Which compact extended cab truck do you recommend?

bigbayoubigbayou Member Posts: 7
edited April 2014 in Ford
As a new home buyer, it's now time to get a truck. After all, my Volkswagen Golf GTI is getting trashed hauling the lumber I'm using to renovate the house. So my reasoning tells me to sell my wife's car, give her the VW, and to pick up the best value in a small pickup.

Here are my specific wants and needs: I won't be going off road much, but I will be using the truck for daily 15 minute commutes to work along with usual household hauling and an occasional camping trip. My buddy has an extended cab, and that thing seems to come in handy for stashing stuff you don't want rolling around, exposed to the elements in the bed. Oh yeah, and my wife is expecting our first child. That little bugger shouldn't be rolling around back there, either. I don't want a six-cylinder because I won't need the power nor the gas consumption. I'm a public school teacher, so you'd better believe that I don't have spare cash to spend on mechanical stuff; this truck had better be reliable! If I can get all of this for a selling price of about $15k, give or take a bit, I'd be happy.

Here's the word on the street concerning the models I've narrowed things down to:

Ford Ranger: best combination of features, performance, price. Has ABS standard. Good financing/rebate offers.

Mazda -series: No four-banger in the extended cab?

Toyota Tacoma: said to be very reliable, higher prices/higher resale/higher parts prices if needed (uh, but doesn't that cancel out?)

Nissan Frontier: the sleeper, more inexpensive pick, though an ugly duckling look that may grow on you. Seems to offer standard lots of little extras for the same money.

So what do you think? Any advice, feedback, recommendations, or wisdom would be appreciated.




  • scape2scape2 Member Posts: 4,123
    makes the best compact supercab on the market today. You can get any engine/transmission combo also you want, along with rearend Limited slip and gearing. The Ranger also has more room inside than the Toyota or Frontier.
    You won't be dissappointed with the Ranger.
  • smgillessmgilles Member Posts: 252
    Go and drive all of those trucks you have just talked about. See what you think of each and make a decision from there. I think they are all good trucks.
  • obyoneobyone Member Posts: 7,841
    why not buy all three. All three would probably fit in a garage designed for two...j/k
  • nmchopnmchop Member Posts: 27
    I like the Ranger because of the 4 doors on the extra cab, I find those very handy.

    Toyota's are nice looking and reliable, but I had a Toyota truck and when I got rid of it and got a Chevy S10, I was surprised at how much more I liked the Chevy. It just was a better truck though the Toyota met all my needs at the time. So I'm not Toyota bashing. I got rid of the Toyota when the A/C on it went out and I didn't want to spend $800 to get it fixed.

    The Frontier and Tacoma's don't have the doors on the xtra cab. I like the looks of the new Frontier, but when I test drove one, I didn't really like the truck that much.

    So I'd go with a Ranger or a Chevy S10, they're also cheaper then Tacomas by a pretty steep margin. You can get a new Chevy S10 4 cylinder for under 15K...not sure about a Ranger but pretty sure you can. Toyota's will be more expensive then that I think.
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