To set the stage: for ten years, our two cars were a 2000 Land Rover Discovery and a 2000 Ford Ranger pickup. Last year, we sold the Land Rover and bought a Volvo V70 station wagon. We figured that the Land Rover was getting up there in miles (about 170,000) and it was going to get expensive at some indefinite time in the future. Then some friends decided to sell their beautiful Volvo, which Janis loved, so we sold the Discovery and bought the Volvo. It was pretty luxurious, got great gas mileage, and has many years of life left in it. All was well with the world.
Until last winter. Not only were we were clobbered with snow, but Janis started a pet-sitting business and some of her clients had driveways that absolutely required a 4WD vehicle to get up and down. Suddenly, the decision to sell the Discovery didn't look so good - maybe we should have kept it and sold the Ranger instead. But we hadn't and were stuck with the decision.
Now I'm going to be heading off to a new job soon (that'll be another blog post) and we're getting ourselves positioned for what's about to come. One of the decisions was whether to get a 4WD or AWD vehicle. Buying a new car was not on my list, but Janis felt strongly that she needed something that would get her around in another wicked winter. Suddenly, buying a new car was on my list. We looked at a lot of possibilities: trade in the Volvo for a good used SUV of some sort, buy a beater 4WD Jeep, or swap the old Ranger for something newer. We finally decided to replace the Ranger. A new(er) Ranger was out of the question: mine had been reliable, but Ford hasn't updated it in over 12 years and it's an antique design. Full-size trucks like the F150 are now the size that semi's used to be and they suck gas like it's water. After a lot of research, I thought the Nissan Frontier was going to be the best choice. It has a 300 hp V6, 4WD, excellent reliability, lots of room, and gets better gas mileage than my old Ranger.
So I started looking for a Frontier. A few days ago, I spotted an ad for one near here, in Boone, NC. It had what we looking for, plus it was a 2008 with only 12,000 miles on it, one owner, and a clean CarFax. Turns out the previous owner (actually, a leaser) was a guy with a big vacation home near Boone and only used it when he was in town. We went up to take a look, I drove it, and was hooked. We came home with it that night.
So now I have a new toy. It's in great shape, but there are a few things that I want to do with it, like put in a stereo unit that'll play my iPod, put a fiberglass lid on the bed, add a trailer hitch, and so on. Lots to do, but it doesn't have to be done right now. Before I get into personalizing the Frontier, I have to sell the Ranger. It's been a great truck and I'll be sad to see it go, but it doesn't meet our needs anymore.
Psst! Wanna buy a great used Ranger?