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Pickup Trucks for Women (Experiences/Opinions)



  • mtngalmtngal Posts: 1,911
    Can't argue with your point about the Avalanche etc. not being a truck. They look like they would be really handy for someone who needs all those different configurations. I don't and I don't like the styling, so I'll never get one. I haven't looked at them (other than to see one being demonstrated on a lot to someone else), so didn't know what the midgate was made of or how it was attached. I hadn't thought of the leak/draft aspect, and I should have - I knew someone with an ancient Land Cruiser with a removable top. He had so much trouble with leaks after he took it off he bolted it on and then totally sealed it.

    I always liked the IH Scout! If they were still for sale I would have bought one instead of the Taco. They were one of the reasons I started looking at SUVs (and what I still think an SUV should be, but that's another topic...). They would have answered my needs very well - basic transportation, 4x4, no frills, good value. OK, I'm much older now and so might want more comfortable seats and a better suspension... At the moment my needs are pretty much met by the Taco (including shell) except it is only 2 wheel drive with uncomfortable seats. But then, every time a full sized pickup goes by on the freeway, I sigh. Something I don't need, but certainly want!
  • revkarevka Posts: 1,750
    Starting next week, we're going to start the process of moving discussions in the Women's Auto Center over to other more active message boards.

    This discussion will soon be moved over to our Pickups Message Board. We look forward to continuing this subject over there. Happy motoring!

    Hatchbacks / Station Wagons / Women's Auto Center Boards
  • I am a woman looking to buy a used truck and I have some questions I hope you can help me with. My price range is under $5,000, preferably $2,500 - 4,000. Obviously, I'll probably be looking at an older car (1990 - 1994). The truck is for work, so I really need a winner, especially in terms of reliability!

    1) Which makes and models are best for this time period (1990 - 94)? Are there some to look out for (either v. good or v. bad)?

    2) What are the standard lengths and widths of standard and long-bed trucks? Between the wheel wells? Are long beds more difficult to maneouver on city streets (I'm in Los Angeles)?

    3) In terms of ergonomics, I have short legs and a long torso. Are there trucks that are good for us more diminuitively legged drivers? Are there some to look out for (bad or good)?

    4) From what I've seen so far, it seems like the imports are less expense than the domestics. Is there a reason (in terms of quality/reliability) for that that I should be aware of?

    5) When looking at used trucks are there certain things I should look for to see if I'm getting a lemon or a cream puff?

    I would welcome any advice and appreciate any help pointing me in the right direction. Thanks in advance!
  • mtngalmtngal Posts: 1,911
    Lots of questions, and I only have some of the answers.

    As far as full sized pickups in LA - I didn't find maneuvering my 3/4 ton chevy very difficult on LA streets or on the freeways, but it was a pain to park. Most parking lots don't have spaces that are wide enough to park it easily. The Tacoma fits in the spaces, but since my other vehicle is a Wrangler, I have trouble adjusting to the Taco's bigger turning radius.

    Import vs domestic: Older imports were all compact trucks, and so will be cheaper than full sized pickups. I haven't looked at used pickups in a while, but I would be surprised if a Nissan pickup would be cheaper than a Chevy S-10 (the compact chevy). I can't really help you much with reliability for these years. At the time I was happily driving a '88 Nissan Hardbody. I sold it 2 years ago with 290,000 miles and would probably still be driving it, except I moved to the mountains and the 4 banger/auto tranny combo couldn't handle all that elevation gain on a daily basis. By the way, I sold it for $1,000 with a broken tranny (the second one in a year, but the only major repair problem I had with it - engine was still in great shape).

    I'm built much like you are. My advice is to make sure you test drive whatever you get interested in. There was one year that Ford's bench seat would not go far enough forward for me to reach the pedals, but that was a number of years ago. Last year I test drove a Ford 3/4 ton diesel and didn't have any problems. I've never had any problems with the compacts. Now my husband didn't like to ride with me in the old Chevy because it was a solid bench seat and when I drove, his knees would hit the dash! I'm told all of the bench seats now are split, thank heavens! By the way, I bought that Chevy (a '76) in '84 when it had 70,000 miles on it. I sold it in '90 with 150,000 miles and most of the miles I put on it was hauling a 4 horse trailer. The only repairs I had was a carburator and a fuel pump. It looked like what it was - a beat up farm truck. It ran great, but then so did the Nissan.

