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Used car recommendation

Can anyone suggest a reliable vehicle for < $10K that gets good gas mileage and also has 4 wheel drive (AWD also OK)?

Definately NOT any Volvo.

Do you want a car, SUV, or pick-up truck?

define good gas mileage. If you’re expecting 30+MPG, it doesn’t exist. 20 mpg is stretching it

I’d prefer a car or SUV since we already have an old truck that we use when one is needed. We used to have an AWD Suburu that got excellent mileage, so I’m not sure why 30+ mpg is unrealistic.

Subaru.

Take your pick among models. Their AWD system is the same no matter which model you choose, and it’s the best in the business.

Expect gas mileage around 25 mpg overall. If that’s not good enough you will have to forgo AWD.

A Suzuki Aerio if you can find one.

You won’t get 30 MPG in a Subaru. The EPA estimates are accurate these days. The Impreza gets 20/26 without the turbo and 19/24 with the turbo and auto transmission for both. Manual transmission gets another MPG at most. The Escape hybrid (Mariner or Tribute, too!) get an average of 28 MPG (29 City/27 Highway) - They are the best you can hope for with AWD or 4WD.

My stand by recommendation for a used SUV is a crv…It’s a true FWD until needed in the older models. Check CR and you’ll see how reliable the used are. No 30 mpg but will be at least as good as a Subaru. Not as effective in awd, but more reliable used.

Do you want that AWD for off road driving?

No off-road driving for us–unless you count getting in and out of our gravel private road when it snows! Since we need a new commuting car anyway, we want something that will do better during our rare snows than our Nissan pickup and our minivan. Even with cable chains, we had a very hard time getting out to the main highway during the snow we had in December–and then, of course, we either had to remove the chains or go 25 miles per hour!

Most Japanese cars are reliable and get good MPG – lots of $10k choices. Most people think they need AWD when they really need good snow tires (all season tires are NOT winter tires). I suggest rather than spending your money on AWD you get four extra rims with real snow tires. My RWD BMW with four snow tires does better in Colorado snow than the Audi A4 Quattro with all-season (i.e. three season) tires.

Twotone

AWD is not suitable for off road; 4wd is
I commuted for years with a small 2wd pick up…in the snow belt. 2 wd trucks can be excellent in snow because of added clearance and very good on ice if…

  1. 4 winter tires
  2. lots of weight (200+ lbs of tube sand) over rear axle.
    A 2wd truck with a limited slip is even better.
    Small Toyotas/Nissans can push 30 mpg highway at sane speeds. 65 or less.

If you don’t add weight, they are terrible. If you do, they are transformed into good handling vehicles with very good winter traction.
Used Toyota/Nissans trks 2wd are CHEAP.

Why don’t you put winter tires on your AWD? It needs them just as much for safety (wife’s car ?). Then you (she) would travel much more safety than you do with either car now.

Divorced the wife, sold the Audi.
Twotone

Oops…I defer to your then.