help me brainstorm what to get for my next vehicle

sixstringsteve

Well-Known Member
Location
UT
Yeah, I've started a hundred of these threads, but humor me. I've decided it's time to sell my tacoma (again). But I'm not quite sure what I want to replace it with. I'm leaning strongly towards another doublecab tacoma (newer model), but I'm open-minded and willing to think outside the toyota box.

Here's my line of thinking:

Requirements:
- Dead reliable. I don't want to be stranded in the middle of the desert. I also don't want to be doing maintenance all the time.
- Must be able to do 90 mph comfortably and quietly, must be good for driving around town
- Budget around $17k or less
- MPG should be over 17mph, but the higher the better
- must have a truck bed (big enough to fit my mountain bikes in)
- Must NOT be a dodge, jeep, or chrystler. Sorry guys.
- Stock, or very close to it
- fun to drive
- must be able to fit LT tires

Things I think I want, but I'm not 100% sure:
- 4 doors
- 4wd with 4-low
 
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sixstringsteve

Well-Known Member
Location
UT
Here are my thoughts so far...

2005+ Tacoma
doublecab: good MPG, dead reliable, very capable, comfortable, $$$$. I'm not sure I could find a doublecab in my price range
access cab: I could still cram people in if needed (though i need to sit back there to really decide), cheaper
single cab: fun and sporty to drive. Not much room inside.

2007+ tundra
- expensive
- mpg is pretty crappy compared to something small
- big
- LOTS of room for gear and people (a huge plus)
- reliable

Chevy Colorado - I don't know much about these.
- good size
- I've heard the interiors are cheap and poorly built
- I've heard the I-5 had head problems

Chevy 1500
- big
- big
- big
- poor MPG
- reliable?
- not much ground clearance


Ford Ranger 4-door. WHY HAVE THESE NEVER MADE IT TO THE STATES!!!! Any way to import these?

Ford Explorer Sport Trac
- I know nothing about these. Are they IRS? Doe they have 4-low? Reliable? What's the ride like?

Ford F150
- poor ground clearance
- $$$
- bed sides are so tall I can't reach in to them.


Subaru Baja
Ugly, but I can get over ugly. I wonder how useful the bed would be. In my mind, subarus are like the worst bits of a car and the worst bits of a 4x4 together. It doesn't get the MPG of a sedan, but it doesn't really have the capability of a truck. The awd might be nice for snow, but I'd rather have a sedan with snow tires. The ground clearance isn't all that great, and the suspension really isn't meant to handle washboards and rough roads (despite what the marketing dept thinks)

Nissan Titan
- not great MPG
- very reliable
- ride great, look great, pro 4x is very capable
- lots of room for passengers

Nissan Frontier - I know almost nothing about these. I heard the older ones got the same MPG as the Titan, so I kinda ignored them for a while.
- nice compact size
- how's the rear seat for passengers? Cramped?
- reliable?


Honda Ridgeline
- i know nothing about these. I assume they're based off a pilot chassis/drivetrain? How do the trannies hold up? I know the v6 accords, oddysseys, and pilots had weaker and expensive trannies at one point.



Thinking outside the box...

7.3L Powerstroke E350 Van with a 4x4 conversion
- lots of work, I really don't want another project
- major cool factor
- not fun to drive
- not easily to service
- big to drive and park
- LOTS of room for gear, kayaks, bikes, people, ability to sleep inside...

2wd toyota pickup. Uber cheap. With a set of LT tires I could get 99% of the places I need to go. 22REs are getting pretty tired by now, and I don't want a maintenance nightmare. Maybe a cheap 2wd single cab taco?

Nissan NV3500
I know nothing about these, other than the fact that they look like they could haul a ton of crap. I wonder what it'd take to convert one of these to 4x4. They're way out of my price range anyway, and wouldn't be very fun to drive.

Chevy Express Van 4wd
- tcase has issues at 20k, but I think that's due to under-filling. I still wouldn't want to be stranded
- already has 4wd
- not fun to drive, but lots of room for gear

Honda CRV
- dead reliable
- great mpg
- no truck bed :(
- mpg isn't fantastic
 
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sixstringsteve

Well-Known Member
Location
UT
A frontier is definitely in the running. Any reliability issues with those? My friend has a 2005 xterra and she only has 80k on it and has had over $3000 in major repairs.
 
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Pike2350

Registered User
Location
Salt Lake City
I swear you have Automotive ADHD.

What is it about your truck that isn't doing it for you? Time and time again I've read how you love it, and it's perfect for you...so I just don't get it. If you want closer to stock, why not just "downgrade" your truck a little? Smaller tires and reduce the lift. You'd still likely be ahead in the long run.

