What is the best truck to get?

colleen6colleen6 Member Posts: 2
edited February 2014 in General
I need help finding the right truck..Husband wants
a beastly thing with 4wd.I want something safe for
the kids(one in a booster seat)Been looking at
Xtra/King/Club cabs like Ford Ranger,Mazda
B-Series,Chevy S-10,GMC Sonoma,Toyota Tacoma and
the Nissan Frontier.Any suggestions?


  • stanfordstanford Member Posts: 606
    What part of the country do you live in? What kind of budget do you have? How long are you planning on keeping the truck? How many people will be riding in it (both regularly and maximum)?

    Let us know some more details, and the folk here will be glad to help -- just take our recommendations with a grain of salt and remember to get the truck you and your family want/need at the end of the day.
  • stanfordstanford Member Posts: 606
    Oh -- and what will you be towing/hauling? Regularly and sometimes, now and in the future?
  • stevekstevek Member Posts: 362
    In my oppininon if you have kids none of those truck will do, since they don't have a big enough back seat for them.
  • GischpelGischpel Member Posts: 133
    I have a 1998 Tacoma X-cab 4x4, my kids are 5 and 3 (My son's in a booster seat) and to a large degree, I agree with stevek. My Tacoma works well for the occasional trip to the hardware store and running errands, but a full-size pickup with extended or quad-cab would be a much better choice for a family. Fortunately, this is my "go to work" vehicle, so it is not the primary vehicle for family travel.

    In another year or two, my daughter will be too tall (in my opinion) to be really safe in the back because her head will be taller than the "backrest" of the forward-facing jump seats. If we were to be rear-ended, her head would probably go backward through the rear window. Not what anyone would want, so I will have to evaluate my options before too long.

    Hope this helps,

  • colleen6colleen6 Member Posts: 2
    Hi all.We took out the Ford Ranger.I didn't like the back seats for the kids,sideways seats and all.I might go with an SUV.I don't wan't to go much higher than $20,000 if I can help it.I'm in New Hampshire so I need something good for the snow and other weather like it.Any input on a good SUV?Thanks for the help.
  • stevekstevek Member Posts: 362
    Check out the small Dodge PU, I think they have a "regular" bench seta in the back. It is small but still better than those jump seats.
  • ladyblueladyblue Member Posts: 326

    My first truck was a Mazda B2000 king cab which I got when my daughter was 5. At the time, it was plenty big enough for her. Two years ago I traded it for a 97 Ford F150 extended cab. The third door and full bench rear seat has handled teenagers, adults and, when folded down, camping gear and groceries. My problem with SUVs is you don't want to be putting bicycles, sleds and other bulky-dirty things in the passenger area. A pickup with seating for six and a cap over the bed makes more sense for me. As your kids get older, the kinds of stuff you need to transport gets bigger too. I have 4-wheel drive so snow and campgrounds aren't a problem. My new truck (on order) will have four doors, so now I won't have to hear "I get door!" everytime I have to play taxi driver.

    I agree about the lack of back headrests - there is a real danger there. I've considered this and have decided to play the odds that I won't get hit. That's my decision, though, and you should go with whatever will fit your needs and give you the most pleasure to drive.
  • kent123kent123 Member Posts: 61
    If you shop it right, you can get a new full-size, ext cab Chevy for under $20K. You may just have to forego a few options (V8, etc.) to keep it in your budget. I have 2 boys who are 7 and 11. When I looked at trucks (ended up buying a loaded-to-the-max 99 Chevy for $25K), I thought about how big my kids will be in 3-4 years and if the back seat will be large enough then. If you buy too small, you will be regretting it in a few years.
  • stanfordstanford Member Posts: 606
    Colleen6 -- in the next couple of years, you'll see a lot of full crew-cab half-ton trucks. This gives you all the comfort and safety of the SUV with the advantage of an open bed. The back seats are also large enough for real people. If I were you, I'd wait until they come out and see if they'll meet your needs. A very useful vehicle for folk looking to do it all with one truck, IMO.
  • dodgeramdodgeram Member Posts: 202
    Why aren't you looking at the the dakota, and if you can wait, the 2000 dakotas. You said your husband wants a beastly think and 4wd drive, while the dakota got a beastly look to it and has 4wd drive. You said you wanted something safe,and to put a booster seat in, well the 2000 dakota is going to offer four full doors, like a crew cab found on full size trucks. This truck will have lots of room and satisfy you and your husband. Plus it will also have the new powertrain, 4.7l v8 matched to a 5spd tranny espacilly biult for this engine, Its gotten alot of praise from magazine editors. All I can say is that this truck would be the best compact-midsize pickup for you or anybody!
  • dodgeramdodgeram Member Posts: 202
    Forgot to mention that it is no bigger than the current club cab, just has a shorter box.
  • grape1grape1 Member Posts: 2
    What is the best quad cab 4x4 long box on the market and why ? or are all of them the same?
  • mharde2mharde2 Member Posts: 278
    grapel, Go drive all three, and you be the judge. They are all good trucks it just boils down to personal prefference...
  • ladyblueladyblue Member Posts: 326

