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I ask that as now in the market for a winter car with AWD or 4WD capability. Subaru was first on my list, but, given their head gasket issues, I am not anxious to take one on, in my price range.

Then it struck me that Toyota makes some, that I have ignored due to early on issues. But now, maybe they are more reliable and priced more rationally that Subarus.
 

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i wouldnt touch subaru with ten foot pole but thats just me

solid awd car is the early matrix or vibe. later years might be good also but i have no experience with them
 

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I was looking at a new winter car for my significant other and briefly (very briefly) thought Subaru. But the terrible ground clearance (among many other issues) took them off the list. I came very close to buying a Rav4. The 1st gens are kind of small but I'd buy one in a heartbeat. Also compared to many other modern compact SUVs, I like they're styling. She had a 1st gen CRV that I was very impressed by. We took it on some camping trails that I did not think it could handle but it did fine. She really wants a tacoma though, so I got to save my paychecks..
 

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some subarus have good ground clearance for a car but theyre plagued with headgasket and oil consumption problems and thats why i wont ever buy one. you cant go wrong with first gen tacoma but theyre small like sardine can. first gen matrix and vibe are good but theyre not meant for offroad
 

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If you want real solid car, you go for Landcruiser. If you have enough money to afford. Next one will be either 4Runner or FJC (if you have enough money to afford).
For real connoisseurs, there's Sequoia. If you have...yes.
 

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I had a Subaru for a few years and it never let me down except for once when the hill holder inertial spring broke and the brakes got stuck on. Once I figured out what it was (in the snow on the side of the road) it was easy enough to turn it off and lock it out forever with a zip tie. Personally I'd buy another Subaru if I was in that market. Agree that they are overpriced though.

The Matrix is cool but I never really felt like I would want to own one. Too buzzy and dull. Probably would make a decent winter beater though. The Celica alltrac is fun but I'm going to guess older than you are looking for. What about a Sienna if you need the space?

I'm really happy with my 4runner but that might count as a truck?

If you just need something to get you around in the snow don't overlook putting good snow tires on what you have. Nobody believes how important that is until they've tried it.
 
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