Home » Home At Last: GMC Yukon vs Chevy K10 vs Honda Odyssey vs Ford Bronco II

Home At Last: GMC Yukon vs Chevy K10 vs Honda Odyssey vs Ford Bronco II

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Happy Friday, Autopians! We have arrived in Maryland, safe and sound. My dad’s old Chrysler 300 ran like a top the whole way and returned an average of 28 miles per gallon over the entire trip. And the cats were angels, except for one minor accident in the crate. My lovely wife/copilot Erika has been in charge of picking cars this week, so today we’re going to take a second look at her “Greatest Hits.”

You all surprised me again yesterday by picking Mr. Plow‘s Ford Bronco II over the far more sensible Honda Pilot. That makes me very happy. Crappy and beat-up is one thing, but crappy, beat-up, and boring? That’s going too far.

Vidframe Min Top
Vidframe Min Bottom

Yes, that Bronco is rusted all to hell. Yes, it was used as a snowplow, which is just about the meanest thing you can do to a truck. But I look at it, and I see a cool vehicle that has led a hard life. I look at the Pilot, and I see someone admitting defeat. I just can’t do it.

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So now we’ve got two rusty stick shift 4x4s, and two primarily-people-mover SUVs to choose from. Which one is your favorite? Let’s recap, and then you can choose.

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1996 GMC Yukon – $1,800

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Monday’s winner was this wonderful old high-mileage GMT400-based Yukon, complete with barn doors in the back. It’s from the era when SUVs were still trucky enough to remind you that you weren’t driving an Impala, but not so rough and ready that they beat you half to death just going to the grocery store. It’s easy to drive, damn near bulletproof mechanically, and dirt cheap for what it is.

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In fact, it’s such a good deal that many of you questioned the authenticity of the ad. I have no doubt that this truck is being sold for this price. Car prices in the Portland area are bizarre; cars that you’d think would be expensive go for cheap, and cars you’d assume no one cares about sell for big bucks. This is a reliable, capable vehicle, but it’s also a gas hog that takes a lot of room to parallel park. Add in the damaged front bumper, and I’m not surprised it’s undervalued and still hasn’t sold.

1982 Chevrolet K10 Stepside – $3,000

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Tuesday’s winner was this awesome Chevy stepside pickup. It’s got that magic combination of  V8, manual transmission, and four-wheel-drive, which was apparently enough to get the majority of you to overlook the rust. This is a project, no doubt – but a worthy one.

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The great thing about this truck is that everything – and I mean everything – you need to make it nice again is just a click away. And if you want more power, there are a bazillion aftermarket companies ready to help there as well. It’s a blank slate, ready for you to dig into and rebuild your way.

2003 Honda Odyssey – $2,000

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Honda Odyssey minivans are really nice, comfortable, practical vehicles that are let down by a transmission that simply isn’t up to the task. I’m familiar with the problem; we had to give up on a mid-90s Ford Explorer that my wife just loved for the same reason. When the transmission started slipping the second time in that one, I just couldn’t see shelling out another three grand to rebuild it again. This Odyssey has had its transmission rebuilt once, but when is the next failure?

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But the idea of a comfortable, practical box on wheels was enough to get the majority of you to take a chance on mechanical issues. After all, it’s a $2,000 car – no one is expecting to get decades of faithful service out of it. If it goes, it goes, and until it does, you’ve got a nice cheap used vehicle that can hold a shit-ton of stuff.

1986 Ford Bronco II – $1,900

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Which brings us back around to yesterday’s winner: this tired old Bronco II. I admit that I’m biased towards this one, despite its condition; an ex-girlfriend of mine had a Bronco II with a five-speed for a while. I got to drive it a few times, and it was a “hoot and a half,” as the saying goes. But I also remember watching her drive it, in shorts in the summer, the way her calf muscle flexed when she worked the clutch. I couldn’t help but stare. But anyway.

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This one is still probably a ton of fun to drive, but it’s in sorry shape. Yes, that’s Gaffer’s tape around the windshield, and I think it’s there because the seal leaks. It also looks like the holes in the doglegs and along the bottom of the doors may have been patched with tape – and then painted over. But if you’re looking for a show truck, you’re reading the wrong column.

