I am looking into getting a new winter vehicle and am looking at 4wd's. Either a pickup or SUV. I am most concerned with what will work best in deep snow. (we just had 24" here on Monday!). I was leaning towards 90-92 or so S-10 Blazers/Explorers. They seem to have good ground clearance. However, I have a friend who has an 88 Dakota 4x4 pickup that he swears by in snow. Is the pickup the way to go? or the SUV? I was also thinking of maybe something smaller like a Tracker... I could get one newer with less miles than say a Blazer. But because of size, I am worried it won't get thru snow anyway, despite the 4wd. What does everybody think?
1988 Fiero Formula
Posts: 536 From: laurens,SC USA Registered: Apr 99
I have been thru 4 Samurai's, Big Broncos and Blazers, PU's, and now have a Tracker as gas is expensive here. Never been badly stuck in a Suzuki. The Tracker rides quite well. The best ride I've had is a Trooper (4cyl) ez on gas really comfy, and the 4x4 stuff is as big as a big Blazer. Parts tho are $$$$$$$.You'll find a TRacker great fun but a bit pitchy (short wheelbase)
Gary, (not shovelling yet, love this global warming!)The boonies, Canada
Posts: 1992 From: Sebastopol, CA Registered: Nov 2000
I had an '88 Subaru GL Sedan that just never got stuck...Even if there was a foot of snow in my driveway, it just trudged out. The car was ugly as anything(i got it for free though), but hey, when I slid off the road into a snow drift, I was able to just drive away, no shovel or salt needed.
I have always heard great things about Toyota 4x4s. A good friend of mine had one for 320,000 miles, then the tranny went so its still in his garage waiting for it. He plans on replacing it soon and driving it this winter. A co-worker has a really old Land Cruiser which is pretty cool. During the winter he can drive it up the hill at work which is pretty steep. I think the thing must have been built like a tank to last this long with virtually no major problems.
------------------ Jeff '88 GT t-top 3.4 Baltimore, MD
Nov 23rd, 2000
Posts: 3259 From: Asheboro, NC Registered: Aug 2000
We have a 1992 Explorer, which is a hate/love experience.
What we love:
Virtually cannot get stuck in the snow. We have evil blizzards in the Northeast, different than in upper midwest, but still evil. I accidentally knocked a tree over in my side yard with it, and climbed back up the two steps to the driveway in 4WD without tearing up the lawn. ("P" is park. Not "N")
What we hate:
It leaks oil. It leaks ATF. The driver door sags, and needs to be lifted to close. It occasionally loses vacuum fittings. It is harder to do basic things, like change plugs and wires and, especially, the thermostat than a Fiero.
------------------ This should work until my site comes online....
Posts: 16460 From: Schaumburg, IL Registered: Jan 2000
We have a 1998 Durango. Had a 94 Jimmy before that. The Durango goes thru snow better and handles better than our Jimmy did. The Durango seats 7/8 and rides way better than the Jimmy. Bad side, Durango drinks more gas. Haven't had any real problems with Durango. So far just oil changes, 1 tune-up, one thermostat, and brakes. I would get an SUV that handled well. I think the small blazer's and jimmy's don't handle well but that is just my opinion. I have rode in a 2000 Yukon (nice ride, drinks gas too) A Jeep Cherokee (rides nice, little "hoppy" on rough roads, goes thru snow well) Ford Explorer without Firestone tires. (about the same as the Jeep) Just start test driving them and see what you like.
My dad and my friend both own suzuki samurai.(Same as a tracker I believe.) They both love theirs. Although I've never driven either. I had an 87 Jimmy 4x4. I liked it, but they seem prone to rust. Another friend has an 89 Dakota 4x4. He's got 140k and counting on the V-6. It seems like a good vehicle and it is excellent in the snow.
In short i would have to say that if gas is a concern go with a suzuki or geo. If not I would take the Dakota over a jimmy, but both are pretty good vehicles.
As for cars if you can find a renault Alliance, they are sucky cars, but they dont rust and are great on Icy Roads.
Posts: 2888 From: Lackawanna NY Registered: Aug 2000
Well I'm a fellow Buffaloian and my brother has a 98 Dodge Dakota with a v-6, and my dad has a 2000 Dodge Ram with a v-10. Both of them handle very well in the snow, and there is really no major complaints to have about them, except for the price of the Ram. I have also driven Jeep cherokees, and that was ok, but it slid around alot in the snow. So from my experience, I'd go with a truck over an SUV. On a side note, I hope you didn't trapped anywhere because of the weather. I was out till 6am monday night helping pul people out of the snow. It was quite an adventure.
