Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!





Toyota TACOMA vs Ford RANGER - VII

1356716

Comments

  • barlitzbarlitz Posts: 752
    I don't agree with your arguement.The tacoma,frontier and Tundra bring up the rear in truck sales 8,9,and 10.The F series leads then Chevy then the Ranger.If the Toyota was such a great truck then why is it outsold nearly 3 to 1 by the S-10,and the S-10 is 6th on the list
  • ckckckckckck Posts: 2
    It'simple . People put price & brand loyalty over quality. They don't do the research on maintenance data, they listen to their friends opinions and commercials. They equate the trucks as equal and buy the cheaper one so they can get more options, whatever. And then there's the old buy "American" , etc.

    The numbers are not to agree or disagree with. It's pure data reporting regulated by law , straight from the manufacturers, based on repairs done under warranty. No opinion involved here.
  • allknowingallknowing Posts: 866
    I admit that I haven't looked at the ZR2 nor do I intend to. I have seen so many vehicles from General Motors with poor quality that it will take a lot to convince me that they've improved. Perhaps they are improving but it is interesting that the S-10 is the only small pickup that Edmunds says is poor in quality and that they could not recommend. Maybe they're another one of those unlucky ones that got a bad one like most of the people I've known over the years.
  • cthompson21cthompson21 Posts: 1,102
    Interesting analogy. The casio and rolex watches still do the same thing don't they? Which is to tell time.

    The Tacoma and Ranger still do the same thing, don't they? Which is to get you from point A to point B.

    Some people just value different aspects of the truck more or less than others. To say these trucks can't be compared??? It seems a bit simplistic to me. Where do you think these thousands of posts came from?

    Also, I don't get the "buy american" excuse Toyota/Nissan owners are always waving around for poor sales figures. By far the majority of automotive purchases out there know that the line between "domestic" and "import" has long since blurred and merged. Odds are good, if you buy a "domestic" vehicle, it may have been built in Canada or Mexico. On the other hand, that "import" was probably built somewhere in the US.



    As for reliability:

    For a Toyota, the Tacoma's reliability just plain sucks. You just didn't hear things like head gasket failures and other stuff from Toyota trucks ten years ago (lots of rust, though). I don't know why, but it's decreased quite a bit. Maybe from moving production to the US? Maybe using lower grade materials to try and reduce production costs? Who knows.

    The Ranger's reliability is still above average, and it's been improving over the past 10 years (unlike Toyota). It is still behind the "imports" but not by much. The S10 follows in fourth, and the Dakota (should you consider it a compact) falls into a very distant last.



    Just wondering. Where did you get information for repairs performed under warranty?
  • scape2scape2 Posts: 4,119
    Hello! there Toyota fans and fanatics. Got back last night from a trip into the MT St. Helens area with my 4x4 Ranger XLT that isn't supposed to be able to do that. I ran into another Toyota fanatic while out and about. There were three vehicles, 2 Rangers and a Jeep in my group. We had just started eating lunch when we heard another group of vehicles coming up the trail. Out pops a 1992-94 Toyota, a 1995-97 Tacoma V6, and yes and 2 Jeeps. This group stopped to chat and ask about other trails we may know of. A guy named "Tom" started in immediatly about how the heck our Rangers could make it in that far!! I could not believe the arrogance of this guy. I estimated his age about 20-25. I also noticed he drove the 1994 Toyota V6 4x4. I started dishing it right back at him. The rest of the group was a bit older and wiser and it was all in fun. To make a short story I challenged him to a race up about a 4% grade that we passed about 2 miles back that went for about 1/4 mile. Toms words "My Toyota will smoke you". Well, he didn't, my 4.0 Ranger had more torque, a better rearend, more HP, and I beat him by a good truck length. Shut him up quick. I'm telling you, you Toyota guys have way too much confidence in your vehicles. Now, I know I am going to hear, "prove it" "Why didn't you race the Tacoma?" In answer, I can't prove it, and Tom didn't own the Tacoma otherwise I would have... Otherwise the trip was great, weather was cool and cloudy, overcast, no rain. All in all a very long day..
    See you in the hills, better yet Cascade range!
  • allknowingallknowing Posts: 866
    The only quality dark side I've ever heard about the Tacoma is the V6 head gasket. You can't say the same about the Ranger now can you? Toyota had a problem and stood behind their product. I talked to my neighbor that works in the parts dept. of a local Toyota dealer. He told me that they were replacing the engines with brand new short blocks, no matter the age of the vehicle if they had a problem. That's pretty good as far as I'm concerned. Ford doesn't stand behind a vehicle any way close to that in my experience. Ford is trying and may be improving, at least in the Rangers case (their Mustang is junk though). One problem, which was major but has been repaired, does not mean that the Tacoma is poor quality. The gasket issue is dead and those with problems are being taken care of. You may hear of a few gasket problems in newer vehicles, however, I can easily find the same amount or more Fords with a gasket problem too. Read the Edmunds Ford forums and you'll see them. I have. In fact I don't see a forum for Toyotas like the one entitled "Perpetual Ford Explorer Woes". It's a very active site with most of the problem seeming to involve the 4.0 engine that the Ford guys can't wait to be in the new Rangers.
  • cthompson21cthompson21 Posts: 1,102
    Well, if you read on a town hall forum, it must be true and effect every single vehicle, huh?

