Older Mini-SUV owners opinions wanted

Discussion in 'General Motoring' started by Peter Crowl, Jan 14, 2004.

  1. Peter Crowl

    Peter Crowl Guest

    I'm researching small SUV's as a replacement for my wife's car. We'll
    be looking at 98 through 2002 model years. RAV4, CRV, Forester, Grand
    Vitara. It will be an automatic transmission model.

    When I do a search for reliability, what turns up are threads dealing
    with new cars in their respective years. I'd like to hear from people
    who've had theirs for some time.

    How do they hold up? Can a well maintained vehicle make 130,000 (or
    more) miles without a major re-build? Do the bodies retain integrity
    or become leaky squeaky boxes?

    Basically, after 3 or 4 years--do you still like it and how is it
    holding up?

    Thanks for any input

    Peter Crowl, Jan 14, 2004
  2. Peter Crowl

    Tony Hwang Guest

    It depends how previous owner treat the car. My '98 CRV logged 160K Km
    so far. New set of tires, regular oil change, one cabin air filter,
    couple air filters, one rad flush and tranny oil flush/fill, one set of
    platinum plugs. That's it. Still runs like new, no squeak, rattle.
    Now it is about time for new timing belt. My two kids' 2000 Subaru.
    Nothing yet. They just run great. Use Amsoil reuseable filters, regular
    oil change is all it needed. I put in a set of platinum NGK plugs when
    the cars were new.
    Tony Hwang, Jan 14, 2004
  3. Peter Crowl

    MajorDomo Guest

    Any brand sold today can easily go to 130,000, or more,
    without a major re-build, when properly maintained. I would
    suggest you drive and price all those available in your area,
    that suit you needs and budget, then decide which is best for
    you. All manufactures make some that are not up to their build
    standards so you will hear complaints about them all. The
    experience of others with their NEW vehicles would have very
    little to do with the condition of the USED vehicles available to
    you in any event.
    MajorDomo, Jan 14, 2004
  4. Peter Crowl

    Larry Guest

    3 out of 4 isn't bad......The Suzuki I'd be hesitant to look at, but the
    others are all great vehicles in their own right....The Forrester is the
    most car-like of the group. I'd say it comes more to finding the right car
    at the right price in making your selection.
    Larry, Jan 14, 2004
  5. ===================


    Our first CR-V had 186,000 Km (115,000mi) on it when we bought it, and
    it looked and ran like it had just rolled out of the showroom. It was
    absolutely 'tight'. Nothing slopping around. We sold it at 215,000 km
    and a year later bought our second used one. Just the same story, except
    mileage is way lower. Actually no difference in the handling or power.
    First was a '97, and the newer one is a '98. They just need the
    recommended service and they seem to stay tight forever.

    As for rebuilding, changing the timing belt and water pump is the only
    stuff that's 'major', and that's minor if you like to do it yourself.
    It's almost fun.

    We've even used the provided picnic table once. The only thing I don't
    like: I don't get to drive it enough . . . It's my wife's daily driver,
    and I have to drive a stinkin' Dodge Caravan for work. :-(


    'Curly Q. Links', Jan 15, 2004
  6. Peter Crowl

    D H Guest

    The others here have given some good advice. Our two 99 Foresters have
    74 and 83K miles on them. Both run well, burn no oil between changes, are
    tight and sound structurally, look good in terms of paint, etc, and still
    ride about like new. My wife's does have a noisier engine than mine (the
    piston slap/belt tensioner that some here write about), but hers also seems
    peppier than mine (only means the tranny/engine communication setup is
    slightly different, IMO, and possibly due to the "fuzzy logic" these cars
    use in this area). We've had minor issues, but probably will buy Foresters
    again. Very much like the AWD system, lower profile of the vehicles, and the
    great handling. Great cars if they fit your needs.
    D N
    I E T S
    Off to R the M __, D H

    Reply to group. (Detestible spammers!)
    D H, Jan 15, 2004
  7. Peter Crowl

    Rich Lockyer Guest

    Rattles are highly dependent on the model, as well as how it is cared

    130k? That's barely broken in for a properly maintained

    --- Rich
    Rich Lockyer, Jan 15, 2004
  8. if the car is well maintained 130k miles isn't an issue. my '89
    toyota 4runner has 228K very hard abused miles and runs absolutely
    great, i've never had any problems with it. i haven't owned/driven
    any of the models you are looking at, but i have dealt with other
    models from the same companies. i'd order the companies by quality
    from best to worst like this:


    of course others may disagree, this is just from my experiences.

    Mike Deskevich, Jan 15, 2004
  9. Peter Crowl

    Peter Crowl Guest

    Thanks for all the replies! I gather from them that a nice example that's
    done some miles is not to be overlooked. I guess my bad experiences with an
    86 4Runner Turbo (back when new) and more recently a 96 GM Minivan have
    clouded my vision :~)

    Peter Crowl, Jan 16, 2004
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