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Need Help Picking Used SUV
My old faithful 1999 Jeep Cherokee finally bit the dust at 334 K miles this week and it's been 12 years since I car shopped. I am lost. Been Googling different searches trying to educate myself on what might be a good used replacement. Thought maybe someone here might have suggestions. I think the main thing I need to upgrade in the cargo capacity. My Jeep had 72 CF and for all my hunting gear I'd really like something around 90-100 CF. I'd just go get a used Grand Cherokee but I checked and the cargo capacity actually seems less at only 69 CF. I'd like a real SUV with armor plate fuel tank not a fake one like Ford Explorer. Only other preferences would be a 6 cylinder & 4 WD. Mileage maybe around 100,000. Just a good all purpose hunting rig for my solo trips. I live in a heavily populated suburban area so dealers & selection are plenty here. Any suggestions welcome.
That's an awfully clean looking Cherokee, brother. I always liked that era.
I assume the engine shot craps? If so, have you considered just replacing the engine? Or, are you dead set on something newer and roomier?
I always liked that style Cherokee. Like GG suggested, any possibility of replacing the engine? If not a five year old or so Toyota Forerunner would fit the bill. Or a Tacoma quad cab with a topper.
A first generation Tacoma 94-2005 with ext cab, 4wd/TRD with a topper.
2013 or so Toyota Highlander.
You're talking 4 Runner, Xterra or Grand Cherokee here. The rest are grocery getters. I'm presuming you do need off-road capability.
If you get an Xterra with an automatic tranny, the first thing to do is put in an auxiliary tranny cooler. The factory cooler is in the radiator, and tends to go south about 80k miles, destroying the tranny in 5 minutes. (I had a client with a tranny shop that was replacing a lot of Xterra trannies.
"You're talking 4 Runner, Xterra or Grand Cherokee here. The rest are grocery getters."
The FJ Cruiser and 4 Runner share the same drive train and most mechanical parts so neither are ideal for getting groceries. I have the FJ and have to add a trailer or cargo carrier when I hunt out west so it might not fit your storage space requirements. Otherwise, it has tackled every hill in ID, MT and CO (and iced over lake in MN) that I have tried it on.
FWIW, I have an Xterra and while it has been a good vehicle, it has nowhere near the cargo space he is looking for. The Highlander has the same towing capacity, much more cargo space (65 vs 95 cf), better fuel mileage, way better ride, and unless you are climbing rocks, will go anywhere my Xterra will go. (8" vs 9.5" ground clearance)
Ya the Jeep is pretty clean. The engine is original and still works like a champ. It’s just the transmission that finally blew up. But it also needs $1,800 in suspension repair and windshield seal is rusted out. It’s never been in an accident. Other than a doe head butting one quarter panel and a pack rat nest igniting on top of motor burning the hood. No car collisions ever. And yes I need off road capability. I usually spend 2 months/year on forest service roads in the high country.
A Toyota is what you are looking for. You'll just have to decide which one you want.
Found this article rating the Toyota 4Runner high and the capacity I’m looking for at 90 CF. Will research some more after work.
I'll add a bigger rig to the list: Durango. But I always want my off-road rigs to be able to turn around in a one lane mtn road, and it's a bit long for that.
The Highlander doesn't have a low range. It's designed for all season dirt road and icy paved roads.
The FJ is a fine rig, but it's smaller than he wants.
If you get a Toyota with the electric locking differentials, they are darned hard to get stuck.
The Toyotas are better on fuel than the Durango, among other things.
I would suggest a 4-door Jeep Wrangler. I suspect that it will have close to the same amount of cargo space that you now have in your Cherokee if not more, and you know that it will be off-road ready. My 93 Wrangler had over 200,000 miles on it when my wife bounced it off a light pole and bent the frame. I would love to have a newer one.
Whenever I have looked for used Toyotas, they are hard to find and not much cheaper than buying a brand new one, especially the 4Runners.
There is s reason they are hard to find and expensive.
BK. That locking diff is what you get with the TRD package I recommended above along with the armor he wanted and Bilstein shocks and tuned suspension.
I have a 2004 Toyota 4runner and love it! My next suv will more than likely be another runner! Great running durable vehicles! Best of luck!
The Highlander is built on a car frame. The 4Runner is built on a truck frame and is a true SUV.
IMO, Jeep, i.e. "General Purpose " miltary vehicle (American) is best all around in form, purpose and function. The Grand Cherokee or Wrangler have decent capacity and are all basically anywhere..."trail rated" to get you into anywhere and out with a big Elk, or whatever on the lid imo
I hate my Jeep Grand Cherokee .... and I would not recommend that to anyone ever! Out West Toyota is The Go To vehicle of choice.
