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RevRico UltimaDork
10/28/20 2:53 p.m.

So I've about had it with the Ranger. To small to be a useful family vehicle. It's going hop for sale soonish to capitalize on prewinter and pandemic pricing.

This leaves me in a sticky situation, because EVERYTHING is priced ridiculously these days.

I was originally hoping for a 4 door full size truck, that's not happening unless I hit the lottery. 

Then I started thinking, I do have a 4x8 trailer, while it needs new tires and a bottom, it could do the majority of it truck stuff for me, with a vehicle that could tow it.

So let's say a budget of $7500. Automatic, 4wd or AWD but none of that GM push button 4wd E36 M3, able to comfortably sit 4 adults, and tow 3500lbs or more. 

I'm thinking Tahoe, expedition, suburban. I don't like explorers, the avalanche/ridgeline is a big no go. A Forrester could work, I liked my 99, but I'd like something newer and I forget when they started making transmissions out of glass for them. 

What am I missing? I feel like there's a slew of GM and non German foreign SUVs or larger CUVs out there that I'm just not familiar with.

I looked around for AWD minivans. Either pre 2005, or too new to afford, unless I want a Siena, of which I've found 2 in the state in recent searches. 

Gas mileage isn't much of a concern, but rust proofing and parts availability are. 

mr2s2000elise UltraDork
10/28/20 2:55 p.m.


100 Series LC

MadScientistMatt UltimaDork
10/28/20 3:25 p.m.

Dodge Durango? Or the Chrysler Aspen, which many people forget exists so you're not competing with as many people looking for one.

Nissan Pathfinder or Xterra?

MrChaos SuperDork
10/28/20 3:30 p.m.
mr2s2000elise said:


100 Series LC

he is already complaining about truck prices...

Maybe a sequoia? since those dont carry as high of a premium as anything else toyota

I have heard good things about Touaregs and Cayennes gas(non turbo) and tdi models

Patientzero HalfDork
10/28/20 3:38 p.m.

My 2001 Tahoe has been my favorte daily driver/family hauler I've ever had.  It cost $3500 and could do everything you're looking for.  CHEAP to maintain and not terrible on gas considering it's basically a full sized truck shaped like a brick.

Snrub HalfDork
10/28/20 3:46 p.m.

3500lbs isn't a crazy amount of towing capacity. Any reason you want one of the big boys? What about something like a 2012-ish Escape or 2010-ish Rav4? I'm 6'5" and fit comfortably in the back seat of an Escape. If you're comparing a Tahoe vs. something smaller you're talking about saving say $1k/year in fuel, which is a decent chunk relative to a $7500 purchase price.

Any reason it needs to be 4WD/AWD? If not you could look at a 2012-ish Dodge Caravan.

Robbie (Forum Supporter)
Robbie (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
10/28/20 3:53 p.m.


RevRico UltimaDork
10/28/20 3:54 p.m.

In reply to MadScientistMatt :

I try to avoid FCA products. Never had a good experience with one. If the mechanicals worked the electrics didn't, and around here, the bodies tend start rotting before the first brake rotor change. 

I had a 99 Tahoe before, it was a tank, even with less than stellar maintenance practices, but it had that push button 4wd. Second vehicle I owned with it that never worked, swore it would be the last. 

I prefer having 4wd or AWD during the winter. I tend to wind up going a lot of places where snow removal isn't a thing, and I feel better about needing to panic stop or maneuver around others with it. 

As to the bigger vehicles, like suburban or expedition, it's nice to have dry spot big enough to haul wood/drywall/appliances/furniture in inclement weather that my chincy little trailer doesn't provide.

Furious_E (Forum Supporter)
Furious_E (Forum Supporter) UltraDork
10/28/20 4:17 p.m.

Suburbahoe is probably the easy button.

I'll pile on the Sequoia suggestions as well, as I really like the '00 Tundra my parents have. I don't know how these things have escaped the Toyota tax, but they seem to be about half the price of a 4Runner on average and a third of what a decent Land Crusher runs. 

I think you're right to avoid the Durango, seems that everyone I've met who's had one has had issues. 

Full size Montero?

Olemiss540 Reader
10/28/20 4:53 p.m.

I have an '04 Escalade you would LOVE! 

J/K but seriously, there is no better value for a towable machine than a 6L GM motor'ed luxobarge with air ride for doing "who give a E36 M3 what fuel mileage I get" stuffs. No push button crap. just drive drive.

gearheadE30 Dork
10/28/20 6:05 p.m.

What's wrong with the GM push button 4wd? I've had a few trucks with it and never had a problem, so I guess I didn't know I had something to be concerned about.

The GMT800 later trucks had it too, but they had an auto mode. The Yukon Denali and Escalade were, if I remember, the only ones that had AWD. No buttons, no low range. Some of the later ones also got the optional Stabilitrak system, which is fairly rare. I think it is also a full time awd system with a center diff, and but it also had low range where the Denali and Escalade did not.

