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SUV/TRUCK advice

Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by KaGee, Aug 23, 2007.

  1. KaGee

    KaGee Monkeywrench Staff Member

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    Want to upgrade my vehicle. Currently have a 2001 Ford Escape XLT. Great little SUV. No complaints except my boat is at or slightly exceeds the tow capacity and the truck is only 2WD (Front). I am limited to where I can launch. I also use the truck as my "mobile office".

    In some research, I guess my possible choices are Ford Explorer, Dodge Durango, Chevy Trailblazer or possibly Jeep Cherokee.

    The more I look, the more I'm confused as to which route to take.

    What say you all?
     
  2. I have been around Jeeps my entire life. They are very reliable, and my uncle pulls his pontoon boat behind his 98 Cherokee. Good luck with you search.
     

  3. 2talltim

    2talltim Bubby wanna be

    we have a 2000 exlplorer other than doing a all around tune up at 80,000 and i put a thermostate in it i have done nothing else to it...great for towing and i just have the 4.0 in it i will buy another if this one ever gives out
     
  4. ncraft150

    ncraft150 Buckeye-Basser

    Durangos are horrible on gas milage. Im a Ford man and had a Ranger with the 4.0 v6 and it towed awesome but had trouble braking. I think youd probably be happier with the Trail Blazer. These trucks where designed to tow. I know a handful of people with them and they all love them. You dont see to many people towing with Jeeps, but they have a stong history.
     
  5. Lewzer

    Lewzer Powderfinger

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    My wife has an '02 Trailblazer. Modular assembly. If a $2 part goes bad, you're spending $1000 to replace the entire assembly rather than the $2 part.
    We will not be buying another one. I do like the truck. The straight 6 has good power and tows very easily.

    Go for a pickup. There are alot cheaper than a SUV, better built, w/a V-8 and decent gas milage.
     
  6. flounder

    flounder 2 min 30 sec from Hoover

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    "Durangos are horrible on gas milage"

    I will agree that the hemis are horrible on gas. I have the smaller 4.7 v8 in my 04 Durango and can squeeze out 20-22 mpg on the highway at 70-75 mph with an average city and highway while towing 1500 lbs around 19.5.

    As far as towing with this engine it's not bad for anything under 3500 - 4000 pounds. Over that and you would be pushing it. The frame and suspension hold up well the engine is just a little under powered for that weight.

    Hope this helps....
     
  7. stcroixjoe

    stcroixjoe (stcroixjoe)

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    my wife had a 2002 escape and we just traded it in on a 04 explorer she loves it the explorer has a 6 in it and it has alot of power and great mpg it rides nice and alot more room just my 2 cents.....
     
  8. carxman17

    carxman17 cincinnati fishaholic

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    for my money the durango is your best bet for midsize suv it has bigger eng. more power than the others more room also. gas mileage is not the best but all around best suv. I work on cars for living and find very few problems with durangos. are you looking new or used? the new ones have a lifetime warranty on powertrain. and are much bigger than the 2003 & olders. I guess you have to go with what you feel most cofortable with. just my 2 cents.
     
  9. I really have no experience with towing with any of the mentioned vehicles. I do however know someone that had an Explorer (not quite sure of the year - early 2000's) and they had some tranny problems with one of the transmissions they used. Be sure, if looking at an Explorer, the the trans. has a dipstick. The year he had, trans fluid had to be checked and topped off under the vehicle and required a special pump to add/change fluid. When his tranny went out, he took it to a reputable trans shop and they toild him Ford had roblems with that particular trans.!
     
  10. SwollenGoat

    SwollenGoat Scourge of Hoover

    Don't care much for the small/mid-sized SUV's. Built too much like a car and not enough like a truck. Still, if I were forced to pick one I'd go with the trailblazer. There are several Erie fisherman on here that tow good sized boats that swear by them.
     
  11. ncraft150

    ncraft150 Buckeye-Basser

    Ford recommends a larger tranny cooler while towing on the v6 explorers and rangers. Most people dont do this. I found out after I trashed a tranny. As soon as I got the ranger I used to have the first thing I did was make the tranny cooler upgrade. I towed bass boats for 8 or 9 years with that truck and never had a tranny problem. If you go with the explorer upgrade the tranny cooler before you tow!!

    I agree with Lewzer on the pickup. I upgraded to a f150 and my gas milage is averaging 6 mpg better than any of my rangers ever did. Bigger motor and 4x4 with a ton more room.
     
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  13. Have the best of both worlds and go with an F150 SuperCrew. I've got an 03 and LOVE IT!!! this truck is awesome.......I can load the wife, 2 kids in and head to Lowe's!

    Only drawback is the 5.5' bed - but then again, it's never been a problem for me.......I don't haul long lumber, if I do - my father in law has a trailer I use.

    You can get an 03 4x4 for about $17,000 now........there was one on www.downtownford.com - don't know if it's still there.
     
  14. Had a All-Wheel drive explorer with a 302. What a Gas hog! Stepped up to a expedition with a 5.4 and love it. Had a 01 off-road with a 5.4 and loved it. Now Im driving a 06 half ton Ford with 4.6 and hate it! The years between 98-01, Ford made quality trucks but everything went to #$*! in 02. If you dont plan on buying new, look for the one owner trucks. Not old leases! People tend to take better care of there own rides!
     
  15. We just bought a 2001 Durango, and as mentioned before the gas mileage is not that good. We average 14-16 mpg city and 18 highway.

    We drove a lot of SUVs and this was our choice even with the low mpg. It seems bigger inside then the others we drove, pulls very well, and I like the way the suspension is firm like a pickup instead of driving like a towncar.

    If you go with a used Durango make sure you check out the air condtioning. The tubes for air run right over the manifold which really makes the ac work hard. Listen to the blower motor and check out how cold it gets.

    Good Luck in whatever you buy.
     
  16. Hummer H2, you will have no problem launching anywhere lol
     
  17. KaGee

    KaGee Monkeywrench Staff Member

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    No doubt! You need to be an oil sultan to be able to afford it!
     
  18. triton175

    triton175 STX 206 Viper

    I love my Explorer Sport Trac. You get the interior room of a SUV with the bed (small) of a truck. Tows well with the 4.0 V6.
    Brian
     
  19. Wouldn't ya know it, I get done bragging about my Durango and the ignition coil goes out......guess I should of knocked on wood.

    Still my vote goes to the Durango......for now.....lol
     
  20. Brakes Brakes Brakes.

    I have a dodge 2004 4X4 and it tows great but the breaks are REALLY soft on a big load - if you don't have really beefy brakes get something with trailer brakes.