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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
So then, next spring-ish time I plan on selling my truck and buying a new(er) vehicle. Right now i Have a 1992 Chevy 1500 extended cab with a 4.3l... Thats right, a v6. Got about 230k on her right now. Still runs like a champ, just slow as ****. So, I've decided I need a new vehicle. Gas mileage doesnt mean much to me, my truck gets 13 right now, near anything will be an improvement.

What I want in my next vehicle:
1. Over 15mpg and im happy
2. DECENT on road handling and decently quick. IE I dont need a 500hp monster, just something that can get up to speed faster than my dad's escort :p
3. Capable off road(mostly dirt roads, but notworrying about mud would be nice to)

So I've been thinking about a couple vehicles. Option 1 would be a S-10/Ranger with a v6, and a small suspension lift, enough so i can fit some 265/75/R16's under it. Possibly later on a 350 swap, as I have heard they can be done for well under 10k with the trunk included.
Option 2 would be a blazer/explorer with a v8, same as above, small lift if needed for tires.
option 3: IMpreza: least likely

Any suggestions? I have to keep in mind that I will most likely be commuting to college in this vehicle, and it is a 45 minute drive one way. So 13mpg woul d not be fun in that aspect.

Thanks guys.

EDIT: IM such a noob. Budget for the car itself, Im hoping to keep under 5 grand. Im shooting for 250-300 ponies either way I go, but I would obviously settle for less on the impreza than if I went with the other two.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I wish I could afford an STI.

Yes, I would consider a jeep. Most likely a cherokee(thats an xj right?). I'd probably lift it a wee bit if so.... but not quite like your pals lol. I dont really need 37inch tires.

Thanks guys, any other suggestions?
 

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I would 2nd the Jeep. Are you talking about new or used?

I do know a couple of people with s-10s though. I don't know how usefull they would be off road(they seemed a bit on the small and low side for that), but they are comfortable, get decent mileage, and have some getupandgo.

I'm just throwing this out there, but I deliver pizza and one of my friends who I work with drive an OLD(I dunno how old but OLD) big ass blue dodge ram. I think it's a 1500, and made womewhere between '81 and '93. I think he mentioned it being an 83 model one time. Anyways, it's got power, it's got off-road, and he gets about 18mpg as long as his tank is 1/2 full or less. He tells me if he fills it all the way up, it hurts his mileage cause of the added weight lol.

He's never had a single problem with it, and he drives it a LOT of miles, and it's been dependable for him so far. That's why I mentioned the delivery job, so you get an idea of the miles it lasts. I average about 100m/day when I work, and he works 5 days a week.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
No full size trucks. S-10's do sit a bit low, thats why you put a couple inches of suspension lift on em and put decent tires and they're pretty good.

Definately used though. What is the difference between a cherokee and a grand cherokee?
 

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Realistically, you aren't going to find a 250-300hp small size truck/suv with the off-road ability you want for $5,000, unless you find something that has already been modified.

The one thing I can think of that sounds like it fits what you want is an older Ford Explorer.

In the 90's they had the 5.0L V8 that was 215hp/288lb-ft tq stock, and easily modified for more. They also offered 4wheel drive and a solid rear, which means it wouldn't be too bad off-road, especially with a lift (which aren't too expensive).

It was basically a 4x4 Ranger with a bed cover and a factory V8, which sounds like what you want. :tup
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Dooms: I dont necesarilly need 250 hp stock, just something that can get there fairly easily, IE with a few bolt ons. I was definately looking at Explorers. I figure I can pick a decent one up for around 3k, and a small lift shouldnt put to much of a hurting on my wallet I wouldnt think. I'd go 6 inches TOPS, I just want to fit 265/75's on it.

Im not much CJ's, Just dont like the look of em.

Oh yea and dooms, just to make you jealous, there are two Blue Trailblazers SS's in my town. I have to say they are damn sexy, you should pick one up if you can find one.
 

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DaBluedevil said:
What kind of Tcase and axles are on the explorers? Might have to consider that when lifting/new tires.
The rear, since '91, has been the 31 spline 8.8" in either Limited Slip or Open form, though the ratio's vary from 3.08 to 4.10. Not sure about the transfer case.

Zeruel said:
Oh yea and dooms, just to make you jealous, there are two Blue Trailblazers SS's in my town. I have to say they are damn sexy, you should pick one up if you can find one.
I'm still looking. I'm not entirely sure what I want yet. Whatever I do get I plan on holding onto it for a long time, so I don't want to get something I will be bored with in two years. Really, if I had the money and their wasn't such a limited selection out there I would want a fast diesel in an off-road capable small sized truck with selectable 4x4. But, it just doesn't seem to exist.....yet.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I was just joking with you because I saw both of them this morning and then got on here and saw you post and was like lol.

I dont quite get what you mean, and Im assuming an f-250 size vehicle with a diesel wouldnt fit your needs for one reason or another. That is what I would eventually like to buy, not necesarilly a ford, but a 250/2500 size vehicle. But as a junior in highschool soon to be headed to college, I dont quite have the funds for that.
 

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Zeruel said:
I was just joking with you because I saw both of them this morning and then got on here and saw you post and was like lol.

I dont quite get what you mean, and Im assuming an f-250 size vehicle with a diesel wouldnt fit your needs for one reason or another. That is what I would eventually like to buy, not necesarilly a ford, but a 250/2500 size vehicle. But as a junior in highschool soon to be headed to college, I dont quite have the funds for that.
Basically my perfect truck would be something along the lines of a Ford Explorer or smaller vehicle with a 400hp/500+ ft-lb tq diesel with a 2H/4Lo/4Hi transfer case, but it doesn't exist...yet. Supposidly Ford is coming out with a 300+hp V8 diesel for the F150/Expedition, so if they put it in the Explorer I'm there. Problem is.....it isn't supposed to happen until '09 and I can't wait that long. Jeep has that diesel Cherokee coming out, but it doesn't have enough HP for me stock. I know, I'm a pig. :D
 
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