New Vehicle

2ski

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Jul 17, 2012
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Bozeman
After 16 years and over 300k miles on my Explorer(yes really), its time to start looking for a new vehicle. That's an average of around 18,000 miles per year. I don't need it to be my hunting rig. I have an old chevy pickup that I use for that. That Explorer and I have been a lot of places and part of me wants to get something that gives me that kind of freedom, but part of me says get something with good gas mileage. Probably not looking at a car, but a crossover I could probably handle if not an SUV. Something with either AWD or 4WD. I tow a little with my explorer but not a lot. I would'be mind getting a drift boat at some point, but they are light and I'll probably keep my Explorer as I have a salvaged title on it as some woman hit me a few years ago and her insurance decided to total it. Damage was all cosmetic. So I don't think its worth enough to bother selling. I'm thinking I would like to spend around $20,000. I could afford more, but I'd like a loan payment $350 or lower. If its a little more, it is what it is. I know that that's used cars for the most part, though the Nissan Rogue could be had for $23,800 for brand new.

What I've looked at so far:

Nissan Rogue. I don't know. Something about it I kind of like and it gets good mileage. Would you take it up a forest service road? Only tows 1,000 lbs.

Jeep Cherokee. I found a 2017 with 4K miles on it and they'll extend the warranty from 36k to 39k and the powertrain to 100k, all for a car with only a few miles on it. BUT, it didn't seem to have that much power and gas mileage kind of sucks for being a 4 banger. Will tow up to 2000lbs.

RAV4. I didn't really like the ride. Felt every bump.

Tacoma. Has over 100k miles but has a topper and 2 sets of tires to come with it. But 100k miles and still over $20k

Escape. First cars I looked at so I feel I could've been more thorough and should go back and look again.

Dodge 1500. Last month you could lease them for $299 per month for 10k miles per year. I would need the 15k per year lease and that would be more like $400 per month. I'd like better gas mileage than around 20mpg, but something inside every guy says [email protected]#$ yeah. Funny, on my day off, I show up to look at the car. I don't dress up to look at cars and since I've had the Explorer for a number of years and haven't had a car loan for a while, the salesman decides I don't have the credit for the $400 per year lease(I do), but the Cherokee, which they have $398 per month written on the windshield, should't be an issue. hmmmmm

I would like to check out a CRV.

Suggestions on vehicles I haven't listed? Opinions on those that I have?
 

JWP58

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Nov 21, 2013
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Boulder, CO
Nissan Frontier (xterra for an suv). I'd take one over a tacoma any day (after owning 4 tacomas)
 

archer wapiti

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Sep 12, 2015
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New Mexico
I wouldn't be afraid to buy a low mileage one-owner vehicle from the owner direct. Or high mileage if it's a lot of highway miles. I did that with my current commuter car. He had all the paperwork for everything that was ever done on it. I bought it at 180K and it's now at 225k miles. I just replaced the rear main seal in it (and clutch kit since I was in there), but beyond that, it's been absolutely trouble free. It cost me one car payment to do it. Glad I don't have to make that payment every month.
 

JWP58

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Boulder, CO
That's a interesting statement that warrants some sort of explanation.

Rear disc brakes versus drums, fully boxed frame vs. spaghetti frame, 4.0 v6 with balls (actual low end torque ) vs gutless whatever toyota is putting in the tacoma now. Frontiers are usually less expensive in comparison to tacomas, oh and I hated the "drive by wire" brake pedal in my 2010 trd.
 

wyosteve

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Jul 1, 2014
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903
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cheyenne
Subaru Forester, just a suggestion. We have a 2017 for when we don't need a truck. Averages 30 mph. highway, AWD and I'm sure it could tow a drift boat.
 

sodaksooner

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Feb 5, 2014
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Tulsa Ok
My daughter has an AWD rogue and loves it. I was complaining that the back seats were too upright....she told me they recline, problem solved. She paid just over 20K, new!

My parents just bought a Subaru Outback...they absolutely love it. should be some decent examples in your price range.
 

5MilesBack

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Feb 27, 2012
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Colorado Springs
Rear disc brakes versus drums

My 1989 Toyota 4x4 is still on its original rear drum brakes, and only 2nd pair of front pads. If the Tacoma's brakes are even half as good as these 89's are I'd have no problem with their brakes.

And my goodness.....if only my truck had that gutless 3.4L in it that the Tacoma's have, over my 3.0L.

For Bozeman, I would think that a Subaru would fit just fine. My wife has a 2014 Outback. She seems to like it, but the only thing I like about it is that it's real easy to change the oil with the filter right on top. But with the amount of oil these things go through I'm not even sure I need to change it. I think it's the superlightweight 0w-20 synthetic they recommend. It's too thin. Now that it's out of warranty, I think I'm going to try some heavier oil.
 
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JWP58

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Boulder, CO
My 1989 Toyota 4x4 is still on its original rear drum brakes, and only 2nd pair of front pads. If the Tacoma's brakes are even half as good as these 89's are I'd have no problem with their brakes..

