Advice on suv purchase

kydsid

Veteran Member
Joined
Apr 18, 2012
Location
Texas
TDI
2012 Passat
Another option for you maybe? Toyota Land Cruiser or previous gen Nissan Pathfinders. The LCs have great longevity of course even used the price reflects this. The pathfinder both the big and small versions were very capable in previous gen truck form. Not good on gas at all though. The new minivan pathfinder im not a fan of
 

BioDiesel'

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 15, 2013
Location
CT
TDI
1998 Jetta Elsbett single-tank, 230K WVO miles
Mercedes-Benz ML-350 Bluetec

Why not a diesel?
Wife bought a used one, off lease for $27K.
It has a 3.0 V6 turbo diesel that reports up to 30 mpg on the highway @ 60-65
All wheel drive is good in snow and can tow 7,000 lbs.
Drives like a bus, but don't most SUV's?
 

sandmansans

Veteran Member
Joined
Nov 3, 2013
Location
NJ/PA
TDI
2014 Jetta
Why not a diesel?
Wife bought a used one, off lease for $27K.
It has a 3.0 V6 turbo diesel that reports up to 30 mpg on the highway @ 60-65
All wheel drive is good in snow and can tow 7,000 lbs.
Drives like a bus, but don't most SUV's?
That's what I was thinking. Up as reliability been? Any issues etc?

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Wankel7

Veteran Member
Joined
Dec 25, 2012
Location
Indiana
TDI
2003 Jetta Wagon
Check out the upcoming 2017 Jaguar F-Pace. It looks pretty outstanding and the base model is a diesel.
 

BioDiesel'

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 15, 2013
Location
CT
TDI
1998 Jetta Elsbett single-tank, 230K WVO miles
That's what I was thinking. Up as reliability been? Any issues etc?
Bought a 2010 at 44K miles for $27K, off warranty ( not lease ), currently 56K. Only changed the oil. No problems at all so far.

FYI I did read online a bit. the 2009 and earlier were prone to leak oil at the turbo to inlet seal and the oil cooler. I saw one in a dealer lot with this failure. So be careful with 2009 and older.

The other problem is the front differential. The original bearings wear out by 100K. I am going to replace the fluid soon. Someone online has found the Timken P/N's to replace the bearings in the diff w/o replacing the whole diff.

But hopefully we got a slightly used M-B for the price of a new Kia.
The old M-B fans had very good things to say about the V-6's reliability.
 

wrc777

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 24, 2015
Location
Indiana
TDI
2014 Jetta TSI
I think since she doesn't want to drive something too big you will want to look at midsize SUVs. The old body on frame Explorer ('06-10?) would be a decent tow vehicle with the V8. '07 and newer Expeditions while big, do ride nice and you can get them pretty cheap used.

Grand Cherokees and Durangos are nice and you can get the Hemi. Pathfinders from before the current minivan looking ones are pretty good too. They are not huge but you can get them with 3 rows of seats and they handle pretty well for an SUV. A Toyota 4-runner is probably a better bet than the Landcruiser if you are looking at Toyota. They are expensive though. Lots of choices in this segment especially if you are not too worried about fuel economy.

You might even like a 4 door Wrangler. '12 and up get the Pentastar although they can be expensive even used. Resale is always good on them no matter how old or how many miles.

Find a couple models you like and start reading on their forums. That is the best way I know to find the years/options to avoid.
 

Ol'Rattler

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Jul 3, 2007
Location
PNA
TDI
2006 BRM Jetta
"Any known issues for specific years and engine models?
How's the TDI that they use?
How is the servicing experience in these cars? Can I do everything that I do to my 2014 tdi to the q7?

Any comparable competitor suvs?"

Your opinion didnt fit any of the above questions :confused:
Because none of those questions were really asked in the original post.

After all, my opinion is just that. An opinion. In my "opinion" SUV's are just a pretty ridiculous choice.
 

