A big, rugged, indestructible beast
Transmission went- but it had suffered a lot of punishment.
Problems with axle and with steering gear, probably due to cruel and unusual punishment.
Very badly rusted-out by now.
The electric door lock system is now kinda goofy.
An assortment of minor repairs, but surprisingly few considering. Overall, extremely reliable.
Several people have, independently, dubbed this truck "The Beast". It's a good name for it.
It's huge- ample room for 9 passengers and huge cargo space, especially if the back bench is removed. There's also a big luggage rack and a trailer hitch. Fortunately the huge, rather loud diesel engine provides plenty of power.
It's built like a tank. I don't know about today's Suburbans, but this is the sort of vehicle used by ranchers, archaeologists, oil prospectors, and such. This one was driven extensively in Central America, part of the time carrying a heavy trailer, over steep, often horrifically potholed mountain roads, some of which had been reduced to jagged shattered asphalt by floods. It was also driven on narrow dirt tracks and once ended up axle-deep in mud and large rocks.
Another time it I kid you not had front wheels fall into a 10-ft hole in the road.
It's a good car for road trips- roomy, smooth, and powerful.
Gas mileage is not great, but good for a vehicle this big. The diesel gets about twice as much MPG as an equivalent gas engine, so it's about comparable to a full-size sedan. In ideal conditions it gets 24 MPG highway.
This thing doesn't need much in repairs, although those repairs that are needed can be costlier because everything is so big. The huge tires for example are about $500.
By now the thing has 320,000 miles on it and still runs good, although it is now possibly one of the ugliest vehicles I have ever seen. The durability of this vehicle is truly impressive. It has only left us stranded once, and that was due to defective diesel fuel.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 22nd June, 2006