: Jesda, Ian, anyone else; need a car recommendation



JimmyH
06-27-12, 03:27 PM
My boss, who has a 2008 G35, is looking for a new car. He decided instead of replacing the G, he wants to get a little fun car. Something small, stick shift, with a tight turning radius, good handling, reasonable reliability.

His current thought is a 2 year old Mini Cooper. I added to that with maybe a Cooper S.

What say ye?

gary88
06-27-12, 03:28 PM
Miata, S2000.

JimmyH
06-27-12, 03:30 PM
He wants to be able to drive it in the winter time too, and since I will be having my fun with this car also, neither of us wants a convertible. I would rather have the structural integrity.

Also, budget is $20k.

Oh yeah, he does want a back seat, even if it's tiny, for his dogs.

AElayyat
06-27-12, 03:36 PM
He wants to be able to drive it in the winter time too, and since I will be having my fun with this car also, neither of us wants a convertible. I would rather have the structural integrity.

Also, budget is $20k.

Oh yeah, he does want a back seat, even if it's tiny, for his dogs.

A 2 yr old civic si coupe or gti come to mind...

orconn
06-27-12, 03:42 PM
Vw gti

drewsdeville
06-27-12, 03:58 PM
How small is small?

Cheap, reliable, tossable, and "small" - a few year old Mazda 3?

concorso
06-27-12, 04:29 PM
E30.........

cadillac kevin
06-27-12, 04:30 PM
How small is small?

Cheap, reliable, tossable, and "small" - a few year old Mazda 3?

Mazdaspeed 3?

Jesda
06-27-12, 04:39 PM
A new Skyactiv Mazda 3 would be on par with the Mini for fuel economy while offering more room. They start at $15k. Styling is not so great, but otherwise they're great cars.

If not for potentially high repair costs, I'd suggest a used VW Golf GTI, Audi A4 Quattro or Audi TT Quattro.


The Mini has a surprising amount of cargo space because of its upright shape, but not everyone fits, and the lack of rear doors on a Cooper makes it hard to get pets in and out. I suppose dogs could just climb in the hatch.

JimmyH
06-27-12, 05:40 PM
Yes, he would fold the rear seats and use the hatch for the dogs. He is going today to test drive a Cooper and Cooper clubman. He's gonna drive the auto, and if he likes it, have me go back with him to test drive the manual. He hasn't driven a manual in 20 years, so he is a tad bit rusty.

GTI is out. As is the Mazda 3. I think those are too mainstream for him. He is fairly set on the Cooper unless he winds up not liking it. Anyone know what the reliability is like on the Mini?

Jesda
06-27-12, 05:44 PM
I know that 02-04 had some teething problems, especially with early clutch wear (early as in 20-40k). Would be a good idea to find out if that's been remedied.

Mini2.com



I can't think of anything that fits that niche of being snow-capable, premium-ish, cheap, and sporty other than the Fiat 500, and that's going to be way too small for most dogs.

orconn
06-27-12, 05:50 PM
Clutch wear is always a problem with used cars as many original buyers only "think" they know how to use a clutch and put excessive wear on the clutch. It is imortant to have this checked by a competnet mechanic.

JimmyH
06-27-12, 06:06 PM
Well, you can't really check a clutch without removing it. You can tell by feel, but only if you compare it with a new car. I suppose I could drive used and new back to back if he buys it from the dealer.

Jesda
06-27-12, 06:12 PM
On the Minis there's supposedly a clicking sound that comes and goes as you use the clutch pedal, but I dont know if that's a 100% indicator of a good or bad clutch, or if Minis from the last couple years even have that problem.

orconn
06-27-12, 06:18 PM
I find that a little strange that you can't check the wear on the clutch without disassembling it. Every manual car I've ever had you could check for clutch wear. Even the FWD VW Scirocco could be checked for wear.

JimmyH
06-27-12, 07:20 PM
I have never seen any little windows or trap doors in the transmission case. How do you check it?

drewsdeville
06-27-12, 09:39 PM
You can heavily load the clutch (high gear, high torque) to find out if it slips, chatters, or otherwise has engagement problems, but not much else. On pretty much all modern cars, the clutch is hydraulically operated, do not have any adjustments like the older systems. They are all self adjusting now. If it doesn't display immediate problems, you can't tell how much material is left from the driver's seat. Driven properly, it will work like new until it's time for replacement.

