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Pickup Trucks for Women (Experiences/Opinions)

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  • leomortleomort Posts: 451
    now, by fair. Your Taco is a 4x2 while your Wrangler is a 4x4. ;)

    Leo
  • mtngalmtngal Posts: 1,911
    Annafofana - thanks for bringing up the Mazda pickup. It sounds very much like something I would like. I have never looked at one, and since I now know of someone who loves theirs, I'll will.

    I like the camper shells mainly because I haul a large dog in the back. Shells do limit what you can haul, since while it is technically possible to take them off, it is a royal pain. I had much less hassle with the camper and camper jacks. If I didn't have the dog I would look seriously at the tonneau covers.

    Leomort - LOL! Actually you made my point - drive each vehicle to its capability. That 4x2 Taco is much less capable of getting out of my driveway in the winter!
  • I just happened to be at the Nissan dealer to get the regular service performed and didn't get a chance to test drive it. I've just always had good luck with reliability in the Nissans.
    The Mazda B-4000 has the SOHC 6 cylinder engine in it, a great engine that gets good gas mileage and delivers over 200 HP. A great engine Annafofana.
  • KCRam@EdmundsKCRam@Edmunds Mt. Arlington NJPosts: 3,497
    mtngal, my Ram is also a diesel. It's a 1996 3500 Club Cab 4x4 dually and I have about 73,000 miles on it. My 5'3" sister loves driving it (when I let her LOL). I helped convince my friend in SLC that shee needed the grunt of an oil-burner instead of the gasoline-slurping 360 V8 in her 1995 Ram.

    I find it interesting how many people love the Mazda B-truck but claim they wouldn't get a Ranger, even though they are the same truck on the same chassis from the same assembly plant. There is a perception that the Mazda is "buiilt better", and lasts longer.

    I also have issues with the Frontier's styling. Trucks that attempt to fake accessories, is what I call the look; in this case, the Nissan attempts to resemble a grille/brush guard with the front styling. A truck should look good without any add-ons, it should look equally good with them, but it should not look as though is has to have them in order to look good.

    Let's face it, all trucks are a cab and a box. It's up to the individual manufacturers to do something different to make customers buy their truck over the others. For me, it was the "heavy duty" image created by the big-rig styling and Cummins diesel of the Dodge Ram. I also have long arms and legs for my height (6'0", 34" inseam, 35" sleeves) so I tend to feel cramped in cars and compact trucks. Even if I have to pay commercial registration rates, I'll stick with my full size rigs.

    kcram
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  • mtngalmtngal Posts: 1,911
    Do you realize how much I wanted a truck just like yours when I owned horses? I still drool over them!

    Have you looked at the 2 newer diesel engines (Ford and Chevy)? If so, what did you think of them? I still think that a diesel would be practical for me, but don't know about the sticker shock. I'm thinking of waiting for about 5 years and then looking at them again. By then I'll be thinking about working towards a 5th wheel trailer and retirement (oops, maybe I shouldn't have mentioned that).

    I didn't know that the Ranger and Mazda were the same truck (did know about the Escape/Tribute sameness). That means I'll probably like the Mazda - I liked the Ranger when I looked at it last year (especially the small back doors on the extended cab).

    What I objected to on the Frontier was the wheel flare styling - I thought it looked stupid and pointless and tacked on. I didn't even get as far as the front grille! I always loved the look of the old Nissan Hardbody pickups - simple, utilitarian and comfortable, and was so disappointed with the Frontier.

    I agree with you about the looks of the Ram. It isn't as old fashioned boxy as the Chevy (which actually I like) but not as extreme as the Flareside Ford (which I don't like at all - think of the bed space you give up!). Just nice lines. By the way, does your Ram have a bench or bucket seats? If bench, have you ridden in it with your sister? One of the complaints my 6' 0" husband had about my old Chevy was that it had a bench seat. While it was perfectly comfortable for him when he was driving, when I drove his knees were just about in the dash! We would have to get bucket seats if that is still the case.
  • Most of the bench seats today are 60/40 split so your hubby should be ok when he is being punished ;-)
  • mtngalmtngal Posts: 1,911
    Thanks for letting me know. Now I'm starting to get enthusiastic about pickups again, and it is comforting that I don't have to rule out something just because of the lack of bucket seats.

