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Compact Pickup Comparison: Frontier, Ranger, Tacoma, S10, Dakota, B-Series, & Hombre



  • Good to see you back too.
  • amoraamora Posts: 204
    Happy New years to all.

    Just test drove a black Tacoma-S. Ummmm, well, yes it is better than S10 Xtreme 4.3, sorry S10 lovers but this rice burner spanks big time.

    Webbd - Don't believe everything you read in Consumer's...I prefer the 25,000 mi truck tests in
    Four Wheeler mag. If lemons are evident, they will ripen by that time.

    1972 Ferrari Daytona Spyder with Chain driven camshafts, V12, 6 webers, 180 mph top speed, wooden steering wheel, wire wheels, Learjet 8 track player......also Ferrari 360 Modena is quicker to 60 (3.9 sec) than your 550 Maranello


    the Babyboomer
  • cthompson21cthompson21 Posts: 1,102
    Somebody please explain to me how a smaller displacement engine that produces less power while using the same amount of fuel (in a lighter truck too) is more efficient than a slightly larger engine that produces more power while using that same amount of fuel.

    It seems to me that quite the opposite is true that the Ford SOHC 4L is more efficient than the Toyota 3.4L. (while the 3.4L is more efficient than the OHV 4L)

    It seems to me that some people have been taken in by the car rags and their COMPLETELY, ABSOLUTELY, USELESS measure of hp/L.

    It's about as useful as tire width vs. steering wheel diamater.
  • cthompson21cthompson21 Posts: 1,102
    What exactly are "Tonka Trucks and Texas Trucks"?
  • steve234steve234 Posts: 460
    Whether you guys like it or not, the asian manufacturers do operate under separate rules. Their cars may be made in the U.S., but the corporate records are kept in the country that the manufacturer is based in. In Japan, the corporations run the country to a large extent. You have a lot more tame government administrators than in any european/NA country. It makes it harder for U.S. regulators, media and special interest groups to scrutinize the repair records. Most of these groups take the easy way out and attack the manufacturers that it is easier to get information about. Toyota, etc. does not always have to call it a recall. The may call it a special customer program or some other nonsense. Many reputable columists have made references to the Toyota problems, but without pinpoint data, they have no case they can prove. This is not saying that Toyota is producing crap or that they are not taking care of their customers. It is saying that when you compare recall records, you have to compare apples to apples and you cannot in this case.
    My personal opinion of what little advantage that the asian manufacturers have is that being relatively new to the market, they have better control of the dealers. Many of the domestic dealers are operating under francises from just before or after WWII. These give very little quality control over service departments. That is why the main importance in buying a vehicle is to find the most reliable dealership in your area.

    As far as working on vehicles, I like the ability to work on my own vehicles when I have the time. I do not like having to use special tools or being told that only a dealership can do the repairs. I see more of this with imports than american cars. Since I also have a lazy streak, I also am very careful of my choice of vehicles. All of my vehicles are carefully chosen for my demands. I can recall only one new vehicle that I have owned that did not last over 100k before I decided to get a new model. The problems with that one vehicle was a matter of bad luck, not the car.

    As for changing the clutch out. A clutch is not like a timing belt. Any decent driver can tell when a clutch needs replacement. With that logic, you would replace tires at 40k miles regardless of tread. As long as the plate and bearing are good, I will leave well enough alone.

    Oh, BTW the reason why most countries use Land Cruisers for the military is that there is no other competition other that Land Rover. The U.S. uses dedicated military vehicles. Th LC is designed to fit a limited market. A military LC is a lot cheaper than a LR or a Hummer.
  • webbdwebbd Posts: 176
    You comments about recall comparisons not being apples to apples seems plausible. This is all the more reason just to refer to Consumer Reports or J.D. Powers, firms that question the individual owners out there and then pool the information for our reading. If you abide by what these firms say, then Toyota vehicles (9 out of 14 total categories) ranked #1 according to J.D. Powers, and the Tundra, Tacoma and F-150 are the only trucks to have positive reliability according to Consumer Reports.

