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Old 04-14-2011, 11:00 AM
 
5,703 posts, read 15,481,614 times
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Hi folks. I'm looking for opinions on three options. We are a one income family at the moment so our second car needs to be paid with cash. Our price range is 4k. We do need some sort of truck type vehicle. Also with gas soaring I may be the one driving this second vehicle and a pick up doesn't work well for grocery store trips but I am keeping an open mind on the best deal. We need a 4x4 due to the winters here. All of these are 4wd. The second option is kind of a pain in the arse and I will explain why under that option.

Option 1 - 1995 Toyota 4 Runner. V8 110k miles. Excellent shape, zero rust and appears well cared for. Price is 3900. Bluebook is around 4200. Private seller.

Option 2 - 2000 Jeep Cherokee Laredo Limited V6 112K miles. Great condition, zero rust. Price 3500. Bluebook is around 4800-5200. This one might be a PITA because the owner is a young guy (22 yrs old but acts like a kid to me) at my husband's job. Hubby works with the kid's dad as well. The kid makes good money, still lives at home and owns 4 vehicles He got himself a DUI a month ago and dad is po'd and wants him to sell off some of these vehicles. Dad doesnt care the SUV is worth more, just wants it gone and gave hubby the price of 3500. The problem is the kid is hard to nail down. He is always with his gf, yada yada. Dad said truck has to go sometime this weekend or next. We are kind of getting tired of trying to nail this kid down but it appears to be the best deal, I think. So maybe being patient is key? The kid does want to sell just immature. Also he installed some obnoxious stereo system with a large kicker box in the back. I want that box removed. I'm not interested in giving people heart palpitations at a red light. It does appear to be cared for. New radiator, rotators, brake pads.

Option 3 - 2001 Dodge Ram V8. Single cab, 115k miles. Price 3400. Blue book seems be around 4500. Spot of rust on tailgate. New trans and tires. Owner that works with hubby but we are unsure if a pick up is really a good fit for us.

I owned a regular Cherokee on a lease years ago but we turned it in before it ever needed a repair, we did like it though. Owed Toyotas in the past and they were good to us. Never owned a dodge but they seem to rust pretty fast from what I have seen on the road. Meh...thoughts?
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Old 04-14-2011, 11:09 AM
 
14,777 posts, read 34,490,118 times
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Option 1 is the only vehicle with a solid history for being dependable and holding it's value. Are you sure it's a 4Runner though? They only came with V6's, not V8's. Either way, that would be my choice of the vehicles offered.

Option 2 sounds intriguing as being the best "value", but Cherokees are not known for their overall reliability and rust is a concern on them in harsh climates. Additionally, the fact that there is aftermarket stereo equipment installed is a major no-no to me. Many low end installers and DIYers absolutely hack the wiring harnesses to get the stereo equipment installed and working. You could be looking at a mess when removing it.

Option 3 is the worst of your choice. First off, you already believe a truck won't work for you, there's probably a reason for that. Secondly, Dodges from those years are very rust prone and I would be concerned that the small spot you saw is indicative of a larger problem.
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Old 04-14-2011, 11:22 AM
 
5,703 posts, read 15,481,614 times
Reputation: 8514
Quote:
Originally Posted by NJGOAT View Post
Option 1 is the only vehicle with a solid history for being dependable and holding it's value. Are you sure it's a 4Runner though? They only came with V6's, not V8's. Either way, that would be my choice of the vehicles offered.

Option 2 sounds intriguing as being the best "value", but Cherokees are not known for their overall reliability and rust is a concern on them in harsh climates. Additionally, the fact that there is aftermarket stereo equipment installed is a major no-no to me. Many low end installers and DIYers absolutely hack the wiring harnesses to get the stereo equipment installed and working. You could be looking at a mess when removing it.

Option 3 is the worst of your choice. First off, you already believe a truck won't work for you, there's probably a reason for that. Secondly, Dodges from those years are very rust prone and I would be concerned that the small spot you saw is indicative of a larger problem.
Thank you! I called the seller of the 4 Runner and he said he made a mistake it is a V6. He also has someone coming to look at it within the hour so I think we might be losing out on that option.

I didn't realize the Cherokee is known for trans problems. I was reading consumer reviews on edmunds.com and most of the people raved about them so that is why I thought it was the best deal. Being newer etc. My husband used to install car stereos back in the day when automakers didn't offer great stereo systems. He told me horror stories of some hacks he worked with that would remove dashboard supports and so forth. Good thing to point out! I already asked him to look over the install job.

