Dismiss Notice

Welcome To CK5!

Registering is free and easy! Hope to see you on the forums soon.

Score a FREE t-shirt and membership sticker when you sign up for a Premium Membership and choose the recurring plan.

small SUV for the wife... again... help!

Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by jekbrown, Dec 16, 2005.

  1. jekbrown

    jekbrown I am CK5 Premium Member GMOTM Winner Author

    Joined:
    May 19, 2001
    Posts:
    45,029
    Likes Received:
    362
    Location:
    Vancouver, WA, USA
    ok... about 6-8 months ago my wife needed a cheap use car to get her around because her escort got totalled in a wreck. I went with a 1991 ford explorer... my wife liked it at first, but the thing is slowly dying. Its only a matter of time before the engine goes belly up (stock original, lots of miles and it goes through some oil...) or the tranny dies (did the autos in explorers EVER last more than 60,000 miles?!). The body has never been in great shape (cosmetic ****) and the interior isn't to great either. On the plus side it was safe (safer than a econobox car anyway!) and it had got to to work (80 miles round trip) every day. I told her when she got a new job that she could get something new (or new to us!) that was a lot nicer and more reliable. He new job is a lot closer (10 miles a day) and I still want to stick with a smallish SUV. Here are the requirements...

    1) automatic trans
    2) either reliable as hell, or new with a really good warranty
    3) decent milage (ie 16 or better)
    4) would greatly prefer a body-on-frame rig as opposed to a unibody
    5) 4x4... doesn't have to be hardcore, just good in ice/snow/rain.
    6) must have 4 doors

    Options I am considering...

    1) brand new 2006 Kia Sorento. It has a body on frame, 10 year warranty, 5 years of unlimited roadside assistance... little V6. Lots of good features. Downside? Huge car payment (for me) and high insurance co$t. Wife would like it though...

    2) new CR-V / RAV4 etc. Yeah, its a car with unibody, but it gets good mileage, its cheap and it'd have a factory warranty.

    3) early 90s 4 runner. Plan here would be to get one with a great body and decent interior but a blown engine and/or trans.... and swap in a new or rebuilt engine/trans... one built by a very reputable shop that will last us like 150,000 miles. Plus's: toys are hella reliable and common to the point where replacement parts are cheap/easy to get.... insurance would be a heck of a lot less than a 2006...

    4) Suzuki Sidekick...used... again, swap in a newly rebuilt engine. Did they even make these with auto transmissions?

    5) 1980s toyota landcruiser. We see a nice blue one at Safeway when we go to the bank every week... my wife absolutely loves it. If I got one of these, I might just swap a 350/350 into it... seems like lots of 'em have chevy v8 conversions, must be a reason. Rebuilt 350s (both engine and trans!) are pretty cheap... insurance wouldn't be too bad... mileage prolly wouldn't be awful...hmm...

    6) insert your pick here.. :thumb:

    what do you guys think? Any other options I left out? What would you do (and no, she doesn't want to drive a fullsize Blazer...). :grin: :thumb:

    j
     
  2. 89GMCSuburban

    89GMCSuburban 1/2 ton status

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2001
    Posts:
    3,005
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Thornton, CO
    96 to current S10 Blazer/Jimmy. You can find them cheap, they have proven drivelines, cheap to fix (if they break), ANNNNND I get 26 MPG with my 99 2wd.
     
  3. onlychevy6

    onlychevy6 1/2 ton status

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2003
    Posts:
    1,293
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Hockley, Texas
    how about the S10 Blazers. They are pretty cheap. And most are reliable. especially if you can find the V6 model.
     
  4. Cricket

    Cricket 3/4 ton status

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2004
    Posts:
    8,224
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Colorado
    Do Not - buy a Honda Passport.

    Scratch it off any potential list, pure junk.
     
  5. jekbrown

    jekbrown I am CK5 Premium Member GMOTM Winner Author

    Joined:
    May 19, 2001
    Posts:
    45,029
    Likes Received:
    362
    Location:
    Vancouver, WA, USA
    several votes for an s-10 blazer eh? My wife actually likes the newer blazers/jimmys. What years would be best? I wouldn't even consider anything but the 4.3L FI'd V6.... but what else should I be on the lookout for?

    j
     
  6. Z3PR

    Z3PR Banned

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2002
    Posts:
    19,217
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Everywhere
    What about a Nissan Xterra ??? A Xterra would make a good dailly driver.
     
  7. stallion85

    stallion85 1/2 ton status

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2003
    Posts:
    3,659
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Cedar City, UT
    In the past week I have seen 2 Yukons 99 w/ 4WD and all the goodies for $9K. I think I am getting the wife one......we will see.

    I would go that route, that way if you have to drive it, you won't be driving a Kia ;)
     
  8. mxfireman

    mxfireman 1/2 ton status

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2002
    Posts:
    2,480
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    LHC, AZ
    Dodge Durango!!! :D Not sure what your budget is though?
     
  9. jekbrown

    jekbrown I am CK5 Premium Member GMOTM Winner Author

    Joined:
    May 19, 2001
    Posts:
    45,029
    Likes Received:
    362
    Location:
    Vancouver, WA, USA
    i dunno what the budget is either... the Sorento is a $22,000 SUV though. Personally, I'd rather not have a huge car payment and a huge insurance bill. We'll see though. Xterra might not be bad... hmmm... any years of xterras preferable over any of the others?

    j
     
  10. Z3PR

    Z3PR Banned

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2002
    Posts:
    19,217
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Everywhere
    Don't know a whole heck alot about them, but a friend has one and it's a nice looking vehicle and gets around pretty well in the snow and ice. I do know some come with a factory supercharger. The supercharged V6 Xterra makes 210hp according to the internet. Reviews like the V6 modle, but say the 4 cyl feels very underpowered.
     
