Suggest some vehicles for me (SHTF & daily drive)

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Suggest some vehicles for me (SHTF & daily drive)

Post by OLM-Medic » Sun May 19, 2013 11:05 pm

I might be getting another vehicle in the future. I love the Jeep Liberty CRD (diesel) I have but I may be opting for something else soon.

I am not asking for what car I should buy, or which one is good. I'm not buying anything without lots of research, so this is just for suggestions of vehicles to research based on the below criteria.

An SUV or car is what I am looking for. I would only really consider a truck that gets good MPG (like the Tacoma), but probably not.

This vehicle is always looked at from the perspective of SHTF/survival, as well as every day life. These are criteria I am looking at:

Trusted brand
Honda and Toyota have my interest here. Sorry guys, but I doubt I will buy American again. Chrysler and the like have pissed me off too much over the years. I will still take suggestions on anything though. Research could change my mind.

Good warranty
I'm probably buying new, so the better the warranty the happier I will be. If a good powertrain warranty gets my engine or transmission replaced/repaired for free if it fails before 100,000 miles then I will be happily driving without worry until then.

Reliable/Easy to fix/Cheap & common parts
All cars break down, but I would like something that is known to break down less. Most importantly, I would like something that is easy and cheap to fix when the inevitable happens. This is more for every day life so I don't get financially sodomized. When SHTF, as long as I can make it out of the city I will be fine. There will be other cars where I am going. If mine breaks down after that, we will just use another.

Hybrids and small diesel vehicles are scaring me in this area.

Cargo space
Sometimes I make long trips with friend and LOTS of shooting or musical gear (depending on the crowd), and in a SHTF situation I have a lot of stuff to bring. This is a major consideration.

I don't even like trucks for this, because I store stuff INSIDE of my vehicle. This is why I like the SUV. A 4-door car is surely an option here, but it needs to be able to carry more then the average car. This is why I like the idea of a hatchback VS enclosed trunk. A hatchback could surely negate some of these issues in cars. Also, a roof mounted-cargo container could probably help.

Fuel economy
It must be capable of decent gas mileage. I do a lot of long road trips, and I might be planning to travel the country next year, so a gas guzzler is not an option. Also, I would rather have a small SUV that is capable of 22mpg (ex: Toyota RAV4) then a car that is doing 26mpg (ex: some Hyundai elantra). A sedan must be capable of MUCH better gas mileage for me to consider it as an advantage over the SUV.

In this aspect, and ignoring the others, the VW Jetta TDI wins big time (with some getting near 50mpg). Other cars by Honda and Toyota also win here. Unfortunately, Hyundai has turned me off a bit with their reports of WAY overstated MPG by consumers.

Range/Tank capacity
I want to be able to get far on one half of a tank, which is the minimum I ever let my car get to. This is more for the SHTF aspect. I am used to a 20gal tank in my last two vehicles, so switching to a 12gal gasoline tank in anything other then a true gas sipper will not be ideal.

Safety
It should be a number one priority, but I know a lot of the safety ratings are misleading anyway. I want good crash ratings, airbags everywhere, ABS, the works. One thing I will miss about diesel is not having 20 gallons of flammable gasoline riding with me.

4x4?
Lately I have been wondering if I really need this feature or not. I have never really needed to use 4x4, even in the snow. I don't see myself having to bug out with 4x4 either. There are 4x4's in my group of friends, so once at the retreat location, we can just use theirs once society breaks down. Also, the retreat in its current condition doesn't even require 4x4 despite the hills and unpaved roads.

I figure even if I move to the sticks where it snows a lot (I plan to) I could buy a 4x4 beater for bad conditions, or just get another car. It is not much of an issue now.

4x4 is nice to have though. I would probably sacrifice it for REALLY GOOD gas mileage in a car, but I would probably not get an SUV with just 2wd just for a minor increase in mpg.

Enjoyment of Driving
Ah, maybe the most important in some aspects. If I am driving a lot, I want to enjoy it. I LOVE driving my Jeep Liberty CRD (diesel). It is honestly just enjoyable every time I move it forwards. Not many people can understand. The VW Jetta TDI sparks my interests here.

Conclusion

I would ideally like all of these things in one, but I know that is not realistic.

