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Mazdax605
Mazdax605 UltraDork
1/6/17 10:10 a.m.

Hello all,

My Suburban is getting to the point where I think it may be time to start looking for a replacement. Also my wife has been driving the same car for 10 years. I was thinking about getting her into a midsized SUV to replace her Sienna, and taking over the Sienna myself.

I test drove a brand new 4Runner on Wednesday. I loved it, and I think my wife would as well. However the price of those things are insane but maybe worth it. Great vehicles, and great resale as even looking at used ones of similar generation (2011 or so) they still sell for a lot of money. For instance it seems you can buy a similar package one from 2012 for around $26k, but they will have around 60-80k miles on them. The mileage doesn't scare me as we have had zero troubles in the 140k we've put on the Sienna, but the idea of buying a car that is essentially already 5 years old with almost 100k on it for that sort of money doesn't compute with my cheap ass.

What else is out there in the mid-sized area capable of towing around 5k lbs safely? Looking to only finance around $25k if possible. No trade in as I will keep the Sienna as my winter daily, and the Delica/RX-7/REPU as my summer rides. Much prefer a non-cvt trans. Not afraid of V8's, but the GM DoD troubles scares me a bit. FYI I love Toyota's and especially the 4Runner as I like the full frame vehicle, and lineage of Toyota making it a nice capable SUV for a long time now.

It's been suggested by the dealer, and several friends that we should lease a new one, but I'm not sold. The payment is a lot more palatable, but the idea of leasing for 3 years, and then buying it afterwards scares me a bit. Mainly because I would most likely have to finance the $21k residual after the lease for 5 years to make the payments reasonable. That would mean paying for the car for 8 years! Not really what I want to do. The other option is to lease another, but the idea of never ending payments does nothing for me. We bought the 06 Sienna as a year old CPO car in Jan of 07 with 17K on it. Financed it at 0% for 5 years(yes, free money on a used car!), and have driven it for the last 5 years without payments. It is still a good car, but I'm worried about the Suburban now. It was a $6k car 5 years ago, so I've mostly got my monies worth. I don't need such a big vehicle, but it was cheap, and in decent shape. It helps that I bought it in the winter as a 2wd in New England. Score for me!

I want reliable as gravity, like the Sienna if possible.Any suggestions greatly appreciated.

Fueled by Caffeine
Fueled by Caffeine MegaDork
1/6/17 10:25 a.m.

Ford Flex or new explorer?

The 5k towing will be tough with the newer mid sized suv's. I'd say rav4 but the towing isn't there.

Edited to fix typos

JohnRW1621
JohnRW1621 MegaDork
1/6/17 10:31 a.m.

I want reliable as gravity, like the Sienna if possible.Any suggestions greatly appreciated.

If you don't need heavy towing capability how about a Highlander. Pretty much a Sienna drivetrain in SUV form.

Also maybe look at the large Toyota SUV, the Sequoia.
Similar in size, Nissan has the large Armada/Infiniti QX56

EDIT: This review says...

Every 2013 Toyota Highlander with the 3.5 liter 270 horsepower/248 lb.-ft. of torque V6 comes standard with a heavy-duty radiator with engine oil cooler, a 200-watt fan coupling and supplemental transmission oil cooler to afford this SUV a 5,000 lb. tow capacity.

A real sample in your area.
'13 with 37k for $23k

Fueled by Caffeine
Fueled by Caffeine MegaDork
1/6/17 11:59 a.m.

ridgline/pilot?

Driven5
Driven5 Dork
1/6/17 4:58 p.m.
Mazdax605 wrote: I test drove a brand new 4Runner on Wednesday. I loved it, and I think my wife would as well.