FordGuy100

Veteran Member
Joined
Apr 13, 2011
Location
Silverton, OR
TDI
2004 Jetta TDI
Because none of those questions were really asked in the original post.
After all, my opinion is just that. An opinion. In my "opinion" SUV's are just a pretty ridiculous choice.
Hey so I'm thinking about buying my girlfriend an SUV to tote around our daughter. She currently has a 2009 Jetta SE 2.5. Having the extra space and 4wd would be nice.
She really likes the Q7 and is consider buying one used. My questions are:
Any known issues for specific years and engine models?
How's the TDI that they use?
How is the servicing experience in these cars? Can I do everything that I do to my 2014 tdi to the q7?
Any comparable competitor suvs? I researched the Cherokee eco diesel. I would be able to get 0 percent financing, But after reading reviews it seems as if it suffers from a slew of issues.
I know she also likes the GMC Acadia.
Thanks ahead of time v
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The above questions came from the first post. I semi-agree with you, but your opinion still wasn't what the OP was looking for. He was asking specific SUV questions, not whether or not SUV's were the optimal choice.
 

sandmansans

Veteran Member
Joined
Nov 3, 2013
Location
NJ/PA
TDI
2014 Jetta
Because none of those questions were really asked in the original post.

After all, my opinion is just that. An opinion. In my "opinion" SUV's are just a pretty ridiculous choice.
Not asked in the original post? Not only are you belligerent in your form of communication in this forum, but also evidently you can't read. I clearly posted those questions in the first post. And as I said before, no one cares/values your nonsensical input. At least I don't. I don't know how much clearer I can make myself to you.....
The above questions came from the first post. I semi-agree with you, but your opinion still wasn't what the OP was looking for. He was asking specific SUV questions, not whether or not SUV's were the optimal choice.

Yea don't even bother. This guy lives In a delusional state of mind. This is clear by the manner of his posts allover this forum.

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deeslman

Veteran Member
Joined
Apr 20, 2014
Location
Newfoundland, Pa.
TDI
2005 punchbuggy 2006 jetta
Not asked in the original post? Not only are you belligerent in your form of communication in this forum, but also evidently you can't read. I clearly posted those questions in the first post. And as I said before, no one cares/values your nonsensical input. At least I don't. I don't know how much clearer I can make myself to you.....



Yea don't even bother. This guy lives In a delusional state of mind. This is clear by the manner of his posts allover this forum.

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Lighten-up frances...lol

Speaking your mind is refreshing to see in today's society.
You can also think for yourself if you believe in that mumbo jumbo.......
 

moosejaw

Veteran Member
Joined
Jan 17, 2005
Location
St. Louis, MO
TDI
*Sold* 2005 Passat GLS TDI Shadow Blue
That's what I was thinking. Up as reliability been? Any issues etc?

Sent from my VS986 using Tapatalk
Bought a 2010 at 44K miles for $27K, off warranty ( not lease ), currently 56K. Only changed the oil. No problems at all so far.
FYI I did read online a bit. the 2009 and earlier were prone to leak oil at the turbo to inlet seal and the oil cooler. I saw one in a dealer lot with this failure. So be careful with 2009 and older.
The other problem is the front differential. The original bearings wear out by 100K. I am going to replace the fluid soon. Someone online has found the Timken P/N's to replace the bearings in the diff w/o replacing the whole diff.
But hopefully we got a slightly used M-B for the price of a new Kia.
The old M-B fans had very good things to say about the V-6's reliability.
I bought an '09 ML BlueTec in October with 49k on the clock (now @ 53k). I immediately did all the fluids and the front differential was low (the rear was fine). Put the front on a 20k change interval to keep the bearings healthy. The lack of airflow around the front diff causes fluid boil out (IMO) resulting in damage/failures.

The turbo inlet seal is nothing new to turbo engines. PCV oil accumulates and starts seeping out the turbo inlet connection. Keep it cleaned up at each oil change or install a Mann Pro Vent to eliminate the oil completely.

I am currently prepping to do the engine oil cooler due to poor O-ring selection by MB. A total soft-goods job with a ton of labor. Not happy, but caught it early and I won't have Damocles Sword hanging over me anymore.

IDParts has been super helpful with the oil cooler job and fluids/filters.

Overall I love driving the ML. The airmatic suspension is superb. I don't feel too tall in it and it isn't painful to park.
 

