Need an SUV to move across the country

Alright Oppo, today I told my boss so I might as well tell everyone. The wife and I have decided to move from New York to Los Angeles in July! We plan on driving there, but first I need to buy an SUV capable of towing a 5'x8' U-Haul trailer across the country. And that’s where you lot come in!

Budget: $5000

Years: 1990-2007

Body style: SUV because space, we’re also bringing two cats with us, and I want to be able to use it for off the beaten path adventures once we’re settled in Cali


Drivetrain: True 4x4 (open diffs OK) for the planned adventures referenced above but a solid AWD system is acceptable

Wants: I don’t need a lot, but I realllllly would like leather seats and a moonroof. If I had to pick one I’d say leather seats. Cloth gets janky! Bonus poin+++++++s for opening rear glass. Also it can’t be totally trashed/project car status because wife

Location: Tri-state area

I’ve posted before about using PenFed to finance to keep my savings intact, but at this point I’ve procrastinated enough to where I can take the hit and pay for it in cash. So craigslist/private sellers are fair game.


Right now, my top three candidates are WJ Grand Cherokee, second-gen Pathfinder (ideally 2001-2004) or 2006-2007 Ford Explorer, hence the horribly shopped lead image. Mainly leaning towards the GC.

Thanks for the input Oppo, I plan on doing a whole series of posts for those interested in the process of a cross country move!

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