    I applaud Toyota for repairing all head gasket victims. It was quite in their best interests to do so. Do you think Toyota would have a single repeat buyer if "the most reliable compact pickup" had a frequent occurance of catastrophic engine failure at only 50-75K miles?

    As for driving around a Tacoma that has not had the repair, I'd feel like I'm driving a ticking timebomb. That is the exact reason I dumped my Quad4 Olds. Who'd want to drive a vehicle that you can't have confidence in?

    My point is that 10 years ago Toyota didn't have problems like this. They built a better quality product back then. I even owned an '89 Toyota.




    I agree with you that the 3.8L V6 Mustang is a POS. That V6 (which is also the mainstay of the Windstar) hasn't been right from day 1. Throw in the 2.5L Duratec from the SVTour, and forget about the 3.8. Hear me, Ford??? The GT and Cobra are decent cars provided they're treated well (which doesn't often happen).




    From what I've seen, Ford does stand behind their product. For instance, Ford has been replacing 4L engines because the owners found them to be too noisy. But, there are cases for both good and bad. The majority of it depends on the quality of your dealer & service department.
  • allknowingallknowing Posts: 866
    You gave me a lot to respond to. First, I don't necessarily believe everything in the Edmunds forums, however, there is a lot of dissatisfied customers complaining about similar things and that isn't a good indicator of quality. I don't see that in Toyota forums. I still only see one problem with the Toyota vs. many for the Ford. If you take the Ford 4.0 V6 for instance, there is some type of timing chain problem that the dealer apparently aren't fixing. I haven't seen one positive response of the dealer addressing the problem in the Explorer forums. I won't use up the space to list the other prevalent ones. I'll admit that the Ranger seems to be out of this loop so far and may be one of Ford's best vehicles. We'll see what happens when the Explorer 4.0 is put into the Ranger. As far as the Mustang, after my sister's excessive problems I began to talk to other Mustang owners. It's not just the V6. The V8 is crap for many reasons (plastic intake manifold, etc.), the suspension has many defects, the air conditioning tends to fail at about 4 years, and so on. I haven't met a happy Mustang owner yet. I beg to differ from you but the GT and Cobra are crap too. My sister takes extremely good care of her car (a 96 GT, V8) and has used the dealer exclusively for service. Even if she hadn't done that, things like a broken stabilizer or a cracked intake manifold should never happen to a vehicle less than four years old.
    Toyota maybe didn't have trouble like the gasket problem before, but it is still only one problem. When they were forced to change the material from asbestos it failed. I won't argue that time will tell if they were completely successful but I personally doubt if there's still a problem. A morjorty of the gasket problem came after a few thousand miles according to the dealer and that is not happening anymore with the new design. I'm sure that until all our trucks have 100,000 miles or so it will be used against the Tacoma because that's the only reliability problem it has and no other small truck, except maybe Nissan, compares.
  • cpousnrcpousnr Posts: 1,611
    Well guess you get an edition of Consumer Reports that I donot get.

    Consumer Reports, with the exception of 1998, has picked the Ranger p/u it's best buy the last ten years.
    Also, read the April issue, the auto report issue, and you will see the Ranger closely ranked right up there with the Tacoma in the areas of Reliability.

    Now I agree that the Tacoma is a very nice ride.

    But it is not the only ride out there.
  • cpousnrcpousnr Posts: 1,611
    Finally met face to face someone I send messages to on this board! Quite a nice experience actually. We had a great time today.

    xen1a and my wife and I hit the Wet mtns, not hardcore 4X4 trails but the views were killers. We got up to the base of Greenhorn Mtn and the views ran from LeVeta Pass to where the Sangres drop off to US 50, maybe 50 miles. I checked the GPS we were at 11,460ft. Putting the pics in tomorrow, back wed and digitized by thursday and on the web site.

    xen1a has a nice ride, a golden colored Mazda 3000 with brand new BFG KO's 30X9.5X15. As I said this run was not very difficult, needed 4Xlow once or twice just to get thru the mud, and 4X high part of the way, but great views. Should have a pic of 4 14,000+ peaks in the backdrop of my truck and his.

    xen1a was going to go up Hermet pass road which takes you up to some lakes very high in the Sangre's. He said he would take lots of pics. Will be hooking up with him again to join a small group of Rangers taking on Medeno Pass and Hayden Pass on July 8-9.

    Any other Rangers/Mazda in Colo is welcome to come, just let me know. Have to finish the winch install before that trip. Front receiver is now on solid, just waiting for the winch to get it's electrical hooked up.
  • cthompson21cthompson21 Posts: 1,102
    Well, I guess that's just the thing with discussion forums. Is there a prevalent problem, or did a few people just post it on a message board? Also, you need to take sales figures into account. There are about 4 Rangers out there for every 1 Tacoma. If we were to see problems posted at a rate of 5 to 1, what would that mean?

    BTW, some other common problems with the Toyota's compacts in the past few years are exhaust valve failure (3L V6) and ABS failure. Don't get me wrong here, I'm not saying the Ranger hasn't had its share of common problems either.

    Did your sister buy the car new or used? The few people I know who own Mustangs haven't had any problems (surprisingly, even one person with the POS 3.8).

