Valve cover replacement at 80,000 miles. This engine had one of the first uses of plastic valve covers. The seal was poorly engineered. Replaced with a steel valve cover from an older junkyard AMC.
Lifters had to be replaced at 95,000 miles. Ticking issue in the engine from when I got it. Got progressively worse. Not the car's fault as previous owner did not do engine oil changes frequently enough.
Shifter cable in shifter handle broke at 105,000 miles. Had to replace the wire myself twice as new shifters were no longer available.
Water pump replacement at 110,000 miles.
Automatic transmission and torque converter replacement at 115,000 miles. Hard to say why it failed; could have been a lack of servicing from the previous owner.
Automatic transmission failure at 135,000 miles. Most likely a poor rebuild, but was out of warranty. Decided to donate the car to charity. Not worth the expense of another transmission.
This car was one of the better cars I have owned. We lived in Michigan at the time, and this car never ever got stuck in snow. I was really amazing. This was the first 4-wheel drive passenger car (sorry Subaru!).
I loved the fact that you could put the car in 2WD, and then flip a switch and you would be in 4WD. Had a viscous coupling that would split the power between the front or rear wheels, depending on where it was needed.
You needed to make sure that you replaced all of the vacuum hoses in the engine bay. There were lots of them! 4WD was actuated by plastic vacuum lines, which by now might need to be replaced. Not hard to get to.
Lots of little niggling things, but nothing that stranded you, or caused any great aggravation. You could tell that things inside were built to a price, but overall a nice car.
The wagon version is the one to get. Looks best and has greatest versatility. Mine was the Sport trim model, and was bright red with black accents outside and the black houndstooth seats inside.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 19th February, 2013