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Recommend a car for environmentally concious outdoorsman. (1 Viewer)

Dave Poehlman

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Mar 8, 2000
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I'd like something that is 4WD, rugged enough for some light off-road, will fit in my garage, I can fit a bike/kyak on, and gets decent gas mileage. Is there anything out there that fits that description?

I've been looking at the Jeep Liberty... it's sort of a smaller SUV and, from reviews online, is pretty rugged. However, it's gas mileage is on the crappy side.

I mean, I like to camp, fish, bike, etc.. and it seems to be a little contradictory to drive an environmentally unfriendly vehicle.

What are the rest of you rugged outdoorsmen driving? :)
 

David-S

Second Unit
Joined
Mar 18, 2001
Messages
267
Might I suggest a Subaru outback/forester? They're rated at 22/27:21/26 respectively, and they should both be able to get a boat rack on top...

I'd imagine they could get you down any dirt road that a stock SUV could....
 

Jay H

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The suburus seem to get a good reputation for 4wd, considering their many years of XP and history. The Baja is based on the outback and allows you to put bikes on the back. It's been reviewed as being underpowered a bit with the 4 cyclinder, but might be alleviated with a manual tranny.

I'd suggest the Outback station wagon too over a small SUV, as the lower profile will be easier for roof rack stuff and a lower center of gravity will handle better. Even the ground clearence stock will not be much different unless you're talking the full sized SUVs versus the wagons.

For something more expensive and sporty, how about the A4 Wagon with Quattro. My friend has a 1.8T wagon and he likes it alot.

Jay
 

Mark Schermerhorn

Second Unit
Joined
Sep 24, 2000
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354
Dave, not to be an ass, but I think any vehicle that is environmentally friendly in any way isn't going to be able to do even light off road. That said, I'm glad you're asking the question, and obviously light trucks / SUVs / subaru outbacks vary quite a bit in mileage.

I camp and snowboard quite a bit, and my Honda civic is good enough. Obviously I sacrifice a lot in the winter, but I'm from Minnesota, I can drive any snow covered road in my little car :) Well ok, not every road, but a lot of them. I can get to any place I would go to in my car (including some rutted out dirt roads, yikes).
 

Lee L

Supporting Actor
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Oct 26, 2000
Messages
868
Well, Ford is supposed to be coming out with an Escape hybrid real soon. Whether that can do the light off roading, I'm not sure. I guess you would know what you want to drive on more than us but I would guess as long as you are not going on 4 wheeling trails but sticking to dirt roads and relatively level surfaces around most camping areas you should be OK.

You could also buy my 2001 Cherokee (the predecessor to the Liberty) so I can get a MINI Cooper. ;)
 

Jason_Els

Screenwriter
Joined
Feb 22, 2001
Messages
1,096
The force-fed flat-four's combination of torque, gearing, and weight will get you a blazing 0-to-60 time of 5.3 seconds and a quarter-mile of 13.8 seconds at 97 mph, just 0.3 second slower than an $89,665 Porsche Cayenne Turbo (see page 62).
Subaru has built one hell of a sleeper. The mileage is not great, rated at 18/23, but it's better than any other SUV-type vehicle. First gear is VERY low allowing for some moderate rock-hopping and has a very good (for a station wagon) 7.5 inches of ground clearance. Though the Forester is not a serious off-road vehicle, it is the only "small SUV" to not require a roll-over warning sticker. It's crash test ratings (has front seat side airbags) are exemplary.

Through several Subaru partner programs you can get a Subaru for invoice, usually after a 6-month wait period. $40. a year to join the International Mountain Bike Association or a similar NFP group could save you hundreds at buy time and there's no haggle. You're guaranteed invoice pricing.

Check them out. I don't sell Subarus and don't (yet) own one but I hope to have a turbo Forester in my garage by this winter.

Good luck Dave!
 

DwightK

Second Unit
Joined
Sep 12, 2000
Messages
269
Subaru" are not sleepers around these parts (Idaho-montana-wyomming). Everyone has one or two. I would as well but the resale prices are super high here.

I have had many 4wd vehicles. Most recently a Cherokee I had for 12 years and 170k miles. Loved it.

