Looking to buy a SUV, 4WD manual transmission

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Hey Eric,
Let me start by saying how much I enjoy your website and reviews. I have a question for you – I am looking to buy a SUV, 4WD manual transmission, preferably at least 6 cylinder, reasonably priced, and one that will last. I have a RWD Jeep Grand Cherokee with 120,000 miles, and I want something RELIABLE that will last me through medical residency. I am looking at ding my residency up north where it snows in the winter. The best I have found is the Toyota RAV4, but it’s $$$$$$. I like the Wranglers, but I also like something that’s going to run for 120,000+ miles with minimal fuss. The Honda CRV is only 4 cylinder. Any suggestions? I’d also like something that starts with he flick of a button on my keychain, so that it will warm up while I’m getting ready in the morning.
Thanks much,


  1. my brother, sister-in-law and I all driver 4cylinder Honda CRV’s with manual transmissions through the ridges in Pa to Pittsburgh everyday…(mountainous terrain about an hour 15 mins from Pittsburgh) We like these vehicles because they get excellent gas mileage with plenty of pep in this area.

  2. Good luck . The auto industry wants to make the most boring mindless vehicles they can . There are no 4WD SUV’s with a manual transmissions that you can drive in 4WD on the road . They are all automatic , fall asleep at the wheel , living rooms on wheels . They must think nobody actually wants to drive their vehicles any more . There are a few with part-time 4WD but you aren’t supposed to drive them in 4WD on the street .
    I had a 1998 RAV 4 with a 5 speed manual . It was fun to drive . I traded it in on a 4Runner which can be driven on the road in 4WD , but has a boring transmission . Mistake !! I should have kept the RAV4.
    My wife has a 2010 V6 RAV4 . No manual transmission offered . This little SUV is a rocket and is
    a little fun to drive fast , but without a manual it falls short of my old 1998 RAV4. In Europe you can get a diesel RAV4 with a manual transmission .
    Sorry to rant , but I am pissed at auto makers . They make some great vehicles but don’t import
    them to North America . They must think we are to moronic to be able to drive them .

    • The automakers have gotten into bed with the government – they’re both on the same side, now. They’ve learned it’s easier – and makes them more money to – go along/get along.

      This is why they now not only tout “safety” over performance – they actively lobby for mandating into law the latest “safety” gizmo they’ve invented. Back-up cameras, for example. Or pedestrian air bags. More coming.


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