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new to me SUV - toyota highlander vs jeep
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fanaticultrahawk



Joined: 19 Sep 2007
Posts: 50

PostPosted: Mon Jul 21, 2014 7:01 pm    Post subject: new to me SUV - toyota highlander vs jeep Reply with quote

looking for a new car $20-30k looking for around a 2012 model. anyone have any thoughts on these 2? would like better gas millage but the vw diesel tourag is the only one that seems to get it but it is way to expensive.
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beaglebuddy



Joined: 10 Feb 2012
Posts: 657

PostPosted: Tue Jul 22, 2014 2:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's not as cool but a Dodge Caravan will get the same MPG and is larger, has sliding doors both sides, more storage, more seats and they have a model brand new for $20K, you probably really don't need 4X4.
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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 13804

PostPosted: Tue Jul 22, 2014 11:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Small SUVs further crowded with today's plastic interior sidewall foo-foo (compared to empty, bare-walled cargo vans) are at odds with this gear-intensive sport. All that nice-looking plastic fluffery full of cup holders eats up 40-60 or more cubic feet of valuable storage space. We usually gotta choose which is more important to us: image or practicality. I laughed out loud involuntarily the first time I looked inside a new Chevy Tahoe 13 years ago; it looked like a Suburban on the outside but a shoebox the instant I stuck my head in there.

This is not a suggestion, just an interesting example of the lengths some nuts will go to meet their priorities. I knew a guy who used to buy a new SUV for his hobby every couple of years. That night, out came the crowbar and pneumatic wrenches, and by bedtime he was out to bare metal, top, sides, and bottom, and only two remaining (front bucket) seats. He gained over a hundred cubic feet of storage, lost hundreds of pounds of weight, reduced fuel consumption, and maintained the small external size he wanted.
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beaglebuddy



Joined: 10 Feb 2012
Posts: 657

PostPosted: Tue Jul 22, 2014 2:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A large or midsize SUV can be a very nice vehicle with all the bells and whistles, probably about the nicest vehicle to drive around in, nice comfy ride, sit up high, all the gizmos even 4X4 but MPG is never good, they can be very expensive usually more than 35K to over 50K and storage and cargo space for windsurfing is inadequate, most stuff will need to go up on the roof just like a car. I've been looking recently, I like the Jeep Grand Cherokee but it's over 35K and I can get a brand new Caravan for 20K?
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coboardhead



Joined: 26 Oct 2009
Posts: 1917

PostPosted: Tue Jul 22, 2014 5:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you are looking for an AWD or 4x4 because you need the extra clearance and/or traction, then either choice is pretty good. However, I would go with the Highlander for its reliability unless you need the low range transfer case. I have owned a Jeep...sadly...and owned Toyotas...happily. I would also look at the RAV4 maybe instead of the Highlander if you do not need the extra seating. We had the previous model and it was great on ice and in deep snow and we could take it off road some. It has nearly the interior cargo space because the third row seating in the Highlander eats up the volume. But, the six cylinder is no longer available and offset crash test results suck.

Other options for the "cute utes" are the Mazda CX-5 (on my short list)... a great driving car... or the Subaru Forester.. You may find the cargo space in the Forester rivals either of your other choices. Both get 30 MPG. Consider the Toyota Venza if you only need a raised AWD car and want a six cylinder.

The truck based SUV's such as 4 runners, FJ Cruiser, Xterra, and Wrangler are the only ones that are any good for real off road travel. I now have an FJ Cruiser. Sucks for windsurfing (great for kiting). Gets 22-24 MPG on the highway (70 MPH). FWIW, full size pickup trucks with "contractor" shells make great Windsurfing rigs...esp for touring Baja. Mileage is poor (my Tundra gets only 16...very loaded) but it will go anywhere. I carry 7 boards (5 inside), 7 rigs, 5 kites, a couple surfboards and still room for two to sleep inside and bikes on the bumper. And, none of that gear shares the passenger compartment with me to become missiles in a wreck!
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boggsman1



