SUV Recommendations


Veteran Member
Lifetime Gold Member
Dec 18, 2015
Wifey's car is on it's last legs and I want to get rid of it before the engine goes. It's been in the shop every month for the last four months. 125k 2000 Chevy Impala.

She want's a SUV. Something like a Nissan Rouge or a Toyota RAV4. I'd prefer to get a Toyota as they are imo reliable. For some reason she wants the damn Nissan. Anyone have experience with these two, or any other SUV suggestions?

We are in Montana and I want her to have 4WD or AWD.


Veteran Member
Nov 3, 2015
i have had 4 toyotas over the past 10 years or so. 3 pickups and one 4runner. The 98 4runner was hands down the best vehicle i ever owned. didnt look like much but never ever let me down with basic maintenance. Resale value on those vehicles was ridiculously high. All of the pickups (used) i kept selling and trading in after a few years use, and got really close to what i paid for them years before.

no experience directly with the rav4 or Nissan.


Veteran Member
Jul 20, 2014
grand prairie tx.
My daughter has a 2008 RAV4 since new and has over 100K miles on it and that car has been bullet proof. It's there smaller of their SUV's but you cant go wrong with a Toyota.

loyal guardian

Veteran Member
Aug 28, 2013
helena mt
hey brother, my aunt had a rav4 for a long time which she would recommend to anyone who would listen, in the same turn growning up we had the small nissan pickup truck. that thing was what i learned to drive stick on. drove strong even after my cousin took it apart and reassembled it wrong somehow. so with both vehicles being excellent brands, i guess what im trying to say is what it comes down to is brand loyalty. its like blazer vs explorer. have had both, a blazer when i was a kid and our explorer now. im a chevy guy so thats my fall back, but this explorer is on its last leg with many problems and still pushes through what i put to it. what ever you choose i know itll be the right choice because you were happy with it.


Veteran Member
May 5, 2010
South Joursey
My little family hauler is a 2011 Honda CRV. Zero issues and gets great gas mileage. Easy to load and unload kids into the back seat. Room for stuff in the back.


Staff member
Lifetime Gold Member
Feb 26, 2004
Bloomington, MN

My 2000 Impala LS has about the same mileage and hasn't started to nickel & dime me yet. (Knock wood!)
It's got a bit of an oil leak and the front rotors should be replaced now (warped) but four years of driving have been almost repair free on that car.
Sorry yours isn't holding up well considering the low mileage.

My 2000 Jimmy, however... I've replaced damn near every suspension and brake component in the past 4 months!
I have more into it than it's worth but it should be good for a few more years since it uses no oil and the trans still works great.

Hate to admit it, but the newer Toyotas are probably a good bet for you.


Administrator. .a car, a man, a maraca.
Staff member
Lifetime Gold Member
Mar 25, 1999
San Jose, CA, USA
I'll ask you the same questions I ask every guy asking about modifying his engine or suspension

What's the budget?
What are the Goals?


Veteran Member
Lifetime Gold Member
Jun 18, 2013
Memphis, TN
Having worked for Toyota for the past nine years, my suggestion would be to get the RAV4. It's very dependable and well designed. The 2016 model has more interior room than the previous models yet gets better mileage. The ride is smooth considering the size of the car.

I sell parts to repair shops in my area and they all complain about the Nissan cars having problems with their wiring systems. I deal with a couple of reputable shops who work on nothing but imports and they hate having to work on Nissans with wiring problems.

The choice is yours to make; but, again I strongly suggest you go with the Toyota.


Veteran Member
Jul 5, 2009
mankato, mn
Before I'd delve into the realm of replacing, I'd ask what's the matter with current car. I've dealt with MANY of these and rarely if maybe ever short of a fluke catastrophic failure seen one be as bad as you're describing. The worst being an '02 Monte Carlo the lady bought new, but as of a year ago when she traded it in had 55,000 miles on it. Had a Knarley lifter tick and leaking intake. Well she (like most other really low mileage cars) never or hardly ever drove it long enough to get it up to temp, and up to temp long enough for the car to do what it needed to do. Have never seen an engine so gummed up before or since. Ended up pulling the heads to have them cleaned at the machine shop as I could not do it adequately on car.

But anyway. My vote is reluctantly for Toyota, as much as I dislike imports, theirs is miles ahead of anything Nissan has ever produced. And for the love of god avoid the morono..... I mean Murano. Pure junk. I sell lots of crap for them. More than the impalas I get called on for sure.

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