Originally Posted by Koobie
Every car has issues. Just make sure the vehicle you are interested in is sound mechanically when you buy it. You won't be putting many miles on it to really matter IMO.
Carfax it, and test drive it to a mechanic that you TRUST.
Here's what I can share that relates to what's been listed...
We had/have an 99 Expedition and it has held up way better than I thought it would when we test drove it. I was leery of it because of how loose it felt and some odd noises that the drive train when I was testing out the steering. But... it had huge amounts of room so we went with it knowing that I had repair help nearby (brother-in-law) if needed.
It is GREAT in the snow. I have General Grabbers on it and they do nearly as well as the Michelin LTX-2 tires we have on the Tundra (that are twice the price).
The suspension is extremely sluggish, but it's old and heavy, and I've never been annoyed enough by it to want to drop the 2-3K into upgrading it.
Fuel economy... it's a backup vehicle so it never really mattered enough to track. Not much different than the Tundra tho... high teens, low 20s?
My father in law has a late 90's early 2000s Blazer. That thing is a piece of crap. (it is why I say had/have the expy... they're using it now cause the Blazer is on its last leg)
One of my friends back in FL had a Blazer... He rolled it and it burst into flames fast enough that the first responders told him he was the one-in-a-hundred lucky enough to have been ejected from the vehicle!
I've heard many good things about Chevy trucks though... My uncle, a contractor, maintains a small fleet of trucks and is almost exclusively Chevy with occasional Fords... 100+ Chevys through the years and he still swears by them.
Heh... I can't say enough good about our Tundra! She really thinks she is a sports car trapped in a truck body.
Best road handling truck I have ever driven. Very little off road use, but she's amazing in the snow with a little extra weight in the bed. Tons of ROOM inside the Crewmax cab. Tons of POWER. (6.2 0-60)
Not sure about the Toyotas you mentioned but the Tundra isn't boring.
No love with the extra row of seats though. :/ The Seqouias(sp?) I have driven/ridden in are nowhere near as fun as the Tundra. They just have too much weight for even that massive V8.
The VW may be a safe bet. I haven't heard too much about massive lemon VW's. The reviews usually range from pretty good to "ok"/average (never see many “great” or "amazing"). (shrugs)
When we test drove 06-08 AWD sedans (Passat, E series, 5 series, Lexus)... the Passat held it's own on handling, had the best power, but was not as comfy as the others.
No idea if that carries over to their SUV though :/
A few questions for ya...
Will you ever need to tow with the vehicle?
Have you test drove the vehicles you listed?
Are you in or near a big metro area with a Carmax or other large dealers where you could test drive the different options?