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Old 12-04-2014, 01:14 AM   #1
tkitna OP
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Vehicle for Son

I need to get another vehicle. My son has his license and drives the Accord around all the time. Bottom line is, I'm driving my 2500 HD truck 100 miles a day to and from work. Not working out real well.

Here's the choices and I'm trying to keep it right around the 5K range.

2001 Chevy Blazer - 117K for 5,000
2004 Isuzu Rodeo - 116K for 6,000
2007 Kia Sportage - 75K (New Arrival so don't know price yet) 2.7 v6
2003 Dodge Durango - 59K (No Price Yet)

Here's the deal, our friend owns the car lot and I can probably get a deal on whatever I buy. The Durango is just a something I might talk the wife into and then let the boy drive her Tahoe around that has 120K on it. Durango probably will not happen.

Which one out of the first three would you take or have experience with? I really don't want the Blazer, but I haven't checked it out yet. I'll drive all three before deciding.
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Old 12-04-2014, 05:03 AM   #2
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I had the early Honda Passport, which was just a rebadged Rodeo. I do not have good thoughts about it. It ate brake rotors and used oil like a Saudi tanker.

I know it's not on your list, but I bought my 16 y.o. son a 97 4Runner with 180K miles on it for $3500. He drove it for 3 years and when we sold it, it had 235K miles and we got $3500 for it. That thing never missed a beat. He still wishes he kept it.
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Old 12-04-2014, 05:39 AM   #3
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Rodeo = Not Good - we have one in our fleet at work and it spends a lot of time in the shop. Friends who have owned them were not happy.

I don't think I'd go for the Dodge either.

Old Blazer may be trouble - no experience with Kia but friends who own them seem to like them.

Toyota Tacoma pickups are nearly indestructible if you can find one and hold their value well.
One of my friends bought his daughter a Chevy Colorado pickup and has been pretty pleased with it. They tend to be much less expensive than the Toyotas.
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Old 12-04-2014, 06:25 AM   #4
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Personally I'd stay away from the Isuzu and the Kia. Older Kias do have issues and not really good build quality, same goes for Isuzu.

As much as you don't like it, I'd lean to the Chevy first followed by the Dodge. Primarily because parts are cheap as dirt for the Chevy and anyone should be able to repair it. I assume the Blazer has the 4.3L v6. It may not be the most efficient mill out there, but its pretty robust and fixes are readily available on the net for anything that could go wrong. Of course, being that old, anything is a roll of the dice to some degree.

Good luck on the purchase.
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Old 12-04-2014, 07:47 AM   #5
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Gas mileage in the Blazer and reliability of the dodge are questionable. No experience with the others. I'm a Ford guy but if it were my kid with that budget and had to be a reliable 4x4 I would vote '00ish 4Runner also. Pretty hard to beat.
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Old 12-04-2014, 08:36 AM   #6
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I'm a fan of the Dodge Dakota/Durango platform, fuel economy is not very good and automatic transmissions are suspect (I got a '01 Dakota with a clutch) but otherwise they're a good value for the money.

If it were me I'd pass on all of them, 'specially the Kia and Rodeo. There's better $5K vehicles out there.
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Old 12-04-2014, 08:53 AM   #7
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Sorry, I wouldn't buy any of them... get the young fella an early 2000s Honda Civic or Corolla...
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Old 12-04-2014, 09:30 AM   #8
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doesn't seem like your buddy is giving you much of a deal if those are the prices your looking at.....
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Old 12-04-2014, 09:37 AM   #9
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I'd pass on all of them. Unless you're buying his gas for him too, he's going to get a reality check if he goes from an accord to an older SUV. The durango and blazer are gas hogs, and the other two are junk. I'd go with a more fuel efficient older Japanese car. Toyotas and Hondas last, and everybody works on them if they do break.
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Old 12-04-2014, 09:52 AM   #10
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We had an 03 Durango at work. It was second only to our S10 as the shortest lived vehicle in the fleet. Despite professional routine maintenance the engine and transmission were toast by 150k miles. It was also second only to our 4x4 Titan for the worst mileage in our fleet. It was comfortable, a good size and nice to drive. But it fell apart.

