Jump to content
FRIENDLY REMINDER ABOUT HUNTING REPORTS/TOPICS... Read more... ×
Duckn66

Small SUV??

Recommended Posts

Duckn66

My truck kills me every season with fuel costs.  So, thinking ahead to next season already,  I'm thinking about a small SUV, something two crates can fit in and under them a pull out drawer system for guns, shells, leashes, collars etc..  This would mainly be a bird hunting vehicle and maybe duck hunting when I don't take a lot of decoys.

 

I will be keeping my truck for certain hunting but for traveling to hunt tests, training, and some upland hunting I'd use the SUV.

 

What small SUV do some of you have/prefer that will handle a set up like I'd like to do?  The Honda Passports seem to have some room but there are not many for sale.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
terrym

A small SUV is a far more practical bird hunting vehicle for most who don't carry more than 2 dog crates. They will be easier to manoeuvre into narrower bush roads. If you do do overnight trips that require you haul a camp too then a full sized truck has its place. Check out the Nissan Rogue and Subaru Forester. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
WyomingArt

 2005 Forester worked for me for several years. Fairly good ground clearance, maybe about 7 inches IIRC.  2 kennels for 2 setters worked OK. Needed to pull a boat so went back to a pickup.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Bede

Current Forester has proven idea for me. 8.7 inches of clearance. Advanced AWD system with a sophisticated off road mode. Awesome MPG. Great visibility. 

 

See my post in Brad's Forester vs Crosstrek thread. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Duckn66

Forgot all about the forester. Looks like they have a little more room in back. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Curt

I went through this several months ago.  With the back seat down, the Forester does not offer a flat surface to place crates, there is about a 2-3 inch step up.  The seats were also quite small and uncomfortable for me.  My wife ended up with a new Ford Escape, flat floor for crates, comfortable seats, plenty of room for one or two with two dogs.  I've been hunting out of it locally all season while my F-350 sits in the driveway.  I bought Carhartt seat covers, Canvasback cargo area cover and Weather Tech floor liners to protect it from the dirt, dog hair, etc.

Averaging 24 mpg, mixed driving, works slick.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
dogrunner
33 minutes ago, Curt said:

I went through this several months ago.  With the back seat down, the Forester does not offer a flat surface to place crates, there is about a 2-3 inch step up.  The seats were also quite small and uncomfortable for me.  My wife ended up with a new Ford Escape, flat floor for crates, comfortable seats, plenty of room for one or two with two dogs.  I've been hunting out of it locally all season while my F-350 sits in the driveway.  I bought Carhartt seat covers, Canvasback cargo are cover and Weather Tech floor liners to protect it from the dirt, dog hair, etc.

Averaging 24 mpg, mixed driving, works slick.

Yes the Escape works well, with a good set of tires it can go places. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
vabirddog

Ive been looking too,old escape, crv, s10 blazer.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
MNice

Why not get a different truck? Some of the newer models have great gas mileage unless you need the towing capacity and or the power. The  last model year of the Passport was 2002 (21 hwy) so if your're looking for something in that vintage, I'd look for a landcruiser, Montero, or Xterra. All would out perform the Passport both in fuel economy and off road ability.

 

With my daughter off to college, I've been driving a Ford Edge AWD on my hunting adventures and it handles most everything my truck would.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Don Steese

I'm also looking for a small SUV that I can tow behind my moho. Appears the used Escapes can be bought at a very reasonable price if you look around. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Duckn66
59 minutes ago, MNice said:

Why not get a different truck? Some of the newer models have great gas mileage unless you need the towing capacity and or the power. The  last model year of the Passport was 2002 (21 hwy) so if your're looking for something in that vintage, I'd look for a landcruiser, Montero, or Xterra. All would out perform the Passport both in fuel economy and off road ability.

 

With my daughter off to college, I've been driving a Ford Edge AWD on my hunting adventures and it handles most everything my truck would.

 

This truck is paid for and still in decent shape.  I don't want another vehicle payment to be honest.  I can pay cash for a smaller SUV that would get decent fuel mileage.  I don't need heavy off road capability as I rarely use 4wd but there are times I get down a dirt road and there may be a spot or two I need to get through.  

 

At one time I had a Mazda B2200 with a 4 cyl 5 speed that was just the ticket.  It eventually rusted so bad it became not road worthy but it was still running like a champ.  Only draw back was 2wd and I did get into a couple of spots that I shouldn't have.  Can't find those old trucks anymore but gosh they were runners.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
jeff88

Mostly these are AWD, not true 4WD but all should work on two tracks or unimproved -- my current ride is an acura mdx in awd and it gets around light off-roading just fine.  As for smaller and less expensive, the Escape, Mazda CX5, CRV and Subaru would top my list.  Subaru has the better awd from what I understand.  Bede writes above that this was covered in pretty gory detail in a Brad Eden thread.  The upside for the small SUVs based on car platforms is the ride and handling en route to the hunting grounds, they get better gas mileage and perform better on the roads.

 

Recent experience has had me in the Mazda CX5 for a week and later a week in the Ford Edge - both were very nice.  Last year I had an Escape for a week and I liked it a lot too.  Today one need not spend a fortune to get a great ride.  My philosophy on car-buying is to get a really well-reviewed vehicle that is coming off a 2 or 3 year lease with warranty left on it and pay cash.  In years 1 to 3, the car loses value quickly then planes in value for another 4 - 5 years before dropping off again.  Add on a bumper to bumper extended warranty from the manufacturer to mostly cover electronics and it's like a new car with a longer warranty.  For the manufacturers warranty I offer 60% of the asking price and have always gotten that number, it gives the dealer 10% and goes to their monthly quota for sales.  Never take their offer, you make an offer and tell them to take it or leave it.  Be prepared to walk every time - very few dealers will let you make it to the door.  Since you aren't trading anything in or leasing, this is a very simple conversation.

 

Going bigger I'd look at the Explorer and Pilot -- but you're going to 20 mpg versus 25 mpg across the board.  The Explorer awd is the same as the land rover which is pretty darn good for not being 4wd.  When I replace the acura I will be going smaller and right now I'd say my next ride will be a 2017 audi allroad to be purchased in late 2020.  Ideally it will have 30k miles on it coming off a 3 year lease.  

 

My favorite car-buying website is Edmunds.com.  If you are looking for a used ride, check out the owners reviews for the model and year you are looking into.  Along with the editors reviews, they really help narrow it down.  They also provide what they call "True Market Value" which helps in negotiations.  If you want, PM me when you decide on the vehicle and I can send you an offer sheet I used on the MDX which lays out the costs, this was all done on the phone after I test drove and found the car I wanted.  Did the exact same for my wife's g-37, it works!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Brad Eden

Check out this recent topic. Subaru Topic

 

We are also looking. Wife has a Nissan Rogue she absolutely loves, but its getting close to 100k. And my truck is closing in on 200k. So we may "split" a third vehicle for me to galavant around town in and use my truck to plow and hunt out of, she can take it on her long trips to see relatives all the dang time...

 

seems the Subaru Forester is getting the ravest reviews.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
bobman

depending on how much fuel economy vs space you want a used clean rust free AWD minivan might be something else to consider

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Duckn66

I've considered a mini van as they have a lot of space.  I'm more inclined towards fuel economy but would like to be able to fit two (large) crates in it.  Primarily it's a bird hunting vehicle.  Out here we (or at least I), travel good distances to and even between spots.  It's not uncommon for me to drive 2 hours one way.  I'd like something that with a tank of fuel I can do this with.  

 

These replies have given me some things to consider for sure.  Thank you all very much.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×