Ugly Ducking Turns Into Swan
March 13, 2010
I purchased a new TB EXT in 2004 with the North Face option, V8, 4WD and 3.73 axle ratio. My initial reaction was that it was a sloppy handling, ungainly utility vehicle that could tow my 6000# boat. Six years later, it has become one of my all-time favorite vehicles, reliably performing in an amazing variety of uses.
Although a couple of minor cosmetic touches has improved its appearance, the most significant change occurred when I replaced the terrible OEM Continental tires with decent GY (and now General) tires. Suddenly, its limo-like ride was matched with reasonable handling for vehicle of its size.
It has also turned out to be an excellent tow vehicle, and has averaged 16 mpg over the past 100k miles, Tires have lasted 50k miles, and I just replaced the brakes at 90k! Too bad they aren't made any more, and used ones (especially V8's) are hard to come by...