Posts: 7890 From: Buffalo, NY Registered: Mar 2000
AkursedX, thanks for the concern. Actually I had a lot of fun. My daily car is a 97 Ford Probe, and when I left work and went to the parking lot (I work at Canisius College) it was already completely burried in snow (3 PM). I left about 7 PM with a friend who was picked up by her b/f in his 85 Dakota 4x4. Once we got off main (took about 2 hours) we just flew thru the snow covered sidestreets. There was no way a car could have gotten thru. So I got out of there, but it took a LONG time.
It was the ride in the 4x4 that has me leaning towards getting one. My grandfather also has a Dakota (2000, but a 4x2). So I am definately leaning towards one!
Again, thanks for everyone's comments!
Nov 24th, 2000
Posts: 6136 From: louisville,ky. usa Registered: Feb 2000
i have an '84 s10 blazer i bought to be a beater 5 yrs. ago that has turned out to be one of the more dependable cars i've had. never been in the shop, i've been able to fix what has gone wrong with it, all minor stuff. total rust bucket though, but i like it enough that i mean to get another in the future.
Posts: 6383 From: Alva, Oklahoma Registered: Nov 2000
Damn, he beat me to it! I was in a GM dealer's shop today looking through shop manuals and they had a '96 Hummer there (not that they change from year to year). It was AWESOME. The cage under the front diff is SOLID 1" bar stock and weighs 200+ lbs it will support the entire weight of the vehicle on a rock. There is a similar cage on the rear diff. It had an on-board air compressor to continuously vary the pressure of each tire individually. I WANT ONE! --With GM's new 300 HP, 520 ftlb 6.6 litre turbo diesel (http://www.gmpowertrain.com/engines_cartruck/diesel/66lb7_main.htm)
Posts: 2912 From: Loveland, Co Registered: Feb 2000
I slammed into an irrigation ditch at 45mph with a 1990 Chev K1500 4x4 extended cab and drove it home (75 miles) after being pulled out. 5 days later I had a 2001 K1500 4x4 shortbed extended cab. Here is where you can see pictures of both... http://wkayl.homestead.com/truck.html
Nov 25th, 2000
Posts: 1560 From: Maple Valley, WA Registered: Oct 2000
I have an '86 chevy s10. Its a great little truck. I bought it for $2700 about 8 months ago. The truck runs great and I've only been stuck twice. Messing around in the hills.on snow covered streets I have never been stuck.
Ahh, all this talk of 4x4's and snow makes me nostalgic of the good ol days of highschool. Back in the small town I was brought up in, everyone and their dog had a jacked up 4x4, and on the Friday night it was through the ditches and fields, trying to see who could make the deepest without getting stuck. One of my buddies had a red 92 GMC Shortbox 4x4 that was unbelievable in snow. That thing had so much traction, you climb anything, or hit the brakes on a patch of glare ice and come to a dead stop like you were on pavement.
I had a 92 Suzuki Sidekick JX (4 door) 5 speed, worked great in the snow. The 1.6L engine redlined at 6500. Used the 4wd occasionally in the snow. Used the 4wdL for off road hill climbing a couple of times A good basic transportation vehicle. I bought it new at the end of the model year for $11000. The Tracker is the GM version. They now have a V6 Suzuki. Cost is up to $17-20000 now. Nothing to write home about. Never got stuck. I got a 3800 s/c Buick last year and traded the Suzuki in after 87000 miles, no problems in 7 years of ownership.
Nov 27th, 2000
Hank is Here Member
Posts: 4351 From: Hershey, Pa Registered: Sep 2000
I never ran it on the strip,I built it just for the challenge,took over 5 years and over$20,000.Plus a ton of hours just working out things like the rear suspension,brakes,etc.I don't use it on the street anymore.It's a 1970 Chevelle.
Dec 2nd, 2000
Posts: 27 From: DeKalb, IL, USA Registered: Nov 2000
My old Power Wagon has pulled every other 4x4 around here out of the mud! Of course, with the suspension lifted and sitting on those big ole 35s it will beat you to death to drive it and it gets just under 10mpg with a top speed of around 65!
My producer has a 2000 custom built 4x4 Lincoln Navigator! That is my idea of 4x4 in style!
Posts: 7890 From: Buffalo, NY Registered: Mar 2000
Yeah, they are kinda rare, but there is a big Mitsu dealer a few miles from my house that seems to have one nearly all the time on his lot... usually around 20K asking price. A little steep for me considering they have tons of miles on them and never are in very good shape.
There is also the Mitsu Eclipse AWD Turbo.
Or better yet, the new Audi TT with the Quatro awd tranny! I think they look sweet, and they aren't priced too bad for the amount of car you get!
Or while I am dreaming, the Porshe Carrera 4!! hehehe