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Old 08-13-2010, 02:02 PM
 
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Need a good comparison when it comes to driving in winter, and possibly sharp swerving when avoiding a deer. I'm interested in Jeep Grand Cherokee, Subaru Outback or Forester, and all crossover/wagon Volvos.

Volvo XC90 is supposed have passed the Moose/Elk test, whereby it doesn't roll over under sharp steering circumstances. Someone mentioned to me that the cage is built in a way to withstand hitting a large animal. How does Subaru or other cars stack up to that?

Do any of these cars come with any protection under the car? I drove over a dead deer once and it damaged my car. I'd like to know if there is an option to prevent that.
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Old 08-13-2010, 02:15 PM
 
Location: Vancouver, B.C., Canada
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well if you plan on hitting lots of a deer and other large animals on a regular basis a late model 99-03 power stroke diesel Excursion with a push bar and skid plates would be the best bet. also after you hit the deer it has room in back to throw him in the back and then you can have some nice tender venison for dinner


YouTube - the simpsons canyonero
Ford Excursion: She's a squirrel-crushing, deer-smacking, driving machine!

Last edited by GTOlover; 08-13-2010 at 02:29 PM.. Reason: added :)
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Old 08-13-2010, 04:34 PM
f_m
 
2,289 posts, read 7,357,152 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ResearchMom View Post
Need a good comparison when it comes to driving in winter, and possibly sharp swerving when avoiding a deer. I'm interested in Jeep Grand Cherokee, Subaru Outback or Forester, and all crossover/wagon Volvos.

Volvo XC90 is supposed have passed the Moose/Elk test, whereby it doesn't roll over under sharp steering circumstances. Someone mentioned to me that the cage is built in a way to withstand hitting a large animal. How does Subaru or other cars stack up to that?
In general, cars that are lower to the ground reduce the roll over probability. Although many new cars come with a "vehicle stability assist" type function that reduces the accelerator input and other functions to minimize sudden vehicle movement that could result in roll over.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ResearchMom View Post
Do any of these cars come with any protection under the car? I drove over a dead deer once and it damaged my car. I'd like to know if there is an option to prevent that.
Sounds like you need a front grill guard to provide a "cattle guard" function, which is to deflect the animal to the side.

As far as the bottom goes, there is little done with it since a normal passenger vehicle doesn't deal with this often. You could get a special skid plate that is reinforced.

These are typically off roading accessories so you would have to look under that category.
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Old 08-13-2010, 05:04 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ResearchMom View Post
Need a good comparison when it comes to driving in winter, and possibly sharp swerving when avoiding a deer. I'm interested in Jeep Grand Cherokee, Subaru Outback or Forester, and all crossover/wagon Volvos.

Volvo XC90 is supposed have passed the Moose/Elk test, whereby it doesn't roll over under sharp steering circumstances. Someone mentioned to me that the cage is built in a way to withstand hitting a large animal. How does Subaru or other cars stack up to that?

Do any of these cars come with any protection under the car? I drove over a dead deer once and it damaged my car. I'd like to know if there is an option to prevent that.
Jeebus how many animals are you looking to run over?

For starters what helps it looking far down the road and then bringing your eyes back and then look forward again and so on. By keeping your eyes moving it allow you to anticipate and plan better than having eyes locked just past your hood. Hands and feet follow the eyes. Stare at something and you will hit it.

Also swerving can be more dangerous than just braking in a straight line and scrubbing off speed and then popping the deer at a lower speed. On a flat surface, yes vehicle stability systems help, but in the real world there are still plenty of hazards, camber changes and off road obstacles that can roll a vehicle over, especially on rural roads. And if you feel you have to take evasive action, again brake in a straight line, scrub the speed off and when you realize you can't stop in time, ease out of the brakes transferring grip to the tires to steer, steer slightly around it(not swerving) and back on brakes to a near stop in the event of other hazards. The mistake many make is not being focused on their driving, swerving without braking and then ending up flipped in a ditch or into opposing traffic. I can say few people have ever done an accident avoidance drill on a closed course at high speed(60 mph) and few are prepared for what is going to happen with the weight transfer and grip issues that arise.

