You’re not everybody, so you don’t need a vehicle designed for everybody. If your vehicle has to meet different work requirements or hobby needs, take a look at what’s out there that could have you covered. Don’t buy something and force it to fit your lifestyle, buy the right vehicle the first time.
Jeep Renegade is like a triathlete; capable, nimble, and fit. It’s small enough for easy parking downtown before a marathon, but its all-wheel-drive can handle muddy roads to reach the best mountain bike trails. The hatch area has 18.5 cu/ft cargo space, which increases to a generous 50.8 cu/ft with the rear seats down. The Renegade can tow 2,000 lbs., which isn’t a car, but a small trailer for kayaks, coolers, and extra gear. It won’t hurt your wallet either, as the 1.4-liter can hit 31 MPG highway. There’s even USB ports everywhere for charging your Fitbit.
If you enjoy hiking and camping with your dog, you might be in a Subaru Forester commercial. This demographic does exist in the real world too, so the Forester has Subaru’s excellent all-wheel-drive system that can get you anywhere. Under the hood is the trusty 2.5-liter boxer four, or turbo 2.0-liter in higher-end trims. With 1,500 lb. towing ability, it’ll haul your dirt bikes no problem. The cargo area has 33 cu/ft, but laying down the rear seats nets you an SUV-like 74.7 cu/ft. On the tech side, EyeSight active safety tech is standard, but don’t purposefully test it. The Forester hits 32 mpg highway, so even driving out to Yellowstone can be affordable too.
If you run a landscaping business, or do plumbing on the side, you probably already have a truck. When it’s worn out, look into the Chevy Colorado for work capability without the gas mileage penalty. Your base model work truck features a 2.5-liter four cylinder with 200 horsepower, but the optional 3.6-liter V6 makes 308 horsepower for better acceleration. Need torque? Look to a 2.8-liter Duramax diesel, a class exclusive. There’s only 181 horsepower, but the 369 lb-ft of torque delivers best-in-class towing ability, up to 7700 lbs. That’s about two Chevy Malibus, or a ton of lawn mowing equipment. It even borrows a cool feature from big rigs with the exhaust brake, so your brakes don’t overheat when towing down a hill or mountain. And the 28 MPG highway with 4WD means less money drained from your wallet.
Find a giant easel at Hobby Lobby, or 87 yards of special fabric? Your Versa isn’t going to handle that. Look to the Ford Escape to haul all your hobby finds, with sedan-like handling, optional hybrid fuel savings, and the capability of optional all-wheel-drive. If your Saturday flea market splurge gets out of control, the Escape can be optioned up to tow 2,000 lbs. You can get a 2.5-liter four cylinder, or an EcoBoost 1.5-liter for slightly better gas savings at 30 MPG highway. There’s 34 cu/ft behind the rear seats, or put the seats down and gain up to 68 cu/ft.
Soccer mom/dad, coach
Minivans like the Toyota Sienna have the unfortunate soccer mom/dad stereotype, and that’s too bad, as they are some of the most useful utility vehicles made. You can’t beat the combination of sheet rock capable cargo space, or hauling 7 or 8 passengers in comfort, plus Toyota reliability. There’s 39 cu/ft in the trunk, and an unrivaled 150 with seats removed. The 3.5-liter V6 makes 296 horsepower, scores a 3,500 lb. tow rating, or go light and it’ll do 27 MPG highway. Oh, and it’s the only minivan this size that offers all-wheel drive. Toyota calls it the Swagger Wagon in PR material, so they know it’s fun.
Serious work requires a serous truck. The Ram 1500 can haul plenty of mulch or hay, or tow a trailer full of horses or donkeys. Yup, it can literally haul ass. Load up with the right engine, axle, and bed combination, and you’re looking at 11,000 lbs. of real work. Engine choices are excellent across the board, with an economical 3.6-liter V6 with 305 horsepower, high performance 5.7-liter Hemi V8 with 395 horsepower, and a 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V6 with 420 lb/ft. The Rambox feature is a unique storage system designed into the cargo bed’s wall. That cargo bed can hold 1600 to 1900 pounds of dirt, mulch, or bricks. It won’t beat you up while you’re working either, as it has one of the most plush interiors in its class.