You can get a really nice Tahoe/Yukon/Escalade for $7500.

RevRico UltimaDork
10/28/20 7:40 p.m.

Alright, I like the reinforcement of GM bricks. I forgot about the Sequoia too. 

How much would I hate myself if I got a hearse to solve this?

I've always wanted one, and I've been seeing a handful of early 00s Cadillacs with under 100k miles for $5-7k. 

There's definitely carry room, but I don't know about seating. I feel like it would be heavy enough to overcome rwd with good snows, unless they're fwd? Should be able to find a hitch too. 

Dusterbd13-michael (Forum Supporter)
Dusterbd13-michael (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
10/28/20 8:12 p.m.

If a gmt400 suburban or Tahoe fit the bill, look around me. Usually a bunch of rust free southern ones handy.

Donebrokeit UltraDork
10/28/20 8:16 p.m.

 Suburban or XJ?

ProDarwin MegaDork
10/28/20 8:31 p.m.


4 Runner or Pathfinder if you are ok with a not-full-size option.

yupididit PowerDork
10/28/20 9:36 p.m.

Mid 2000's GM LuxUV can be had for $7500 

Mndsm MegaDork
10/28/20 9:39 p.m.
RevRico said:

Alright, I like the reinforcement of GM bricks. I forgot about the Sequoia too. 

How much would I hate myself if I got a hearse to solve this?

I've always wanted one, and I've been seeing a handful of early 00s Cadillacs with under 100k miles for $5-7k. 

There's definitely carry room, but I don't know about seating. I feel like it would be heavy enough to overcome rwd with good snows, unless they're fwd? Should be able to find a hitch too. 

I would do a late b-body hearse. Relatively modern, based on a tank of a chassis, lt1s like giggle gas if you're in the mood. The wagons towed 5000lbs.  I would avoid fwd gm anything, but then I've had E36 M3 luck with those. Did they ever make ford (lincoln) late model panther hearses? I know you've had a panther before, so that may hurt it's chances, but damned if it wouldn't have hella parts. 

03Panther Dork
10/28/20 9:42 p.m.

Well, I know you know this, but a hearse will not have 4wd or AWD!

if you want AWD, the AWD Astro/Safari vans tend to be be forgotten about. As tough as a Tahoe, bigger and more versatile inside, and smaller outside! Much better vehicles than mini vans, although they tend to be considered one. 

Can be tough to find a clean one in AWD, but worth a thought. Only complaint they have is no low range. But that too is solvable. 

Placemotorsports Reader
10/29/20 9:22 a.m.

Another vote for the hundy (100 series LC)

eddychecker New Reader
10/29/20 9:26 a.m.

Lurker here but this time with an opinion. Here's my vote. I'm nearby and would be happy to look at it for you.

2013 Chevrolet Tahoe x2

Curtis73 (Forum Supporter)
Curtis73 (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
10/29/20 9:38 a.m.

Acadia/Enclave/Traverse.  AWD, seats 7+ with the third row.  With the third row folded down, it has almost as much cargo room as a Tahoe.  Tow ratings of 4000 lbs with the V6, but I towed 3500 with Mom's 2016 Acadia and I'm confident that it could be pushed to 5000 if you're a rule-breaker.

Not to mention, some seriously cushy, luxo appointments.  Usually mom picks poorly, but I think she picked a winner this time.  If I had to pick a DD to replace a truck but still do some truck things, these three would be my first shopping point.  Larger CUV, but doesn't park like a truck.  Ample towing for more than anything you would be putting in a truck bed.  Mom's kinda seamlessly goes from DD/commuter car to SUV/truck without complaint.

Curtis73 (Forum Supporter)
Curtis73 (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
10/29/20 9:45 a.m.

I should add that Mom's Acadia only has about 50-60k on it, but so far it has had zero of the typical GM warranty glitches.  Usually GMs have some dumb little failures; power mirror stops working, or the radio presets won't save, but hers hasn't, and really has the fit and finish of a BMW X.  It takes a lot for a GM to impress me.  Don't get me wrong, I've owned several, but they never impressed quite like Mom's Acadia

AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter)
AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
10/29/20 9:51 a.m.

AWD non-turbo Flex?

jharry3 HalfDork
10/29/20 9:57 a.m.

Nissan Frontier.   Least expensive.   

John Welsh (Moderate Supporter)
John Welsh (Moderate Supporter) Mod Squad
10/29/20 11:07 a.m.
RevRico said:


How much would I hate myself if I got a hearse to solve this?


Be mnidful on hearse and their windows.  Many are made with custom sized windshields.   Also, you're in PA which has vehicle inspections.  If that inspection requires that your windshield has no cracks then know the inability to source a used, custom windshield could very much be the thing that takes the vehicle off the road for good.  


Also note that the custom tall side glass then makes for glass that is too tall to "roll down all the way" since the glass is taller than the metal door can hide.  This should make drive through fast food windows less than ideal.  

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