be able to get this van converted for either side or rear entry.

The engine may be a little on the low power side for you as it uses an older technology Duratech engine, 132 hp. But on the plus side, you can et one under $25k

Look at a new Subaru or a used Audi allroad.

shadowfax wrote:
No modern car sold in this country is going to have any problems getting through any mountains. Even the Rockies.

I respectfully disagree. Not too long ago, I had a base PT Cruiser rental car while visiting Utah. While driving up some moderate grades in the higher elevations, I had the gas pedal mashed to the floor just to keep the car up to speed. Passing anything else was out of the question. That was an experience I hope never to repeat.

You got through the mountains, right? Just because you can’t go as fast as you want doesn’t mean the car is weak. The higher you go, the more that happens unless you have forced induction, because there’s less air to mix with fuel. I’ve had v8s get weak in the mountains. That doesn’t mean they’re having problems getting through them, because they’re still getting through them. In the old days, before automatic timing and fuel adjustment, cars literally had problems going from low to high altitudes. They’d run rough, if at all, and it wasn’t uncommon to have to pull over and adjust things manually if you wanted to keep going up.