However, with that said, I think the Tacoma is going to be your best bet. The tundras are nice, but you are only maybe going to be getting the 17mpg you want. The Colorado's really aren't that great....while I don't mind the styling, I do think their fit and finish leaves a lot to be desired. The Sportrac is just an Explorer...so if you went with an older year, you can get a solid rear axle...but the bed is actually pretty small on these. The Tacoma is the best truck IMHO for what you want. HOwever, as you said, it's going to be hard to find a good double cab for your price....which, once again leads me to suggest just keeping your truck and altering the mods to be a little more economical and friendly.
 

sixstringsteve

Well-Known Member
Location
UT
Great points pike. I'd rather have a truck that's better suited for the highway than my truck. It'll do 90 MPH, but it's a bit noisy. I've thought of downgrading my tuck, and I may go that route if it doesn't sell. If I were to downgrade it, I would want to swap diffs for a stock ratio, put in a 5 speed, and size down to 31s. It's doable, but it makes more sense to send it off to an owner that will use it as it is.

The Colorado's really aren't that great....while I don't mind the styling, I do think their fit and finish leaves a lot to be desired. The Sportrac is just an Explorer...so if you went with an older year, you can get a solid rear axle...but the bed is actually pretty small on these.

good info, thanks.
 
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TRD270

Aloha’n MF
Location
SaSa Sandy
A frontier is definitely in the running. Any reliability issues with those? My friend has a 2005 xterra and she only has 80k on it and has had over $3000 in major repairs.

My fiancé's brother has one of these, had a number of issues with it. I don't think the quality is on par with Toyota. He gets out and uses it a lot, similar to your plans. But its not holding up well. Interior is falling apart, replaced springs a few times I know he had some tranny issues. Compared to my fiancé's FJ which is the same year and not had any issues I would go with Toyota over Nissan.

I have an f150 you could spin around in, done a few trails in Moab in it, for sure has a low belly but a mild lift and some 33+ it would be a great platform. Your welcome to come take it for a spin. Build quality is definitely better on the newer ones. I opted for the V8 in my current one, 16-17 around town as high as 23 has been observed Hwy. mine has 3:73s in it 3:55 would probably help a little. I'm only getting about 1mpgish less than I did with my ecoboost with 3:31, with a lot less to go wrong

I think it was '06 when they started using coil overs up front, the older ones used torsion bars. That gen has a 4.6 and 5.4 V8 both solid pretty hard to kill believe me I tried to kill my 4.6 in my crown vic. Decent transmission quad cabs in this era have a slightly shorter WB compared to the extended cabs which would help off road and get your 4 doors. Definitely available in your price range, I wouldn't expect much more than 13-18 mpg in this gen though.
 
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Houndoc

Registered User
Location
Grantsville
I have a 2002 Chevy 1500 extended cab. Comfortable back seat, despite just suicide rear doors.

Average right around 17 mpg with mostly highway driving. Running 32" BFG All-Terrains.

Has been very reliable (knock on wood) as currently has about 205K miles. I have had it for just shy of 3 years with minimal work done. I am encouraged on quality by the fact that my 2004 2500 diesel has topped the 330K mark and running strong.

Down side as you mentioned would be ground clearance, but solved with a small lift and 33s. Also mine has significant wind noise, but that would be an easy fix if I cared enough to replace the weather stripping.
 

Pike2350

Registered User
Location
Salt Lake City
How bad is the mileage really on a tundra? A Chevy 1500 will get 17 unless you drive it like a sports car.

You can squeak out 18 on the hwy....but it's not the easiest....I borrowed my BIL '10 double cab long bed to go to Island Park last August, and I think I averaged 17.5...and only had 2 passengers and not even bedside height cargo (mostly golf clubs and bags for the group..so nothing really heavy) Most of the ones I see at work, the computer is showing overall averages in the 14 range...now, I don't know what mix of driving these customers do, but we do get our fair share of customers from further away...so I assume a pretty good mix of highway driving.

What about selling your truck and just buying another 01-04 Double cab that hasn't been outfitted as much? I know the main downfall will be still having the auto, but for price I think it'd be the most reliable truck to fit your requirements.
 

sixstringsteve

Well-Known Member
Location
UT
You can also take my newly acquired 89 runner with a 3.4 for a spin to get that demon in your head as well

This would definitely be an option, if done right. But I'd want to keep it stockish. What size tires do you have?
 
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sixstringsteve

Well-Known Member
Location
UT
What about selling your truck and just buying another 01-04 Double cab that hasn't been outfitted as much? I know the main downfall will be still having the auto, but for price I think it'd be the most reliable truck to fit your requirements.

Yeah, that has crossed my mind as well. I'd rather downgrade my truck before doing that. 1st gen doublecabs are tough to find with low miles. And those that have low miles have been sitting a while, not being driven much (a bad thing imho). I'm also afraid I wouldn't be able to find another rust-free, well-maintained truck that's been taken better care of than mine. That being said, they're out there and it's an option. The bigger back seat of a 2nd gen taco is appealing.
 

sixstringsteve

Well-Known Member
Location
UT
maybe i'll just keep saving and get a good doublecab taco when I can afford it. I don't want a car payment, so it may take a little while.
 
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