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Gilliangirl

Best truck/SUV for the money?

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If no towing is involved the smaller Jeep Cherokee with the straight six is fine. I think they are a bit light to do any serious towing. My step son has one and he loves it. I own a 03 Toyota Tundra and have been happy with it. If you can find a Jeep Cherokee in good condition, or a Toyota 4 runner you'll have a good rig. If you need to haul hay for your horse get a truck. You'll not be happy with a SUV if your hauling hay.

Ford and Toyota trucks are imo the best picks. Chevy's need about a half acre to turn around and the older ones are prone to rust, I have owned several Fords, Chevy's and Toyota's and have lived in snow country most of my life. I worked for a company that operated a fleet of light trucks, we used Dodge's from 2002 to 2005 and every one of them had transmission problem. All the Chevy's rusted out, we also had a few Jeep Cherokee's and Ford trucks, they were the most dependable.

If you can find a older Toyota 4x4 with the 22R four cylinder that's in good condition grab it! Those things run forever!

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Thank you Milod.

 

Mick' date=' that's another good point..... mileage. What is the maximum number of miles/kilometres I should consider? There's a Toyota 4runner on Craigslist with 465,000 km on it! Yikes![/quote']

 

4-Runners are excellent, I had a 1990 for more than 15 years (more than 250k miles--400some km). Problem at it's "end of life" was significant rust in the frame (have someone give it good looking over). It did well in the snow (got stuck once in 3+ feet of snow, my fault though tried too quick a turn) with Bridgestone Duelers. Was not great on gas though (plus it needed premium).

I have a little Jeep Wrangler (2003-4cyl) now, it's fair to middlin on gas. But.. Turn the key it's running, goes fine in snow (Bridgestone Duelers again), rain, etc. Heater and A/C are excellent, even with the "rag" roof.

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So called SUVs (a marketing monicker invented by the auto industry) are, by their very definition trucks. Trucks, by their very design are squirlly on ice and wet pavements as you suggest. This is because, as trucks, their weight distribution is heavier on the front than automobiles to allow for the expected cargo over the back axle.

 

I'd go with a second, more fuel efficent automobile or station wagon... not sure what they are calling them these days, as the auto industry eschews the word 'station wagon'. The Dodge Magnum is one of these as well as it's competitor's clones. The other advantage to the automobile is it's lower center of gravity. This means better paved road stability.

 

If you like to sit up higher or your trek involves off road activity, or side roads with questionable plowing of snow, and therefore need higher clearance then I'd go with a minivan with higher clearance between the ground and underside. Some mini-vans have a lower ground clearance, almost as low as a car, the Honda Odyssey, in particular. I'd avoid these lower ground clearance vans. They're great on the highway, but off road, you'd just as bad off with a Honda Civic.

 

In a van, your cargo is under cover and the extra iron versus that of a truck like vehicle, Navigator or Blazer or the like, will help with rear axle traction. Even so, in the winter time, if you have no cargo, you may want to add sand bags or other weight, properly secured in the event of accident. over or behind the back axle to help with traction. I absolutely, positively, would not go for a short wheel based Jeep, Blazer or Bronco. These are squirrly enough on dry pavement, let alone Canadian winter roads.

 

And.. you can probably get a decent minivan in your price range. The auto industry has pretty much tarnished the glamor of the minivan as a 'girly car'. Feh.! But then again you are a girl, so you should have no testosterone fueled aversion to a mini van. Finding one with 4WD may be a problem.

 

The Cherokee has a low center of gravity than most SUVs, high clearance, and 4WD is almost a given. However, getting a reliable one for 3K will be the challenge.

 

500K miles, even on a Toyota, is about the max on it's expective life. Unless... they've had major work done, like rebuilt motor, trans and brakes. If this is the case, then I'd consider it, depending up on the miles since the re-build. Insist upon verifiable mechanic's records.

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I've been driving Cherokee's since I started driving I have never had any problems with them being squirrelly in the snow or ice. But than I learned to drive on snow and ice. Some good soft AT tires and no problem.