    I'm sure that Toyota probably has the head gasket problem fixed. It's the older trucks without the fix that I'd be worried about.
  • allknowingallknowing Posts: 866
    I give you the possibility that the posts could be a controlled protest by a few using many names or even a crazy Toyota owner. The same could also go for the posts regarding the gasket problem on the older Toyota V6's. I know from talking to the dealer that the gasket problem is real but I don't know what the real percentage of engine failure is. I'll also admit that I've talked to a lot of Ford Explorer owners with the 4.0 and I haven't heard anything to support most of what I've read in the forums. The 4.0 engine noise that a lot of people complain about is apparently common but doesn't seem to cause any problems other than the annoying sound as far as I can see. As far as the Mustang though, particularly with the 96 and 97's, the owners are very upset with the poor quality. My sister bought her car new by the way. I may ad that the Ranger owners I talk to seem pretty happy with their trucks also.
  • cthompson21cthompson21 Posts: 1,102
    There are a few people I've seen in these forums that I wouldn't be surprised by this type of thing, whether for or against any manufacturer.

    The few people who do own Toyota compacts around here (Taco's are almost a rare sight here in IL) have been by and large happy with their trucks. The same goes for Ranger owners too. There are probably 20 Ranger owners among my family and friends. The worse problem, by far, was a tranny failure at 145K miles on an '87. On average, I'd say that each of us has had one minor problem. My '95 had the "wacky wipers" which Ford fixed under warranty and will still repair free of charge after the warranty has expired. My '98 had the cruise control recall (well, I got the jack handle stuck in the spare tire crank. stupid design).

    So far, I've only had experience with a single Cammer 4L. Lots of power and much smoother than the OHV 4L. No problems or anything, at about 20K miles now.

    The OHV 4L has always been and always will be a noisy engine. It's that day from day 1. If somebody complains about its lack of refinement later they obviously weren't paying attention during the test drive. I'm actually like the engine noise. I added a Tru-Rev kit and a Gibson cat-back. It sounds just like a little V8 now. I love it!

    I don't think the later model Tacos have much head gasket failure. I think it resided mostly in the older 3L (before it was stroked to 3.4L).
  • allknowingallknowing Posts: 866
    I've heard good things about the cat-back systems. It's amazing that the OEM parts are so restrictive that a cat-back system would make so much difference. You would thing that the truck manufacturers would put a similar system in their top of the line trucks. I'm not familiar with a TRU-Rev kit. What exactly does it do?
  • allknowingallknowing Posts: 866
    Never mind CT, I looked it up. I see that it improves your air intake. Did it produce a significant improvement on your truck ct?
  • cpousnrcpousnr Posts: 1,611
    I am looking at getting a catback system someday too. Have the KKM filter system, enjoy the faster response. Just have to pay off the winch first and my wifes LeBaron just had it's fuel pump go south on us(one of those in the tank deals) so those get paid first. Well on the LeBaron, 10 years and 115,000 miles is not too bad I guess for a fuel pump and just for info, it is still on it's original clutch.

    allknowing:
    My KKM effected the acceleration a bit, faster response. Most any intake mods help a bit. Good thing is it is an spray on oil system, reuseable and much more surface area than stock. I have known some people that say those type of filters provide too much air and effect the low end. Solution is to wrap a bit of duct tape around the larger end to reduce air flow a bit.

    Now with a Tacoma, do not know what they can do intake wise as the design takes air from the front fender.
  • cthompson21cthompson21 Posts: 1,102
    The open air filter element improved horsepower and mpg slightly. Maybe 5-7hp and around .5-1mpg more. But, just the improvement in the sound of the engine at WOT is well worth the $90.

    The cat-back exhaust made a huge difference. It added at least 1mpg. I'd say that it definately added 15-20hp and 15-20ft/lbs. I went with the Gibson cat-back because they are tuned to provide their biggest gains at low to mid-range rpm. It's a definate plus for my occasional towing needs.

    If you're interested, Carparts.com has got aluminized Gibson systems for about $275 (stainless run almost $400). Here's a link for a coupon to get $50 off (used to be $100, so I got mine for $175).

    http://www.homestead.com/therangerstation/Discounts.html

    Check the applications page on www.gibsonperformance.com to get the exact part number for your truck. The only difficult part of the install (at least for Rangers) is getting the old system off. After that, it's a breeze. Just make sure to get it lined up perfectly before tightening the exhaust clamps.

    I'd be willing to bet that K&N makes a FIPK for the Tacoma. Or, you could fab an open air element yourself with a powerstack filter and a little help from a machine shop. I'm sure they'd be able to fab you up a bracket for less than $100.
  • allknowingallknowing Posts: 866
    Thanks for the info and links. I'll check it out.
  • barlitzbarlitz Posts: 752
    Was browsing around at the www.blueovalnews.com and read about this, check out the message board go to topic on rangers and escapes click on the mazda board there are some nice pics and an article on the mazda which will be available in Sept.Very nice looking truck.
  • cthompson21cthompson21 Posts: 1,102
    it is a nice looking truck.

    that's the first solid info I've heard about the new I4. It'll displace 2.3L and put out 134hp. It's replacing a 2.5L that puts out 119hp. Good news for budget buyers. Maybe Ford will finally have a viable entry-level engine now. No torque specs, though.

    The direct link for the new Mazda is:


    http://www.pickuptruck.com/html/newyork/mazda/bseries.html
  • cthompson21cthompson21 Posts: 1,102
    I found a link for 33% off at carparts.com. It has a maximum of $100 off instead of $50 from my previous link. Here ya go:

    http://www.newenglandmuscle.com/coupon/
  • hindsitehindsite Posts: 590
    Tacoma
    This past weekend I rear ended a Chevy Caprice while talking on the cell phone at about 8 MPH with a tiny scratch to the front bumper.

