Looking for suggestions

I will soon need to give up my car to my daughter. I am looking for suggestions for an used Ford SportTrac/Subaru Baja (but both have been discontinued for a few years now and most used ones have high mileage) like vehicle that can fit 4 adults, yet haul small amount of cargo. A Ford 150 is kinda of big. I was thinking of a Toyota Tacoma but they are a bit pricy. Any suggestions?

Get a Consumers Report Used Car Buyer’s Guide at the local bookstore and search what’s available in your area. Whatever you find, be sure to get it thoroughly checked out by a competent shop. And, if anything at all doesn’t seem right during the test drive, don’t accept any excuses from the lying crook… um, I mean salesman. Walk away. Quickly.

Lots of suggestions in the April Consumer Reports issue. Pictures too.

How about a Honda Ridgeline?

Ford stopped producing the Explorer Sport Trac in 2010. Surely you can find a few with less an 75,000 miles. Go to the Ford web sire and find dealers within 50 to 100 miles of your home. Go to the dealer web sites and look for a Sport Trac.

Honda Ridgeline and Chevy Avalanche come to mind. Dunno if the Chevy is still around or not, though

I have a friend who needed a newer vehicle, now we have had so much fun and good times in my 03 blazer he bought an 09 with 125k for 9k. Sure I have had some repairs, thermostat, starter motor, stabilizer links etc. but he is happy so far, 8 months out, a Navajo Indian Reservation vehicle, as a thought. Mine165k miles, 16 and 22 mpg, need to tow my boat, 4wd auto for snow or leave it in 2wd for better gas mileage. How I picked the car, looked at vehicles towing boats besides trucks. Bought it based on that. 5 years 80k miles, no regrets, though it looks like after 80k I might need new brakes again, and I do alot of the regular service myself.

A lot could depend upon what kind of money you’re wanting to spend; in a ballpark way. Some of the low mileage Sport Tracs around here are not cheap and neither are the Bajas.

Maybe a Trailblazer is a more reasonable and easily found option.

The Ridgeline comes to mind immediately. It’s very comfortable, even in the back seat, and can carry a useful amount of stuff in back, if not as much as a ‘real’ truck. It even has a big, lockable trunk under the rear bed, a super handy feature if you want to use this like a car. Per Consumer Reports its reliability is very good and it gets one of their highest scores on their road test. Their only complaint is that gas mileage is no better than larger trucks. Unlike the others you name, the cargo area can’t be expanded into the passenger cabin.

Sounds like you are looking to buy a ridgeline, be sure to have an independent mechanic vehicle inspection done first.

You are looking for a crew cab pickup. They aren’t cheap unless they are very high mileage. You get what you pay for. Tacomas are pricey because they also have the highest resale value in their catagory and the best repair record according to CR and others. If you want cheapest way to get the same utility, I suggest you do what I did. Get a compact SuV and a utility trailer. Think of it. You are limited to 1000 lbs in a bed pickup in a very small area, but a decent utility trailer is 9 by5 and can handle 1500 lbs. Mine handles 2200 lbs. and nearly all compact SUVs can tow 1500 lbs. It is the cheapest way to do better then a crew cab for tons less money. But, if you like the way they look, can’t help you with the high price you need to pay to get a crew cab type hauler.

It didn’t sound like the original poster was terribly concerned about carrying large or heavy loads. Some of the vehicles he named (like the Baja) could carry very little. It really sounds like what he wants is something to carry his toys as well as his friends/family. A utlity trailer is good for heavier toys, but overkill for most things.

Having a mechanic check things over is always good advice. I see more badly abused light trucks than cars. People think they’re more capable than they are and pile stuff a mile high in them. Always puts me in mind of the Joads when I see it.

Long time away from the “Grapes of wrath” but Mark is right,check out a late model V-8 Dakota,plenty of zip and about the same gas mileage as the V-6 model-Kevin

We have a lot of cardboard recyclers locally, all driving seventies/eighties light trucks with plywood side extensions towering about six feet up. Those poor trucks all list to one side or the other (as well as sagging towards the back.) No one wants to be behind one of those future accidents (me, either.)

The trucks themselves remind me of high school, when a little Japanese truck with a shell meant you were a surfer or wanted to look like a surfer, and your parents wouldn’t let you have a van with the shag and all that. Cooler kids who didn’t surf had old Mustangs. Uncool kids had old Mazda rotaries. Some of us had bicycles.