Your aunt’s sweet potato casserole with a generous helping of marshmallows melted on top, your uncle’s uncharacteristically artistic and neat gift-wrapping skills, or your grandfather’s eggnog recipe that has just enough “sparkle” to keep the unavoidable political conversations light-hearted. These might be the first things that come to your mind when you think of the unsung heroes of the holidays. However, we often overlook the most obvious hero of the holiday season, the family hauler.
The unforgettable family gatherings that make you miss home and simultaneously glad you moved away wouldn’t be possible if it weren’t for the vehicles that got you from your empty driveway to the used car lot that is your in-laws. Whether the drive is across town or across the country, this year we wanted to give you our pick of the ultimate family hauler for the holidays. This vehicle should be able to eat up highway miles like your dad eats Santa’s cookies on Christmas Eve. It needs enough space to seat the immediate family comfortably, especially after all that food, plus the exorbitant amount of toys received from aunts who have no idea what your kids are into these days. Lastly, withstanding December weather is a must, whether that means several feet of snow, or if you’re in the South, bone chilling 76 degree days.
Yes, SUVs Are Useful
The obvious choice is an SUV, preferably with four wheel drive, plenty of ground clearance, impeccable highway fuel economy, modern amenities, and the latest technology. If you are willing to compromise on exactly half of those things, we have the perfect fit.
The Lexus GX470 is the ultimate family hauler that has just recently started to get the attention it deserves. If the idea of looking like a soccer mom whose children are having children of their own is at all attractive, this is the outdated luxury SUV for you.
It has standard leather interior, four wheel drive, a solid rear axle and locking center differential. If that last sentence completely lost you, this next one might reel you back in. They can be found for less than $20,000, and it will likely outlive your youngest child. The capability you get with just a set of all terrain tires is jaw dropping, so you can visit any family member this year. Yes, even your estranged, electricity-hating cousin who founded his own settlement on the plains of Montana. The poor fuel economy and lacking interior amenities will be quickly forgiven once all the kids are playing on their brand new iPad’s purchased with the funds re-allocated from the car budget. That sounds like the unsung hero of the holidays.