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Furious_E
Furious_E Dork
9/23/16 5:07 p.m.

My mom has had an 06 (I think) Pilot since new and it's been great for her. My youngest sister, now 20, has driven it extensively and without major incident since getting her license, so I'd say it fits the bill. Easy to drive and certainly not fast enough to get into much trouble. Forget what year the tranny thing was supposedly solved, but no issues here to report.

How about a Volvo 850 or s70? No AWD, but FWD and snow tires is at least as good as a crappy AWD system and all seasons in winter. Side airbags were standard after 96 iirc, should be as safe as anything you're gonna find at that price point. Parts can be a bit pricey, but they're generally pretty darn reliable. Plus, you could probably buy two plus a a parts car for $3500

oldopelguy
oldopelguy UltraDork
9/23/16 6:43 p.m.

One thing Isuzus have going for them is available manual transmissions. The manual transmission ones do not have problems with the transmission.

79rex
79rex New Reader
9/23/16 7:00 p.m.

Get them in a 240 volvo wagon, they will survive anything from a mere bumper tap to high speed crash. And likley be able to drive away from it all

Chadeux
Chadeux HalfDork
9/23/16 7:04 p.m.

Don't think I saw Jeep Cherokee or Grand Cherokee mentioned yet.

Mazdax605
Mazdax605 UltraDork
9/23/16 7:18 p.m.

I like the generation 2.5 montero. Very cool body style with the box flares and I believe you can get the dohc motor in them.

captdownshift
captdownshift UberDork
9/23/16 7:19 p.m.

I've just realized that we're looking at this all wrong. There's about a 50% chance that a teenage driver will be involved in an accident that will cause over $4k to a vehicle, which would total out any option selected. Seeing that 2 will be purchased the thread consideration should be, what SUV drive train is best suited to be swapped into a miata.

LuxInterior
LuxInterior HalfDork
9/23/16 7:20 p.m.
captdownshift wrote: Izusu Ascender GM V8, 0-60 in 6 flat and nobody knows what they are.

Good Idea (for me). Actually the engine in our LS swapped FD RX7 came from an Ascender. A 6 second car is not what I want for my teens. Street racing is an every weekend thing around here. Plenty of kids around here die doing it.

captdownshift
captdownshift UberDork
9/23/16 7:23 p.m.

In reply to LuxInterior:

So I was close with my second post involving selecting the vehicle regarding what engine is best suited to swap into a mazda, even had the correct vehicle, but wrong mazda.

Ranger50
Ranger50 UltimaDork
9/23/16 7:34 p.m.

I see it was mentioned but Exploder. Just avoid the 4.0SOHC, POS mirror design motor and junk ass chain "cassettes". I think you can maybe even get into the Lincoln Aviator for that kind of money now.

thatsnowinnebago
thatsnowinnebago SuperDork
9/23/16 7:44 p.m.

Gen 2 Monteros are solid, so long as you avoid the 3.5l motor in the SR models. Makes more power than any other Montero (US models only) but has a propensity to grenade itself by ingesting parts of the butterfly valves in the variable intake manifold. Supposedly the updated version of that manifold is good to go but they run like $350 or something. AFAIK, that updated manifold never came on them so you'd have to fix Mitu's mistake right after you got it.

I really liked my 96 until it suffered the aforementioned engine failure.

pinchvalve
pinchvalve MegaDork
9/23/16 10:35 p.m.

My 17 year old daughter loves her Jeep Cherokee. Tough as nails, airbags and ABS, cheap.

Petrolburner
Petrolburner Dork
9/23/16 10:49 p.m.

I'm surprised there aren't more folks in this thread pointing out that mass doesn't equal safety. You're taking a lot of compromise in terms of economics and dynamic handling (which DOES attribute to safety) for a false sense of safety just because the vehicle is heavier. When some inattentive driver pulls out in front of your daughter and she has enough time and distance to slow a CR-V down to 20 MPH before impact or a Tahoe down to 35 MPH, which crash do you think hurts less?

I'd suggest going the CR-V, RAV4, Volvo V70 XC or RX300 route.

Chadeux
Chadeux HalfDork
9/23/16 10:51 p.m.

The nose dive you get when a non abs Jeep XJ locks all 4 might be one of the most hilarious automotive experiences I've had to date.

EDIT: yes, mentioning safety concerns of an SUV, meanwhile I'm advocating a top heavy tin can that I feel will force the children to learn defensive driving and car control out of self preservation.

curtis73
curtis73 PowerDork
9/24/16 12:59 a.m.
LuxInterior wrote: In reply to Mister Fister: Rust really isn't an issue around here. Heavy SUVs: There are oodles of them on the road here. It's crappy, but I'd like my girls to be evenly matched with the rest of the texting-while-driving people when the inevitable accident happens. Unfortunately, buying newer, safer vehicles is beyond the budget.