Aztec ETC ECS
06-27-12, 10:26 PM
:yeah: Well put. Trust me, I'm a tranny guy.
Still love the hat.

Also, it's not always disc wear. Loss of spring tension causes slippage and causes premature failure.

MotownPimp
06-27-12, 10:38 PM
How about a 350 Z? I had mine for 8 years & loved it. No back seat but the area behind the seat can handle a couple dogs if not to large.

drewsdeville
06-27-12, 10:40 PM
350Z = smaller G35. I think the point is to get something different.

Aztec ETC ECS
06-27-12, 10:42 PM
'91 saab 900?

talismandave
06-27-12, 10:50 PM
'91 saab 900?
How do you do that Jesda? I haven't figured out how to post under someone else's avatar.

Aron9000
06-27-12, 11:07 PM
You can heavily load the clutch (high gear, high torque) to find out if it slips, chatters, or otherwise has engagement problems, but not much else. On pretty much all modern cars, the clutch is hydraulically operated, do not have any adjustments like the older systems. They are all self adjusting now. If it doesn't display immediate problems, you can't tell how much material is left from the driver's seat. Driven properly, it will work like new until it's time for replacement.

Good advice, put it in top gear at maybe 45-55mph(as slow as you can without making it bog) and floor it. If it slips or makes any weird noises, you know its toast.

I also thought that on a clutch you can generally tell how much friction material you have left by how far off the floor it engages. I know its different for every model, but generally if it engages at the top 1/3 of pedal travel means you have a lot of life left. If it engages at the floor or near the floor its worn.

I know Mini is now making a 4 door model as well. Its kind of funny looking as its a good bit taller, longer, and sits higher off the ground than a regular Mini. Kind of reminds me of those guys who jacked up their old VW Beetles and put big tires on them back in the day, just from the way it sits high off the ground. You can get the 4 door one with AWD, but its really not a good value IMO, its pushing 30k base, well over 30k with options.

Aztec ETC ECS
06-27-12, 11:13 PM
How do you do that Jesda? I haven't figured out how to post under someone else's avatar.
Yes you have! Wasn't me! Dave hacked into my account!!

Aztec ETC ECS
06-27-12, 11:19 PM
^ Just kiddin'.

But seriously, Jes, after getting out of the STS and into the SAAB, do you find yourself trying to put the key in the dash? Because I've been doing that in customer's cars for years.

thebigjimsho
06-27-12, 11:46 PM
Easy. BRZ. It may be $5G over budget, but it is handling goodness in a world of porkers...

ryannel2003
06-28-12, 01:12 AM
E46 330Ci ZHP?

http://i109.photobucket.com/albums/n46/ryannel2003/32412270002_large.jpg

I~LUV~Caddys8792
06-28-12, 01:28 AM
Used 350/370Z?

EDIT: nevermind, saw the thing about a backseat.

Jesda
06-28-12, 01:52 AM
^ Just kiddin'.

But seriously, Jes, after getting out of the STS and into the SAAB, do you find yourself trying to put the key in the dash? Because I've been doing that in customer's cars for years.

I've owned the Saab for 2.5 years and had the STS for 1.5 years at the same time. Going back and forth sometimes resulted in a brief moment of confusion.



The BMW E46 is pretty terrible in the snow as-is (I know from direct experience), so you'll need a full set of Blizzaks to get by. BMW's traction/stability control from that era isn't as good as Lincoln's or Cadillac's and the factory ground clearance is pretty low.

Aron9000
06-28-12, 06:58 AM
^ Jesda, BMW also makes AWD versions of the 3, 5, and 7 series. I think AWD is standard on any SUV they have ever made.

Jesda
06-28-12, 08:02 AM
^ Jesda, BMW also makes AWD versions of the 3, 5, and 7 series. I think AWD is standard on any SUV they have ever made.

Yeah that's true. It would be kind of a clone of the guy's Infiniti G though.

ryannel2003
06-28-12, 11:10 AM
The only negative about the AWD versions of the Bimmer's is they tend to be less fun to drive than the RWD versions. I don't know from experience but I've read several online reviews that have stated that.

gary88
06-28-12, 12:08 PM
A 3 series on Blizzaks will get you through anything provided you have enough clearance.

And yeah I can instantly tell the difference in driving pleasure between AWD and RWD models. The AWD loaners I've gotten had a lot less steering feedback, since they don't offer sport suspension on AWD models you get more body roll, and they have 1%-2% more weight in the front than RWD models which you can definitely feel on a BMW, especially when braking.

