War of the Compacts: Frontier, Ranger, Tacoma, S10, Dakota, B-Series, & Hombre

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Comments

  • spoogspoog Member Posts: 1,224
    The Dakota is a formidable "compact" pickup, no doubt. You get alotm mfor your money.

    In my opinion, the best of the best in compacts would be the tacoma, nissan and Dakota.

    But....and I REALLY hate to do this.....I think it's time we start to compare safety recalls, defects, and technical service bulletins on these trucks.

    It's nice to have the truck with everything, but what good is it if it is unreliable and in the shop all the time? The answer? Not very good. Not very good at all.
  • spoogspoog Member Posts: 1,224
    http://www.fourwheeler.com/newtrucks/ptoty/98/ptoty1.html


    Following in the footsteps of its close relative, the '98 Ranger adopted many of the mechanical modifications incorporated into the Explorer two years earlier. Among the biggest changes include an entirely new double A-arm front suspension with light-duty torsion bars. The new IFS, combined with an all-new rack-and-pinion steering setup (which offers its own steering fluid cooler), won high praises from our testers over our 800-mile test. Specifically, the Ranger scor ed well in Highway Performance categories that centered around maneuverability and long-distance cruising. Testers noted the new steering proved especially quick to react in tight-chicane situations. No doubt about it: This new Ranger out-handles, out-ste ers and out-corners any Ranger before. By a mile.


    We would characterize the drivetrain, specifically the transmission, as biased for highway performance as well. All 4.0-liter Rangers (and Mazdas, for that matter) ordered without the manual tranny get the first five-speed automatic transmission offer ed for any pickup. Our testers split over the need and/or usefulness of a mileage-biased transmission geared for empty-load flatland running. Those in favor noted the nearly seamless transitions from one gear to the next, and how the transmission itself c ould, if the vehicle was driven right--no jackrabbit leadfoot starts--tack on another 50,000 miles of life to the engine.

    On the trail, we found the automatic transmission to be a double-edged sword. The smoothness of the First-to-Second shift, combined with the inherent low-end grunt of the engine, was almost enough to overcome the taller gearing. And in the end, voting followed individual preferences for manuals versus automatics. Two testers noted both the manual transmissions (Mazda and Toyota) felt more "in control" on the twisty low-range trails of Truckhaven, where face-down compression braking was very helpful o n steep-trail crawling. In low-range, our automatic Ranger offered a rather delicate 22.8:1 crawl ratio (First x axle gear x low-range); the Mazda and Toyota offered 34.4:1 and 40.4:1 gearing, respectively.


    Likewise, where the stiffened front suspension cleanly handled all paved-road obstacles thrown in its path, the Ford IFS had trouble keeping up with the broken terrain of dry washes, hill climbs, and washboards. Admittedly, it is a rare vehicle that c an manage all the extremes with equal aplomb, but several testers commented that the Ford liked to spring a little bit quicker (and hop higher) off the rolling whoop-de-doos. For the most part, we found the sacrificed off-highway capability to be greater than the gained on-highway performance, and for that reason it didn't score well in the parts of our test that are most heavily-weighted; however, that isn't to say testers weren't squabbling among themselves to get into the Ranger for the highway drives up the mountain.

    Finally, testers showed their traditional colors by not favoring the dash-mounted rotary dial ("looks a lot like an A/C control--and no Neutral") of the Borg-Warner 44-05 electronic transfer case. The 44-05 never gave us a lick of trouble--we submerge d the gearboxes under freezing water, as well as subjecting them to high-heat, dust-blasted wash runs--and by going to a dial, floor space opens up, but our scorers' preference is for a lever-actuated system, or anything with a Neutral position, regardles s of the floor space it takes up.

    Like any good four wheeler, we found the Ford Ranger could do several things quite well, scoring highly in On-Road Ride and Handling and Interior Comfort. To us, the new Ranger is a nice-looking, comfortable truck that is easy to drive and easy to own . And it's made in plants with a reputation for quality. But the Pickup Truck of the Year has to do it all pretty damn well, and it has to be great off-highway. And so we introduce our 1998 winner.
  • spoogspoog Member Posts: 1,224
    http://www.fourwheeler.com/newtrucks/ptoty/98/ptoty.html



    WINNER: TOYOTA TACOMA TRD



    Although the compact Tacoma XtraCab itself is not completely new, the Toyota Racing Development (TRD) suspension and locking rear differential package is. The TRD Off-Road Package offers oversized fender flares, alloy wheels, 31-inch tires, Bilstein shocks, slightly softer spring rates, and an electromechanical, button-actuated rear locking differential, all for $1,690.

