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Ok my wife totalled her 99 Contour SVT that was her daily driver. I am going to miss the car but I dont think it was supposed to be hers.

I had bought it for her as a gift 4 months ago. After having it 3 weeks she hit a deer a and it had almost $5,000 in damages. It was fixed. Almost 8 weeks to the day after getting it back (Monday Night Oct 1) she finished it off with another deer....... an 8 point buck at 75mph..... blew out the moonroof etc. This time we couldnt drive it home like we did 8 weeks ago.

Long story short there is roughly 8k in damages and that hits just over the 75% mark to total the car.

She is thinking about going with a Tacoma, 4 Runner or 97ish Camry...

Any suggestions on what to look for etc? Input as far as personal preferences is cool to. I have looked in Consumers Reports and those three score pretty high along with a F150 or a few other cars she is thinking about.

Thanks everyone in advance for any and all comments on the matter.
 

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I just bought a Highlander, real nice, smooth, Toyota's version of the RX300. Unless you need/want the truckiness of the others.

I got the 4cyl version, 160HP. It gets 22-23mpg in city driving.
 

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I really like the RX300 but the price is a little high for us at the moment on the highlander. Its got style though.... Hmm maybe I could talk her into that but I really doubt it.
 

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Have you checked out the new Camry Solara.. They look sporty if your into that.. They have several models, one with a six cylinder. But yeah check it out if you have the time, my dad is thinking about getting one and he's 52.
-Melly
 

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I will look inot the Solara I know its a pretty sporty model.

We go the settlement today at $10,804.50 so I am in that price range or so.

Thanks everyone.
 

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I like the Camery and Solara. Easy to find and cheap if you look at ebay. For some reason the resale is bad for sellers but good for buyers. I don't know what's up with 4Runners lately but the shop that did my motor has about 3 or 4 of them in the shop with various problems. The guys always let out a moan if they see one drive up. Which makes me sad because I like them.
 

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i work at a toyota dealer and there are not many problems with the 97-current 4-runners. though they do run a little bit higher in price depending on the milage...i know a lot of the 99's go for around 15-20k, the solaras are nice, the new ones are sweet...lol, but the old ones are dependable as well..........umm only problem i know with the 4-runners is that some of the models had injector problems...went bad prematurly, but not too many come in these days...good choices....i love 4-runners, i want one myself.
 

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My 4runner has been the most dependable, reliable, solid vehicle I have ever owned. I will never go back to GM or Ford. Worked on them my whole life. You get what you pay for. IMHO the domestic companies try to put on a nice show on the outside, and park them next to Toyotas and ask the same money, but anyone who has ever worked on them knows they are all show, same shortcomings.
You can absolutely find a 96ish 4runner for that money, just be selective and try to find one from some anal retentive freak who always changed the oil on time, only OE filters etc. You can find these. Good luck.
 

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Newer Camrys and Solara are pretty dependable cars. I haven't had any major mechanical problems with my Solara. One thing to watch out for on these models is bad maintanence. Most poorly maintained ones have sludging problem. On 1st gen Solaras make sure you check for seat rocking. Replacement seat tracks are $1500 each (no joking). Toyota refused to replace mine under warranty, and I'm still pissed about it. Also if you want a manual tranny they are pretty much nonexistent with V6 Camry and only 99 and 2000 Solara had them (not horribly common). Both the new body styles don't come with manual trans. Resale value sucks on my Solara. I think the blue book on my Solara is around 7-8K nowadays (considering I paid close to 30k for it 3.5 years ago). Of course most used cars have horrible values these days with cheap new car financing and a bum economy. I would wait on a new Tacoma, they've got to have a new bodystyle coming with the new style 4 runner.
 

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If your wife likes the ride and drive of a 4-runner, then I'd have to back you up on that. In addition to whatever sports cars I've had, I've never been without a truck of some kind. The 4-door SUV is probably the best complimentary vehicle to have when your other car is a sports car. Its got 4 doors to haul family and friends around. Its got a generous trunk area for hauling household stuff like furniture and tvs or home improvement supplies like lumber, doors and windows (not to mention Supra parts). AND, you can put a hitch on it, rent a dolly and haul a Supra parts car home (if not too far). Optionally, you can get 4wd and leave the Supra in the garage when it snows. I have a Landcruiser 80 but your wife probably wouldn't like its harsh ride and you'd have to accept a lot of mileage to get one in your price range. I liked the 4-runner better but needed the higher towing capacity of the cruiser. I'm anxious to try the new crew-cab Tundra thats coming out tho because I still kinda miss having an open bed to throw greasy car parts in. Gotta wrap shit in plastic before loading the cruiser.

I had a previous gen F150 w3rd door. A nice truck, little lacking on the finish quality but reliable. Chevy trucks from 2000 got it beat on ride quality, comfort tho - lotta women drive Chevy trucks here in Fort Worth. Still no comparo against overall quality of the Toyota products.

Phil D.
 