    My current Toyota Tacoma (5 speed, manual) seems to be going along just like the Nissan did. It's a 2000 and has 57,000 miles on it. It has had no mechanical problems (a possible tranny problem that disappeared after a couple of days). The only thing is that the seats are very uncomfortable. If you look at the Toyota trucks make sure you are comfortable in them.

    Bottom line is to figure out what you will be using the truck for, then find out which trucks fit your needs. There are so many variables involved that it is hard to give a "this is better" type of answer.
  • I may be wrong, but unless you need a pickup - you're definitely going to get more for your money with a car, if you're limiting yourself to $5,000. Of course, if you don't want/need a 4x4, it's probably doable. Be sure to test drive and listen to whatever truck you are considering. I had an '88 Dakota 2wd, 6cyl., long box that I loved (it was the only 2wd/6cyl. I've owned), when I was in college - bought it with 74,000 miles on it, sold it with 145,000 (for 2500 to a friend), and I know he drove it to well over 200000. I only put a new hose on the truck, and oil changes, of course, while I owned it.

    We currently have a '92 K1500 (1/2 ton, 4wd) Chevy that's taken a beating and still going (145,000 on it). It's a stick, 305 (V8) with some "tweeking" done to it. We get around 24 mpg hwy.

    Beware of '95 K1500's - my Dad bought one new and has replaced front seals 4-5 times, along with other work. They were known for the front seal problems.

    Sizes of boxes - for full size - short boxes are 6' long, long boxes are 8'. Basically they are all 4' wide. Dakota's (a class in theirselves in my book) are smaller, but not much in width and have 6' or 8' boxes. I'm not sure what the imports or compacts have.

    Just make sure, as with any car, you look whatever you decide on over carefully - motor, undercarriage for leaks, etc. lol.

    Hope this helps.
  • revkarevka Posts: 1,750
    A request from Edmunds' PR department:

    If you are a female pick-up truck driver, you are part of a growing segment, and a major daily newspaper would like to speak with you. If you are eligible and interested in participating, please write to no later than 3/19/02. It is helpful if you provide your phone number, vehicle model, and city/state of residence. Thanks much! ;-)

    Hatchbacks & Station Wagons Boards
  • I own a 1995 S-10 2.2 liter manual tran truck. It's gutless, but comfortable and gets excellent gas mileage. I have experienced my share of mechanical problems, (differential, water-pump, blown head gasket, brake rotor after my truck hit 50k) My boyfriend has the S-15 4.0 liter truck, looks just like mine but it's more reliable and faster. If I could do it over again, I would of purchased a truck with more horsepower, torque, and engine size. But the maneuverability of the small truck is wonderful. An extra cab would of been a better choice also. Hope this helps a bit.
  • mrb11mrb11 Posts: 58
    Why would a woman want to drive a pickup truck? IMO....It doesn't seem very feminine.
    I can see a mini van or a station wagon but not a pickup truck.
  • mtngalmtngal Posts: 1,911
    Who cares if it is feminine or not? Will it do what you want it to do? Somehow I can't see putting a camper on a minivan or a station wagon, and they certainly won't haul a 4 horse goose neck trailer very well... I have seen cars hauling 2 horse trailers, but when you do combined training it doesn't leave much room for all that extra gear you need!
  • cspauldingcspaulding Posts: 159
    Why wouldn't a woman want to drive one? I, myself like the way they handle and feel; also, you can't pile 40+ bales of hay in a car, and you would never get to the places I go with a car. - my $.02
  • bobsquatchbobsquatch Posts: 136
    Wow! How to make friends on a female dominated thread. Pretty narrow minded dude. All of my friends think my sister is a fox. Femenine to the core and she drives a lifted 2001 F250 diesel 4X4 with 35" tires. She hauls her dune buggy and bikes with it. Yep she can ride to. None of the guys chasing her think she isn't femenine. Not to be picking on you too much but it sounds like you would have a woman ask you for her shoes if she wants to go somewhere.
  • mtngalmtngal Posts: 1,911
    I envy your sister! Wish I could afford a diesel 4x4 pickup, but I'm married with a house that needs a new roof.

