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Windy City Walleye Hunter

Looking for Car Info

22 posts in this topic

Hey FM'ers,

I don't usually post on this topic and I am not sure if it is the right one but it seemed like the most relavant. I have a full size conversion van that I use to tow my boat (18 foot Lund Alaskan with a 40 Merc 4 stroke). I usually keep my trips short (50 miles or less) except for my once a year vacation to MN (650 miles). I am looking to replace my full size van (12 mpg) with something that can get around 20-25 mpg so I can use it for work. I am a large person (6'2" and 300+) so I need some room. I want to buy new. Any suggestions on cars, SUV's, etc that would fit the bill? Looking to keep it on the cheap as well (under 25K).

Windy

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windy, if you scroll through the pages here you will find several posts on fuel economy for several different makes and models.

Half ton mileage survey

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Thanks Airjer,

I looked thru and saw mostly trucks. I should have said this in my original post but I was trying to steer clear of trucks. Would like to go into a car/suv/crossover if possible and stay in the 20-25 mpg range. The reason I put so much detail into my boat description was to let people know that I won't be towing a huge load. I think my boat goes at around 750 lbs plus the motor. I am not even sure if this is a possibility but thought I would throw it out to the people in the know!

Windy

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Really a tough combination to come by, most vans will get in the mid 20's for milage but I would not pull your boat with it. However a Gmc Acadia will meet your towing needs, max up to 4500 lbs. From what I am hearing our customers are getting 18-24 mpg true milage. A Fwd Sle will list for right around 32,000 invoice will be about 30,000. Right now there is a 500 rebate. We are not a Saturn dealer but they have they have the Outlook which is the same vehicle for them. There pricing will be a little less though. I would give either one of these a shot. See what you think.

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Yeah, you aren't going to find any full size trucks that get that kind of mileage. I would consider one of the crossovers mentioned or maybe a dodge magnum (23 on the hwy with the hemi, better with the smaller engines)? There's not a ton out there that fit in your paramters.

Good Luck!

CJH

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From what I have seen the only thing 'new' that comes close would be a Nissan Xtera. I think if you look slightly used you will have better luck meeting your price range.

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That sounds good guys. If I was going to bump up the price a little which cars/crossovers/suv would you recommend? I got the Nissan Xtera and the Dodge Magnum on the radar screen already. Thanks for all the help, keep it coming!

Windy

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Another option would be to leave the boat at home and rent one here. What does it cost to drive the can with the boat behind beween here and there? Sure it's nice to have your own rig, but maybe not when you have to start squeezing the nickels.

I often wonder whether a guy could set up a business in the Twin Cities and Duluth and rent out boats at either end. Seems like all you see on that drive are boats going up and boats going back. Back when the red Lund's were the norm I swear you would see at least one every mile going the opposite direction.

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Windy with all that big city money you brag about making, I'd think you'd be looking for a Lexus or Benz SUV... GMC is something us slum dwellers here in MN might consider.

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Chevy Equinox, Ford Edge and Ford Escape look like they would work.

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Look strongly at a Chevy Astro Van in AWD. Depending on the gearing, they'll pull 4500-5000lbs (according to the specs), get 20+mgs (not while towing), and have more cubic foot storage capacity than a suburban (again, according to specs). As much as I would hate the fact that I would drive a van, you can find them very cheaply on the used market, and they are decent vehicles. I'll probably be getting one this spring.

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Tom,

I already crunched the numbers and it is costing me to keep it. The problem is we have about 25 family members who make the trip so we end up packing that boat full. I don't think we could make the trip w/o our "extended trunk" LOL

Lawdog,

How do you think we stay so wealthy. Not blowing it on a commodity that loses 20% of it's value upon taking ownership and declines from there. Spend money where it makes money. Save money on the things that don't! Double LOL

Kwhol,

Thanks for the tips, those have caught my eye also. Do they have the necessary towing capacity?

Windy

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I would steer away from the equinox. I had one for a rental and it seemed they took all of the worst attributes of a mini van and a suv and put them into one package IMO.

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Hate to say it but the equinox and the ford escape will be both underpowered and the gas milage is not there. it is not terrible at about 20. But you can find a bigger vehicle that will do the same.

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I sat in an Equinox and was not impressed, like I said before I am supersized!

Windy

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Thought a little more about this and came up with a few more options for you. All of these can tow a few thousand pounds, so you should be alright with them (double check your weight on everything before you buy). All of these get in the 20's on the highway (some better than others):

Subaru Outback

Jeep Liberty

Nissan Murano

Jeep Grand Cherokee (v6)

Ford Explorer (v6)

Hope this helps! All of these you should be able to find and test drive relatively easily. The Outback and Liberty might be a little tight for you, but I would think the other ones would be fine.

I wish I got more mileage out of my Durango, but dang I love the hemi!!

CJH

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Windy,

I am going to try to get you close. I have a 2006 Chevy Trailblazer. I am getting in the upper teens on a tank of gas. I am about 5' 11" and 265 and sit in it very comfortably. Towing capacity is 6000+ if I remember right. I bought mine in Oct of '06 with 8900 miles on it for $18,500 off an auction lot.

I was in the same position as you as far as budget, need for room in the drivers seat, etc... I also am a salesman who drives 23K miles a year so I needed decent mileage while getting the ability to tow and be a little reasonable on the gas. I could not find what made me happy so I stretched my expectations on mileage and ended up very happy with my purchase. I hauled 4 guys, gear, boat, supplies, etc. up to Canada fishing last year and we were comfortable. We also have never been short on power. I eased out of boat ramps other larger vehicles struggled with.

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My wife is driving an '04 Trailblazer right now (for about another two weeks probably...). Its the extended three row seating unit which rides much better than the regular one, but I've never been at all happy with the gas mileage. Its been my biggest complaint. For a 5 cylinder engine to get basically V-8 mileage I don't like it. The Tahoe or Suburban we will replace it with will get basically the same MPG's...

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Lawdog,

The EXT you have in '04 was rated for up to 3MPG less on the hwy then the two seat version. It would certainly explain some of the difference. For what it is worth, the current ratings are 15 city and 21 hwy for the two seater and 15 city and 20 hwy for the EXT.

Windy,

good luck with the search. If you tear apart the pro and cons of these cars like you did the TV's a couple of months ago you will no doubt find what you are looking for.

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Mitsubishi Endeavor AWD is another choice. Wife drives one and she loves it. Gets great mpg and can tow 3500#. Very smooth and fun to drive. I wanted an Explorer but she wanted this but i have been happy with it. Same in size to a Honda piolet. I test drove a trailblazer ext and hated everything about it but there are plennty of people that must like em. I have plennty of room in it but i am 6'2" and 205 lbs so hard to say if you would feel the same.

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Wow,

Thanks everybody! Now that is the kind of info I knew I could expect from FM. I still think I got the best deal in the world on my big screen TV, I have not seen anything close since and I do watch, so the new car should be no problema with all this advice. I will do my homework and be ready when the Mrs. is ready to pull the trigger. She has to give up on her old baby first an 01 Malibu with about 65K on it. Probably looking in the next year or two. I might even stop by some dealers and take some of these for a test spin.

Windy

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I think you need to be looking at a PU truck with a diesel. Those 4 door cabs with a 6.5 bed are sweet.

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