I have an older Coleman lp stove for car...
I have an older Coleman lp stove for car camping but want something that is lightweight and solid construction where I can boil water, make water based food, and use for general food making. In talking with others msr makes the best lightweight stoves but don't know which is the best and most versatile. Any recommendations? My use is car camping or short hikes to camping areas
You could get away with much less stove - a pocket rocket or an older version of a liquid gas stove. This stove is the best of the best - you will enjoy it and it will last a long time. Check out a jetboil as well - a little lighter and works very well but not as well in the cold. Canister stoves in general are somewhat sensitive to the cold.
For a wide use of needs (car camping, actual cooking, short backpacking, etc.) it's tough to beat the MSR Windpro II. It's a bit more expensive than some stoves, but cheaper than the Reactor. And, it has a huge range of adjustability, can be used with a windscreen and allows you to invert the canister to feed it the fuel in a liquid form if the temps get too low.
I have the Reactor and the Windpro. While the Reactor rocks for super-fast water boiling in a number of conditions, I think the WindPro is a more solid, all-around choice.