Author Topic: Looking for another vehicle...  (Read 1277 times)

Offline oktheniknow

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Looking for another vehicle...
« on: May 28, 2018, 08:32:57 AM »
In early stages of getting a used gas SUV/truck to replace my 20 yr old F250. It's been a good truck, but drinks the diesel.

Looking for something less than 20k with low mileage, durable, low maintenance, good resale value, parts readily available, gets "good" gas mileage, less than a few years old, and can tow a travel trailer if needed (est. 6k pds). No kids, just me but extra storage is a plus. Also, be able to easily carry a kayak. Also, in the future I might get a Class A and pull the vehicle with a trailer.

I realize that some of these are basically the same vehicles, but the general short list I've got so far includes:
Ford Explorer, Escape, F150 (at the moment don't have a need for a full fledged truck, but they are handy to have when the need arises)
Jeep Wrangler, Cherokee (I like the "idea" of having a Jeep, not sure I would use a 4x4 unless I travel more to where it's needed)
Toyota 4Runner-4th gen, Tacoma, Tundra-1st gen,double cab, Sport Trac, Sequoia 1st gen
Nissan Titan, FrontierS
Subaru Forrester
Honda RidgelineRT
Dodge Ram 1500HFE
GMC Canyon, Sierra
Chevy Colorado, Silverado

Know everyone has their personal preferences with different brands.
As I haven't kept up with all the newer bells and whistles, looking to see what others experiences have been with some of these for what I'm looking for.

Offline iam4liberty

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Re: Looking for another vehicle...
« Reply #1 on: May 28, 2018, 09:12:23 AM »
I love my 2008 GMC Sierra Crew.

Something like this would fit all your criteria:  GMC Sierra (or Chevy Silverado) crew or extended cab with fiberglass shell (like leer snugtop) and rack.  Go with 4 wheel drive and a larger engine (5.3, 5.7 or 6 liter) for easy towing.




Offline oktheniknow

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Re: Looking for another vehicle...
« Reply #2 on: May 28, 2018, 09:25:10 AM »
Nice. Would be good for sleeping in as well on trips if could rig up a mosquito screen with velcro. What's the mileage like with the 4wd package?

Offline iam4liberty

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Re: Looking for another vehicle...
« Reply #3 on: May 28, 2018, 11:04:04 AM »
Nice. Would be good for sleeping in as well on trips if could rig up a mosquito screen with velcro. What's the mileage like with the 4wd package?

MPG varies greatly by setup, especially whethe it is a six speed transmission.  Typically this class will get something like 16 city and 23 highway.  You can see the government tested and owner reported mpg for any vehicle here: https://www.fueleconomy.gov.  You can even search for vehicles by class and fuel economy to narrow options.

If fuel economy is biggest driver consider a Subaru outback made in Indiana.  You can get over 30 mpg highway, have good road clearance, and easily carry your kayak. 



But you would give up towing capacity dropping from 6 to 12 thousand from a pickup down to 2.5 to 3 thousand.  So no big pull trailers but you can do small campers. 



On the other hand, if you get a class A than the subaru would be ideal.  It is actually a popular choice among motorhome enthusiasts.  It will probably be our next vehicle if we dont go EV.

« Last Edit: May 28, 2018, 11:15:25 AM by iam4liberty »

Offline oktheniknow

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Re: Looking for another vehicle...
« Reply #4 on: May 28, 2018, 11:09:50 AM »
Will look into, thanks. So you have plenty of EV recharging stations in your area? I've seen note of lots of incentives for buying them.

Offline AvenueQ

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Re: Looking for another vehicle...
« Reply #5 on: May 28, 2018, 06:06:39 PM »
My husband and I are about to pull the trigger on a new Subaru Outback this summer, just waiting for the new model year to come out to try and get a good deal. He's also partial to the Toyota Tacoma, he had one when he was in high school (from '89, back when it was just a "Toyota truck"). That old one he said he got 30 mpg, though it didn't have 4WD, I think the newer ones aren't quite that good. Around here Subarus especially hold on to their value, that's why we're leaning towards buying new instead of used. My father-in-law owns a mechanic shop and is partial to Toyotas, just because they're easy to work on, last forever, and hold their value well.

Offline oktheniknow

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Re: Looking for another vehicle...
« Reply #6 on: May 28, 2018, 06:33:21 PM »
When does the new model year start this summer?

Offline oktheniknow

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Re: Looking for another vehicle...
« Reply #7 on: May 28, 2018, 06:49:02 PM »
Looking into any perks I could get thru AAA if any and other outfits. Their prices are the same as what cars.com has. Know that Costco has a small up to $200 coupon deal with certain dealerships for new/used vehicles.