MPLSTDI

Veteran Member
Joined
May 20, 2006
Location
Champlin, MN
TDI
06 Jetta DSG
I needed three rows, so my choice may not be a great fit.
Similiar to the MDX, I really like the size of my Honda Pilot EX-L (09-15). While towing is only 4,500lbs mileage on the highway has been up to 25MPG. Low 20s would be a safer estimate. Seems to have similar interior space than many of the full size SUVs, but in a mid size that is easy to park.
 

chevtrk49

Active member
Joined
Sep 15, 2003
Location
CO
TDI
ALH Wagon
If you are not stuck on a SUV. You may also consider a 328d Xdrive wagon. It has additional space, diesel and AWD. I have no experience with them I just know it exists.
 
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sandmansans

Veteran Member
Joined
Nov 3, 2013
Location
NJ/PA
TDI
2014 Jetta
I bought an '09 ML BlueTec in October with 49k on the clock (now @ 53k). I immediately did all the fluids and the front differential was low (the rear was fine). Put the front on a 20k change interval to keep the bearings healthy. The lack of airflow around the front diff causes fluid boil out (IMO) resulting in damage/failures.

The turbo inlet seal is nothing new to turbo engines. PCV oil accumulates and starts seeping out the turbo inlet connection. Keep it cleaned up at each oil change or install a Mann Pro Vent to eliminate the oil completely.

I am currently prepping to do the engine oil cooler due to poor O-ring selection by MB. A total soft-goods job with a ton of labor. Not happy, but caught it early and I won't have Damocles Sword hanging over me anymore.

IDParts has been super helpful with the oil cooler job and fluids/filters.

Overall I love driving the ML. The airmatic suspension is superb. I don't feel too tall in it and it isn't painful to park.

I needed three rows, so my choice may not be a great fit.
Similiar to the MDX, I really like the size of my Honda Pilot EX-L (09-15). While towing is only 4,500lbs mileage on the highway has been up to 25MPG. Low 20s would be a safer estimate. Seems to have similar interior space than many of the full size SUVs, but in a mid size that is easy to park.
If you are not stuck on a SUV. You may also consider a 328d Xdrive wagon. It has additional space, diesel and AWD. I have no experience with them I just know it exists.

Hey all,
Thanks for the further replies!

If I'm thinking of the correct car, the BMW would be too small. Im very big, 6'4" 270ish. With me sitting up front, there isn't much room in the rear on the 3 series. Also, car seat behind my seat leaves me cramped up front.

I'm not a fan at all of the Honda Pilots aesthetics. Frankly this is a big deal and issue as I feel there aren't many good looking suvs Being produced. I buy based on functionality, durability etc. First usually, but I find the pilot to be a mega eyesore, same category as the flex and scion shoebox edition..enough of an eyesore for me to look past its wonderful drivetrain and functional interior.

Yea for some reasons used Mercs show up at reasonable prices by me. I will further research. I like the MB logo. The older first gen ML series were hideous, but the newer ones are very handsome.
Now if I could only find a G class at a low cost hhaha I'd be good to go.

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Savageman69

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Aug 3, 2007
Location
ontario
TDI
2012 Highline Touareg TDI
I recently sold my jetta and bought a 12 touareg tdi....and i dont regret it, we are a heavily snowed area, i tow a great deal and it was far to much for the car and become very unsafe in snow conditions.

Ive done some towing, snow driving and dry pavement with the treg and im in love....yah i lost mpg but i gained all kinds of versatility....i dont need a full truck and the t3 touareg is small really, pretty decent on fuel and tows like a bull...im blown away by its towing, quiet, 4motion is unreal and has plenty of power....build quality is top notch and it feels luxurious...i waited a long time to buy a treg and im glad i took the leap to do it.
 

moosejaw

Veteran Member
Joined
Jan 17, 2005
Location
St. Louis, MO
TDI
*Sold* 2005 Passat GLS TDI Shadow Blue
The MB GL (X164) is a stretched ML (W164) chassis and the prices are not much more than a ML in the used market. The GL is a 7 seater with lots of standard features that are optional on the ML, such as airmatic suspension.

Whatever you choose have fun with it.
 

2015vwgolfdiesel

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Jan 1, 2016
Location
Oklahoma
TDI
2015 VW Golf S DSG Silver
<snip> Suv's for the most part are for imbeciles. .
Respectfully,

My wife drives her 2015 FWD Toyota RAV4 LIMITED (gasser). Think it is rated as a small SUV. Anyway ~~ that is what she wanted for her birthday. She said she needed it to carry her TEACHER materials. Mostly school books and educational supplies.

