I bought the Troop to sell Real Estate in. I work Real Estate and insurance in a rural Texas small town. We mostly show land so I needed a 4-wheel drive vehicle to carry customers over the land. We often cross pastures, drive through running creeks, and through mud, dust dirt, sand, high grass, bramble, brush, over small trees, up and down gullies and hills and more. I love my Trooper for its off road performance. I did get stuck once in the back forty and a tractor had to come pull me out. I had customers with me too, bummer.
I love the ROOMINESS of the vehicle. There is LOTS of room inside. It is cavernous. I know there are bigger SUVs, but for $3200.00 you will not find one. I do not like the gas mileage. It gets 15-18 miles per gallon. I wish I had gotten a standard transmission because that it what I am used to driving and I do not always agree with its shift points. Small complaint, though.
The only large complaint is I do believe it is underpowered on midrange driving. The v6 3.2 liter is plenty powerful in the low range and it has loads of torque and pull. But lets face it, the vehicle weighs about 4,500 pounds and it is 190 horse power. 190 HP is a lot if it weighed 2500-3000 pounds. An example is when I am driving on a very hilly road, it tends to slow down a lot before cresting the hill. Also, you really have to "floor board" it to pass someone. I believe the newer Troopers bumped up the power to around 250 HP and I would hazard a guess they have the midrange power problem licked at that HP.
The Trooper rides well over bumps and rough terrain. It seems very solid. A great off road performer. I have noticed (and I like it) that the Trooper is built more like a tough truck. It sits high off the ground; 8.5 inches I believe. My parents have an Expedition, and my Grandmother and Explorer. I like my Trooper better than either. The Explorer feels TINY compared to the Trooper. The Expedition is bigger, but it seems like it would be prissy about going where my Trooper goes. The Expedition is more of a big people mover than a true off road machine.
In summary, not the fastest, not the most refined, not the best transmission, but definitely SOLID, definitely ready to leave pavement ANY TIME ANYWHERE. The used Trooper is a good value, especially to someone who wants to really use it off road. I realize you can buy a way nicer SUV like a Land Rover, or Toyota, BMW, Mercedes, Porsche Cayenne, Tahoe, etc. However, You need a lot more money to get into one of those. I am not disappointed in the least.
I would recommend buying one. I would not recommend buying one without driving it first like I did. Do not be foolish and just drive it around the block. When you test drive it, take the seller with you. Then you need to drive it on the highway, drive it off road, put it in 4-wheel drive, really EXPERIENCE it before you slap down the green backs. That is my two cents.