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sixwings 02-25-2015 06:43 PM

Car discussion
Hey everyone,

I live in Victoria. After getting another flat this weekend trying to get to arrowsmith, I think I need to replace my 09 hyundai accent with an actual capable vehicle.

I am getting a bit into analysis paralysis with this. I will keep my Accent for running around town in, but would like to get a vehicle that's better at handling logging roads as well. This is an accesibility issue as my accent can't really handle too much on the island.

What are some suggestions? One of the issues I am having is fuel economy. On the one hand, it's a fairly long drive to strathcona, or really anywhere from vic, which makes getting an xterra pricey due to gas, but a lot of the logging roads aren't maintained and can provide difficult access for a crossover.

What should I start by looking at? I have heard good things about the Ford Escape. Of course the 4 runner is great but they are fairly over priced due to their popularity. Xterra is a tank that will get me anywhere, but 10L/100KM gives me pause. It would cost 70-80 bucks to get to and from strathcona.

Price isn't a really big issue. Obviously I don't want to spend 50K or anything like that, but 20-30K is no problem. Less than that would be even better.

Not really interested in trucks. I have no need for the bed.

solo75 02-25-2015 07:03 PM

Most logging roads are well maintained unless they are abandoned or deactivated therefore I can get around on my RAV4. Just make sure the tires are good. It appears that SUV crossover type vehicles all suffer from poor gas mileage therefore I sometimes envy trail/dirt bikes because of their greater accessibility in the backcountry.

cutthroat22 02-25-2015 07:49 PM

I am a big fan of my rav4 as well which has AT tires. Others will say the rav4 doesn't have enough clearance or power but I have never once had an issue. Others will say only modified Jeeps can go on logging roads.

I suggest using google and searching for "Clubtread which 4x4 to buy" or something like that as this discussion has come up quite a few times.

My opinion is anything with AWD/4x4, a little extra clearance with decent tires will do the trick.

kellymcdonald78 02-25-2015 08:59 PM

All I can say is that I really enjoy my Xterra.

Yes it is harder on gas (12.6l/100km for the PRO-4X vs 8.2l/100km with the RAV), so you are going to be spending $25-$30 more on a trip to Strathcona. However the Xterra also has 3 extra inches of ground clearance and is a true body on frame 4x4 (with 4-lo and a rear locker).

The Xterra will definitely take you more places, but that only makes a difference if you plan to actually go to those places.

Aqua Terra 02-25-2015 10:32 PM

get a dirtbike and haul it there on a light trailer, or get your licence and buy a road legal enduro for on/offoad use, cheap on gas/insurance and easy to park at home (in most cases) when not needed, for 5-10k will get you a real nice ride and licence.
Trackers are still the best bet for moderate off road use and decent mileage, cheap to maintain too.

alpinehiker 02-25-2015 11:14 PM

Subaru Forester is one of the best 4x4 SUV on the market. It has a flat boxer engine that is meant to lower the center of gravity of the car to navigate better off road. Also the Suzuki Grand Vitara could be a good option.

Subaru Forester:

Suzuki Grand Vitara:

Aqua Terra 02-25-2015 11:51 PM

in real live both cars will likely take body and or cosmetic damage I those situations as shown above.
Bumpers on Subarus have always been a major hinderance, even though the vehicles are quite capable. Grand Vitara is a good package but mileage is suffering, but not as drastic as other V6 SUVs in comparison.

Arnold 02-26-2015 12:54 AM


Originally Posted by sixwings (Post 591153)
but 10L/100KM gives me pause.

I would kill for 10L/100KM. How about 16L/100KM? Or 25L+/100KM when off road?! You want to save money on gas, buy a bicycle. You want to drive off road, then buy a real 4x4. If you just want something better than a car to drive same roads that cars drive, then get any CUV you like.

As for tires, whatever you get, you should strongly consider at least AT tires (yes, your mileage will go down again). Remember to not over inflate your tires, or they'll be popping like baloons. Better get a portable air compressor to inflate tires, so you could deflate them before going off pavement.

Arnold 02-26-2015 12:58 AM


Originally Posted by alpinehiker (Post 591265)
Subaru Forester is one of the best 4x4 SUV on the market.

Subaru Forester is not an SUV, and it is not a 4x4. It is an AWD CUV. So in its class (AWD CUV), it's maybe one of the best. But in a real truck/SUV 4x4 class, it will be dead last against any 4x4 truck. It will be crushed in every single major off road category:

- tire size
- clearance
- articulation
- armor
- 4x4 system

alpinehiker 02-26-2015 01:19 AM


Originally Posted by Arnold (Post 591337)
Subaru Forester is not an SUV, and it is not a 4x4. It is an AWD CUV. So in its class (AWD CUV), it's maybe one of the best. But in a real truck/SUV 4x4 class, it will be dead last against any 4x4 truck. It will be crushed in every single major off road category:

- tire size
- clearance
- articulation
- armor
- 4x4 system

Thx for the clarification. I always mix AWD with 4WD even though if i stop and think i know the difference. Yeah the Forester would always be crushed against a 4WD truck especially if equipped with a suspension lift kit. But the person who posted was interested in a off road SUV/CUV and not a truck so it was no point to compare it with a truck. My favorite off road machine is this:

Aqua Terra 02-26-2015 01:23 AM

Arny's back
makes good points though.
if you got room and some finances, get a secondary trail vehicle, there just aint one vehicle that can do it all

sidecut 02-26-2015 01:25 AM

I have an Escape. Perfect vehicle for my needs, which sound similar to yours. Yes, it's a Ford, so it's really not anything special - but it has the clearance to handle bad roads and rough waterbars, the 4WD has handled everything I've thrown at it winter and summer, including some really steep low gear ascents on logging roads with loose rock, and it's remarkably reasonable on gas mileage. Additionally, Ford parts are nice and cheap when something breaks or wears out. Fuel economy was definitely not my priority, but has been a pleasant surprise.

Aqua Terra 02-26-2015 01:35 AM


The above jeep is a great weapon and capable.
In real terms though its a gas guzzler with shown mods, and the good looks are quickly demolished in BC's true backcountry trails due to its large size, stance and long wheel base.
Body damage and getting hung up in tough terrain is to be expected. Tools and a GOOD co pilot will get you further than most though. JK's do suffer cosmetic damage on many trips as stated already.

kellymcdonald78 02-26-2015 11:02 AM

The Jeep Wrangler also trades a lot of on-road capability for its abilities off road (see Jeep Death Wobble)

guntis 02-26-2015 11:33 AM

Agree with above comments.

For a cheap 4x4, I love the Suzuki Vitara (aka Chevy Tracker). It's a body on frame construction, with real 4WD, inexpensive maintenance, and can still parallel park downtown. Add a 2.5" lift kit and you can go anywhere. Its small size means you'll also fit through those alder tunnels and narrow spots. Sadly, 2003 was last year of production in North America.

If I was buying new, I'd be looking at the Xterra.

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