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Subarus are a good "compromise" vehicle (outback, forester)... 4wd, space, good gas milage. But they aren't that cheap and can be difficult and EXPENSIVE to repair...

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Mini vans tend to be more fuel efficient than Truck like objects (SUVs) as their body panels are more sculpted and less 'masculine' looking.

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Oh, btw, Tanks are particularly good on gas. They can burn it up really, really good and fast.

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I more or less know about the Longview area, Karen.

 

Who's Ian Tyson? <chortle, chortle, chortle - I've been stealing his stuff since '63; have a batch of concert pix from a cupla years ago - first met him in spring of '64 when he seemed nicer in person.>

 

As I said before, if a 70-y-o lady rural mail carrier here feels comfortable and safe in a Cherokee with a cupla hundred thousand miles on it in areas not dissimilar to Longview...

 

And you're obviously gonna have a winter kit.

 

.... folks in more urban areas don't have a clue. We had a "city" family call in from a bit northwest of here that they were stranded on a US Highway in this year's spring blizzard set. Oddly they were in one of the few places there with cell service. They were stupid for traveling at all, they were more stupid for traveling on that highway, they were stupid for not being prepared to live in their outfit for a cupla days.

 

Then... here I was at work with the doors drifted in - it took quite a while to dig out when the winds went down. Roughly 5-feet of wind-packed snow at the back door that luckily opened inward. After I had it cleared, it took me over 30 minutes to shovel/walk less than 100 feet.

 

I got a call from a New York television lady wanting pix. Nope, I ain't goin', I said. Obviously chagrined that a bumpkin wouldn't immediately do her bidding, she asked how she could get a film crew there. "Hire an airplane with skis when the wind goes down." Then she was really angry. Needless to say, she never got her pix.

 

Sheesh.

 

m

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Yup, once they get farther'n a quarter mile from a sodium vapor light they get the heebie jeebies. They need to listen to their senses and not venture out. But out they come with no clue, let alone respect, for the dangers that lurk 'Where The Wild Things Are"

 

Granted I live in a bit more 'civilized' area than you folks, but a winter survival kit is mandatory in my automobiles. Better get to gatherin' mine up. I was out at lunch and it was actually snowing, itty bitty flakes, but they melted as soon as they hit the windshield.

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No one has talked about the 4 wheel drive available in the Jeeps so I will because

there are 3. First Stand 4 wheel drive. When engaged the axels are locked. Meaning the wheels are all turning at the same rate (speed). With these you can also run in 2 wheel drive and save gas and wear and tear on the transmission. The down fall is when in 4 wheel drive on ice it can be squirrely because if your on ice and let off the gas all the wheels are locked it can be a challenge. The second which I have in mine is Select Trak. You have 2 wheel drive to save gas and wear and tear, 4 Part time and full time 4 wheel drive. Part time is like the first it is used when you get stuck. Full time 4wheel is like All wheel drive the axels aren't locked and makes for a very good control on ice. You can run it on dry pavement and not hurt the transmission. With the Standard or Part time 4 wheel drive it is not good to run drive on dry pavement. You will damage the trans. The last is Quadra Trak this is there All Wheel Drive. It is in 4 wheel drive all the time. These are the ones I have seen with the Trans problems described early. I payed $3400 7 years ago and it still runs great. 225000 very little repairs and it still looks good. I hope this helps because I now when you start to look this will come up and you will have some ??? Good Luck if you have any question feel free to ask.

 

CW

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ACDC

I don't disagree with your points on the advantages of the "wagon" or van style over the truck.

Here are 10 good things about trucks.

1. If you have to get a load of gravel or rocks, it's much easier to have the tractor dump it into the bed of a truck then thru the sunroof of a van.

2. It's also much easier to get the load of gravel and rocks out of the bed of a truck.

3. It's easier to haul lumber and fire wood.

4. There is a advantage to having a load outside of the passenger area. If you are in a wreck your not as likely to be crushed by your load.

