Family vehicle Toyota vs Jeep


Never thought I would see the day where fatherhood was going to be my reality! I’ve got some decisions to make. I currently have a 2015 DCSB TRD Tacoma and a 2005 Wrangler Unlimited. Both are awesome for different reasons. But, now I’ve got to start thinking about child transport and finances. So it has come down to this; Sell 2005 Unlimited pay off/down Tacoma vs gently pre-owned 4Runner vs 4door Wrangler vs get Subaru and keep my 2005 Unlimited. There are lots of different liveable scenarios I could make due with. I was hoping some of you out there with small families could weigh in with your experiences and thoughts on these vehicles? Thank you in advance 😊


Kids come with a lot of stuff especially new babies. Truck beds with some sort of topper make it nice to bring a lot of things along with you. So I would keep the TRD and sell the unlimited. As kids grow then they need less stuff but it takes a couople of years.


Kids come with a lot of stuff especially new babies. Truck beds with some sort of topper make it nice to bring a lot of things along with you. So I would keep the TRD and sell the unlimited. As kids grow then they need less stuff but it takes a couople of years.
100% agree and second this ^


Expedition Leader
Keep the truck. But if your tall. The rear facing kids seat vs your seat space might be a deal breaker in both the taco and the jeep. Im 5 10 and the Taco would have been workable. The reverse car seat is only for a short time also. But my main DD is a 2010 OB huge back seat. Lots of space for 6footers. My Sequoia is great but too big for 99.9% of our use. Wife thinks we need a 8 seater. I think I need a Truck. Lol


Thanks everyone I appreciate the input �� Taco does have a topper and it is a great road tripping vehicle for sure. That's reason we took it to Moab over the Jeep

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With a family a 2 door is not a realistic long term option. If you decide you have to have a jeep the 4 door unlimited works pretty decently but will be louder on the highway. We have jku with ursa minor top and it is our road trip vehicle so it can be done.


We have a 6yo and a 4yo and a lab- DCLB tacoma has been perfect for everyone. Canopy keeps doggo safe and dry and carries all our gear. Back seats have fit all sizes of kids seats, and it is small enough to daily drive and park in underground at work. It even pulls the trailer for camping season.

We also have an 08 SG Forester, it works for road trips where we are traveling light- less room for things- seating is a bit tighter as well. Still fits everyone and the dog. Just needs a bit of planning.



Your kids are unlikely to proudly tell their friends about riding in daddy's Tacoma... But a 2 door jeep is going to require a lot of compromise and sacrifice. Even in my 4 door, car seats are tight. Car seats are also really temporary, kids grow faster than you realize. The smart answer is probably to sell the jeep, pay down the toy, and upgrade back to a 4-door jeep in 5 years or so once your kids get out of jet fighter seats.
Keep the truck, you will need to the bed to haul around all the kido's and wifes crap. Ride will be much better than jeep. Not enough room in Subaru, 4runner, or jeep IMO. Should consider a 4x4 van as well if you can afford a third car, sucks to drive around daily.


JKU works well with my two kids, 7 and 9 yr olds. I've taken my Jeep in many trips in a span of a year (25K in 1yr) and the kids this age have no complaints, and yes they love the Jeep with all the configurations I can do to it. It is overall the best family fun vehicle, a total opposite of a minivan which is the overall best practical vehicle.

It is indeed a vehicle of compromise and like what i tell my friends, the best memories are typically those that when things don't go well. Kids will talk about in their older years -- "Remember when we got caught in a rainstorm with the top down??"


You've already got your answer.

- Reliability
- Resale value
- Safety
- Ability to fit everyone
- Towing options
- More versatile
- Gets taken to the off-road Mecha that is Moab instead of the off-road vehicle
We didn't hit the trails I would have in the Wrangler, but we had an awesome time.



I ll have to find some Colorado Jeep wheeling pics.


Expedition Leader
My family went through a few vehicle iterations as my kids grew.

We started with a 2nd Gen Montero when they were little:

But it was always a challenge fitting our stuff:

After a while, I couldn't handle the constant thumping in the small of my back as my extremely rhythmic daughter kept kicking the back of my seat. Not enough room! Especially with her in the car seat. So we upgraded to an LR3:

kids liked it:

but again, hard pressed to carry all our gear on longer trips:

At that point, our adventures forked, and we split our time between hard rock and soft road, using a Nissan Armada and 2005 Jeep Unlimited. The Armada was awesome, and fit anything and everything. Was comfortable to drive, was comfortable to sleep in, and could do trails like the Mojave Trail no problem:

Though sometimes, when we had guests, we found ourselves tacking on a trailer too!

With the Jeep, we tried extra hard to reduce our gear, but deserts get cold at night, and then you've got bulky gun stuff plus camping gear, plus, because rocks+Jeeps= lots of tools, spare parts, etc... We managed, but it was heavy and not fun to fit all 4 of us plus a dog into a Jeep:

I got pretty good at Tetris learning to pack the Jeep:

but we used every square inch of that thing:

Kids continued to grow, and for a while it limited our Jeep excursions to only part of the family, like trips with just my son and myself. Good times:

lots of room for two people and gear:

Eventually, the kids grew enough, and learned to drive, and got their own wheels. Full circle, back to a Montero!:

My point of all this is this: It doesn't really matter what you choose. But it will shape your adventures for a period of time, but they will grow, your needs will change, your adventures will adapt accordingly. They key is to get out there, and be the best dad you can. The car doesn't really matter.
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Great post. I am increasingly at awe at the ability of some of the packing abilities of some on this site. Still hard to believe how anyone can get a family of 4 and camping gear into a jeep.