Pickup Trucks for Women (Experiences/Opinions)
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We test drove a loaded Chevy 1/2 ton a couple of weeks ago and I didn't like the seats at all - they've made them for someone much taller than I am. I found the edge of the seat hit me below my knees, even with the seat back adjusted as upright as I could stand it. The Ford F150 was much better - I could get the seat adjusted better and the moveable pedals meant that I could stay far enough away from the air bags.
I have always loved trucks!!
15 years ago when I graduated from nursing school I was in the market for a new vehicle (I was driving a 1974 ford LTD at the time) and I wanted a truck or a SUV, my husband at the time (now ex) wante me to get a Taurus (yuck) everyone in his family had them, dependable, affodable, practicle blah, blah, blah...... well I got one much to my dismay, unfortunatley it outlasted our marriage, finally the engine blew!!!! I was so HAPPY, I could finally get my truck!!!!!
The first one I bought was a Toyota Tundra access cab 2001 cloth seats V-8
I-force engine thunder grey, loved it so much, we drove it to New Orleans and back up the east coast went 4WD on the Outer Banks in the Carolinas, just beautiful.
Then last year Toyota had to mess with me and come out with the new 2004 Tundra limited 4 full sized doors, moon roof, full slide down back window, leather heated seats etc.... now its Thunder grey, I plan on having this one for a while and can't imagine driving anything but a truck, when I do get in a car I feel very uncomfortable.
"I love big trucks & I dont know why"
I had always been intimidated by the size, weight, and power of trucks, but today's trucks are so much easier to drive, that I'd actually enjoy it. (I liked the Frontier and the Ridgeline; haven't graduated to the big trucks yet.) Though with two young kids, it's still easier for me to do my normal errands, loading and unloading in the back with a minivan or SUV. I'd have to cap a truck in order to protect all the stuff I put in the back, and for me that kinda ruins the look of a pickup, you know?
We recently came very close to buying a Tacoma quad cab long bed for my husband, because he hauls about 1,000 pounds of gear around for work (taking up 6 ft of space), and I wanted him to be able to carry children as well, and this was the smallest vehicle we could find that could do that job adequately. But although the Tacoma's a great truck, we still didn't feel comfortable driving it -- difficult to see where the car ended, would be really tough to park and maneuver in the city, etc. So we ended up buying him a used cargo van and getting a mid-sized SUV as well (Toyota). Now, embarassingly, we have three cars, but they all do the jobs they were designed for.
I've had a shell on the last couple of pickups we've owned. There have been times when I wish I didn't have it on, for the most part I was always happy with it. It's a good way to go if you travel with a dog in the back. And it also makes a place one can sleep in a pinch.
The biggest thing about buying a trailer is to check the loaded weight against the vehicle's towing capacity. The old 4 banger Tacoma I had couldn't tow a full sized trailer, just one of the lighter pop-ups (some of the bigger pop-ups are not light!). I don't know if the newer (and larger) Tacomas have more towing ability. I've thought that a hard-sided pop-up might be the way to go since it has a lower profile but would stand up to the blowing sand of a windy beach. There's an A-frame hard sided pop-up trailer (made by Aliner) that intrigued me but looked in the photos like it would be a bit cramped for my husband. I'd have to see one in person - it might be fine for you.
I loved an old 3/4 ton Chevy pick-up - it hauled a 4-horse trailer with ease all over Texas. However, we recently test drove a loaded half ton Chevy (right after trying a Ford F150) and I had a problem getting the seat comfortable. I'm only 5'1" and find many of the modern vehicles designed with seats that are too long in the leg - the seat bottom edge hits me below the knees.
However, I drove a friend's 2 year old 3/4 ton Chevy diesel from Idaho to Las Vegas and had no problems at all. I would definitely look at the Chevy/GMC heavy pick-ups more seriously.
Just my opinion, but all vehicle manufacturers make some excellent vehicles and all make lemons. Considering how many happy Ford F150 owners there are out there (and I know a few of them), I would still consider buying a Ford (on the back-to-back test drive, I found the Ford's seats easier to adjust to my comfort).
My friend who let me drive her Chevy pick-up had previously owned another diesel Chevy for something like 20 years. It was still running with several hundred thousand miles on it before she traded it in for the new truck several years ago.
Finally, the gas vs. diesel debate can go on and on. They both have advantages and disadvantages. The people I've known with diesels love them, and they do seem to last forever. My firend always said that she got much better gas mileage with the diesel, though I've never actually seen the figures (if anyone knows where to see some comparison, let me know). If all this is true, then long term the diesel would be cost effective. However, there are so many variables and if diesel continues to be so much more than regular, then it you'd never re-coup the difference in initial cost. I'd look at both and then decide which one (diesel or gas) that meets your towing needs.
We have an 04 Armada, the SUV that's based on the Titan. It's had the brake judder problem a couple times, dealer adjusts it, and it goes away. The judder has NOTHING to do with safety. I drove my 4Runner with a brake judder for a year or more before fixing it.
The Titan is a great truck for towing and I'd have one today except my wife wanted the Armada. Didn't like the idea of driving a pickup. Biggests issue with the Titan is the mpg, but it's the case with any large pickup or SUV.
Recently purchased a Nissan Frontier Nismo and my wife made the same comment as she did regarding the TItan. Then, she drove it. She loves it since it's much easier to drive and park than the Armada and reminds her of the Xterra she had a few years ago.
Dealer added the side rails so she can get in easier.
If interested in my experience with the 2005 Nismo, look under posts for that truck.