JimmyH
06-28-12, 12:34 PM
He drove the Mini last night. Loved it. I think he's pretty set on it. They had a 2008 Cooper S manual that he really liked. Almost bought it, but it didn't have bluetooth. So now I am off to determine the difficulty of adding it.

talismandave
06-28-12, 12:36 PM
Check at Grom Audio, I got a great unit from them for my Volvo.

JimmyH
06-28-12, 01:33 PM
I found a place that sells retrofits for BMWs. According to them, the kit does fit a 2008 Mini. He is going to try and find one first that already has bluetooth, but at least we have an option to fall back on.

CIWS
06-28-12, 03:39 PM
The only negative about the AWD versions of the Bimmer's is they tend to be less fun to drive than the RWD versions. I don't know from experience but I've read several online reviews that have stated that.

Fun is defined by each individual, I love my AWD and the X6 has almost no body roll. If you want to have fun run with folks, get them in the rain and watch them slam into the curb :D

CIWS
06-28-12, 03:43 PM
As far as a vehicle possibility, although not quite out yet, how about have him look at the upcoming Ford Focus ST ? Turbo4, 6 speed, recaro seats, sport suspension, etc Max's out around 28K MSRP. Plus if it's got a turbo, it's probbly got some more tuning room. :)

JimmyH
06-28-12, 04:39 PM
I guarantee you he ain't gonna tune. He's almost 60 years old, not a modder. And he wants to keep it under $20k so he doesn't have to face divorce.

orconn
06-28-12, 04:53 PM
What about those Volvo sporty hatch back thingies?

cadillac kevin
06-28-12, 04:59 PM
What about those Volvo sporty hatch back thingies?

They're fugly...what about them?

thebigjimsho
06-28-12, 05:25 PM
B-R-Z. F-R-S. Common!

JimmyH
06-28-12, 05:33 PM
too much money. common!

I might be interested in one of those though.

Jesda
06-28-12, 05:56 PM
Snow

JimmyH
06-28-12, 05:59 PM
i doubt he will be driving it in the snow. his G35 is awd. but he will be driving it in the winter. I am sure the br-z has summer tires which won't be alot of fun on cold pavement.

gary88
06-28-12, 06:01 PM
http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e383/reeksti/blizzaks.jpg

JimmyH
06-28-12, 06:14 PM
yeah, he won't be swapping wheels/tires either.

JimmyH
06-28-12, 06:15 PM
I am a driving enthusiast and I don't even have the ambition to do it anymore.

concorso
06-28-12, 09:07 PM
I've owned the Saab for 2.5 years and had the STS for 1.5 years at the same time. Going back and forth sometimes resulted in a brief moment of confusion.



The BMW E46 is pretty terrible in the snow as-is (I know from direct experience), so you'll need a full set of Blizzaks to get by. BMW's traction/stability control from that era isn't as good as Lincoln's or Cadillac's and the factory ground clearance is pretty low.My 03 E39 was noticably worse in the winter then my 03 CTS, both running the sames tires, even the sizes were identical.

JimmyH
06-28-12, 10:03 PM
I made it through the winter in my Camaro SS on all season tires. I don't need no stinking blizzaks.

Jesda
06-28-12, 10:48 PM
What about those Volvo sporty hatch back thingies?

I dig those. The C30? I wonder if they had a turbo option.

MacMuse
06-28-12, 11:08 PM
I made it through the winter in my Camaro SS on all season tires. I don't need no stinking blizzaks.

We had one day of snow in December. Might as well been driving in San Diego this "Chicago Winter".

Anti Blizzak Point Fail.

BIGREECE
06-28-12, 11:11 PM
Honda Civic Si coupe, Drive one and enjoy!

Jesda
06-28-12, 11:28 PM
Honda Civic Si coupe, Drive one and enjoy!

Double wishbone ftw

But the best generation of Si is probably too old.

talismandave
06-28-12, 11:43 PM
I dig those. The C30? I wonder if they had a turbo option.
I had one of those as a service loaner for 2 weeks. took a couple days to get used to the look, got to like it drove great. By the end of the two weeks I was sad to give it up. If they made a convertible I'd be on it, but then I'm not a big power guy.
93999

BIGREECE
06-28-12, 11:51 PM
Don't hate until you drive one, I know prev Si's were great but for what it is the damn thing is fun as hell to drive and grow on you.
Double wishbone ftw

But the best generation of Si is probably too old.