That wraps it up for this week. I have no idea what next week will bring; I’m currently sitting in a lawn chair in my new living room because our furniture isn’t going to be here for another two weeks. Fear not, however; I can still dish up two fresh servings of piping-hot crappy cars every morning. It’s what we do here. Thanks for reading, and don’t forget to vote!

(Image credits: Craigslist sellers)

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67 Oldsmobile
67 Oldsmobile
12 days ago

I voted for the step-side,but the Yukon would do nicely as well.
All choices here would do honestly,so good match-up.

Shop-Teacher
Shop-Teacher
12 days ago

The correct answer is Yukon.

I voted with my heart instead of my head though, and picked the Squarebody.

Cars? I've owned a few
Cars? I've owned a few
12 days ago

I drove the Yukon’s “little” brother, a Tahoe of the same vintage, for a couple of years as a TV news photographer. (Cameras, a tripod and lighting and gear audio gear were a lot bigger back then.)

Other than trying to find spots big enough to park it in congested urban environments, it was pleasant enough to drive, sometimes for hours on end to and from assignments.

Freelivin2713
Freelivin2713
13 days ago

This was so difficult but have to go with the Yukon since it’s such a great deal and has barn doors. I really wanted that K10 though! It’s awesome except for the rust…I’ll just use the Yukon for a while, fix it up some, then sell it for more but still a reasonable price and use that (+ a lot more $ since C10’s are spendy- K10’s too of course) to find a C10 that I like instead & fix that up

SirRaoulDuke
SirRaoulDuke
13 days ago

I’m going with the stepside. I just can’t decide if I want it as a running and driving project or as a farm truck.

EastbayLoc
EastbayLoc
13 days ago

Had to vote Yukon again. I would buy in a heartbeat and figure out what to tell my wife afterwards. I see no downsides there?

The minivan would be cool if I still had a need for one. I just can’t pull the trigger on the poor rusty plow truck or the rusty trusty? K10. If it was an earlier step-side or even a 70’s fleet-side Ford or Chevy, I might consider putting in the work. But for that level of work, it’s got to be something I love or it’s just drudgery.

Donald Petersen
Donald Petersen
13 days ago

I’d love that stepside if it weren’t rusty and securely buried in the middle of the unsmoggable era. Wouldn’t be impossible to update the engine to something twice as powerful and five times as clean, but why bother if I have to replace so much rusty sheet metal?

As for the Bronco II, while I have exceedingly fond memories of a surprisingly carnal snuggle under a blanket with my girlfriend in the way-back of an ’84 Bronco II while my future mother-in-law, all unawares, drove us down the mountain after viewing a meteor shower, I also remember what a total POS it was. This one was old enough to be a 4-speed, and there was an issue with the front hubs that prevented it from going into 4wd, but beyond that it was noisy, top-heavy, underpowered, got terrible gas mileage, and just wasn’t any fun at all. For the driver at least. Buckets of fun for the teenagers in the way-back.

And I already have an Odyssey. It’s great. So Yukon it is.

Stig's Cousin
Stig's Cousin
13 days ago

I am still having a hard time believing that Yukon is only worth $1800 in Portland. If that really is a fair price there, Portland is even weirder than I thought.

MY LEG!
MY LEG!
13 days ago
Reply to  Stig's Cousin

I’m still with you. Crazy price for a terminator-level suv.

Cars? I've owned a few
Cars? I've owned a few
12 days ago
Reply to  MY LEG!

I can’t imagine trying to park the Yukon anywhere in PDX.

Stig's Cousin
Stig's Cousin
13 days ago
Reply to  Mark Tucker

Wow. I’m surprised at how good those deals are. Trucks are cheaper here in Florida than some places I have lived, but $1800 for the Yukon or $1200 for your truck would be good deals here, even pre-COVID.

It is amazing how much vehicle prices vary by region.

Vic Vinegar
Vic Vinegar
13 days ago

Yukon. It is too nice for that price unless there is some awful secret not shown in the pics.

