Pickup as a Commuter Vehicle? Homeowner / family truck, very light duty needs - What do YOU recomme

workingmanworkingman Member Posts: 14

I'm interested in a no frills reliable commuter
vehicle that can handle an occasional lumber yard
run or dump run as well as daily highway duty. MPG
is becoming a consideration as gas prices rise to
who-knows-where... **Reliability** is tops though.
I believe a minmimally engined stick shift would
be fine - long as it is has air.

Full size pickups that are overkill for my needs.
Any Tacoma, Frontier, S-10, Sonoma, Ranger owners
care to comment on driveability, MPG, liveability,
reliability of your steed?

Thanks in advance.

A Workingman.


  • themacguythemacguy Member Posts: 417
    Am having excellent luck with the new 2000 Dodge Dakota Quad Cab (true, useful four door pickup). Everything about it is to my liking. However, your needs are foremost here, NOT mine: extensive research (6+ months) & exhaustive test driving (why can't the salesmen just stay at the dealer & drink coffee?) leads me to believe that you might want to post more extensive info. (re: your needs). For instance, do you frequently, occasionally or never have a need to haul: four to six people (kids or adults), plywood or sheetrock (one or several sheets, a trailer (type, weight), lots of (or no) stuff inside the cab. Mileage you expect, etc.
    This way - the compact truck guys can give you some real insight into what they have that might interest you. If not, you can always e:mail me - just click on my screen name - I'll answer your questions promptly. I'll be glad to help. :-)
    By the way, I'm in the oil industry, and if you think we'll be paying much more than we are now at the pump, just wait till the election cranks up - we'll be crucified! Happens every four years. Set your watch by it. :'-(
  • rs_pettyrs_petty Member Posts: 423
    I previously owned an '89 Ranger XLT SC. 2wd with v6 & 5 spd. It was a good reliable horse, but difficult to work on because of engine bay size. Only the battery would let me down. A similar one would serve well for your purpose. If you need/want a little more room look at a Dakota with the 6 cyl. The Toyota and Nissan with 4 cyls would probably make good commuters. If gas mileage is your most important consideration maybe look for a small wagon/sedan and light trailer combination. Most small pickups aren't practical when you need to haul 4x8's.
  • z71z71 Member Posts: 67
    are rated to get 30mpg on the highway and with a redesign getting closer you might could get a deal.
  • kirbytkirbyt Member Posts: 39
    If the MPG is the main concern then you will have to stick with the smaller units with a 4 cyl. motor. Transmission will not affect the MPG in today's units so take your pick. Confirm this for yourself by comparing EPA estimates.

    I'm the same situation and found that once I am willing to go to a truck MPG which is 15-19 range then the smaller units and larger units about tie. The smaller units with V6 do no better than the full size units.

    Best bet, go to the Budget Auto Rental and keep one of their compact pickups for the weekend. Rate is about 29-35 per day. I've rented these frequently over the past couple of years. Will give you a good idea of the Ranger or Chevy units.

    Good Luck.
  • RoclesRocles Member Posts: 982
    I know you don't want a half-ton but.........Look at the price of a F-150, Reg.cab, Short-bed manual with a six and compare to any compact with a six cylinder motor. You may be enlightened.
  • epoeepoe Member Posts: 56
    Any small sized pickup will serve you well.. Have you considered a wagon? (seriously)...
  • workingmanworkingman Member Posts: 14
    Thanks for the replies! Let me provide some more info. I have a ~60 mile round trip commute (~1/2 highway). We have 2 kids (3 1/2 & 22 months) and 1 "on the way" ;^) Our 'other' vehicle is a family van that's still got very low miles (7k) and is the family vehicle.

    I'd expect to keep the pickup 10 years and 200k miles.

    I keep thinking just get a strippy Toyota, Nissan, S-10 (did *I* say that?), Ranger, Mazda, etc with a 4 cyl stick and just add air. ...Keep it simple - less to go wrong. I figure watch for a "Saturday Special" in the paper and snap up a strippy with (or add) air. Voila, Done!!!
    ...Not so soon my other thoughts say.