    Another reason why a girl might like a pickup - it's great for hauling around ice hockey gear (especially if you are a goalie). Many of the girls on my old hockey team drove pickups. They are great for hauling around hockey gear to games and tournaments. Our goalie had a 4x4 lifted Tacoma, lockers, etc. Another girl really upset a car salesman when she and her husband were just about to sign on the dotted line for a new car, and then backed out of it when her hockey bag wouldn't fit in the trunk. She also ended up with a compact pickup, come to think of it...

    Actually, I think mrb11 was trying to get something going on this board - its been quiet for a while.
  • jcave1jcave1 Posts: 137
    Something about a "4X4 driving gal" that is pretty cool. As long as it her's, not her boy friends. Better than a Neon, any day.
  • mtngalmtngal Posts: 1,911
    At least a girl driving a pickup will, most likely, not be too concerned about breaking a nail...
  • jcave1jcave1 Posts: 137
    I've not seen a girl driving a pickup:

    1. Applying makeup.
    2. Studying her georgeous self in the rear view.
    3. Putting on mascara.
    4. Doing her nails.

    Not bashing the ladies. Just think more should drive trucks instead of those other things.
  • KCRam@EdmundsKCRam@Edmunds Mt. Arlington NJPosts: 3,496
    Of my female friends who have pickups, the majority of them are moms who feel the full-size pickup is A) a safer vehicle, B) allows them to get three kids across the back seat without them on top of each other, and C) can do whatever household or recreational duties they throw at it. With more and more folks having the local downtown shopping area replaced with a Super WalMart, a Home Depot, a warehouse club, and a regional mega-mall for eveything else, it's almost a requirement that a family vehicle be able to carry large loads more than 10-15 years ago. The extended/"baby-crew" cab full-size pickup (F150 SuperCrew, Ram Quad, GM 1500HD to a lesser extent) has pretty much replaced the old full-size station wagon we remember from the 70s. The increase of "true" foor door trucks in the half-ton and compact truck classes will attract more women - most of them aren't interested in 1-ton crew cab dually trucks unless they tow loaded trailers all day, every day.

    Smart Shopper and FWI Message Boards

    KCRam - Pickups/Wagons/Vans+Minivans Moderator

  • mtngalmtngal Posts: 1,911
    I can't argue with that logic. I have noticed more women in LA driving them. And not necessarily the hiking, hockey-playing, horsey, 4x4 type. The funny thing is that I used to live in Texas over 10 years ago. The vast majority of vehicles on the road were pickups, and many were driven by women - it was no big deal. I think that the rest of the country is starting to find out what Texans have known for years - pickups are very practical vehicles.

    And who is to say what a truck person looks like. One of the guys I know at work was shocked when he saw me drive up in our old Nissan pickup. He always thought of me as the sports car type (OK, he didn't know me very well).
  • ryanbabryanbab Posts: 7,240
    I agree 100% with your 1-4 there. I have never seen that at all.
  • mrb11mrb11 Posts: 58
    I didn't mean to upset any of you ladies. I'm sure there are many truck driving woman that are feminine. IMO it just does not look very feminine. Would a lady wearing a pair of army boots look very feminine? Of course not. She may well be very feminine....she just wouldn't look very feminine. Would a man wearing a skirt look very masculine? He may be masculine but he wouldn't look it. Call me old fashion and not P.C.
  • mtngalmtngal Posts: 1,911
    LOL! Actually you didn't upset me - I thought it was a good way of getting some discussion going on the board. You bring up a whole philosopical argument as to what is feminine. I won't touch that one because I think it is totally in the eyes of the beholder.

    As far as women in combat boots - I have seen a few women who looked very feminine in combat boots. A couple who looked too feminine to be in the Army, IMHO. But then, what do I know - I only spent 10 years in the Army, joining when they had just integrated women into the regular Army, doing away with the WACs...
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