Alright, I’m looking for input/suggestions for my next vehicle. Some quick background… My first vechicle, a 1996 GMC Jimmy SLE 4x4 is finally out of commission and I’ve been driving my parents extra vehicle (1998 Chevrolet Venture) for the past 9 months. It’s time to purchase my next vehicle, but without everyone’s help it may take another 2 years before I make up my mind. The only things I’ve been able to decide upon is that I need something with AWD/4x4, I like my cargo space, and it’ll have to be something used around 2005ish. Currently the frontrunner is a Subaru Outback, which I like because of the fuel efficiency, cargo room, AWD, and likely lower insurance rates compared to an SUV/truck. My hesitation is that it isn’t the coolest vehicle for a 25 year old singleish male and that it won’t quite have the off-road capability that I was used to with my Jimmy. Other than daily driving the vehicle needs to be able to haul mountain bikes, camping gear, get me to backcountry camping sites on unmaintained gravel/dirt roads, and perform well in the occasional snow and ice. I’m open to wagon, hatchback, SUV, and trucks (likely w/regular cab and short wheel base). Currently the runner up appears to be a Nissan Xterra of which I’ve driven a 2002 on a semi-serious test drive. Perhaps the biggest hang up with the Subaru is that they’re few and far betwwen in this part of the country and I would likely have to make the 2005ish purchase without having first made a test drive (closest Subaru dealer is an hour away and the oldest Outback they have is a 2010). Any help/suggestions/new introductions to my search will be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
I had a 2005 xterra that I bought new. I really liked it, but it was so bad on gas. You could see the gas gauge moving. I had several problems with it, at 30k it needed a new timing chain and some other stuff at the dealer for a week. I bought a 2009 pilot which is bigger and rides better and is much better on fuel.
Good luck with your search.
. You could see the gas gauge moving. I had several problems with it, at 30k it needed a new timing chain and some other stuff at the dealer for a week.
30k and needed a new timing chain??? Did you ever change the oil?? Timing chains should easily last 250k miles…
I bought a 2009 pilot which is bigger and rides better and is much better on fuel.
Something wasn’t right with your Xterra…the EPA ratings for the Pilot and the XTerra are within 1mpg of each other.
My xterra was maintained by the book. I wasn’t the only person that had a problem with the timing chain, it was a known problem. I’ve talked to other xterra owners and we all had the same issue regarding mileage.
No question. Toyota Tacoma.
I would also vote for the Toyota Tacoma - my husband drives one and we love it. And sadly, I have to say don’t get the Subaru - they aren’t as good as they used to be. I still own my '96 and I still love it, but I went looking at the 2011 Outbacks and did some research, which led me to decide to keep my current car and hope that things get better or buy something else. Actual mileage won’t be that much better than a Tacoma, and unless you drive a lot won’t make a big difference. You will still have the off-road capability too.
I’ve had several Tacos and liked them, but would be hard pressed to get the same mileage as an Outback. Having said that, your (OP) instincts appear to go with a dealer closer at hand if service is a big deal. IMO, with cars that I plan to have dealer serviced, it would enter into the decision as much as the make itself. I feel Subarus though are better then they use to be.
In reality, Outbacks have NO off road capability. If that’s in your use profile, and a Toyota dealer is closer, then Tacoma is the best way to go.