I get that, but for the premium toyota charges (almost 40k now for a trd) and the insane resale value (at least in CO) disc brakes should be standard, along with a frame that doesn't fall to pieces. While they are reliable (put 178k on my 01 trd without issues) they are anemic.
 

dotman

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Feb 24, 2012
Messages
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I would look hard at a GMC Canyon with the duramax, hey mpg around 30+. Don't get a CRV, my wife has one and while we have had zero issues build quality is low on the body and interior, it'll be our last Honda.
 

Clarktar

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Aug 30, 2013
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Fairbanks, AK
We are kind of in the same boat and have been looking at first generation Toyota Sequoia s. Likely settle on 2004 to 2007.

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Huntindog45

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Mar 13, 2017
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Chico, California
absolutely stay away from nissan. there is not a worse car to work on or have worked on. major transmission issues on anything before 2010,
it has been the subject of several lawsuits. long and short they decided to run a transmission fluid line through the radiator. that line cracks and floods the transmission with water and destroys everything including the computer that is housed inside the transmission. $4000 minimum to fix. I had two nissans before i learned my lesson. Ask anyone who works on cars what the worst company is to get parts for is and you will hear nissan. worst part is they will do nothing to own up to the terrible design mistakes. Nissan has the worst consumer affairs rating of all major brands. Kia is even better.
 

bigmoose

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Apr 29, 2012
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Yerington Nv.
You might check out a 4th generation Toyota 4runner from 2003 up with low mileage. Anything with 100,000 to 140,000 miles should easily be in your price range. Sometimes you can find them with less mileage. They come with a nice V6 and you can tow a boat or lightweight RV trailer. Decent MPG's, 17-18 around town and 20-21 on the hwy.
 

boom

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Sep 11, 2013
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3,092
i have a 2006 4x4 tacoma. it is so boring. it does everything well, but has zero excitement. i lifted it a bit, but put the stock suspension back when Toyota recalled my rear springs. so it really is boring. like white bread, vanilla ice cream boring.

what i hate more than anything is a car payment. aint gonna happen. i've gotten used to zero car payments since i bought that truck used in 2008 for $19k. that thing gets me to every event, every hunt. everytime we see a questionable part of the jeep trail, every one sends me in. in 4low with the rear diff locked, it is stupid capable. but again, boring. MPG isnt anything to brag about, but i've gotten 23mpg on a hunt trip to AZ. not bad!! but admittedly not great either...almost boring.

on one trip to AZ, i parked next to a Canyon with the duramax. that is a good looking truck. it looked kinda aggressive with the stance and profile. the owner told me he got 35mpg on one trip. the interior is damn cool looking. all the modern gadgets. my truck next to it looked so boring :) but whatever. it keeps working.

i vote you keep the explorer or find an older tacoma.
 
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2

2ski

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Jul 17, 2012
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Bozeman
Oh I'll keep the Explorer. I just put alot of miles on my vehicle so I want something more dependable.

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backcountry_hunter

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Joined
Sep 23, 2016
Messages
759
absolutely stay away from nissan. there is not a worse car to work on or have worked on. major transmission issues on anything before 2010,
it has been the subject of several lawsuits. long and short they decided to run a transmission fluid line through the radiator. that line cracks and floods the transmission with water and destroys everything including the computer that is housed inside the transmission. $4000 minimum to fix. I had two nissans before i learned my lesson. Ask anyone who works on cars what the worst company is to get parts for is and you will hear nissan. worst part is they will do nothing to own up to the terrible design mistakes. Nissan has the worst consumer affairs rating of all major brands. Kia is even better.

Huntindog,
Is this the case on the full-size titans? I have a 2008.5 for an errand/shop/yard truck that has been nothing short of impressive. It's been abused and neglected and still keeps on keepin on. Pulls like my 3/4 tons but this alone would be cause for concern if that's the case on their full size trucks.
 

Huntindog45

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Mar 13, 2017
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872
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Chico, California
Huntindog,
Is this the case on the full-size titans? I have a 2008.5 for an errand/shop/yard truck that has been nothing short of impressive. It's been abused and neglected and still keeps on keepin on. Pulls like my 3/4 tons but this alone would be cause for concern if that's the case on their full size trucks.


Here was one link i found quickly when i searched..there are hundreds more.. the biggest problem was nissans lack of any effort to correct. I thought our Nissans were great...until they weren't..and then you find out how terrible their parts and service depts are and how little they stand behind their product.
Nissan Transmission Failed Because of Cracked Radiator


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backcountry_hunter

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Sep 23, 2016
Messages
759
in a quick 10 minute search everything I could find about the class action and tranny issues was pathfinders, xterras and frontiers.... sounds like mine has a seperate cooler so I think I'm in the clear. Thanks for the info though... much appreciated. Bummer for anyone caught in this mishap.
 
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