Purchased this vehicle used with 132k miles on it. Figured I was safe after reading all the great reviews on this site. Boy was I mistaken. Within one month the timing belt needed replaced and door latch needed repaired. The handle alone was over 100.00 for the part. Two weeks later the motor went. Was one repair bill after another. Found out later that the motor is a common problem with this year which is why the repairs are so costly.
We've had our Tracker since Sept 99. No expensive issues not covered under warranty.On our third exhaust system from converter back. To be fair though, snapped off the first two (don't ask!) Really aggressive tires are a must if you plan to off road. Wind roar is bad, but thats after 4 deer in 5 years. Body panels don't allign quite as good as when new.Wind WILL shift lanes for you.
We like the ride, and the ease of entry. I'm 6'1" so height is important. Fold down seats means more room to haul stuff. I think the 4WD would climb a tree with the right tires.Mph is O.K. for an automatic, power is acceptable for a 4 cyl. For it's size, expected better from the 2.0 4-banger.
I have read the many posts on these however they are not as reliable as most think. LOOK VERY CLOSELY IF YOU ARE BUYING ONE FROM UP NORTH! The rust issues for these are pathetic. There is no underbody coating on these and even though the vehicle might look nice on the outside.. the underside of these are eaten up. I mean rusty leaky oil pans, brake lines, inner rocker panels. Also.. be sure to test the auto locking 4WD hubs. Most owners never service these and they will not engage in 4WD even though the light says it's on. The 4 cyl is a good engine but fuel economy is not very good. 21 MPG HWY is about as good as it gets.
I have had a few of these and the 4 CYL engine is the way to go. The v-6 seems to have timing belt noise issues and does not hold up any near as long as the 4 cyl. These have no real towing ability and seem to eat front brakes. The body panels dent easily. The power steering rack and pinion also is known to leak. All in all it will go about anywhere and has ample heat and AC. I have seen the 4 cyl models with well over 180K miles on them with no issues. A safe bet for a used vehicle. It it hard to buy them at the market prices... these hold their value quite well.
Economy and reliability. Nimble and bad weather capable
Stay away from the V-6! it is in no way as reliable as the 4 Cyl.
My Tracker has been in my family coming up on 9 years now. Bought it new in Dec 2000. Mine is the rear wheel drive, soft top version. It has a manual transmission. I (the mom) drove it for 7 years with never a problem. Outside of routine maintenance, it has cost me no money. My son bought it from me 2 years when stationed in sunny southern CA. Again, no problems with it. Routine maintenance only. He recently drove it cross country, from CA to VA with no problem at all. Very soon, he will be purchasing a newer car and the Tracker will go to his younger sister who is in college. For basic transportation, with no bells and whistles, this is a great little car.
Split convertible top, cute, red
Back seat is really not designed for larger people.