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Discussion Starter #1
I'm going to need a new winter beater sometime this year, and have begun the process of trying to think about what to get.
This group is my favorite outlet for automotive discussions so even though its early, I thought I would start a thread about this process.
My general guidelines are:
-I'm probably going to keep it cheap, likely under $5k
-I prefer a vehicle with capabilities different than my current vehicles. Assuming I still have my Cougar(s) and my Wife's Grand Cherokee, that means I'm leaning toward a van or a truck.
-Vans are appealing because The Jeep is right on the edge of enough space for our frequent road trips. My wife is a competitive groomer who carries a lot of gear and dogs to competitions around the country.
-Trucks are appealing because I would like to get a couple of trailers for various reasons, because I cant currently haul anything too big (or too dirty) to fit in the Jeep, and because I've sort of just always wanted a V8 Dakota. Honestly the Jeep can probably tow more than most older trucks I could get for $5k, but there may be times when my wife and I aren't in the same location, and she's got no interest in being left alone with my old cars.
-AWD/4WD preferred but I might do FWD for the right deal. We get a lot of ice and snow in New England but the plowing is usually pretty good so my primary concern is just slick roads, plus I still have the Grand Cherokee if anything really nasty comes around.
-No sedans
-I need something that even though its cheap, it still presents itself suitably in a parking lot full of very nice vehicles...It cant look like a POS.

I keep thinking maybe an MPV since I already have the knowledge base to support it, or a Dakota because I've always wanted one, it has capabilities that we don't currently have (hauling large items), and our Jeeps and Dodges have been very good to us over the years.

Thoughts?
 

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I use the Van to haul everything. And it was only like 3200 bucks. Its got the same driveline as the F150s of its time so its pretty much matched for towing capability. Mine has basically a living room in the back but you can make them whatever you need. The only issue I've had is things too tall not being able to haul due to the roof. However if you have an open trailer behind it you can haul anything that isnt higher then the drive through height marker at McDonalds.
 

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Mazda5 can't tow, but it's a cool van.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
My mom has a Mazda 5 she's been pretty happy with. That might not be a horrible choice but I'm not sure if they have much more room than the Jeep or not. Certainly better mileage.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
If I had a full size van or truck, I could build a bench Coyote or LS motor on the DL under the premise of needing it for that vehicle...;)
 

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I've been more then happy with my van. Although I'm hauling me, the wife, and 5 kids around when we take the family anywhere so I cant really fit much else..... I mean maybe if I found a bus.
 

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Don't know how much Ford Flex's go for, but they are AWD, roomy, and have a 2.0EB that's got some good kick.
THIS IS THE RIGHT ANSWER.

And I thought they used the 2.7 EcoBoost in those? Or the SHO version? Regardless, it was a V6...
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Maybe...The cargo space numbers are smaller than the Jeep with the seats up but larger with the seats down. It might be worth at least taking a look.
 

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The Flex always reminds me of a 5/4 size Mini Cooper. I love those things.
 
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