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Discussion Starter #1
Thuderbird rolled over 200,000 miles last week! Looking at getting a new daily this winter and retiring the thunderbird to weekend cruiser.

I'm not finding anything I'm really interested in. I should get a car that is reliable and somewhat good on gas but I can't find anything that I would like in my price range.

So now I'm thinking a truck.. I like the small off-road SUVs like the '07 Jeep Cherokee, '07 Hummer H3, and 4 runner. But I'm afraid of the reliability of the Jeep, the questionable and underpowered 5 cylinder in the H3, and the 4 runner is almost double the price as the other two. So seems like the only thing left is a 2006-07 F150 single cab 4.6L maybe 4x4 if I can find one.

Looking for input on above vehicles and any new suggestions. Would like to stay under $12k. RWD is preferred. Reliable is a must.
 

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Thuderbird rolled over 200,000 miles last week! Looking at getting a new daily this winter and retiring the thunderbird to weekend cruiser.

I'm not finding anything I'm really interested in. I should get a car that is reliable and somewhat good on gas but I can't find anything that I would like in my price range.

So now I'm thinking a truck.. I like the small off-road SUVs like the '07 Jeep Cherokee, '07 Hummer H3, and 4 runner. But I'm afraid of the reliability of the Jeep, the questionable and underpowered 5 cylinder in the H3, and the 4 runner is almost double the price as the other two. So seems like the only thing left is a 2006-07 F150 single cab 4.6L maybe 4x4 if I can find one.

Looking for input on above vehicles and any new suggestions. Would like to stay under $12k. RWD is preferred. Reliable is a must.
Are you looking for strickly 4 doors or a 2 door ok for a Jeep? The 4 door Wrangler is out of your price range but you can find a clean TJ/LJ wrangler 97-06 in that price range easily. I have an 06 Wrangler that was a daily driver, only reason I retired it from daily use is because I got a mn12 thunderbird for free. It is really fun to drive with the 4.0/6spd combo, handles pretty good for a SWB suv, tough as nails, great in bad weather, and incredibly easy to work on (you can get to everything easily and change the oil without jacking it up).

The 4.0 is a tried and true engine, they will last 200-250k with just normal maintenance. The aftermarket is huge for Jeeps too, you can literally build a Jeep exactly how you like as long as you or your wallet allows it. Top off is alot of fun in this vehicle, once you do it you might be hooked.

The cons would be noise (would recommend sound-deadener), room (not much cargo space, LJ is better though), and gas mileage (be prepared to average in the high teens, aerodynamics of a brick). The noise isn't bad at lower speeds but at higher speeds, it's hard to hold a converstation bone stock, especially with a soft top. I added sound-deadener to mine and lined my hardtop so it's quiet for a Jeep now, still not as quiet as a stock mn12 though.

I can speak for the 4 Runner, they are great vehicles like the 97 I had but are expensive used. Would be worth it for a garaged, low-mileage one, they are very trouble free but do feel a bit "bulky" for a SUV IMO. The F150's are nice but a bit pricey, I like the extended cab and the 5.4 but I heard of the spark plug issue with the 5.4. Wouldn't trust a 07 Jeep Cherokee (assuming Jeep Grand Cherokee?), reliablity is questionable on the grand cherokee. The older 97-99 Cherokees (boxy style, XJ) are excellent though, great for families, decent on gas (22-24mpg highway if driven easy), 4.0/auto standard in most, easy to maintain and reliable. I'd buy a clean XJ in a heartbeat if I had the cash and found one for low mileage.
 

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Out of all of those I'd go with the F-150. Then again I'm pretty biased. There's a reason my Wife drives one. I rarely work on it.
 

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As much as I like my F150, the 04+ ones just aren't as reliable as the 97-03's. Given your price range and the year ranges you are looking at, if you want a truck, I would suggest a chevy. The 5.3/4L60e combo is very low maintenance, plenty of power, and will easily go 300K miles with regular maintenance, and will get you over 20mpg highway. Whatever you do though, run away from the h3. Those things are the biggest piece of junk to come out of General Motors in the last 30 years.
 