    Our Surfside Green test unit came with the 3.4-liter, dual-overhead cam, 24-valve engine and five-speed manual transmission. The Tacoma came factory-equipped with the lowest axle gears of the test: 4.10:1. It was this combination of excellent gearing (First gear for the factory five-speed is 3.83:1) that made testers comment about how readily the Tacoma jumped off the line. In fact, during track testing, the Tacoma was substantially faster than the others, both loaded and unloaded (see page 30). Tract ion came courtesy of a more aggressive tread in the 31x10.50 Goodyear Wrangler three-stage GSA. We found it supplied surprisingly good cornering power on pavement, with plenty of potential for aired-down trail running.
    As well as the Tacoma performed on the track, it was on the trail where the premium import seemed most comfortable. Best-in-class ground clearance, the most aggressive tread of the bunch, and a crawl ratio of better than 40:1 made the Tacoma everyone' s choice for hill climbs and steep backside descents. Even our resident auto-tranny diehards had to admit that the lively throttle response, sure-grip clutch, and built-to-work gearing meshed together as well as any championship-caliber team. In each perf ormance-related category of our test, the Toyota won.




    It's not often that our collection of testers agree on anything (in fact, never), but this year's Pickup Truck of the Year was a unanimous decision. Praises relating to the TRD suspension mentioned its ability to control rutted, seriously choppy terra in better than any other vehicle we'd driven. One tester went so far as to note that during a few moments of an effortless dry-wash run, it seemed the spirit of Ivan Stewart had taken over his body. This is a truck that can go slow or go fast, on pavement or off.

    Ultimately, in addition to a strong engine, good tires, and supremely tuned suspension, the clutch defeat switch (the only one in a truck sold in the US.), lever-operated transfer case, and pushbutton locking rear differential were the icing on a toug h-truck cake. Although you have to pay a premium for a premium package, the TRD Tacoma, dollar for dollar, is the best on- and off-highway compact package (maybe of any truck) we've seen. This truck has features the others just don't offer, and they all w ork. And that's why it's our 1998 Pickup Truck of the Year.
  • spoogspoog Member Posts: 1,224
    http://www.fourwheeler.com/newtrucks/ptoty/98/tech.html



    Ford's 4.0-liter overhead-valve V-6 gave our Regular Cab Ranger plenty of off-the-line motivation with 168 lb.-ft. of rear-wheel torque at 2500 rpm. Mazda's 3.0-liter/five-speed manual transmission gave the Regular Cab B-truck the slowest 0-60 time, but the best fuel economy of the group. Although the middle-sized V-6 of the group, the Toyota 3.4-liter DOHC 24-valve V-6 pulled all the way through the torque curve like most small-blocks.

    The Ford five-lug 8.8-inch rearend comes standard with the 4.0-lite/five-speed auto combo. Leaf springs and 3.73:1 axle gears are rated to carry 1,180 pounds. Mazda's 7.5-inch rearend is standard with the 3.0-liter V-6. Not surprisingly, our ride-quality vastly improved with 12 bags of landscape rock in the compact's bed.
    Toyota's TRD Tacoma comes with the only factory offered rear locking differential on any (full-size or compact) pickup. We found it a huge asset for trail adventures.
    FORD & MAZDA TOYOTA

    Ford's new compact frontend uses F-150-style short- and long-arm IFS, with torsion bars. The setup offers big gains on pavement--but not without trail sacrifices.

    The new Pulse-Vacuum Hub (PVH) used exclusively on compact Fords and Mazdas allows for true in-cab-controlled shift-on-the-fly capability.

    Toyota's double A-arm/coilover frontend handles pavement cornering and trail flex with equal skill. We like the six-lug axles and big-caliper front discs.





    Copyright © 1999 Petersen Publishing L.L.C. All rights reserved.
  • spoogspoog Member Posts: 1,224
    http://www.fourwheeler.com/newtrucks/ptoty/98/howwedoit.html


    It's our assumption that pickups are made and bought, at some point, to do work. That's why we run our PTOTY test on the track and trail, with beds loaded and unloaded--and separate from sport-utilities, which we regard as primarily made to carry people and their gear.


