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Sedan + trailer or small pickup truck?

Hello brilliant, skilled, and helpful people,

My 1999 Honda Odessey is now permanently broken, which is very sad. I am an artist and used that vehicle as a sort of enclosed pickup truck (perfect in rainy Seattle), for hauling around props, plywood, etc. I now need to get a different vehicle. With gas prices on the rise, I’m torn between a sedan with a trailer, or a small pickup.

What do you recommend?

Is there a small sedan that will help me save $ on gas, but still be capable of hauling around a buncha plywood and so on?

Or do I need to get a small pickup?

Thank you, oh wise ones!


Dealing with a trailer can be a big pain in the @ss…A 4 or small 6 cylinder pick-up with a topper makes for a low-cost utility vehicle.

Most sedans aren’t meant to tow trailers.

If you loved your Odessey, why not get a newer one?
A few car makers still produce minivans that you could try out.

What about a Dodge Sprinter? You can get a 2005 for $15,000 and mileage will be better than the Odyssey. It’s a tall van and probably won’t fit in a garage. It will carry everything you need and then some. It is available as either a passenger van or cargo van.

Used police cruisers make pretty good tow vehicles if you don’t tow too much, but they aren’t what I would call fuel efficient. I think you should either buy a Sienna, another Odyssey, or a used police cruiser.

Basically, you need to choose between fuel economy and towing capacity. You can’t have both.

Though I’m huge fan of PUs, the loading is no where near as convenient as a van. Pick ups are more for “heavy” work than better space utilization. If towing heavier trailers or carrying lots of weight, I would recommend a PU. Otherwise, stay with the van. Honda Element and like smaller copies are another option. If you’re not real comfortable with backing a trailer or work in or about a city, trailers are a real hassle. Besides, since the dawn of the van (VW bus), the van and the artist would seem a good match. Enjoy your new Odessey !