Really? We recently drove a new 4Runner back to back with a new Highlander and our RAV4 V6 Sport, and quickly came to conclusion that we'll likely be taking additional measures to extend the tenure of the RAV4 in our garage for as long as possible. We liked the 4Runner less than we had hoped, and the Highlander more than we expected. But while the 4Runner and Highlander both are very well tailored to their respective markets, they both also had a driving experience that would best be described as "a symphony in beige". Something expected from the Highlander, but less so from the 4Runner. By comparison, our RAV4 has a feel and character that can actually put the SPORT in SUV! Is there any chance a 3500 pound tow rating would suffice?

Mazdax605
Mazdax605 UltraDork
1/6/17 7:15 p.m.
Driven5 wrote:
Mazdax605 wrote: I test drove a brand new 4Runner on Wednesday. I loved it, and I think my wife would as well.
Really? We recently drove a new 4Runner back to back with a new Highlander and our RAV4 V6 Sport, and quickly came to conclusion that we'll likely be taking additional measures to extend the tenure of the RAV4 in our garage for as long as possible. We liked the 4Runner less than we had hoped, and the Highlander more than we expected. But while the 4Runner and Highlander both are very well tailored to their respective markets, they both also had a driving experience that would best be described as "a symphony in beige". Something expected from the Highlander, but less so from the 4Runner. By comparison, our RAV4 has a feel and character that can actually put the SPORT in SUV! Is there any chance a 3500 pound tow rating would suffice?

Yes, Really I loved the 4Runner. I also like crunchy peanut butter, and hate mayonnaise. Different strokes I guess.

plance1
plance1 SuperDork
1/6/17 7:32 p.m.

Dont know about towing but i leased wifey an Equinox and shes happy. The Mazda and hynduai suvs seem good too.

sesto elemento
sesto elemento SuperDork
1/6/17 10:25 p.m.

Build an fzj80, you could do a hell of an expedition build for that money. Or buy a turn key one that someone else poired their heart and soul into. Either way you could put aside a decent sum from that budget to go overland

sesto elemento
sesto elemento SuperDork
1/6/17 10:30 p.m.

Or

irish44j
irish44j UltimaDork
1/6/17 11:26 p.m.

We loved our ('08) 4Runner as well. It was a great vehicle in every manner, other than interior space. Once we had a second kid (and dog) we just needed something bigger (so bought a Sequoia). The Sequoia is a snooze to drive. The 4Runner (Sport Edition with the XREAS suspension) was a great driver. Way different from the non-XREAS 4Runner. I miss that thing every time I drive the Sequioa.

smokindav
smokindav Reader
1/6/17 11:46 p.m.

4-door Jeep Wrangler

DuctTape&Bondo
DuctTape&Bondo Dork
1/7/17 2:20 a.m.

Cayenne because I want one. Idk about reliable as rocks.

mad_machine
mad_machine GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
1/7/17 9:18 a.m.
DuctTape&Bondo wrote: Cayenne because I want one. Idk about reliable as rocks.

once they stop moving under their own power, they become as reliable as rocks

Zeitgeist
Zeitgeist Reader
1/7/17 12:02 p.m.

I have a 11 BMW X5 iDrive 50 with the TT V8 which is rated at 6600lbs towing. It is a joy to drive and no issues. I am considering selling it for a pick up as I haul stuff more often than I care to hook up a trailer and would like a bed. I plan on selling it for $23kOBO. Nothing like 400+ HP and a huge flat torque curve with BMW dynamics.

Adrift
Adrift Reader
1/10/17 9:58 p.m.

FJ Cruiser

ShadowSix
ShadowSix Dork
1/10/17 10:35 p.m.

In reply to Mazdax605:

Oddly enough, I'm looking for almost the same thing at the moment. I'm looking for a car that will be both my wife's commuter, and my tow vehicle. I've set a hard limit on towing capacity at no less than 5k lbs. I too am uncompromising on reliability, but I'll throw safety in there as well. The conclusion I've come to: V6 AWD Toyota Highlander.