    How about an extracab? I wonder how much use we'll really get out of it. Kids in child seats are a no-no so we we'd only do that in a pinch (dropping off the van - van out of comission, I suppose.)

    We have a 1300 lb pop-up camper but again - that is towed by our van. I rarely haul anything more than odds and ends from Home Depot and a small truck would be fine. Occasionally we haul a dirt bike or scooter or load of mulch but once again that would fit in a little truck.

    In a pinch an extracab truck could fit the family >tightly< and could haul our 1300 lb popup camper - if we go _easy_. But I wonder if we'd even bother if the van was in the shop. Plus the thing is this it's about $2 to 3k more for an extra-cab, plus extra taxes, insurance, etc, etc for that occasional need. ...makes me wonder if it's money well spent? Have you been there? Done that? Any one out there with kids using an extracab occasionally for them?

    I'm leaning towards: 4 cyl, stick, base strippy, + air... but am really wondering about the extra cab?

    I read (Edmunds.com=great!) especially wonderful things about the Tacoma. I hear mixed stories about the S-10. I *have* a Ranger 2.3l (old and worn out). I owned a Mazda SE5 for 159k miles - but this was many years ago when it was a different animal. I know very little about the Frontier.

    To up the ante - I have a GM credit card rebate worth ~$2k off any GM product (presumably S-10 or Sonoma) so any S-10 or Sonoma is another $2k off on those.


    What do YOU have? What do YOU say? 1.) Extra-cab or NOT? and 2.) what BRAND?

    Thanks a >>TON<< for all the comments so far!!!

    Oh yeah, renting a *new* truck will be ***fun*** - thank's for that tip.