I~LUV~Caddys8792
06-29-12, 12:09 AM
I dig those. The C30? I wonder if they had a turbo option.

They were all a 2.5L turbocharged I-5....... about 227hp if memory serves.

orconn
06-29-12, 12:27 AM
The Volvo C30 sounds like it would be worth a test drive! 227hp in car that size should give "sprightly" if not "pants soiling" performance! Lots of room for dogs too!

hueterm
06-29-12, 12:34 AM
I switched out winter tires on the white wagon and barely needed them even on the Detroit drive.

orconn
06-29-12, 12:46 AM
Don't worry guys those winter tires were not purchased in vain, we are sure to have record breaking snow this coming winter! Do you remember what happened after the warm Winter of 1999!

Playdrv4me
06-29-12, 02:35 AM
Late to this party but echo the Cooper sentiment. Everyone I know who has one absolutely loves it. They get the same kind of worship from their owners as Apple products or the way the EARLY Saturn guys used to be. The Clubman addresses dog concerns, but if he's happy with the Cooper S, by all means go for it.

brandondeleo
06-29-12, 04:14 AM
I've heard nothing but accolades from Cooper owners, as well. Cool little car, I'd love to drive one.

JimmyH
06-29-12, 01:29 PM
I was an early Saturn guy. It wasn't that great of a car. Then again, I was a punk kid who beat the crap out of it.

Aron9000
06-30-12, 02:42 AM
I was an early Saturn guy. It wasn't that great of a car. Then again, I was a punk kid who beat the crap out of it.

IMO those early Saturns were great cars except they had one Achillies heel. The damn engine sounded, felt like, and was as loud as a blender. Still they ran forever with minimal fuss, probably the first decent compact car GM had made since the Corvair.

Playdrv4me
06-30-12, 02:44 AM
IMO those early Saturns were great cars except they had one Achillies heel. The damn engine sounded, felt like, and was as loud as a blender. Still they ran forever with minimal fuss, probably the first decent compact car GM had made since the Corvair.

Those early Saturn reviews were, in fact, the first time I was introduced to the concept of "NVH" in auto rag reviews! They had a lot of all three.

brandondeleo
06-30-12, 04:09 AM
The thing that cracked me up about the Saturns was the plastic.

CadillacLuke24
06-30-12, 05:09 AM
:rimshot: That's a lot of what I see on older Saturns.

JimmyH
07-01-12, 02:31 PM
It was a pretty good handling car for fwd. It was tossable. It was noisy. But by the time I got done with the audio system and put a Borla exhaust on, there was no hope of quiet anyway :D

orconn
07-01-12, 03:45 PM
One of the real pluses of the Saturn were the "plastic" body panels. A friend of mine had an early nineties Saturn that he used to commute to his office in D.C. from Great Falls. It was a stick shift, and not only was it robust mechanically, the plastic body panels stood the test of time so well that when I last saw the car in 2004 it still looked very presentable.

The "plastic" lower body cladding on my 17 year old Seville has also held up very well. I wouldn't be adverse to having a car with similar non metal body parts on a new car today!

Jesda
07-01-12, 03:45 PM
My roommate used to drive an early 2000s Saturn sedan. The interior looked and felt like something you might find in a mid-90s Korean car but it was at least screwed together well enough. No rattles or squeaks, and it handled surprisingly well.

The hateful engine caused the whole car to vibrate like a lawnmower.

JimmyH
07-01-12, 04:30 PM
My 1992 SC:

http://www.cooleywire.com/jimmyh/pics/cars/mycars/92Saturn.jpg

gary88
07-01-12, 04:57 PM
Ugh, I remember those old IL license plates. Good riddance.

brandondeleo
07-02-12, 04:42 AM
My 1992 SC:

http://www.cooleywire.com/jimmyh/pics/cars/mycars/92Saturn.jpg
They were pretty slick looking cars.
:hide:

CadillacLuke24
07-02-12, 03:50 PM
The hateful engine caused the whole car to vibrate like a lawnmower.

:lol: I can imagine that very well!

JimmyH
07-02-12, 06:34 PM
My 92 Saturn had almost as bad wheel hop as my 05 V.