And the rest of the story is ~~ a man has to do what a man has to do. :rolleyes:
 

fxk

Veteran Member
Joined
Mar 12, 2015
Location
Vast wilderness between DC and Baltimore
TDI
2014 Sportwagen TDI
I can't see anything sporty or utilitarian about them.

Huge on the outside, tiny on the inside (opposite of the Tardis)
Still haven't figured out how they manage to waste that much space.
Close-to-the-floor seating once one climbs in.
High liftover.
Product of bigger d&*k thinking.

A friend had one of the original Rav4.
Absolutely absurd vehicle. Short, four door barely carried a set of golf clubs.
Bumps and popouts on the floor so you couldn't put your feet flat anywhere to gain that all-important ground clearance.
I could never understand why he had so much trouble parking it in a parking lot. Granted, his driving was clueless. He drove like he was 90 when he was 50 years old, but then I drove it. Turning circle was unbelievably large. I've driven 5-ton trucks that had a smaller turning radius. Outrageously not maneuverable, and that's before considering the short wheelbase. Couldn't get out of it's own way, either handling or power. But it made up for it with lousy fuel economy.

And then it got bigger on the outside, but not on the inside. They made it longer, but put the spare inside to eat up any room it may have gained.

Another friend had a blazer. Seats may have been 2" off the floor in the rear. What a POS.

Well, my opinion, anyway. Obviously, my opinions run contrary to the sales figures. That does not change their relative value. Huge behemoths that folks will think will save them in a crash because they're big. And 4wd. Roads are littered with SUVs off the side of roads after snows around here. 4wd doesn't help turning or braking, don't cha know?

SUVs are not the thinking persons' vehicle.

But if you want to look like everyone else, it's you you!

Please don't ask me what I really think...
 

bubbagumpshrimp

Veteran Member
Joined
Jul 12, 2013
Location
Virginia
TDI
'13 Jetta TDI
I can't see anything sporty or utilitarian about them.

Huge on the outside, tiny on the inside (opposite of the Tardis)
Still haven't figured out how they manage to waste that much space.
Close-to-the-floor seating once one climbs in.
High liftover.
Product of bigger d&*k thinking.

A friend had one of the original Rav4.
Absolutely absurd vehicle. Short, four door barely carried a set of golf clubs.
Bumps and popouts on the floor so you couldn't put your feet flat anywhere to gain that all-important ground clearance.
I could never understand why he had so much trouble parking it in a parking lot. Granted, his driving was clueless. He drove like he was 90 when he was 50 years old, but then I drove it. Turning circle was unbelievably large. I've driven 5-ton trucks that had a smaller turning radius. Outrageously not maneuverable, and that's before considering the short wheelbase. Couldn't get out of it's own way, either handling or power. But it made up for it with lousy fuel economy.

And then it got bigger on the outside, but not on the inside. They made it longer, but put the spare inside to eat up any room it may have gained.

Another friend had a blazer. Seats may have been 2" off the floor in the rear. What a POS.

Well, my opinion, anyway. Obviously, my opinions run contrary to the sales figures. That does not change their relative value. Huge behemoths that folks will think will save them in a crash because they're big. And 4wd. Roads are littered with SUVs off the side of roads after snows around here. 4wd doesn't help turning or braking, don't cha know?

SUVs are not the thinking persons' vehicle.

But if you want to look like everyone else, it's you you!

Please don't ask me what I really think...
That's about what I was expecting to hear from you. Thank you.:)
 

Savageman69

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Aug 3, 2007
Location
ontario
TDI
2012 Highline Touareg TDI
i dont particularly care what people say on here about suvs and people who own them, i was a die hard car guy, did things with my jetta that most truck guys wouldnt do.

However i need to tow more...looking to go 24+ ft trailer for sledding and our roads are often not plowed....yes awd doesnt make you a better drivers however when the road is 2ft deep and not plowed the difference between a jetta and treg are night and day.