    After weighing each truck at a commercial scale, we subtract that amount from the factory-rated Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) to arrive at an actual maximum payload number. We run track testing with truck beds both empty and with half their calculated payload, this year using 35-pound bags of landscaping rock. In this case, the Ford and Mazda each ran with 16 bags, the Toyota with 18. We think it's valuable to see how each truck performs when carrying a load; that's why they have a bed. For a significant portion of the rest of the test, we run the trucks at half maximum payload. This also allows us to see how mileage is affected, as well as how the engine and chassis react.
    At each stage of our test, drivers rotated from truck to truck during a variety of terrain changes--recording comments and scoring each truck as they go.

    In the end, each tester scores each truck in 38 different categories with "Mechanical" accounting for 25 percent of the book total;
    "Trail Performance" accounting for 30 percent; "Highway Performance" 20 percent; "Interior" 15 percent; and "Exterior" 10 percent. Each logbook accounts for 80 percent of overall scoring, with the remaining 20 percent centered around our nine "Empirical" tests you'll find in chart form: Ground Clearance, Noise at 55 mph, Payload, and so forth.

    Finally, we've printed point totals so readers may weight their own "paper test," awarding points for those aspects of a truck they find most valuable. Some may appreciate interior or highway feel more than we have. Change the percentages around and choose your own winner. Of course, that certainly won't be as much fun (or difficult) as running around the countryside with a group of brand new four-bys.
    --M. Williams





    Copyright © 1999 Petersen Publishing L.L.C. All rights
  • spoogspoog Member Posts: 1,224
    " the Tacoma handled the rough stuff better than any other vehicle we have ever driven"


    ---4wheeler magazine


    Just for notes, this test was at the end of 98, but the current Tacoma, Ranger, and Mazda are the same models as in this test. So it is completely relevant.
  • spoogspoog Member Posts: 1,224
    " We chose the Toyota Tacoma because it is the best compact offroad truck around, period"


    --Petersons Offroad magazine after choosing the Tacoma over a ranger and Chevy zr2 in a grueling test.
  • spoogspoog Member Posts: 1,224
    Here are the Safety Recalls betwen Ranger and Tacoma(your next DODGE. You think the Ranger has it bad in these stats, JUST WAIT)



    http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/cars/problems/



    1999 Ranger recalls - 3
    1999 Tacoma recalls - 0


    2000 Ranger recalls - 1
    2000 Tacoma recalls - 0



    Total recalls from 1989-2000(Ranger)-

    32


    Total recalls from 1989-2000(Tacoma)-

    6
  • 2drive2drive Member Posts: 90
    #@%!, only 7700 miles on my Dakota and already I've been to the shop four times! Fortunately, it's only been for oil filters.

    BTW, mileage has increased from originally 16-18 mpg to now 19-22 mpg. (can't wait to hit 50,000 miles and 50 mpg!!)
  • spoogspoog Member Posts: 1,224
    1999 JD powers long term(5 year) reliability test:


    http://www.jdpower.com/global/jdpaawards/releases/images/vdi99.gif

    Dodge finishes far below average.
  • spoogspoog Member Posts: 1,224
    http://www.jdpa.com/studies/pressrelease.asp?StudyID=292&CatID=1



    Well, here is a FIVE year, long term study to let you know just WHO makes the most reliable and bullet proof vehicles on this planet.

    ENJOY!
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Member Posts: 4,085
    (spoog) Sure... if absolute reliability was the #1 priority and all other factors ignored.... The TOY or the NISSAN may be "best"

    Lets face it... each of us has their own "priorities" I still own a 1991 4x4 Honda Cvic that has been reliable as a rock. But I wanted something more. I placed the FACTOR of reliability a bit lower than other FACTORS and did not choose the Toyota when I bought a truck.

    This is the basis my belief that trying to name any "best" is fruitless. Each person has a different measuring stick for their own "BEST"

    Does your truck have seatbelts for 6 people while carrying an entire bedroom set protected from the elements thru 2 feet of snow? Does it sound like a porsche? Is your dealers service department full of boneheads? ( I've got it all;-> )
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Member Posts: 4,085
    I do not intend to 'bash'.. just state facts that helped sway my decesion away from Japanize trucks.
    (I owned a Nissan PU at the time)

    ==Parts are 3X to 5X more expensive than US-named
    autos. (Price out brake rotors!!)

    ==Rusts into a flintstone-mobile much faster in
    snow-country where heavy salting of the roads is
    common. (Reliability is moot point when it fails
    State inspection)
  • cthompson21cthompson21 Member Posts: 1,102
    There's no use trying to reason with spoog. He just doesn't understand. He doesn't understand the facts behind those numbers. He doesn't understand that people have personal preferences. He doesn't understand that people actually want to drive a safe vehicle. He's so brand blind that he's got that 2 year old magazine article tatooed to his chest and a Toyota emblem welded to his skull.