    A Workingman
  • kit1404kit1404 Member Posts: 124
    Would just go buy the most stripped F-150 I could buy - the V-6 is supposed to be good, the base V-8 is excellent. I would also spring for the automatic and be sure I got the 8 foot bed - it will be most handy in the long-run over the years. As far as the GM rebate goes, I would save that for the next car/van you need and stay away from their trucks. Otherwise, you could look at the small trucks - good luck with any of those that you choose. Depending on how you really want to use the vehicle, Ford's small V-8 with automatic will return good gas mileage everyday and haul just about anything you can ever imagine at this point in life and quite likely outlast any of the small trucks on the market today.
  • rs_pettyrs_petty Member Posts: 423
    If you are going to use the vehicle as a second family car then you must have seats for those in the family. The jump seats in the small trucks are ok for kids from about age 2-5 then they outgrow them and frankly sitting sideways is not safe. My kids would bounce their head off the window on turns, etc. A regular cab won't fit 5 assuming you want all your kids in seatbelts. You need a 5 passenger pickup. That leaves a full size extended cab. So your decision is either it is one of the family cars or it is not. If it is you have to go to full size extended. If not, a stripper, may fit your needs.
  • bowhuntwibowhuntwi Member Posts: 262
    If you want a truck, and you got 3 kids,extended cab will work for a while, but the crew cabs like the dakota quad cab might be what your looking for, but then again depends on your budget. I had an extended cab got rid of it because my kid was getting to long to sit comfortably for a long ride, so I upsized to a crew cab, in the way of a super duty, people may say I don't need that much truck, but I make the payments so it's my decision. Don't worry about other people, do what's best for you & your family, never know you might like driving a truck better then your minivan.
  • powerisfunpowerisfun Member Posts: 358
    Since you have another new car (van), you probably won't be getting another new GM car soon enough to use all your rebate (you only have a 7 year window of earning, once you've hit the 7-year mark, they'll start subtracting the money that you earned in the first year, etc.). If I were you I'd use that to get the ext-cab S-10. You'd be surprised how often you want to take things in the cab with you (i.e. you'll appreciate the extra room). Plus you'll have it as an emergency vehicle if the van breaks down. The $2K rebate will pay for the ext-cab, plus GM is offering $1250 rebate on all S-10's or 2.9% financing (for 3 years, 3.9% for 4 years). If you can find a leftover '99 the rebate is $2000. The Toyotas and Nissans have no rebate currently, Mazda and Ford are both offering a $1000 rebate. Plus, I think most people want the V6 and 4x4, so you'd probably get a 4 cylinder 4x2 for near invoice (and still get the rebate off of that). In fact, I'd go some place else if they didn't give it to you near invoice.
    Now S-10's HAVE had their share of niggling little problems over the years, but a lot of the small trucks have, and this current generation of S-10's has been out there for many years and has probably gotten a lot of the bugs out by now.
  • powerisfunpowerisfun Member Posts: 358
    Is your current van a Chevy/GMC/Pontiac? If so, then you qualify for an extra $500 loyalty rebate. That offer expires on Feb. 29th, though.
  • RoclesRocles Member Posts: 982
    Three kids, wife and you in a compact?? Yeah..right. Get a stripped F-150,stick-4.2L ex.cab on the standard trim. Vinyl seats but a full-size that will do circles around any compact. Order it and it could go as low as 15-16 grand.
  • dansa2dansa2 Member Posts: 28
    i currently have a isuzu reg cab. it has been one of the best reliable vehicles i have owned. my three kids are crammed. even if i went with an x-cab its small in the little jump seat area. i just bought a gmc sierra x-cab. i like the huge x-cab and i commute 3 days 50 miles. i plan to keep it for about 10 years. i do like the dodge dakota x-cab and quad cab . the dakota is sized between full size and small size. v6 for dakota gets pretty good gas milage. best thing to do is test drive one. then test drive chevy and gmc. both 4and6 cylinders. to feel the differance. just go through the motions with the dealers but tell them staight up your shopping and comparing.
  • kirbytkirbyt Member Posts: 39
    Everyone here is right on their suggestions but you are going to have make the call as to price and needs. With the family needs the extended cab will be a 'glad I bought it' in the future. It's the place to keep things dry and secure, family or objects. And in the future these type of units will make up 75% of the truck body styles sold. The crew cab Nissan is going to be matched by most of the competitors. Overseas these have been in usage quite awhile. Ford is now going to offer the Explorer and the Expedition in a similar style this string. But these will be in the $25,000 price range at first.
    I commute like you and would not consider the compact standard cabs with the expectation of having to haul yourself and an occasional friend. The full sized units will get about the same fuel economy and you are able to set the car seats in for 2 kids. And as your kids get older, their activities often involve a friend or two. Then in a about 3-5 years you're wanting the extra room. So all this brings you back to same old question; what fits budget, economy, and family. Really you might want to consider a wagon or another mini-van. Then you could remove seats to haul things and still get better fuel economy than a pickup. This assumes you are not into heavy loads or tall items.

    Sorry, but cannot be more direct. I think that you needs will change more than you think over the next few years. My neighbor has just sold his 86' Toyota 4x4 for the exact reason you are looking for yours. #3 just arrived and other 2 boys' car seats cannot fit the Toyota extended cab. And by the way, it had over 225,000 miles of trouble free mileage and he bought a new Ford. Gotta use those credit card discounts!

    Let us know what you decide!
  • bookittybookitty Member Posts: 1,303
    Actually, if you get a 4 cylinder truck with air, you could dispense with the brakes unless descending a very steep grade. Normally to slow down, just flip on the air conditioner and watch that baby decelerate. Or, you could take the Bentley and cut away the rear portion leaving an open bed with which to transport sand, mulch and worse. The choice is yours.


    PS The Dodge Dakota has some nice choices and is a good solid truck.
  • SporinSporin Member Posts: 1,066
    This is a very similar situation as mine, except I have no kids. I am looking for something to basicaly use on weekends, but occasionally for a commuter vehicle. My towing won't exceed our pop-up which is about 1200 pounds. This would be a yardwork/Home Depot machine.

    I did a lot of research and settled on a F-150, V6, 5spd, SB, Reg. Cab, XL with cloth bench, Class III towing package, A/C and little else. This comes in at well under $20k.

