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Help me choose a vehicle

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by CleverName, Nov 3, 2012.

  1. CleverName

    CleverName Southern Oregon Active Member

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    Hello. My situation has changed and I can no longer afford my 2003 F150 extended cab. It frequently gets less than 15 mpg and its gotta go. I need to pick a new ride and want some opinions. I am single with a 4 year old little boy and a dog. 4x4 is a must. A truck is not absolutely necessary but I do need some cargo space. I frequently go camping,fishing and hunting. I dont tow anything. Here's what Im thinking so far: mid 90s Tacoma 4cyl, Mid 90s 4runner, Jeep Cherokee or CJ (how are these with gas?) small Nissan or Mazda 4x4, or maybe a newer kia or hundai SUV. Thoughts?
     
  2. Greenbug

    Greenbug Bend Well-Known Member

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    Not much better gas mileage with the Jeep, maybe 16-17 mpg, and very little cargo space.
     
    1 person likes this.
  3. Modeler

    Modeler Molalla, Oregon Soccer Fan

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    Honda Element. AWD, adequate power, can even tow a small trailer. Lots of room inside, front and rear seats fold flat for camping, or you can fold the rear seats up and push the front seats all the way forward and put a twin Coleman air mattress down on the floor. Had one when I was single and put the folding seats to good, uh, "use"..... would still have it if not for the payments.

    22 mpg +\-
     
  4. CleverName

    CleverName Southern Oregon Active Member

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    Honda Element is interesting but may be a little out of my price range. I would like to spend less than 6K
     
  5. Modeler

    Modeler Molalla, Oregon Soccer Fan

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    I hear ya... you might be able to find an early model for that price, not sure.
     
  6. CleverName

    CleverName Southern Oregon Active Member

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    Also considering a Samurai. Theyre supposed to get pretty good gas millage if theyre not lifted.
     
  7. idRATHERbeOUTDOORS

    idRATHERbeOUTDOORS Yamhill County Active Member

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    Samurai's have very limited space though, good vehicles. And like you said IF they're not lifted. I havn't seen an original samurai in a LONG time. If you can find one though, original and hasn't been hacked up for a wheeler project, i would probably go for it. Or a sidekick/tracker.

    have you considered just switching to diesel? more expensive at the pump but more cost effective than gas in the long run. Just a thought.
    Or, if extra seating isn't much of an issue. A 4cyl pickup, for under 6k you should be able to find a nicer toyota that hasn't been "bubba'ed". Or a nissan fronteir or hardbody.
     
  8. CleverName

    CleverName Southern Oregon Active Member

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    Im considering a 4cyl pickup too. But my son is still in a car seat, so I would like an extended cab so I have room for the dog and stuff. Not sure how the gas millage is on those, but its got to better than what Im getting now.
     
  9. techieguy

    techieguy Well-Known Member

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    An older Dodge Cummins 4x4 get good mileage, my truck that I use for getting firewood and other type chores gets 20mpg, if it where a 5 speed or even a couple years newer with the 4 speed auto I would expect 23-25 mpg. The 89-96 trucks can be had in the price range your looking for.
     
  10. Redcap

    Redcap Lewis County, WA Well-Known Member

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    The 5speed trucks get better mileage than the autos.
     
  11. Mark W.

    Mark W. Silverton, OR Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Dodge Dakota extra cap Sport. MY V6 gets 19-21mpg. If you get the 4X4 expect 16 But they are a super solid real pickup. 6.5' Bed that can haul a sheet of plywood with the gate down or over the gate. look for a 98-03 with less then 100K should be in your price range. Mine is an ex state pickup bought at 89K for 6200.00 I was watching them selling for over 3500 with 220K on them so I knew the trucks held up.
     
  12. 142

    142 Rogue Valley Member

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    I dig my Cherokee ('98 XJ). The price is right for a reliable 4X4 but gas isn't stellar and cargo is somewhat limited although plenty for me... I use the roof when I need it. I get about 21 hwy and 16 at best city. 31's on stock gears don't help the in town mileage. This is my 5th XJ Cherokee and I'd have a hard time going another route for a strong reliable engined 4X4. Plus parts are everywhere and affordable. A 4 cylinder Toyota would be next down on my list. I have a buddy that has a '02 Dakota and I have been very surprised by it. Seems to have held up very well to several years of abuse and winter mobbing. I have another "acquaintance" that chose to start a high speed chase in a heavy snow storm in Mt. Shasta, CA. I was fortunate enough to get to listen to the whole ordeal live on my scanner. That was a V8 Dakota with 33's... It was unstoppable in the snow. He got away but they picked him up at home the following morning (got the plate number.) He loved that truck. Sold it due to bad "juju" in a small town.
     
