I needed a car in the AWD category which was suited for rough off-roading trips in the country and daily suburban mom, and which wouldn't embarass my husband when he had to park it next to his super-status-concious coworkers. For the money, this car fit the bill. Remembering there wasn't much out there in the smaller 6+passenger SUV category at the time and that this car was originally priced considerably less than the other entries in this category, like Lexus and Toyotas, I can forgive many annoying flaws. I'm still a loyal owner, but I haven't had any of the reliablity issues the other reviewers had, and I wouldn't tolerate them if I did.
The short wheel base gives it great advantage in going in and out of small ravines and over boulders off roading, while making it easy to park in the suburbs and city. It sure beats a Ford pickup for comfort, even if our Lexus sedan outclasses it in every comfort, reliablity, and luxury area.
Fix the cheap stuff, like broken coffee holders, bad trim, tailgate latching problems. Make the seats less stiff. And above all, I HATE to be towed and when I'm offroading, it's a day's walk to a phone, so fix the reliablity problems.
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