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SUV peeps - What do you drive & love?

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  • SUV peeps - What do you drive & love?

    Our 1999 GMC K1500 Suburban SLT is now over 20 years old, been 240,000 miles and in the next few months needs new tires ($750), new calipers ($1250), timing belt ($450), etc. and we are now trying to decide whether it is best to put $3,000+ into our Suburban or to "upgrade" to a used 2009/2010 in the spring (assuming that we have the resources to do so).

    I've been driving Chevy/GMC Suburbans since 1977. So I am a bit predisposed to want the same thing - though was thinking a Tahoe/Yukon for this go round. But wanted to hear what others think of their SUVs. We are considering the Toyota Sequoa, Ford Expedition, Nissan Armada, GMC Yukon, & Chevy Tahoe. These all have the towing capacity to safely tow a load of hay or a bumper pull a standard 2-horse horse trailer.

    No, I will not buy a pick-up truck. So don't try to sell me on buying one. This is my primary vehicle, so If we do go this route (buying a used SUV) I'm getting what **I** want!

    So what do you drive and what do you like/dislike about it?
    ~~ How do you catch a loose horse? Make a noise like a carrot! - British Cavalry joke ~~

  • #2
    I wouldn't tow with it, but I love love LOVE Hyundai Santa Fe. My second Hyundai, been problem free thus far. A 53 yo coworker had an older Santa Fe and said it has been his favorite vehicle ever (he lost it in a divorce). Does towing need to be a requirement?
    COTH's official mini-donk enabler

    "I am all for reaching out, but in some situations it needs to be done with a rolled up news paper." Alagirl

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    • #3
      In September I traded my 2012 Tahoe LT in on a 2019 Toyota Sequoia Limited. I liked the Tahoe, but love the Sequoia. To me, the Sequoia is more user friendly, is finished of nicer and has more attention to detail. I like that there are more nooks and crannies for storage. The cargo floor on the Sequoia is much lower than the Tahoe's, and from what I read the total cargo capacity of the Sequoia (with the back two rows of seats folded down) is one cubic foot less than a Suburban's. The Sequoia has a 6 inch longer wheelbase than the Tahoe, and tows my little two horse as well as the Tahoe. The Sequoia's gas mileage isn't as good as the Tahoe's, but I'm doing better than the 13-17mpg than the manufacturer expects when not towing. The Sequoia is made in Princeton, Indiana.

      Good luck -- the only thing worse than car shopping is horse shopping!

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      • #4
        I know a few people who have been happy towing with the Ford Expedition.

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        • Original Poster

          #5
          Originally posted by TheJenners View Post
          I wouldn't tow with it, but I love love LOVE Hyundai Santa Fe. My second Hyundai, been problem free thus far. A 53 yo coworker had an older Santa Fe and said it has been his favorite vehicle ever (he lost it in a divorce). Does towing need to be a requirement?
          Our other vehicle is a Honda Crosstour (that we really love) that my husband drives to/from work. So yes, if we decide to replace Andrew (the 20 yo Suburban), it does need to tow a large load of hay or a bumper pull horse trailer.
          ~~ How do you catch a loose horse? Make a noise like a carrot! - British Cavalry joke ~~

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          • Original Poster

            #6
            Originally posted by Foxyrab View Post
            In September I traded my 2012 Tahoe LT in on a 2019 Toyota Sequoia Limited. I liked the Tahoe, but love the Sequoia. To me, the Sequoia is more user friendly, is finished of nicer and has more attention to detail. I like that there are more nooks and crannies for storage. The cargo floor on the Sequoia is much lower than the Tahoe's, and from what I read the total cargo capacity of the Sequoia (with the back two rows of seats folded down) is one cubic foot less than a Suburban's. The Sequoia has a 6 inch longer wheelbase than the Tahoe, and tows my little two horse as well as the Tahoe. The Sequoia's gas mileage isn't as good as the Tahoe's, but I'm doing better than the 13-17mpg than the manufacturer expects when not towing. The Sequoia is made in Princeton, Indiana.

            Good luck -- the only thing worse than car shopping is horse shopping!
            I've owned a Toyota before (a Toyota Celica back in the 1980s lol), but have never been in a Sequoia. They are more pricey used so we might have to go back a few years. But I think we should at least go look at one and drive it if possible, just to see what it is like.
            ~~ How do you catch a loose horse? Make a noise like a carrot! - British Cavalry joke ~~

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            • #7
              Just relaying my BO's experience.

              They purchased a new Tahoe about 4 years ago, wanting to haul with it. They got a tow package and sway bars to pull a 2 horse Hawk trailer with a dressing room. She hauled with it once and said never again (or maybe in an emergency). She struggled to keep the rig on the highway on a breezy day and she was only hauling 2 small horses, a Morgan and a pony. I was with her and it was dicey. They've gone back to their older Ford F250 for hauling (but kept the Tahoe as an everyday car).

