Newbie looking for a Sub 14000$ rig - Snow, mild off road, some crawling
Hello everyone. I am new to this forum, so decided to hit this section. I am looking at a sub 14000$ vehicle for trail road driving, snowed out roads, some mild offroading and of course long distance highway rides. The vehicle will see about 50% city, 45% highway, and about 5% time off the road (Every alternate weekend).
Off road time will increase when it snows.
I was thinking of playing it very safe and getting a 2007-2009ish 4runner, but that is sadly out of my budget. Bay area 4runners get very very expensive.
That brought me to getting either a Lexus GX 470
At about 13000$, I would need to spend 1000$ for a 2" lift to fit 32" tires and she is good to go. But there are issues. Like that audio system, and lots and lots of very nice things which can go wrong.
So that brings me to the fJ as a contender. Do you have any suggestions for a newbie. My requirements are
1. 32-33" tires possible with minimal mods
2. Reliability - Not very handy with self repair and don't own a lift so easy to repair at cheaper shops
3. Comfortable to drive on the highway (long 400-500 mile drives)
4. Rear diff lock
5. Enough rear clearance for snow chains (unploughed roads)