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10/30/2020 2:42:12 PM
Posted: 4/7/2008 9:27:45 PM EDT
Well, my 98 Ford Exploder with 106K miles on it has finally become uneconomical to repair . Now I am faced with choosing a replacement. I like to buy a vehicle new and run it until it dies with minimal trips to mechanic, so longevity with an infrequent and basic maintenance schedule is important. I also need space for all my 3-gun crap, yet the vehicle needs to fit in my garage (the 4dr Explorer is about as big as I can go). Oh, and I need some off pavement capability (decent ground clearance, 4x4/AWD). Safety is important too, with modern features like all around airbags and stability/rollover control being required.

I am pretty sure I'm going for another traditional body-on-frame SUV, as none of the crossovers seem to have the ground clearance and/or cargo space I need. I have researched all the best rated SUVs, but none really blow my skirt up.

What do you guys recommend ? Please vote above and post why. If you recommend something else, please post what and why.
Link Posted: 4/7/2008 11:22:37 PM EDT
I looked at the Ford Explorer, Toyota 4Runner and Tacoma, F-150, Suburban and a few others.

I ended up getting a Jeep Commander. The little bit I've been home it's great. I got a brand new V8 Limited model, trail rated for $26,000 out the door. I really like it.

I was checking Consumer Reports as usual when my buddy tells me to check out the Jeeps. He's a die hard Jeep fanatic.

The Commander is actually rated very well. Plus between Jeep and the dealer, I have a lifetime power train warranty, workmanship guarantee, I'll never have to pay for oil changes, inspections or local AAA type services. Since I work over seas that makes it more convenient for the wife.

Once I get it paid off, I'll start my BOV mods.
Link Posted: 4/8/2008 12:34:49 AM EDT
I'd recommend a '98 Ford Exploder with 106K miles on it.  

I suspect that you could put it back into service for far less than you would spend/lose buying a replacement vehicle.  Plus, it ain't gonna depriciate like a new vehicle will, and you're not paying interest on a loan for the priviledge of eating that depriciation.  Insurance will be less too.
Link Posted: 4/8/2008 1:30:26 AM EDT
Those mid size SUV's always seem to suck. (Hence your current situation at only 106k). I really like the older 4-Runner for reliability but they are getting pretty old now so I don't recommend them anymore. Of the 4 you listed I would get the 4-Runner if I was buying new. If you looking at a couple years old, then the Trailblazer's are a lot of value for the buck.

I would say you should look at the FJ Cruiser too. I think it's great except for two things. I hate the big turning radius and it's got pretty bad blind spots. If you can live with those two things, go for that.

All that said, if you could live with a newer 4-door Silverado that's really the way to go IMO.

Link Posted: 4/8/2008 2:05:09 AM EDT
Ford, Chev, GMC, and Dodge should all have small diesels coming out in there 150/1500 sized trucks.

Wait for that with a nice large cab?
Link Posted: 4/8/2008 2:05:39 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/8/2008 2:08:28 AM EDT by OLY-M4gery]
Never mind
Link Posted: 4/8/2008 6:43:25 AM EDT
I have an 07' V8 4Runner so guess what I voted.
IIRC in 09' there will be a redesign on the Runner'.
Link Posted: 4/8/2008 7:53:59 AM EDT

Originally Posted By KirkP:
I'd recommend a '98 Ford Exploder with 106K miles on it.  

I suspect that you could put it back into service for far less than you would spend/lose buying a replacement vehicle.  Plus, it ain't gonna depriciate like a new vehicle will, and you're not paying interest on a loan for the priviledge of eating that depriciation.  Insurance will be less too.


All this is absolutely true. Unfortunatelys, since it passed 90K miles I have been patching my Exploder up with duct tape and chewing gum with ever increasing regularity. I do need a reliable vehicle, and the newer safety features (stability control, side curtain airbags) are appealing because my sons will be learning to drive in the coming years. Despite the increased cost, I think the time has come to retire the old warhorse.


Originally Posted By Z1500:
I would say you should look at the FJ Cruiser too. I think it's great except for two things. I hate the big turning radius and it's got pretty bad blind spots. If you can live with those two things, go for that.

All that said, if you could live with a newer 4-door Silverado that's really the way to go IMO.



Thanks for the advice - I know you know your automotive stuff. I did consider the FJ, but its trunk space is inadequate... you should see how much junk I carry around for 3-gun.

