Originally Posted By: Art_in_FL
I'm really not suggesting anyone get a Willys Jeep. Rather I'm suggesting that the concept of the original Jeep, a small and strong all-terrain vehicle, something Jeep forgot as their design got bloated and complex, is the right idea.

Of all the vehicles I own or have recently owned, my 2000 Jeep XJ (Cherokee, original boxy shape) is my favorite. We're the 3rd owner and it's got over 150,000 miles, but it still is a wonderfully reliable vehicle. It is, for me, the perfect balance of capability and capacity. I can easily fit four adults plus enough gear and supplies to be self-sufficient in the wilderness for two weeks. I have taken it over muddy, mountainous logging roads and fire breaks, through deep mud and snow, and over loose sand and slickrock. It is all factory original, including its original 4.0L I6 engine, AW4 transmission and stock axles, rims and suspension. It is also reasonably fuel efficient, as far as 6-cylinder SUV's go, averaging around 18MPG. Though by no means luxurious, it is comfortable even on long trips. I got it for my son and neither of us have any regrets.

In fact, when the lease is up on my Nissan Pathfinder, I hope to find another XJ in good condition so I can have one of my own.

Originally Posted By: Art_in_FL
Also, while American auto companies, seemingly always behind the curve, insist that diesels only show up in large vehicles

I don't know if I blame Detroit for that problem. American consumers are not big fans of diesel vehicles. They don't like the smell or the smoke or the noise (even though these issues are practically non-existent with current generation engines, the memories persist). They associate diesel with big, dirty and scary trucks and construction equipment, and can't perceive smaller, fuel- and emissions-efficient diesel vehicles. They don't like the cold-weather maintenance issues. They don't like the price and availability (although these would probably improve if there was a bigger market).

The US government also tends to be anti-diesel. US laws forced most auto makers to stop importing most diesel cars and trucks. Only recently, with the introduction of small, high-efficiency designs, are some foreign car makers re-entering the US market. But if you travel outside of the US, you will see huge percentage of cars and small trucks use diesel.

In a disaster situation I think a diesel-powered vehicle would be an advantage. Most people will be looking for gasoline, so diesel might be available at gas stations and truck stops after gasoline stocks are depleted. Large trucks would be land-locked due to obstacles and traffic sooner than family autos, and can be scavenged for fuel. Construction sites and farms are potential sources of fuel. Heating oil is the same as diesel. You can use vegetable oils, even waste cooking oil (with lots of filtering), in warmer weather.
2010 Jeep JKU Rubicon | 35" KM2 & 4" Lift | Skids | Winch | Recovery Gear | More ...
'13 Wheeling: 8 Camping: 6 | "The trail was rated 5+ and our rigs were -1" -Evan@LIORClub