    Two weeks ago I loaded 1,960 lbs. of patio blocks in my Tacoma and she drove like a charm on the highway and the steep hills. The only annoying thing was those sharp bumps tended to make the truck rock a bit more than usual. When I got to my house I did not want to carry the blocks up a steep hill at the side of my house. So with the truck fully loaded I mounted a 7"+ curb height with plenty of clearance underneath the truck.
  • spoogspoog Posts: 1,224
    Check out this comparison test of luxury SUV's on Edmunds. IT's at the front page if you want to read the whole thing. Time after time, review after review, reviewers echo that GM makes the worst assembled vehicles, and the cheapest interiors. this is just unbelievable.





    "2000 Luxury SUV Comparison Test
    Fifth Place - Cadillac Escalade



    Vehicle Tested: 2000 Cadillac Escalade

    Base Price of Test Vehicle: $46,900 (including destination charge)

    Options on Test Vehicle: None.

    Price of Test Vehicle: $46,900 (including destination charge)

    Pros: Comfortable seats, attractive Zebrano wood, large cargo area.

    Cons: Horrific build quality, dated styling, C/K Pickup interior materials, dearth of luxury features.


    Honestly, you aren't surprised, are you? Considering that this alleged Cadillac is based on a 13-year-old pickup truck platform and a six-year-old SUV called the Chevrolet Tahoe, is it really a revelation that the Escalade landed at the bottom of the pack?

    Our black test truck had just 4,000 miles on the odometer, yet you'd guess 400,000 considering the massive number of build quality problems we discovered. One test driver enumerated the obvious items:

    Hood misaligned on the left side and doesn't meet front fender evenly
    Misaligned front bumper fascia
    Unevenly installed front lighting elements
    Exposed spot welding in gap between bumper cap and front fender
    Visible unpainted trim between bumper cap and front fender
    Uneven rear fascia
    Unevenly installed rear taillight
    Rear bumper installed crooked
    Misaligned tailgate
    Multiple uneven exterior panel gaps
    Squeaking door hinges and seals
    Poorly installed front window trim
    Broken remote keyless entry system
    Lower driver's door panel coming apart
    Rear seat overhead vents falling out
    Recirculation mode button illumination stays on whether or not the feature is activated
    Odd buzz coming from center of dash
    Easy to disassemble various interior panels without hand tools
    Rain leaks during a downpour
    Makes you want to go plunk down cash on the Caddy, doesn't it? Assembled in Arlington, Texas, on the same line as the GMC Yukon Denali and Z71/Limited versions of the old-style Tahoe, we can only hope that serious plant updates and/or employee retraining occur before the new Escalade goes into production for 2001. While our particular Escalade was a rental unit, with just four grand on the clock, we don't think the Cadillac should have succumbed to any of the usual rental-car torture at this young age.

    Beyond the crippling assembly quality issues, our testers were put off by lousy interior materials as well. Only one editor liked the Nuance leather upholstery and real Zebrano wood trim. Others couldn't get past the C/K Pickup-issue dashboard, numerous exposed screw heads, black plastic ductwork that hung into the passenger footwell, and cheesy switchgear. "Ooooh! How luxurious!" commented one writer. "A manual, counterintuitive even, seatback recliner lever." This staffer continued: "Ooooh! How luxurious! A manual tilt steering adjuster."

    We also found fault with the Escalade's driving demeanor on and off the road. In the dirt, a pavement-tuned suspension and street-biased 16-inch tires hampered the truck's uphill progress. After a tremendous rainstorm during our city- and freeway-driving loop, one evaluator wrote in the logbook: "One of the reasons people buy SUVs is to feel safe, right? With the wind howling, the rain pummeling down and the water ponding on the roadway, the Caddy's poor stability in crosswinds combined with weak brake pedal response, tires that like to hydroplane and lack of steering feel mean you're white-knuckling the wheel through a downpour. Escalade proves not to be the model of safety and security that you imagine when you think SUV."

    Indeed, our entire team griped about the Cadillac's lack of communication. The brake pedal took the brunt of criticism, what with the fact that it had to be depressed halfway through its range of travel before any actual slowing occurred. "The brakes inspire nothing but fear," noted one editor. Once the front calipers grabbed the pads, feel was rather good, but the brake pedal itself sits so high in relation to the accelerator that one of our test drivers kept catching his foot on the back of the pedal when transferring from gas to brakes. After we got the hang of the system, and that took more than a few minutes behind the wheel, we found the four-wheel ABS, front disc/rear drum setup to work well. During our instrumented testing, the Escalade stopped from 60 mph in an admirable 139 feet.

    Dry pavement didn't improve handling matters. Later that same day, on a twisty road, the following comment was hatched: "Weight transfer is so poorly managed by this chassis that you've gotta be careful when trying to drive rapidly. It's easy to destabilize this truck." Indeed, in our slalom testing, the Escalade was the only one to get seriously out of shape as we threaded cones. In two-wheel drive, the Cadillac oversteered easily, sliding through the cones with lots of body roll and noticeable chassis flex. "You can be steering left, but the vehicle is still heading right," wrote one test driver.