I would sacrifice the SUV advantages for a cars gas mileage advantages if that car got significantly better MPG and it was capable of carrying more then usual (a simple hatchback option would work, I think). The word significant is important here. 40mpg is significant, 26mpg is not.

I would sacrifice the cars advantage of better mpg if the SUV still got decent mpg compared to the usual gas guzzlers.

Obviously while one vehicle may be a total win in one sections, they will have to match up to the others be a win in general.

Fire away the suggestions, and I will do my research.

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Re: Suggest some vehicles for me (SHTF & daily drive)

Post by OLM-Medic » Sun May 19, 2013 11:08 pm

Keep in mind I do not want a gas guzzling 4x4 monster truck or a big SUV. I also do not want an ancient 1970's EMP proof vehicle to drive daily. This is not meant to be a dedicated bug out vehicle, but a daily driver that meets criteria for bugging out.

Also, I pasted this from another forum, so the format is a bit messed up. :roll:

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Re: Suggest some vehicles for me (SHTF & daily drive)

Post by Doctorr Fabulous » Sun May 19, 2013 11:31 pm

Subie Forester/Outback tops the list, IMO. I have a Jetta TDI right now, and the two things it lacks are space (though you'd be surpised what fits) and ground clearance. I live on a dirt road that washes out a fair bit, and I -could- swap wheels/tires and be fine, but i'm sort of wanting a newish car anyway.

PErsonally, I'd hit up the outback. More room all around and more towing capacity, unless you need the extra room up high instead of front to rear. The Forester shares the WRX drivetrain though (sort of) and has a short-throw and turbo option, if you roll that way. Both have about 9" of ground clearance, full time AWD, etc.
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Re: Suggest some vehicles for me (SHTF & daily drive)

Post by OLM-Medic » Sun May 19, 2013 11:43 pm

Doctorr Fabulous wrote:Subie Forester/Outback tops the list, IMO. I have a Jetta TDI right now, and the two things it lacks are space (though you'd be surpised what fits) and ground clearance. I live on a dirt road that washes out a fair bit, and I -could- swap wheels/tires and be fine, but i'm sort of wanting a newish car anyway.

PErsonally, I'd hit up the outback. More room all around and more towing capacity, unless you need the extra room up high instead of front to rear. The Forester shares the WRX drivetrain though (sort of) and has a short-throw and turbo option, if you roll that way. Both have about 9" of ground clearance, full time AWD, etc.
How are you liking the TDI? I have been wanting one. I would probably buy the thing if I wasn't so scared of small diesels these days. Most mechanics I know are trying to ward me away from them. I know VW makes some other, more roomier, TDI's besides the Jetta as well. Other then scary reliability/fixability issues, I would buy this Jetta TDI over any SUV just because of the insane fuel economy it gets. A guy I know just got 50mpg on a trip :clap:

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Re: Suggest some vehicles for me (SHTF & daily drive)

Post by Doctorr Fabulous » Sun May 19, 2013 11:50 pm

OLM-Medic wrote:
Doctorr Fabulous wrote:Subie Forester/Outback tops the list, IMO. I have a Jetta TDI right now, and the two things it lacks are space (though you'd be surpised what fits) and ground clearance. I live on a dirt road that washes out a fair bit, and I -could- swap wheels/tires and be fine, but i'm sort of wanting a newish car anyway.

PErsonally, I'd hit up the outback. More room all around and more towing capacity, unless you need the extra room up high instead of front to rear. The Forester shares the WRX drivetrain though (sort of) and has a short-throw and turbo option, if you roll that way. Both have about 9" of ground clearance, full time AWD, etc.
How are you liking the TDI? I have been wanting one. I would probably buy the thing if I wasn't so scared of small diesels these days. Most mechanics I know are trying to ward me away from them. I know VW makes some other, more roomier, TDI's besides the Jetta as well. Other then scary reliability/fixability issues, I would buy this Jetta TDI over any SUV just because of the insane fuel economy it gets. A guy I know just got 50mpg on a trip :clap:
Expensive to fix. Good mileage, but the little things stack up. So do the Pelican cases on the way to and from work. :vmad:
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Re: Suggest some vehicles for me (SHTF & daily drive)

Post by Confucius » Mon May 20, 2013 12:00 am

As always, I've got to throw in a vote for the Subaru Forester. I am quite biased due to my owning one, but I think it checks just about all of your boxes.

