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Crossover SUV replacements for 1992 Jeep Cherokee

The 2012 Ford Escape makes its debut at

The 2012 Ford Escape makes its debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2011. (Credit: AP Photo)

Q. What car is a good replacement for my 1992 Jeep Cherokee? It has to have four-wheel drive, get respectable fuel economy and cost less than $30,000.

A. You have landed on a sweet spot in the crossover SUV market with your wish list. Using 26 mpg or more on the highway as the mileage standard, more than a dozen models fit the description you provided. The list includes the Chevrolet Equinox and GMC Terrain, Ford Escape, Honda CR-V, Hyundai Santa Fe, Jeep Compass and Patriot, Subaru Forester and Outback, and Toyota RAV4, among others.

Cars.com's $29,000 SUV Shootout should help with your search by highlighting the strengths and weaknesses of nine models that fit your budget and other criteria. The Equinox won the Shootout, edging the second-place Dodge Journey and third-place Kia Sportage (two more candidates for your shopping list), but we encourage you to look deeper into what separated the winners from the losers.

You also can tap into the Cars.com Vehicle Recommender, which lets you select the must-have features for your next vehicle and then digitally generates a list of qualified candidates that you can explore further.

All the SUVs we found that matched your description are car-based crossovers that do not have the off-road capability that was available on your 1992 Cherokee, so their all-wheel-drive systems are designed to improve on-road traction, not conquer the Rubicon Trail. However, most should at least match the interior and cargo capacities of the Cherokee or exceed them.

© 2012, Cars.com

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