    My father in law just got the same truck, only a little better equipped and payed less then $20k for his too. He is trading in his 6 year old F150 V8, and realized that the new V6 has the same hp/torgue specs as his old V8 so he save some money there too plus better mpg. He uses his truck pretty much like I would use mine, only he would be commuting more in it.

    So check it out...I am waiting until summer to get mine.
  • kit1404kit1404 Member Posts: 124
    Drive them all - try to figure out where the family will sit. And, if it really is your vehicle to drive everyday - maybe you should just pick out the one you like the best within your budget. I still think the F-150 with the small V-8 is your best long-term choice. But, in today's society and with more and more crazey people on the road - just try to remember - you are the one that has to drive it everyday. Try to get what you like right now and that will work for your family right now. And, for me - lean toward something you are a little proud to see at the end of the day.
  • bigsnagbigsnag Member Posts: 394
    You can get a 2000 F-150 supercab short box for $16,279. That is invoice. If you pay more than invoice on a new Ford you spent too much. There are a lot of dealers that sell everything at invoice. You can throw in the 4.6 for $600 more. AC another $600. So for around $17,500 you can have a very capable truck. Keep in mind, though, that this is a bare-bones vehicle, but as far as value for the money, you can't beat it.
  • workingmanworkingman Member Posts: 14
    Thanks for all the comments.

    Our lifestyle over the next few to ten years is gonna change in phases as the kids and their friends get born, then bigger and messier! Large trucks do seem so much nicer for a family on the go - even if it's not the primary family vehicle. We haul old motorcycles, dirt bikes, mulch, stuff to the dump and go fishing, camping, do hay rides in the fall, get Christmas trees, picnic, etc, etc.

    Our family vehicle is a '98 Astro low top conversion which we love (only >>7k<< miles on it now). Fits us great. Tows a piddly 1300 lb popup camper like it's not there. Gas mileage is 13 to 17 with the 4.3l V6.

    The only real concern about a larger truck is getting another vehicle that gets 17 or less may become costly if fuel prices rise sharply. (Any predictions?) Gas here is in the mid $1.30's but DIESEL is >>$2.29<< (northern RI / southeastern MA). If gas rises another buck a gallon (Diesel did it in less than a month), well that's gonna s&*k! I guessing real world (1/2 highway 1/2 back roads) commuting mileage with full size v6/v8 would be 18-19 range, no?

    As a result of all the comments here I owe it to myself to take a good hard look at the Dakota, F150 and Chevy quad or xtracabs. It's been so long since I've driven a new one. It'll be fun for sure.

    I can see the "Glad you got it" happening no doubt. If I save a few bucks upfront but regret LIVING with the truck day to day for a long time that's gonna s%^k. I've got to make the right move 1x.

    In the meantime - anyone care to tell what what YOU bought and more importantly WOULD YOU BUY IT AGAIN? How's your mileage?

    A Workingman
  • themacguythemacguy Member Posts: 417
    Fuel mileage: Absolutely won't be seeing the $2 + range (unless very, very briefly during a war - but not EVER during an election year). The US will send 1000's of 18 year olds to fight & die in the Middle East just to keep gas prices artificially low at $1 to $1.50. Even though most other nations' citizens have to pay 2 - 3 TIMES our price just for the privilege of driving their old cars 'to & from.' It's always been the 'policy' of the US gov't. not to have an energy policy, period - other than to tax the oil industry to death during (the fewer) high price years, and to let it starve during (the usual) low price periods. Quit worrying about gas prices. By the way most of your 'pump price' goes straight to taxes anyway. :-O

    Your dilemma is / was the same as mine just six months ago. But funny perceptions here. One of my big priorities is mileage too. But MY perspective is 180 from yours: I need all the mpg I can get so that WHEN the price of oil drops (in 2-3 months), I can survive as my income slowly dries up in the next 'oil bust!' It's happened more often than not. Food for thought.

    PS - plan well ahead for your changing needs. They will come sooner than you think (or want). I did my homework and my choice was the Dakota Quad Cab. Would I buy another one? No.

