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Sunday, July 21. 2019
A car some of y'all might enjoy
Mrs. BD is car shopping. Has in mind a fun car that is happy with mud, gravel, rutty dirt roads, and sand, but which loves a road. Better off-road than Range Rover? Gee, I am suprised. Argue with me, but I think Range Rover is for driving kids to school in the rain, then stopping off at yoga class. While the door handle falls off.
How about this one? My theory is if you buy it in red, it's a cop magnet.
Posted by Bird Dog at 18:51 | Comments (19) | Trackbacks (0)
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I almost hate to say it but it is Subaru. No better small off road SUV. Just one opinion.
Get Used. 2012 -2014 Rover LR4 v8. If you don’t mind a 6 get through 2016. Great visibility and stowage, sturdy, comfortable on long drives. Holds all manner of athletic gear - hockey, bicycles, beach. Gardening gear and product. Great visibility. Goes on all the hard pack trails to the beach and the NH woods. Very much off road thank you very much. Doesn’t care. My 2011 has 125000 mi and doesn’t care. I’ll drive my V8 into the ground.
The Alpha would be a fun on road car but I wouldn’t take one off road. Same for any BMW of the same configuration. Those are strictly grocery getters. Also, the Alpha’s reputation vis a vis reliability is still deserved.
Excluding the Land Rover LR2 and the Range Rover Evoque any Land/Range Rover is supremely capable and they are more reliable than in years past, however, repairs can be costly. The LR4 is a great vehicle.
Jeep Grand Cherokee is a nice, capable vehicle too.
Supposed to be a fun car.
I've done a lot of trail riding in the past decade, and what you see are a lot of Wranglers (I run a 30 year old Wrangler), Cherokees, Toyota 4 Runners, some F150s. In all that time I've seen ONE Range Rover (though someone showed up with a vintage Land Rover at one event).
Never saw a BMW, Audi etc.
Would like to see one of these Alfas, though. Apparently there is a lot of cross fertilization between Alfa and Chrysler.
Almost forgot the most awesome rig I've encountered... a deuce and a half military truck with a camper body.
The most impressive RV ever.
Car and Driver did a 40,000 mile test ownership of the Alpha. They loved it - when it ran.
Lexus GX, Jeep Grand Cherokee if more off-road, or Audi Q5 or Q8 for a reliable fun driver that is still capable on dirt trails. Volvo’s and Land Rovers and Benz or BMW just don’t hold up very well
There is a reason that todays pickups are more popular than cars...they have elbow room and a shoe horn is not necessary to get people into the cab including the crew cab pickups. They have downsized cars way to far in order to make mpg standards and the pickup is roomy and a utility vehicle in one and mine have 4 wheel drive for off road use and trailering through some mud.
Stand out from the herd. Get a V6 Ram ecodiesel. The Prius of trucks.
I'll tell you something funny: The Consumer Report Car Review is fake. They include categories such as horsepower, and fuel economy, but they exclude the most important category: Rear Visibility. They exclude rear visibility because poor rear visibility is one the major causes of car accidents. Many new cars have almost no rear visibility at all. So what's going on behind you is a complete mystery when you try to change lanes.
If you look at the Consumer Report Visibility Index, you'll see that there actually is no Index. Or even an explanation. Just some bullshit about "sort of good" or "sort of bad" But they provide no absolute values which could be used to make a decision.
I'm especially amused by the fact that this pathetic fabrication was authored by the Captain of an Aircraft Carrier. I guess the habit of being a piece of shit in the military carries over to the civilian world. So please don't forget to hire a veteran.
This exclusion of the single most important piece of information is happening because the government wants people to get into the habit of depending on cameras. Since you can't see what's happening behind you, soon cameras will do the seeing for you. And they will transmit that information to the home office for your own safety. No only will they transmit video, they will also transmit fifty or so variables that would indicate that you are an irresponsible driver. But don't worry, if you drive too fast you won't get a speeding ticket; the government will automatically deduct the money from your bank account. DARPA calls this the "Third Wave A.I. Technology." It's the idea that setting people up to fail, and then blaming them for failing, is the right thing to do.
