So my trusty Land Cruiser is now 15 years old with 210k miles on it. While its still going strong, I’m going to need to throw a few thousand into it (tires, water pump/timing chain, possible HVAC) to keep it that way. Considering it barely fits my family of 4 plus dog anymore, I’ve started looking at replacements.
So I’ve been thinking about pickups, namely due to their expansive rear seats which are good for car seasts and dogs; and their beds which I find more and more useful with house projects. I like to hunt and explore forest roads, so I don’t want anything huge, but most midsizes aren’t much better than my land cruiser in the rear seat.
I don’t plan on going crazy with mods, but I plan on putting 34-35" tires on whatever i get, and making sure they have adequate skidplating.
I would prefer used, but most of my options are pretty new vehicles, so that isn’t always an option. I’d also like to keep the price under $40k. So I’ve been thinking about the three:
2019 Ram 1500
My FIL has a 2012 Ram and its been a good vehicle for him. The redesign looks great too. I like that the 2019's can be optioned with a rear elocker as well. I think i would look for a North Edition, which is basically the cold weather package mixed with the off road package. While MSRPs are over $50k, real world prices are in the 30-40k range.
2020 Jeep Gladiator
I’ve always had a soft spot for Jeeps, but even the JK had little usable space inside. Thankfully, it would seem the Gladiator solves that. While it doesn’t have as much rear seat room as the Ram, it has 10" more leg room than my Land Cruiser. However, the shoulder room is 5" less. I would probably go with a Sport S with the Max Tow package to get the wider axles, 4:10 gears, and towing accouterments. While these are being advertised below MSRP, they aren’t getting the kind of deals the Rams are getting. Although it will have better resale value.
2017-2018 Nissan Armada
This is basically the direct replacement for my Land Cruiser, since a 200 series costs so effing much. The biggest thing that I don’t like about these is the lack of the off-road gear the non-US market Patrols get. I wish it had the fancy suspension and a locker. I digress. The back seat doesnt really offer any additional room over my Land cruiser, but the back has even more space, meaning i could probably put the dog back there and get a cargo box for bags.
What do you guys think? Armada’s are starting to dip below $30k making them the cheapest, but the Gladiator is just so effing cool. The Ram, while being the biggest, also gets the best gas mileage and offers all the space i would need and then some.