You can't beat a Jeep. I don't understand the comments about them being expensive to maintain, since I have never had to do much to mine. I have driven a Jeep for nearly 20 years. My old 93 Cherokee is still running after my nephew has tried everything he could to destroy it.
My 95 YJ does everything I want it to do. Starts every time I turn the key, and goes where I need to. Are Wranglers marshmellow rides that you want to take across country on a regular basis, probably not. Although I have driven my Wrangler a tad over 900 miles in one day, and didn't even need a chiropractor afterwards.
Jeeps aren't quiet on the road, they aren't going to have a lot of ammenities, they don't get the best gas mileage because they aren't designed for that. They are Jeeps. Do some folks buy them and regret it, probably. I do think that Chrsyler made a mistake when they took the 4.0 liter 6 out and switched it for the V6, so if you don't mind a used vehicle that might be an option.
As far as the Tacoma goes, I can't say anything bad about them, they are good trucks.
My needs are for pickups bigger and heavier than those you listed, like 250/350 Fords or Chevy's. I do hear a lot of folks like their Toyota p/u.
Actually I like Honda and think they make very good products (we have a Honda Civic), but their trucks wouldn't work for me, but they did air about the best truck commercial I've ever seen.
SuperBowl Commercial - Honda Ridgeline Silver Goddess - YouTube
Tacoma. It's built to last.
Dropping the straight-six was one of the worst ideas Chrysler ever had. Other than getting in bed with the Germans. Or the Japanese.
Originally Posted by farronwolf
My comments about cost was really mostly geared towards tires. If you want tires that will do decent off road, it's going to cost you. Also, aligning a Jepp is a real pain- I don't know a single mechanic/technician who doesn't hate it.
I LOVE Wranglers- I think they're everything an off road vehicle should be. 4WD, naturally high ground clearance, TONS of torque (if you have an 'older' one), great gearing for crawling about, the ability to go 'topless'... just perfect. The problem that I have seen with most of them- used- is that they're been USED; worked hard, worn out and nothing has been replaced/repaired properly. And, it's a Chrysler product. The Wranglers from the 80's and 90's are just about the only things I think Chrysler has done right since the mid 70's when they dropped most of the big block vehicles and stopped making 'fun' cars. The trucks are great, but anything with a 360 that's NOT internally balanced is junk. Given the choice between a Tacoma and a Wrangler, I would pick the Wrangler because that's what I've always wanted. But, if you want something that will live forever, and has a history of going anywhere/doing anything and still being a good road vehicle- get the Tacoma.
Of the ones mentioned, I vote for the Tacoma or Wrangler; "IF" you will be traveling a LOT down old logging & forest roads. On the other hand one of the others may give you a better "street" ride. (I think the others are built with "softer" street friendly frames.)
Originally Posted by IAm_Not_Lost
The 3.8L in the 4-door Wranglers is under powered. However, the new 3.6L that is in the 2012 models is head and shoulders above the 3.8L. The gas mileage on the new 3.6L is much better too. A month after I sold my 2009 Wrangler with the 3.8L, I drove a rental Wrangler with the 3.6L. It got 23-24 mpg on the highway and actually had enough power to merge with traffic at highway speeds. I was very impressed.
Originally Posted by RevolvingMag
Another vote for a Wrangler from me, as long you you skip out on the newer ones. Not only did they drop the I-6 engine, they widened the frame. They're just not the same. I have an '02 TJ myself sitting on 33" Wrangler MTRs. I leave the back seat out pretty much all the time. I don't need to haul around more than myself and my wife as far as people, and I like having the space for stuff. I take it to D-Day Oklahoma and when I go there I have a standard size plastic tote with my paintball gear, folding cot, large cooler, 4-person tent, two folding chairs, camp stove, large duffel bag, guitar... You can fit a surprising amount of stuff in it. Can you fit as much as a pickup or Tahoe? No. But I can go places they can't.
I can go places they can't not only because Jeeps are an awesome 4WD vehicle, but also because they're not huge. I've taken my Jeep down plenty of ATV trails that you would never get a Hummer or other large 4WD down. Especially not without scratching the pretty paint job. And don't discount the engine because it's "just" a 6-cylinder. My Jeep has pulled an F-350 hauling a Bobcat on a 14' trailer off a sheet of ice before. Uphill. Helps that I have an aftermarket rear bumper that's held onto the frame with 6 half-inch bolts. I knew it was strong enough, so I dropped it into 4-low and away we went.
That's another thing about Jeeps. (I'm on a roll now.) If you're willing to put the effort, and yes, the money, into it there won't be a Jeep like yours out there. There are enough aftermarket parts available that you could mod every Jeep in existence and no two would be alike. There's an almost unlimited ability to make it yours. I've driven my Jeep for over two years now, and all over the place. I've never seen a Jeep just like mine. That's worth something to me.
As for them costing a lot, I bought mine used for $10,500. I've taken it for about 30,000 miles worth of roads and trails myself and haven't had to do anything more major than oil changes. There are a couple parts that could use replacing because I've abused them, but that's just a matter of me taking the time to do it. The tires are getting to the point that one pair has about 5,000-10,000 left on them, but that'll be a while. Speaking of oil changes though, I must say it's nice being able to just park in the street and do my own. I only need two tools. A bucket and a wrench for the drain plug. No jack or ramps.
This has turned into a longer post than I intended. Aside from the Ridgeline, I think you'd do well with any of the choices. Honda has no business making "trucks" in my opinion. But if you want something tough, dependable, versatile and something that you can make as "you" as you want, I think you want a Jeep.