I learned to love more my combination of a beater pickup and an Infiniti for mileage comfort.

The Infiniti G20 gets me to any ski resort and mountain pass in the winter with winter specific tires and it gets me to any camping/fishing/mtbing spots I could ever desire to go to at 30 mpg. I use the beater pickup for hauling for just about anything including hauling my 1976 Alaskan camper to ski resort parking lots for weekend trips, climbing trips, mtb, astronomy, etc.

What these are NOT is socially acceptable with the local granola set but hey, who said you have to conform?
 

David Preston

Supporting Actor
Joined
Mar 23, 2003
Messages
698
Hummer is coming out with a H3 a smaller version of the H2. Not sure on the specs yet but the gas mileage has to be better then the H2.
 

DonRoeber

Screenwriter
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Feb 11, 2001
Messages
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I've always heard very good things about land rovers. From what I hear, they're damn near indestructible, and will be very happy offroad. Not sure how environmentally conscious they are though.

My in-laws have a Forrester. They like it, but I find it painfully uncomfortable to ride in. I've driven it a few times, and it was okay, but nothing special (to me anyway). No idea how it handles in the snow or offroad.

I bought an Explorer last Saturday :)
 

DaveBB

Supporting Actor
Joined
May 24, 1999
Messages
788
Well, Ford is supposed to be coming out with an Escape hybrid real soon. Whether that can do the light off roading, I'm not sure. I guess you would know what you want to drive on more than us but I would guess as long as you are not going on 4 wheeling trails but sticking to dirt roads and relatively level surfaces around most camping areas you should be OK.
The hybrid Escape has been delayed until the 2005 or 2006 model years. They are having design troubles.

Toyota has an upgraded Prius hybrid coming out in October. They've moved it up one click in size and now its more like a Corolla instead of a Echo/Tercel.

Avoid any Range Rover like the plague.
 

DavidMich

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Nov 27, 2000
Messages
177
Acura MDX.....
Seats 7
260 hp (0-60 in about 7 seconds!!)
Huge carrying capacity inside (it's W I D E!)
An Awesome 4-wheel drive system, with VSC.
Ultra-Low-Emission-Vehicle-2 status
23 miles per gallon on the highway, 17 in the city.
Ultra-reliable
Fantastic Resale
Very comfortable/plush/quiet (like a luxury sedan)
Cool-Looking
5-star crash rating front/side/offset

What's not to like???
;)
 

Dennis Nicholls

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Oct 5, 1998
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Boise, ID
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Dennis
Pickup trucks are generally much lighter than the SUV built on the same chassis. My F-150 weighs 4200 lbs and the corresponding Expedition weighs 5100 lbs (!!!). Hence the F-150 gets far superior mileage. I'm getting 17-18 in town and 19-20 on the road. These are pretty good numbers for a full sized pickup with a 4.6l V8. Qualifies as a LEV. Of course I only have the 2 x 4 version. My supercab has basic rear seat room and yet fits into my standard garage.

What's not to like???
The extremely high purchase price of the Acura. $36K to $42K BASE price???
 

Aaron Reynolds

Screenwriter
Joined
Feb 6, 2001
Messages
1,715
Location
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Real Name
Aaron Reynolds
When my wife and I were looking at cars (mostly her, as I don't drive), gas mileage and handling were our big yardsticks. We came really, really close to buying a Subaru Impreza 2.5 TS, which is kind of a bigger hatchback Impreza, smaller than the Forester but bigger than a WRX. It might be too small for what you're looking for, but you should check it out if you're looking at other Subarus anyways. Handled very nicely.

In the end we went for a diesel VW Golf. The environmental impact of diesel is better than gas in some ways and worse in others, but it is undeniable that diesel uses significantly less gas. If you do your research and decide that diesel is for you, you might also want to have a look at something like a diesel Jetta wagon, though I don't think that they're 4WD. The new VW SUV, the Touareg, is going to be available as a diesel, but the sheer size of the engine will probably negate any possible positive environmental impact compared to smaller cars.

Oddly, the Golf is overall smaller than the Subaru 2.5TS that we looked at, but it seems to have more space in it, overall.
 

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