    But, spoog, I salute you. Just keep soldiering on there, fella. Maybe someday you can convince yourself that the almost 30K you spent on your truck was worth it.
  • spoogspoog Member Posts: 1,224
    I, offered facts. YOU offer name calling and here-say.


    I suggest in the future if you wish to be taken seriously, you respond to my factual posts with facts. Thanks.
  • spoogspoog Member Posts: 1,224
    No problem man, to each his own. If you wanted more room, and a larger bed, you made the right choice.

    I think thats great.

    What really gets me is that at least you responded to the reliability facts and did not try to excuse them.

    You made your desires clear, and concluded that with your personal results. I think thats great.
  • mahimahimahimahi Member Posts: 497
    Wow look at Nissan at the bottom! Can't lump all of the Japanese brands together. Looks like the playing field has spread out...reminds me of college football and the scholarships, of course the Noles will prevail this year anyways ;) This is what I posted on the Sport trac vs. Crew Cab tonight: Just a note usually the picture of new models make them look worse that they end up being, not so with the 2001 Frontier.

    "I just got back from the store and I'm going to
    enjoy my night alone here(girlfriend is out of
    town)smoke a Cohiba(Cuban, not one of those
    Dominican) and enjoy a glass of Chianti. On my way
    back I stopped at a Nissan dealership(not the one I bought mine at)nearby. They had two 2001's on thelot a crew cab(white) 2wd and a Desert
    Runner(black) both were SE's. It's really, really, ashame that they didn't improve the Frontier. They are so ugly, and those damn fender flares are worse than I thought about those rivets. These rivets will most certainly collect everything from
    dirt to wax to being a pain while drying the truck
    after a wash. Not to mention they were very flemsy
    on the two here. The pictures make the 'silver' on
    the inside look like brushed aluminum...not so in
    real life. They are plastic pieces, spray painted
    with a can of silver paint. You can see the plastic
    grain in them. What the hell were they thinking
    putting PLASTIC bumpers on it? Toyota does that noe
    and I heard they are changing that for 2001(I
    guess they learned their lesson). I'm sorry but
    plastic bumpers do not belong on a truck IMHO! Plus
    if that wasn't bad enough, they painted the rear
    bumper! Oh and the cloth interior...unbelieveable,
    ugly ugly patterns(checker board, you could almost
    play checkers on it), we never saw that because all
    they showed us were the leather seats. I still
    can't believe they didn't improve the rear
    seat...make it fold down. The only things I did
    like that they had were the controls for the radio
    and the new steering wheel was nice, but the
    rest...Let's just say that I'm glad I got the 2000
    model.

    It's really sad because this was Nissan's chance
    to set the mark again with a style they got the
    jump on. By the end of the model year it will be
    two years behind the rest for sure!"

    So I wanted to recommend to those shopping, try to get a 2000 model I bet it will have better resale in the future.
  • iowabigguyiowabigguy Member Posts: 552
    This Forum started out interesting but got boring real quick. I don't understand this brand loyalty thing. What do you personally have to be proud about owing a _________ (fill in your brand)???
    You didn't design the thing, you didn't build the thing and you sure as heck don't own the damn company so who really gives a _______ (fill in your choice of words here, be colorful).
    Spout all the statistics you want but I'm still happy with my choices and why do you waste your time trying to convince me and anyone else that will listen they didn't buy the best truck but rather you did. Who cares??? Get a life. All you did is pay too much for something that is becoming worth less and less every minute you own it and once you are dead and gone no one is gonna care what you paid too much for to drive when you thought you had a life. At least if you are going to go on and on about about how great your _______ (fill in your brand) is, base it on your own actual experiences and not just parrot some jaded car testers "opinion" based on beating the crap out of someone elses truck for a day or two. Real world people who pay $25 - $35K for a vehicle drive in an entirely different way. People who respect and maintain their vehicles are going to have a much lower problem rate than the average Joes (and Janes of course) who are so busy talking on their cell phones they don't know where they are let alone they were supposed to change the oil 43,000 miles ago......
  • allknowingallknowing Member Posts: 866
    Even if you maintain you vehicle well, poor designs and poor factory assembly come into play. Even with excellent maintenance, the average Nissan, Toyota, or even Ranger will have less problems, in my experience, than a Chevy. If quality is your main concern, I don't think that you can rule out the quality surveys or the various long term tests available.
  • mahimahimahimahi Member Posts: 497
    My sentiments exactly. I would like to note that you can/should feel confident of what you bought and the choices you made. But there are some here who I think are in need the re-enforcement or some have 'buyer remorse' and to make themselves feel good they need to find everything wrong with the other manufactures. When I was a teenager I was 'brand loyal' but not anymore. I think they all 'suck' the same, it's luck of the draw. So for me reliability really wasn't a factor when I was shopping, well that's not true it just wasn't a huge factor. My factors were: Pick up(had to tow), style(4-doors, this is what narrowed the brands), options, price(not as big since I was leasing) and then reliability. But I didn't look at the magazines at all while shopping rather, I asked people that I knew that owned the certain brands of vehicles I was shopping and I followed along here. I really don't care for what magazines say, they drive a vehicle once... while it's new, plus with trucks the authors are always concerned with the comparisons to cars. The only mags I read were boat mags that towed and went offroad with them. But if you test drive one for the weekend or even a day you can judge the truck the same as one of those authors do.
  • cthompson21cthompson21 Member Posts: 1,102
    It sounds kinda sad (but true) when you put it that way.