Fun to drive, gets good mileage (I usually land at about 25 mpg per tank, and have got very near 30 for a tank that was all freeway driving, and I'm lead to understand that the newest model gets even better), safe as you could ask for, they're not a true 4x4, but have an extremely capable AWD system that has yet to fail me, and holds quite a bit. We've had four people, two dogs, lots of food, clothing, guns, ammunition, beer, sleeping bags, etc. in mine. Plus enough room that when I fold the back seats down, little ol' six foot tall me has plenty of room to sleep in the back.

And I think they're kinda sexy...

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And as a bonus, there's the back loaded up. Still a bit of room left, kinda does kill that rear view though...
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Re: Suggest some vehicles for me (SHTF & daily drive)

Post by ArmchairRacer » Tue May 21, 2013 5:44 pm

Sounds like pretty much anything in the Subaru line up would work. I'd also look at Mazda 3. Both options will get you pretty good mpg and should have enough room.

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Re: Suggest some vehicles for me (SHTF & daily drive)

Post by cricketdave » Tue May 21, 2013 7:50 pm

Toyota fj cruiser seems to hit all your wants as well, 21 to 22 mpg, great reliability, fun to drive, ass kicker off road I know thats not necesarry but it is fun. Good storage and ride comfort, my daughter and I took mine on a 2week trip to colorado last summer drove and camped all over never had a lack of room with all the camping stuff and firewood in the back.

Toyota 4runner, not sure on the mileage on them but everyone I know that has one loves it, regular toyota reliability. A bit more luggage space and easier backseat access.
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Re: Suggest some vehicles for me (SHTF & daily drive)

Post by MaconCJ7 » Tue May 21, 2013 8:00 pm

Ford Transit? Nothing special, but 27mpg hwy (EPA estimate), seating for 5, cargo area, and doesn't look like a bov.

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Re: Suggest some vehicles for me (SHTF & daily drive)

Post by dragogt » Wed May 22, 2013 6:28 pm

I'll echo the 4 Runner vote sounds to me like it would fill all your need/ wants..

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Re: Suggest some vehicles for me (SHTF & daily drive)

Post by litegod » Wed May 22, 2013 7:44 pm

I am pretty partial to the jeep cherokee myself.I have three of them. The oldest is almost at 300,000 km(200k miles),it is a 91 and bone basic(5 speed, no ac,nothing power) with the expection of a 4.5 inch lift and 31 inch tires.I also have a 93 as a parts donor and a 98 that my wife drives, it has substantial more luxeries than mine does(a/c, power seat,auto etc)

They do not get the best mileage but in stock form it is pretty off-road capable and does not look like a SHTF vehicle. With a few modifications it is very off-road capable. You can choose your own cost/mileage on it.There are a ton of aftermarket parts for it and for the most part they are pretty easy to work on, expect when the rust monster wins and bolts break, but that occurs in all vehicles that utilize metal in the construction of them.

there are a ton of replacement parts in the scrapyards, and parts are easy to get everywhere in north america and europe.

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Re: Suggest some vehicles for me (SHTF & daily drive)

Post by paul_c » Wed May 22, 2013 8:08 pm

Outback

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Re: Suggest some vehicles for me (SHTF & daily drive)

Post by lovesmuggler » Wed May 22, 2013 8:24 pm

I have a Honda Ridgeline and absolutely love it, and it sounds like it might fit your criteria. The cabin is huge, plenty of room front and back, but rear seats fold up leaving a ton of room inside for gear you're moving. Under the bed is a watertight trunk, big enough for the bodies of two average sized college girls, I keep all my shtf crap locked up in there, it's always with me. On top of that a company makes bed rails that will interface with Thule or Yakima setups, allowing you to put a cargo box down a bit lower over the box, out of the wind for fuel economy and easier to access. While the mileage doesn't quit meet your mark, the comfort, storage, and utility of the vehicle are outstanding, and mine is quite reliable. On top of everything it's a real half ton truck that will pull a trailer or haul a yard of compost.
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Re: Suggest some vehicles for me (SHTF & daily drive)