So i didnt want a truck because i really dont need a truck...nor did i want 18-24mpg...so i looked at the touareg, which is actually not much bigger then my jetta..and on the way home from the dealer doing 140 km/h cruise on and i averaged 34mpg....my buddy in his tdi jetta 42....so really not a huge loss.

You are not going to find a suv this small that can tow 7700lbs and do it WELL....be this good of mpg and just pure luxury to drive.
 

bubbagumpshrimp

Veteran Member
Joined
Jul 12, 2013
Location
Virginia
TDI
'13 Jetta TDI
I don't particularly care about people insulting anything, provided they can at least state a reasonable case. To say that you can't see a sporty or utilitarian value from an SUV...you're either trolling or not thinking of the entire vehicle segment. I.e. RAV4 = lol in pretty much every every way, so it isn't an adequate "SUV" to consider for the purposes of this topic.

Most people that hate SUV's have no use for one and make no effort to think of ways that they might be useful to others. However, as I've stated in multiple threads, I totally agree that the vast majority of SUV owners these days would be better served by a minivan.

A Suburan probably about the least economically practical seven passenger vehicles on the road. However, they can tow pretty well. So...if someone has a clown car sized family AND they want to be able to tow a boat and/or RV...it would be a great option.
 

sandmansans

Veteran Member
Joined
Nov 3, 2013
Location
NJ/PA
TDI
2014 Jetta
i dont particularly care what people say on here about suvs and people who own them, i was a die hard car guy, did things with my jetta that most truck guys wouldnt do.

However i need to tow more...looking to go 24+ ft trailer for sledding and our roads are often not plowed....yes awd doesnt make you a better drivers however when the road is 2ft deep and not plowed the difference between a jetta and treg are night and day.

So i didnt want a truck because i really dont need a truck...nor did i want 18-24mpg...so i looked at the touareg, which is actually not much bigger then my jetta..and on the way home from the dealer doing 140 km/h cruise on and i averaged 34mpg....my buddy in his tdi jetta 42....so really not a huge loss.

You are not going to find a suv this small that can tow 7700lbs and do it WELL....be this good of mpg and just pure luxury to drive.
I don't particularly care about people insulting anything, provided they can at least state a reasonable case. To say that you can't see a sporty or utilitarian value from an SUV...you're either trolling or not thinking of the entire vehicle segment. I.e. RAV4 = lol in pretty much every every way, so it isn't an adequate "SUV" to consider for the purposes of this topic.

Most people that hate SUV's have no use for one and make no effort to think of ways that they might be useful to others. However, as I've stated in multiple threads, I totally agree that the vast majority of SUV owners these days would be better served by a minivan.

A Suburan probably about the least economically practical seven passenger vehicles on the road. However, they can tow pretty well. So...if someone has a clown car sized family AND they want to be able to tow a boat and/or RV...it would be a great option.
"Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools because they have to say something"
-Plato

Lots of fools on tdi forum...lots of them.

Thanks for your positive contribution savage and bubbagump, your posts have been very relevant and wise. Something that is becoming less and less common on this forum.

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rwolff

Veteran Member
Joined
Mar 10, 2002
Location
Lesser continental mass, Tosev 3
TDI
None yet
I can't see anything sporty or utilitarian about them.
The "sport" in "sport utility vehicle" doesn't refer to its use in motorsports. It refers to the fact that an old-school SUV can get you to the site of various activities considered sport (hunting, fishing, camping, etc) where a normal car can't go.

"Utility" was back in the days when there were NO compact SUVs, and light trucks/SUVs didn't have car-level interior finish (i.e. you could hose them out when they got dirty). A Suburban with the 2nd row folded and rear row removed can haul 4x8 sheet goods with the hatch closed, and can pull a substantial trailer - although on one occasion, when I was at a friend's place, of the 3 vehicles available (including a Suburban and a full-size van) my subcompact had the highest towing capacity when we needed to get a trailer load of dirt (van never had a hitch, Suburban's welded-on hitch had been removed to do an exhaust repair, my class 1 hitch was intact).
 

deezelpower

Veteran Member
Joined
Feb 18, 2004
Location
Martha Lake, WA
TDI
2004 Jetta TDI, 2015 Audi Q7 TDI
We have 16 month old twins -- ever tried to carry a twin stroller with a Costco shopping trip load? That's why we ended up with our Q7, and we could not be happier. We average 22-23 MPG with the TDI and we can now (more) safely tow our camper. We've seen 30+ MPG on the highway (29 over Stevens Pass, 4000ft!)

