In order to maximize what’s left of your summer, and assuming you’re not a hermit, you’ll want to take part in some outdoor activities. However, if you’re expecting to hike, mountain bike, or hunt, you’ll need the right car. Our list will help steer you in the right direction, and even if you don’t agree with these car choices they will give you a good idea of what you’re going to need.
What could be better for water activities than the best selling truck in the world, the Ford F-150? It’s cheap, reliable and can do it all. If you spend a mere $34,000 you can have the extended cab, 4x4 F-150 XL with the 5.0-liter V8 engine. With this configuration, you can (almost) fit two Yamaha Superjets in the bed as well as a kayak on the roof (with a rack), and trail a fishing boat. The tow capacity of the F-150 is almost 8,000 pounds, and the jet skis don’t even max out the payload limits. The F-150 is more than capable of handling all of your water activity necessities.
If you’re a glutton for activities that result in your face getting covered in dirt, or if you just enjoy a scenic hike through the countryside, you’re going to want something that can handle the lack of pavement and will stand up to a lot of punishment. This means a car with AWD and reliability, and for that you can turn to the Subaru Forester. Folding the rear seats down vacates a whole 79” by 42” area behind the front seats, which means you can comfortably stack a pile of Santa Cruz V10s in the back. This also means you don’t need to purchase a bicycle rack, nor do you need a lot of money, as the MSRP is just under $30,000 for a brand new Forester. With a plethora of safety features and a 250-hp turbocharged engine coupled with a CVT, you can’t go wrong with the Subaru Forester.
You don’t need to look too far to accommodate a couple of dirt bikes. A simple Toyota Tacoma from the mid-2000s will do the job, and with some finesse you can fit at least two dirt bikes in the bed. 2004 Tacomas have a payload of up to around 2,000 pounds, and with dirt bikes weighing around 350 pounds, the truck won’t have a problem hauling them around. 2004 Tacomas run for about $10,000 or less, commonly run past 300k miles, and can be fairly rugged. Tacomas also have a towing capacity of up to 5,000 pounds, which means it can tow a trailer plus some extra motorcycles. It’s a basic truck, but it’s about as well-rounded as you can get, especially for its price.
Who can forget the old pastime of pitching a tent in the woods and praying bears don’t see your name on the night’s menu, while you swat away bugs that are almost the size of your head? You don’t need anything ultra extravagant for camping, but you do need something that can carry firewood, tools, a burner, a tent, sleeping bags, and mats. Not to mention food and other supplies like cleaning and toiletries. You can probably get away with all of this in a Honda CR-V. It’s reliable, comes in AWD and is fairly cheap especially if you buy used. As the car with the best in class luggage space, it’s maximum 80 cu. ft. sized trunk is plenty big enough to hold your camping supplies.
If you’re the sort of person who likes to hunt, whether it be deer or bears, you’re going to need something special. Not only will you need enough space for all your equipment, like rifles, ammunition and perhaps a ghillie suit, but you’ll want something quiet. You don’t want to roll up onto the field in a loud, turbocharged diesel truck that spooks all of the birds into flying south for the fall. You’re going to need a car that can keep the integrity of the scene intact, and one that will make the journey, so that’s why something all-wheel-drive and hybrid is the way to go. However, if you don’t want to break the bank, maybe the Porsche 918 Spyder isn’t the way to go. Enter the 2012 Subaru Impreza Wagon. It gets 36 highway miles per gallon, is cheap (around $10,000) and has Subaru’s famous AWD system.
Don’t let summer get away this year. Prepare yourself with the best cars for the job, whether it be hunting, mountain biking, or fishing.
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