I have a 2003 Yukon 4X4. I like it because I can "bivy hunt" out of it. I can stretch my 6' 3" self out in the back in inclimate weather. It will take me where I need to go. Gets reasonable MPG. Hauls about everything you need. I had a 4 door Jeep wrangler for about 7 months and got rid of it. It was too uncomfortable for me to get in and out of and if you don't get the right gearing, they are pretty useless. My son and I changed out the gears to 4:10's and it did alot better, but I still couldn't get comfortable in it.
93-97 Toyota Land Cruiser with optional factory front and rear lockers are amazing vehicles. The 98+ are really nice as well and the first couple years have a rear locker optional. They are getting a little long in the tooth but they are popular with professionals and wealthy soccer moms so often they have been babied and well maintained.
you can't get a true 4WD anymore unless you get a truck or the SUV is on a truck frame like a Toyota 4 runner. They are all AWD which is the weak sister to true 4WD for sure.
I still think I would stick with a Tacoma Quad cab 4wd with a topper. As mentioned above, TRD package with more armor, Billies in the corners... Mid 2nd Gen, 2009-2012 would do nicely.
Why are all the ideas here from Japan?
I don't think Jeep is a Japanese make. Nor Chevy. But the answer is, except for Jeep, and perhaps Dodge, the US stuff is designed as a grocery getter and not an off road vehicle.
Any info on full size land rover range rover
Cost of repairs is overwhelming. Think $2k or better every time you take them to the shop.
Only owned one Dodge and it was a regular cab manual 2wd pickup, but just curious why you (bk) give them the nod as more capable off road than other "American" makes? Didn't those mid 2nd gen Tacomas have the frame issue? I know what I wouldn't get, and that is a new model Cherokee.
Hard to suggest a better option than what you already own!
"Didn't those mid 2nd gen Tacomas have the frame issue?"
1st Gens had issues. 1995-2000 or 01, vehicles that were affected were bought back by Toyota at 150% KBB value. Not trade in value, resale in excellent condition. 2001-04 had the frames replaced. Early 2nd Gens had some issues with frame replacement done on Toyotas dime. Bottom line Toyota backs their vehicles. The big three pass their issues (major drivetrain) year after year decade after decade, with the attitude of "not our problem".
No brainer....another Jeep.! My wife traded off her Dakota with 300,000 on the clock BEFORE it died....now drives a new Ram. I drive a 1985 Grand Wagoneer...200,000+ mi. on this one.
I drive a Nissan Titan because I wanted a truck built in America :^)
Truth be told Jap vehicles are reliable. My Tacoma is an 06 and it’s been good to me. I also received the new frame. It took them 5 months but they gave me a rental car free and it saved me a ton of miles on my truck. I would buy a Tacoma for the rest of my life.
I have two Mitsibishi Outlanders-best hunting, fishing vehicles I ever had. Been everywhere I want to go them. The ones built before 2014 had tailgates, a great feature. I hear the bigger Endevours are even better. However they quit making those in 2011.
Have a 2007 Tacoma that I will trading in in 2020. The only problem I have had with it was the rear ring gear shed a couple of teeth. Didn't strand me but made a lot of noise. I may have caused the problem when I pulled a B-17 out of the hangar because the tug didn't have enough traction.
I have an Old Sidekick and its really a great little runaround. Fantastic on gas too and lots of power. God bless, Steve
Thanks all for your input. I ended up test driving four and bought a 2005 Toyota 4Runner. Had my mechanic look it over beforehand. If it holds up, it should suite my needs much better than my last rig. I love the extra cargo space.
Just bought a Tacoma and it had a sticker where it said 86% and 75% or so of the parts were manufactured in the states and the other percentage was for the amount that was assembled in the states. My friends have Fords and Chevys that were built in Mexico and Canada so you have to do a little research if you want made in America. Good choice on the 4Runner, I've got a 1998 with 200,000 miles on it and it still runs great.
Mint, it was probably assembled in Alabama.
Pretty sure current Tacomas are produced in San Antonio TX. I think production was moved from Fremont in 09 or 10. Damn fine truck.
As long as it's a red state. ha ha
Good choice! I love my 04 4runner.
It’s high mileage but likely all highway miles. One good thing about buying in Chicago suburbs is all the vehicles I looked like they were just used for commuting. Extremely unlikely any were used for hunting.
Toyota! Yuck! Nothing like going backwards.
Great rig. I think you will really enjoy it.
Nice bonus was prior owner put on four new Yokohama tires.