Latest Reader Questions (Nov. 22, 2017)

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Here are the latest reader Questions,along with my replies:

Greta asks: Am grandmother who drives 20,000 miles year alone. Would like medium SUV. Have farm, need room. Present car, a GMC Acadia. Yuk. 147,000 miles(longest have kept a car.) Having trouble and have realized how rotten and coercive this industry has become. Do you have a recommendation? Love your commentary!

My reply: Thanks for the kind words, Greta!

On your vehicle search: You mention you have a farm and need room. I assume you also need ground clearance and “more-than-car” poor weather capability. One vehicle that has both those things is a Subaru Crosstrek. This is a medium-small crossover SUV, similar to your Acadia. It’s a little smaller, but you’ll find it’s extremely roomy inside and also versatile because of the shape. And it comes with a very capable AWD system and nearly 9 inches of ground clearance. Subaru just updated this model for the 2018 model year (my review is here) but you could probably still find a brand-new 2017 for a great price as dealers are going to want to clear out the remaining inventory. Or, go back a year or two and shop a a 2016 or 2015; even better deals!

The Toyota RAV4 and Honda CR-V are also good vehicles, generally very reliable and also offered with AWD. The RAV has a very spacious and versatile interior. Neither have as much ground clearance, however.

If you want something that’s about the same overall size as your Acadia and which also offers AWD, the Toyota Highlander is another one I’d recommend. It is still a fairly straightforward vehicle, but that is certain to change within a year or two as Toyota – like every other car company – resorts to elaborate technology to placate the government and its endless mandates!

Bruce asks: I have been coveting a Toyota FJ Cruiser. They made them from about 2006  until discontinued in about 2014. Any comments on this baby? I spot them about once per week around Dayton, Ohio where I live. They seem to be no-nonsense. Some friends near Albuquerque NM (where I attend the “ExtraOrdinary Technology” yearly) have one. Yes, they seem to be ugly with the distinctive two toned paint job with the roof one color and the body a different color. Real tubular steel bumpers; sometimes an underpan for rough ground and a real spare tire, with wheel. Only a two door, but with a back seat accessed from the oversized front doors. Tell me if you have heard of this beast.

My reply: Of course I have heard of this beast! I have driven it and reviewed it, too. See here.  I like them a lot; they are as you’ve described – relatively simple for a modern vehicle and very capable. If you find a good one, snap it up.

I doubt you’ll be disappointed!
. . .

Got a question about cars – or anything else? Click on the “ask Eric” link and send ’em in!

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