    For those of us who may be mechanically-challenged, having our clutches replaced or auto. transmissions rebuilt at 120K-150K makes good sense as we are not able to discern the exact moment in time that those systems are going to need replacement. We'll probably only find out in some dark parking lot on a rainy night.

    The reason foreign militaries and army groups use the Landcruiser over the Land Rover or Hummer has everything to do with reliability. Have you ever seen the repair sheet on a Hummer or a Land Rover? How about the durability of the GM engines in both of these? No one in his right mind would attempt to travel into the Sahara or the Himalayan jungle with either the Hummer or Land Rover. Neither has the off-road prowress (the hummer's too large for certain situations and is better at bobbing across the desert or being shot at, and the Land Rover is better at driving around a mall parking lot). The fact that the Landcruiser is the cheapest of the three is icing on the cake for these people.

    Four years in Air Force Intelligence, I learned that a lot of U.S. equipment is poorly built and nowhere near being the best on the market.
  • cthompson21cthompson21 Posts: 1,102
    While J.D. Powers and Consumer Reports may be able to point out very major flaws in a make/model, their data is extremely far from all-encompassing.

    They draw a random sample of owners, which comprise of only a fraction of 1% of the vehicles sold.

    Then, they rely on statistics, which I'm sure you know can be right on the money or completely wrong.
  • hmmmmm.... with all that ford torque and hp. i'm surprised the rock didn't shatter. My toyota would have probably cruised over it with my lift.. oh wait-- i would have steered around it!
  • goobagooba Posts: 391
    Four years in Air Force Intelligence, I learned that a lot of U.S. equipment is poorly built and nowhere near being the best on the market.

    Hopefully you changed fields.I have been in DOD for the past 25 years,and i can tell you that we have some of the best military equipment in the world.It has to be maintained.Your comment about the sheet on a Hummer is an indication of the units lack of preventive maintenance.True,the Hummer is a large vehicle for some situations,but,it does offer quite a few capabilities,as well as being able to stop some bullets.Bttom line is if you went to war,would you want to be in our equipment or someone else's.I say ours.
  • I find that J.D. seems to be a very biast company. Every year it seems all they do is brag about Dodge. Never have i found a dodge to be a threat to Toyota, Ford, or even Chevy. The diesel is good truck but hey, they had to put a cummins in it to make it that way. Dodge seems to have a poorly built vehicle peroid. The jeep cheroke is probably one of the biggest pieces of crap on the market and the caravan as well. Consumer Reports rated the tacoma near poorly on everthing but reliablity and owner satisfaction( which it scored perfect on the two) and their recomendation was dont buy it. Then you take the cavilier which had below average on everything near about even reliabilty and owner satisfacition and they say its a great buy. I just dont understand them.

    Sorry to here about that rock vince8. I guess instead of off-roading you should be moving houses or pulling horse trailers. with all that hp\torque you have. :) by the way i did mention my 01' problems the starter and the stabalizer bar bolt coming loose while off-roading(going around all rocks of course)
    just a little hummor vince i know how it feels its sucks and it makes you sick good luck fixing no hard feeling.

    webbed i dont exactly know if your head gasket recall dates are completely accurate. my uncles 93' was recalled for the problem also.
  • by saying threatned i mean on the four-wheel drive level.
  • webbdwebbd Posts: 176
    When I talk about Consumer Reports, I'm only referring to their reliability rankings, which is generally what I am debating when it comes to vehicles. Their testing methods and recommendations are asinine, to say the least. For example, like Madhatr880 stated, the tacoma is rated poorly in performance tests like braking, handling and ride comfort (it's a truck with a suspension designed for traversing rocks and assorted things that cars are not intended to go over), but then they turn around and say three positive things about it--it's peppy, has good ergonomics, and is extremely reliable. Two of those reasons is enough for me to recommend it, but Consumer Reports base their views on how well a vehicle coddles its passengers and so forth.