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If you don't care about MPG's buy a 4.6L 97-03 F150..My 98 F150 is my DD, and the only complaint I have about it is the crappy MPG's I get in city driving..

I get around 15 MPG highway, and around 10 MPG city..I bought my truck used back in 05 IIRC, and have only done basic maintenance to it..

I would trust this truck to drive cross country no problem..Stopping at numerous gas stations along the way.. :rolleyes:

Do you really need a pick-up or SUV though?..You guys barely get any snow down there from what I recall..

I'm trying to downsize myself..I don't need this much truck, and would rather have better MPG's..

I don't want to give up having a truck bed to haul things around in though..

Goddamn aussies have the best choices in small pick-up trucks I swear..

Here's a good example:

This is a Ford Courier crew-cab..Similar to the crew-cab Ford Ranger also not sold in the United States..

If Ford would get their head out their azz, and start selling a crew-cab Ranger here they would make a killing..

Instead they want to sell you more truck than you need..Have you noticed the trend of how car manufacturers keep building everything bigger?





Rayo..
 

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If you don't care about MPG's buy a 4.6L 97-03 F150..My 98 F150 is my DD, and the only complaint I have about it is the crappy MPG's I get in city driving..

I get around 15 MPG highway, and around 10 MPG city..I bought my truck used back in 05 IIRC, and have only done basic maintenance to it..

I would trust this truck to drive cross country no problem..Stopping at numerous gas stations along the way.. :rolleyes:

Do you really need a pick-up or SUV though?..You guys barely get any snow down there from what I recall..

I'm trying to downsize myself..I don't need this much truck, and would rather have better MPG's..

I don't want to give up having a truck bed to haul things around in though..

Goddamn aussies have the best choices in small pick-up trucks I swear..

Here's a good example:

This is a Ford Courier crew-cab..Similar to the crew-cab Ford Ranger also not sold in the United States..

If Ford would get their head out their azz, and start selling a crew-cab Ranger here they would make a killing..

Instead they want to sell you more truck than you need..Have you noticed the trend of how car manufacturers keep building everything bigger?





Rayo..
I see TONs of the old XJ/ZJ series here in Ohio. If we can't kill them it says a lot for the duribility. Same goes for the 97-03 F Series. I see horribly rusty examples of both being used as daily drivers and work trucks. They will not die.

I'd absolutely buy one of those Couriers. That's pretty much exactly what I wanted when Ford introduced the original Sport Tracs. Not some upscale pseudo off road vehicle. A simple working mans version of the Ranger XLT with extra doors and a bit more front seat travel. I've driven Rangers and while I'm not super tall at 6 foot a extra 3-4 inches of leg room would make me damn happy.

Platform bloat is pretty much endemic. I strongly suspect that when they do market research one of the first customer comments is always "I'd like a little more legroom, elbow room, headroom" whatever. See my post above ;)
 

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Raoul Duke
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I would stay far away from the Hummer, and the new Jeeps don't seem to have very good build quality. I would honestly look for an older 4x4 Ranger.


Instead they want to sell you more truck than you need..Have you noticed the trend of how car manufacturers keep building everything bigger?
Ain't that the truth!
It's sad to see what has happened to automotive design. There are no light-duty trucks anymore; even the new Colorado is the size of an older Silverado. It's huge!
The same trend is also being applied to cars of all makes and models. The new Subaru Outback is the size of a crossover SUV. Didn't that car used to be small, nimble and fun-to-drive wagon?
The new ones aren't available with a manual transmission, either. Also an unfortunate trend...

:bawling:
 

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The newer F-150's ride like Cadillacs. My buddy's 2014 FX4 is huge, not quite what an F-150 is meant to be, in my opinion.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks for the replies.

I'm thinking about waiting until spring to buy something now because I haven't found anything I'm crazy about. I found myself looking at mn12s lol. It's a sickness! The GF would flip bricks if I got another one though.

