Looking for an expedition TRUCK


Well, sold off my last truck about 2 years ago. Thought our Subaru could be a do-it-all vehicle, but turns out not to be the case. Here are my basic needs:

- Truck bed is a must. Too many home projects. (We don't want a trailer).
- Enough capability for mild trails (no crazy rock crawling--just to access some awesome backcountry in AZ and UT). Hardest trail we'll go on is probably something like the Hold-in-the-Rock trail (not Road).
- Seats 5 comfortably (2 adults and 3 kids).
- Would prefer to keep it for 10+ yrs/200-300k miles, so reliable.
- Decent aftermarket support. Really, just for lift and some armor.
- I don't tow much, so capacity in that aspect is not a factor.
- Price point: Around $30k (lower the better, of course). New or used.

I was thinking either the current or 2016 Tacoma would fit the bill. But thought I'd ask to see what suggestions the rest of you had. Thanks.


I agree with above. You just described a tacoma in full. A brand new one will be over your budget of 30k but the current models are great. Maybe you could get a deal on the outgoing 2015 models but don't expect much. Everyone wants tacoma and Toyota knows it so there isn't much for incentives to go around.

I would also check out the new chevy/gmc. I know nothing about them but have been reading decent reviews. My only concern would be long term reliability, limited aftermarket support (though it is growing it doesn't come close to the support for the tacoma), and again price point.

You could also check out the Toyota Tundra with a 4.6 instead of the 5.7. Though not as capable there are good deals on them, huge amounts of space, and lots of aftermarket support. I have an 08 double cab 5.7 and absolutely love it. It has done everything I need it to and more. Its only got 70k or so miles on it now but I plan on keeping it for quite awhile.

Hope this helps and good luck with your search!


Wiffleball Batter
3 kids in the back seat of a Tacoma? Might want to check that out. Seems to me you would be packed in like sardines. If a truck bed is a must you might want to think about a full size truck.
My thinking also. Get awful tight in a Tacoma, definitely want to go full size.
3 kids in the back seat of a Tacoma? Might want to check that out. Seems to me you would be packed in like sardines. If a truck bed is a must you might want to think about a full size truck.


Thanks guys. Budget wise, "around $30k", so if I have to fudge a bit to get a 2016, I can do it. Especially considering the price gap between the 2015 and 2016 may be closed by the difference in MPG. At least that's what I'll tell myself.

The kids fit in the back of our Subaru, so space isn't a problem. For the parents out there, Diono car seats are awesome. Can fit 3 across with bit of wiggle room.

The GMC Canyon looks nice, but my brother in law had some major issues with his old Canyon so I'm hesitant to get one of those.

Another truck I was looking at was a Dodge Ram (gas, not diesel). More room than the Tacoma, better MPG, more comfortable on the road. Not as nimble offroad, but still seem pretty capable. Had a couple of friends with Rams and they both liked them. Neither had them past 120k miles, so I'm not sure about their long term reliability.


Robinson Fuso
The Dodge is a nice vehicle, but I always pay attention to what I see in the back country - and I see many, many, many Toyotas...


2013 Outback. It's pretty capable and handles fire roads and asphalt better than a lot of vehicles I've owned. But:

1) Load capacity. When it gets loaded down, it sags too much. Airbags would help, but ride still suffers a bit.
2) "High clearance only" roads are avoided, because of the said sag and capabilities in rougher terrain. I'm not going to test its limits driving way out in the back country.
3) Cargo space. Subaru is ok with a roof rack, but that's packing pretty minimal for a family of 5. If we were to head out on for a week, we would need a trailer.
4) Most importantly, I want a truck again. :)


Nissan Frontier if you want something affordable, reliable and within your budget. If you go fullsize, get a diesel. Nothing is more reliable. I borrowed my friends truck to move to my new house last weekend, its a mid 90's F-250 superduty. 351k miles and still going strong. Starts quick and still has plenty of power.


I have three boys. Ages are 9, 7 and 5. They do not fit in the backseat of a Tacoma comfortably.

I will second a full size. My 04 Sierra Crew z71 had 200k miles on it before th minivan cut me off. He lost big. I drove away and sold the truck to a neighbors friend who is still driving it. $2100 in repairs over the time I owned it, 8 years and 150k miles. Would still be driving if not for the tweaked frame.
I'd go full size. You get tow/haul capacity, fuel economy that comes close to rivaling the V6 engines in the Tacama, Colorado, and Frontier, with a V8 (In GM's case, anyways), and lots of leg room. My bone stock '98 K1500 was perfect for exactly the kind of off-roading you are talking about doing. Granted, it's nowhere near a "new" truck. They really didn't give a s**t about fuel economy and I still got 15mpg city with a 350 and automatic.