My wife drives an '02 Explorer, we got it used w/ very low mileage in the Fall of '04. We purchased it for the same reason you are looking into one - got shortly after our son was born. Something large enough to carry what we needed & the 4x4 is perfect as we get our fair amount of snow as well. We definitely didn't want a minivan, those are for families w/ 3+ kids... plus my wife hates them (as do I). It makes us crazy when we see people we know go out & buy a minivan just because they had their first child. Get a grip people
The only reason I voted Explorer is I can't stand the look of the Trailblazer comparatively, but that's just personal opinion.
The Explorer has been a great vehicle so far, the only issue has been wheel bearings. Each one has now been replaced at least once, the most recent one two months ago. Our mechanic (independent, not dealer) said he's seen a lot of Ford trucks w/ that issue. He suggested purchasing a GM truck/suv the next time as he has seen very little problems w/ those, nothing major or across the board as the bearing issue on Ford's. I imagine the Chevy has it's own little quirks but according to our guy it's a better option, that's why we'll likely be looking at a Tahoe when the wheels fall off ours (hopefully not literally). The Suburban is nice, but it really is huge... although it would be nice to be able to fit full sheets of plywood in the back
You're gonna have to look hard to find a quality used suv in that price range. I guess if you don't plan to put a lot of miles on it you'll find something w/ high mileage to keep it cheap. We spent about 3x that on ours but it only had 17k miles on it. At 120k now, it should still run well for at least a few more years. *crosses-fingers*
This post has been edited by ger: 03 June 2010 - 09:05 AM