    I won't have to.
  • rs_pettyrs_petty Member Posts: 423
    Just another thought and perhaps way to resolve your issue. Maybe look at your vehicles in shorter terms. Don't try to buy one now that will still service you 10 years from now. Maybe look at what you need for the next 2-3 years and then trade for the next thing that meets your needs. My experience is that what your kids will be doing will drive the train as to what kind of truck you need.
  • kit1404kit1404 Member Posts: 124
    Just buy something you like and that works for you now. With the thefts and crazy drivers - you may not keep it that long anyway. If you drive it for 5 years and it is reliable, the gas mileage is not likely to matter much. At that point, it may be time to change out anyway. I used to think driving trucks for 10 to 15 years was the way to go. Have had good success doing that, but looking at the economics of long-term ownership today makes me think that may not be true any more. Of course, if you are a good mechanic that loves spending all your extra time working on them - that's a different matter. But, if that's the case - you would be looking for the best used truck and not a new one. Good luck - we're mostly all facing this problem in one way or another.
  • workingmanworkingman Member Posts: 14
    Guess that's why there's so many different cars and trucks on the road.

    Guess I'll poke around and drive a few trucks over the next few weeks. Luckily my Ranger is currently (fingers crossed) running ok. I'm just hoping nothing else major goes on it. I'm looking forward to driving a full size extra-cab. Ahhh, decisions, decisions. ...how much is enough... just a little more. :^)

    Anyone know of a "Rule of Thumb" for vehicles - like you should spend no more that 10% 20% 30% 50% of your annual salary on the purchase price of a car / truck etc? I mean I have a decent job and I can't imagine spending $30+k on my dream truck, yet I see them all over the place around here being driven by what looks like working class folks.

    How much you figure you should be making to spend say even $20k on a truck (I'm not talking about a contractor that uses it to make a living)? Just curious I suppose. ...My last new truck (in 1983) cost $6. Still suffering from STICKER SHOCK.

    A Workingman
  • knkresortknkresort Member Posts: 79
    Debt ratios are interesting, but not often useful. Aside from your home, your vehicle is the most expensive thing you will own (wives, girlfriends, and kids are excluded). :) The bottom line is cash flow and available savings. If you put 5% down on a vehicle or if your long, lost great uncle dies and leaves you a pot of money, that will have a greater impact on how much vehicle to buy versus determining what your debt ratio is.

    I just bought/ordered a 2000 Dodge Quad Cab and while I could pay cash for it, I decided to finance it since I can take that same money and get a better return in the stock market than the loan is costing me.

    Bottom line, there is no right, wrong, or even best answer. It is what makes it work for you given your specific financial position.

    By the way, I am upgrading from a Ranger. I have a 2 year old boy and 75 mile commute. A 4 cyl with no way to carry wife-unit and son makes it a no brainer to get a 4-door truck.


  • mdw1000mdw1000 Member Posts: 171
    I would think if you want it to last for 10 years, you would want to go with at least a v6. I would think most 4 cyl would have problems before 200k, but maybe I'm wrong.

    I would highly recommend the new Silverados if cab space is a concern. I have as much room as many sedans, and more width in most cases. They also have an airbag deactivation switch if you need to put a baby seat in the front. I have a 99 Z71 LT and I love it! Of course, that seems to be a bit more than what you are looking for. I have a friend who has a 90 silverado with the v8 and he's had no major problems.
  • volfyvolfy Member Posts: 274
    I had a Tacoma reg. cab and now owns a Frontier King Cab, both 4cyl. I'd say since you have a 60 mile round trip commute and are concerned about fuel cost, a reg. cab 4cyl. Tacoma is your best bet. I got about 29-30mpg on mine. That 4 cyl. will go 250,000 miles easily if you take care of it.

    Then again, since you got the 2k to use on a GM, an S-10 equivalent wouldn't be a bad alternative if you're not thinking about using that 2k on something else. 2k is a lot when your talking about a 10k vehicle. The S-10 is a little heavier and its 4-banger not as lively as the Tacoma's, but still a thoroughly competent commuter/light duty pickup.