    On the other hand,having a center console with good cup holders would be nice, since we have such a long commute. It's amazing how important something so little can become! The Taco has inconvenient cup holders for coffee cups, and ones that are OK for 1 liter bottles (which we do get once in a great while) but are too big and shallow for normal soda and coffee cups.
  • mtngalmtngal Posts: 1,911
    I just read the review here on Edmunds of the quad cab compact pickups. I'm not interested in a quad cab, but am interested in most of the makes reviewed (except Sport Track). I am definitely going to have to give the Dakota another chance. I saw one of the freeway yesterday as I was creeping along in the carpool lane, going only slightly faster than the traffic in the other lanes (a good chance to catch a quick look at all sorts of vehicles, since the slow and go is always bad on Fridays). It looks a whole lot better as a normal pickup, instead of that lowered thing the dealer had on his lot last year.
  • KCRam@EdmundsKCRam@Edmunds Mt. Arlington NJPosts: 3,497
    mtngal, all Rams and Dakotas use a 3-section front seat, called the 40/20/40. The center 20 section does not move fore/aft, and the backrest folds down as a console. For the new 2002 Ram 1500, there is now a second console under the seat cushion as well. The two 40 sections are completely independent of each other. Dodge cupholders are reasonably sized, and hold most cups, cans, and bottles without too much thrills. The high mounted cupholders on my 96 Ram have a tendency to dump drinks on the floor on quick turns because of the center of gravity (cup at top of dash, drink cups usually wider at top than at bottom).

    A lot of people wondered why Ford opted to create the Explorer Sport Trac instead of simply making a Ranger crew cab, and the answer is marketing. Explorers outsell Rangers by a large margin, and the name recognition was deemed to be more valuable. This is why, unfortunately, there will be no crew cab Mazda B-series.

    Personally, I'm not a fan of flareside beds or extended cabs that cut into the bed to the point where the rear axle is all the way at the front of the bed. Trucks should be trucks first, and that means cargo capacity. I've carried couches, queen-size beds, a dozen computers and monitors in boxes, L-shaped office desks, and a lot of other stuff in my trucks with the tailgate closed. There's an old adage about buying pickup trucks: "Figure out the size, strength, and capacity of the truck that will meet your needs... then buy the next size bigger." Most of the time, it holds true.

    My recommendations for you, mtngal:
    - Dodge Ram 1500 Quad Cab shortbed
    - Dodge Dakota Quad Cab
    - Ford Ranger/Mazda B4000 4-door
    - Chevy S10/GMC Sonoma Crew Cab
    I am going to say no to the Tundra because the interior is misleadingly small. It's still Dakota size instead of full-size, despite what Toyota claims. Not a fan of the Nissan, although the Crew Cab Long Bed at least gives you cargo room. If you think you're going to tow with this truck, get the largest V6 or a V8. When you hit the hills in California, you won't regret it.

    Getting back to me and my diesel, the Ford and GM diesels both have an issue that the Dodge can avoid. The Ford/Navistar diesel uses sleeved cylinders that can erode without regular use ofd a coolant additive. Also, it's a 7.3 liter V8 that is just making the same output as the much smaller 5.9 liter Cummins 6 cylinder. As for the new GM/Isuzu Duramax, it uses aluminum heads, which are a no-no for a heavy duty diesel. Diesels, of course, run on heat compression instead of spark ignition, so the ability of iron to retain that heat is very important on engines that see a lot of work, Aluminum dissipates heat much faster, and may work against the combustion cycle.

