I’m in the market for a used car in the under $10,000 range. I’m in rural Virginia dealing with windy, mountainous terrain which my 1996 Jeep Grand Cherokee doesn’t handle particularly well. My main concerns are safety (it’s a question of when- not if- I hit a deer and I’d love to be able to walk away) and gas milage (I was filling up the Jeep twice a week!) Does anyone have any suggestions of what might fit the bill?
Damn near anything will work. I know it’s not helpful, but it’s the truth.
It would be hard to come up with an unsuitable make/model. Other than a Jeep Grand Cherokee, you could go with just about anything.
Please explain in what way a Jeep does not handle mountainous terrain “particularly well.”
Isn’t that what Jeeps are made for?
There are a multitude of AWD and/or 4WD vehicles out there. I’m sure one of them will suit your needs.
Shopping for a vehicle in which to hit a deer is another matter. Have you considered a Hummer? At least in a Hummer the deer would be less likely to come through the windshield.
Any mid to full sized sedan. I assume you are concerned about handling on curvy roads. I too live in rural Virginia so I have some idea what you are dealing with. A 4 cylinder Honda Accord would work well and they get good gas mileage. A Ford Crown Vic will probably haul more stuff than your Grand Cherokee and get better mileage, though not as good as a 4 cyl. Accord. If you think you need AWD, your best bet is a slightly used Subaru (avoid the turbo versions). By the way, I’ve lived in these mountains for 30+ years and haven’t hit a dear yet. It’s not inevitable.
I’d go with some kind of “car”, perhaps one with four wheels and a motor.
Seriously, though, if you like SUV room and capabilities without the height and handling worries, it’s hard to beat a Subaru Outback.
I agree with the other posters that your criteria are very broad. The Subaru would probably be closest to what you have now that would handle windy roads better and get better mileage.
I would also mention, however, that if a deer strike is as inevitable as you suggest, that a $10,000 car might not be a good investment. In 3-5 years the car is going to be worth significantly less, and in a modern car with crumple zones and airbags and such, a deer strike has a chance of actually totaling your car. I know there’s roads out here in western Montana that if I had to drive on a regular basis, I wouldn’t drive anything worth more than $1000 (not that I do anyways) other than maybe a big truck with a hefty grille guard.
Aren’t there so-called “deer whistles” that you can attach to the front of your vehicle to scare off the deer as you approach? Or are those things useless.
Please, let’s not start the deer whistle thread again. . .
Some people swear by them, but all the decently run studies I’ve seen published say the have no affect.
They are cheap, so if you want to put them on your car it’s not a big waste of money. For the record, I have never used them and never hit a deer. I have driven a lot in rural Virginia and Pennsylvania, at dusk and dawn in the areas where deer are prevalent. I’m not saying it can’t happen to me, just that I’ve never seen a need for deer whistles. Saw quite a few deer on my motorcycle ride this past Sunday, by the way.
I have deer whistles on my cars. Do they work? Well, I haven’t hit a deer yet. However, I haven’t even SEEN a tiger, elephant, lion, monkey, lead, gravy, fruit bats, orangutans, ostriches or camels anywhere near my car, so I wonder if maybe the whistles work real well for them!
What about a pickup with a grill guard? A 4WD that sits high would be best. You will knock the deer down instead of up, and run over it. The high ground clearance will reduce or eliminate damage to the undercarriage.
Then you can gut it and take it home in the bed! Dinner for weeks! Venison sausage is delicious, dontcha think?
I know, an International pickup. It’s a transport truck cab with a pickup bed. You’ll turn deer into venison gravy!