5. When you sleep in the bed of your truck you have a great view of the night sky!

6. You can make your mother-in-law ride in the back!

7. Put in a heavy sheet of black plastic into the bed and you have a mobile pool!

8. You don't get deer gut stains on your carpet.

9. There is less to wash!

10. Really cool burn outs!!!!!!!

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ACDC

I don't disagree with your points on the advantages of the "wagon" or van style over the truck.

Here are 10 good things about trucks.

1. If you have to get a load of gravel or rocks' date=' it's much easier to have the tractor dump it into the bed of a truck then thru the sunroof of a van.

2. It's also much easier to get the load of gravel and rocks out of the bed of a truck.

3. It's easier to haul lumber and fire wood.

4. There is a advantage to having a load outside of the passenger area. If you are in a wreck your not as likely to be crushed by your load.

5. When you sleep in the bed of your truck you have a great view of the night sky!

6. You can make your mother-in-law ride in the back!

7. Put in a heavy sheet of black plastic into the bed and you have a mobile pool!

8. You don't get deer gut stains on your carpet.

9. There is less to wash!

10. Really cool burn outs!!!!!!!

[/quote']

 

11. "You can set my truck on fire and roll it down a hill

and I still wouldn't trade it for a Coupe De Ville.

Got a 8 foot that doesn't have to be made

and if it weren't for trucks we wouldn't have tail gates

I met all my wives in traffic jams

There's somethin' women like about a pick-up man.."

 

I agree Jax. But I doubt Gilliangirl will be haulin' gravel or a great deal of fire wood. Just her, week-end clothes, and Magic and maybe Vinnie up to see her hay burner friend.

 

btw Best lay off'n the home grown smokin' supplies. It's AD/HD, a play on words and just an avatar.

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11. "You can set my truck on fire and roll it down a hill

and I still wouldn't trade it for a Coupe De Ville.

Got a 8 foot that doesn't have to be made

and if it weren't for trucks we wouldn't have tail gates

I met all my wives in traffic jams

There's somethin' women like about a pick-up man.."

 

I agree Jax. But I doubt Gilliangirl will be haulin' gravel or a great deal of fire wood. Just her' date=' week-end clothes, and Magic and maybe Vinnie up to see her hay burner friend.

 

btw Best lay off'n the home grown smokin' supplies. It's AD/HD, a play on words and just an avatar.[/quote']

No home smoking supply's, I've been fighting the flu and I'm just out of it.

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Oh I didn't realize there were new posts in here?! I'd better get to reading.

 

What do you think of this one?

2000 GMC Jimmy SLS

Automatic transmission, 2 DR, pwr windows, locks, mirrors, ABS, A/C, CD/MP3, remote starter/alarm, new windshield, 2 sets of tires - one set of all seasons, one set of winter blizzaks (used one season - warrantied for life of tire). $6000 OBO

Respond via email. Serious inquiries only!!!

It's a girl selling it and she lives in Dewinton, which I'm assuming means she's likely used it for highway travelling. It's got 217,xxx kms on it. I emailed her and asked her what was wrong with it and this is what she emailed back....

It runs great but recently, back in April, the 4x4 switch went out and it stopped working. The switch had been flickering on and off so I took it to my mechanic but when he looked at it it was working fine. So I took it back and the next day the switch stopped working, so I'm assuming it needs a new switch but I'm not sure. I checked all the fuses and everything is working properly. It's a great winter vehicle otherwise, I just put brand new Blizzaks on last fall and it got me to Saskatchewan and back in January.

 

What do you think? Is a switch flickering indicative of a transmission problem?

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Keep lookin' Karen...

 

Seriously, it sounds as if you're doing your homework. Too many folks don't.

 

Good luck. I'm guessing your're getting or have gotten the same feathery percip we're getting here, so... don't let it scare you too much into a bad decision but... Heck, you're not all that likely too it seems to me given your research.

