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Old 08-19-2010, 12:48 PM
 
Location: NYC & NJ
747 posts, read 2,209,716 times
Reputation: 326

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By needing great traction on slippery surfaces and lots of ground clearance, your query isn't all that different from asking which vehicles are the best off roaders. Here's one way to narrow your search down:

Best & worst cars review, best off-road (http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/cars/new-cars/buying-advice/best-worst-cars-review/best-off-road/best-off-road.htm - broken link)

Scroll down to where they compare some of the earlier model years that you'll be looking at below $10K (2005 and older):

Crossover Vehicle Reviews - Crossover SUV Comparison Tests from CARandDRIVER.com
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Old 08-19-2010, 01:44 PM
 
Location: U.S.A.
3,306 posts, read 9,009,036 times
Reputation: 2919
Quote:
Originally Posted by G.Costanza View Post
By needing great traction on slippery surfaces and lots of ground clearance, your query isn't all that different from asking which vehicles are the best off roaders. Here's one way to narrow your search down:

Best & worst cars review, best off-road (http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/cars/new-cars/buying-advice/best-worst-cars-review/best-off-road/best-off-road.htm - broken link)
Am I missing something?

They drove these vehicles over a 23 degree incline of virtually dry cobblestone. There is no explanation of the tests. They don't even explain the rating system...
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Old 08-21-2010, 12:33 PM
 
Location: Shelby County
279 posts, read 853,509 times
Reputation: 261
Why not get a Jeep Wrangler? They aren't overly expensive and modifications are cheaper than other vehicles.
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Old 08-21-2010, 01:45 PM
 
Location: Eastern NC
18,095 posts, read 16,624,381 times
Reputation: 15938
I would say an Xterra or a 4Runner.
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Old 08-21-2010, 07:32 PM
 
Location: Columbia, California
6,662 posts, read 25,340,306 times
Reputation: 5067
I second GTOlover's thought. You already have a Explorer so you know their value. Readily available, easy to work on even thou we never need to. I love mine, I have the Sport Trac 4x4 with a V8.

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Old 08-23-2010, 03:49 PM
 
11,564 posts, read 17,501,153 times
Reputation: 17206
Here is a vote for an AWD Outback. You don't really need a 4WD SUV. For that matter, you don't even need a 4WD, almost every study I have seen says a front wheel drive 2WD with proper snow tires has better traction than any 4WD without - but that is a topic for another discussion. You don't want to hear that.

You want the SUV because marketers have convinced you that you need one and their will be no convincing you otherwise, I know...get a 4runner if your heart is set on a midsized SUV. Get a RAV4 or Subaru Forrester if you can deal with a small one. I can see no practical reason for a large SUV outside of huge families or commercial reasons.
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Old 08-23-2010, 04:34 PM
 
Location: Woodland Park, CO
3,133 posts, read 9,102,887 times
Reputation: 2463
Big SUVs rock! I love our Durango, but it loves gas with the 5.7. But it tows the family and camper with no problems!



Would you rather be in an Outback or Durango when a kid in a car t-bones you at 40mph?



If the Red Durango was a sedan, there would have been extensive damage to the driver side door and who knows what else!

If you want the best 4x4 system possible, find a 05+ Jeep Grand Cherokee with Quadra-Drive II. You will not find a more capable offroad system for the money.
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Old 08-23-2010, 04:47 PM
 
Location: Vancouver, B.C., Canada
10,715 posts, read 22,325,919 times
Reputation: 5137
is the dodge durango not based off the jeep grand chrokee platform?
they are pretty much the same truck just diffrtn exterior
I always liked the 98-03 R/T 5.9 HO version
http://cdn.getauto.com/photos/3/72223/1c/1D4HS78Z13F572627-1c.jpg (broken link)
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Old 08-23-2010, 04:50 PM
 
Location: Woodland Park, CO
3,133 posts, read 9,102,887 times
Reputation: 2463
The 04+ Durango is on it's own platform, I believe. The 03 and later ones shared the platform with the Dakota. (EDITED)

I wish the Durango got the Jeep's 4x4 system(s). Open differentials is not ideal for off roading!
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Old 08-24-2010, 01:51 PM
 
Location: Mountains of middle TN
5,232 posts, read 13,556,847 times
Reputation: 6011
I definitely want an SUV. My son rolled my mother's Compass down the side of the mountain this past winter and walked away with barely a scratch on his forehead. I'm not driving a sedan or anything small up there. I'm from an island in south Florida - snow and I aren't really properly acquainted yet, so I'll feel safer in something a bit bigger.

That said, I don't want a full size SUV if it's just as safe to be in a compact one. I like the CRV / Tribute size SUVs. They sit as high (I believe) which is important for hubby as he's not able to bend over or scoot down to get in a vehicle. But they're also a smaller size which is easier for him to handle with his limited mobility.

So, is a smaller SUV as safe as the larger? Does the added weight / size make a difference in safety in deep snow? They apparently get a couple feet there during the winter months.
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