New Or Used: The Weekend Warrior Edition

Sajeev Mehta and Steve Lang
by Sajeev Mehta and Steve Lang
new or used the weekend warrior edition

Anonymous writes:

I’m in my early twenties, and I’m looking for a car that I can efficiently commute in (about 20 miles round trip) but also take to skiing and camping on the weekend. Efficiency is more important than price, but AWD is a must because I hate messing with chains. Also, I only need room for two people and gear, so no need for a big SUV.

Steve Lang: Most vehicles in the Northern country are not All-Wheel-Drive. In fact, today’s front wheel drive models come with a long list of safety and ‘grip’ features that make them just about as safe as the all wheel drive models of the prior decade. Traction Control, Electronic Stability Control….We’re going to assume that you can’t buy new being in your early 20’s. If you’re looking for something that’s about five years old, all wheel drive, and affordable, my top choice would be the Mitsubishi Outlander. I regularly see these vehicles with 150k+ at the auctions and I’ve yet to find one with an engine or tranny issue. The powertrains are excellent and owners have routinely rated them as just as good or better than the Subaru Forester at owner review sites (Edmunds, Carsurvey, MSN). You can also buy them about three grand cheaper than the overhyped Subie and parts cost should be far lower over the long run as well.

Sajeev Mehta: Stick with small CUVs in your price range, that’s the best way to have your cake and eat it too. Finding a low-mile RAV4/CRV/Escape/Equinox with four-corner, four cylinder motivation is the best for your lifestyle. Drive them all and see which ones fit in your budget. I’d avoid a used Outlander because reselling an old Mitsubishi (versus a Honda, Toyota or even a Ford) as an individual is like pawning a set of WalMart’s finest silverware. You might as well set it on fire instead. That wasn’t an endorsement of insurance fraud, even if it sounded so.

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2 of 58 comments
  • Bimmer Bimmer on Jan 22, 2010

    Since you like to go camping, you can get of of GM's 'deadly sins' - an AWD Aztec. It even has a tent for the back.

  • Accs Accs on Feb 08, 2010

    Jesus.. How bout any decent front driver... any wagon.. going back 5yrs.. would be fine **SCREAMS ---With a SET of SNOWS!** Ya not going to get TRACTION with a set of all seasons!

  • Redapple2 I d just buy one already sorted. Too many high level skills (wiring, paint, body panel fitment et. al.) that i dont have. And I dont fancy working 100 s of hours for $3 /hour.
  • 28-Cars-Later I'm actually surprised at this and not sure what to make of it. In recent memory Senator Biden has completely ignored an ecological disaster in Ohio, and then ignored a tragic fire in Hawaii until his handlers were goaded in sending him and his visit turned into it's own disaster, but we skipped nap time for this sh!t show? Seriously? We really are through the looking glass now, "votes" no longer matter (Hillary almost won being the worst presidential candidate since 1984 before he claimed the crown) and outside of Corvette nostalgia Joe doesn't care let alone know what day it happens to be. Could they really be afraid of Trump, who AFAIK has planned no appearance or run his mouth on this issue? Just doesn't make sense, granted this is Clown World so maybe its my fault for trying to find sense in a senseless act.
  • Tassos If you only changed your series to the CORRECT "Possibly Collectible, NOT Daily Driver, NOT Used car of the day", it would sound much more accurate AND TRUTHFUL.Now who would collect THIS heap of trash for whatever misguided reason, nostalgia for a much worse automotive era or whatever, is another question.
  • ToolGuy Price dropped $500 overnight. (Wait 10 more days and you might get it for free?)
  • Slavuta Must be all planned. Increase price of cars, urbanize, 15 minutes cities. Be poor, eat bugs