We chose the TDI because:

- Improved mileage (duh)
- High torque (tows effortlessly)
- Long-term durability (we keep vehicles 200K+)
- Turbocharger (no power loss at altitudes)

(To comment on the transmissions type discussion above, the Q7 from its inception up until 2015 used solely Aisin (Toyota) transmissions. I know because it says so right on the transmission itself, and VCDS manufacture info.The 2017's might have ZFs, nobody has commented on those (officially) yet)

They are bloody expensive for sure, and it may never pay for itself as far as fuel savings, but a minivan would not be HD enough for us and can't tow enough for our needs. I normally don't buy luxury vehicles, and if they offered a diesel in a Toyota Highlander for example, I'd have probably gone that direction instead.

Anyway, pay little attention to those who rag on Audi's reliability. If you perform all maintenance (preferably yourself, which is very easy on the Q7 by the way), they will hold up just as well as any other brand. The key to any European vehicle is doing the basic maintenance yourself.

Even Consumer reports agrees -- Audi came out #1 overall auto-maker. They're on a tear right now.
 

TdiRN

Veteran Member
Joined
Jul 7, 2015
Location
FL
TDI
2002 VW Jetta, 5 speed, 352k miles
I vote Ford Excursion. I have owned a Chevy Trailblazer I6, not a bad little truck but too small for my family, Ford Bronco - that was a toy, Cadillac Escalade ESV - damn night truck, but my favorite is still the Ford Excursion. I'm 6'7" so with seat all the way back there are few vehicles that will accomodate a carseat behind that. My wife is 5'2" and it is her daily driver with the boys - she does just fine. It has enough power to tow damn near anything with the V10 and my built 4r100.
 

bubbagumpshrimp

Veteran Member
Joined
Jul 12, 2013
Location
Virginia
TDI
'13 Jetta TDI
I vote Ford Excursion. I have owned a Chevy Trailblazer I6, not a bad little truck but too small for my family, Ford Bronco - that was a toy, Cadillac Escalade ESV - damn night truck, but my favorite is still the Ford Excursion. I'm 6'7" so with seat all the way back there are few vehicles that will accomodate a carseat behind that. My wife is 5'2" and it is her daily driver with the boys - she does just fine. It has enough power to tow damn near anything with the V10 and my built 4r100.
Those things are a riot. I still remember ~'00-ish going by a Ford dealer with my Dad and checking them out. At the time, he wanted a Suburban (he's a Chevy guy). When we checked out the Excursion...we were both like "daaaamn!" Lol. That thing is a beast.
 

GoFaster

Moderator at Large
Joined
Jun 16, 1999
Location
Brampton, Ontario, Canada
TDI
2006 Jetta TDI
I'm not a "truck guy" ... but I've driven them now and again. Ford Excursion = Ford F350 with a different back end. Haven't driven an Excursion but I've driven an F350 and did not like it one bit. Rough ride, bad steering, bad handling, bad seats, and loooooong. The diesels can be acceptable for fuel consumption but unless it is a 7.3 (old - which has its own set of issues - the one a friend owns is a 7.3) you are dealing with all the infamous Ford Powerstroke headaches. The gasoline models bring "thirsty" to an entirely new level, and hardly anyone around here bought one.

IMO something like that is something you buy because you have to, not because you want to ... If you need all of the passenger capacity and the towing capacity and the indoor cargo capacity, they're the only game in town.

OTOH another friend had the next smaller cousin - Expedition - and we did a (motorcycle hauling) trip from here (Toronto) to Florida for some winter track-day riding. Expedition has a coil sprung independent rear suspension setup and it rides really nice. The one he had was one with a 5.4 and 4 speed automatic ... that part of it was not so good. (I mentioned that one earlier in this thead)

I bought a van for my own motorcycle-hauling needs ... but the one I bought (Ram ProMaster) pretty much drives like a bigger minivan. Same engine, too (3.6 Pentastar) and it's not terrible on fuel. No passenger version of those, though ... no idea why; the Fiat Ducato has passenger versions in europe and it's the same vehicle.
 
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