Ratings of repair ease

Hey, I’m trying to help a friend buy her first car this December. She has some very specific needs, as she will working as a Cultural Resource specialist, and this will often take her into fairly rural, possibly off-road areas.
I can (and have) done all the basic research on things like 4WD versus AWD, cargo capacity, MPG and Safety ratings from Edmunds, Car&Driver, IIHS…
What I can’t find is any resource that tells me:
A) What mechanics THEMSELVES think about various vehicles
B) How easy a particular model is (or isn’t) to repair in general
C) What repairs a 5’ 2" woman who weighs 110 pounds might be able to make “in the field” on say, a Jeep Renegade…or a Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid
D) What things she would NEVER be able to repair without a shop, like the electrical on a Hybrid, or the transmission on a 4WD
Looking for any feedback, and any sites where I might be able to enter Make/Model data and get ratings/results.

Almost forgot… here is the list of vehicles she is interested in. I’ve also attached a word doc with the list. Feel free to add your own ratings as well. Thanks again!
Ford Escape Hybrid 4WD (no 2015?)
2015 Subaru XV Crosstrek Hybrid AWD
2015 Subaru Outback PZEV
2015 Land Rover LR4 Automatic 4WD
2015 Range Rover Sport FFV Automatic 4WD
2015 Audi Q5 Hybrid AWD
2015 Lexus RX450H Hybrid AWD
2015 Toyota Highlander LTD Hybrid AWD
2015 VW Touareg Hybrid AWD
2014 Toyota RAV 4 EV SUV Front Wheel Drive
2015 Toyota RAV4 SUV AWD
2015 Jeep Renegade Manual 4WD
2015 Jeep Compass High Altitude Auto 4WD

Roadside spare tire change is about it for repairs. You might want to consider a KIA due to a longer warranty period.
Luck of the draw with most but would skip vw, land rover audi and jeep personally.

I’d get a subaru forester over the ones you mention. MPG 30-35 on the highway.

Forget about repairs aside from replacing a flat. (on the subaru that is complicated as the donut spare can only be used on the rear). Just get AAA or equivalent, and a cell phone.

Road side repair on vehicles, not a chance.

Gotta agree. I carry a spare belt but I’d have to call someone to put it on. So go for a warranty and towing insurance and forget working on them. I myself would throw out all of the hybrids and Jeeps and go for the Honda myself. If you are out in the boonies and get a tow, no one is going to work on a hybrid, but they will a Honda if they can get parts.

It does seem that a vehicle popular and common in the area is a real plus and the simpler the better. I am considered a good mechanic and can’t imagine any roadside repairs beyond changing a tire.

Modern vehicles are all difficult to repair. So you pick the ones which are repaired less frequently and hopefully less expensively.

As others say avoid anything Volkswagen or Audi, Land Rover and Jeep.

If you look at the war zone news on TV, you’ll see a lot of Toyota trucks. There are a few luxury brands on your list that I would stay away from. If we are thinking parts availability, then the Toyota might be the winner here. Otherwise, I will just get a good cell phone with great coverage map and a AAA membership.

If I understand correctly this friend is starting a new career. By using her own vehicle that means more than average insurance, tracking mileage and expense’s. I would take that list and cross off every high priced luxury vehicle and all complicated hybrids. The last thing you need if the new job does not work out is payments on a 50000.00 dollar vehicle.

Eliminate all hybrids, EVs, and European makes. That leaves these:
2015 Subaru Outback PZEV
2015 Toyota RAV4 SUV AWD
2015 Jeep Renegade Manual 4WD
2015 Jeep Compass High Altitude Auto 4WD
I’d eliminate the Jeeps, they have poor or unknown reliability. I’d also drop the Outback, not as good off road as the Subaru Forester, good for what you describe.
And the only road side repairs she needs to know how to do is change a tire. Modern vehicles have just about nothing that could be fixed.

It seems a consensus developing here. And I will regretably agree that all Jeep models are off the list of reliable transportation these days as are all European makes. What a shame. Does anyone have an opinion on the Honda Passport?

Stop by the local bookstore and get her a Consumer Reports New Car Buyers’ Guide. It ain’t perfect, but it’s by far the most comprehensive and impartial compilation of comparative car reliability data available. Use that as a guide, and compile a “short list” of those that have high reliability ratings. From there she should test drive the ones that look interesting.

As regards the Jeep, the college where I worked had Jeep Cherokees as “company cars”. Driving them was analogous to driving “cold war” technology… both in the driving impressions and abysmal gas mileage. The cost of ownership was so high and the reliability so low that the college switched to Hondas. Something was always broken on those damned Jeeps.

But, admittedly, Jeeps made by their new owner Fiat may be completely different from the Jeeps we had. Perhaps Fiat has improved them to acceptability now.

I can’t imagine someone with $60,000 to spend on a vehicle is interested in working on that vehicle at camp. This must be a high school research project.

I have always been nervous about leaving my truck behind when hiking or camping for fear of vandalism. I prefer something under $10,000.

Does anyone have an opinion on the Honda Passport?

Yes. It’s not a Honda. It’s a rebadged Isuzu Rodeo. Honda still sells cars here, Isuzu doesn’t.

As to the original question, for the list of cars provided the only roadside repairs possible on any of them would be a flat tire, wiper blades, and maybe a taillight. I would pick the Toyota out of the bunch, for ease of parts sourcing and likelihood of finding a shop to work on it.

Short of a flat tire or serpentine belt problem, sorting out a problem on the side of the road is pretty much an impossibility for anyone unless they’re carrying a tool stash in the trunk and a fair amount of expertise between the ears.

There was a time when a tool roll with a couple of screwdrivers, pair of pliers, and a crescent wrench would get you through most problems unless it was catastrophic.

As to mechanic opinions of cars there’s usually an inherent bias there. A mechanic wrestling with Brand A every day will often develop a certain amount of disgust with them; or loathing.
The same goes for the guy who sees Brand B or C every day.

I agree with avoiding the hybrids, far more to go wrong. As for field repairs, forget it. The BEST she can do is to know how to change a tire, carry a jump-pack to be able to jump herself or another if she runs the battery down, replace a wiper blade or add oil.

You really need a diesel rather than hybrid if you wish to save gas but you selection is very limited in the US. The only thin that comes close is the new Canyon/Colorado pickups from GM with a 4 cylinder turbo-diesel or a Jeep Grand Cherokee, BMW, Audi or Mercedes SUV diesel SUV’s. All physically big, pricey and complicated.

I agree with Galant . . . see what people drive in war zones on CNN or other remote places, you’ll see a lot of Toyota pickups. That may speak to reliability and parts availability. Rocketman

If she needs serious off road capability, a 4Runner might be a good thing to consider as well since it has a truck frame but is pretty adept at doing well as a car on the hightway. A used one can be had for a decent price and they last forever.

If she’s going off road…then I’d eliminate any AWD…stick with 4wd.