So I'm contemplating buying a new truck. The family 2000 Expedition I've been driving for 5+ years (since I was 16) has about 250,000 hard miles on it, and while there aren't any major warning signs its going to have any issues, its just not a vehicle I feel confident in all the time. Its hard to explain why, because I still trust it to make all the road trips I take it on, but it struggles up long grades, has some weird shakes and rattles, a little bit of driveline shake, and, well, is really just showing its age. I mean, its lasted our family 14+ years, is only on its second engine (and a spark plug blow out!) and a rebuilt transmission, and it just seems like the time to retire it. I was originally planning on driving it through college because its a free vehicle and after college I'd buy something for myself.

On the other hand, my parents (especially my mom) have long wanted me to get a newer, more reliable vehicle with maybe better gas mileage. The plan would be to have them help me buy a vehicle now that I can keep and continue driving years after college.

The proposed budget is around 5 grand. It could get a little more expensive, but 5 grand seems best. I'm looking at Chevy 1500s (light duty, not the HD) in either 2 or 4wd variant (probably 4wd, slightly worse mpg but more usable), maybe a Ranger or other small truck (problem with that is I lose towing ability). Any thoughts/suggestions?

Have a nice prerunner 1500 as pennance.