    It does sounds like you're only gonna be using the "truck" aspect occasionally for Home Depot type lumber runs so full-size pickups are overkill for you IMHO. If the vehicle is to be commuter first, pickup a distant second, and no consideration given for hauling family (you already have a family vehicle), a reg. cab compact pickup is the right choice.

    Good luck.
  • volfyvolfy Member Posts: 274
    Forgot about that. After my Tacoma was totaled in a rear-end collision - with my wife and I in it - I won't let anyone ride in my ext cab. Not even kids, not even on short trips. I'm convinced that had I been driving a ext cab at the time of the accident and someone were sitting back there, that person would be dead.

    I use my ext cab only for toolboxes and other cargo. Plus groceries when it rains. NOTHING ELSE!
  • themacguythemacguy Member Posts: 417
    Steel side door beams in all four doors that meet passenger car standards, wraparound cab, standard rear ABS brakes (frt. opt.), height adj. belts, dual airbags, childproof rear door locks, ext. strengthened (and built in rollbar) roof, but most importantly: all built on the Durango (but stretched slightly) HEAVY chassis = MORE MASS. Only concerns seem to be frontal 'offset' accident performance in NHTSA-type tests. All in all a lot more metal (iron) than any other compact; probably on a par with the Tundra / Durango in most weight comparisons.

    In other words: a little more 'substantial' - and you'll pay a little more w/ less mpg - but hey, what's the safety factor worth to you. Nothing, and I mean nothing is too good for my two little ones. Gas prices are coming down folks. Happier days (for most of you) are just around the corner.
  • kit1404kit1404 Member Posts: 124
    Quit looking so hard long-term. Lease just what you need, just now for a the smallest payment. Religiously put the difference in the stock market, unload your leased vehicle and then pay cash for the next one. It could work.
  • SporinSporin Member Posts: 1,066
    The DURANGO is built off the DAKOTA chassis, not vise-versa. THe DAKOTA came first by at least 3 years.

    The DURANGO and the DAKOTA are identical from the front to the rear edge of the front doors. I doubt the DAKOTA chassis is any thougher or more crash resistant then any other pick-up of similar size.

    The DAKOTA QUAD CAB seems to be a nice truck, good choise. :-)
  • bigsnagbigsnag Member Posts: 394
    From what I saw the Durango had the worst crash rating of any SUV's. They did very poorly. Not up to the standards of Toyota Landcruiser and Lexus RX 300 to name a few of the top performers. Small does not always mean less safe.
  • bigsnagbigsnag Member Posts: 394
    Dodge Durango
    NHTSA Frontal Crash Driver Poor
    NHTSA Frontal Crash Passenger Good
    NHTSA Side Crash Front Occupant Not Tested
    NHTSA Side Crash Rear Occupant Not Tested
    IIHS Offset Acceptable
    IIHS Bumper Bash Poor
  • bigsnagbigsnag Member Posts: 394
    I never said bigger didn't mean better. I said smaller doesn't always mean less safe. If I have a huge car, I get in a wreck, the car only needs minor repairs, but I'm dead, so what! On the other hand, if I have a small car, get in a wreck, the car is totaled and I walk away, great. Ask Jeff Bodine about this one. How much damage is done to the car and how much of that energy is transferred to a passenger are two totally different things. Personally, I give a crap about what happens to my car in a crash as long as I am okay.
  • SporinSporin Member Posts: 1,066
  • themacguythemacguy Member Posts: 417
    I never said bigger was better either. I said it was my 'personal choice,' based on my driving experience. And it sure helps to have NASCAR technology (and $$$) working for you - granted. Full cages/tube frames/SFI suits-armor /Snell helmets/neck restraints/multipoint belts & on & on. Hey, I've raced a lot more than most folks in my life - I KNOW why race cars are safer, plus going (usually) in the same direction helps a lot! I'm sure Geoff B. agrees. But the people in the smaller cars that I hit in my (Post #35) wrecks were carted off in ambulances. I wasn't.

    What I care about here are the two little kids & wife our Topic Guy (remember the 'workingman?') said he MIGHT occasionally have in his truck, and the value per dollar (below). I know how the Dodge Quad is built - inside & out and underneath. I trust my family's lives with it everyday. I don't miss a wink of sleep over it. I also drive very defensively these days.