    Those same underpinnings were taxed by a full-load of passengers. With five adults aboard, the Escalade became a handful to pilot on all but the smoothest of roads. Bumps resulted in impact-shock transferred directly to the cabin, undulations created excessive wallow and the truck was easily unsettled by rippled corners. Flagrant body roll tossed passengers about, and coupled with noticeable squat and dive, threatened occupants with nausea during our fully loaded in-town driving. At freeway speeds, wind roar and road rumble were deemed excessive by our team.

    Loose, sloppy and vague speed-sensitive steering was not lauded by our editors, but we did appreciate the deeply carved detents in the back of the wheel rim, which allowed us to get a good grip on what otherwise might have been slippery wood while we made constant course corrections.

    At least one member of our test team preferred the Cadillac's more compact size, better visibility and tall driving position to the pudgy Lincoln Navigator. That same staffer was the only person who found the Cadillac to be handsome in spite of its overdone body cladding. The front and rear seats were found to be quite comfortable by all, but longer-limbed riders in back found their shins in full contact with the front seatbacks, which was deemed unacceptable in a full-size SUV. Also, due to the location of the front seat heater controls on the side of the seat base, we kept activating them accidentally as we fumbled to adjust the soft yet supportive chairs. Backseat drivers liked the controls for ventilation fan speed and a separate audio system with dual headphone jacks.

    Because Escalade doesn't have a third row of seats, cargo space is cavernous, measuring 66.9 cubic feet with the back seat in use and a whopping 118.2 cubes with it folded. Five power ports, the most of any SUV in the test, are on board, and Cadillac thoughtfully added a rubberized insert directly beneath the ignition slot so that dangling keys don't scrape and rattle against the plastic steering column.

    Ergonomically, the Escalade is generally sound, with large buttons, switches and controls that are easy to find, see and use, but operate without a hint of refinement. We doled out accolades for the large stereo tuning knob, but griped about the power mirror adjuster, which is located so low on the driver's door panel that when you move the mirrors your head is out of position, so that getting a proper setting becomes a multi-step process. The four-wheel drive system offers four easy-to-use modes: 2WD, automatic 4WD, 4WD Hi and 4WD Lo.

    We also praised the tried and true, albeit unrefined, 5.7-liter, Vortec V8 engine under the Cadillac's hood. Making 255 horsepower at 4,600 rpm and 330 foot-pounds of torque at a low 2,800 rpm, Escalade is rated to tow 6,000 pounds. We accelerated the truck from rest to 60 mph in 9.5 seconds, a full second better than Cadillac claims. Well mated to an exceptionally smooth four-speed automatic transmission, our only wishes for improvement with regard to the powertrain were an overdrive on/off switch (to help scrub speed as the 5,572-pound vehicle hurtled down freeway grades) and better fuel economy. We averaged a piddling 11.7 mpg during our testing.

    Other staff wishes included a longer list of goodies inside the cabin. True, our Escalade had the second lowest as-tested price of the group and included OnStar mobile communications, a system with which we've had inconsistent success in our long-term Seville and which was deemed unimportant by our editors during voting. What it lacked were such items as automatic dual-zone climate control, navigation system, side airbags, stability control, in-dash CD changer and a power sunroof. Even a roof rack was missing from our truck. But, shortly after our test was completed, local advertising indicated Escalades could be equipped with a rear-seat entertainment system, which is a bonus.

    In the final analysis, Cadillac's 2000 Escalade amounts to little more than a warmed over, poorly assembled Chevy, a point obvious to even our most inexperienced staff members. You'd be better off in a Tahoe with leather trim and a fatter wallet to prove the wisdom of your bowtie purchase. The family whose Escalade was stolen, shot up and bled upon in the movie "Gone in Sixty Seconds" should have counted themselves lucky.

    SECOND OPINIONS:

    I try to cut the Escalade some slack because, after all, it's just a glorified Tahoe. But if Cadillac is willing to attach their name to it then I'm going to hold it up to the "standard of the world." It depresses me to think that the world's standards have dropped so low. Escalade has a blocky body with massive panel gaps, a leather interior that feels like vinyl, doors that creak painfully each time they are opened, and exposed screw heads on every armrest. The brakes make my 1970 Plymouth GTX feel advanced. I pity the world whose standards this thing meets. Shame on you, Cadillac. - Karl Brauer

    Cadillac can't be excused for trying to pass off a rebadged Tahoe as a luxury SUV. It looks dated, and inside, low-grade materials and poor quality control are blatant. This is not what a luxury buyer, or any buyer for that matter, is after. The Caddy seemed least capable off-road, had terrible brakes, and wallowed on the road without offering the additional seating found in the Lincoln. - Dan Gardner

    Do not buy this truck under any circumstance - you'll be miserable if the horrendous brakes and loose (or is that loser?) steering don't kill you, nor should GM be encouraged down this path of marketing deception. There is nothing Cadillac about the Escalade except for the steering wheel hub and the exterior badging. Instead, you'll find an archaic instrument panel, clunky column shifter and boring dials that are functional yet inconsistent with customary Cadillac amenities. And GM has copiously endowed the Escalade with plastic that looks exactly the same as the stuff in the Chevy Cavalier. Build quality is atrocious: Bumpers sag, doors squeak, innards are revealed. Really, every effort seems to have been expended to make this the most poorly constructed vehicle in the GM fleet. - Erin Riches "
  • spoogspoog Posts: 1,224
    Well well. Yet another victory in a COMPARISON test for a Toyota 4x4. 4 wheeler, Petersons,
    Edmunds, anyone else see a pattern here?

