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      11-23-2011, 01:47 AM   #23
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I've bounced around the idea of buying a winter vehicle and storing my e92 in the winter. I thought storage space would be an issue but have recently solved that problem. My budget is $6000-$8000 and I need something reasonably reliable (i have a 3.5 km commute daily) and 4x4 is a must (otherwise I would just drive the M).

I'm looking to see if anyone has ownership experience with these vehicles:
1. 1998-2001 Toyota 4Runner - preferably manual transmission, no sunroof
2. 2001-2005 Jeep Cherokee/Grand Cherokee - Manual
3. 2001-2003 Nissan Pathfinder

Also, if anyone has any other suggestions I would welcome their opinions.

Thanks
Just my 2 cents.. I had the same problem and I picked up a Nissan rogue. Great gas mileage all wheel drive and actually has a great drive to it. But idk If your looking too buy or lease.. If looking for a lease Nissan actually has some great programs going on for the rogue.
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      11-23-2011, 11:01 AM   #24
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I did the same thing this morning. Ive always had snows on my past BMW's and it works great, but the toll all the salt and gravel and pot holes take on your car i just couldnt do it to my new M3. The cherokee has a good engine that the 4.0 but i drove one because i considered it a couple weeks ago and the thing just oozes shitty build quality all over it. I really wanted a third gen 4runner but i didnt want to spend much more on the truck then i would that on the snow wheels and tires. So i found a awesome 1994 toyota pickup 4x4 with A/T tires for about 2 grand. Damn thing only has 100k miles. Talk about a survivor, no rust or rot or anything. Runs like a top. Cant wait to be able to throw my board in the back with my bud and take this little beast up to vermont all winter. And toyotas are indestructible and i wanted something that wont leave me stranded.

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      11-23-2011, 11:08 AM   #25
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That is a great find and a really solid price. I'm waiting for the "old lady" 4Runner to pop up. I'm in no hurry so I'll keep trolling Autotrader and other websites.
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      11-23-2011, 11:31 AM   #26
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Pathfnders are excellent!
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      11-23-2011, 11:59 AM   #27
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I have a 6 cylinder 4WD 98 Limited 4-Runner I bought new that serves as my winter beater. It has 161K miles on it now & has never let me down. It's a great vehicle that' if I had to do it over, I'd definitely buy it again. I get ~20 MPG.

Other than routine maintenance (oil, plugs, 1 battery, tranny/diff/brake pads/fluid)required -
I replaced the brushes in the starter @ ~120K for $10 & a couple hours time.
Timing belt & water pump @ 125K done by Toyota for ~$450.
Had a small transfer case leak @ 130K so I had the dealer replace all the gaskets for ~$400. Ended up to be the gasket @ the top of the case.
Rear axle seals were replaced by the dealer for ~$300 @ 153K.
Just had a tie rod end & front control arm bushing replaced by the dealer for ~$800K.

I replaced my front brake pads @ 135K & rear shoes @ 147K. Stock parts last a long time. I've seen similair 4-Runners go for ~$5K. Well worth it, especially if you find one that already had the timing belt & water pump replaced.
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      11-23-2011, 12:15 PM   #28
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Anyone should be good as long as it has good tires. Was using a 2001 Pathfinder a few years ago for winter when I had my Mustang. All I can say is avoid Nexen tires. I noticed a few other Pathfinder owners at the time had taken the same route I did and bought Nexen's to replace worn out Bridgestones as Bridgestone and Nexen were the only ones who made the correct tire size for the stock pathfinder wheels at that time. Tire place sold me on being "equal" to the stock Bridgestones but cheaper. Last time I ever cheap out on tires. Had no grip on a light dust of snow and on closer inspection, saw the tire hadn't cured properly cause it was starting to crack near the tread area. Nearly lost the car at one point just from a little rain, was headed right for a divider and miraculously got the rear end to swing the other way before it hit. I put on the OEM Bridgestone tires afterwards and it drove through winter pretty well again. The only other thing about the pathfinder is that some of the underbits are more prone to rust than other cars, especially the exhaust system. The clamp that holds the exhaust pipe in place tends to rust away and leaves the muffler dangling and causes vibration noises during low speeds. I think they may have had a bulletin on that, but just something to look out for if you decide the Pathfinder route. Body panels are also pretty weak, some guy plowing his sidewalk managed to dent my passenger side door by just shoveling snow onto it, it was a pretty bad looking dent from just snow and he wasn't pushing that hard from the looks of it. Engine is pretty rock solid on these however and maintenance is easy.
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      11-23-2011, 12:24 PM   #29
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Have had three 4Runners and loved them all. Have an '04 Limited now that I drive in the bad weather/haul dog/HomeDepot trips. Excellent truck. Sold my father my '98 SR5 4WD w/out sunroof for $6K last December. Only had 114k miles on it and I was the second owner.

4Runner w/out hesitation.
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      11-23-2011, 12:51 PM   #30
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Thanks guys for the guidance. 4Runner aren't cheap here as they are generally regarded as one of the best winter "beaters" available.
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      11-23-2011, 12:51 PM   #31
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Have had three 4Runners and loved them all. Have an '04 Limited now that I drive in the bad weather/haul dog/HomeDepot trips. Excellent truck. Sold my father my '98 SR5 4WD w/out sunroof for $6K last December. Only had 114k miles on it and I was the second owner.