 

m

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Yup, there's an inch of snow on the ground and the roads are white and slippery already :-(

 

I may have found myself a Toyota Rav4 with low mileage for $8000.00. I did spend most of the afternoon reading and the top runners are:

Acura MDX

Honda CR-V

Infiniti QX4

Lexus RX300

Lexus RX330

Nissan Pathfinder

Subaru Forester

Toyota 4Runner

Toyota Highlander

Toyota Land Cruiser

Toyota RAV4

Toyota Sequoia

Toyota Tundra

Mini-SUV: 1997-2002 Honda CR-V

SUV: 1999-2002 Nissan Pathfinder

Small Pickup: 1997-2002 Ford Ranger / Mazda B-Series

Large Pickup: 1997-2002 Ford F-150

1998 Nissan Pathfinder SE

1998 Toyota 4Runner SR5

1998 Subaru Forester L

1998 Toyota RAV4 AWD

Best Used Crossover: Lexus RX300

Best Used Small SUV: Subaru Forester

Best Used Mid-Size SUV (Traditional): Ford Explorer

Best Used Full-Size SUV: GMC Yukon

Best Used Small Pickup: Toyota Tacoma

Best Used Pickup: Ford F-150

 

 

 

The above have the lowest rate of repairs and are the best you can get apparently. They're also the most expensive as I'm discovering.

 

Avoid these ones at all costs:

1997 through 2004:

Chevrolet Blazer

Chevrolet S-10 (4WD)

Chevrolet TrailBlazer

Dodge Dakota (4WD)

GMC Envoy

GMC Jimmy

GMC Sonoma (4WD)

Jeep Grand Cherokee

Land Rover Discovery

Lincoln Navigator

Mercedes-Benz M-Class

Oldsmobile Bravada

Pontiac Aztek

Saturn Vue

 

 

I knew the Land Rovers were bad. And the Chev Blazers are a dime a dozen in the classifieds. ~sigh~

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I dunno much about the Toyotas...

 

Around here Jeep is awfully popular and there are lots of old Cherokees around and folks tend to keep them. But then it's a long way to a non US marque's shop.

 

Eight Gs is above your "budget," but... what the heck.

 

I'd still make sure your own mechanic gives a look at it, but then, heck, you know that.

 

Hope you didn't set record lows in temps up there. We did last nite. But... oddly the annual volunteer fire dept benefit breakfast also seemed to have a record crowd. Hmmmm. Snow's gettin' going and there's ice and slippery from Friday's snow.

 

I have driven the Nissan, btw. Not bad. I've seen an occasional Rav...

 

m

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narrowed it down quite a bit gg <smirk> ;P

Yeah I know it looks like a lot but I'm eliminating most of those based on price alone. Like the Lexus, the Infinity and the Subaru are way out of my price range. So basically I'm looking at old jeeps, Toyota, Nissan Pathfinders or an old 4wd Ford 150. And I now know why there are so many of the bad ones in the classifieds :-D If I buy an old Ford 150 I can probably stay in my price range. I couldn't care less if it's rusted out as long as it's reliable.

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GG Toyota Landcrusier's are great, but they are gas hogs and the older ones tend to rust. Rust an be a expensive thing to fix. In some cases rust is the result of poor design or production. In GM's case for years they just didn't use primer on all surfaces to cut cost's. That doesn't say much about their quality control. In other case's rust can be a sign of a owner who never took the time to wash their vehicle. That could also mean they took poor care of the vehicle.

Milrod brings up a good point, if there aren't any shops near you that work on foreign makes that may be a issue.

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GG Toyota Landcrusier's are great' date=' but they are gas hogs and the older ones tend to rust. Rust an be a expensive thing to fix. In some cases rust is the result of poor design or production. In GM's case for years they just didn't use primer on all surfaces to cut cost's. That doesn't say much about their quality control. In other case's rust can be a sign of a owner who never took the time to wash their vehicle. That could also mean they took poor care of the vehicle.

