What'a a good daily driver 4x4?

Discussion in '4x4's, SUV's and P/U Trucks' started by Kwon, Aug 2, 2012.

  1. carrmann

    carrmann Well-Known Member

    not tryin to hijack... but. my 02 ws6 got 25-30mpg around town, and 33-35mpg on the highway with 450 rwhp, 400 rwtq, 3.90 gears with full suspension mods and went 11.2s @ 123mph like that.

    so you CAN build for gas mileage/hp. the cheat with that car though was the 6th gear which had a .56 OD vs 5th which was .75 :Banane17:

    in regards to the thread: my 2012 quad cab 4wd hemi ram got up to 19.5mpg best tank around town with some hypermiling. so it was pretty capable and not bad mpg.

    my 98 cherokee does amazing offroad, can tow small stuff, and if Im easy on it will get over 18mpg. If im wheeling/driving on the same tank i get around 15mpg. I wheel almost every weekend with it.
  2. Kwon

    Kwon Active Member

    that's um, actually less than what i get now with my minivan. with help of my Scangauge IFCD i've been able to make 20-25 city 25-35+ hwy. had i not gone over some major FE killer mountains I could make 40. last weekend I used only 12.5 gallons to drive 433 miles (34.6 mpg). that's what it must feel like to drive a Prius.
    I just want something that is EPA rated for around 25 mpg city becasue I rarely go on such long hwy drives, better city mpg means that I can get even better mpg city (like 10 mpg over the EPA rating for like 35 mpg hypermile) and if i'm in a hurry i wouldn't blaze thru my gas too fast. there has been a few times i was in a hurry and my mpg dropped down to like 9-14 (14 is EPA rating) because i didn't have time to hypermile.

    as a hypermiler I really don't care for acceleration or muscle, these days i'm taking like 25 seconds to get to 60. i just need something that i can take offroad once a month, into the desert that's like 50 miles from town and I am confident I won't get stuck in a few inches of sand or go down some steep dirt road, and 5 hours later find I can't drive back up becasue the tires loose grip half way and just dig in (both are real experiences that was very scary to experience).
  3. Rackster

    Rackster Well-Known Member

    I've been watching the fuel economy drop on my Tacoma. I'm estimating about a 10% loss at the moment, but atleast 7% at this point. It's more than I expected at this point where the real cold hasn't settled in just yet. I believe my Ranger would have been seeing a smaller reduction. Still around 21-22 mpgs around town, but I really have to be cognizant of conditions and how I'm driving (e.g. stereo off and listening to the engine).
  4. 08EscapeHybrid

    08EscapeHybrid Moderator

    Sounds like its time to install a partial grille block...
  5. Rackster

    Rackster Well-Known Member

    I may do that as it gets colder, but for now the truck gets to temp within a mile or so. My Ranger would normally need longer to warm up so a block there would have likely made a difference. Perhaps as it gets colder I'll need to revisit the idea.

    For now, I'm considered building a WAI to get back the lost MPGs. The solutions I've browsed on the internet seem to be lackluster in their abillity to raise the air temps significantly. In the end, the MPG pickups they achieved have been are very modest. The key I think is to have a solution that raises the volume of air needed by the engine in a meaningful way. So I've been thinking about ways to leverage the heat off the exhaust over a longer run to achieve that aim. Still would need to contend with the ethanol blend, but I think that the air temp is the biggest robber of FE.
  6. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi Kwon:

    Have you considered a new 2013 RAM 1500 with the 3.6L Pentastar and 8-speed AT or new Tacoma with a stick. A new stripped 13 RAM should be able to be purchased for that target in a few months.

    Tacoma's are less than that new now.

    Too bad about the need to go deep and heavy off road. The CX-5 with a stick is possibly the best CUV currently available with loads of room, great starting price and capable. Add AWD and the AT to it however and the price breaks your price target immediately.

    Would it be better to forgo the off-road stuff and purchase a fuel efficient sedan while saving for a home instead?

  7. Rackster

    Rackster Well-Known Member

    Warm Air Intakes (WAI)

    Update for what it is worth -

    I installed a WAI in November. Simple construction: I bought $30 of aftermarket CAI parts at the local Advance (a 90⁰ elbow, the corresponding corrugated plastic duct, and a metal exhaust coupling) placing the elbow over the inlet of the air filter box where the OEM CAI used to be. Took about an hour to think it out and turn the wrenches. Having the metal coupling scavenging hot air off the exhaust manifold raises the intake air temperature between 30-40⁰F over the outside ambient temperature (lower numbers on the colder mornings/days). I saw some FE improvement, but not as much as I had hoped so perhaps around 5%. However, I made a discovery when I went to replace my sparkplugs. By the looks of things, these may have been the original plugs put in at the factory (74K). In all, my swap out should have been for the second or third set. In doing that, the FE improved as did the overall performance of the vehicle. FE improved another 5% in around town driving.