4Runner w/out hesitation.
Or any toyota truck w/out hesitation lol
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      11-23-2011, 01:11 PM   #32
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Or any toyota truck w/out hesitation lol
That's a fact. Father has an '04 Tundra as well. It's flawless
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      11-23-2011, 01:13 PM   #33
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Subaru Outback has been flawless. 2001 5-speed with winter tires. Cost $3K. Never breaks down. Can drive over everything. I suppose 4runners are "cooler". But the lower profile and car-like handling of the Subaru make a solidly balanced winter driver. All I've done is spark plugs. 275,000km original clutch and transmission. PO did suspension and sways. That's it.

Definite thumbs down on the WRX. Not a reliable car.
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      11-23-2011, 01:18 PM   #34
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Subaru Outback has been flawless. 2001 5-speed with winter tires. Cost $3K. Never breaks down. Can drive over everything. I suppose 4runners are "cooler". But the lower profile and car-like handling of the Subaru make a solidly balanced winter driver.
Would never hesitiate to jump in a Subaru for winter stuff. As a matter of fact, I had a friend who was an Investment Banker about 15 years ago and he owned a Range Rover HSE. Used to go on ski trips to Vermont. The RR was in the shop (shocker, huh) and he rented an Outback for one of his trips to Stowe. He had to drive through a snowstorm on either the way there or the way home (can't recall which).He said without question that the Outback was better in the snow than his RR.
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      11-23-2011, 01:29 PM   #35
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Just ordered Blizzak LM-60s. 255/35/19 Rear and 235/35/19 Front.

I was also considering some older 4x4s, but this way I can be sure the car will always start, will always be warm, I don't need to buy extra insurance, and I won't need extra parking.
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      11-23-2011, 04:53 PM   #36
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Also, if anyone has any other suggestions I would welcome their opinions.

Thanks
I traded our Jag 2004 3.0 X-Type in for a new MB C350 4MATIC it is now our DD and used in winter of course. The Jag was still great I got $11K for it on trade in, bet the dealer sold it for at least $14 to $15K it was a great car to drive in the winter time. Unless you find something good like that I would if I was you do the following (adding this only since you asked for further recommendations).

A) Get myself a good winter wheel/tire set for the M3. You can find a set here for $2K to $2.5K

B) Drive the M3 during the winter when the roads are good and dry or only have light snow coverage.

C) for the bad winter days (keeping an eye on the weather of course) for your short commute I would investigate 1) Car pooling 2) getting a ride to and from work sharing gas costs and 3) use a reliable taxi service. I am sure plugging a few numbers into a calculator will tell you how far your $8K will take you say for 3 years in the winter time (besides you need not to pay for storing your nice M3).

Just my 2 cents. Then if you are out off the way for recommendations under "C" above (like if you live on a farm or some remote spot where roads are not cleared of the snow) then there be no alternate other then a 4 wheel drive
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      11-23-2011, 05:18 PM   #37
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For winter I mainly just will drive the x5 or golf tdi with winter tires. But thats only because i have them, the m3 with winter tires Does just fine as well. I would not buy a car just for a winter car if that's the only reason you need it. Drive the m3 and enjoy it.
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      11-23-2011, 05:22 PM   #38
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To add to my post above.

I must say I'm not familiar withal of the passes you speak of but Just south of me there's big mountains and the rwd BMWs find their way over and trough them
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      11-23-2011, 09:52 PM   #39
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All are good choices, but I'm partial to the Cherokee 4x4. Those things do go forever and they are cheap. Consider the 2001-2006 Grand Cherokee as well. It's a cherokee with a different shell on it. 4.0L is old but rock solid. Parts are cheap and for me it's not too big. Quite modable too.

It's like a loyal pup who never lets you down.
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      11-24-2011, 11:35 AM   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rolf-Dieter View Post
I traded our Jag 2004 3.0 X-Type in for a new MB C350 4MATIC it is now our DD and used in winter of course. The Jag was still great I got $11K for it on trade in, bet the dealer sold it for at least $14 to $15K it was a great car to drive in the winter time. Unless you find something good like that I would if I was you do the following (adding this only since you asked for further recommendations).

A) Get myself a good winter wheel/tire set for the M3. You can find a set here for $2K to $2.5K

B) Drive the M3 during the winter when the roads are good and dry or only have light snow coverage.

C) for the bad winter days (keeping an eye on the weather of course) for your short commute I would investigate 1) Car pooling 2) getting a ride to and from work sharing gas costs and 3) use a reliable taxi service. I am sure plugging a few numbers into a calculator will tell you how far your $8K will take you say for 3 years in the winter time (besides you need not to pay for storing your nice M3).

Just my 2 cents. Then if you are out off the way for recommendations under "C" above (like if you live on a farm or some remote spot where roads are not cleared of the snow) then there be no alternate other then a 4 wheel drive
Thanks Rolf,

Have winter tires already for the M3 and it will still do its share of winter driving but the alternate vehicle would be for skiing and going to the significant other's farm is Sask.
I've looked into the taxi service as no doubt it would be cheaper but there just isn't the reliability and I leave my house at varying times.
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      11-24-2011, 11:36 AM   #41
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Originally Posted by stefan View Post
Subaru Outback has been flawless. 2001 5-speed with winter tires. Cost $3K. Never breaks down. Can drive over everything. I suppose 4runners are "cooler". But the lower profile and car-like handling of the Subaru make a solidly balanced winter driver. All I've done is spark plugs. 275,000km original clutch and transmission. PO did suspension and sways. That's it.

Definite thumbs down on the WRX. Not a reliable car.
Great add Stefan. Hard to find because their owners are so loyal but I will add it to the list.
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