Milrod brings up a good point, if there aren't any shops near you that work on foreign makes that may be a issue. [/quote']

Oooooh, don't want a gas hog when i'm going to be logging a hundred miles every weekend! I've noticed the rust on the Landcruisers. Every single one I've seen was rusty. I had a friend who owned a blue one. It was rusted out in no time. There are shops here that will work on foreign makes but they charge charge charge mucho $$$$. ~sigh~ My little horsey might have to be lonely this winter. :-(

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Landcruisers suck.

 

That's for the Brie & Chablis crowd to drive to the mall.

 

 

 

I would give a hearty endorsement to the small GM and Ford SUV's except that you need 4wd.

 

That's a deal breaker for them, they aren't even in the same ballpark as a Jeep when you need 4wd..

 

The simplicity and durability of the Jeep you keep hearing about is true.

 

Toyota would be a decent second choice, even though I tend to avoid imports.

 

Subaru is a great vehicle, but still a bit of a 'fringe' thing.

Parts are scarce except for the dealership, and dealers are scarce.

Don't like your dealer?

You're screwed.

 

Also, Subaru tends to have less ground clearance - great for mileage but bad for snow.

And they aren't 4wd, they're ALL wheel drive, ALL the time.

Too many moving parts in the summer when you don't need it, and it hurts gas mileage too.

 

 

 

The old Jeeps can be cranky and creaky, not terribly sexy, but they are a great vehicle.

Stay away from the V8, they are a bear to work on with everything packed so tight in the front end.

 

If you buy one and it gives you trouble, buy another one.

I'm not kidding, I know guys who have half a dozen of 'em and swap parts as needed.

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wd..

 

The simplicity and durability of the Jeep you keep hearing about is true.

 

Toyota would be a decent second choice' date=' even though I tend to avoid imports.

 

The old Jeeps can be cranky and creaky, not terribly sexy, but they are a great vehicle.

Stay away from the V8, they are a bear to work on with everything packed so tight in the front end..

 

If you buy one and it gives you trouble, buy another one.

I'm not kidding, I know guys who have half a dozen of 'em and swap parts as needed.[/quote']

 

Neo..

My oldest son has 2 Jeep Cherokees that he's "combining" to make 1 Frankenstein for his brother. Works just about done, electrical harnesses in the steering columns and in the dash didn't match up (no radio).. Both have been sitting out in the open, here in Jersey, for more than a year. Stuck a new battery did a little tune up, changed oil on the Frankenstein, and it started up and runs/drives fine.

 

GG... Glad you knew better than to consider Land Rover. (According to Forbes survey, WORST cars for the money ever made). My wife loved the way the Discovery looked, so... we bought 1. Really lousy gas milage, lousy quality, just plain LOUSY.. It had a 3 year warranty, we sold it soon after 3 years..

Do yourself a favor, if you're looking at the Rav-4 or the Honda CRV, read up on the 4wd sytems. Some of the models are speed controlled systems that cut out after 20mph..

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Rav-4 or the Honda CRV

Remember' date=' those small imports are basically front-wheel drive [i']car[/i] platforms with no frame to support anything.

The rear wheel 'assist' as I like to call it is almost an engineering afterthought.

 

If I recall, the engine sits tranverse (sideways) on top of the transmission so EVERYTHING is packed in there.

 

On a Jeep, and any conventional truck platform that has an SUV based on it, remember this;

The engine is in the front sitting longitudinally as God intended.

The transmission is behind that under the truck - separately - so either one can be worked on and serviced.

The transfer case (allowing your choice of 2 or 4 wheel drive) is mounted behind the transmission.

It sends a drive shaft back to propel you down the road, and to the front axle in case you need all 4 pullin'.

The solid rear axle is at the back, containing the differential.

 

All this stuff is tough as nails and can be pulled out separately for repair or replacement as needed.

Most any shop can handle it, hell most of it you can do at home.

Not so easy on the little car-based cutesy candy-*** baby import SUV.

 

Save the Rav-4 or the Honda CRV for the college students.

 

Another thing;

That big, heavy, solid rear axle never needs alignments or bushing replacements like the little imports.

It's dumber 'n hell and is happy that way.

Lasts forever.

 

Tires do too.

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