4WD for $3000-4500?

Ming is taking off to China for a month which will likely leave me in a bit of a lurch for a key part of the ski season since I don’t trust the Neon to make it up to the ski hill. I am also going to be taking a avalanche course next weekend up at the ski hill and have a trip to Whistler in February that I won’t be able to carpool to.

So I’m kicking around the idea of a cheap 4WD/AWD vehicle. There seem to be a few mid-1990’s Jeep Grand Cherokee’s in the ~$4000 range (see Edmunds TMV for 1995.) Good idea? Bad idea? Other recommendations for cars in that same category? (i.e. something with 4WD or AWD drive)

Use case scenarios for the vehicle:

  • Driving to hockey twice a week year round: ~30 miles/game
  • Driving to skiing once a week during the winter: ~160 miles/trip
  • Driving to week night biking during the summer: ~45 miles/trip
  • Driving to weekend biking during the summer: ~100 miles/trip

Clearly I’m not putting a lot of miles on it since I don’t drive to work and don’t drive around town much.

Update: Ford Explorer seems to be in the same category. Though they’re a little big for me.

Update 2: Ford Bronco seems like another good option.

Update 3: Links about Jeep Grand Cherokee’s:

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6 Responses to 4WD for $3000-4500?

  1. Dan Ji says:

    How about leasing an ’07 Subaru Impreza 2.5i?


    Your total cash outlay = $8778 + tax over the life of the lease, but you’re only having to come up a minimal monthly payment – with no up front fees. Maybe you can even stage some cash in a CD/money market as well. And in the meantime, you’ll get a solid warranty, and a new car smell to boot! =)

  2. Dan Ji says:

    Not sure why the numbers didn’t come thru:

    $209 per month for 42 months with $0 down payment, $0 security deposit and $0 due at lease signing.

  3. Matt Goyer says:

    When I go to their site I get $400 a month. What’s your source for those numbers? If it really is $200/month maybe I should consider leasing!

  4. Dan Ji says:

    Hey Matt, here’s the url (scroll down near the bottom):


    My friend did this deal a couple years ago when they offered a similar one, and is very happy with it.

  5. Foster says:

    I highly recommend doing this lease if you can fit all your gear in an Impreza.

  6. I used to have a ’96 Cherokee and loved it. It was solid as a truck and coped with anything we threw at it – crap roads, awful weather, hills, a large dog who wouldn’t stay in the trunk!
    Repairs could be a bit expensive (water pump, radiator and air conditioning compressor were the biggest problems in our 6 years with the Jeep)
    It got hit by a delivery truck – and survived, I had a brake line damaged from a particularly rough day and ended up stopped in the scenery – survived and only a few days work to get the Jeep rocking again.
    We traded up (or down depending on how you look at it) for an ’07 Liberty… much more comfortable but doesn’t feel like it could take the same sort of pounding… but in the recent weather we never got stuck!

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