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New vehicle needed to transport upcoming family addition

I currently drive a 1993 Ford Ranger XLT (3.0L, V6) with about 99,000 miles (I don?t drive it that much although it is my primary vehicle). My wife has a 2001 Toyota Prius with about 200,000 miles and is the primary vehicle. I have a two year old son and, when necessary, he sits in the front of the truck and faces backwards. Not ideal but this generally works for us right now. However, we are expecting our second this coming February and once the new guy is around, I won?t be able to transport both kids with the Ranger. So I?m looking for something to either replace the Ranger or supplement it. I?m also debating whether or not I should keep the truck. If I keep the truck, I?ll only need something to get the kids around in and I?ll be able to use the truck for trips to the hardware store, beach, etc. If I don?t keep the truck, I?ll need something for the hardware store, beach, etc and the kids. I?m looking for something safe, reliable, and probably used. Any ideas?

If you like a truck for you maybe an extended cab where you can put both critters in back is worth considering.

You may want to check out minivans. They carry passengers well and can carry most items home from the hardwarestore. Furthermore, they are safe and convenient for children. The sliding door makes it easy to install or remove the car seats. I am on my 4th minivan. I’ve owned a Ford Aerostar, Ford Windstar, Chevrolet Uplander and now have a Toyota Sienna. I had no problems after the warranty with any of these vehicles. If you are purchasing second hand, the condition is much more important, in my opinion, than the make. However, I have noticed in many cities that minivans are used for taxicabs. Check carefully to be certain if you buy a used minivan that it isn’t an ex-cab.

I agree on the minivan. One person I know who has one says, that with the rear seats stored, there’s about as much space as a full sized truck with a cap on it.

I hear ya. It would have to be a crew cab or something. Got any recommendations? What do you think about just getting a car and keeping the Ranger?

Thanks! One concern I had with the minivan was that I lose the ability to just throw dirty or sandy stuff in the back and then just hose out the bed later. I suppose I could put a liner or container or something in the back. What do you think?

Any minivan suggestions?

I had liners that I purchased for my Ford Aerostar and Ford Windstar. These worked out well. They were made of semi-rigid material. I would just slide them out, hose them down and put them back in.

As I said earlier, I have owned 4 minivans: 1) 1990 Ford Aerostar; 2) 2000 Ford Windstar; 3) 2006 Chevrolet Uplander; 4) 2011 Toyota Sienna. I think my favorite was the Aerostar. It was the most like a truck. If Ford still made the Aerostar I would own one. The Windstar and the Uplander were very satisfactory. We sold the Aerostar to my son who is supporting a family on a private school teacher’s salary. He did have a $1500 transmission repair at 130,000 miles, but there have been no other major problems. We sold him the Uplander to replace the Windstar when the Windstar passed 150,000 miles, but was still running well. I know that Consumer Reports doesn’t give the Uplander or the Windstar good reviews, but the ones we owned were quite satisfactory. The Toyota Sienna is most like a car in the way it drives. I’ve driven it 8000 miles and haven’t had any problems. I so like the way the rear seat of the Sienna folds flat into the floor and the power sliding doors. I often have an older musician with me who is on a walker. I can carry both our horns and open the door for her at the same time.

If you purchase a used minivan, I think that the condition and the previous maintenance is more important than the make.

I hear ya. Thanks for the reiteration of the minivan suggestion. Interesting that the new minivans seem to be more expensive than the crew cab trucks.

I did well dealing for my 2011 Sienna in March. Toyota had bad publicity with the sudden acceleration problem, and the local dealer was ready to move vehicles.

We have a 2003 Honda Odyssey that has served us well. They are hard to find with low miles; that spoke to me as to how many people hold onto them. I’d highly recommend you consider one. Don’t fall into the “soccermom stigma” trap; minivans are truly versatile vehicles and perfect for families. Good luck.

One vote for a Tacoma extended cab PU. You’re a truck man. The kids are fine for now in a sedan and rear PU seats. When the toys get bigger and the obligations with other kids intervene, it’s time for a minivan. If you get a van too early, it will need replacement before the real need occurs. For now, a small sedan and extended cab PU is fine.

If you want a truck bed, have you considered a Ford Sport Trac? It’s similar to an extended cab pickup - just with a short bed. They’re being discontinued, so there will probably be decent sales coming.