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    Thread: Good On-Road & Off-Road SUV's

    1. 07-17-2011 03:44 PM #1
      In the next year or two, I'd like to buy an SUV to serve two purposes:

      1) Supplement my compact sedan for the purposes of hauling crap, i.e. pickup people at the airport and their 8 massive suitcases, haul furniture and boxes during moves, etc.
      2) Do some off roading out west.

      I'd like something that's very stable and comfortable to drive in town, which is where it will be mostly, but also well above average when it comes to climbing the rocks or driving across the desert.

      Any suggestions? I've got Land Rover LR4 (which may be just out of budget) and Jeep Grand Cherokee, tentatively on the list. Would the new Ford Explorer fit the bill? I'm looking for something in the $35K - $40K range and preferably under 195" in length and shorter than 5'10" or so (which rules out the big, full size SUVs).

      EDIT: Must be new, not used.
      Last edited by Paddington; 07-17-2011 at 03:48 PM.

    2. Member MCTB's Avatar
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      07-17-2011 03:45 PM #2
      Land Cruiser. Done

    3. 07-17-2011 03:46 PM #3
      $68K? I think not.

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      07-17-2011 03:47 PM #4
      Does it need to be new?

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      07-17-2011 03:47 PM #5
      Of those two, I'd choose the Grand Cherokee. I love Land Rovers (I'd choose a used Range Rover for your price), but they're a maintenance nightmare. The Explorer is good, but I think they clipped it's wings in regards to off road capabilities in trade for better mpg's. Also you still can't tow a U-Haul trailer with an Explorer (legal battle leftover from the 90's Firestone fiasco).

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      07-17-2011 03:49 PM #6
      Quote Originally Posted by Paddington View Post
      $68K? I think not.
      Never said new.

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      07-17-2011 03:50 PM #7
      Im going to get this out of the way now.

      Either you want an SUV to cart people around in luxury and fitting 8 suitcases or you want an SUV that has offroad capability including rock crawling.

      There are plenty that do both on paper, few that do both IRL.

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      07-17-2011 03:58 PM #8
      4Runner

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      07-17-2011 04:03 PM #9
      Quote Originally Posted by Tokyosmash View Post
      Im going to get this out of the way now.

      Either you want an SUV to cart people around in luxury and fitting 8 suitcases or you want an SUV that has offroad capability including rock crawling.

      There are plenty that do both on paper, few that do both IRL.
      Who says you need a dedicated SUV to climb rocks?


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      07-17-2011 04:05 PM #10
      Quote Originally Posted by emmettlodge View Post
      4Runner
      This. I don't know much about the newest one, but the last gen was pretty well rounded. A used Landcruiser would fit the bill too, but if you must buy new I guess it's off your list.

    11. 07-17-2011 04:15 PM #11
      How hard is it to live with a body-on-frame SUV in town, though? People always say they "drive like a truck", though my experience with such vehicles is overall, very limited.

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      07-17-2011 04:18 PM #12
      Quote Originally Posted by emmettlodge View Post
      4Runner
      And done. Not very expensive on the used car market either.
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      07-17-2011 04:20 PM #13
      Quote Originally Posted by Paddington View Post
      How hard is it to live with a body-on-frame SUV in town, though? People always say they "drive like a truck", though my experience with such vehicles is overall, very limited.
      Are you referring to any specific vehicles?

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      07-17-2011 04:23 PM #14
      Quote Originally Posted by emmettlodge View Post
      4Runner
      Quote Originally Posted by dos View Post
      And done. Not very expensive on the used car market either.
      Are you high? They hold their value better than any of its competitors.

      You are fine with a body on frame around town. I cannot notice the difference. Just drive some yourself and decide.
      Last edited by MCTB; 07-17-2011 at 04:40 PM.

    15. 07-17-2011 04:28 PM #15
      I thought the 4 Runner was body on frame.

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      07-17-2011 04:29 PM #16
      Quote Originally Posted by Paddington View Post
      I thought the 4 Runner was body on frame.
      Correct.

    17. 07-17-2011 04:43 PM #17
      Quote Originally Posted by morecarsthanbrains View Post
      Are you high? They hold their value better than any of its competitors.

      You are fine with a body on frame around town. I cannot notice the difference. Just drive some yourself and decide.
      lol i sold my v8 limited 03 for $1K than i bought it *after* having put 40K reliable miles since purchase. take that Land Rover, Audi, MB, blah blah blah.

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      07-17-2011 05:00 PM #18
      Subaru Forester.

      why would you need more?

      seats five adults, carries a lot of luggage, decent off road, looks pretty good.