  11. jekbrown

    jekbrown I am CK5 Premium Member GMOTM Winner Author

    Joined:
    May 19, 2001
    Posts:
    45,029
    Likes Received:
    362
    Location:
    Vancouver, WA, USA
    what, no votes for the late 90s Suzuki Sidekick 4 door? :confused: :D

    j
     
  12. 89GMCSuburban

    89GMCSuburban 1/2 ton status

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2001
    Posts:
    3,005
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Thornton, CO
    My 99 Jimmy is a loaded SLT, leather, sunroof, power seats, climate control, Bose stereo, premium suspension with Bilsteins. Had 62,000 miles, bought it for $7,995. Nothing really to watch out for. Maybe door hinges, people tend to hang on the doors when they are getting in and out of the trucks 96 and up would be good, although in 98 the rear seats got headrests, the truck got a new grille and 4 wheel disc brakes. I'd look for a 98 and up, and get the GMC version. Feels a lot nicer than even the top of the line Blazer.
     
  13. gauder

    gauder Banned

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2005
    Posts:
    1,613
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    done
    New CRV's aren't cheap. My aunt just bought a brand new one (fully loaded though) and she could have got an H3 for the same price. I really like those H3's and tried to get her to buy one, but she's only ever bought hondas for the last 27 years.
     
  14. jekbrown

    jekbrown I am CK5 Premium Member GMOTM Winner Author

    Joined:
    May 19, 2001
    Posts:
    45,029
    Likes Received:
    362
    Location:
    Vancouver, WA, USA
    Base Hummer H3 price: $29,500...

    Base CR-V price: $20,395

    $9k is a pretty big difference... lol! Even the 4wd CR-V is just $1200 more... she must have got it REALLY loaded... diamond-incrusted 28" rims et all. 99% of the options listed on their web site (build/price gizmo) are lame... like $400 for some cheap chrome step bars etc.

    At any rate, if the 2006 Sorento ($23,000 rig) is in the running, I guess the CR-V can be also... even though it is a "tall car" and not a real SUV. Honda's are generally pretty reliable so that won it cool points. The Sorento is pretty much the most expensive rig in the running... if I made $80k a year I'd just buy her one of those and be done with it. Unfortunately I'd have to have a heck of a downpayment or a raise to afford the insurance costs etc... thats why I'm considering other options.

    j
     
  15. gauder

    gauder Banned

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2005
    Posts:
    1,613
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    done
    Pricing is different here in Canada.

    H3 around $40k
    Her CRV $41k, no chrome step bars, lol
     
  16. Jagged

    Jagged 1 ton status

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2005
    Posts:
    11,460
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    SWVA
    My vote is an S10 blazer. I've got a 95 S10 blazer SLT with 4WD. Gets about 20 MPG. I've got about 175,000 miles on it and it still runs strong.
     
  17. chrisb420

    chrisb420 1/2 ton status

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2004
    Posts:
    652
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Binghamton, NY
    i can second this opinion i worked for a honda dealer for 5 years it is a rebadged rodeo my techs called the piss pots. on the other hand in 5 years i have only seen one major problem with a 97-01 crv and it cracked its rear diff case and puked all it guts out other than that no engine or trans problems, and 26-30 mpg.

    also i can add that even though i hear kia is getting better, they were the biggest piece of dog poop i ever had the pleasure of putting a wrench on.
    the best was the kia sportage we kept about 10 of them in the back lot for parts cars because every one that was traded in needed something we almost had to use two of them to make one decent running car.
     
  18. onlychevy6

    onlychevy6 1/2 ton status

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2003
    Posts:
    1,293
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Hockley, Texas
    i would not go with a KIA. My ole lady works for an owner of a Kia Dealership and they are way over priced. There paint job looks like crap. Has the Orange peal look just like fords. Infact there has been talk that they might merge.

    I would stick with the s-10 blazers. most of them from 96 and up are good. and fairly cheap to buy.

    I don't know about you but i cannot imagine a 500 dollar a month payment on a car. Especially a Kia.

    Just my .02 cents
     
  19. tomseviltwin

    tomseviltwin 1/2 ton status

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2001
    Posts:
    2,065
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Utah
    Yup, the Kia is a steaming pile.
     
  20. Thunder

    Thunder 3/4 ton status

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2000
    Posts:
    8,946
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Northeast Nevada
    Go test drive a Ford Escape or a Merceury Mariner. Nice little 4x4s. Good on gas around 20MPG. Price aint bad either. Around 20K for a new one. lots of room inside I test dorve some about a month ago. The 4 banger runs pretty good but is a little noisy And the Auto trans is a little slow on takeoff. but not bad. Manual trans is better with the 4 banger. The 200HP V6 is pretty fast, smoother and quieter than the 4 banger.
    They come in a bunch of diferent packages from a 2WD to 4x4 A sport package. I liked the way the models with the 16" tires handled better than the ones with 15" tires. They are really a nice little SUV for the price.
    My wife is getting a Mariner next spring.
     

Share This Page