Offline FreeLancer

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Re: Looking for another vehicle...
« Reply #8 on: May 28, 2018, 07:07:26 PM »

Honda RidgelineRT


I got a 2018 Ridgeline RTL-E in January and have put a couple thousand miles on it (my driving needs typically only burns a tank of gas per month).  Granted, it's a funny looking vehicle that most wouldn't consider a truck (which is really the whole point), but I drove a Honda Element for 15 years so driving weird vehicles isn't anything new for me. 

I seriously contemplated buying a real body-on-frame truck, but I rarely need that much truck and I hate all the wasted volume inherent to that design.  I also considered several of the mid-size SUV's, but they almost all have the awkward 3rd row seat that eats up cargo space.  Actually, I really don't mind minivans and they're hard to beat in terms of usable interior volume and ease of access, but my wife absolutely says no minivans.  A small Sprinter was also a consideration, but even the smallest one's are too tall for most of the parking structures in my area and won't fit in my garage.  I also considered AWD wagons from Subaru, Audi, and Mercedes, but decided I prefer the extra ride height (plus I'm not up for whatever is involved with becoming a luxury german car guy) and wanted something that was capable of hauling the occasional sheets of plywood and messy stuff. 

The Ridgeline hit the sweet-spot for me and so far I'm happy with it.  Honda has a weird knack for creating odd utilitarian vehicles that break the mold and the Ridgeline is no exception.  It's quiet and relaxing going 80 on the highway (the Element was tiring on long road trips) while still getting 24mpg, it smooths out rough and poorly maintained surface streets and deep intersection drainage gutters, and also corners surprisingly well on windy mountain roads with the AWD system (identical to Acura's SH-AWD) powering the outside rear wheel around corners, which is an unusual sensation for someone like me used to being dragged around corners in front-wheel-drive cars.  The massive lockable trunk below the bed is awesome and gets used all the time, even though I have yet to actually haul anything in the pickup bed proper.  It doesn't need a bedliner because the "bed" is a durable composite and there's a ton of anchor points, mine also has cargo lighting, speakers, and an inverter/AC outlet built in, too.  The V6 powertrain is a luxury for someone like me who's been driving 4 bangers his whole life, yet it is still getting better overall and highway mpg than the old Element.  I'm kind of skeptical of the growing trend toward turbocharging 4 cylinder gas engines and mating them with CVT or 8-10 speed transmissions to meet CAFE standards, so the tried and true V6 powertrain was a big plus for me.

I'm still getting used to the size of the vehicle, which makes me glad I didn't get a real truck, because it's not as easy to maneuver through a parking structure, although driving a Honda Element for 15 years makes everything harder to park.  It's also not as convenient for hauling dogs compared to the Element.  The only thing I really hate about it is the infuriating touch screen infotainment system, and if I listened to more than one radio station and used the built in navigation I probably couldn't live with it.  The fact that it integrates with my iPhone fairly well with CarPlay mitigates most of the frustration.  The lower trim line infotainment controls are supposed to be much easier to use, but I wanted the extra safety features in the Honda Sensing system that only comes with the top trim levels.  Fortunately the climate system has separate manual controls and is very intuitive and easy to use.  So far the Honda Sensing system hasn't been annoyingly intrusive and has been easy to get used to, plus the more intrusive features can be switched off.  For short distances it will actually steer itself down the highway before it flashes "Steering Input Required."

My wife thinks she wants to get a Subaru Outback for her next car, but that's probably still a few years off.

Offline oktheniknow

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Re: Looking for another vehicle...
« Reply #9 on: May 28, 2018, 07:15:38 PM »
I've thought about the Ridgeline as well, a friend of mine has and likes it. It's not as much on towing capacity as say an F150 but has other perks as you mentioned.

Offline FreeLancer

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Re: Looking for another vehicle...
« Reply #10 on: May 28, 2018, 07:27:30 PM »
I've thought about the Ridgeline as well, a friend of mine has and likes it. It's not as much on towing capacity as say an F150 but has other perks as you mentioned.


It'll do 5000 lbs:  https://youtu.be/ohnL47A03dA

But if you're needing to tow over 3500 lb on a regular basis you probably need to get a real truck:  https://youtu.be/_7HHOKUDL-Y

Offline T Kehl

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Re: Looking for another vehicle...
« Reply #11 on: May 29, 2018, 06:58:18 AM »
Best option, get a Toyota and keep your F-250 for when you need to tow.  Property taxes and insurance on an older vehicle are pretty low.  You'll pay them with the gas savings over trying for "one size fits all" in that towing capacity category.

I've had and liked Subarus as well.

My uncle is a mechanic and says that the Escapes are rebadged Suzuki's or share parts... something...  Had one in his shop that was sitting there waiting for brake parts as they weren't available in town and had to order them.

