The Truth About Cars » beach http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. Sat, 13 Dec 2014 03:07:50 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0.1 The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars no The Truth About Cars editors@ttac.com editors@ttac.com (The Truth About Cars) 2006-2009 The Truth About Cars The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars » beach http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/themes/ttac-theme/images/logo.gif http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com New or Used: The Right combination of Stupidity and Bravery http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/02/new-or-used-the-right-combination-of-stupidity-and-bravery/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/02/new-or-used-the-right-combination-of-stupidity-and-bravery/#comments Tue, 07 Feb 2012 13:13:56 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=429657 Marcus writes: My wife has requested that I get a jeep type vehicle that we can use to do some light off road driving, i.e. she wants to drive on the beach.  I see this as an opportunity to buy a fun 4×4.  I would like to take it off road a bit and try to get it […]

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Marcus writes:
My wife has requested that I get a jeep type vehicle that we can use to do some light off road driving, i.e. she wants to drive on the beach.  I see this as an opportunity to buy a fun 4×4.  I would like to take it off road a bit and try to get it stuck.  My requirements are that it be a 4×4, cost $15000 or less and can support a winch.  It does not need to be a daily driver, and manual is OK, but automatic is slightly preferred.  Finally, I am not looking to buy myself a job as a mechanic.
Steve answers:

“I would like to take it off road a bit and try to get it stuck.”

I’ll tell you what. For $15 you could probably have your wife wedge your head in a roll-up window. Then you could get rid of your masochistic tendencies while she enjoys a nice bottle of wine. When the urge for deep pain leaves you, just roll down the window (the right way) and join her.

So you want to get a little hopper for the beach and the rarely beaten path. It won’t be a daily driver, and chances are it will see only a few thousand miles a year.

I would opt for an older Mitsubishi Montero, Suzuki Grand Vitara, Suzuki Sidekick or Geo/Chevy Tracker.

At most you would be spending $5000. Out here in Atlanta, a reliable version of those vehicles regularly hits the $3000 to $3500 mark. Buy one of those and spend the remainder on some good gear.

Once you find yourself perfectly happy with your arrangement, please send the remainder to a good cause. Me. I promise to put the rest of your money to better use.

Sajeev answers:

Try to get it stuck?  Don’t worry, its easy to get any 4×4 stuck if you have the right combination of heat-of-the-moment stupidity and bravery.

The big problem with 4x4s is their cost. Not to initially purchase, but to outfit as you see fit. Perhaps you should buy a pre-modded Wrangler, thereby letting the previous owner take the depreciation hit on both the vehicle, parts and labor needed to install all these goodies.

Then again, a rig with off-road bits is more likely to need more upkeep, unless you are sure it was owned by an urban cowboy who simply had to look cool and never got a spot of dirt under his knobby tires.  And there’s plenty of that in Texas, let me tell you!

Full sizers might be better for a mixed use rig, but since you just want a toy, look at compact trucks: Chevy/Isuzu S-10, Toyota Tacoma, Nissan Frontier, Ford Ranger and the obligatory Jeep Wrangler. The SUVs based on these platforms are just peachy too, but we’d forgive you for not wanting a 2000 Ford Explorer or Chevy Blazer no matter how great the deal can be. Odds are you can get a 4×4 pickup for less than the Jeep, and the Chevy and Ford will give the best bang for the buck with cheap parts aplenty if you do, um, get yourself stuck.

Need help with a car buying conundrum? Email your particulars to sajeev@thetruthaboutcars.com , and let TTAC’s collective wisdom make the decision easier… or possibly much, much harder.

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