Need a new SUV

I am replacing an ancient Jeep Cherokee. All seats except the driver’s have been removed to increase space. For search and rescue, I need 4-wheel drive and space for three bloodhounds. Dependability is a big factor. Suggestions? I am leaning toward a Toyota 4Runner.

If you need an SUV and real off road and towing 4wd, and reliability, the 4 Runner IMO, would be one of the best candidates. They are certainly much more spacious and reliable then the older Jeep. Mine is an 04, is on it’s original battery, one brake job and has had one warranty covered repair job for a position indicator switch. This, other then routine maintenance.

I have a neighbor who had a 4 Runner with 300k she needed to replace. She has several dogs too. She replaced it with a Tacoma Crew cab with a cap on back for the dogs. It saved her several thousand dollars in purchase price. Just a thought.

Are you the guy named Rich from the TV show Mountain Men? He has an old Jeep named Wilbur that he talks about replacing…and he takes his three bloodhounds out regularly to track mountain lions and wolves…

Guys, doesn’t this sound like a post from @RobertGift . . . ?!

No, Robert drives an Explorer.

I think the pickup with cap is a good idea - positively stella. I’d look at a 4WD F150 or 1500 Silverado. But the 4Runner is a good choice, too. With the SUV, you might need a wire mesh wall to keep the dogs in the back.

But it is the kind of question @RobertGift would ask

"Robert drives an Explorer."

I thought that he drove an Expedition.
I’m sure that he will be back soon with another question, and we will find out at that time.

Robert drives an Expedition 100 miles an hour. The dogs would get very upset at that speed.

The dogs are trying to tell him to slow down . . .

Robert gets more air time not asking questions then some who do…

I still like the half ton pickup. I should probably flag you for being off topic.

Do it and be done with it.

But at least tell that you did it.

I just flagged @TimNice for abuse and said it was me.

I wasn’t serious about flagging. And I would send you a private message with an explanation of why I did it.

Back to the original question.

I have an 05 4runner and it’s and excellent truck. But I’m not all that thrilled with the new 4runner. It’s a LOT bigger then my 05. It’s about the size the the 05 Sequoia. But if it’s same quality as the 4th generation Toyota’s it should be very reliable. I heard they fixed the front caliper problem that’s plagued the 4th generation for years. I’m now on my 5th set of front calipers. Vehicle only has 240k miles.

How about that ugly FJ cruiser ?
I’ve never been in one but wern’t they initially intended for off road use ? ( sort of a Landrover competitor )
I’ve seen some with deep water snorkels, sealed body holes and all, kinda like the deep water hummers.

@kengreen The FJ is a tough machine, but does not have much useful space inside. Besides, it has a brutal ride. Neighbors across the street have a kid visiting their son. He has one in silver, and my wife asked me: “Who would want to drive something that ugly?”.

Agree, like the original Jeep, it has great off-road capabilities, but that’s where it ends.

“like the original Jeep, it has great off-road capabilities, but that’s where it ends.”


For reasons that I will never understand, while people will almost always understand that…let’s say…a Buick Electra…is not suited to off-road duty, those same people frequently think that a Jeep or an FJ Cruiser is well-suited to daily driving on roads & highways.

Vehicles are optimized for a specific set of conditions.
Most sedans, coupes, cross-overs, (and some SUVs) are optimized for normal street and highway driving, and will not do well off-road.
Conversely, Jeeps & FJ Cruisers are optimized for rough, off-road use, and will not serve well as a daily driver on regular streets & roads.

However, it appears that most Jeep & FJ Cruiser drivers never take their vehicles off-road, and wind up with a vehicle that is…compromised…for normal street & highway driving.

Right @VDC and others. I was considering an FJ when a salesman promised me up and down it was every bit as good as my previous generation 4Runner. Bull ! It may be great off road but it was very noisy, even with the same motor as the 4Runner and was like driving in a cave the view out was so poor. Yes, they look cool, like a Jeep, but I was totally unimpressed, like a Jeep Wrangler. The storage in the FJ is marginal too for anyone but diehard off roads. This and the Yaris are two perfect examples of how a good car company (Toyota) can make their share of dogs. (no reference intended and I apologize to dogs)