Choosing A Trail Family Vehicle

We love to put in ample time of research when we are headed for a major purchase. Sometimes, though, the research window is cut short by circumstances. A few weeks ago, Tim was taking my old vehicle to gas it up (he’s a good egg like that). The brake line snapped on a hill causing him to hit a building to avoid running into Main Street traffic! We are thankful that he is just fine. However, the car bit the dust then and there. Ideally we would have gotten a new ride next spring, but now we found ourselves in search of a replacement on a much sooner timeline.

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Every family has a list of the ‘must haves’ for a family vehicle. The most obvious need is for the transport of choice to fit your family comfortably. Fortunately for us that means just a standard size, seats five. A second ‘must have’ for us was that the car be at least hitch-ready. If it already had a hitch, well then, all the better. The hitch capability is a must for us so that we can haul our bikes to the trail.

Boy helping wash car
Our little buddy helping to wash the new ride

Our final feature that we were set on having was room for luggage when we travel which includes a hatch-back cargo area and a roof track. Because these were the most desired features, we only looked at vehicles that fit these characteristics. This, of course, had us looking at small SUV type models. These would definitely possess our “must have” characteristics. 

Woman posing in front of Jeep
Me and the Jeep after our first off-road experience

After you take care of the necessary features, we all think of those little luxuries that we would love to have. Something that I have been wanting for many years is remote start. Not having to go out on a cold, snowy morning to start the car sounds fantastic to me. To go along with that, heated seats sound cozy! A fun, warm weather feature that I love, which my old vehicle had, is a sun/moonroof. It’s great to have the top open on a balmy summer evening. These were the extra special features that came along with the model that we ultimately chose.


On the lot we looked at several small SUV models and what we finally decided to purchase was a 2017 Jeep Patriot. It had everything that we were looking for plus those lovely special features. The most important thing to us is that our vehicle supports us in our Trail Family endeavors. We were so happy to find this vehicle!

2017 Jeep Patriot
Our new ride!

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