Dead deer on roads? Well even in a rally car with a steel skid plate down the length of the car you can still damage suspension components, wheels and tires. Most or all of the above cars have a plastic skid plate under the engine which can help, but still something of that mass can damage any car, including a big Ford Excursion.

Both the Outback/Forester and Volvos all do the business better than most of their competitors and handle better in emergency conditions than most of their competitors. I wouldn't go for the Jeep.
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Old 08-13-2010, 05:26 PM
 
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I've spend a whole day reading about this stuff, so thanks for all of your comments. From what I learned today, I can forget about needing a push/bull bar in the front, as these do not protect the car enough when hitting something large. It's mainly to keep sticks/branches away. I want the skid plate, sounds like most of these cars have it or it could be an option. I don't want to go too crazy about this, that's why I am not looking at any large SUV's.

What matters the most, is the electronic stability control against a roll over, and air-bags in the back to protect my kid.

Actually, I just want to be able to do this: Naughty Volvo S60 - Elk Test, Level 4 on Vimeo
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Old 08-13-2010, 05:36 PM
 
Location: Vancouver, B.C., Canada
10,715 posts, read 22,297,565 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ResearchMom View Post
I've spend a whole day reading about this stuff, so thanks for all of your comments. From what I learned today, I can forget about needing a push/bull bar in the front, as these do not protect the car enough when hitting something large. It's mainly to keep sticks/branches away. I want the skid plate, sounds like most of these cars have it or it could be an option. I don't want to go too crazy about this, that's why I am not looking at any large SUV's.

What matters the most, is the electronic stability control against a roll over, and air-bags in the back to protect my kid.

Actually, I just want to be able to do this: Naughty Volvo S60 - Elk Test, Level 4 on Vimeo

I got a bumper like this on my F-250. also the car in the picture is a FJ cruiser you might want to look at one of those it has the clearance and ability to drive over a dead deer if you have to and with that 40lbs steel bumper you should no problems at all and the FJ come with stavblility control and is a mid-size SUV.
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Old 08-13-2010, 05:43 PM
 
Location: Vancouver, B.C., Canada
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YouTube - Motorweek Video of the 2007 Toyota FJ Cruiser
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Old 08-13-2010, 05:56 PM
 
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Unfortunately, good unobstructed view is a big must for me, so FJ cruiser would not work. This was actually the first car I got curious about, until I saw how tiny the back window is, plus negative reviews about that. I think the bumper is awesome, I don't buy anything for looks and this one has "bugger off" written all over it. What brand is it?

At 8.7" ground clearance, FJ is identical to Subaru Outback in that respect. My mind/wallet is sort of set on a Subaru, but I'm reading about some problems with the Outback's steering wheel shaking/vibration problems at highway speeds, so I need to check that out. Plus test drive a few of course..
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Old 08-13-2010, 06:05 PM
f_m
 
2,289 posts, read 7,357,152 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ResearchMom View Post
Unfortunately, good unobstructed view is a big must for me, so FJ cruiser would not work. This was actually the first car I got curious about, until I saw how tiny the back window is, plus negative reviews about that. I think the bumper is awesome, I don't buy anything for looks and this one has "bugger off" written all over it. What brand is it?

At 8.7" ground clearance, FJ is identical to Subaru Outback in that respect. My mind/wallet is sort of set on a Subaru, but I'm reading about some problems with the Outback's steering wheel shaking/vibration problems at highway speeds, so I need to check that out. Plus test drive a few of course..
The other thing you should look at is lights. You will probably want some additional lights added you can use on rural roads to help see and scare off animals. You may even want some that spread out to the side (similar to the "turning" headlamps), although I'm not sure such aftermarket items are common or available.

As far as the grill guards, yes, most of them are for looks and basic protection, but you could probably find a real tubular steel that is part of a safety cage design.
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Old 08-13-2010, 06:45 PM
 
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Several years dated (say 2005), Saab and Volvo were considered moose-safe. You might be assuming that an SUV like a Grand Cherokee or Excursion would be a good bet, but keep in mind that a male moose could be quite tall and after you take his legs out that's 1500 pounds heading straight for your windshield. Subaru would be your best choice for avoiding that moose in the winter; they are safe, but I'm not aware of any moose-specific testing done.
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