    I can't say that I dislike any of the trucks in this forum (well, maybe the Isuzu Hombre, the truck's name is really lame). Each just offers a different mix of attributes that I assign my own personal values to.
  • mahimahimahimahi Member Posts: 497
    But even in those long term test the authors aren't consistent. In most of them there is at least three or four different people sharing the vehicles. Plus if you didn't pick the vehicle yourself it's extremely easy to 'pick' it a part...kind of like we do here with each other's vehicles.
    IMHO, most of the problems with vehicles isn't really the design of the manufacture(brand) but rather the supplier of parts, electrical components, gaskets and yes tires and so on.

    You might be right, in fact as you stated it was your experience that you might have better luck with those other brands than with a chevy. I had excellent luck with my '87 Z-24 while guys with their cavs J2000's and olds were dropping like flies with their trannies. My '94 s-10 ss lost it's tranny at 43K miles...I think it comes down to luck of the draw. Granted you might say that with certain brands the odds are more in your favor...you'd be right. But I don't believe that there is as great of margin as there once was. For me I feel that dodge needs a few more years of better reliability for my confidence in them to be high enough to buy one.
  • mahimahimahimahi Member Posts: 497
    I told you this topic would take off.. :)
  • mahimahimahimahi Member Posts: 497
    Oh I wanted to tell the Frontier guys I saw that Rancho has a lift kit for the xterra. I saw it in a SUV issue. I went to their web page but it doesn't say anything about it. I would assume that it would fit a Frontier????
  • iowabigguyiowabigguy Member Posts: 552
    This Forum started out interesting but got boring real quick. I don't understand this brand loyalty thing. What do you personally have to be proud about owing a _________ (fill in your brand)???
    You didn't design the thing, you didn't build the thing and you sure as heck don't own the damn company so who really gives a _______ (fill in your choice of words here, be colorful).
    Spout all the statistics you want but I'm still happy with my choices and why do you waste your time trying to convince me and anyone else that will listen they didn't buy the best truck but rather you did. Who cares??? Get a life. All you did is pay too much for something that is becoming worth less and less every minute you own it and once you are dead and gone no one is gonna care what you paid too much for to drive when you thought you had a life. At least if you are going to go on and on about about how great your _______ (fill in your brand) is, base it on your own actual experiences and not just parrot some jaded car testers "opinion" based on beating the crap out of someone elses truck for a day or two. Real world people who pay $25 - $35K for a vehicle drive in an entirely different way. People who respect and maintain their vehicles are going to have a much lower problem rate than the average Joes (and Janes of course) who are so busy talking on their cell phones they don't know where they are let alone they were supposed to change the oil 43,000 miles ago......
  • cthompson21cthompson21 Member Posts: 1,102
    Hey, you were right. What kind of mods do you guys do to those Nissans?
  • mahimahimahimahi Member Posts: 497
    There actually is quite a bit that's where I was just now surfing the 72 sites that offered acc. for the Frontier. Mostly the acc. are racks, brush guards(which match the alum. look of the stock bars)exhust syst., tons of mats and so forth.
    I have a K&N filter on order right now. I've had one of those for my past three vehicles, I don't really get it for the performance(I don't know if it really helps, I think it's in my head) but rather for the durability and it's filteration. I think I'm going to order those mats by husky well, they're more like trays.
    I'm kind of skeptical of doing anything because I leased...so I'd have to re-modify(whenI turned it in) it if I did anything. I would like to add bigger tires but another thing would be throwing off my towing because I certainly wouldn't swap out gears on the 'leased' truck ;)

    I'm looking at definately getting a bed extender though - I hated them when I bought my truck now I like them!
  • spoogspoog Member Posts: 1,224
    " How cares about statistics"


    Well, for starters, people shopping for a new vehicle certainly do.