    The Land Cruiser destroyed the Chevy Suburban, NAvigator, Expedition(voted, "most likely to break" by edmund's staffers) in last years high end SUV test, and now it's rebadged self " spits up and chews out the competition"(edmunds own quote) again.


    This article is in the new Luxury SUV comparison at the front of Edmunds. The lowly Escalante is in this review also.



    "First Place: Lexus LX 470



    Vehicle Tested: 2000 Lexus LX 470

    Base Price of Test Vehicle: $59,500 (including destination charge)

    Options on Test Vehicle: Lexus/Nakamichi Premium Audio System ($1,200); Wood and Leather Steering Wheel and Shift Knob ($330); Cargo Mat ($76)

    Price of Test Vehicle: $61,106 (including destination charge)

    Pros: Gorgeous interior trimmings, slick adjustable suspension, quiet and refined demeanor, capable backwoods performance.

    Cons: Weak engine, floppy handling, Toyota-grade secondary switchgear.

    What makes the rather pricey Lexus the winner of this test? The Japanese luxury division of Toyota knows how to define "cushy cruiser" without forgetting that "utility vehicle" is two-thirds of the SUV recipe. Coddling, comfortable and supremely capable on any road without ribboned yellow paint, the LX 470 embodies what we feel a luxury SUV should be.

    "You get a sense that no expense was spared in creating this luxurious cabin," noted one staff member. Indeed, the LX 470's rose-tinted walnut was radiant in its luster, the perforated leather sumptuous in its suppleness, the electroluminescent gauge cluster blinding in its clarity. Materials used in the construction of the interior are generally of the highest quality, never mind that one editor pointed out that "much of the switchgear in here is identical to what I have in my Sienna minivan." (Two of our staffers have a running argument about the use of Toyota-grade buttons and stalks in Lexus products. One asks, "If the switchgear is good enough for a Lexus, what's the problem if it lands in a Corolla?" The other responds, "Toyota owners move up to Lexus, and want to feel like the money is well spent, like they're getting something better." Who cares, right?)

    Giant grab handles on the door panels may block access to the power window controls for some, but they're so beautifully padded and stitched with leather, you won't care. Aside from this slight ergonomic glitch, the cabin is almost flawlessly laid out, with large controls that are simple to find, use and understand. Notable accoutrements include a smog sensor integrated into the automatic climate control system (what? no dual-zone settings?) and a power tilt and telescoping steering column with auto-exit feature that makes finding a proper driving position easy, even if foot well space is tight for those with larger feet.

    Seats aren't exceedingly comfortable, lacking thigh and lateral support due to the wide and flat bottom cushion's design. But after you've fired up the optional 280-watt Nakamichi sound system with its six-disc in-dash changer, which will floor you with its astounding sound quality, you won't care about that at all. Neither will larger second-row passengers whose thighs are left sagging rather than resting on a nice, supportive seat surface, as long as they share your musical interests. Under seat foot room is rather tight as well, and legroom isn't worth bragging about. Third-row jump seats are easy to crawl into, but should be reserved strictly for children, or taken out of the vehicle altogether, as they eat up more than 15 cubic feet of valuable cargo space when folded and stowed against the sides of the vehicle. If used, riders in the torture chairs get their own climate controls, cupholders and a storage bin with a first-aid kit.

    We liked the large, one-touch open and close power sunroof with pinch protection, and the fact that at night, everything with the exception of the (Camry-issue) cruise controls was illuminated as brightly as the Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center. But we wondered why there weren't any satellite stereo or climate controls on the steering wheel. A trip computer was also conspicuously absent. And we wished the gorgeous wood-trimmed steering wheel rim had deeper detents along the back like in the Escalade.

    Overall, we judged the Lexus to have the quietest cabin of all the SUVs tested, despite minor comfort complaints and a few buzzes and rattles brought out by Botts dotts. "How smooth, solid and refined is the LX 470?" asked one driver in the logbook. "Going with the flow of traffic late one night, I glanced down at the speedometer and was flabbergasted to see that I was tooling along at 90 mph. I had no idea I was going that fast."

    Part of the reason this Lexus can operate unfettered at high speed has to do with the amazingly competent Adaptive Variable Suspension (AVS), which is a semi-active shock absorber system that can be custom-tuned to any of five settings, with the float and wallow of Buick Dynaride at one end of the spectrum and the harsh, jarring response of a Ford Super Duty pickup at the other. Once you've selected one or the other, or from three that combine elements of both, AVS then reads the road surface while monitoring steering input, acceleration rate and braking, automatically making adjustments for conditions within milliseconds. The result is a perfectly tuned ride quality based on the driver's preferences.

    AVS is teamed with Automatic Height Control (AHC), which allows the LX 470 to be raised to clear difficult terrain or lowered for easier entry and exit, much like the Range Rover. For 2000, Lexus has added Vehicle Skid Control (VSC) to the standard equipment roster, as well as braking assistance software similar to what Mercedes offers on the ML430. Unlike the ESP system in the Mercedes, VSC won't intrude until the LX is seriously in danger of spinning or tipping. During slalom and skidpad testing, it took plenty of body motion to get the system to activate, but considering how dramatically the Lexus flops over in turns, perhaps it only felt like we were closer to losing adhesion than was actually the case.

