Friday, February 22, 2013

The Search for a New Truck

Our 2002 Suburban is getting a bit old, with 120,000 miles now. It seems every month, something needs work. The truck has been a real workhorse for us, hauling us and dogs to dog shows, moving us across the country, carrying as many as 11 dogs to the cabin, getting us back to Colorado each year for a vacation (with at least 3 dogs and 2 cats), providing a "truck" when we need to haul a bunch of stuff. 

But, the passenger side-view mirror is busted, the lift gate is not working right, the SES light comes on based on data from a knock sensor (that may or may not be bad).

On the other hand, the truck has new shoes, new brakes, a new serpentine belt. It is in good condition on the interior and only a few scratches on the exterior. 

We recently started looking at replacements. Our needs are very specific: we still need to be able carry three dogs, preferably in crates. We need enough additional storage to make our annual migration to the cabin. We'd like to have certain comforts such as memory seats, heated seats, a navigation system, bluetooth phone control, satelite radio, etc. And, it would be really, really nice if a new vehicle was a bit smaller than the Suburban (bought to haul up to 10 dogs), and got better gas mileage. Oh, and it needs some "off road" capabilities like true 4WD and good ground clearance in order to be compatible with life at the cabin.

Not to be found.

We've looked at Jeep Cherokee, Ford Explorer (and Expedition, yikes), and smaller vehicles such as a GMC Acadia or a Mazda CX-9. Today, we even broke down and looked at a new Suburban. These vehicles are either too small for our live cargo, or the seats don't fold down fully to truly give us the cargo space that it seems is there, or the quality and finish just did not seem good to us. Even the Suburban (and Tahoe) have changed the way they fold the rear seats down so that we could no longer get three dog crates in the back! That seems crazy for a vehicle that was the workhorse utility vehicle for so long! The sales guy said it had become a soccer mom SUV instead of working person's utility vehicle.

So, the search is abandoned. Supposedly Chevy will fix the seat issue with the Suburban/Tahoe in the 2014 model (we'll see.) And, we don't plan to always have three dogs, so maybe over time our needs will change.

I must say the Jeep Grand Cherokee and the Ford Explorer looked like really nice vehicles that might meet our needs one day.

Tags:  thoughtsdogscabin
Posted under: Stuff You Gotta Know! • by Rick on 02/22/2013 at 02:03 PM
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