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SUV or Pickup, hybrid? renew the discussion

a puzzle with a special condition. I intend to move to Seattle area from CO, with some stuff to haul, and I am always carrying sports gear (bicycles, gym bags and rowing gear). I have a 24’ long, lightweight rowing shell, to put on a sling/rack system on top (need that too), so the vehicle must be high/tall to get the boat well above avg car height. I also want reliability (loved my past Toyota cars) & fuel efficiency. Most interested in utility, rather than cushy. Can’t afford new. So, what’s the best choice on a gently used vehicle?

I’ve been looking at used Toyota Tundras and Tacomas, ext. cab for convenient cargo, with utility toppers for gear & rack system for boat. Love the straight up utility and height of a truck, but maybe fuel efficiency is a big tradeoff.

SUV hybrid? …love the fuel efficiency of a hybrid (I own a Prius now), but I’m told that hybrid vehicles won’t tow anything, so if I choose to haul stuff in my upcoming move, this is a downside. Paying a moving company will be thousands that I could put toward a vehicle.

SUV non-hybrid, cargo utility + tallness + towing capacity. Can I get everything I want in an SUV that’s as utilitarian as a truck? Seems there are more gently-used SUVs out there than well maintained trucks.

your valued opinions please!!
MountainCat

Used Toyota Sequoia. First year for the Sequoia was '01. I have an '01 and it is a great vehicle. If the previous owner(s) didn’t beat it, the Sequoia holds up really well.

Really you should able to get or rig up a rack to haul the long stuff.The good thing about an SUV is you may be able to find one with better gas mileage then most trucks(think mid 20’s rather then high teens)-Kevin

Depending upon how much you have to tow, I would recomend a RAV 4. An aluminum utility trailer will give you all the gear hauling you need. Sequoias are great, but it may be overkill and if you can’t afford a new car, you can’t afford to run one of these as an only car. If you can find a v6, it tows 3500 lbs, get good mileage, rides and handles very well. Toyota Tacoma trucks ride like crapola unless you are used to them or get a two wheel drive. Tundras are also comparative gas hogs in this day of 3.50 gas prices. Ravs with the rear seat down are very roomy for gear and bikes.

I would get nothing bigger then a car based compact Suv and alter my life style slightly, but not much. They are still extremely capable. Include a CRV, Forester or Rogue as well. A receiver hitch fit with an extension for putting very long items on the roof could stabilize your rowing shell. Hitch Could be used for bike rack too.

The only worthwhile hybrid is the “too expensive for what you get”, Hylander Hybrid. I would toss that idea out. I would not buy a very large vehicle just to move everything then have to live with this albatross the rest of the time.

The Rav4 with the V6 gets decent mpgs and decent light offroad potential, fast too. Worth it over the 4 cyl. to me.