    And I think it's pretty darn important that people are aware of the saftey recalls and defects on their vehicles.

    Stastics are the ONE Thing that can be FACT about a vehicle.

    how a vehicle looks, and how the seats feel to you is pure;y subjective, and can;t really be discussed.

    But offroad performance, on road performance, reliability, ground clearance, crash records, and such CAN be labeled as fact, and are therefore worth discussing.

    Sorry BiggIowa guy. When Spoog enters a room, Heresay and myth-telling exits out the door.
  • mpruittmpruitt Member Posts: 18
    Looks like "Iowabigguy" finally figured out what that POST button was for. One time, Iowadude.

    Didn't I arrive at this site through the Edmund's MAZDA site? Is it available through the other small truck sites?

    Does anyone own a MAZDA out there? I have a new B3000, 5-sp, 4 door, and as this is the first domestic vehicle I've owned in a number of years, if this is what the USA makes available with "good build quality," there's no debate on the title of this topic...Japan (and maybe Europe) rule. Damn. I got it now.
  • wilcoxwilcox Member Posts: 584
    site? There's a lot of baloney here....Where's the Consumers Reports stuff, testimonials, and the like...??
  • barlitzbarlitz Member Posts: 752
    I do not believe spoog owns a Tacoma trd,But for curiosity sake how much does a trd Tacoma cost.I would rather buy a 4x4 offroad Ranger and with the 1000's of dollars saved over the trd you could add a lift kit,off road tires and any other option's you may need for offroading and still be ahead.And still be happy you bought a solid American made truck and your money was being pumped back into the American economy and not back to Japan.
  • bookittybookitty Member Posts: 1,303
    Rick, I was going to explain the difference between the manure from the Iowa State Fair and Statistics, but I'm not certain that they are one in the same. Gee I love my Dakota Quad, and my previous Dakota Club Cab as well. Rick, if you spread forum manure, be careful to step back, so that you are not injured by vigorous growth. I love what you had to say regarding "statistics." Hillary and Bill use "statistics", Heck! They actually manufacture them.

    Bookitty
  • goobagooba Member Posts: 391
    You said:
    But offroad performance, on road performance,
    reliability, ground clearance, crash records, and
    such CAN be labeled as fact, and are therefore
    worth discussing.

    Sorry BiggIowa guy. When Spoog enters a room,
    Heresay and myth-telling exits out the door.

    On and off road performance can also be subjective and not entirely based on fact.It is worth discussing but there are no FACTS.Heresay stays in your words.
  • cthompson21cthompson21 Member Posts: 1,102
    Yeah, I guess it would be expensive to do mods to a leased truck. You've got the initial cost, and then you've got a possibly useless part when you turn the truck in. And, you might have to pay to have it put back to stock.

    If I were leasing a truck, I'd still at least replace the stocker muffler. For about $50, you'll get a nice tone, some extra ponies, and maybe a mpg or two. It would be a cheap (and easy) part to swap out and swap back in. Maybe the dealer wouldn't mind if you just left it in?

    Well, I dunno. I've never leased before. I'd consider it for a daily driver type of car for my wife. We'll see in about 5yrs from now...
  • spoogspoog Member Posts: 1,224
    "site? There's a lot of baloney here....Where's
    the Consumers Reports stuff, testimonials, and the
    like...??"


    Those stats were from the National Highway Saftey Institute which is a GOVERNMENT source that Consumer Reports even uses. Several magazines use them as a reliability source.

    The Jd powers link I posted is a FIVE year long term reliability study which FAR surpasses any testimonials.


    You don't get to the bottom of the truth any faster than driving a vehicle around for five years and reporting problems. I'll take this sort of info any day over some dude who just drove his truck off the lot and feels its "reliable".


    As for Consumer Reports, the Tacoma is rated well ahead of any other compact pickup truck in reliability.