Hubby likes the truck so that is why I was considering it. I had to remind him that with his commute the high gas prices are going to get old and I might end up with this second car (I'm stay at home mom). Also I point out every dodge rust bucket on the road. lol.

Hmm...maybe its back to the drawing board on car hunting.
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Old 04-14-2011, 01:48 PM
 
Location: U.S.A.
3,306 posts, read 9,006,224 times
Reputation: 2919
Option 1.

The cherokee kid sounds like a clown and as NJ mentioned everything is probably all hacked apart. If he wants to be immature, let him suffer.

As for the Ram, maybe a good deal maybe not. If I were getting a gasser full size p/u I would probably go for an F150 and then a Chevy. As for Dodges being rust prone... I don't know that to be the case but I have never seen an analysis on it. If you are really looking into this truck and worried about rust I would crawl underneath and look at the fender and quarter panel seams around the wheel well. Also check the seams on the bottom of the doors.
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Old 04-14-2011, 01:51 PM
 
Location: Ohio
780 posts, read 2,134,096 times
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I sense a strong indication toward gas saving. Why are the choices not including an econobox ? Is a truck/SUV needed for work ?
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Old 04-14-2011, 01:59 PM
 
Location: Vermont
10,089 posts, read 10,604,044 times
Reputation: 13438
It's hard to know what to say. If what you really need is 4WD/AWD you don't need a truck to get it.

Expand your horizons to Subarus--they're reliable, comfortable, easy to drive, and will give you better gas mileage than what you're looking at.
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Old 04-14-2011, 02:26 PM
 
Location: Eastern NC
18,098 posts, read 16,618,330 times
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As an owner of a 2nd gen 4Runner, mines a 92 V6, I would not get another. Very poor gas milage, not much power, and small gas tanks ( lucky to get 225 miles out of a tank on the highway ). That said, mine has been super reliable but thats because I maintain it religiously. A 3rd gen ( 96 to 2002 ) would be a better choice.

The cherokee would be better but unless you get the kid nailed down, look elsewhere.

The single cab Ram, I would never get a single cab anything plus they are very bad with gas.
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Old 04-14-2011, 02:44 PM
 
10,868 posts, read 41,128,193 times
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None of the choices you've presented are good on fuel economy, and the 2nd and 3rd are pretty poor when it comes to durability and operating costs.

Unless you need the SUV capability of the 1st choice, there's ... as pointed out above ... many other AWD cars that will give you excellent inclement weather capability and utility.

I use Subie Outback wagons for their utility and ability to get around. Their load hauling capacity does a lot of farm chores for me, hauling sacks of feed/grain, and our 1995 Wagon even serves as a "lambulance" when we need to haul sheep to the vet or home from an auction. With high 20's to low 30's mpg on tap, this has been an excellent car for us for many years and over 250.000 miles. I'll drive one of these for transportation before ever starting up one of my diesel pick up trucks ....

Consider, too, that many FWD cars are very capable snow cars on paved roads. Again, a very wide selection in your price range of reliable, durable cars is out there with much better fuel economy than any SUV, truck, or AWD car.
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Old 04-14-2011, 02:45 PM
 
861 posts, read 2,292,772 times
Reputation: 940
The 4-Runner is the only truck on that list I would even consider buying. If you want a truck then look for a Tacoma.
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Old 04-14-2011, 03:02 PM
 
5,703 posts, read 15,481,614 times
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Thanks everyone for the replies. We have a newer Toyota camry so we have a decent car for fuel efficiency. We had a Ford Explorer that we got rid of last year and now with two cars its not working for us. We need something we can haul things in and getting rid of brush every year. Our Explorer was RWD and a complete nightmare in the snow so if we do some sort of truck we need it to be 4WD unless I can find a mini SUV with FWD but so far in our price range nothing has come up.

The guy selling the 4 Runner called me back. This is what he told me and maybe you can tell me if this is a red flag. He has reduced the price to 3200.00. He had a guy come out and look it over. The power steering pump is leaking. He said the truck still drives nice. He also added the cruise control no longer works. I could care less about the cruise control, I never use it but wondering if the power steering pump is just the beginning of more and more problems. I mean, Im not expecting the truck to be perfect but know very little about 4 Runners.

Hubby talked to the kid with the Jeep. The kid said tomorrow sounded good. My husband wasn't convinced that it was a set plan so we are thinking the kids is just a pain in the ass. I have a feeling he is on his parent's insurance and isn't sweating the cost just yet.
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