    I'm keeping my 96 for another 2 years. After January 2004, the new diesel emissions regulations will be established, and the new heavy duty Ram (which is scheduled to be introduced next week at the Choicago Auto Show) will have a heavily revised Cummins that is currently estimated at 305 horsepower and a house-yanking 555 pound-feet of torque.

    By the way, my truck weighs about 7000 pounds or so with me and my usual junk in it. On the highway, I can get a solid 21 miles per gallon, and my best tank is an astonishing (even for me) 24.3 mpg. Back in October of 1999, I drove from north NJ to Dallas for vacation. The trip was 1550 miles each way, and even with some local driving around Dallas mixed in, the total trip for almost 3300 miles was still 20 mpg. Two things will get me out of a diesel - if they're outlawed, and... hmmmm... ok, maybe just one thing. Keep in mind, in the near future, Dodge and Ford are planning V6 diesels for the compact and half-ton full size trucks. Navistar will build the Ford V6, and the new Detroit Diesel DELTA V6 has already been tersted under the hood of a Dodge Durango, so they know it does fit. Both of these small diesels would have the power of the small V8s, with the economy of the base 4-cylinder engines. A Dodge Dakota with the Detroit V6 diesel is estimated at matching the 4.7L gas V8's performance, while getting an honest 30 mpg highway unloaded.

    kcram
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  • mtngalmtngal Posts: 1,911
    Diesel can be hard to find around here, but there are a couple of stations up here on the hill that carry it, so for me it is a real option. I would love to have a vehicle with an engine that wouldn't blink at 250,000 miles and would get 20 mpg or more. Ideally it would have to get me out of my driveway most days (I don't expect it to get me out when we have 3 feet of snow in one night. Even if it could, there would be no place to go - everyone else was stuck when that happened last year, and Caltrans had to use snow cats to get the people out of the over 100 cars stuck on the freeway).

    One of the reasons I'm getting more interested in pickups is that they seem to come with bigger engines and manual trannys. While I would like an auto for all that slow and go stuff I have to drive through when I first leave work, I still have the problem of the climb up Interstate 5, and the steep mountain road into our place. I didn't look at another auto after I burned up 2 of them in the Nissan in a year, but have thought if I got an auto V6 or larger truck with a tranny cooler, I could probably get by. I don't mind a manual so much, especially when I'm driving the Wrangler. It is geared low, so I just leave it in second and allow enough room to absorb the variation in speeds of the vehicle in front of me. On the other hand, would getting a bigger engine take care of the "hunting" that the tranny did on my Nissan, so the tranny question would become just a matter of preference?

    I'd love something like the Dakota with a diesel - wonder if it will be legal in California when they do come out with something like that? I don't know if I want to put up with the Taco for long enough to find out.

    If I buy a truck in the next year or two (the current plan) I would not use it to haul anything. The 5th wheel trailer is a dream of mine for when I retire, and I'm long enough away from that so it is still just that - a dream. What I buy in the near future would probably be the trade in for the RV or 5th wheel or whatever will be on the market then...
  • revkarevka Posts: 1,750
    Thanks for reminding me. I read that review a while ago, and I'd forgotten that the Dakota placed first. Makes it all the more interesting. Of course that was a very close first place win, as there were only seven-tenths of a point separating it from the Toyota Tacoma which placed second. Btw, did you notice what Neil Chirico had to say about the Taco seats? I think you and him see eye to eye in that area. ;-)

    I always enjoy reading reviews. Of course not forgetting that everyone has their own individual criteria/needs for making their purchase decisions. Even though I don't always agree with everything stated by the pros, they definitely make me think about things I wouldn't have before.

    To everyone - Look for direct links to Edmunds' 2001 Crew Cab Comparison Test as well as their 2000 Full Size Pickup Comparison on the left side of the page. Hope you enjoy. Also, keep in mind these are 2000 and 2001 reviews. So if you're in the market for a 2002 pickup, be sure to check in the New Vehicle Guide to see if/what changes have been made since then.

