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.
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.
I've owned my Tracker since Dec of 99. I bought it while I was in the Navy for a fuel friendly and peppy car for the San Diego area. The engine is a little under powered, but with k&n filters, cherry bomb muffler, and megaphone style exhaust tip, mine seems to have picked up a little bounce in its step if you know what I mean. I owned it less than six months before I put it on a trail in San Diego. The Uniroyal tires that were stock on it did a good job holding onto the rocks, and its footing only wavered when a large rose quartz stone under the left front shattered and I slid about ten feet. But I'd say these are vastly underestimated litte 4x4s.
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.
I purchased this vehicle new for a towed vehicle behind my motorhome. It was one of few light weight vehicles that could be towed 4 down. It has only 26000 miles as of this date, and I use it almost daily. I have had no problems with it and except for some wind noise, and low horsepower, I think it is a great vehicle and plan to keep it until the wheels fall off. Thanks