This is a bit of a misconception. Protecting your girls with an equally-large SUV is not the way to save them. Look at crash test ratings. Full-frame SUVs are heavy and sturdy, but they transfer the shock load to the passenger more than a unibody vehicle. My ex wife was saved by her Tercel when she was hit by an Expedition. The driver of the Expy never walked again, but my ex walked away with just minor airbag burns on her wrists after spinning twice and hitting a cement wall at 45 mph. Her friend in the passenger seat and our three dogs in the back seat walked away with zero anything. Her passenger caught a cab and went on to work as if nothing happened.

Of course, that was a specific example, but please don't assume that "bringing a bigger stick" to the party is the answer. Size doesn't matter. Proper crash absorption does.

MDJeepGuy
MDJeepGuy New Reader
9/24/16 9:16 a.m.
curtis73 wrote: . Size doesn't matter.

I'm so relieved. Thanks for clearing that up :)

mad_machine
mad_machine MegaDork
9/24/16 9:31 a.m.

Curtis is right. You may want AWD for winter, and they may like SUVs.. but you want something SAFE.. not just big.

Having said that.. are Volvo X90s in that price range yet?

chaparral
chaparral Dork
9/26/16 12:30 a.m.

Not much said about the Lexus RX300/330 so far. They should win this one. It's a slightly raised AWD Camry. They'll run 200,000 so long as the engine doesn't sludge up.

As someone who's designed crash structure at an OEM, I'd shy away from any older BOF vehicle. They either strike right along the axis of the frame and are way too stiff, or miss and get zippered or just plain fold up. Watch the Chevy Blazer/GMC Jimmy crash test videos and you'll see why their driver death rates were the highest on the market the entire time they were in production, They were worst, but lots of others were close, like the '97-03 Ford F-150 and associated Expedition.

In a crash give me the physically largest tub I can find with lots of ties to the rest of the vehicle and crush space. That's an Audi A8, but anything built on a midsize or larger unibody made in the people-actually-read-IIHS era will be close enough for rock'n'roll.

kanaric
kanaric Dork
9/26/16 11:18 a.m.

I'm sure someone else said it but the size of the vehicle is irrelevant to whether it's safe or not. In fact studies have been done showing SUVs are more dangerous than cars INCLUDING when the smaller cars are wrecked by SUVs.

The "big car safe" thing is a myth, an annoying one, because E36 M3ty drivers are driving cars that are actually less safe on top of it.

I don't care if you believe it or not, it's been proven, so go ahead and buy the snake oil if you wish. Buying her a SUV is like if this was 1860 and you bought radium to cure her cold from a guy who sells soap with a prize inside.

racerdave600
racerdave600 SuperDork
9/26/16 2:00 p.m.

My son the paramedic would cringe at this thread. There is nothing remotely safe like putting SUV and teenager in the same sentence.

Having said that, I'd second the CRV recommendation if you have to have one, but also recommend something more like a Subaru Impreza or Outback. You want to lower the CG while still having awd.

nedc
nedc New Reader
9/26/16 2:23 p.m.

Volvo XC90 w/ the 2.5 turbo 5 cylinder can be had in FWD or AWD only up to 2006. After 2006 look at the 3.2 I6 or v8, both are AWD only I think. Very safe as far as SUVs go.

ebonyandivory
ebonyandivory UltraDork
9/26/16 2:34 p.m.

1998-2003 Dodge Caravan with snow tires. It's your money, you don't have to explain anything. Take it or leave it.

MadScientistMatt
MadScientistMatt PowerDork
9/26/16 2:51 p.m.

I was thinking a minivan would be a great choice from a driver safety perspective. They seem to have some of the lowest fatality rates out there - that and full size cars like Crown Vics. Although there are other forms of safety risks to issuing a teenage daughter a minivan, of course.

RXBeetle
RXBeetle Reader
9/26/16 3:23 p.m.

SWMBO drives a Saturn Vue GrenLine (Ecotec 2.4L + very mild hybrid) that has so far been solid other than the Hybrid belt drive crap. No risk of street racing, air bags all over the place, and good crash test ratings. You can get them with AWD and a Honda V6. Just run far far away from the CVT equipped ones.

mad_machine
mad_machine MegaDork
9/26/16 6:21 p.m.

if they have to have an SUV.. the safest one out there is a Rover. Preferably a Freelander, it won't run long enough to get into an accident

chaparral
chaparral Dork
9/26/16 7:46 p.m.
MadScientistMatt wrote: I was thinking a minivan would be a great choice from a driver safety perspective. They seem to have some of the lowest fatality rates out there - that and full size cars like Crown Vics. Although there are other forms of safety risks to issuing a teenage daughter a minivan, of course.

OP is in Colorado, so this may not be a concern.

https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/cdphe/news/teenbirthrate

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