If I had the moneys, this is what I’d buy. I need the crew cab for family hauling duties, and it’s got the 5.3 and a significantly higher tow rating of 9,100 pounds, compared to the 5,700 pound rating that my trusty ‘06 has (the 4.8 and 3:20 rear gears make it slow as dog-poop).

It’s a base model with just a few important options, like my ‘06. Towing package (with built-in trailer brake controller!), locking rear end, factory tinted windows, and a few other little things. I spec’d the 6'-6" bed for this one. The 5'-8" had proven to be just short enough to be a PITA for hauling long stuff. I think having a backup camera would make up for the difficulty of parking 10" more length.. The big thing I spec’d on this one, that my ‘06 doesn’t have, is 4-wheel drive. Do I need 4-wheel drive? Absolutely not ... but it sure would be fun to have!

I love the new base steel wheels. I’d like to find a set of them for my ‘06. I also LOVE this blue color! I miss color. I need color. I am so impossibly bored with silver.

Do you know what would make this truck 10 times cooler? No, not bro rims and Chinese LED light bars. That’s right! Plaid bench seats!!! I would pay an extra thousand dollars for a pair of plaid bench seats. Especially if there were some nice plaid inserts in the door panels to match. Man, that would be tight!

The price? Just under $40k, after current incentives. Not too bad given the realities of today’s marker ... but damn near twice as much what I paid for my brand new ‘06. So, still ouch.

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When is this going to happen? Three years at the absolute soonest. That’s when my wife’s CX-5 will be paid off.