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: Vehicle Recommendations - Help!

06-13-2009, 11:40 AM
Ok, I'm still going off the fairly confident assumption that my car will be totalled. I'm going to assume that I'll get roughly what I owe on it and so I'll therefore be starting from scratch, no trade in, no down payment, nothing.

I'm getting totally frustrated trying to figure out what I want to get now.

Here's what I'm looking for, not necessarily in order.
1- would like AWD or 4x4 due to the winters. 2 wheel only if it's a small pickup truck.
2- need something to stand up to the 70 mile roundtrip to work at least 5 days a week. Have heard Subaru and Toyota. Others?
3- need room for the dogs, really want to put them in crates or a box if it's a pickup.
4- cost. I owe a little over $11,600 on the Equinox and my payments were $224/mo for 60mo when I refinanced early this year with a 4.49% rate. Since I'm starting over and I'm broke, I'd like to go with a LOT less payment and I have no idea what I'll get for a rate now. That rate goes with a model year 05 or newer from that credit union. I'm not opposed to an older model vehicle, I just need something reliable.
5- safety. Obviously my car held up well in terms of protecting me in this accident but it was front end. What about side impacts and all that.

I'm trying to read reviews and do my homework to stay ahead of the game so I can have a plan when they do finally value my car. But I'm getting so frustrated and lost, I don't know what to do. Ugh.


06-13-2009, 01:53 PM
If you were happy with your old Equinox, take a look at the 2010 Equinox. It has been redesigned, and is really nice looking (at least IMO). Fuel economy has been improved. Safety features like side curtain head air bags, traction control, and electronic stability control come standard. AWD or FWD is available. The 2010 price is actually $800 - $1300 cheaper than a comparable 2009, depending on the model & trim level.

The problem is, I think it's going to be pretty hard to get into just about any new vehicle fitting your requirements at the low payment you want.

06-13-2009, 01:58 PM
I have a Toyota.... my 3rd. This one I have 260,000 miles on.... I bought it Used- Certified so saved a lot of $$$... only had 30,000 miles on it when I bought it.. My other two Toyotas, I had 100,000 miles with the original tires.. :D

06-13-2009, 02:16 PM
Yeah I know I'm asking a lot without wanting to spend a lot but I've been looking at Craig's list vehicles too direct from a private seller. I just don't know what to get. I can't afford the new Equinox even though I'm sure I would love it.

I don't want new, new like 09 or 10. If I go through a dealer and finance I'm probably looking at 05's again, prob at the most.

Problem I see with Tacomas and the Subarus is they hold their value. Good for the car, bad for me. lol.

06-13-2009, 04:41 PM
What's the consensus on an 04 Tacoma? reg cab reg box I believe. Can have cap or no cap. 66k miles. Asking like $8500 around there. Manual, 2wd.

John Kelder
06-13-2009, 06:21 PM
Please buy American .the job you save may be your own . Love my Chevy regards,

1st retriever
06-13-2009, 07:02 PM
They are still practically giving trucks away. Gas mileage has improved as well. Or a Hummer!:)

06-13-2009, 09:51 PM
John, I understand what you're saying but...I wasn't even sure my Equinox was going to hold up to the miles I was going to put on it. Specific suggestions for Chevy, I loved mine as well, believe me, even more now that it saved me lol.

06-13-2009, 10:32 PM

Check out the Toyota FJ Crusier!
Most capable off road vehicle made today!! Its truly amazing what this thing can do!

We bought one new last year!! I really love this SUV.

No frills, like leather seats and all,, just good down to earth functional features.

No carpet on the floor. Rubberized for easy mud and dirt clean out.

TRUE electronic locking rear differential, for low range off road, coupled with a VSC controll for everyday difficult road conditions. IT LOVES SNOW!!!

V6 engine withe 240 HP and gets respectable gas milage!!



06-14-2009, 04:36 PM
I have an '06 Chevy Colorado and am very happy with it. Great gas mileage and plenty of room to store your stuff (mine is an extented cab) and dog boxes, wingers etc in the back. There are lots of used ones (coming of lease), its American built, and great dollar value.
Good luck!

06-14-2009, 06:04 PM
Please buy American .the job you save may be your own . Love my Chevy regards,

Yep my Honda Element is made right here in the USA. In fact I think more of it is American made then my Dodge pickup. Also well built, can get 2-3 crates in it, great milage and its price isn't to bad etiher.

06-15-2009, 10:18 PM
Still not sure what I want yet but they valued my car today for over what I owed so I will at least have money for a down payment.

Gooser - that FJ Cruiser is nice but with it still being a fairly recent model I just don't think I can get one in my price range.

Have been looking at the Element as well but again, price range is the issue.

As for the Colorado...I don't know, my dad had an 05 and I know that was the first model year but he had a ton of problems with it, a lot with the 4 wheel drive too. We took it to Illinois to pick up Kiela and it did ok, not bad on the gas mileage.

So I'm still searching. Keep the suggestions coming if you can! Trying to do my homework and research everything so I get the best value for my money.

Joe Martin
06-16-2009, 07:04 AM
Used Chevy Trailblazers are cheap = they're big in the rental market. Lots available a few years old with low mileage in the $16 - $18 K range. Not real great on gas but OK in the field and dirt roads. Its not an off-road vehicle like the FJ Cruiser, but a lot for the price.

06-16-2009, 09:14 AM
Mom dropped two trannies out of a Trailblazer lol. I never liked it when she had it either.

Scott Greenwood
06-16-2009, 09:40 AM
Please, if you could, look at a Ford vehicle. The only American vehicle that is not government owned.

Escape Hybrid! Not sure but should be able to haul two dog boxes in it.

