Super fun and reliable REAL SUV
Windshield wipers seized @ 128k: replaced motor, jerry-rigged arms ($225). Wipers now park at 2:00 position, instead of along the bottom of the windshield.
Also at time of purchase (128k miles) :
headlight hi/low switch worn out. Reset switch gate ($0).
Reverse lights inoperative: not yet resolved.
Rear wiper inoperative: not yet resolved.
Rear window defogger inoperative: not yet resolved.
A/C blows warm air: likely leak, however not sure about converting from R12 (Freon) configuration to R134 refrigerant.
Rear gate remote release failed @ 129k: replacing rocker switch ($10), did not resolve problem. Likely wiring in rear door assembly and/or failed latch solenoid.
Outstanding vehicle that's an offroading purist's dream... and at a fraction of the cost of other 4X4's.
It's a real head-turner. While most newer 4X4's look like their toughest challenge is the mall parking lot, this baby looks ready for nature's toughest elements... even standing still. On the trails, it always beats LR Discoveries and Wranglers in tough mud and snow. I live on a remote mountain, and trust it to get me up and down in mud, ice and snow. Even passed a stuck Porsche Cayenne in a particularly deep snowpack on the trail several months ago.
It's geared to maneuver difficult terrain at relatively slow (crawler) speeds, so zero-to-sixty is pretty awful. Maybe 20 seconds. Top speed has been 76 MPH, with respectable highway driving at 62-68 MPH.
Brakes are spongy, and the stopping distance is long coming from highway speeds. Fair from crawling speeds.
Cabin visibility is beyond excellent. You can see the world from the high perch. Because it's a nice sized SWB, it parks easier than most sedans I've driven.
The manual tranny has a 5th gear to supposedly save fuel, however mine is averaging 13-15 MPG with mixed trail/city driving. Could be a carb adjustment needed. Not sure...
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 17th November, 2011