    I agree with mharde2. For some people, the choice may come down to something as simple as looks. Check them all out and see which one makes your heart go pit-a-pat. :)
  • mosseymossey Member Posts: 4
    I am debating between the Ford 4 door Ranger or the Dodge Dakota. I like a quite truck. However the 4 door small truck seems to have a lot of wind noise. I have driven both and the Dakota is quite and the quality seems superior to the Ford. I am a new truck buyer and I am having a difficult time in selecting the right truck. The Ford Ranger now has a $1,500. discount. The dodge is $1000.
  • mosseymossey Member Posts: 4
    I am debating between the Ford 4 door Ranger or the Dodge Dakota. I like a quiet truck. However the 4 door small truck seems to have a lot of wind noise. I have driven both and the Dakota is quiet and the quality seems superior to the Ford. I am a new truck buyer and I am having a difficult time in selecting the right truck. The Ford Ranger now has a $1,500. discount. The Dodge is $1000.
  • smallssmalls Member Posts: 1
    hello, i'm almost 16 and i was thinking of getting a gmc sonoma. what do you guys think? i want a 4wd with an automatic transmission. what are some other smaller trucks that would be good for what i need. i live in oregon, work at a vet clinic, so i need room for supplies (could fit in the back) what do you all think?
  • hmerglerhmergler Member Posts: 85
    Actually, the Ranger rebate is a $1000... not $1500. Don't know if that dramatically affects your decision.
  • scape2scape2 Member Posts: 4,123
    Ranger and Dakota are not in the same class. Ranger competes with Toyota, Nissan, S-10. You buy a small truck for economical reasons. The V8 Dakota is a Gas pig. I bought a 1998 Ranger XLT 4x4 stepside about 6 months ago, loaded. I installed better tires, nurf bars, spray in bedliner, rock guard. I am an outdoors person. Always looking for fishing/hunting/camping spots. I use my 4x4 in the mountains of Oregon, and deserts of Oregon. This is my second Ranger. So far this truck has performed flawlessly. I would reccommend this truck hands down. With all the rebates/financing/kickbacks makes this truck even better.
  • wheelrpwheelrp Member Posts: 2
    Looking for small 4WD p/u with ~4000 lb towing capacity and 72" min. bed length and automatic for married couple (with dog in back, under cap). Will be only family vehicle and wife will drive 80% of time, therefore needs to be "wife-friendly" (low?, soft ride). Generally city use, but 5% "tough" off-road. All feedback welcomed.
  • quadrunner500quadrunner500 Member Posts: 2,721
    I think my '90 S-10 Blazer (6000 lb towing with 4.3L V6) with the rear seat folded down would do all that, and be a lot more wife-friendly, especially if wife ever totes people and not just cargo and dog. It's good off road too because of compact dimensions, skid plates, decent ground clearance.
  • scape2scape2 Member Posts: 4,123
    Col - Seems like you may want to look into an SUV or a full size king cab of some sorts. The Ford F150/250 are wonderful to drive and hold 5.
  • KatmanduKatmandu Member Posts: 24
    To me the most "carlike" truck of all is the Ford F150. It rides great, and has good road feedback. A small truck for kids? Nope. Won't happen. The loan period will be longer than you could keep the truck because of the growth of kids. As for the dodge dakota, it is a nice looking truck, but the transmissions are known to be very problematic. Sure they can tow a bunch with the V8 but at what cost? If chrysler could build a transmission that could actually hold up, they might be more of a competitor to the others. Otherwise go with a manual trans. They aren't made by chrysler so they must be good!
  • brucec35brucec35 Member Posts: 246
    I agree with the people who say the F-150 is the most carlike truck. I own both the Dodge, and ford trucks, and recently owned a '95 Chevy.

    2wd is of course softly riding than 4wd
  • brucec35brucec35 Member Posts: 246
    One other note. Keep in mind that if you go with an extended cab pickup, you get the longer wheelbase, which makes it less parking lot-friendly. On a compact truck, that's not a big problem, but with full size, it is.

    Ask a paramedic about full size vs. compacts.....and you may want to go with a full size truck.
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