i am not a mechanic, live in Alaska, and looking for a reliable used awd or 4x4. i looked at the top 10 list of reliable cars and only saw the subaru impreza and forester. these two are hard to find for sale used (and expensive). are there any others that would be comparable?
Honda CRVs are similar and typically very reliable. You could also look at the Toyota RAV4.
The Honda and Toyota are very good vehicles. Mazda has soime good AWD vehicles as well.
The CRV is a good car, and I love my Mazda (but its not an AWD). I believe the Ford Escape can come AWD, and my in laws LOVE theirs.
How much can you afford? After about 5 years, the brand doesn’t matter as much as how well it was cared for. If you want to spend about $10,000 you can’t depend on the brand. A stripped 2007 4WD Toyota Tacoma would run around $12,000 in a private sale in Anchorage.
I don’t know your local, but make sure you can get it serviced. I wouldn’t buy a fill_in_the_blank_anything if nobody in 100 miles knows anything about it.
I’ve heard good reports about the Toyota Rav 4. At least for reasonbly well-travelled dirt, gravel desert type roads friends tell me it is reliable and a good peformer w/reasonable mileage. Not sure about extremely cold weather and snow and ice performance tho.
thanks for the comments! i have had a mazda mpv in texas so never thought about awd back then. now i have something more to look at on craigslist
It may make sence to buy a car from the lower 48 and ship it up. One that may not have been exposed to an Alaska winter/ roads yet. Also rav4 while a good choice has a big weakness if you are going over rough dirt roads all of the time. It’s tailgate swings out not up PLUS has the weight if the spaire tire on it. This plus rough roads gives the hinges a short life, and they are not easy/cheap to replace.
All great suggestions. Let me throw a Tacoma pick up into the mix. It will certainly expand your search and they are extremely tough. Not car like by any means but the ride is serviceable and in 4 cyl will not break the bank in gas.
If you plan on a lot of dirt roads, I would opt for a compact truck. As far as the RAV in snow, with traction control, decent ground clearance and well calibrated center diff, it is excellent on snow and ice. With a center diff lock, it can handle deep snow quite well…I just don’t think anything handles rough roads over time like a 4wd truck.
The big advantage of the swing open gate on the RAV is that allows a roomier interior then most by storing the spare on the door instead of underneath giving you a lower loading height which we find excellent on ours. The weight of the spare on the door on our dirt road is not an issue with the RAV or the Sidekick we had before. It is plenty robust.
Anything from Subaru, or like dagosa said, a tacoma, but be sure to put 250 lbs of weight in the back to even out the truck or you WILL go sliding everywhere.
Consider an Escape AWD, too. Ours is a hybrid and we have enjoyed 60K completely reliable miles with it, although your mileage will not be as good in the cold. Good luck on your choice.