  13. teflon97239

    teflon97239 Portland, OR Well-Known Member

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    If gas were still cheap, I’d just keep buying 4x4 Cherokees. I got over 200k miles out of the 97 and 286k from the 89. Super comfy leather seats, too. But gas is insane, and 14-16 mpg with a smallish tank was driving me nuts.

    As a compromise, my used AWD Subaru Outback gets 24-25 hwy with similar seating and cargo space. I get all the standard jokes (but as a guy I suspect that perhaps I am a lesbian), so no harm there. It’s fine in snow and mud, and handles brilliantly on rainy twisty roads – like on rails.

    Two major Subaru beefs:

    - All 4 tires must be the same exact diameter or you can damage both transmissions. So if you replace a destroyed tire at 50% wear, you have to get all 4 so they match. Les Schwab found 50% worn replacements for me, twice, but I was lucky. My next sidewall puncture will mean 4 new skins.

    - H-1 headlight bulbs are grossly underpowered – simply inadequate. Brighter H-1 replacements of all brands burn out quickly, 2-3 times a year (confirmed by other Outback owners). I carry spares. Maybe newer Outbacks have real headlights?

    For hauling stuff and occasional deep snow, I keep an ugly old 4x4 Dodge PU ($2000) parked out front with 2 pairs of chains. Of course you can slice onions with the gas gauge, but it has real Hi/Lo 4WD and can go pretty much anywhere. I think I put maybe 2000 miles on it in 4 years. Worth every penny.

    So maybe drive a higher mpg car, and keep a beater battlewagon in reserve? Just a thought.
     
  14. Redcap

    Redcap Lewis County, WA Well-Known Member

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    No experience with that late of a Subaru, but how is the headlight harness set up? Might benefit from building a new one with relays and heavier wiring. It sure helped out on my old beater Legacy.

    The tire thing is a pain. Seen guys toast the transfer section by running mismatched tires. It is really too bad that everywhere else but here (North America) got the part-time dual-range EJ transmissions, while we got the single range AWD crap.

    They are tough little rigs though. I'm on my 7th Subaru, all of them serving beater-with-a-heater duties. My K20 or F600 serve the heavier duties such as snow and mountain-goatin' around the high country.
     
    Dunerunner and (deleted member) like this.
  15. MountainBear

    MountainBear Sweet Home, OR Well-Known Member

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    I had to sell my 2000 Ford F-150 in March, as I was getting 13 miles per gallon and had just driven across the country twice in five months. Being not as you might say, a small individual, I searched for a new SUV for almost a month. I finally settled on a newer model Jeep Liberty (KK, not KJ). I have been fairly happy so far. The cargo room was sufficient for a five month trip to Alaska for work and big enough to sleep in the back of this hunting season. I managed almost 24 mpg on the trip up to Alaska and almost 23 on the way home. I rarely get worse that 18.5 in town.
    I did not set out to get a jeep, but I've been fairly happy with the choice...
     
  16. idRATHERbeOUTDOORS

    idRATHERbeOUTDOORS Yamhill County Active Member

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    Subaru's are great and i think it would fill the needs you spoke of.

    Another thing to look for though is the head gaskets, especially if you go for a newer 2.5l engine, ask if the gaskets have been replaced with the newer steel ones.

    And another thing, the forester may look more robust compared to the outback, but it is built on an impreza frame and cant tow as much (not that a subie it made for serious towing, but you should take what you can get.)
     
  17. Redcap

    Redcap Lewis County, WA Well-Known Member

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    The EJ25 is known for having bottom end issues as well. I greatly prefer the Phase 1 (non-interference/dual port) EJ22 and regard it as a superior motor.
     
  18. idRATHERbeOUTDOORS

    idRATHERbeOUTDOORS Yamhill County Active Member

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    Agreed. If I where to get a subaru. It would have the 2.2l and it would be a legacy outback '97 or '98
     
  19. Sun195

    Sun195 Pugetropolis, WA Well-Known Member

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    Another vote for a Subaru - either an Outback or Forester. We're on our second Outback. Decent gas milage, great in the snow, ok for unimproved roads, tons of room inside, dependable. They're the swiss-army knife of cars. When it snows around here, I choose our Outback over our 4Runner.
     
  20. Joe Link

    Joe Link Portland, OR Well-Known Member Staff Member Lifetime Supporter 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

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    Another vote for the Subaru if it'll work for you. If not, I'd get a 4Runner. I'm currently in a similar situation, looking for an SUV under $6k, but I've already decided on a FJZ80 Land Cruiser. Unfortunately, they only get 13-15MPG on their best days.