Visibility alone is why I’ll drive my 2011 LR4 into the ground. (Except it’s been an exceptional car.) 4 sides of full windows. I can see straight back through the rear window - raining or not. And off to the sides around the rear. I only use the back-up cameras when I’m parked face in next to a bigger thing - the cameras are placed so you can sorta see around a corner when you back up. It’s nice. I sat in all the other similar suv’s at the time - they all had midget slopy windows. Couldn’t see a thing. Oh - and it’s a V8!
We were given a lovely Stelvio as a rental car for a trip through Europe a year ago. Picked it up in Munich. Buttery black leather, too many buttons to count. The wives were gushing. The men were impressed. About 5k KM on the speedo, so much Italian new car smell remained.
We pulled onto the Autobahn and headed west to visit family at the Rebtsock Waldulm (www.waldulmer.de), easily keeping up with everything in the left lane except 911's and Panamara's. Other than the crappy grabby brakes (many others have mentioned this), the engine and handling were superb.
It was a wonderful drive, and we were looking forward to driving this car all week, until the check engine light came on about 15 minutes outside of Stuttgart. Scheiße!! After an hour at the Avis at Stuttgart airport we emerged with a plain jane Range Rover. Much less luxurious, a grunty diesel engine, but a reliable stump puller in which we could have probably crossed the Serengeti.
Alfas for me are California blonds. Frightfully expensive, a bit crazy, but a wonderful experience as long as you're willing to put up with it.
Your garage crew will always park it out front.
And they will do so often.
Do they sell Dacia in the US? These are cheap sturdy cars based on previous generation Renault/Nissan engineering. Made in Romania and Morocco. The Dacia Duster is a great SUV.
The Volkswagen Group has similar low-price lines that reuse proven chassis and motors: Skoda and SEAT. Both have nice SUVs.
These marques provide great value.
I am in the same boat. My wife is looking for a new car. Probably a small to mid sized SUV. I want comfort, reliability (I live in a rural community and dealers are not close), and some off road ability (although most in this class are not true off roaders)
Alfa - HAHAH - sure. Beautiful , but read the reliability reviews. I am too old for that kind of drama.
Range/Land Rovers are all VERY off road capable. I would not own one - but they are capable. I Love Land Rovers and have an old Defender and had a Disco II. I have not had a new one - but past experience makes me leary.
Audi Q5. Very nice, comfortable ,and reliable - but a dime a dozen and a little bland.
I'm not a fan of either the MB ML or the BMW X line. I don't think either is very attractive and neither is really to my taste.
The Infinity QX50 Looks like a viable choice - but they don't get good driving review. I have not personally driven one - but I probably will.
Jaguar F-Pace nice car I have driven and liked it - but I don't see myself driving a Jag SUV. Plus, I am skeptical of reliability over the long term
So - I have (for now) narrowed down to 2 choices:
Acura MDX - everyone loves them. I have not driven - but they get good reviews, Honda reliability, etc. etc.
Porsche Macan - A little pricey for the class of vehicle - but people seem to like them. New version out this year which I am anxious do drive. Fairly off-roadable. They Cayannes have been around for a long time and Porsche has off-roaded them and learned.
I will also throw in the Lexus GX - I think this is a great vehicle that checks all the boxes. Off road capable, reliable as hell, comfortable, but a little bigger than what my wife would like to drive.
Just my evaluation of the current offerings.
Okay, Buy two, one for driving, while the other is in the shop for EXPENSIVE repairs!
Once you get beyond the F-150 4X and ANY Toyota product, tread with fear and trepidation!
You want utter reliability? Four-wheel drive that will climb a tree if you can get the wheels on it? And did I mention utter reliability? Toyota Landcruiser 1994 or so, through 1997 with the locking differential. Or the Lexus LX450, same years (It’s a Landcruiser wearing a tuxedo). Impressive appearance. The usual amenities and tolerable comfort — remember it’s essentially a truck with off-road capability — and, oh yes, utter reliability.
And there’s now a “thing” about rebuilding to any spec the LX450 or 650 - some available quite low miles and low price even after rebuild. Becoming a fad aNd limited stock so prices going up but if not getting a used LR4, consider rebuilding one of these. I’m also considering the Defender coming In 2020. Old ones had pizazz.