This SUV has lasted as long as my marriage! We bought it new when my wife and I were married, and it's been the centerpiece her mobile business since. Obviously no modern comforts, but with regular oil and trans fluid changes it is hanging in there. No major repairs needed, even no need for exhaust replacement (a muffler patch was needed a year ago for sound). 20 years. Used regularly, though it will sit in the garage for a couple of months at a time. Nice and simple, no goofy electronics that crap out after 5 years, no power whatnots that need repairing after 10, and everything that may need fixing is up and center when you open the hood. I miss simple, quality cars.
Have had for 11 years now and it's still the car my teen-aged kids want to drive the most. It's still very stylish and reliable. It is great in snow and big enough to carry my entire family or haul stuff. The only major problem is that the head gasket tends to leak slowly. My mechanic says it's best to just let it be as I only go through 1 qt of oil every 3000 miles - not bad.
I bought this vehicle from a dealer, who got it from a Salvation Army auction for $500; a true 1-owner vehicle with the paperwork still with it! It had 174,000 miles, and only flaw is a split in the center of the windshield, a hole in a back-up lens and a leak from the Power Steering Pressure Switch. The 5-speed manual was crisp and fine until WalMart drained the oil from it by error and then denied it when it burned out totally dry while on the highway- I had to limp home in 4th gear for 150 miles! Now, the replacement tranny is missing 5th (pending replacement) but I still get better MPG than my 2000 F- 150, and with the EPA estimate of 14 combined, I get 13.9 to 14.6 w/o 5th! I LOVE IT!
I have been driving my trooper for just over 9 years now. I bought it used and have replaced a couple starters, one set of belts, one battery, had the transmission flushed once, and replaced the spark plugs and wires on the engine once. Pretty inexpensive maintenance for what this vehicle has given back to me. It does have a pretty severe oil leak, and I think this caused the need for new starters, as the old starters were covered in oil when taken out. I love the visibility when in this vehicle, as the windows are large and easy to see out of. It doesn't handle the best, especially up hills, but I have been able to take it anywhere (off- road included). Preventative maintenance is key.