Post by Stercutus » Wed May 22, 2013 10:49 pm

VW Jetta TDI
Owned two in the last several years. 41+ MPG highway. Gives me a 550+ mile cruising radius on a small tank. 90K+ Never broke down. Ever. Never even acted odd.
Big roomy trunk. Fits two bodies comfortably. Comfortable back seat too.
"Free" maintenance the first 36K.
I have other vehicles, SUVs for bad weather and two wheels for nice weather but the Jetta is the go to car.
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Re: Suggest some vehicles for me (SHTF & daily drive)

Post by Doctorr Fabulous » Wed May 22, 2013 10:52 pm

Blacksmith wrote:
VW Jetta TDI
Owned two in the last several years. 41+ MPG highway. Gives me a 550+ mile cruising radius on a small tank. 90K+ Never broke down. Ever. Never even acted odd.
Big roomy trunk. Fits two bodies comfortably. Comfortable back seat too.
"Free" maintenance the first 36K.
I have other vehicles, SUVs for bad weather and two wheels for nice weather but the Jetta is the go to car.
Expensive to fix. I might be more inclined to hang onto mine if it was a wagon, as I need the space. Still, as rough as I've been on it you could probably drive the wheels off without a problem.
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Re: Suggest some vehicles for me (SHTF & daily drive)

Post by Stercutus » Wed May 22, 2013 10:57 pm

Doctorr Fabulous wrote:
Blacksmith wrote:
VW Jetta TDI
Owned two in the last several years. 41+ MPG highway. Gives me a 550+ mile cruising radius on a small tank. 90K+ Never broke down. Ever. Never even acted odd.
Big roomy trunk. Fits two bodies comfortably. Comfortable back seat too.
"Free" maintenance the first 36K.
I have other vehicles, SUVs for bad weather and two wheels for nice weather but the Jetta is the go to car.
Expensive to fix. I might be more inclined to hang onto mine if it was a wagon, as I need the space. Still, as rough as I've been on it you could probably drive the wheels off without a problem.
Would not know. Never had to have it fixed. Besides if it did break I can fix just about anything right here.
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Re: Suggest some vehicles for me (SHTF & daily drive)

Post by BlakeS » Wed May 22, 2013 11:01 pm

Not sure what your price range is..

But my last 3 trucks sound a lot like what your looking for. I did end up modifying them a lot, but they all started new&stock , and I really liked each one of them, almost more than the last.

lovesmuggler is right about the honda fitting your needs and being a great small truck. I had a 2006 Honda Ridgeline RTL. they only come in a crew cab. It had a great cabin and a lot of back seat room. It has a bunch of great options also, such as the LARGE trunk under the bed which can also be a cooler , the Tail gate can swing open as door or pull down like a regular tail gate , bed comes with a sprayed on liner already . It was pretty good off road. I live in NH. It handled the Snow great , I use most my vehicles off road a lot so I ended up having to lift it 2" and Modify it a little bit to help accommodate what I wanted to do. It comes with a peppy V6 that has decent pulling power for small stuff... the biggest thing I pulled was a 3000 pound RTV on a 25 ft trailer, that was close to maxing out its power. it also was good on gas and handled great. It was a great vehicle a little pricey but good. I never had one problem with this truck ever, And I could almost consider it more of a cross over then a full on small truck , mostly due to the cab height.
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Then I switched to a 2008 Cadillac EXT.
This was one of my favorite Trucks I have had. 6.2L v8 , crew cab , had a LARGE backseat. The seats were very comfortable , drove and handled great also , better then the Ridgeline. Had great performance , but the MPG was a little low. I got around 12-16 in town and 18-22 on the highway. The truck comes with a bed liner , and a rubber mat in the bed. The truck also came with a 3 piece bed cover. One of my favorite parts about this truck was on the sides of the bed were large compartments and could double as coolers. It handled great on and off the road, and was great in the snow, full time 4wd.