Of course, that was hard commercial use. But we are talking male child here.........
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Old 12-04-2014, 09:57 AM   #11
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My fatherly advice...

First son we got him a 2001 Jeep Cherokee Sport. Pretty reliable, easy to work on and bad 18 MPG.

Boy #2 who just got his license last week got a 2004 Mazda 3. Reliable, sporty (but not too fast) and good 28MPG.

As for the cars on the list, I would keep looking. 4 banger japanese cars followed by small japanese trucks.

Or get a classic late 60's pickup and work on it together.
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Old 12-04-2014, 10:11 AM   #12
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Out of that list I would go with the chevy because anyone with half a brain can still work on it. If it's a 4.3 it will have plinth of power. Gas millage should be mid to high teens. If the water pump has not been replaced it will be soon. And it should have has a set of intake gaskets by now if not they will need to be done soon as well. They always leak out the back of the motor when they blow.

Both are easy jobs. That should have been done around 75k, MG up dated the gaskets and once replaced they don't fail as bad.

Older Toyota hold their value and are good trucks. Gas millage won't be much better. Nissans get crap millage. And the insurance is higher on them. Cars an trucks.

Look for another small car? Also regular cab short wheel base chevy of the late 90s and early 2000s can be has Farley cheep and get high teens in gas millage.
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Old 12-04-2014, 11:42 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by max384 View Post
I'd pass on all of them. Unless you're buying his gas for him too, he's going to get a reality check if he goes from an accord to an older SUV. The durango and blazer are gas hogs, and the other two are junk. I'd go with a more fuel efficient older Japanese car. Toyotas and Hondas last, and everybody works on them if they do break.
+1 as a kid my best friend had an Explorer and even with gas being 1/gallon it sucked and we'd take my 35-40 MPG Nissan if we had to go any real distance. We'd save enough to get a few Mt dews or chicken mcnuggets....oh to be a kid again and have those as your major expenses
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Old 12-04-2014, 11:52 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NikonsAndVStroms View Post
+1 as a kid my best friend had an Explorer and even with gas being 1/gallon it sucked and we'd take my 35-40 MPG Nissan if we had to go any real distance. We'd save enough to get a few Mt dews or chicken mcnuggets....oh to be a kid again and have those as your major expenses
Gas was about a dollar a gallon when I started driving in the late 90s, and I still could barely afford gas with a vehicle that got 30 mpg. I remember cleaning out my change tray and putting less than $0.50 in gas in at a time on many occasions.

Of course, what I saved in gas at that time I payed for in car insurance. Now my insurance premiums are far lower, but I pay much more for gas. Guess I didn't really come out ahead!
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Old 12-04-2014, 12:58 PM   #15
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Of those listed, I'd go with the blazer. Parts are readily available, the 4.3 V6 engine will run a long time, and the transmissions usually hold up a bit longer. Just about every single part of it is sitting on the shelf at a parts store, which is really nice.

The rodeo will need a transmission within the first year you buy it. The GM 4L30E slushbox is just Dexron coated scrap metal. It will likely have the 3.2 engine, and will, as mentioned earlier, use a lot of oil, but should, in general, keep running. You should check the timing belt on that one. And be prepared for strange electrical gremlins, and be prepared to wait a week for a part to show up.

I don't know much about the Kia Sportage. I do know the older ones are few and far between.

The only thing I know about the Durango is the horrible mileage they tend to get.

I'd look for your son a Corolla. High 30's gas mileage, parts are cheap and easy to get, dependable, inexpensive tires, and tends to fly under the radar as far as law enforcement is concerned.

Or you could get him one of these. Gets 48 MPG. And gets attention from all the ladies.


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