    Revka
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  • mtngalmtngal Posts: 1,911
    I was surprised that Neil Chirico was the only one who mentioned how uncomforable they are. Granted, I only have the extended cab, not the crew cab. My husband is like Neil - he complains about the seat padding. I find the back head restraint hits me in the wrong place, so I feel like my head is forced forward all the time. That and the fact that seats are low to the floor, means that I feel all hunched up all over.

    Reviews are great - I read them whenever I get interested in a vehicle. That's the reason I keep coming back to the Edmunds site, and usually start here when I'm researching something. They have talked me out of several vehicles, and convinced me to look at others I might not have thought about; but as you say, in the end it is the individual's needs and feelings that should make the decision.

    For instance, I have yet to read a comparison of mini-utes that includes the Wrangler where they like it. None of these reviews changed my mind about getting one, though, and I'm very happy with mine!
  • leomortleomort Posts: 451
    when is Dodge coming out with the Dakota V6 diesel engine?

    Leo
  • revkarevka Posts: 1,750
    According to Edmunds' Future Telling, the Dakota is scheduled for a redesign in 2003. Doesn't give any more details though. Does anyone know more about this? Perhaps there's more news at the manufacturer website.

    In any case, that could mean that we'll be seeing more/bigger manufacturer incentives for the 2002 Dakota towards the end of the year. Just a thought. ;-)

    Revka
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  • KCRam@EdmundsKCRam@Edmunds Mt. Arlington NJPosts: 3,497
    the new Dakota will be a 2004. The use of the diesel will appear based on a few factors:

    - Chrysler Group's financial health
    - whether the CAFE regulations are raised
    - the general acceptance of diesels (overcoming the stigma of smell and smoke)
    - if someone else (e.g. Ford) goes first

    If all the factors come into play, the diesel Dakota/Durango will likely be a 2005 offering.

    kcram
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  • mtngalmtngal Posts: 1,911
    I really hope they come out with the diesel Dakota, expecially if they can make it legal in California.

    Thanks for the info!
  • revkarevka Posts: 1,750
    Take a look at the new pickups from the 2002 Chicago auto show: New models and Concept Vehicles. Anything there catch your eye? I think the Terra4 hybrid concept looks pretty interesting. Thanks for your comments. ;-)

    Revka
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  • KCRam@EdmundsKCRam@Edmunds Mt. Arlington NJPosts: 3,497
    And it was at the CAS where you can see my next Ram 3500 Quad Cab dually :) but not in Flame Red... I plan on ordering it in Patriot Blue somewhere around January 2004.

    kcram
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  • mtngalmtngal Posts: 1,911
    Liked the looks of the new Ram - may go that way if I can get the bucks together, and if it really looks like the thing to do I guess I could live with the Taco for another 2 or 3 years, maybe.

    I don't like the looks of the Terra4, but then I don't like the Avalanche either. However, I REALLY like hybrid concept and the storage ideas. Now if I can get over the looks...

    I hope that someone comes out with something like that soon, but maybe with a bit more classy styling.
  • KCRam@EdmundsKCRam@Edmunds Mt. Arlington NJPosts: 3,497
    You know, mtngal... I don't consider Avalanche/Escalade EXT, or the upcoming GMC based on the Envoy XL as pickup trucks. Remember back in the good old days of light trucks? SUVs like IH Scouts, the big K-5 Blazer/Jimmy, both the 1976-and-earlier small Bronco and the 1977-1996 big Bronco - they all had one thing in common: the roof came off! Presto, a shortbox pickup. Only difference of the Avalanche (which is nothing more than a Suburban without its rear roof) is the "Midgate", which I'm guessing could be an issue if it ever develops a leak or draft. At least the Explorer SportTrac has a physically separate box from the cab.

    Heck, bring back the old New Process 203 full time 4WD while you're at it.

    Your traditional hardcore trucker :)
    kcram
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This discussion has been closed.