Best car for new driver: 05 Avenger, 05 Dakota,

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998
Location
Lexington, SC
What do you think is the best vehicle for a 16 yr old with a new driver's license to have? 2005 Dodge Avenger with 2.7L V6, a 2005 Dodge Dakota 3.7L V6, or a 2003 Ford Explorer with 4.0L V6?
 
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39,809
Location
Great Lakes
Out of those, I'd go for the Avenger - lower center of gravity (not as easy to roll over) and it's a FWD which should be a little more forgiving to a freshly licensed driver.
 
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15,056
Location
Canada
Avenger for sure. New driver + pick up + wet weather = trouble. Even forget wet weather, won't take long for a 16-year old to figure out you can do endless burn-outs with a V-6 pick up...
 
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3,059
Location
Columbus, Ohio
 Originally Posted By: hone eagle
Pick-up, less friends on board less temptation to screw around
Don't know, might haul a bunch of kids in the bed.... John
 
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9,569
Location
Ontario, Canada
Avenger, lawn dart handling is better a new driver. Also live rear axles aren't all that great for new driver, I got surprised a few times with my tracker how fast the back end gets out of line on washboard and I wasn't even fooling around. Ian
 
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11,828
Location
PA
Avenger for sure. Less chance of an accident, and less chance it'll be serious if an accident does happen.
 

Jim Spahr

Thread starter
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998
Location
Lexington, SC
They had two V6's available that year: the 2.7l and the 3.5 /the 3.5 was a better V6 but only in the R/T sports model. I don't think this is going to be a sports model, but a run of the mill 2.7.and yes, it had a bad rep for sludge.
 
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1,007
Location
Dallas, TX
I never really thought of an Explorer as an unsafe vehicle until a teenager managed to roll one over on the highway here. She over-corrected from a lane departure and killed everyone in the truck. I would imagine she gave the wheel a good yank, and probably slammed the brakes for good measure, but that's an inexperienced driver for you. Sludge monster or not, your kid is better off in the Avenger. Some pro-active oil changes and maybe a little AutoRX can overcome that problem. I'm not sure what can overcome a rollover waiting to happen. Just so everyone understands....I'm not making a blanket statement about the Explorer...but I do stand by my opinion that it's not an ideal vehicle for inexperienced drivers.
 
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11,828
Location
PA
 Originally Posted By: ViragoBry
Sludge monster or not, your kid is better off in the Avenger. Some pro-active oil changes and maybe a little AutoRX can overcome that problem. I'm not sure what can overcome a rollover waiting to happen.
I had wanted to say the same thing, but I couldn't figure out how to put it succinctly. Well said. EDIT: And +1 on your qualification.
 
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8,859
Location
Texas
I'll buck the trend and vote for the Dakota. Its slow, its reliable, it handles well enough, and if it gets in a wreck it *will* protect its occupants (I've got a living family member thanks to a Dakota). Its not even remotely "sporty" so there's less temptation to drive it that way. And I absolutely agree with the previous comment that less space for passengers means fewer people distracting the driver.
 
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39,809
Location
Great Lakes
 Originally Posted By: Tosh
A CAR (no truck or SUV) they paid for by themselves.
Great point about the financial responsibility attached to vehicle. It definitely affects how you treat the possession.
 
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8,311
Location
Grand Rapids, MI
 Originally Posted By: 440Magnum
I'll buck the trend and vote for the Dakota. Its slow, its reliable, it handles well enough, and if it gets in a wreck it *will* protect its occupants (I've got a living family member thanks to a Dakota). Its not even remotely "sporty" so there's less temptation to drive it that way. And I absolutely agree with the previous comment that less space for passengers means fewer people distracting the driver.
Didn't the Dakota have problems with the transmission? Or am I thinking of some other Dodge truck? Anyway, I vote for the Avenger.
 
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9,926
Location
Birmingham, AL
 Originally Posted By: hone eagle
Pick-up, less friends on board less temptation to screw around
I'm not so sure about that. The Dakota and Explorer can hold up to a 16 year old, but they may also be more inclined to do stupid stuff with those vehicles. Pickups and SUVs are not as forgiving with mistakes either. Pickups do make fun first vehicles though.
 
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606
Location
essex ontario
I drive school bus in my retirement,and our mechanics recover buses (72 pass) short distances (no hills) with a Dakota ,have for years, got a bed full of bus batteries,chains and away they go, never coffed a tranny yet
 
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10,870
Location
Phoenix
How about an Avenger with a 2.4? Less power and no worry about sludge! I didn't think the Avenger came out until '07...
 
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