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daves87rs

SUV hunting......

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Hmmm, I think it's finally time to add an SUV to the fleet.....

Since I have 3 GM compacts, I'm thinking it would be nice to have a bigger truck to do the stuff that my cars cannot. Like taking a vacation with a toddler. Or trips to Lowe's/Sam's club/Home Depot and such.

It's pretty much going to be an extra car, not daily driven (though not for long if my wife likes it) So, It needs to be dependible and cheap. I really don't want a car payment, though I would be okay with a small one for a little while.

I've considered the cute ute's (Vue, Nox, Escape)

Though I'm thinking more toward the larger Suvs. Solid trucks with no resale value. My likes so far.

98-01 Chevy Tahoe (love the pre 00 style)

01-04 GC with the straight six

02-04 Explorer

I'd like it to be 4X4, so I could take it up into Northern Michigan/Canada

Miles are not too much of an issue, as long as the truck is in good shape and cared for.

I figure I'll take care of the rest anyway....

Your thoughts? Suggestions?

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I'd avoid the 02-03 Explorers. Too many issues. The SOHC 4.0 V6 from about '97 up is very expensive to fix if the timing set ever goes, but it'll get 18-22mpg all day. The OHV 4.0 V6 doesn't get as good of mileage but is cheaper to repair. All the transmissions have issues. I'd get a 99-01 XLS/XLT with the 302/4R70W before any other model, and say pooh to fuel mileage. At which point I might as well get a V8 Grand Cherokee or Durango.

I'm partial to the Dodge Durango. With 4WD you're kinda limited in gas mileage though. Our 2WD 2000 model with the 318 V8 consistently returns 19mpg. That's crazy good, maybe we got lucky with ours. Avoid the V6 (not like they made very many) and the 4.7 V8 often has sludging problems similar to the 2.7 V6 in the Intrepids. 360 V8 is good for power, not so much for mileage. The 318 was only offered in 98-99 and on 2WD 2000 models. The 4.7 replaced it but at least the 360 was available through 2003. Durangos are cheap. $3000-$5000 can get you a mint one. Ours was $1700 plus a $700 engine replacement (junkyard with 124K on it) and we've put 23K on it since March 2009. Awesome truck. Wish it had a third row, want to go to a junkyard and get one, money's too tight.

A straight six GC would be good as well. I prefer the older 96-98 models. Specifically the 5.9 Limited since that's just awesomeness on wheels.

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I'd avoid the 02-03 Explorers. Too many issues. The SOHC 4.0 V6 from about '97 up is very expensive to fix if the timing set ever goes, but it'll get 18-22mpg all day. The OHV 4.0 V6 doesn't get as good of mileage but is cheaper to repair. All the transmissions have issues. I'd get a 99-01 XLS/XLT with the 302/4R70W before any other model, and say pooh to fuel mileage. At which point I might as well get a V8 Grand Cherokee or Durango.

I'm partial to the Dodge Durango. With 4WD you're kinda limited in gas mileage though. Our 2WD 2000 model with the 318 V8 consistently returns 19mpg. That's crazy good, maybe we got lucky with ours. Avoid the V6 (not like they made very many) and the 4.7 V8 often has sludging problems similar to the 2.7 V6 in the Intrepids. 360 V8 is good for power, not so much for mileage. The 318 was only offered in 98-99 and on 2WD 2000 models. The 4.7 replaced it but at least the 360 was available through 2003. Durangos are cheap. $3000-$5000 can get you a mint one. Ours was $1700 plus a $700 engine replacement (junkyard with 124K on it) and we've put 23K on it since March 2009. Awesome truck. Wish it had a third row, want to go to a junkyard and get one, money's too tight.

A straight six GC would be good as well. I prefer the older 96-98 models. Specifically the 5.9 Limited since that's just awesomeness on wheels.

Durango? The thought never even crossed my mind.

It is a good idea though....I'm going to have to look into that. I like the cheap idea too. I'm really anal about keeping my cars up, so even a few "little" issues......

Didn't know about the 4.7 though. So a V8 it would have to be. Granted I could tow my Cavy around if needed... :yes:

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Tahoe/Suburban/Yukon

I figured... :neenerneener:

It's hard to find one I like in decent shape around here though....

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I figured... :neenerneener:

It's hard to find one I like in decent shape around here though....