    You want testimonials? Check out the Edmunds long term ford Ranger test. HEres a [email protected]:

    " The Ranger rattles like a diamondback offroad".
  • spoogspoog Member Posts: 1,224
    "I do not believe spoog owns a Tacoma trd,But for
    curiosity sake how much does a trd Tacoma cost.I
    would rather buy a 4x4 offroad Ranger and with the
    1000's of dollars saved over the trd you could add
    a lift kit,off road tires and any other option's
    you may need for offroading and still be ahead."



    Not really. You would still be driving a vehicle that AT ITS CORE was not designed to be an offroader. Sort of like building too weak of a foundation for your home.

    You COULD have done this with the older Rangers, as they are much better offroaders than the current stock.

    4wheeler-

    " The Ranger suspension sacrifices offroad ability for highway performance"


    \\And
    still be happy you bought a solid American made
    truck and your money was being pumped back into the
    American economy and not back to Japan\\



    Hmm..last time I checked, Ford fired hundreds of Amercian workers and moved plants to Mexico and Canada so they could save a buck on cheaper wages. Sort of like trying to cover up the "exploding tires" scandal.

    On the other hand, toyota has opened two new plants in America, hiring the workers Ford laid off.

    So, we have Ford firing American workers and heading to MExico, and Toyota coming to America and HIRING Amercian workers.

    Hmmm....which is more " amercian" to you?
  • xena1axena1a Member Posts: 286
    Yea, I had a '99 Mazda B3000 4WD 5-speed ex-cab with 4 doors. I just traded it in on a '00 Dakota 4WD 4.7L 5-speed reg-cab. My main complaint about the Mazda was that for extended road trips, it was both underpowered and noisy. Not a good truck for long trips. I had it for 13 months and did not have any trouble with it. However, it did feel like it was beginning to "loosen up" at bit. Started to develop some squeaks and rattles. That was a bit disconcerting. I've been very happy with the Dakota so far. One interesting note - the weekly fuel cost difference between the two trucks has averaged about 5 dollars. That's not nearly as bad as I thought it would be. The main reason being that I had to run premium in the Mazda because of severe pinging with lower octane fuel. Shoot, for an extra 5 bucks a week, I'll drive a V8 and just keep smiling!
  • xena1axena1a Member Posts: 286
    I read, with interest, your impressions of the 2001 Frontier. I appreciate your candor...
  • mahimahimahimahi Member Posts: 497
    wilcox,
    There's tons of testimonials in here from ford, nissan and dodge. The only two I actually haven't seen any from are the GM's and none from the Toyota group(even though there's a ton of them in here). I know all of us have posts our testimonials on our other topics too.

    barlitz,
    Now I understand that everyone is entitled to their opinion but I'm not sure I agree that building off of the Ranger platform as being ahead of the game. Unless you're talking about your liking the styling and power better, maybe. But as making a better platform or offroad vehicle I disagree. The 'platform' itself isn't up to par with the Nissan or Toyota. As spoog notes "it's core" isn't as strong as the other brands(the frame on the Nissan and Toyota are box frames the whole length which are much stiffer). Now I'm not saying that the Ranger is a bad platform or even a bad 4x4 just that building it's suspension isn't going to make you ahead of the 'game'. You can't just wash the truck and not the wheels, right? The job really wouldn't stop there.

    Something else to think about to in reference to you comment of keeping the money in the US by buying 'American'. Where do you think the money goes when you buy foreign? Not all of it goes back there, Nissan and Toyota is made here by US workers. The companies have to pay land taxes(like the rest of us) sales taxes not to mention providing jobs to US workers. Your point here is like 1970's thinking(the Nissan truck has been made here in the US since 1983).

    ON A SIDE NOTE
    The thing I've come to learn is that Nissan has four doors but, less overall(hp & torque combined) power than the rest, the Ranger is the safest but, it's reliability may not be up with the others, the Toyota is the best offroader but, is the unsafest of the bunch...the Dakota well, the Dakota is in class all by itself.
  • vmanvman Member Posts: 103
    So, let's recap:

    I'm supposed to drop 30k on a 4x4 TRUCK that won't spend much time off-road, because it costs 30k, drive it like a race car on-road, and then complain when it doesn't last as long as I think it should. What am I missing here?

    "Best" is still a matter of opinion, no matter how many facts and figures one produces.

    If you have a truck that has as little as one recall or problem over it's life, the whole manufacturer and product line are terrible and no one should consider them.

