(guess the caffeine is doing its job this morning)
– For the repairs, see if there’s a vo-tech school somewhere in your area, that would be willing to take on the task of fixing the transmission for less than the dealer wants to fix it. Maybe yes, maybe no, but it doesn’t hurt to ask.
– I seem to recall you’re fairly active in your church. Put out the word at church (and any other social groups you’re active with) that you have this SUV which you need to get rid of, or even swap straight across, for something that works better for you. Be up front about its issues, so folks know exactly what they’re getting into, but again it never hurts to ask. Many folks don’t want to buy/sell cars from strangers. But when it’s a social group like a church or special interest group, or even at work, folks know they can’t dump a clunker on someone and get away with it. Use that to hook up with someone who has a decent vehicle, or can give you decent money for yours, with everyone motivated to be honest and above-board. Our church has a pretty good track record of informal trades and buy/sell arrangements like that which usually work out pretty well. If nothing else, a congregation or social group is a great way to get the word out that you have A and you’d rather have B. Turn that information loose on the world and see where it goes.
Hope you find some arrangement that lands you exactly what you want, and best of all helps someone else get exactly what they want too.