One of my friends needs a car. Her younger sister drives a 2017 Elantra, while my friend wants something older and cheaper that she can dump once she makes enough money to buy her own car. She’ll probably be keeping this car she finds for maybe five years max.

My friend has good memories of an old Explorer she had growing up, so a small SUV or crossover with a boxy shape and a low price is what she seems to want. It also needs to be from an American brand. From my knowledge, the best car to fit this bill is the 2008-2012 Ford Escape. Not only does it look like an Explorer and it’s pretty simple, but it also seems to be reliable, compact, and more modern than most other options. Is this the right direction, or are there other models I should consider? My second best bet is the 2011-present Jeep Patriot, and I know y’all probably don’t like those.

This is an excellent Escape I found below.