The Stepside is cool in concept. But that cab is trashed, the bed doesn’t look great either. No pics of the frame, can’t say I’d be surprised if it is not in great shape. Maybe if I could verify the frame and bed are mostly still there and talk the seller down to $2k.

Manwich Sandwich
Manwich Sandwich
13 days ago

Let’s see… truck, truck, MINIVAN, truck

Minivan gets my vote!!!

It’s the only CORRECT answer.

10001010
10001010
13 days ago

Stepside is the only answer. I’d paint it up like John Baker’s truck.

Manwich Sandwich
Manwich Sandwich
13 days ago
Reply to  10001010

It’s the only WRONG answer since it’s a rusty heap of shit!!!!

MINIVAN FTW!!!!

10001010
10001010
13 days ago

But I wanna play CHiPs!!!

Manwich Sandwich
Manwich Sandwich
13 days ago
Reply to  10001010

THEN GO TO THE GROCERY STORE AND BUY SOME!!!

:-p

FrontWillDrive
FrontWillDrive
13 days ago

GMT400 again, please.

Also, a trip like that sounds like it would be a great time in a 300! I love those cars too, the bf unit inherited his grandparents’ 06 300C, so we get to have our Hemi fix whenever we want, which I definitely enjoy.

Jack Trade
Jack Trade
13 days ago

Sigh. I still want the Sunfire.

Chris Moore
Chris Moore
13 days ago

gotta go with the square body. parts availability is easy, and it’s timeless.

Urban Runabout
Urban Runabout
13 days ago

I’ll take the K10
Because crate engines and reproduction cabs:
https://dynacornclassicbodies.com/1967-1972-chevrolet-ck-truck-cab-c10-k10/

Last edited 13 days ago by Urban Runabout
Canopysaurus
Canopysaurus
13 days ago

There are literally millions of big utes, small utes, and minivans rolling around out there, but you don’t see many short wheelbase, 4×4, stepside pickups with a manual transmission. Have to take the K10. As for any problems that arise, I’ll climb that mountain when I get to it.

Geoff Buchholz
Geoff Buchholz
13 days ago

I thought about the Stepside for a minute, despite the dissolving cab, but ultimately went for the Yukon. Just insanely good at its job, and the best looking of the GMT400s.

Squirrelmaster
Squirrelmaster
13 days ago
Reply to  Geoff Buchholz

Same on all accounts.

Large Marge
Large Marge
13 days ago

I voted for the stepside, because stepside 4×4’s from that era are one of my favorite trucks. But looking again, that rust is far far worse than I remember from earlier this week. I was willing to forgive the 305, which I utterly loathe, but now I agree with Phyrkrakr below – bad body, bad engine, I’ll pass.

I retract my vote and vote for the next best thing, the Bronco II

Last edited 13 days ago by Large Marge
Taargus Taargus
Taargus Taargus
13 days ago

If I had a place for it and it was local, I would buy that Yukon. Hell, I probably would buy it, do something about that front bumper, and sell it for the big bucks.

It’s seeing listings like the Yukon that make being in the Northeast feel like a huge freaking bummer. I hate you, sodium chloride.

Michael Beranek
Michael Beranek
13 days ago
Phyrkrakr
Phyrkrakr
13 days ago

That stepside Chevy is the kind of thing that I would love to tinker on for the next five years…except for the 305. That’s always been a dog of an engine, and a carbureted one is going to be even worse. If it was a bad body, good engine truck? Sure. Good body, bad engine? Why not. But bad body, bad engine? Even the 4×4 and stick can’t get me past that.

Brandon Forbes
Brandon Forbes
13 days ago

I again went for fun, stepside just because it’s the most unique and most oddball option.

Lew Schiller
Lew Schiller
13 days ago

Yukon if only because it’s a miracle the paint isn’t falling off of it like it is on mine

Otter
Otter
13 days ago

Reports I’ve heard are that the Odyssey’s transmission failures are gradual enough not to abruptly leave you stranded, and I have experienced first hand how hilariously good it is at its job. Seems like a steal–cheap enough to bank some money for a next vehicle or a transmission rebuild if you like it enough.

StillNotATony
StillNotATony
13 days ago

If I had the garage space, that Chevy would already be mine…

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