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Purrpared
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805 Posts
If you don't mind something with electronics and computers, the Honda Fit is pretty cool. My friend has one and she's hauled everything from a Christmas tree to a Newfoundland in it. The seats reconfigure so you can seriously go camping in it. But me, I'm in love with the red Kia Soul with the ladybug detailing.

I think if I hit the lottery I'll buy something without electronics and with plenty of cargo space just in case I end up living in it, or bugging out in it. Not only is there less consideration of failure without electronics, but you can work on the thing yourself or find a friend who can help, unlike ultra modern cars. One of my coworkers had to pay almost $400 to replace something that cost $60 but it was under the engine so they had to hoist it to work on it -- deliberately designed, IMHO, so that only a mechanic in a shop could do repairs.

The best truck I have ever known was a little white Toyota pickup that made 350,000 miles and still got 14 mpg at the end of its lifespan. That truck never met a load it couldn't haul, and it kept going when others were sitting by the side of the road calling AAA. We should have put a new engine in her instead of selling her. Dependable trucks should be considered heirlooms like well-built houses.
 

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Born 120 years too late.
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6,356 Posts
IMO Ill vote the Liberty.

Its typ. a 6 cyl. can tow, rear drive and moreover, parts galore.

I have a Renegade now, and its "Jeep Toaster" aspect is perfict for my needs. Also saves on the gas.
MY WIFE has been driving Libertys in Northern Michigan for over 20 years.
SHe loves it/them.
Never had any mechanical issues.
She gave her old one to my one kid when she got a new one. He had over 250,000 on it when he traded it in.
Her new one is the last year of production, a 2012 that never gets stuck, never stops and she just drives and changes the oil when needed along with other regular maintenance. I have separate summer and winter wheels and tires for it so at the end of October it will get the snow tires.

I can say nothing bad about them except I can never get comfortable in it because I find it a little confining for my size.
 

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88 Posts
We found a 2006 ford escape with less than 100K miles on it for $4K. My wife gives tours and hauls people around in the rock's here in montana and it has done the job all summer. I put a add in several of the FB classified's on friday and had cash on hand ( a lot of shoppers on the weekend don't have the cash). i stated what i was looking for and somebody popped up. The same car at a dealership is selling for $8K. www.montanamegaliths.com
 

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Live Secret, Live Happy
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16,610 Posts
Awhile back I bought my wife a 2005 Subaru WRX. Turbo engine, 5 sp manual, wing on the back, and a scoop on the hood. I live in a hilly area and this car drives like its on rails.
 

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"TURGID FLUX"
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7,080 Posts
FORD PROBE built by Ford and Mazda. Very sporty car. There are features copied from the Porsche 928, including the pop up headlamps and the tilt wheel instrument cluster.

Sent from my SM-T350 using Tapatalk
 
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4,322 Posts
Never been in a HHR,but put close to 300K on a P.T. Cruiser.That was the most usefull vehicle I ever owned meeting your critera..except they are getting old.
 

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Premium Member
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670 Posts
Discussion Starter · #27 ·
Never been in a HHR,but put close to 300K on a P.T. Cruiser.That was the most usefull vehicle I ever owned meeting your critera..except they are getting old.
I've thought about a PT Cruiser also it's certainly quirky enough, we rented one a number of years ago and it seemed decent enough.

Probe would be good but it's only a 2 door, WRX would be fun but between the turbo and head gasket issues it's not for me.
 

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Let’s disclose a few basics first.
Do you live in the valley, AC.
Do you live on the rim, Flag, White Mts, ground clearance & 4x4.
Family,max # of passengers.
Garage or low incidence of vehicle theft?
Are you mechanically inclined?
Think you might consider off reading, great trails in Az.?
Max you think you might tow?
This will narrow the field.
 

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Premium Member
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670 Posts
Discussion Starter · #31 ·
Let’s disclose a few basics first. (y)
Do you live in the valley, AC. No
Do you live on the rim, Flag, White Mts, ground clearance & 4x4. No
Family,max # of passengers. 4
Garage or low incidence of vehicle theft? Low incidence of theft and yes I have a garage.
Are you mechanically inclined? 4/10 - I can't do big jobs but I have a great mechanic as long as it's the right car.
Think you might consider off reading, great trails in Az.? - Not really but I do live off of a very short dirt road.
Max you think you might tow? I have a wimpy truck for my towing needs.
This will narrow the field.
Great questions, see above.
 

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Premium Member
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670 Posts
Discussion Starter · #33 ·
I'm still trying to figure out how any of the OP's suggested vehicles are either quirky or cool....
I guess it's a matter of personal taste (?) I think the HHR is quirky, retro cool and practical but my wife thinks it's quirky and hideous.
 

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Live Secret, Live Happy
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16,610 Posts
$2-3k for a head gasket and associated parts right?
My nephew and another friend have purchased several older Subaru Outbacks with leaky gaskets. They fix them at home for about $600 in parts. Another member here does this also and could likely help you through it.

I am retired and dont like crawling under cars anymore. I simply plan on spending $2k on preventative maintanence every 100k miles.

Most high Japanese engines have zero clearance valves, and you must plan to replace the timing belt at 100k miles, or risk loosing the motor. Changing out a couple head gaskets at the same time is not a big deal.
 

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IMO Ill vote the Liberty.

Its typ. a 6 cyl. can tow, rear drive and moreover, parts galore.

I have a Renegade now, and its "Jeep Toaster" aspect is perfict for my needs. Also saves on the gas.
I vote Liberty as well very reliable and 4x4 is awesome. Cheap to fix and maintain and with wheels and tires you have a great SHTF rig with off road capability.
 

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I counted 4 votes for the liberty. Just a few highlights I'm a mechanic by trade. The liberty is based on a truck platform and is true rwd and not a car based fwd like a crv. The 3.7 powertech is good for 250k plus miles along with the 42te transmission which is huge and over built for a vehicle this size. The only thing that kills the 3.7 is people who overheat them
or run them out of oil. The 4x4 system comes with a true 4 low transfer case not some half worked awd system like Toyota and Honda. Customers of mine who drive them report 20 to 22 mpg mixed driving which I think is good for something that is actually capable off road. My 2$. For what its worth.
 

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GEO Prism has excellent gas mileage, rear visibility and spunky Toyota engine. There's just not many available on the used car market. Mine has 136K miles I guess I'll run it into the ground. Current value is far less than a Subaru head gasket repair. I wonder if I should consider a timing belt replacement?
 
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