    If I don't like a particular vehicle based on someone else's perception, no one else could possibly like it.

    Someone is actually naive enough to think they are ever really "safe" driving a 2 ton piece of steel at 80 mph.



    Historically, I get bored with a vehicle after 3-4 years. Why should I care about long term reliability? Get the vehicle you like, get a warranty, and hope for the best.

    For the record, I owned a 95 Dakota C/C with the "piece of junk" 3.9 V6. It was so horrible and unreliable, that it only lasted 60,000 with no mechanical failures WHATSOEVER. Oh, the cat and A/C were fixed under warranty, my mistake.

    The level of immaturity of some of you folks is astounding. Can you not accept that there are good and bad sides to just about every automobile? Some will be good, some won't. What's the difference? The worst vehicle I've had so far was an '87 Nissan Hardbody V6. Remember, 87-92 were their golden years for Nissan trucks. I dumped that load with 40k on the clock, yet I work with a guy that has the same thing with over 200k on it. The best was an '89 Mazda B2200. Was it trouble free? No, but I still clocked 100k (a tough 100k) on it, and my nephew still drives it. Most recently, I bought a 2000 Dakota QC. Is it the best truck in the world? I don't know, but it was the best vehicle FOR MY FAMILY'S needs at the time, at a price I was willing to pay. I even ended up with the dreaded 3.9 V6 again (for various reasons). Can it whoop a Toyota/Ford/Nissan/Chevy? Who cares? For $300, though, I added some minor performance enhancements and am quite pleased with it. The money I didn't have to spend on the next "best" thing will cover quite a few repairs if I keep it over warranty.

    Finally, I will say this. At least the Dakota owners can hold civilized, intelligent discussions without bashing everybody else. The Dakota owner's group is about the best conference on this site for that reason.
  • scape2scape2 Member Posts: 4,124
    Spoog, at it again. All those links were picked apart in the Ranger vs Tacoma room, I didn't keep any of my links and comments and questions that you couldn't answer about those reviews and comparisons. Anyone who takes the time to read these thourougly will see the inconsistencies. Like the 98 comparison of the TRD to the offroad Ranger, my god man, look at the price difference for one! along with they DID NOT use an offroad RAnger!! All the TSB's, quite a few are duplicates, or for stickers, or labeling, or for certain lot numbers of Rangers.. I can go on and on about your links but anyone who reads them will see right through them..
    The TRD package is a joke. The locker can only be used under 5mph and in 4 low at that!! Otherwise the rear axle of ALL TOYOTA trucks are OPEN [email protected][email protected] OPEN, OPEN, OPEN..
  • cthompson21cthompson21 Member Posts: 1,102
    While I do agree somewhat with the point of your post, when you say:

    "At least the Dakota owners can hold civilized, intelligent discussions without bashing everybody else."

    And in the process having critisized just about everyone on this board in one way or another. Don't you think this might be a case of the pot calling the kettle black?
  • mahimahimahimahi Member Posts: 497
    vman,
    You take from this topic what you want...but there are going to be people locking horns when these different brands are compared against each other. The reason for your Dakota topic to be civilized it's all Dakota owners of course it will be. But you go to a comparison topic there's going to be some clashes. Some of the clashes have carried over from other topics on to this one. But since "best" is opinion isn't that what everybody here is doing? Including you, even if you do call people names...which I noticed you directed generally. I agree with cthompson21, sounds like the pot calling the kettle black.
  • vmanvman Member Posts: 103
    Yeah, whatever!
  • xena1axena1a Member Posts: 286
    Come on Vman. This is a debate. It's the War of the Compact Trucks!!! I am a new Dakota owner and I certainly don't consider those Dakota topics to be the "best" as you state. Granted, they are informative. However, they don't have nearly the entertainment value that a forum, such as this, provides. Actually, I feel that this topic has thus far managed to keep things in check pretty well. If you don't agree, take a look at some of the Ranger/Tacoma, Ranger/Frontier, or Tundra/Any One Else forums. YIKES!!! Yea, they can, on occasion, get a bit over the top. But I tell you what, they are definitely entertaining...
  • scotti81scotti81 Member Posts: 15
    AM I THE ONLY PERSON IN HERE WHO OWNS A GM TRUCK. I HAVE A 97 ZR2. PLEASE TELL ME THERE ARE OTHERS!!!!!!!!
  • cthompson21cthompson21 Member Posts: 1,102
    Eagle63's got an S10. I haven't seen him in here much, though.
This discussion has been closed.