    19. 07-17-2011 05:28 PM #19
      Optioning some of them out, I kind of like the Ford Explorer, though it's probably closer to the "in-town" side of the spectrum. But Ford is marketing as a capable off-road vehicle as well. Not sure if the full reviews are in yet.

      Jeep Grand Cherokee pricing seems to climb quickly into Land Rover territory once you add on the off-road packages (which are not standard). Ford is playing fewer games with the option packages (in fact it doesn't seem to have any performance options beyond a manumatic and perhaps a towing package).

      Toyota 4 Runner I will have to look into, but may have a hard time getting past the exterior styling.

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      07-17-2011 05:53 PM #20
      Quote Originally Posted by Paddington View Post
      Jeep Grand Cherokee pricing seems to climb quickly into Land Rover territory once you add on the off-road packages (which are not standard). Ford is playing fewer games with the option packages (in fact it doesn't seem to have any performance options beyond a manumatic and perhaps a towing package).
      Grand Cherokee prices climb quickly, but you have to remember that it's a Jeep. As such, the larger dealers all seem to have at least 20 of them on the lot in every trim/option/color combo you could possibly want and are always willing to deal. We got ours the month they came out and still paid a thousand less than sticker.

      With that being said, it hasn't been the most trouble-free vehicle I've owned. No major reliability issues, but it has been back-and-forth for the following issues (which have been fairly-frequently reported by other owners):

      "Key Not Detected": Vehicle doesn't recognize remote and therefore won't unlock or start as usual with the key in your pocket.

      High-pitched whistle when a/c is on (only affects V6). No dealers have found a fix for this one yet.

      The V6's transmission shifts are sluggish, the downshifts occur too early/often and far more than normal pedal effort is required to accelerate in situations such as suddenly moving over to the next lane to pass. This issue has been fixed with a reflash and apparently no longer applies to WKs built after a certain date.

      Rear hatch glass rattles horribly on bumpy roads. The issue is that the tolerance between the glass and the rest of the hatch is too large, thereby causing the glass not to sit properly when closed. On ours you can see where the gap on one side of the glass is far greater than on the other side. Jeep recognizes the issue, but most people are being told that the glass is on national backorder. We haven't taken ours in for this one yet.

      Plastic portions of lower front seat backs separate from the seats themselves. Most people require a few visits to get this fixed correctly.

      To sum up: it's a great truck that performed flawlessly during the blizzard that slammed the Northeast in December, 2010 (we were traveling in and around NY and NJ at the time) but do beware of the first year gremlins. Our '06 Explorer was far more spartan, but it performed equally-flawlessly during the previous years' blizzards without the first year gremlins.

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      07-17-2011 05:54 PM #21
      You should clarify a little more.

      Off-road = No road (i.e. drive across wilderness, etc.) to me.

      Did you mean trails? And even then... they vary.

      I just got back from a 2 week road trip that included Sedona, AZ as the mid-way. We took an easy trail (Schnebly Road) in a Yukon Denali with... ... 22" bling-o-matic wheelz. I thought for sure I was going to get a flat on some of the rocks... however small they were... some were fairly sharp. The unsprung weight of those wheels and the GMT900 suspension was just not meant for even that trail (i.e. That particular setup was obviously tuned for on-road handling more than trail riding.).

      Our friends who met us there drove an MDX and at times... their suspension arm and muffler scraped some rocks even on that EASY trail.

      Personally... I cannot imagine crossovers like the Explorer or Lambdas or MX9 being the best thing for these trails, but you COULD do it by merely driving sensibly/prudently.

      >>>My vote is the Grand Cherokee. But then... it isn't the most spacious the pick up 8 suitcases. But the Explorer is hardly better. Nor the LR. You could always just tie the suitcases to the roof rack, of course.

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      07-17-2011 05:59 PM #22
      Quote Originally Posted by emmettlodge View Post
      4Runner
      Originally Posted by Internal Combustion
      Not sure if serious, so I'll put it in terms you can understand: your and idiot.


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      07-17-2011 07:19 PM #23
      4runner or tahoe/yukon.
      Regarding DD'ing a tuned Evo:
      Quote Originally Posted by SchrickVR6 View Post
      It's composed at all speeds and at all times...it just feels like you're holding the leash on a 150lb pit bull and praying you don't see a squirrel.

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      07-17-2011 07:52 PM #24
      Quote Originally Posted by morecarsthanbrains View Post
      Are you high? They hold their value better than any of its competitors.
      Not high, maybe drunk. I was pointing out that he could get a good deal. Looking on cars.com I found a ton within 250 miles from my location. Quite a few 08's loaded with under 40k miles for under 30k. I never bad mouthed the resale value.
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      07-17-2011 08:29 PM #25
      Cayenne and Touareg.

      Realistically, how about 4Runner?

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