06-16-2009, 04:07 PM
Cant go wrong with a Tacoma the 4 door is great tons of room rear seats fold flat great for the dogs. Mine is a Sport long bed 4 x 4 it rides great very comfortable smooth ride.

road kill
06-16-2009, 04:37 PM
This is the vehicle for YOU!!

06-16-2009, 07:24 PM
This is the vehicle for YOU!!

LOL. Yeah seriously. Except it gets like 2mpg haha. International has a truck like that, CXT or something that I got to see driving around town a few years ago. Crazy big, crazy unnecessary lol.

Haven't gotten up to the dealership to see the Tacoma yet. Still looking at all my options. If it's still there I might get to see it Sunday.

06-16-2009, 10:42 PM
Cant go wrong with a Tacoma the 4 door is great tons of room rear seats fold flat great for the dogs. Mine is a Sport long bed 4 x 4 it rides great very comfortable smooth ride.

if I had the $$$ that would be my choice with a a Nissan Frontier as choice # 2

06-17-2009, 03:39 PM
You really cant beat the reliability of a toyota.

Cody Covey
06-17-2009, 06:00 PM
girlfriends parents have a tacoma and that truck is very nice and reliable never had a single problem to my knowledge.

06-17-2009, 11:43 PM
Well, still going to look at the Tacoma, the guy might bring it out to work for me to see. I'm going to see an 05 Colorado because it's a great price, 2 wheel drive, manual, 4cyl engine. So we'll see. Thinking a truck is probably the best way to go. Toying with the idea of putting some of the "extra" money from my car down on the new car and then taking some and buying a 2 hole box if I end up with a truck. I know I looked at Owens before because they had some good prices. So I'll have to do some research on that too. Or build my own, we just finished up building an insulated dog house a week before the accident, granted it was wooden but I bet we could come up with something. We lucked out getting all the materials for free except I bought the styrafoam insulation for $25.

Thanks guys! I'll let you know how it goes looking at these two trucks. I appreciate all the input!

06-19-2009, 09:50 PM
OK so let me just say, car shopping SUCKS! I liked the Colorado but didn't love it, something in me was hesitant about it. Seemed like a good deal but I just don't know.

The Tacoma, well, I liked how it shifted better than the Colorado. But it was overpriced. Bumper and rims were rusting, engine compt wasn't that clean. Drove nice but seemed even smaller in the cab than my old Ranger. So again, I don't know.

Sigh. This is going to take longer than I thought, I think. :-/

Matt R
06-20-2009, 06:35 AM
You really cant beat the reliability of a toyota.

Agree. You may want to look at used Toyota 4Runners. Probably one of the best mid-sized SUV available. Great 4 wheel drive system, good mileage and can hold a couple of crates with the seats down. They hold their value well and run forever. I've had a couple and by far the best vehicle I've ever owned.

07-06-2009, 08:18 PM
Well, the rental is due on Saturday. I haven't stopped searching and the Colorado is my best ticket for my price range. Would really love a Tacoma in the future but that will have to be in a few years due to them holding the resale value. Looked at 4Runners, Rav4's, CRV's, Escapes....what didn't I look at is the question. The dealerships are not really moving on vehicle prices right now for some reason.

So, talked to the guy today, getting the Colorado for $6600 before fees. Thinking I'm going to forego the warranty. Going to put a deposit down tomorrow and get the financing process started. As long as all goes well and I don't get screwed needing a cosignor or something then I will be picking the truck up on Wed.

Thanks for all of the input everyone. It was much valued and much appreciated. Idk how but dealers are selling cars/trucks in my area and not moving much on price. Oh well, I do really like this truck. Still nervous but that's because I didn't have a choice really, have to have a vehicle.

Thanks again!

07-06-2009, 08:44 PM
I am on my second Nissan Frontier. 1st - 20 mpg Highway in 2005 Nismo off-road package. Current 4wd SE vehicle is not yet broken in. 19-20 mpg in 75 mph freeway 21-23 in regular highway driving. 2 large dog crates will fit side by side in bed. A bit more width than colorado/canyon and tacoma.

Great off road but does not like wind (mileage not handling).

Your mileage may vary...


08-11-2009, 12:19 AM
I've driven an 03 Ford Explorer XLT for the last 41/2 years. Got 2 large crates in the back side by side and a third with the bench second seat down. It got 18 to 20 mpg on the highway and has been pretty much problem free. Had to have the brakes replaced once. (but then I've put 120,00 miles on it). I put a large Thurman (sp?) car carrier on the top that holds 2 shur-toss launchers and my son of a gun as well as a couple of holding blinds, chairs etc.

Though Toyota is a great car also, I don't like the configuration of the second seat when it is folded up against the front seats. To me, it makes access to the second seat area more difficult.

I decided to get a lower mileage car and bought an 07 Ford Explorer XLT 4 wheel drive this summer with 30,000 miles on it - looks like brand new, still has a good bit of warranty and got it for a very competitive price. Gave the 03 to our son.

08-11-2009, 08:47 AM
the rear seats on the matrix and rav 4 and the Tacoma Pickup fold down flat against the front seat which makes it easier to haul things gives you lots of room, others I have seen dont reach the front seats and stay up in the air a few inches so you lose a lot of room. I was looking to buy a prius I can fit one cage in it but I really like the Rav 4 it will hold two.

08-11-2009, 10:32 AM
Toyota 4 Runner four wheel drive. Mine has 72,000 miles and "Nothing" every went wrong with it.

08-11-2009, 01:07 PM
I ended up with the Colorado, I really like it so far! Just need a box for the dogs. Getting 24 mpg with no additives.