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Need some help narrowing down my first 4x4

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Been a life long dream of mine to have a 4x4 and so now I've finally decided to put out the money to make it happen. My budget's 2,000 - 2,500 so obviously I'm looking for something used, and I'm writing in to ask you guys what I should be looking for a what I should avoid.

I'll be using it mostly for just moderate trail riding and camping so it doesn't have to be a monster machine. Requirements are that it have a lot of potential rack space, automatic and be fully 4x4. So far after looking at a lot of offers I seem to be settling on some of the 2005-2007 Polaris Sportsman models. They seem to have some flexibility as to what type of components you can add on...racks, gun racks, etc.

I'm fairly mechanically inclined and could probably do any maintenance or part upgrade outside of getting too deep into the motor.

So what are some of the models I should be looking out for? And are there any I should be avoiding?

Also, so far craig's list has been my only source to find sellers. Any other suggestions for where to look for leads?


Edited by bradleyheathhays
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Really grateful for all the support! No piece of info or advice is out of place here.

Based on some of the initial feedback I've changed my parameters just a little, I think much toward the better. First I'm increasing my budget to, at tops, $3500. I'm sure that'll help get me into a much less worrisome 4x. Also, the requirement for full auto is now dropped. I'm not a stranger to a foot shifter so that should be no problem. And lastly even though the Polaris have great rack options I've heard just enough negative about the older ones that I'll be steering away from them somewhat. Still looking for something with good front and rear racks and fully 4x4 though.

Any additional suggestions now that my budget's been given a boost?

Edited by bradleyheathhays
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