I like the idea of the wrangler but I'm afraid it will become a second toy rather than keeping it stock and reliable lol. Damn those things are expensive too! How are they on long trips? I don't need a driving living room but I don't want to be miserable.

Reliable with 4wd is ideal. Especially when I drive up North in the snow to see family or go out to my buddies farm.

Not finding a lot with cars but the 08-09 Lexus IS250 looks fun! And available with AWD too. If the new Ford Focus ST was cheaper I would be all over that.

Any other cars or trucks that make good dailys? Only thing I'm really against is FWD.
 

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What about a Subaru Legacy? Full size car (or wagon if you prefer), AWD, can get them with a turbo 4 WRX motor, decent gas mileage, comfortable, will easily run for 200K+ (as long as you change the timing belt), the limited is very nicely appointed inside, and something around an 06-09 would fall within your price range. I think that would make a nice reliable DD, that would still be fun to drive, and yet you would likely have no interest in modding it.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I love the looks, AWD, and power of the 2005 Subaru legacy GT. It would probably be perfect. But I've heard of a lot of reliability issues with them from the turbo, to wheel bearings, to electrical issues. Im gonna look into them a little more maybe the newer ones aren't as bad.

GTO would be sweet -don't know a lot about those other than that 400hp LS2 monster under the hood. I wish I could afford the G8!! Might look into those as well. Reliability side I worry though.
 

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I've never run across electrical issues on a Subaru. Wheel bearings, yes, but that isn't a huge deal, and when they go, they will give you plenty of warning before it becomes critical. As for the turbo, keep up on your oil changes and it will last the life of the car. Start going 8-10K between changes and running it low on oil, and it will fail. Also if that worries you, they were offered with a NA 4-cup, as well as a flat 6. As for the GTO, same thing I said before about the chevy trucks applies, the LS/4L80 combo is pretty much rock solid. Although the GTO really deserves the tremec 6-speed!
 

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You'll never want the Tbird again if you get a GTO as a daily, especially the 6.0s.

Although parts availability is a big problem with them, lots of minor bits often get backordered since they have to ship from Australia
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Still on the search.

Looked real hard at a 2007 Grand Cherokee Hemi. Lots of power, 4x4, loaded, nice ride.. Still not sure about reliability seems hit and miss... Not ruling it out yet.

Found a trailblazer SS with the LS2 in it for $14k. Didn't test drive it but 400hp will be plenty and very fun. Seems the reliability is also hit and miss. Spun bearings at 100k miles and iffy transmissions even on the 2wd. Maybe because they are dogged most of their life.

I wish Ford made a fun sporty version of the explorer
 

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Check out 08-10 Sport Trac Adrenalin models? Can be had with a V8 as well.
 

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Discussion Starter #18 (Edited)
Didn't like the looks of the adrenalin series. Thanks for the suggestion though.

Been looking at 02-04 Lightnings lately. Seem to be a pretty reliable truck as long as they haven't been modded heavy. I'm kinda disappointed they didn't get a forged bottom end like the cobras. Forged pistons but the same rods as in the regular f150 is what I hear.. They are a bit pricey. I found an 04 with 80k miles all stock but he won't come off the $15.5k he's asking.

One of the guys at work said for the price you might as well buy a regular cab 3v 5.4 f150 with low miles and supercharge that. Get a newer truck and a hell of a sleeper. Kinda a cool thought.

Part of me wants to put that money towards the Tbird instead of another car. The problem is I don't have a garage to do big projects anymore so I'll be paying to hve the work done. 6 speed swap and TFS heads... Mmm.

I'm all over the place still. Probably should give it some more thought before I make a decision.
 

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Buy another MN12 or FN10 to drive daily, mod it lightly, then put the rest towards your 97. :diablo:
 

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Buy another MN12 or FN10 to drive daily, mod it lightly, then put the rest towards your 97. :diablo:
I agree. There's another thread on here for a 97 4.6L with 76k in Oregon for $3995. Best daily driver for less than $5k. Makes me almost wish I didn't have that much in my 1989 base. :tongue:
 
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