    In any event, the technology works. AVS gives buyers a soft ride when desired, and a hard, sporty ride if the mood strikes. Of our tested luxury SUVs, Goldilocks would pick the Lexus, which is just right for so many drivers. However, those looking for a more sporting driving demeanor are advised to shop the Benz, because the Lexus is more sublime than sporty in terms of on-road performance.

    Creamy describes the highly refined, dual overhead-cam, LEV-compliant, 4.7-liter V8 under the LX 470's hood. "Smooth, silky, and powerful, the engine only lacks that extra shot of juice it needs to be perfect," read one logbook entry. With a scant 230 horsepower available to move 5,401 pounds of truck, you might guess the Lexus is lethargic. Slowest of our test vehicles to 60 mph at 9.6 seconds, you'd be right, but it's only a tick or two behind the Cadillac and Land Rover. With 320 foot-pounds of torque available at a rather high 3,400 rpm (80 percent of that peak torque is available at an incredibly low 1,100 rpm), the Lexus can handle up to 6,500 pounds of trailer when properly equipped. We observed 12.7 mpg during our testing, better than all the trucks except the Mercedes.

    Power flows to all four wheels through a four-speed automatic transmission and full-time 4WD system. Using the "power" mode, gear changes can be harsh and jarring, not at all in keeping with the LX 470's general demeanor. Leaving it in the normal setting is much more satisfying and doesn't noticeably diminish performance. A four-wheel traction control system (TRAC) uses brake and throttle intervention to control wheelspin in the hopes of approximating the action of locked center and rear differentials without usurping the superior steering response associated with open diffs. A standard locking center differential can be engaged to split engine torque evenly front and rear for serious off-road workouts.

    We didn't need to lock the LX 470 for our hill-climb test. It scampered up the mountainside with an eagerness second only to the Land Rover. Street-biased 16-inch tires were certainly a problem as they slipped and slid in the soft soil. Otherwise, the Lexus shrugged off our trail testing as though it was a minor irritant, a distasteful chore to be performed before resuming life as an errand runner on Rodeo Drive. And though we didn't need them until we entered the car wash, the power folding exterior mirrors were greatly appreciated.

    Front and rear disc brakes with ABS hauled the hefty Lexus down from 60 mph in just 138 feet, thanks partially to the new "brake assist" technology standard on 2000 LX 470s. Some drivers complained that the brakes were touchy until they acclimated themselves to the pedal, while others loved the responsiveness right off the bat. Oddly, our track test driver reported that braking performance actually diminished when taken to the limit in panic stops. Steering has a slower ratio than the Land Rover and Mercedes, and exhibits a dead spot on center that can be a tad disconcerting. Road feel is decent, but the walnut-trimmed steering wheel rim is uncomfortable to hold.

    Twisting two-lane is not the LX 470's friend, and is the one type of driving environment in which the Lexus struggles to perform competently. Neither can it carry the most cargo of the assembled vehicles, managing just 90.4 cubic feet with the third-row jump seats removed and the second-row bench folded down. With the rear seat in place and the jump seats sitting on the floor of the garage, you've got 55.4 cubic feet to play with, and 39.2 cubes are available with the jump seats folded and strapped to the sides of the cargo area walls. But with a whopping 9.8 inches of ground clearance, the Lexus tromps the other trucks in terms of its ability to clear obstacles in its path.

    In December, 1998, we pitted several full-sized SUVs against the Toyota Land Cruiser, on which the LX 470 is based. The Land Cruiser chewed them up and spit them out with its sheer competence. Similarly, the LX 470 is, in our opinion, the best luxury-brand SUV on the market, able to do just about everything that is asked of it with skill and without complaint.

    SECOND OPINIONS:

    The Lexus rules the class because it has no real weaknesses. Unlike the other four contestants, the Lexus fulfills all luxury SUV needs without compromise. If you were to purchase an LX 470 and never go off-road you would still possess an excellent luxury truck in terms of comfort, convenience and safety. If you were to purchase an LX 470 and never drive it on pavement, yo
    Well well. Yet another victory in a COMPARISON test for a Toyota 4x4. 4 wheeler, Petersons,
    Edmunds, anyone else see a pattern here?

    The Land Cruiser destroyed the Chevy Suburban, NAvigator, Expedition(voted, "most likely to break" by edmund's staffers) in last years high end SUV test, and now it's rebadged self " spits up and chews out the competition"(edmunds own quote) again.


    This article is in the new Luxury SUV comparison at the front of Edmunds. The lowly Escalante is in this review also.



    "First Place: Lexus LX 470



    Vehicle Tested: 2000 Lexus LX 470

    Base Price of Test Vehicle: $59,500 (including destination charge)

    Options on Test Vehicle: Lexus/Nakamichi Premium Audio System ($1,200); Wood and Leather Steering Wheel and Shift Knob ($330); Cargo Mat ($76)

    Price of Test Vehicle: $61,106 (including destination charge)

    Pros: Gorgeous interior trimmings, slick adjustable suspension, quiet and refined demeanor, capable backwoods performance.

    Cons: Weak engine, floppy handling, Toyota-grade secondary switchgear.

    What makes the rather pricey Lexus the winner of this test? The Japanese luxury division of Toyota knows how to define "cushy cruiser" without forgetting that "utility vehicle" is two-thirds of the SUV recipe. Coddling, comfortable and supremely capable on any road without ribboned yellow paint, the LX 470 embodies what we feel a luxury SUV should be.