Playdrv4me
07-08-12, 05:58 AM
I can see why Saturn guys from those years were so loyal. In an era where almost every other GM division was putting out some of the worst garbage in the company's history, Saturn was generating practical, fun and original designs within a self run division with quite possibly one of the most appropriate slogans ever (Different kind of car..).

brandondeleo
07-08-12, 07:24 AM
I just spent a day and a half driving a '95 SL2. Raving piece of shit. Maybe this one is a bad example. :lol:

I~LUV~Caddys8792
07-08-12, 09:00 AM
My 1992 SC:

http://www.cooleywire.com/jimmyh/pics/cars/mycars/92Saturn.jpg


What are those license plates alluding to?

JimmyH
07-08-12, 02:49 PM
It's a long story.

I~LUV~Caddys8792
07-08-12, 03:07 PM
Did your coworker end up buying anything? The Cooper S is fun, would be a great secondary car.

JimmyH
07-08-12, 03:08 PM
He's still looking. He checks craigslist every day looking for a new ones. There was one right in our area, but it sold really quick. There are plenty of used Cooper, but Cooper S with a manual are VERY hard to find.

I~LUV~Caddys8792
07-08-12, 03:12 PM
We had a forest green '08 Cooper S on our lot for a while over the winter, but it was the automatic.

Playdrv4me
07-08-12, 06:23 PM
LOL, I just drove a Cooper S Stick at Suzuki of Wichita the other day. 2005 with every option except for Nav and they wanted like 11k for it. Fun little car. It has a lot of miles on it, though.

I'd say if there's any normal car where the chances are better (if not great) of finding the manual, the Cooper is it at least.

gdwriter
07-08-12, 07:20 PM
Who the hell would want to drive an automatic in a Mini Cooper? Blasphemy!















Somewhere in Georgia, Rick's head just exploded. :bighead:

JimmyH
07-09-12, 02:58 PM
Even my boss, who hasn't driven a stick shift in almost 20 years knows what a waste the Cooper would be with an auto.

JimmyH
07-09-12, 03:00 PM
somewhat related; I was flogging my sisters Golf TDi a little yesterday. It has vague, choppy steering, floaty (for such a small car anyway) ride, and almost no pedal feedback; yet because it's a stick shift, it's still fun to drive.

Aron9000
07-10-12, 03:42 AM
somewhat related; I was flogging my sisters Golf TDi a little yesterday. It has vague, choppy steering, floaty (for such a small car anyway) ride, and almost no pedal feedback; yet because it's a stick shift, it's still fun to drive.

I feel the same way about my 20 year old Toyota truck. It plows in the corners like nobody's business, but its a lot of fun when you execute that perfect 1-2 no lift shift and bark the tires, do that perfect rev matched 4-2 downshift to pass somebody at 40-50mph, or do that perfect heel-toe downshift while entering a corner at a speed that would embarrass any sports car. It helps that the clutch is easy to use and the shifter is fairly precise, despite its long throws.

Jesda
07-10-12, 05:27 AM
I feel the same way about my 20 year old Toyota truck. It plows in the corners like nobody's business, but its a lot of fun when you execute that perfect 1-2 no lift shift and bark the tires, do that perfect rev matched 4-2 downshift to pass somebody at 40-50mph, or do that perfect heel-toe downshift while entering a corner at a speed that would embarrass any sports car. It helps that the clutch is easy to use and the shifter is fairly precise, despite its long throws.

Heck yeah! My primary means of transit for the past week has been a 1978 Toyota pickup. I absolutely love driving it. The clutch master cylinder is leaking (replacing it tomorrow, just FIFTEEN BUCKS for the part!) so I've been getting some practice with rev-matching.

Aron9000
07-10-12, 07:20 AM
Heck yeah! My primary means of transit for the past week has been a 1978 Toyota pickup. I absolutely love driving it. The clutch master cylinder is leaking (replacing it tomorrow, just FIFTEEN BUCKS for the part!) so I've been getting some practice with rev-matching.

I've driven extensively a few vintage 2wd Toyota trucks, an 85 22R extra cab, manual shift with a/c and no power steering, an 88 22R regular cab, manual shift with power steering and a/c, my 93 22R-E with power steering, non-working a/c and beat to hell, and my dad's no option 2003, 2RZ-FE, reg cab with power steering and a/c.

Out of all of those little trucks I'd say that 1988 truck was quite frankly the best handling truck by far. It actually felt tossable into corners, the power steering was a little loose, but IMO it felt like a damn sports car compared to the other trucks.