    My (missed or mis-stated) point really is sort of basic, when you buy a truck (car, van, etc.), it seems (to me) that over the last couple of decades - NOT counting the technology doodads that go with each escalating level of purchase $$$ - you buy 'X' amount of iron. Here are some RANGES/EXAMPLES: $10k buys you a basic single cab compact truck (XYZ brand); $15k same truck w/supercab or fullsize reg. cab; $20k the Dakota Quad Cab; $25k the fullsize supercabs, Tundras, etc. I noticed how the weights of these vehicles slide up the dollar scale (my point). But, at somewhere in the mid 20's (TX prices) the better SUV's and higher tech trucks show up (sometimes lighter - sort of your point - and with better safety features). This is where the more 'able' buyer gets to buy some real safety - not just iron. But our Topic is discussing a range of possibilities in the lower to mid cash outlay region. At least I thought it was. And also value, safety, features, etc. for the $$$ spent in that range.

    For the record (that's just me): I don't believe that I want to be in a compact regular cab truck, or any regular cab truck with three other people. And Never with the kids in front. Nor - based on others in this Topic - does a supercab seem very safe to me (though I thought they would be). My money was spent on a heavier, four door midsized truck: the DQC. I don't even LIKE Dodges. I've NEVER liked them. But my personal choice, after 6+ months of total saturation into truck info., and many test drives & truck inspections led me to that particular model (Tundra was a close second, Ford Sport-Trac wasn't out yet) for the value. So I bought it - so have many others. I don't think safety was at the bottom of any of their lists, either. And I believe the Toy Landcruiser, Lexus RX 300 and Durangos are a bit out of the 'mid' or 'affordable' price range - and they aren't trucks. That's my point. You're right too. Just in a little different direction than mine.
  • bookittybookitty Member Posts: 1,303

  • workingmanworkingman Member Posts: 14

    Thanks I'm still here - though not often lately. Firedrill time at work and New England lousy weather been taking my "free" time. I have tried to read more online but even that's tough. I had hoped to get to a dealer by now but no luck. You see with a <2 and 3 1/2 year old the nights are shot. Even if I *try* I can't seem to get to a dealer before they close. I tried and got to one dealer last night at 7:55 - 5 minutes before they lock up. Eventually I'll follow-up on these suggestions.

    Sounds like if Volvo made a truck it'd be a Quad Cab!!!

    on the grindstone...

    A Workingman.
  • bigsnagbigsnag Member Posts: 394
    I just can't picture a 40 something, uptight, pretentious, housewife driving 30mph in a 45mph zone, in a quad-cab. Maybe it's just me.
  • themacguythemacguy Member Posts: 417
    bigsnag - it's not just you. God help us all. :-P

    workingman - I've got TWO Volvos (out of the nine %$#@ cars I have to license each year): both 89 model 760 turbos; one a wagon, the other a sedan. I know what you mean. By the way any dealer worth his/her salt will work with you on 'getting together' at a convenient time. Just make sure it's a 'discount' bunch before they make you feel like you owe them a sale.
  • knkresortknkresort Member Posts: 79
    After reading post #40, I can't think of any other reason not to own a Dodge Quad cab. Price/value/weight/safety etc all in one. I just have to get one.


    P.S. By the way I ordered mine on 2/14 :-)
  • themacguythemacguy Member Posts: 417
    this needs to be a Topic for the 'workingman,' and I was just wondering since the Ford guys have come out with the Sport-trac and Nissan the Crew (cut?) Cab; I've heard (and seen a prototype) of the S-10 Baja 4 door is coming out (?). Any of you GM guys (OK, I'll admit I'm a Chevy guy, too) know when/if this thing's (the S-10 Baja) coming out? It seems the 'workingman' has a GM card deal of about $2k he'd like to use...