I'll noodle on the Silverado, but it seems a bit bulky for the space I have in my garage. My wife has a Tahoe and likes it, but she parks it in the double-width section of our 3-car garage, leaving me to squeeze into the single-width section.
Link Posted: 4/8/2008 7:55:49 AM EDT
I had a 4runner for about 2 yrs great car no problems and i sold it for $1500 less than i paid for it ....
Link Posted: 4/8/2008 10:25:33 AM EDT
Does anybody know what Toyota are planning to do with the 4Runner in 2009 and beyond ?
Link Posted: 4/8/2008 10:34:16 AM EDT
You might want to consider the Xterra Offroad as well.
Link Posted: 4/8/2008 11:18:42 AM EDT
4runner, FTW.
Link Posted: 4/8/2008 12:57:27 PM EDT
Link Posted: 4/8/2008 1:01:36 PM EDT
Are you looking new or used? Lots of crazy good deals going on 2-3yr old vehicles right now.    I would only buy new right now if I could get in on a 0% interest deal.
Link Posted: 4/8/2008 1:38:24 PM EDT
ML350
Link Posted: 4/8/2008 1:59:34 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Z1500:
Are you looking new or used? Lots of crazy good deals going on 2-3yr old vehicles right now.    I would only buy new right now if I could get in on a 0% interest deal.


Probably new, just because of the 0% financing.
Link Posted: 4/8/2008 2:34:35 PM EDT
I bought a 4runner 10 years ago, at the time I thought that I would drive it for 50k or so.  It now has 150k miles on and it has been in to the shop twice, both times for tires.  I don't know much about the newer models, but I have definitely been impressed with the older ones.
Link Posted: 4/8/2008 3:20:12 PM EDT
The Chevy TrailBlazer eats a bowl of WIN for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

We have a 2005 and it's great.  My sister's hubby had a 2002, it was good, there is a TSB on the engine for a bottom end knock but I think it would have been worked out by 2005...besides, the first year isn't usually a good year for vehicle buying anyway.

I did look at the 4Runner and suggested it to my folks, it's nice but tis expensive.

Link Posted: 4/8/2008 3:27:35 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/8/2008 3:33:17 PM EDT by chevypowerzz4]
I voted for the Pathfinder, we bought a new one in 2007 and love it.  I went with it over the 4Runner mainly because the Pathfinder had more umph (HP) and now I think you can get it with a V8 (who gives a shit about MPG)!  Test the two back to back and go from there.  I really wanted a Chevy Tahoe but that's a little out of my price range.  BTW, my daily driver is a 1997 Explorer with 85,000 miles on it.  I'm looking to get 1 or 2 more years out of it.
Link Posted: 4/8/2008 3:48:36 PM EDT
I voted 4runner, but why get the SUV when you can get a 4dr Tacoma and a cap for the bed - way more versatile.
Link Posted: 4/8/2008 4:00:12 PM EDT

Originally Posted By scrum:
I voted 4runner, but why get the SUV when you can get a 4dr Tacoma and a cap for the bed - way more versatile.


I considered this seriously, but when I test drove them both side-by-side, the Tacoma was noticably less civilized (despite being the same basic platform). Surprisingly the 4Runner is actually better equipped for the same $$$ too, at least at the price point I am considering.
Link Posted: 4/8/2008 4:52:36 PM EDT
If you can get 0% on a new 4Runner, I think that seals the deal. That's going to hold it's value and give you the least problems of all the vehicles listed.
Link Posted: 4/8/2008 4:55:03 PM EDT
Id go with a Toyota of some type that fits your needs
Link Posted: 4/14/2008 7:36:41 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/14/2008 7:42:59 PM EDT by glockfan45]

Originally Posted By pearl1982:
sandiego-subaru-forester.com/images/image003.jpg

Forester.  


Be the envy of all your lesbian friends.

We have a 07 Trailblazer and have been very pleased with it so far. Awesome power and acceleration, decent economy for a midsize 4x4 SUV, and drives much nicer than the 98 Explorer it replaced (which still rots in my driveway due to the estimated $2300 repair bill and $3000 blue book value). I would feel good about the Toyota too but they are very pricey compared to the competition.
Link Posted: 4/15/2008 8:55:47 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/15/2008 8:59:14 PM EDT by StealthyBlagga]
UPDATE: I went for the 4Runner ! Got a pretty strong deal, cheaper than the quote I got for the equivalent Explorer, and the Toyota dealer even took my 98 Exploder off my hands for $2200 (like glockfan's, mine needed $2300 of repairs, so the trade-in value I was able to negotiate was better than I expected). Oh, and I got 0% finance .

Having driven it for almost a week, I have to say this 4Runner is really growing on me. Its very refined for a truck, and is loaded with goodies. All my 3-gun crap fits in the trunk with room to spare, and the utility compartment has plenty of space - I am working on a rig that will hold my CCW pistol securely for those occassions when I can't carry on my person. I'll post pics with gunz when I get around to it.
Link Posted: 4/15/2008 11:14:12 PM EDT

POLL: Choose my new truck...



You listed no trucks.
Link Posted: 4/16/2008 11:14:21 PM EDT
I finally got around to mounting a holster in my new 4Runner... check it out here.
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