Offline AvenueQ

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Re: Looking for another vehicle...
« Reply #12 on: May 29, 2018, 08:55:08 AM »
When does the new model year start this summer?

I think it's usually in August, we'll probably start seriously looking in late June/early July. Sometimes they run out of previous year's stock, especially on popular models like the Outback, so we'll get in early to try and get a good deal.

Offline fritz_monroe

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Re: Looking for another vehicle...
« Reply #13 on: May 29, 2018, 09:16:06 AM »
But if you're needing to tow over 3500 lb on a regular basis you probably need to get a real truck:  https://youtu.be/_7HHOKUDL-Y
I'll second this.  While a lot of the vehicles you listed have a tow rating that will theoretically handle the 6k lbs. camper, in reality they likely won't.  Tow ratings are done with no accessories (i.e. AC is considered an accessory often) and with a 150 pound driver.  No gear at all, no passengers, no dog, etc.

Another consideration is the wheelbase.  I had a Jeep Liberty and a Fleetwood Bayside popup.  Liberty tow capacity was 5000 pounds, max weight on the popup was 3500 pounds.  It was a nightmare to tow with.  The camper was 19' long and it moved my short wheelbase around on the road easily.

A dealer will always respond with a vehicle will have no problem pulling the trailer.  But they are just saying that the tow rating is higher.  Doesn't mean the tail won't wag the dog.  Or that the vehicle will be able to stop the trailer.

Offline iam4liberty

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Re: Looking for another vehicle...
« Reply #14 on: May 29, 2018, 10:33:20 AM »
So you have plenty of EV recharging stations in your area? I've seen note of lots of incentives for buying them.

Yes.  When we built a new garage 10 years ago we put the wiring in place for a fast charger.  We also have some public chargers in town.  And our RV home park allows EV charging.  So we have little worry about that.  We also live near the population center of the country so we pretty much have every fuel option possible.  Most stations have diesal and E85 in addition to three octanes of gas.  We even have natural gas (CNG) filling stations.

The incentives for EVs are scaling back as they were primarily tied to numbers of vehicles produced.  So many EVs are produced now so the incentives are fading.  They really arent needed anymore, if they ever were.  Still EVs can be a cost effective option given how much less expensive electricity is. But it is still challenging for long distance travel.  But for that we have the truck.


Offline David in MN

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Re: Looking for another vehicle...
« Reply #15 on: May 29, 2018, 10:55:54 AM »
I recently bought a 2015 Ford Explorer. All of the vehicles you listed will work depending on what really needs to be done with them. Do you want more interior or more towing?

Modern cars just work. It's more to do with how you interact (ergonomics). My wife likes Toyota because of the relaxed ride. I skew more toward a stiffer suspension like Honda (to use 2 Japanese makers). If you've got mom, dad, and a couple kids it's pretty tempting to get a Highlander with 4 captain's seats and do vacations in comfort.

Ultimately, the vehicle is decided by use. Do you have to drive and park downtown? Tow heavy stuff? Does mileage matter? Would a van's sliding doors offer an advantage? I love the Explorer but we'll use the Camry if we're going downtown.

So my process is to determine the class I want and then I test 2 of each vehicle in that class to determine the one that rides the way I like. When I bought my Explorer I assumed going in I'd buy a Highlander or Pilot but I just didn't like the handling of those two. Not putting them down I just drove the Explorer more intuitively. I shoot an M&P better than a Glock but you might be different.

At the end of the day all modern cars are pretty good so it's about choosing the one that rides in tune with you. I have zero brand loyalty.

Offline oktheniknow

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Re: Looking for another vehicle...
« Reply #16 on: May 29, 2018, 11:04:48 AM »
I need to test drive several and see what I like best and the overall features getting.
I'm still conflicted between a truck (for long term and if I later get a trailer) and an SUV.
The Silverado is appealing, esp with later putting a shell on it for camping and such but I like the Subaru Outback as far as looks and mileage.

Offline iam4liberty

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Re: Looking for another vehicle...
« Reply #17 on: May 29, 2018, 12:40:23 PM »
I need to test drive several and see what I like best and the overall features getting.
I'm still conflicted between a truck (for long term and if I later get a trailer) and an SUV.
The Silverado is appealing, esp with later putting a shell on it for camping and such but I like the Subaru Outback as far as looks and mileage.

You can also camp ON a subaru.  This is popular among surfers. Funny, no?


Offline mountainmoma

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Re: Looking for another vehicle...
« Reply #18 on: May 29, 2018, 02:59:24 PM »
You can also camp ON a subaru.  This is popular among surfers. Funny, no?



It has been 20 years and I have never had mine pumped. Dont put stuff in that cant be decomposed by the resident bacteria ( rinse the dirt off produce outside) dont put stuff in that kills the resident bacteria.

That said, composting toilet are very simple.