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  #21  
Old 07-15-2014, 11:22 AM
gweaver gweaver is offline
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What about a Dodge Durango. Small SUV, 4Runner size, but with a V8. Or as someone mentioned, the Grand Cherokee V8. Although I recall the straight-6 has decent power.
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  #22  
Old 07-15-2014, 12:06 PM
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homer12 homer12 is offline
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I vote Cherokee (classic or Grand) or 4-runner. Wranglers aren't safe for teen IMHO.

How much did you want to tow? My '99 Cherokee with 4.0L straight six could tow my in-laws smaller Bayliner no problem. Probably 3,500lbs of weight.
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  #23  
Old 07-15-2014, 12:20 PM
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Thrall Thrall is offline
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4runners are grossly overpriced, always IMO.
I know several people who have/had Trailblazers and it's about 50/50 pos to good vehicle.
Don't buy a 6k Exploder.
6cyl Grand Cherokee, or Durango if you can find one. Most Durangos seem thrashed for some reason, maybe the types of folks that buy them??? I dunno.
Or look for a Honda SUV. Don't seem as overpriced as Yotas.
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  #24  
Old 07-15-2014, 05:41 PM
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SJ. SJ. is offline
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I'm in the same boat (you like that? ). My son will start out driving a '97 Toyota Landcruiser for a couple years. They can be found in your price range and fit everything on your list, which looks exactly like my list.
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  #25  
Old 07-16-2014, 06:30 AM
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trickskier trickskier is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Footin View Post
Trailblazer/Envoy, I have had three of them. Great cars and pretty darn good tow vehicles.
My sister in law has a GMC Arcadia - Great vehicle!
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  #26  
Old 07-16-2014, 07:39 AM
ChandlerR ChandlerR is offline
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I'm in the same boat with a daughter getting ready to get her license. After watching my son destroy two nice vehicles I wanted something cheap, but reliable for her to get her feet wet can prove she can be a good driver, but then if something did happen we wouldn't lose too much.
I started my search more than 6 months in advance since good clean used vehicles are few and hard to come by. Used car lots make me puke.
So one day I took off on a motorcycle ride on a Sunday morning and two blocks from my house was a 2005 Ford Escape sitting in a driveway with a FS sign on it. It passed the sniff test so I knocked on the door to get the details. Was a one owner, 34,000 miles and a local car. They were asking 6K, but we agreed on $ 5500. It's a great little first car and for the last several months I've been driving it to work and putting the truck in the garage. Insurance isn't bad either.
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  #27  
Old 07-17-2014, 02:25 PM
Upnorth07 Upnorth07 is offline
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x100 on a 4Runner. 1996 - 2002s are reliable, safe and somewhat economical. 5000lb towing capacity and seating for 5. Don't be scared by 150,000+ miles. Change the fluids/belts/filters and enjoy for another 150,000+ worry free. We've had many going back to 1988.
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  #28  
Old 07-17-2014, 02:51 PM
willg willg is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Footin View Post
Trailblazer/Envoy, I have had three of them. Great cars and pretty darn good tow vehicles.
I was going to suggest this, but buy a Saab 9-7x. Same car, just better looking and usually more optioned out. Plus they are cheaper than their chevy/gmc twins. V8 ones get airbags in the back for towing.
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  #29  
Old 07-28-2014, 02:26 PM
Jason.H. Jason.H. is offline
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You can get a used Tahoe/Yukon for same price as trailblazer. I bought out 2002 Tahoe 4x4 for 5500 bucks and its been the best vehicle we have owned. Clean car fax, one owner, leather and sunroof, and everything still works. High mileage at 170k but the 5.3 will last forever and I did all the maint. stuff on it myself.
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  #30  
Old 07-28-2014, 04:00 PM
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205er 205er is offline
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Looks like most of the posters here are into SUVs. We have a 2003 Tahoe and it's a great tow vehicle, but it's a big $$ shock when you have to fill up. I agree with the comment about a Legacy or Outback for a girl's first car. Not as good on gas mileage as cars like a Civic or other small sedans, but they have good crash ratings and the all-wheel drive makes them handle well in rain and snow.
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