    "You get a sense that no expense was spared in creating this luxurious cabin," noted one staff member. Indeed, the LX 470's rose-tinted walnut was radiant in its luster, the perforated leather sumptuous in its suppleness, the electroluminescent gauge cluster blinding in its clarity. Materials used in the construction of the interior are generally of the highest quality, never mind that one editor pointed out that "much of the switchgear in here is identical to what I have in my Sienna minivan." (Two of our staffers have a running argument about the use of Toyota-grade buttons and stalks in Lexus products. One asks, "If the switchgear is good enough for a Lexus, what's the problem if it lands in a Corolla?" The other responds, "Toyota owners move up to Lexus, and want to feel like the money is well spent, like they're getting something better." Who cares, right?)

    Giant grab handles on the door panels may block access to the power window controls for some, but they're so beautifully padded and stitched with leather, you won't care. Aside from this slight ergonomic glitch, the cabin is almost flawlessly laid out, with large controls that are simple to find, use and understand. Notable accoutrements include a smog sensor integrated into the automatic climate control system (what? no dual-zone settings?) and a power tilt and telescoping steering column with auto-exit feature that makes finding a proper driving position easy, even if foot well su would still possess a fully capable off-road machine ready to serve safari needs. It pampers and empowers, coddles and liberates simultaneously. No other vehicle in this test, or for that matter on this planet, can make such claims. The other four vehicles each have their strengths and weaknesses. With the LX, it's all strengths. - Karl Brauer

    This was my favorite truck in the test. It made me feel coddled, comfortable, hierarchical and safe all at the same time. Inside, the Lexus is gorgeous, with a cleanly designed two-tone dash and beautiful rosy wood accents. The quality of the leather on the seats and doors is unquestionably top-notch. Driving the vehicle, thanks to a transmission that shifted imperceptibly and a strong, powerful V8 engine, was a pleasure as well. - Erin Mahoney

    Of the three vehicles in this test that are re-optioned, re-trimmed, "coach class" SUVs, the Lexus is the only one worth a lobbyist's speech: "To hell with its proletariat roots, the LX 470 has ascended to the bourgeois!" The leather still isn't the irresistibly textured stuff stretched over the seats in European vehicles, but it is Toyota's finest. And the richness of the wood surfaces and the boldness of the chrome - ah, privilege feels good. - Erin Riches
  • spoogspoog Posts: 1,224
    "2000 Luxury SUV Comparison Test
    The Last Word:



    During voting and final scoring for this test, our panel of five vehicle evaluators nearly unanimously chose the Lexus LX 470 as both the luxury SUV they themselves, had they the means, would purchase and as the luxury SUV they would recommend to the average consumer looking for such a vehicle. A lone dissenter decided he'd rather park the Mercedes-Benz ML430 in his own garage.

    But the secret is this: Toyota sells the same thing for less. Nearly $8,400 less. If you don't mind losing the LX 470's better warranty and royal dealer treatment, or items like standard third-row seats, a Nakamichi sound system, trademark Lexus Optitron gauges, an interior slathered in sensually-tinted walnut, and the trick AVS/AHC suspension, then the Land Cruiser is your ticket to ride for about what you'd pay for the blundering Navigator.

    Either way you go, the Lexus LX 470 and Toyota Land Cruiser represent the best of their breed. "





    Anyone else notice a pattern here? Toyota makes the best 4x4's, PERIOD.

    The Wrangler may have better approach and departure angles, but no one makes a 4x4 as sturdy and tough as Toyota does. NO ONE.
  • hulk66hulk66 Posts: 37
    thanx for the insight, think any ranger owners will turn over a new leaf?? the pattern is that TOYOTA builds the best 4x4 around.
  • eagle63eagle63 Posts: 599
    In regards to your posts on Ford's 4.0 SOHC V-6, (from a few pages ago thanks to spoog's long-[non-permissible content removed] posts) I too have read some of the edmund's forums on the problems people are having with this engine. I have a '97 explorer, which was the first vehicle to get the SOHC V-6. I personally love the engine. not only have I never had a problem with it, I've never even heard anyone say anything negative about it until I saw that "perpetual ford explorer woes" forum. not that I think these people are lying or anything, but I truly have heard nothing but positive feedback from other explorer owners as well as truck/suv magazines on this engine. it's got a s***load of power and isn't noisy at all. (should make the new rangers' tires smoke pretty easily!) oh well, maybe I'm one of the lucky few to not have problems...?

    --hulk66: why is the TRD better than the ZR2 for offroading? why don't you show me some stats to make me believe you.
  • eagle63eagle63 Posts: 599
    ..."Cons: Weak engine, floppy handling, Toyota-grade
    secondary switchgear."

    huh? weak engine??? from toyota? no way! that's not at all like them to put weak engines in their trucks! I can't believe it! spoog, can you believe it??
  • allknowingallknowing Posts: 866
    I think that most of the complaints about the Ford 4.0 concern the strange noise it occasionally makes at idle. I've heard it and it sounds like the muffler is loose or something but it seems to go away if you rev. the engine a few times. I haven't seen any evidence that it causes any problems other than noise though.
  • spoogspoog Posts: 1,224
    My friend, you have been put in your place concerning the Chevy\ GM build quality issues.

    Go read any comparions test or review. The interiors and overall build quality are pure garbage.

    Did you happen to read the comparison I posted? lol. Have fun with your Zr2.............
This discussion has been closed.