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              • #8
                I have a 2004 Tahoe and love it. It's over 200k miles and days are limited, but I hate the newer ones. I haul one horse with the 4.8L engine. What I love:
                1. Cargo doors on the back. These are SO convenient, compared to that giant liftback.
                2. Bench seat in front. Plenty of space to put stuff RIGHT where you can see it.
                3. Instrument cluster: all gauges. No digital. Super clear. Speedometer, Tach, oil temp, and pressure.
                4. Easy to see and use radio controls.
                5. Cloth seats that are still in great condition. Phoenix is tough on upholstery.
                The closest thing to this seems to be a Ford Transit. No, I really don't want to drive a panel truck around....

                Let me know what you find!

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                • #9
                  I have a Toyota Sequoia and I love it. It's my second, actually. I do tow with it - usually just one horse in my 2H BP. Every now and then I tow two horses. I do live in flat country and don't tow long distances.

                  I have also owned a Tahoe and a Suburban. They are cushier rides, but the quality is not nearly up to Toyota standards. My Sequoia was purchased new in 2014. My husband bought a Chevy Silverado half ton the same year. He has had multiple recalls (6?, 8?, lots). There is currently yet another recall on the brakes right now. The air conditioner compressor died in 2017 and again last week. These repairs are in the $1800.00 range per incident. The truck burns oil like nobody's business and has since day one. Also, the headlights are awful. I literally will not drive it at night because the visibility is so bad. If you are considering a Chevy I would strongly suggest driving it at night before buying. They may well have fixed this issue, but it's a big problem in the truck that we own.

                  I'm almost afraid to say it but my Sequoia has been a gem. My first one was as well. There is a striking difference between the durability and quality of the Chevy vs. the Toyota. My gas mileage stinks. No way around it. My husband's truck gets much better gas mileage. The truck also tows better. There, I said something nice about that Chevy

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                  • Original Poster

                    #10
                    I looked at a bunch of for sale ads last night. So, the Sequoia is way out of our price range based on those ads. We really want a 2009/2010 model if we go that route - and the Sequoias are in the 25K range at lower mileage (around 100K miles) for those years. We'd have to go back to 2004/2005 to afford one and it would be silly to get another car that is that old I think.
                    ~~ How do you catch a loose horse? Make a noise like a carrot! - British Cavalry joke ~~

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                    • Original Poster

                      #11
                      What about a Dodge? Anybody drive a Durango (or a Dodge pick-up truck)? I've never owned or driven a Dodge, so know nothing about them.
                      Last edited by 4LeafCloverFarm; Dec. 1, 2019, 10:08 PM.
                      ~~ How do you catch a loose horse? Make a noise like a carrot! - British Cavalry joke ~~

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                      • #12
                        My first big SUV was a Durango, since that, which had a number of service needs, I am a Tahoe girl all the way. Last purchase was in 2016 and I looked also at Yukon as they are basically the same. I tow a bumper pull trailer with it, but generally under 90 minutes and not often on the major interstates. I think for used vehicle that between the two you should find a decent number.

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                        • #13
                          About 2 years ago I made the tough decision to sell my 1996 Chevy Tahoe LT. It only had 114K miles. I basically only used it to tow and haul stuff. It was a 5.6L with a 3.73 differential. And it had the cargo doors, very convenient. Hauled my aluminum 2H BP with warmbloods, no problem. Well until I moved from IL (flat) to NC (hilly). My mechanic said the main reason it would loose power on a hill was due to the age of the engine block, which likely needed its cylinders rebored. At least this is what I remembered. He also said No, do not buy a newer one as the engines are not as staut as this year.

                          So, I also did not want a pickup, though I did want a bed where I could haul hay etc, without having to clean afterwards. Also a pickup is too long to fit in my garage. Started looking at Chevy Avalanches. A wonderful dealer said if you are towing horses you need either a 2500 Avalanche or a Cadillac Escalade EXT. The main reason being the engine size. The Escalade has standard a 6.2L 403Hp and I think also the 2500 Avalanche. As both vehicles are no longer made, it is a bit of a search to find either. Due to distance I ended up with a Escalade EXT. Love it, love it!!! Still need to use sway bars, but do not even know the trailer is back there! Plenty of power on the hills and mountains here in NC. And it is a Cadillac, so mighty cushy inside! The bed is 6' with the ability to open up the wall behind the rear seat making the bed a full 8'. It is AWD, my Tahoe was 4 wheel drive. I found a 2007 with 97K miles for $18K.

                          If you do not need the bed, the same engine size is in a GMC version of the Tahoe. A friend of mine has one that she uses to tow. Likes it.

                          Comment

                          • Original Poster

                            #14
                            Yes, I had noticed that the more recent Tahoes don't tow what the old ones could. Gas mileage comes at a cost, unfortunately.

                            The 8' bed in my Suburban I love! 4'X8' drywall, insulation panels and plywood fit easy-peasy. And they don't get wet! And while I really don't want to give that up. Suburbans are typically more expensive, so the Tahoe is what I was thinking would be closer to our budget and still do what we want.