There are a lot of trucks that fit the bill (Ridgeline, Frontier, Tacoma) but we don't really need the bed, the 2-box SUV/CUV style just fits us better. The Pilot is nice, but doesn't hit my towing number. The Sorento, Santa Fe, and Pathfinder all have the towing guts, but reliability records that are mixed at best. The CR-V, RAV4, and CX-5 are closer to the size my wife prefers, but can't make the towing numbers. The domestics still can't seem to make really reliable cars in this segment (a shame, because they can, but they aren't in this particular market niche). The Germans are too expensive or too unreliable, or frequently both. Full size SUVs (we have a Sequoia now) are just too big for my wife. I keep looking, but I just keep coming back to the Highlander.

Edit: jeez, you've got to teach me about this 0% financing on a used car someday.

ShadowSix
ShadowSix Dork
1/10/17 10:44 p.m.
smokindav wrote: 4-door Jeep Wrangler

Last I checked the Strangler's towing tops out at 2000#. Not good if you planned on towing anything heavier than your kids' radio flyer.

ShadowSix
ShadowSix Dork
1/10/17 10:46 p.m.
Adrift wrote: FJ Cruiser

If you want the asking prices for used 4Runners and Tacomas to seem reasonable, just look at what used FJs go for

G_Body_Man
G_Body_Man SuperDork
1/10/17 11:46 p.m.

A CPO Nissan Xterra should do the trick. 5k lbs towing capacity, reliable as gravity, and about the right price. The Pro-4X model adds chunkier tires, a rear locker, and off road lights (!) among other goodies.

Driven5
Driven5 Dork
1/11/17 9:49 a.m.
ShadowSix wrote:
smokindav wrote: 4-door Jeep Wrangler
Last I checked the Strangler's towing tops out at 2000#. Not good if you planned on towing anything heavier than your kids' radio flyer.

The Unlimited (4-Door) go up to 3500. So better, but still appreciably under 5k.

STM317
STM317 HalfDork
1/11/17 10:01 a.m.

The current Jeep Grand Cherokee is available with up to 7200lbs towing. You won't be able to get a new one in your budget, but used may be an option. I'd assume the corresponding Durangos have similar capabilities.

RossD
RossD UltimaDork
1/11/17 10:10 a.m.

You can get 6200lb towing with a V6 Grand Cherokee Laredo or Limited. I really like ours and it's been reliable for the last 45k miles. Ours is the first year for the 8 speed and the 3.6 Pentastar is more than powerful enough (just don't drive a V8 first ).

I average 18-19 mpg on the winter blend and I've had the computer tell me an overall 24 mpg on a long summer highway trip. (The overall mileage is not calculated using the overall all data... but rather a limited about of time or something.)

Mazdax605
Mazdax605 UltraDork
1/11/17 10:59 a.m.

Hmm, Interesting. I had forgotten about the Durango. I know my BIL had two of them. Both the first, and second generation models. His were utter crap, but really it is probably because he could kill a Sherman tank in about a week. Truthfully the fact that he got several years out of them is a testament to how solid they are. A quick look at CL found this and several others. Not sure I like the rotary transmission interface on some of them though. The weird momentary shifter on some of the Jeep GC's is one that I don't care for either.

Durango

Seems a lot of truck for the money, and that one has a V8. Would like to spend less, and they seem to be out there. Not many for sale privately it seems though on CL. Mostly dealers.

CobraSpdRH
CobraSpdRH Reader
1/11/17 11:36 a.m.

I like the Xterra idea, those have a considerably lower resale than the Toyota's (although I've never owned one).

I am a 4Runner fan, on my second third-gen at the moment. Miles mean very little to these trucks, it is more about getting one with a documented history and driving into the 300k+ range. I feel it gives me just enough "truck" by putting the back window down for any large items.

JohnRW1621
JohnRW1621 MegaDork
1/11/17 11:41 a.m.

I don't want to seem like a hater but Durango and "Sienna-like reliability" seems like an unlikely combination

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