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Hmmm, maybe a bucket loader might be more appropriate for them deers!
All kidding aside( and I am happy she's okay!!!), although I absolutely hate the look of the new 4 Runners (too much plastic crap on the body, looks like an xterra!), I have to say that Toyotas are some of the most reliable vehicles I've ever owned, and I've owned my fair share of cars!
Whatever you do, please don't buy an american car, you'll be sorry if you do! My 2000 Durango has been in the shop more than my '87 Toyota X-tra cab, and I really have beat my truck every day I've owned it! It now has 195k vs. the Durango's 72k and I swear the truck has more original parts on it than the Durango!
We too are looking at a new vehicle, but are gonna try a euro vehicle this time, probably the Volvo XC90 or the Porsche Cayenne (non-turbo of course! Can't see an extra 33 grand for an extra 100 horse...)
Good luck with whatever you choose!
Chris
 

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SilverMk2 said:
I haven't had any major mechanical problems with my Solara. Most poorly maintained ones have sludging problem. On 1st gen Solaras make sure you check for seat rocking. Replacement seat tracks are $1500 each (no joking). Toyota refused to replace mine under warranty, and I'm still pissed about it. Also if you want a manual tranny they are pretty much nonexistent with V6 Camry and only 99 and 2000 Solara had them (not horribly common). Resale value sucks on my Solara. I think the blue book on my Solara is around 7-8K nowadays (considering I paid close to 30k for it 3.5 years ago).
I've wanted to ask...Does your Solara have the supercharger? Or is the stage III kit just the body work, wheels/tires, and suspension?
 

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buy a landcrusier, one of the huge old bitches with the big diesel (think they had a 4.2 liter or something?)

or one of the less big old bitches, the smaller 2 door jeep like ones.

then you can probably afford another vehicle, as either of those is pretty cheap around here :)
maybe a suburban for towing/hauling supras and parts
 

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Muchbzy said:
I've wanted to ask...Does your Solara have the supercharger? Or is the stage III kit just the body work, wheels/tires, and suspension?
No, just the Stage 3 package. I've got pretty much everything but the blower and exhaust. They didn't come out with the blower until about a yr after I bought the car. When it 1st came out it wasn't covered under warranty and after that the warranty only covered new car installation. These days the car just has too many miles on it for engine hopups. Besides gas mileage is my more important goal these days. Its mainly just a back and forth to work car for me. I mod the hell out of the Supra and use that for performance stuff. Of course this would be if I can ever drive the MkII again.
 

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Snake,
Don't know if you've picked something out yet or not but I'll throw in another vote for the 4Runner. The wife and I have a '98 Limited and we love it, drinks a little gas but I wouldn't hesitate to drive it anywhere...except for the fact that I cant stand to get it dirty. :wink:
My advice would be to borrow a little if you can and pick up one for 15ish with as many options as you can find(don't be afraid to look a little while for exactly what you want)...I love the leather, push-button 4wd, power roof, aluminum rims, 3.4v6, draw-tite...etc
If you find a '96 thru early '98 make sure the head gasket has been replaced, there was a factory recall and the dealer should do it for free if it hasn't been done and it needs it, but that was a problem with the early models. Otherwise, it's the normal Toyota stuff, timing belt, oil changes, really bulletproof vehicles...but I probably don't need to tell you about all that. Be sure to share the details about the new ride with us. Good luck,
Eric
 

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Ha! Try going back even further than that for the head gasket recall! My '87 22RE had the recall, as well as my old '95 4 Runner w/the V-6! In fact, that's why I traded it in for the Durango, after the dealership did the recall(which they ultimately replaced the block and heads! think they just wanted to make money on the recall), it never did run the same.
Poor vehicle struggled to hold 75 on an incline, it was bone stock. My '87 w/the 4 banger and 33's (w/gearing) holds the same hill today at 80!
It really was a shame, cuz I really loved that vehicle. I felt comfortable in it, just don't have that warm cozy feeling w/the Durango...
 

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Bow your head in shame for trading a 4runner for a durango! :joke: I too have a 95 and it did take part in the H/G recall. I haven't had any performance changes, it ALWAYS lacked "snap your head back" power but it's just something I accept for the quality/value in the vehicle. I did have issues with the dealer tho. The chumps that worked on it used backyard methods like I would've had to if I did it in my garage. I saw my fan belts fraying on the edges, and looked down to see that the monkey used freakin water pump pliers to get my crank pully off, and left the teeth- marred edges after doing something that stupid. They are supposed to be a fully equipped dealer with all the proper tools to do the job, without resorting to shit like that. I had a few other minor issues but they are just specific to the scumbags at that particular dealership, I judge them all independantly.
Weird sidenote: I never noticed it before the H/G job that was done 3 yrs ago, all functions seem normal but found out the hard way after doing an oil change, the enginge will not start or run if the oil fill cap is off of the valve cover. I assume it's because of a vaccum issue but is this normal?
 

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I should note that Toyota claims to have the HG issue worked out as of half way through the '98 model year on the V-6's. They switched companies...or that's what I was told. I guess they don't have that problem on them anymore...or again, that's what they told me. I knew a dealer mechanic pretty well before I moved who also had a '98..

Eric
 

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Just got off the phone with Josh....he got lost again. Anyway, he hasn't bought anything yet.

Josh, I vote for the 4 runner. My buddy owned a couple of them and they were great vehicles. I totally agree with Phil about having an SUV as part of your vehicle fleet. I don't know what I would do if I didnt' have the Montero or the Van, especially after moving 90 miles to Saginaw. I towed the '85 l-type 300 miles from the Columbus, OH area yesterday, couldn't have done that with another car.
 

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I've got a 97 runner, I offroad the thing and it's been through hell and still have had NO problems with it at all.... I reccomend em
 
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