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Having 06 Ford Escape Issues, looking for more reliable SUV

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Hi everyone,

I'm Jeff. At 17 I saved up and bought my first car and probably one of my biggest mistakes. I purchased a 2006 ford escape xlt with the 4 cylinder engine. Only 89,000 miles I thought it's an amazing deal for $4,500. Months later the oil drained and the oil sensor light failed to turn on and alert me so as I was driving I heard the good old engine knocking sound :). After being without a car for two weeks for insurance purposes they replaced my engine and not months later my car starts shaking back and forth while driving and when I would come to a stop. It wasn't the transmission, all spark plugs replaced, oxygen sensor replaced, fuel filter replaced, a whole bunch of other engine parts I don't remember the names of were also replaced. I bought a warranty plan so I didn't pay for any of this. Only downside is that because it was a warranty plan, the auto shop had to get everything approved by the insurance company before they replaced something on the car someone from the company had to come and approve.


This took weeks and I failed 2 classes because I wasn't able to attend all the classes. In the end it turned out to be timing belt which was finally fixed. Now about two months later, the transmission is acting up and it has issues going from first to second and sometimes will jump from 1 to 3 when I floor the gas pedal out of frustration.

Now that I work full time, I can afford a different car. I was interested in the lexus rx330 because it's an SUV, it's Japanese, and AWD.

I would like something with a bit more luxury since I have been driving this car for two years almost. My budget is $10,000.


I'm not interested in a CRV because that car won't last here by my college anything with the name honda is targeted for parts and parts are constantly stolen and I just don't like the CRV.

I'm looking for something more reliable that won't put me at the mechanic multiple times a year besides for maintenance. It must be an AWD SUV because the snow + ice we get here are unbelievable, my mom's G wagen has even had trouble in the snow and ice here. I also live on a steep hill. My ford escape does pretty well in the snow if it wasn't for all the problems I would keep it.

I would also like something with decent sex appeal if that's even possible for 10k.

I thought maybe an 04 lexus rx might be a good fit. I have a friend with the 99 he purchased at 120k miles, now he's at 170k and all he's replaced is the timing belt and one misfire. I also am considering a jeep wrangler but I don't know which year would be good and it's not easy to find on for 10k. Are there any other SUVS you guys recommend? Anything I should know?

Thanks for reading everyone, sorry about the long post, I'm just really fed up with my car.

Edited by escape06

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