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:-D

I'm freddogs wife. Does anyone out there own a Kia Sportage or one of those Geo Tracker SUV's? I assume the gas mileage is good, but what about insurance? And, how well do they manuever through the snow?
 

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Greetings Freddogs wife,
although we don't own either of the vehicles you mentioned. My wife has a Subaru Outback with all wheel drive. It is great on wet roads. No trouble in the snow although the ground clearance is not great, it may not be less than the ones you named. The design is also very good. All parts of the drive train sit it the same plane so that there are less connecting parts. I believe it is also designed so that the engine will fall downward in a front end collision rather than crushing the firewall. It gets about 30 mpg and it has over 130K miles with no problems.
 

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Hi,
My wife has the Suzuki Grand Vitara. It is almost the same as the tracker except that when she got hers in 2000 it came with a V-6 ,5 speed, and 16" wheels. It handles like a sports car and is very quick.
She loves it , and refuses to drve my deisel Suburban because it's too big!
Dennis
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
107ch said:
Hi,
My wife has the Suzuki Grand Vitara. It is almost the same as the tracker except that when she got hers in 2000 it came with a V-6 ,5 speed, and 16" wheels. It handles like a sports car and is very quick.
She loves it , and refuses to drve my deisel Suburban because it's too big!
Dennis
:jeep: Hi Dennis! (love these emoticons :agree: )

Thanks for your advice. Right now I'm driving a Toyota Corolla with 5-speed and I love it - drives like a sports car, but too light to handle in the snow. The Grand Vitara sounds like just the ticket for winter driving. I'll check it out. I've heard that many women do not like driving Suburbans because of the size. I must say I'm inclined to smaller vehicles simply because they are more fun to drive and because of the cost factor.

Thanks again.

Judi
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Jack Crevalle said:
Greetings Freddogs wife,
although we don't own either of the vehicles you mentioned. My wife has a Subaru Outback with all wheel drive. It is great on wet roads. No trouble in the snow although the ground clearance is not great, it may not be less than the ones you named. The design is also very good. All parts of the drive train sit it the same plane so that there are less connecting parts. I believe it is also designed so that the engine will fall downward in a front end collision rather than crushing the firewall. It gets about 30 mpg and it has over 130K miles with no problems.
Hi Jack! :jeep: [/color]

Thanks for your advice. A friend of ours has always owned Subarus and loves them. He had an Outback and they are great vehicles simply because of the all wheel drive. Wow, the gas mileage is impressive, too! I guess the best thing to do is to test drive the ones of interest to see how they fit your driving needs.

I like the photo of your dog - Golden Retriever? We have a German Wirehaired Pointer - have had that breed of dog for 20 years - love them - easy to train and very intelligent.

Thanks again. :grin:

Judi
 

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I like the photo of your dog - Golden Retriever?
That's Penny The Wonder Dog. We believe that she is mostly Chocolate Lab but since we got her from the SPCA it's impossible to know her true lineage. That's ok though, we couldn't love her more.
 

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The 2 “SUVs” you are asking about are very light and small. Yes you will get better gas Mileage then with a true SUV. Due to the lightweight they are not much better in snow then a somewhat heavy front wheel drive car.
They tend to flip over very easy in a turn and they don’t have much metal to protect you in the event of a crash. I have not personally responded to a major accident involving one, How ever from drilling on a few I know it is very hard to gain entry once the doors are crushed. The doors skin will just rip instead of the entire door moving. this type of "SUV" is more for younger kids with more money then scense.
 

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Yes

I bought my wife a Kia Sportage in 2000. Ours is 2WD, which I wish was a 4WD, but I can tell you this. We have just under 50,000 miles on it with no mechanical problems at all. We have towed our pop-up camper and a small 5X8 tilt bed trailer with a Kawasaki Mule 550 on it a number of times. It tows ok in the "Power Mode". The 4 cyl engine is a mAzda design and although a bit under powered, is a good engine.

Off road, in 2WD, the Sportage goes places that really impressed us. Rocks, water crossings, and mud. It still has the original Kankook or whatever tires on it. The ride on the highway was suprisingly comfortable even at speeds up to 80mph. It is a bit bouncy, but not harsh at all.

The rear windows decided not to roll down (power windows) early on. The warranty is simply the best 10 years 100,000 miles, road side assistance etc... In Oct 2001, I nailed a 6pt whitetail with it. $4000.00 in damage. The Kia was quickly repaired, some parts hard to get over night, and back on the road.

TO me, for the price it is a heck of an SUV, sits on a real frame and can go real off roading in a 4WD and quite a bit in a 2WD, will go places a Toyota Rav 4 or Honda CRV would not survive.

Needs a bit more horse power, redesign the dash to where you can more easily work the radio, AC controls, dual cup holder is a cheapo , has dual air bags, and a knee air bag on the drivers side. Hope that helps you.
markc
 

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PS

Contrary to what some folks believe the Kia Sportage is not lightweight. it is quite heavy for its size due to the truck like construction. In fact that has been a criticism from some reviews on the Sportage, that it is heavy and the 4cyl is too small. It works for us though. It is a true SUV, unlike some of the small offerings from Toyota, or Honda, cost alot less than the Subaru and is more of an SUV than the more station wagon like Forrester.

Read the reviews on MSN. THe new KIA forget the name is bigger, more powerful V6 and the review I read on MSN yesterday was very favorable.
markc
 

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I have a friend whose mother's Kia Sportage had the engine block crack. That means not only weak engine but poor materials. The new Kia SUV is the Sorrento, built like a truck. I have heard that Hyundai is taking them over, so that will very likely improve their quality. Still, I would avoid them. Hyundai Santa Fe is probably a much more economical and better handling competotor to the Subaru Outback, though I know nothing wrong with that except that for the price you can get a real SUV.

Relating to snow, I know from experience that the threshold at which four wheel drive will do something 2 wheel drive can't is really not much. Tire tread makes much more of a difference. Maybe I'm wrong, but I think that's the case. 4x4 is better for off road use.
 

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My wife has a Ford Escape 4x4 with the 3.0 V-6 engine. This little SUV is a blast in the snow. It is better than my Jeep Wrangler. It came with anti-lock brakes, leather seats, deluxe 6 cd changer stereo with a factory subwoofer. She loves it and I do too. It gives me peace of mind when she goes to work in a snow storm that her Escape will get her there and back safely.
 

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KIA

Just bought a 2000 sportage,(3 mo's ago)only had 23000 miles,like new. Havent got to snow season yet but goes off road well,plenty of power on the hwy for cruising.Not real quick but acceptable performance.SGB
 

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Number two son, Matt GBO Webmaster, has the Kia Sportage. His is a two wheel drive but he sure likes it other than it not being 4x4. Recently when we went looking for a new vehicle an SUV was high on the list of likely candidates. So naturally Matt had me look at the Kia's.

We test drove one and I wasn't happy with the engine noise. It seemed to really be seeking a gear a lot too. After the test drive I ruled it out. BUT Hyunai is the parent company of Kia. They make the Sante Fe which is in same size range and has even more features at same price NICE! Take a hard look at it before deciding on a Kia. Same warranty as it's the same company.

I ended up buying a 2005 Toyota Tundra Access cab pickup instead. But of all the similar sized SUVs we looked at the Santa Fe was to us head and shoulders above the pack.
 

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My wife really like the Hyundai Sante Fe or the NEW Tuscon. She drives an Elantra now and I can not complain about the Hyundai product.
 
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