New vehicle thoughts

H’okay. The time has come to get serious with my search for a new truck. Daily driver, weekend warrior, etc. I believe I’ve narrowed it down to three (four?) vehicles- none of which I’ve even driven yet. I think I’m pretty settled on a wagon (more on that in a bit); for budget I’d like to keep it under $10 but I can push it a little for the right vehicle.

What’s it need to do?

-Get me back and forth to work every day, ~45 miles mixed city/highway round trip. Fuel mileage would be cool, but there isn’t a truck I’m looking at that can do much better than the low 20s at best on the highway anyway.

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-Be safe, reliable, and not a money sucker on maintenance for the next 4-5 years minimum. Probably average 15k miles a year. It’s going to need to transport my wife and I, dog, gear, and future kiddos.

-And of course, be capable of some wheeling. Now I have to be honest with myself, I’m not doing to shit I used to. I’m not taking this thing to the offroad park and beating on it, and I don’t need it to be able to do the Rubicon. I do want to be able to confidently tackle some decent trails though.

1) GMT800 Tahoe/Yukon

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This guy’s setup is perfect. ARB, 2" lift, 295s.

Pros: Cheap to buy, cheap to lift.. just some Z71 coils and spacers in the back, torsion bar crank up front. It’s also a LS, parts are anywhere and everywhere and cheap. Plenty of room inside, enough motor to pull a real trailer with toys on it (7700lb towing IIRC). Like driving a big couch down the road. Cons: Well, it’s like driving a big couch down the road. I’ve never driven a Tahoe, but plenty of 1500 and 2500 GMT800s to get the gist of it. Not a deal breaker, but something I’ll have to get used to. Also, limited aftermarket support, everyone has one, and it comes without any offroad-assisting traction devices of any kind.

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On paper, it’s everything that’s necessary. They come in at the lower end of my budget and that leaves room for a few mods right off the bat.

2) 4th Gen 4Runner

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Pros: Well, it’s a Toyota. The 4.0 V6 is great, and 2UZ is great too. Plenty of aftermarket. ATRAC standard. Will walk the Tahoe off road every day of the week. Cons: It’s a Toyota.. Rust and that Toyota tax are the two biggest hurdles. It’s a bit smaller, but not a deal breaker. It’s still a good size for me. Third row isn’t necessary. They’re hard to find in the combo of low miles/low rust/good condition for my budget. In fact, the pricing of these drives my next choice...

3) LC100/LX470

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These are available by me for under $12 easily. A few for $8-9k with under 150k miles. Definitely something to take my time and find a good deal on. With all the raves about this platform, it is something I don’t think I’d mind stretching my budget for. Pros: It’s a goddamn Land Cruiser. It’s the next logical step from the Disco. The Craigslist LXs look pretty clean. Cons: Higher entry price (obv) and potentially high maintenance costs.

Same space, power, and fuel mileage as the Tahoe. But it comes with ATRAC. But are the extra (unnecessary for all intents and purposes) luxury items, traction control, and some “Namplate Prestige” worth twice the purchase price of a Tahoe? I can add a rear locker to the Tahoe and still be well ahead on price of a LC/LX.

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4) Wild Card - 1st Gen (maybe 2nd too?) Tacoma Double Cab

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These are few and far between. Every once in a while one comes up ~$8k with a replaced frame. That’s the only way I’d buy one. 3rd gens are too much money, and I need a four door. Even so, these are usually pretty beat. My only thinking on this is the cab is small for kids+dog, and I’m not a fan of putting him in the bed, even with a cap.

So, what say you?

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