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Old 06-09-2015, 06:27 PM
 
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So sorry for all the questions lately... But you're all so informative!

So we decided that once we relocate to CA we are definitely getting a second car for my husband to use as a daily driving. The trouble is that we are likely moving to a town that is "over the grade" (which city-data users have said means driving up/down a mountain)... This means that we'd be putting a tremendous amount of wear/tear on our only car and quite frankly I am worried that the extra strain on the car will cause it to have problems sooner than later (it's a 2010 Ford Escape).

What type of car/SUV/truck would be good for a daily driver when going up/down the grade? Ideally we will be buying used as we don't want another big car payment (the escape is almost paid for). Or in your opinion is the Escape a good vehicle for this type of driving?

Any advice is appreciate!
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Old 06-09-2015, 06:46 PM
 
Location: San Antonio, TX USA
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Your Escape will be fine.
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Old 06-09-2015, 06:47 PM
 
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first you want a car with decent power. now that doesnt mean you should go out and buy something with 700hp. second you have to consider what kinds of weather conditions you may encounter depending on what season you plan to drive in, some mountainous areas do get snow on the ground, and going up a mountain i would recommend something with all wheel drive to cover those conditions.

something like a subaru legacy or something similar. climbing most grades does not add that much stress to a vehicle since most grades are between 4 and 6 percent. though i have been up some mountain passes that were 10-12% grades, but again they are rare.

and if you are worried about any extra wear and tear on the vehicle, then move up your maintenance schedule. for instance if you change the oil at 7500 miles now, with the car you use to climb the mountain make it 6000 mile oil changes.
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Old 06-09-2015, 06:50 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rbohm View Post
first you want a car with decent power. now that doesnt mean you should go out and buy something with 700hp. second you have to consider what kinds of weather conditions you may encounter depending on what season you plan to drive in, some mountainous areas do get snow on the ground, and going up a mountain i would recommend something with all wheel drive to cover those conditions.

something like a subaru legacy or something similar. climbing most grades does not add that much stress to a vehicle since most grades are between 4 and 6 percent. though i have been up some mountain passes that were 10-12% grades, but again they are rare.

and if you are worried about any extra wear and tear on the vehicle, then move up your maintenance schedule. for instance if you change the oil at 7500 miles now, with the car you use to climb the mountain make it 6000 mile oil changes.
I believe it is 7% grade? Cuesta grade is what it is called, I think. It is in sunny CA although I believe it can get cold in winter.. Not sure if there would be actual ice though.
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Old 06-09-2015, 06:51 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Me007gold View Post
Your Escape will be fine.
Good to know!
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Old 06-09-2015, 07:22 PM
 
Location: Vancouver, B.C., Canada
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Ford Full-size Bronco, K-5 Blazer, Dodge RamCharger, Chevy Suburban/Tahoe/Yukon, Jeep Cherokee (Xj) Jeep Wrangler, Jeep Grand Cherokee, Ford Expedition, Toyota FJ Cruiser, Nissan Pathfinder, Nissan Xterra, Infiniti QX4.
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Old 06-09-2015, 07:25 PM
 
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Originally Posted by GTOlover View Post
Ford Full-size Bronco, K-5 Blazer, Dodge RamCharger, Chevy Suburban/Tahoe/Yukon, Jeep Cherokee (Xj) Jeep Wrangler, Jeep Grand Cherokee, Ford Expedition, Toyota FJ Cruiser, Nissan Pathfinder, Nissan Xterra, Infiniti QX4.
Which one of those get good gas mileage? And how old would you go when purchasing used before you'd consider it to not be worth the $$? Ideally we want to buy used
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Old 06-09-2015, 07:40 PM
 
Location: Oregon, formerly Texas
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Where in California? Is it in the northern part where the mountains get snow? I live in a mountain town and Ford Escapes work fine if you're staying on the main roads, but you will want to get winter tires if you're in an area that gets snow/ice.

The question is do you want another vehicle for the days you want to go off-road in the mountains? That's where one of these comes in:

Quote:
Ford Full-size Bronco, K-5 Blazer, Dodge RamCharger, Chevy Suburban/Tahoe/Yukon, Jeep Cherokee (Xj) Jeep Wrangler, Jeep Grand Cherokee, Ford Expedition, Toyota FJ Cruiser, Nissan Pathfinder, Nissan Xterra, Infiniti QX4
A decent one of those can be had for 3500-7500. I bought a Chevy S-10 Blazer 4x4, and I must say that it greatly enhanced my enjoyment of the area because of its ability to go on trails.
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Old 06-09-2015, 07:45 PM
 
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Originally Posted by redguard57 View Post
Where in California? Is it in the northern part where the mountains get snow? I live in a mountain town and Ford Escapes work fine if you're staying on the main roads, but you will want to get winter tires if you're in an area that gets snow/ice.

The question is do you want another vehicle for the days you want to go off-road in the mountains? That's where one of these comes in:

A decent one of those can be had for 3500-7500. I bought a Chevy S-10 Blazer 4x4, and I must say that it greatly enhanced my enjoyment of the area because of its ability to go on trails.
The central coast.. Near SLO. I don't believe it gets snow but I've heard in winter it can be freezing so I imagine ice may be possible. I don't think dh will be doing off roading but you never know!
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Old 06-09-2015, 08:54 PM
 
Location: Wyoming
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While a 7% grade is pretty steep for a major highway, it's nothing that any regular family car can't handle with ease unless it gets snow or ice on it, and if that happens your hubby could trade you vehicles for the day and drive the Escape (assuming it's AWD). My daily driver is now a Prius, and I'd have no hesitation to use it and expect no problems. However, something with a little more power might be nicer to drive.

The Prius is a hybrid with a 134 hp engine, a little underpowered. Great mpg, however (40-50 mpg depending on speed). I'd certainly prefer the Prius to my last daily driver, which was a 3/4 ton diesel pickup. I liked my pickup, drove it for 15 years, but the cost to operate it was 3X to 4X what the Prius is, and that doesn't count the outrageously high repair bills the last few years I owned it.

You don't say how long the commute will be, but if it's a long drive, I'd look for a smallish (mid-sized) car with 150-180 hp engine -- something with good gas mileage.

Back to the Prius, I have driven it up some 6-8% grades and it did fine, but the speed limit was only 65 mph with several 35-45 mph curves. On the interstate in the foothills of our mountains, the speed limit is 75 and 80 mph. Mileage suffers at those speeds (down to 40 mpg), but the car goes up and down the grades, some 6%, at 80 mph without showing any strain whatsoever. I've also driven it on many snowy and icy roads. It handles them very well as long as the snow doesn't get too deep -- more than 4-5 inches.

One regular poster to this board says he commutes from the Colorado Rockies to Denver on a regular basis throughout the year and records right at 50 mpg driving (?) 65 mph.
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