Pic unrelated. Eye candy, for your time. Keep reading. No, she is not buying a AMG wagon. 

My sister needs a new car. In her own way, she’s narrowed the search to a Lexus RX and a Jeep Grand Cherokee, budget seems to cap out in the low 20's but isn’t totally rigid. $25k would be too much, but she was sending me some links of JGC’s in the $16-17k range, so that’s kind of a big range. She’s in Boston and drives to NH regularly. She doesn’t commute to work by car most of the time.

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She’s currently driving a 2002 Lexus RX and she wants something similar in size. MPG doesn’t seem to matter to her, or she’d just get a Prius V or a Highlander hybrid. She wants the space, but doesn’t need a third row. For sure she’ll want things like heated leather seats, which puts her in the higher trim levels of the JGC, while I assume most Lexus RX’s would have that kind of thing standard.

Example:

I don’t know much of anything about this era of either car. Tell me what you know! Are there engines/transmissions to avoid? Particular years that are plagued with issues, or known for being fantastic?

And trust me, making suggestions of “why don’t you look at _____ instead?” will fall on deaf ears. She’s on the right track compared to where she started, I’ll just leave it at that.

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Thanks for your input!