Joined: 24 Jun 2002
Posts: 3473
Location: at a computer

PostPosted: Wed Jul 23, 2014 9:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

CB...can you walk me through the details of how you sleep two and carry 5 windsurf boards in the back of your Tundra?
For a sports rig, that gets good mileage, and rips I bought an Audi Q5 TDI. Gets 33-35 on the highway and has 430 ft/lbs of torque-its a beast. I carry one board, and my single speed 29er...its all I need Very Happy
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coboardhead



Joined: 26 Oct 2009
Posts: 1917

PostPosted: Wed Jul 23, 2014 10:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Boggsman

I thought you saw my rig at Dougs!

I hang the two Cascades from the ceiling (tied to the roof crossbars)...quick cinches to tighten against the roof. The two Goyas (everyday boards for the wife and me) are in stacked racks on one side under the platform bed for easy retrieval, and the JP FSW is tied to one sidewall of the camper next to the bed with the surfboards. Sails (5.6,5.1 4.6, 4.0, 3.6) booms and masts are in a rack under the bed next to the Goyas. Wetsuits hang in the back corner since the bed is 6 ft and the truck is 8 ft.. The 6.2 and 3.2 don't get used very often so they are tied to the ceiling in the upper corners.

Camping gear (cook stove and kit etc are in boxes built into the sides of the bed system under removable panes over and around the wheel wells on one side. I have a built-in box in the back corner for the mast feet, bases, etc and a ladder for the roof in the other corner.

Roof has a space case with all the kites and the twin tip kite boards and a gorge rack for the slalom boards (that hopefully never get used). Bikes are on a fold-out rack on the back.

We do have to move bags of clothes from the bed to the cab at night (easy because the shell has a side panel that opens one entire side) and the cooler sits out. Dog sleeps in the cab behind the seat on a raised box that contains all the work crap (computer, files, resources) in case I have work to do.

Two sailors really complicate the choice of vehicles esp since we both like the same size boards so we do not share! But, look at it this way...I get 32 "passenger miles per gallon" since it serves two!

Your Audi is a great car. I am looking to replace my 14 yo 325xi wagon for my daily driver and thought about that model. But, I wasted 3 low profile tires in the last year on rocks, had another land on the hood and one hit the side. (separate occasions) This on paved roads! So, I may go with something less exotic! Plus the nearest Audi dealership is 4 hours.
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boggsman1



Joined: 24 Jun 2002
Posts: 3473
Location: at a computer

PostPosted: Wed Jul 23, 2014 11:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I did see the Tundra, I looked in the back, and it was quite impressive...but I dont remember there being room for humans. The part that I dont get is the bed length of the truck. Is it an 8 foot bed?
The Audi works for my work/play combo. For road trips I had a 2002 Eurovan, but it died two months ago, so I replaced it with a 2008 Honda Odyssey....which is perfect for 3 boards, 2 bikes, and sleeping.
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coboardhead



Joined: 26 Oct 2009
Posts: 1917

PostPosted: Wed Jul 23, 2014 11:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes. 8 ft 3" That extra length is key for the boards... standard cab. I bought this truck new after Georgie melted the economy in 2008. $23k with the discounts. I hate to think about replacing it someday.

I had an E250 Ford Van for years. Vans are great but I got stuck in my driveway all the time and Baja washboard was a remarkably bad experience. It took a six pack to make it from Highway 1 to PSC!
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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 13804

PostPosted: Wed Jul 23, 2014 11:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

coboardhead wrote:
Plus the nearest Audi dealership is 4 hours.

I drooled over Audis (and Mercerdes and BMWs) for years to decades, studying them in print, talking to dealers and independent mechanics and owners I knew personally or stopped on the street, and reading the industry watchdogs' reports. I never even came close to buying any German vehicles because of their most universal trait: horrible reliability.
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