Please Please recommend


I live way out in the country, 5 miles on a dirt road which crosses a ford. I need a recommendation on a vehicle.

High clearance

High mpg



I have a Ford F250 which gets poor milage but hauls (pulls) when I need a trailer.


4wd Toyota Tercel comes to mind, how deep is your water crossing? A friend of mine has an older Isuzu P’up, but it’s got a little 4 cylinder diesel in it. Great little truck.


I suspect that the combination of factors that you mentioned is going to be very difficult to achieve in one vehicle. But, just for the sake of simplicity, you have to define a few things for us, such as

*How much ground clearance are you looking for?
*What do you consider to be “high mpg”?
*What do you mean by “convenient”?

Since everyone likely has different ideas of what those concepts actually mean, you have to let us know your definition for these factors.


A Subaru Outback is a possibility. For an AWD vehicle it has all the factors listed including high clearance.

There are other small SUV.

If buying used consider a Jeep Cherokee.


You may want to consider a newer model diesel pickup. They get some pretty good mileage.


I would look at the Toyota Rav 4 and the Honda CRV. Both have higher clearance than a car, get decent fuel economy, and are available with 4 wheel drive. Neither of them is good for towing and you might be able to find an aftermarket snorkel for the air intake if the water is deep.


How about any of the car-based SUV’s suggested and a bridge? Most AWD systems aren’t all that great for slogging through slippery creek-beds. Even for a 4wd truck that’s designed for it, driving through water isn’t very good for it over the long run. Have you ever looked into a simple flatbed train-car bridge or something similar?


Take a look at the KIA Sportage…


as 'tupid as this sounds… to my ear (opinion) it sounds like you need TWO vehicles!

the F 250 sounds like the work horse.

so you need an all around town vehicle.

there is no substitute for brute force. neither is there an easy way to get good mileage.

are two vehicles out of the question?


How about a used Mercedes Benz ML320? It will ford a 20" deep stream, has all wheel drive and low range, gets 19-23 MPG, and is fun to drive.


Like a previous post on this subject, you need 2 vehicles. I would have an old (10 years or so) pickup truck for towing the trailer, and a Honda CRV or Toyota RAV 4 as my car. I have many farm relatives and they would not dream of doing heavy towing with the familiy car. The Hyundai Tucson is also a nice SUV with good ground clearnance.

Having worked in Africa where flooded roads are the norm, you need to equip your SUV with an air intake that runs up the side up to roof level. They don’t cost that muchand there are several shops in the US that sell this Extreme Equipment.


Perhaps consider a Range Rover. I don’t know what the towing cap is but it’ll go through hell or high water.


Moving to a better location might save you a lot of trouble and it might save the marriage. I know of two marriages that ended because of locations like where you live. Some Air Force people would move as far out as possible and avoid answering the phone so as not to be available for recall to duty. It was kind of bad in many ways. They had various animals to deal with. Bears, shrews and squirrels. Their appliance cords were chewed up. Your choice of course. Moving to in-town housing means you have to learn to love your neighbor at least a little bit. Country means to love thy varmint. At least I won’t find you and try to talk you into moving. I can do enough damage from the internet.


Lotsa stuff might work. How much ground clearance do you need? And if a loan is required, keep the pickup. You won’t pay less on interest than the difference in gas.


The Range Rover also has reliability ratings that are in the toilet.


Actually, it would probably be more accurate to say that Range Rover reliability ratings are in the sewer, since that is lower than the toilet. There is nothing worse than Rover in terms of reliability, and that includes the usual trouble-prone brands, including Jaguar and VW.


Well said; the Range Rover has been riding on the reputation of the basic, military Land Rover which is a relatively good, simple machine. The Queen of England proudly drives a Range Rover, as she did a Mini, but the Royal Family has a live-in mechanic. With a range Rover you need one. Here is a vehicle with great off-road capabilities WHEN IT IS RUNNING! If you live in an isolated area, it is the last thing you should buy. My neighbour’s wife who is a 5’-0" school teacher, asked me 10 years ago what the best vehicle was for her to get to school on time in any weather. I suggested a Honda CRV, which she bought and still drives. It has turned out to be one of the best SUVs money can buy at about 1/3 the price of a Range Rover.


Well! I reckon that answers that!

I never bothered to check them out, and just threw the brand out there.

Anyway, now we all know. Ain’t that a good thing?


Get a Consumer Reports New Car Preview issue at your local bookstore. Used Car Guide if you’re looking used. That’ll give you a comparative listing of every choice as well as reliability data and prices.