    I took the truck to NY this week and with highway driving, the FE jumped up another 10%. Intake air temperatures were a steady 35⁰ warmer than the outside air. On the ride back this AM, I did almost as well as on the way to NY (down about 3%). In terms of MPGs:

    Wintertime driving (winter blend fuel) -

    • Without WAI and old plugs: I was down to 20 mpgs city
    • With WAI added: 21 mpgs city
    • With WAI and new plugs: 22 mpgs city
    • With WAI and new plugs: 24 highway (85%)

    I maintained speeds between 58-63 MPH for most of the ride on my trip to NY and back. For the around town driving, speeds were around 45-50 MPH. It’s been difficult for me over the period to determine if the WAI has quantifiably improved my MPGs (been using the truck often to haul wood), but in shorter runs about town and with the rides to/from NY, it appears to be improving it 5-15%. With warmer weather a couple of months out, it will be interesting to see what will happen with straight gas again.
  8. jcp123

    jcp123 Caliente!

    A Diesel Jeep Grand Cherokee or Patriot might not be bad, although they are not really GREAT off-road machines. Should still be pretty capable, though, and net you mid-20s on the highway.

    Or, as others have mentioned, a Toyota Tacoma wouldn't be too bad. Also to consider would be the old Wrangler, as mentioned. With the 4-banger it wouldn't be too terrible MPGwise, although I have a hunch the straight six may not turn out to be as terrible as it seems, either.

    Besides the Tacoma, though, nothing really seems to come to mind. Most of the "4x4's" with decent mileage are really watered-down and are more akin to tall station wagons than off-roaders.
  9. ILAveo

    ILAveo Well-Known Member

    That's the first problem that needs to be fixed right there. In my experience off-roaders with 4x4's get stuck about as much as those who don't. They're just dug in deeper and further from the road when they get stuck. If you aren't willing/able to use a spade and winch or come-along you should stay on the road.
  10. Rackster

    Rackster Well-Known Member

    Great numbers out of that Ranger. I got around 23 mpgs with around town driving, up to 28 on the highway, but never got above that. 39 mpgs is an impressive number!
  11. jcp123

    jcp123 Caliente!

    I just remembered one: the old Ford Bronco II, basically a Ranger SUV before it morphed into the Explorer. You can get 'em for a song and the 4-banger could probably pull some reasonable numbers. Even the V6 didn't do too badly for its day but was known to have a few issues.
  12. Kevin108

    Kevin108 Well-Known Member

    I'm sure Kown has gotten something new in the year since his post but I thought I'd chime in anyway. Some years ago I had an 05 Corolla 4-cylinder I was breaking 40 mpg with. In 06 life changed, I sold the Corolla and went back to driving my work truck the whole 2.5 miles to work and even though it only got 8 mpg I was still saving tons of money versus owning a new car.

    Time passed, I moved closer to work, my finances improved and I wanted something newer. My specs were $10,000 or less, 4x4, able to tow at least 2,500 lbs and that got at least 15 mpg.

    I wound up with a stock 2000 Jeep Cherokee with the 4.0L and an AW4 automatic. It gave me 16 city/18 hwy when babied. It's well-built and loaded down now. 3" of lift, skid plates and other armor, loaded with hundreds of pounds of tools and spare parts, running on 31" mud terrain tires with 3.55 gears and an engine fast closing in on 200,000 miles, it still gives me 14/16+. I've done some substantial repair work to it to keep it going but when we do a trail ride, virtually every other Jeep runs low on fuel before the Cherokees.

    I have a SGII on order. Soon I'll find out what this thing is really capable of!

  13. Blackbelt

    Blackbelt Well-Known Member

    Thats a nice looking rig. I have always been a fan of the grizzlies. I have owned 5 different XJ's, none of them had under 100K on them and they were all great vehicles. I think the AW4 is about the most durable automatic transmission ever made. They hardly ever go bad.
  14. ItsNotAboutTheMoney

    ItsNotAboutTheMoney Super Moderator Staff Member

    Truthfully any midsize should be able to tow 2, 500lbs, but they rarely rate them that high here, which may be related to distance and towing speed, or could be because the manufacturers want to convince towers the y need an SUV or pick-up.. What's particularly galling is that US models often have more powrful engines.


    Note the EU tow rating. Note the engine size. The US Golf TDI has a 2.0L engine.
  15. Kevin108

    Kevin108 Well-Known Member

    Thanks! It's been a slow build and one I've tried to be thoughtful about. I bought the XJ because I'd made the mistake of overbuilding my old truck. It went from 14 mpg down to 8 mpg. My Jeep never would have gotten as big as it is except for the fact that I wound up with free shocks, free tires, and cheap used parts to make up the difference. It's been problematic for sure - lots of little things and even a few big things. I've sworn I'd never buy another Jeep again...but I'll keep this one going as long as I can.
  16. PaleMelanesian

    PaleMelanesian Beat the System Staff Member

    Same thing with my Fit. The cars all roll off the same assembly line in Japan. Towing with an american model will void your warranty, but the Euro model is rated for 1000 lb.

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