View Full Version : first truck for teen

11-12-2012, 10:31 AM
So Olivia will be 16 in April...I sent her to the Master Drive school, and got to see her put the 2003 LX470 in a skid :eek: they did a great job, and so did she! So I am starting to look for a truck for her...and kind of stuck between a 4Runner and an 80. I really liked the idea of a 62 but I like the safety features (antilock brakes, airbags, etc) on the newer trucks. Romer, I would love to hear from you, I know you had one of each with your girls. Amber feels the 80 is too "big", and I definitely see the potential for issues with the high center of gravity, even on stock rigs. I guess since I like the 80 more I am trying to talk myself into it when the 4Runner probably makes more sense. I would love to hear all your thoughts...



11-12-2012, 10:36 AM
How about a Rav4?

11-12-2012, 10:50 AM
Crash's TLCA bud Lee, N5MUD, down in Texas put his son Ross in a 1984 regular cab 4wd mini truck. In stock trim they aren't all the tall or big and definitely slow, things good for a new driver. Still they're built well enough to survive a crash and would be cheap. If I was in your boat I'd go with a 1989-1995 standard cab, they'll be in better shape than 2nd gens and won't break the bank purchasing and keeping up.

11-12-2012, 01:04 PM
fj60. slow, lots of iron. IMHO the abs in the 80 is worse than no abs. Or something like a 99-05 jetta or a car (camry,accord) of some sort. Airbags all the way around, cheap, etc.

11-12-2012, 02:11 PM
I just fixed up a '99 Camry XLE with front/side air bags for my daughter (turning 16 next year). I worry about children flipping any truck (high COG) and side-impacts are nasty in older vehicles. I paid $700 for the car and $1000 to make it right.

If she's driving few miles, an 80 series would be great, but gasoline isn't likely to get cheaper if she's going to rack up the miles. I can't wait to spring my F350 crewcab on my daughter after she's driven for a few months - she'll know what a school bus feels like after that.

11-12-2012, 05:04 PM
Got my son a 1992 Honda 5 speed. $1500. Cheap when he wrecks it someday. And he likes shifting gears. 25-35 miles a gallon.

11-12-2012, 05:43 PM
thanks for all the advice! I think I am sticking with a truck of some sort...she wants to learn to wheel with her old man...and Wes I agree about the ABS but I do prefer airbags...

11-12-2012, 05:50 PM
I'd lean, and we are, toward a 4Runner.

I was impressed with driving the in-laws 2004 V8 4Runner...150K miles on the clock and still seemed to be running strong. AWD, V8, comfy that I averaged 17-19 mpg in. I can't speak to how it does in the snow and I know Dave had some not so found memories of his 4Runner...I wasn't real impressed with it's inability to back a popup up a dirt hill until after a couple jack-knifes I figured out that I didn't lock the center diff :doh:

An 80 is a solid rig for sure and I've never had issues with the ABS really but IMO the gas mileage rules it out, even in stock form. A car would be great for mpg reasons but I'm thinking I'd prefer something more substantial around my girls...Of course, a lot of it will come down to what they can afford because I'm not just going to be buying them a car :) - my folks required me to buy my first vehicle and knowing I was paying for it and on the hook for fixing it, I tended to be a lot less "experimental" in MY car than my friends were in their parent's car. Downside...driving around in a blue 1977 Subaru 4WD wagon wasn't exactly a chick magnet :lmao:

11-12-2012, 06:55 PM
driving around in a blue 1977 Subaru 4WD wagon wasn't exactly a chick magnet :lmao:

damn. i would've killed to have a subi over what was my first car. pontiac 6000 sedan. :thumb:

11-12-2012, 07:04 PM
I think an early 100 series or a later model (03+) 4runner would be great choices. I saw an 03 runner on craigslist with a front ARB bumper in good shape for around $10k here in Denver recently. I'm also a fan of Yukons and Tahoes made after 2000 as well. Cheap and reliable but poor mpgs.

11-12-2012, 08:47 PM
If I were faced with the same decision today it would be a regular cab, 4cyl, auto, 4x4 Tacoma. Airbags and ABS. That's my plan for Bridger but its 13 years out for me.

The way I see it you want to give a younger driver every chance you can with safety so the newer the better. If it did not need to be a wheeler a Subaru is hard to beat for snow.

Jenny Cruiser
11-12-2012, 10:09 PM
2004ish V6 Limited 4Runner in white. :Princess:

11-12-2012, 11:55 PM
Why not let her roll in one of the Saabs? Then you two build up her wheelin' rig together..

11-13-2012, 09:08 AM
Neither of my daughters would do well with a truck. I think it's important to understand their needs vs. my driving values. I sure that if I insisted that my daughters were driving armored Land Cruisers, I'd have already had several insurance claims related to parking lot damage and likely from rear ending someone else.

If the kid is getting the hand-me-down family car, the decision is easy. If you are going to buy a vehicle for your kid, it's a bit more complicated. If the kid is a guy who obsesses over vehicles and driving, maybe a Cruiser or a mini truck makes sense. If the kid is a girl that is mostly interested in getting to work or school, look at something that is easy to drive, easy to park and has decent safety stats.

My daughters are both driving auto tranny Saab 9-3s. Decent crash stats, ABS, front and side air bags, and it doesn't cost a fortune to keep good tires on the cars. The ability to stop quickly is an especially important asset in a vehicle driven by a new driver.

11-13-2012, 10:20 AM
how hot would this be http://denver.craigslist.org/cto/3250803798.html

although, for the same money this one is likely a lot safer! http://denver.craigslist.org/ctd/3368481029.html ;)

11-13-2012, 02:14 PM
You don't want to give your daughter a wagon or a van for that matter. I hope no one needs that one explained.

