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Hi All,

I am looking at a 2005 TH AWD V6 with 67,000 for $9,500 and a 2009 TH AWD V6 with 54,500 miles for $12,800 . Both appear lightly used and garaged.

I've not owned a TH before and don't know which to choose. I am looking for a good daily driver that can do some light adventuring on the weekends, such as fire roads once a month and up to the Sierras for skiing a few times a year. Personally, I am leaning toward the 2005 for the price and because it was a later model in that generation.

Is there anything I should look out for in particular when I inspect these guys this weekend? Is one year better than the other?
 

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I would save up and buy a 2013. I think you will spend less in the long run if you are going to drive it away from civilization and can’t afford a breakdown.
 

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Honestly I think the price on the 2005 IMO is a bit high BUT I do think it's a simpler and slightly more rugged vehicle. I think in some ways the 3.3 is a little nicer engine. Yes it has a timing belt BUT it's not that expensive a job and if you have good skills can be done yourself but even having it done not bad. I had mine done recently AT THE DEALER so all OEM parts. They did belt, water pump, all front seals, idler and tensioner, new accessory belts as well, full coolant flush and an oil/filter change for $1300. On a 100k cycle I don't think that's bad. I also find the hydraulic steering nicer to drive than the electric power steering. (No matter how much I try I cannot get absolutely used to electric steering), the 1st gen is easier overall to work on as well. If you could get that price down to $7500 I think it would be my choice. Don't get me wrong I LOVE my 2011 HL. That 3.5 will run rings around the older 3.0/3.3. It even gets better MPG. I just notice that driving my old 2001 is more pleasant (in terms of handling and input feedback through the steering). It just "feels" like it handles better. Though in the 2nd gen I don't know when they went to electric steering. Perhaps the 09 doesn't have it? Than that argument is off the table LOL
 

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I agree UTH, the price is high for a 15 year old vehicle. That is about the age some of the sensors start to go. Low mileage on an older car can mean a lot of short trips, which is severe service. If the OP has a significant other who will not be happy sitting on a fire trail I would still hold out for newer rather than trying to chase reliability.
 

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Red dog, how experienced are you at inspecting used cars? That will play a role. Definitely get a professional presale inspection on either, even if it is at a dealer. You will be surprised at what I have found on “certified used” cars.
 
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