    Also, could he use this (credit card 'rebate' - NOT the GM loyalty program) at a dealer selling multiple brands with GMAC as a finance alternative for - say - a Dodge/Ford/other vehicle? Creative financing from a dealer? Hmmmmm, sounds 'do-able.'
  • amoraamora Member Posts: 204
    I commute 133 mi/day. In Jan I bought an S10
    Xtreme 2.2L reg. cab mini with 5 sp and AIR...

    After break-in and 5000 mi later, I managed to
    go 398.8 mi with 13.643 gal of gas. 29.2 mpg, this is driving 62-68 mph going up 3 grades of 4-6%

    If you drive it 70-75 it averages 22-24 mpg.

    My old '95 Ranger 2.3L ext cab, manual tranny did
    26mpg with 140,000 mi on odometer. Friend's
    '94 S10 with 4.3L AUTO manages 21-22 mpg.

    Do not drive with tailgate down, will ruin hinges and not increase MPG, use tonneau cover, less
    wind resistance. With tailgate down, wind
    forms vortex just behind cab and contributes
    nothing to fuel mileage. If anyone claims
    better mileage with tailgate down, his math is

    My .02 regarding pick-up trucks for commute
    vehicle. It is possible to get 19 mph from
    '96 F150 long bed, dual tanks, and 5.0L engine...

    Have fun selection a mini...EPA estimates are
    good if you drive in a most humble manner, you
    may achieve them....
  • rwellbaum2rwellbaum2 Member Posts: 1,006
    You state that you'll be keeping this vehicle 200,000 miles. That leaves only Toyota. A chevy s-10 or ford ranger might last 100,000 if your lucky. My friend buys ford rangers, but sells them at 60,000 miles because he knows they wont last much longer than that. Get a Toyota Tacoma 4X4, 4 cyl, manual trans. It will definitely last 200,000 miles and beyond.
  • amoraamora Member Posts: 204
    You are 100% right about 200,000+ mi Toyotas, but
    1000% WRONG re S10....My Son' 88 4.3 S10 went 198,000 trouble free miles, His '94 4.3 went 200,000 trouble free miles, Has '2000 4.3 so has
    4500 trouble free mi, Chevy internal publication
    had article re: 1986 4.3 carbureted engines going
    over 500,000 miles in NEW YORK Taxi cab service,
    before needing overhaul....If you maintain
    your vehicles it is possible to get great life...
    Friend's '92 Ford Ranger 2.3 went 277,000 miles before valves got burned...repaired for $60.00 and Truck still running fine.....Re your friends selling Ford Rangers because he knows they will not last....Who told him that??? Unless he got a
    LEMON like one of my Friends did with a DOHC V6 TACOMA, a real LEMON, rare but real.....Check out the screw-up a ROBOT did TORQUING heads on 150,000 FOURUNNERS, they were over torqued causing
    horrendous head gasket failure at 7000-9000 mi, fixed under warranty, It seems ROBOT's computer self corrected the error...But it was an ERROR causing 140,000 Toyotas to become instant LEMONS...I love TOYOTAS too, had a great '78 Carolla and '77 Landcruiser, indestructable....

    But they are not perfect...
  • edharri3edharri3 Member Posts: 35
    Sorry to hear about your Tacoma but those Toyota truck beds end to be poorly built and easily deformed. PPlus, a full size extended cab should be OK
  • wwhite2wwhite2 Member Posts: 535
    Buy an Izuzu pup with the spacecab option now there is a truck
  • holster1holster1 Member Posts: 1
    Having owned my 84 toyota since my kids were babies, I would highly recommend looking into the future when your kids are older and need a larger space. If the wife takes the family car and leaves the kids with you, where would you put them in a small truck? I would recommend a six cylinder full size ext cab.
  • kit1404kit1404 Member Posts: 124
    It will do everything you need, last a long time, not cost as much as a smaller Toyota. Look for a good basic truck with a V-8 -either one, but the 4.6 is a good engine for less money, which seems to be a major factor here.
  • meredithmeredith Member Posts: 575
    After 30 or more days of inactivity....

    this topic is being "frozen." It will be archived or deleted in the next 10 days or so.

    Front Porch Philosopher
    SUV, Pickups, & Aftermarket and Accessories Host
This discussion has been closed.