Some may say that when you buy a boat you should have a vehicle that can tow it. Pffftt. That’s what friends and family vehicles are for! So now that we have a boat sitting on a trailer in our driveway we decided to get something that could tow it.


It took a while to finally pick out our 2010 Nissan Xterra. We were searching throughout Ontario to find the perfect vehicle and had shortlisted:

  • Toyota Tacoma – The perfect vehicle! But nope, Lori doesn’t like trucks. She was probably right that having an SUV is a better choice with extra space for the kids.
  • Toyota Landcruiser – Can you tell I like Toyota? Lots of great memories as a kid going out with my parents in their 1970s Land Cruisers. Would have been a good choice, but more expensive and the kids would need to have one of the front doors opened before they could open one of their rear doors seemed like a hassle.
  • Range Rover Defender – I’m still recovering from the fact that they stopped making these. It’s a rugged, no-nonsense, farm vehicle that can go anywhere and most issues can be fixed with a swiss army knife and a tin can. Problem was, I didn’t want to have to be fixing it every couple of months, even with better tools.
  • Range Rover Discovery II – These are incredibly cheap to find second hand. But, a gas thirsty V8 four litre engine and worries about reliability made us skip this one.
  • Volvo X90 – Probably the most dependable, safe and sane choice in this list. Could easily find decent ones for under $20k. Not bad for a vehicle originally selling for $50-$60k.

In the end, we decided on the Nissan Xterra and have never second guessed this decision. Although, after limiting our selection to only manual transmissions, we finally take one for a test drive in Ottawa. After the drive, Lori quietly says to me, “I made a mistake, we don’t want a manual”. Sure, it’s not great in stop and go traffic and it really really sucks when backing up a trailer but most of the time it’s perfect.


It’s the top of the line Off-Road model, which is now called the Pro-4X, which comes with all sorts of extra goodies. Lori’s favourite is the stereo with nine speakers, including a thumpy sub-woofer. And is perfectly comfortable towing our new boat.