11-13-2012, 03:53 PM
how hot would this be http://denver.craigslist.org/cto/3250803798.html

Holy crap is that thing cool!!!

Not a bad idea on one of the Saabs for her....except for the reliability...both of them are down for repairs now...another reason for a Toyota truck, plus I know a lot more about diagnosing and fixing Toyota trucks than Saabs or anything else...

You don't want to give your daughter a wagon or a van for that matter. I hope know one needs that one explained.

:eek: Her boyfriend is already deathly afraid of me...and should be. I learned a trick or two watching Romer. :)

11-13-2012, 03:57 PM
If the kid is getting the hand-me-down family car, the decision is easy. If you are going to buy a vehicle for your kid, it's a bit more complicated. If the kid is a guy who obsesses over vehicles and driving, maybe a Cruiser or a mini truck makes sense. If the kid is a girl that is mostly interested in getting to work or school, look at something that is easy to drive, easy to park and has decent safety stats.

When we talked it over, her preference was strongly for an 80...so I am not forcing it on her. In the last 5 years, she has seen me drive my built 80, and her mom drove a little commuter car, then a 62, then a stock 80, then a stock 100 LX and even took all her driving classes in the 100. She definitely wants a truck, and I do like the safety features, especially with an ARB and airbags. :)


11-13-2012, 09:28 PM
Hmmm, maybe I should go to dinner at Stella's.....

11-14-2012, 04:20 PM
From an insurance perspective, and this may be helpful to everyone with a young driver; if you are doing liability only, the vehicle does not matter with regard to premium....except an airbag equiped vehicle is going to be a little less. Full coverage, stay away from the european vehicles and, for some reason, Nissan's seem to be a bit higher than a comprable Toy/Chevy/Ford. If you are doing full coverage on a modified vehicle, make sure that is disclosed and 'rated' for. Otherwise, you could end up with an issue if there is a total loss/theft.
The best thing for rates on a young driver are grades. That 3.0 or better GPA is the biggest discount you can get for a young driver. See, with an 'adult driver' policy, we can play with the mileage driven, pleasure use, etc. With young drivers, those variables dont exist.
And finally, resist the urge to 'put them on their own policy'. This can/will keep your multi-policy/multi-car discounts from being added to their premium. If it turns out in the future they have a 'challenged' driving record, accident, etc, you can 'pull them off' at that time, if it is advised by your agent.
Recently, I worked with a client and their son's insurance. Son had a newer car, requiring full coverage ($$$). These people also happen to own an old 80's pickup that isn't even being driven. I insured the old truck with the boy as the driver and that allowed me some flexibility on the full coverage policy, as I already had the kid 'rated' on another car.
This is an example where having an agent...and not a lizard...working in your corner is a huge advantage!
If I can help or explain anything further....let me know!

11-14-2012, 05:21 PM
Here you go Timm, the new GL

11-14-2012, 07:00 PM
Holy Cow! 16yo girls don't want to drive wagons or vans.

I drove a 2006 Sport Edition 4Runner before the 100. I think it would be a great vehicle for a new driver. The seating position is very "car like" which a lot of people like. Gas mileage was good at 20+ and I think it needs an a/t tire or snow tires to really be good in the winter. We had an 04' Volvo AWD S60 that was great in the snow and would be perfect for a first car. But, since you're leaning towards an SUV, how could you beat a 4th gen V6 4Runner?

11-14-2012, 07:23 PM
Bet her a moped.... The kind you can pedal!

11-14-2012, 09:11 PM
Holy Cow! 16yo girls don't want to drive wagons or vans.

Olivia does. :) On the swim team, rides horses, changed high schools to go to a school with better science and math so she can go to Vet school and be a large animal vet. :D

Thanks for all the input everyone!! :cheers:

11-14-2012, 10:26 PM
I'm talking vans like old school, and wagons like station wagons. I grew up in the country, trucks were cool and an almost "must have". Vans and wagons not so much.....well the Subaru wagons are pretty nice and I'm sure they're popular in high school parking lots.

11-15-2012, 12:34 AM
I'll throw my 2 cents in after surviving 3 kids learning to drive. There are 2 main peices of advice I would give based on my experience.

1. Insurance is a major concern with a new driver. Tonka gave some sound advice. I would recommend getting a vehicle that is old enough/crappy enough that you can insure with liability only. That will reduce premiums dramatically. Related to that, odds are very high your new driver will experience an accident, likely very minor, but we know how those costs rack up even in a small fender bender. Having liability only and sucking up the repair costs to just patch it back together to driveable after the inevitable crash will be far cheaper. Even my best driver had one accident. My worst, I literally can't remember or count the number, somewhere around 6 before she was 24.

2. One of the kid's learner vehicles was a stick shift and I have always been in the camp that believes everyone should have the ability to drive a stick. However, after watching a new driver behind the wheel and trying to manage a stick shift in addition to all the others things requiring attention while driving I decided that an auto is the better choice for a new driver. Attention is diverted from the driving task to the gear shifting task. Teach them stick after they've figured out how to handle things behind the wheel for awhile.

11-15-2012, 10:31 AM
I'll be honest I was an early learner (was driving stick off road when i was 13) but I still had issue coordinating street driving and all the vehicle controls at he same time. For a short while. When I got it down though I was leagues beyond other drivers. It forced me to focus on the road more carefully and I learned how dangerous added distractions could be. I NEVER text and drive. I even postpone answering my phone til I'm parked and I only had one accident in a parking lot (I was distracted :rolleyes:). I will be teaching my kids how to drive as soon as their feet can reach the pedals, maybe sooner (I'm thinkin Indiana Jones style blocks) :D all said and done RedChili had a couple heart attacks, but I'm convinced I've been a better driver because of it.