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Which do I want?

I own a 2004 Pontiac Grand Prix GT 3.8 4dr. with 108,000 Miles and have a chance to buy a family members 1 owner 1997 Cheverolet F1500 4WD Pickup, step side with 38,000 miles. condition on both are Very Good. The Truck gets 17MPG and the Car gets 21MPG. Do I keep the higher milage car or do I buy the Lower milage pickup comparing the longterm maintenance and MPG comparison.

I’d keep the newer car unless you have a frequent need for the pickup truck. 7 years is a lot older, and that low of miles (less than 3,000 miles per year) is actually a negative, maintenance is often a problem.

Agree with texases…The newer car has more life left then the older. Even if the motor and trans have more miles, it’s newer, safer and will have greater parts life. Mileage is not as much a consideration when it comes time to repair the most valuable component in a vehicle…the body. Trucks are notoriously more rust prone and the car will be worth more to trade. Do the repairs as they come. It’s cheaper with the car in the long run.

But too, it’s like Tex says and use dependent as well. If you have a need and it’s not used for traveling much distance, I can see a truck advantage too…more info about driving habits might be the decider.

I can't answer your question but I can suggest that you don't worry as much about the miles or years on the car as I would worry about the way the car was serviced.  Yea, I know that it is often not possible to really know, but just keep in mind that lack of proper preventative maintenance is likely to cause far more wear and damage than the number of miles or years.

Since this is a family truck, you might get a straight answer out of the current owner. If you think the 1500 Chevy was well taken car of, then it might be worth it. If you like trucks and are willing to put up with the reduced mileage. Unless you are very familiar with the truck and owner, I’d get an independent evaluation by a 3rd party mechanic.

The maintenance on the 4WD truck will be higher than you are spending now on the Grand Prix. You have 2 differentials, and a transfer case that all need fluid changes periodically. With only 38K miles on the truck it likely has not had things like fluid changes in the past since it was so lightly used. That isn’t good, so if you get the truck figure on getting every fluid in it changed, brakes, power steering, transmission, transfer case, front differential, rear differential, and coolant. Unless the previous owner can document (actual reciepts) don’t assume any of these things were done in the past.

I really don’t see any advantage to the truck unless a pick up fits your current needs for transportation better than the Grand Prix. Tires for the truck are expensive, and you may be surprised at the cost of new tires. Light truck tires are pricey and they don’t last much more than 30K miles before needing replacement. Stick with the car you know, unless you have a real need for a PU truck.

Thanks for all the great responces, Looks like keeping the car is the way to go…

the 3.8L v6 in your car is one of GM’s better achievements, so motor on happily