You can find some in great shape here. Ones that have never seen snow.

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One question is how occasional use it will be, and what uses it could/would fill.

We bought a Suburban, and even though it's quite large and we could've maybe found something that would get a few more mpg, for how rarely we use it the extra utility is more than worth it. I probably wouldn't even consider a Tahoe, simply because you'll see almost identical fuel economy out of a Suburban (we've seen 15.5-18.5mpg under normal driving, and still got ~11 towing) and have much more space, and a more comfortable 3rd row (if the Tahoe even has a 3rd row). Our Suburban, in spite of being 11 yrs old (98) and very much used (~150k) has been rock solid, with very few repairs. All I've done to it is a new water pump, front brakes, trans fluid & filter change, oil changes, and a couple small coolant hoses - all were very easy to do myself. The standard V8 in it (5.3L IIRC) did a fine job towing at the truck's max range (6k lbs) through mountain passes and at highway speeds for most of a day. It also has been perfectly happy to take us on some very rough "roads" (if you can call them that at ~20-30 degree angles and rocks sometimes as large as a ft in diameter...). 4wd has been nice on occasion as well.

If you don't really need that much towing power or hauling space, and some fuel economy gains would help, look at a CUV. IMO, when it comes to SUVs, go big or go cute ute. A lot of the offerings in the middle surrender space without giving back mpgs. Of course with a suburban, there is a bit of a feel of taking a large ship out to sea every time you pull out of a parking lot... lol

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i would do tahoe suburban. that is your best chance of finding a well kept one.. sturdiest vehicle and it will still have appeal to a future buyer when you are done with it.

how about an expedition or navigator? I have been considering one these days actually. all the crossovers have gone whacko price wise (go price and build an Ecoboost MKt), and some of the early decade big SUV's are so cheap it might just pay to have one to take long trips and haul with since the crossovers don't get that much better mpg.

was their an Expedition diesel? that is what I have been trying to find out.. or was it only an Excursion? I would guess the Excursion would be a bit of a cockroach, built like a tank, could outlast anything.

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Tahoe/Suburban/Yukon

I second it. This is the most common sense of the three.

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One question is how occasional use it will be, and what uses it could/would fill.

We bought a Suburban, and even though it's quite large and we could've maybe found something that would get a few more mpg, for how rarely we use it the extra utility is more than worth it. I probably wouldn't even consider a Tahoe, simply because you'll see almost identical fuel economy out of a Suburban (we've seen 15.5-18.5mpg under normal driving, and still got ~11 towing) and have much more space, and a more comfortable 3rd row (if the Tahoe even has a 3rd row). Our Suburban, in spite of being 11 yrs old (98) and very much used (~150k) has been rock solid, with very few repairs. All I've done to it is a new water pump, front brakes, trans fluid & filter change, oil changes, and a couple small coolant hoses - all were very easy to do myself. The standard V8 in it (5.3L IIRC) did a fine job towing at the truck's max range (6k lbs) through mountain passes and at highway speeds for most of a day. It also has been perfectly happy to take us on some very rough "roads" (if you can call them that at ~20-30 degree angles and rocks sometimes as large as a ft in diameter...). 4wd has been nice on occasion as well.

If you don't really need that much towing power or hauling space, and some fuel economy gains would help, look at a CUV. IMO, when it comes to SUVs, go big or go cute ute. A lot of the offerings in the middle surrender space without giving back mpgs. Of course with a suburban, there is a bit of a feel of taking a large ship out to sea every time you pull out of a parking lot... lol

Very good point.

It would get used a few times a week...

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i would do tahoe suburban. that is your best chance of finding a well kept one.. sturdiest vehicle and it will still have appeal to a future buyer when you are done with it.

how about an expedition or navigator? I have been considering one these days actually. all the crossovers have gone whacko price wise (go price and build an Ecoboost MKt), and some of the early decade big SUV's are so cheap it might just pay to have one to take long trips and haul with since the crossovers don't get that much better mpg.

was their an Expedition diesel? that is what I have been trying to find out.. or was it only an Excursion? I would guess the Excursion would be a bit of a cockroach, built like a tank, could outlast anything.

Those tend to be hardy....but they are big nickel and dime trucks. I know quite a few owners of those...

You can find some in great shape here. Ones that have never seen snow.

True, I might have to look out of state...

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