2001 Ford Explorer Sport 4WD 2dr SUV (4.0L 6cyl 5M)
I've only owned a handfull of American cars in my 58 years -- and never expected to purchase a "FORD". I wanted an SUV, liked the styling and price of the Explorer Sport, and from the 30K miles when I purchased it, to the 64K miles I now have on it, its reliability has been exceptional. Living in NJ where the climate can be brutal in the winter, this vehicle has started without exception and run flawlessly. The 4WD is of course absolutely essential for this environment and has performed well.
Rides high; drives like a "truck" but nevertheless fun to drive. All interior features (mine is loaded) work well and are very functional.
Independent rear suspension; greater access room between the front and rear seats.