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$2000-3500, small truck

The Right Car for Me | TrueDelta


I'm just looking for a truck with some room in the back at a reasonable price. It can be an older vehicle because I'm only looking to spend $3500 max. Reliability is going to be the biggest thing for me. I plan on driving this vehicle daily as I do not want to drive my mustang in the winter months.

Priorities: Reliability & durability / Warranty, maintenance cost / Front seat room

Need minimum of 2 seats

Will consider both new and used cars
Maximum mileage: 160000
Maximum age: 17 years

Maximum price: US $ 3500

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Response from mwcten

10:30 pm September 11, 2017

You say you're getting this for the winter; I'm assuming you're somewhere where there is snow? If so, a 2-3.5k truck is one of the more dangerous bad-weather vehicles you can buy; they have very little weight in the back end, so you end up spinning out more often than in something that has more even weight distribution. Sure, the 4wd will get you anywhere, but the ability to "accelerate" can mask a propensity to "crash" and to "roll over". And at your budget, you're going to forego electronic stability control which would otherwise help keep you in a straight line. I'm personally a fan of front wheel drive vehicles with snow tires; if you live on a hill or something that front wheel drive and snow tires struggles to get up, then move up to something AWD. Get an old Outback, or something like that.

That's not to say that you can't get a truck, especially if you regularly need a truck bed to haul stuff around in, though. Just be careful and don't count on it to be a "safe" vehicle. As far as brands and models, I'm not sure there's really much advice to give you other than to get one that's been reasonable well taken care of. Sometimes the Mazda trucks can present a good value since folks seem to be put off by the name, even though they're pretty much just Fords. And obviously, if you go small (Ranger, Colorado, Tacoma) you can get a newer/more reliable/better gas milage truck that still falls in your budget.


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Mazda B-Series Truck
Subaru Outback

Response from LectroFuel

12:32 am September 14, 2017

I would get an old Tacoma for it's durability, but the Ranger is probably cheaper to fix. However, with the Ranger you probably will have much more problems than the Tacoma. The older Colorados and Canyons are pretty abysmal in terms of quality and everything else.

You shouldn't get a truck necessarily. mwcten's Outback recomendation was better. When I go to a place that snows often, everyone has old Outbacks. They last forever, have AWD, and fit a lot of stuff in the trunk.


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Subaru Outback

Response from Treecabin

9:20 am September 16, 2017

A few years ago I picked up a clean (not rusty) 2003 Nissan Frontier, 6cyl, 4x4 with 173,000 miles on it. I paid $2,300 for the truck and have also paid $1,500 getting it fixed up ($600 was just for tires). It was a risk but it has paid off! The truck now has 218,000 miles on it, just passed inspection and is still running fine.
Trucks like this are still out there and many are under $4000. They are worth a look.
Negative--- The gas milage is 16 at best.


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