BTW that 1988 truck has been in Nashville its whole life, its owned by a friend of the family and now has 300k miles on the original engine, trans, driveshaft, body, frame, and rear axle. Its had two repaints and a seat reupholstery in its time, but its still a damn straight truck with no rust and a nice interior. Its still driven on a daily basis to get back and forth to work, like I said its nearing 300k miles but still just runs like the day it was born. Hell I'd buy it back in a heartbeat, but our friend we sold it to just loves that truck, says its the best vehicle he's ever owned. Says other than the cosmetic issues he's put about $900 into it for a carb rebuild and a clutch job.

Aron9000
07-10-12, 07:27 AM
I've driven extensively a few vintage 2wd Toyota trucks, an 85 22R extra cab, manual shift with a/c and no power steering, an 88 22R regular cab, manual shift with power steering and a/c, my 93 22R-E with power steering, non-working a/c and beat to hell, and my dad's no option 2003, 2RZ-FE, reg cab with power steering and a/c.

Out of all of those little trucks I'd say that 1988 truck was quite frankly the best handling truck by far. It actually felt tossable into corners, the power steering was a little loose, but IMO it felt like a damn sports car compared to the other trucks.

BTW that 1988 truck has been in Nashville its whole life, its owned by a friend of the family and now has 300k miles on the original engine, trans, driveshaft, body, frame, and rear axle. Its had two repaints and a seat reupholstery in its time, but its still a damn straight truck with no rust and a nice interior. Its still driven on a daily basis to get back and forth to work, like I said its nearing 300k miles but still just runs like the day it was born. Hell I'd buy it back in a heartbeat, but our friend we sold it to just loves that truck, says its the best vehicle he's ever owned. Says other than the cosmetic issues he's put about $900 into it for a carb rebuild and a clutch job.

Our 300k 1988 Toyota truck looks exactly like this. Nice paint, correct stripe, no rust, yeah its a damn nice looking truck . . .

http://www.ranchotoyotatruckparts.com/carpics/T08141_df.JPG

I~LUV~Caddys8792
07-10-12, 08:28 AM
What kinda Toyota truck was Marty McFly's? That was one damn good looking compact truck!

Playdrv4me
07-12-12, 05:21 AM
Toyota SR-5 Xtra-Cab. One of the all time best looking small pickups in ANY period of history.

Sadly, I did not have the same experience with my brief ownership of that LX470. That was a 1 or 2 owner dealer maintained truck that spent its entire life in Wichita, yet at 150k it had already developed a strange grinding in the front end, the auto box in the 2000s was known for failures and shifted somewhat harshly, and for reasons beyond my ability to comprehend, Toyota sourced their fancy-pants suspension from CITROEN of all people as a HYDRAULIC unit rather than a more traditional air design. I can't totally hold that against them because the Land Cruiser uses nothing of the sort, it's just a plain jane coilover setup. Still, the Citroen system can cost of thousands of dollars to repair or tear out and that's very un-Toyota like. The A/C compressor also really affected the idle speed and like all Toyotas, the rust abatement was awful. Wichita's not a terribly rusty place like IL or OH, but it had already developed a spot on the tail-gate.

The UZJ100 LX and Land Cruiser are still amongst some of the best Toyotas of all time (up there with the UCF10 LS400 at the top of the perch) but it just goes to show that everyone is capable of putting out turds even within supposedly legendary models.

Aron9000
07-12-12, 06:39 AM
^That's surprising, every old Land Cruiser/Lexus whatever of that vintage that I've driven felt like it was made of granite. I've never seen one with a speck of body rust either, but I do live in the south.

All that being said, I do prefer the more basic/utlitarian nature and smaller size of the 3rd gen and 4th gen 4Runner. Especially the 3rd gen 4Runner, man it was a rather rugged SUV, small enough to drive off road, but had a lot of room for your gear and buddies. Plus it had the awesome 3.4L 5Z-FE V6, which never broke and an honest floor mounted lever for the transfer case. Seats were great as well, they had some serious bolsters on them which really held you in place. I really liked the styling on that truck as well, it was rather rugged and basic. You can put aftermarket bumpers, roof racks, rock sliders, lift it up, put huge tires on it, well it just looks great on that truck IMO.

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3617/3301640965_27858b3d05_o.jpg