Automotive

reliable used SUV for $14000?

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  • Aug 31st, 2011 5:01 pm
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Member
Mar 24, 2006
401 posts
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Chatham

reliable used SUV for $14000?

i'm looking for an used SUV, and have about $14000 to spent(before tax), what's RFDer's recommandation? reliable is the #1 choice
12 replies
Deal Addict
Jul 5, 2010
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qaz393 wrote:
Aug 31st, 2011 12:19 am
ML63 or Cayenne Turbo or X5M/X6M all other are underpowered pigs.

He said reliable. And on what planet can you get a Cayenne Turbo for $14k? Hell - any of those for $14k?
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Jun 18, 2004
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hehehaha wrote:
Aug 31st, 2011 12:12 am
i'm looking for an used SUV, and have about $14000 to spent(before tax), what's RFDer's recommandation? reliable is the #1 choice

For $14k you can get the 2006-7 Saturn VUE that had the 3.5l Honda V6 and trans. Looks ugly but reliability is OK.

Ford Escape is another one with pretty bad resale value but lots of choices on the market (a lot of them get sold to fleets). For $14k you might be able to get into a current gen (>2008) but I think the last gen is actually less problematic. If you can get one with FWD and stick it should be pretty good for reliability. Has some known problems but most of these are easy to catch and cheap to fix. I haven't even heard anything bad about the automatic trannies, but I just have a bad feeling about any Ford 4 speed FWD automatic.
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Jun 18, 2004
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If you don't mind the bad fuel economy the 2006-ish Jeep Liberty is also OK, it's a bit bigger than the others and you can get it with a 2 speed transfer case and all that cool offroad stuff or even a diesel engine but there are more parts to break. These are unfairly rated on reliability surveys because for that generation Chrysler used a bad window regulator that failed all the time, and there are 4 of them, so they end up with a higher absolute number of problems (today front window regulator broke, next month rear window regulator broke, etc) but AFAIK Chrysler eventually did a recall and used an improved part so it should be a non-issue going forward. There were already cheap aftermarket fixes for it anyway.
Sr. Member
Jun 2, 2010
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My family is on our 3rd pathfinder, and we have had tremendous luck with them and other Nissans.

Our 1995 pathfinder 4x4 with over 300,000km (speedo stopped working) has not needed a major repair other than the exhaust manifold that went a few years ago.

All parts are original (aside from brakes) and that truck still runs to this day, we use it as a farm truck. We upgraded because we wanted a newer vehicle.
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Jan 28, 2009
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Calgary
I love my 2002 Toyota Highlander. only ever had regular maintenance, runs great.
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May 9, 2007
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KawaiiTentacleBeast wrote:
Aug 31st, 2011 1:25 am
For $14k you can get the 2006-7 Saturn VUE that had the 3.5l Honda V6 and trans. Looks ugly but reliability is OK.

Ford Escape is another one with pretty bad resale value but lots of choices on the market (a lot of them get sold to fleets). For $14k you might be able to get into a current gen (>2008) but I think the last gen is actually less problematic. If you can get one with FWD and stick it should be pretty good for reliability. Has some known problems but most of these are easy to catch and cheap to fix. I haven't even heard anything bad about the automatic trannies, but I just have a bad feeling about any Ford 4 speed FWD automatic.

+1
The 3.5l honda powertrain was in the 04-07 models, i have an 05 and it's solid as a rock. I'm at 210K only replaced suspension all around and the rest was normal wear items (i.e. brakes,tires). I would recommend only looking at the 06-07 because the interior was much nicer in those years compared to 02-05. Plus since saturn is now defunct you can find them pretty cheap for what is at the core, a honda.
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Chev equinox...
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Mar 23, 2004
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qaz393 wrote:
Aug 31st, 2011 12:19 am
ML63 or Cayenne Turbo or X5M/X6M all other are underpowered pigs.
Oh yes and they are surely available for $14k :rolleyes:
Sr. Member
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Mar 7, 2009
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You can get a reliable SUV for less than 5k. I have a 1999 CRV still running superb with nearly 190k, only things done were fluid changes for the diff, oils, etc. As well as spark plugs, cables, brakes, and timing and water pump and 1 set of tires (also in need of replacement next year). Only issues as of now are suspension components, shocks have been worn out. Of course this car is 1 owner and not everyone cares the same. It's slow as a pig, but day to day it gets the job done, highway driving isn't an issue at all, and fuel economy is decent, around 9-14L depending on my mood the upper end being a fun cruise on twisty roads- handles very nice for a small SUV.

Near $15k you can get a Honda Pilot, Toyota Highlander, Honda CRV, Nissan Murano. Basically anything japanese your expecting solid reliability. Some say the Japan made Japanese are better than the US ones but I can't say there's a big difference.
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Nov 5, 2001
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Any GMT360 based product:

2002–2009 Chevrolet TrailBlazer
2002–2009 GMC Envoy
2002–2004 Oldsmobile Bravada
2003–2007 Isuzu Ascender
2004–2007 Buick Rainier
2005–2009 Saab 9-7X

Based on the Atlas LL8 engine (Vortec 4200) inline 6 engine. One of Wards best 10 engines for many years running. Also based on a truck style chassis, very solid compared to some of the 'cute utes' mentioned. Great torque and towing capacity if that is something you may need.

Tons of these available used with low milage from suburb drivers who now have econoboxes. $14k will get you mid 2000 under 75k fully loaded, especially in the USA.

Wife has a 2003 Envoy SLT, no problems except a bad starter ($230 changed myself), and a bad ac blower module. ($23 changed myself) Gets fairly good milage compared to a full sized truck or suv like a yukon.
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