                            It is possible we might find a Suburban (or a Yukon XL) in our price range. But finding anything around 100K miles is the real trick. Our current Suburban was purchased used in 2001, with 110K miles. And it has been a great vehicle. And its still going strong (everything still works - except the drivers door, which you have to open from the outside to get out of the car). Its just - do we want to sink another $3/$4K into it to keep it going?
                            ~~ How do you catch a loose horse? Make a noise like a carrot! - British Cavalry joke ~~

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                            • #15
                              We just rented a Tahoe for extra space with family in town. It was nice room for people but a pretty shit ride. Suspension was super soft and bouncy and even changing lanes it just felt loose and sloppy. This was a new vehicle with about 20k miles on it. Sure, not specked out for towing but definitely not at all something I'd want to drive with any regularity. Wouldn't even considering hauling with it.

                              Comment

                              • Original Poster

                                #16
                                Simkie - I agree new SUVs have a totally different ride/suspension than old ones like mine. My 20 year old Suburban was made to work - not be a luxury vehicle with a ride like a fancy sedan. The GMC dealership gave me a brand spanking new Tahoe as a loner a few years ago for a lengthy repair of our Suburban. It was so odd driving it - it was like being in my Volvo. And while quiet was nice, it just didn't feel the same as my old workhorse.

                                But the question remains - how long do you keep your old workhorse going before having to give in to new technology?
                                ~~ How do you catch a loose horse? Make a noise like a carrot! - British Cavalry joke ~~

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                                • #17
                                  Is this for hauling? My brother has a late model Expedition and it is lovely... not sure about the older ones.

                                  I had a Porsche Cayenne as a daily driver until a couple years and absolutely adored it. Sporty, fun to drive, super comfortable and surprisingly good on gas. But not something that is useful for towing.
                                  **********
                                  We move pretty fast for some rabid garden snails.
                                  -PaulaEdwina

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                                  • #18
                                    I towed all over the eastern seaboard with my 2000 Expedition, (aka the " 'spedition) pulling my old Trail Et (so. many. Atlanta to WEF trips, loaded to the gills and a few ... delightful... all nighters coming home from Virginia) and it was a beast. I had changed from an F150 to the Eddie Bauer Expedition and honestly never noticed a difference in tow capability and handling. That vehicle was reliable and clocked in near 200K with a fairly significant towing miles.

                                    That said, a 1994 Trail Et was a much smaller and lighter trailer than the newer ones. I replaced the 'Spedition with an F250 crew cab and shortly after that the trail et was swapped out for a much newer and therefore taller/longer/heavier bumper pull (Sundowner... which is now replaced with an even wider/longer BP). I only towed the old trailer with the F250 for about 6 months, but I remember noticing how much more I felt the new trailer on the F250 and was more than happy I wasn't pulling it with the 'Spedition down the highway for hours at a time. But that was more due to the length ratio of vehicle/trailer on those long hauls rather than actual tow/stop power. I'm right back in the same conundrum with the new trailer. It's not even 10 months old and it has 6000 towing miles on it, the vast majority of them are longer (6+ hour) trips. I've got something like 8 GA-FL round trips coming up in the next few months (I laugh at my old self that used to think "a" trip to WEF was an actual big deal) and I think that sway bars/weight distribution hitch is going to make my life easier!
                                    Your crazy is showing. You might want to tuck that back in.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by 4LeafCloverFarm View Post
                                      What about a Dodge? Anybody drive a Durango (or a Dodge pick-up truck)? I've never owned or driven a Dodge, so know nothing about them.
                                      I have a 2016 Dodge Durango. I love her. Her name is Grace, because despite her large size and power, she handles very well, gets pretty good gas mileage, and has a tight turning radius that puts to shame other vehicles trying to get in or out of those tight trailhead parking lots. And I think she is relative elegant-looking. (She is a re-po from what we assume was a drug dealer, based on where she was found abandoned and the fact that she has just a bit too much chrome for the suburbs.) She generally needs two or three seconds for her computer to adjust to towing or to not towing (you can feel the engine doing a double-take), but then she is smoooooooth and steady. Tows and brakes very straight. Easily can fit all my gear inside. Very comfortable seats, with adjustable back support which is nice when you need different back support on the way home than you did on the way there. She is also my work car, and I appreciate her creature comforts and how easy she is to park in downtown Boston. She has many bells and whistles such as collision alert technology, which takes some getting used to, but has come in actual handy, once or twice. I love her. There. I've said it again.

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                                      • #20
                                        I have a 2003 Ford Expedition Eddie Bauer I'm sadly getting ready to replace (271k+ miles). It hauls just fine and is a great vehicle to drive in general. I have the 5.4L Triton so it's basically my old F150 with 3rd-row-seating instead of a bed.

                                        I’m currently looking at trucks, and am blown away by prices. 2004s with 200,000+ miles still going for $15k+. Gas, not diesel.
                                        Last edited by mmeqcenter; Dec. 3, 2019, 02:03 PM.
                                        Custom tack racks!
                                        www.mmeqcenter.com/tacklove.html

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