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Now Im on to my Truck I have now. 2010 GMC yukon Denali XL. this truck also has a 6.2v8.
This truck has the best ride of the last three vehicles. Its very fun and comfortable to drive. Its great on and off the road and its one of the best of the 3 in the snow. I have 4 kids so we use all the seats , but it has 3 rows 2 rows of captains chairs and one split-row. It can come with 2 rows of full rows. All the rows have great foot space , and it still has a very large cargo area with the 3 rows. I really enjoy this vehicle. I know your looking for good MPG , this one does not fit into that category unfortunately at all. It has the v8 which will turn to a v4 when not using the V8 power. But the only time the v4 mode comes on is when im not giving it gas , if I am driving on flat ground and cruising AND babying the gas I can get it to stay on v4 till I reach the smallest incline.
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If you want to know more about any of these just ask ! good luck in your search , hope I could help!

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Re: Suggest some vehicles for me (SHTF & daily drive)

Post by feedthedog » Wed May 22, 2013 11:10 pm

I have an older WRX wagon, which is an awesome car. Based on your criteria, I'd echo some of the others and go with a Forrester. The turbo is awesome, and the option for a stick is great but not totally necessary.

As a side note, wagons are the shit.

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Re: Suggest some vehicles for me (SHTF & daily drive)

Post by Diecorpse » Sat Jun 15, 2013 3:45 am

I would suggest something awd or 4x4 especially if in paw. There wont be plow trucksand many other vehicles to pave the way. I grew up in norther Michigan and I have seen snow accumulate over two feet in one night. Especially side roads and seasonal roads were hardly ever plowed. I have had great luck with all my vehicles, mostly jeeps and dodge rams. I understand not everybody has had the same luck. I just hope you find what you want and enjoy it, thats the most important thing.
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Re: Suggest some vehicles for me (SHTF & daily drive)

Post by Cowgirl » Sun Jun 16, 2013 9:12 pm

Another vote for the Subaru Forester. I love mine. I have over 200000 miles on it. The AWD performs well in all types of weather. Cargo room is decent. I got a trailer hitch on mine and it can tow a trailer decently. I have not found repairs to be particularly expensive, and so far, there have not been that many. Gas mileage is decent. And it was made in Indiana. I ordered mine as a manual transmission, and it has a little fun factor in driving. :)

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Re: Suggest some vehicles for me (SHTF & daily drive)

Post by fidalgoman » Sun Jun 16, 2013 10:04 pm

Any small, economical, reliable 4x4 or AWD should get the job done. 4X4 because you never know when you might have to cut through the grass, etc. to get through traffic. Economical, well maintained, gassed up and reliable should be obvious. IMHO it should be your daily driver and both you and your significant other should have one if possible.

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Re: Suggest some vehicles for me (SHTF & daily drive)

Post by MaconCJ7 » Sun Jun 16, 2013 10:18 pm

I'll take fwd over 4wd/awd any day. I don't trust a transaxle to handle the weight I put on my 4x4, but I'll trust a fwd vehicle to do what it's asked to do any day. If I had to get a vehicle that wasn't 4x4, I would make sure it's fwd. I fall into the "have it and not need it crowd", but I can admit my limitations. Aside from forging rivers and beating the carp out of trees, my wife's Camry will out do me everyday. It's faster, corners better, has almost twice the mileage, and will comfortably carry everything we need in an actual bugout. We wouldn't take it of course, as you never know when there's a tree you need to pull out of the way, but it's a capable car, and I would take any stock fwd car over any stock 4wd vehicle if I had to choose between the two. If I wasn't raised the way I was, I would be driving the Mazda Protege I paid $750 for 7 years ago. 35mpg, and it was the car I used to deliver newspapers in the middle of an ice storm. The ass end was on the ground (I had a large route), but it trudged through everything, and handled like a dream. If I had to pick something that wasn't 4x4, fwd would be a requirement.
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Re: Suggest some vehicles for me (SHTF & daily drive)

Post by Diecorpse » Mon Jun 17, 2013 12:56 am

The most important about getting a vehicle of any kind is its reliability. For example, I would rather have a Jeep with the 4.0L before one that has the 2.8L. The smaller engine is great on fuel but has a long history of failures where the larger motor uses more fuel but is known to outlast the reat of the vehicle. Im bias to the older vehicles over the new ones just because I know or can find their history vs the newer vehicles that still might have defects that may have gone unnoticed or poor design flaws. Then again, a good warranty never hurts.
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