    J.D. Powers, on the other hand, sampled over 28,000 owners to get their reliability rankings. In the Presidential race, it takes only 1500 respondents to get +/- 3% accuracy on 6-8 candidates. 28,000 owners is more than enough to get an accurate picture on around 125-150 model vehicles.

    Gooba, most U.S. built military equipment like aircraft (F-15), tanks (M-1), subs (Ohio Class) and troops (Seals, Marine Recon., 82nd Airborne), are far superior to anything China, Russia, North Korea, or Iraq can field. To say that the equipment must be maintained is superfluous. All mechanical/human equipment require maintenance.

    But, when it comes to off-road vehicles, specifically 4x4 small-party vehicles, the Landcruiser is the superior 4x4 when compared to the Hummer and the Land Rover. As I stated, the Hummer is a great vehicle for being shot at as it overs good protection from assault rifle fire. It also possesses great ground clearance and can go over just about any obstacle. But if I had to be dropped in the middle of nowhere, and given the choice of the three vehicles above, I'd take the Landcruiser in a heartbeat. My life would be more important to me than my support of AM General.

    Madhatr880, the only recall issued for 1993 Toyota Trucks (according to was a "INTERIOR SYSTEMS:ACTIVE SEAT AND SHOULDER BELTS AND BELT ANCHOR," which affected 3,655 vehicles. The 1993 T100 had the 3.0L V-6, not the 3.4L V-6 that came out in 1995. This is not to say that your uncle's engine didn't have a recall on it. I have tried several recall sites, and haven't found anything yet ( and toyota), but I will keep looking. Maybe this is part of that conspiracy, which Steve234 was referring to.
  • steve234steve234 Posts: 460
    The LC is OK for most military use, but the reliability factor of military vehicles is not comparable. I was raised in the military and served 18 years. I doubt that there is any military that is more willing to let 18 year olds get out and tear up equipment as ours. If properly cared for, it is great. Our military does have a tendency to get more complex in gear than sometimes works out. Anyone that has driven a Gamma Goat understands.
    I never said that there is a conspiracy, only practical differences that keep records from being easily comparable. The lack of a recall on the head gasket is a good example. This is why the J D Powers and CR evaluations are not much good. Information based on limited data is not always reliable. Look at the Orange Bowl. The coaches poll and the writers poll had Miami #2. The BCS point system had FSU as #2. Then the odds makers had FSU favored by over 10 points against OU. FSU did not even score a single point. I have dealt with the media and government for a long time. You can make the statistics say just about anything, just pick and choose which information to base it on.
  • cthompson21cthompson21 Posts: 1,102
    The complexity and vast array of problems that a vehicle can encounter don't even remotely relate to a poll. apples to orangutangs (pardon my sp)

    There's also a huge difference on people's opinions about what constitutes reliability. It's a far cry from "who did you vote for".

    J.D. Powers might be able to identify a major and far-reaching problem in a particular model. But, beyond that it's unreliable.
  • cthompson21cthompson21 Posts: 1,102
    From what I've seen, Toyota only issues recalls for government mandated safety issues.

    They use terms, such as special service campaign, to deal with defective parts (like the head gasket problem).

    They also tend not to use the TSB system. I assume they have some other way for service departments to communicate with each other.

    Ford goes the other route, which is why the numbers aren't comparable. As far as I know, there isn't any public source for Toyota's internal information.

    But, don't misunderstand me. I'm not saying that Toyotas are unreliable or that Toyota doesn't often go out of their way to fix a problem and make the customer happy or that Toyota is practicing unfair business policies.

    I'm just saying that Toyota banks on reliability and charges a premium, which Toyota buyers are happy to pay. The public disclosure of these problems would tarnish their reputation and affect their bottom line (as it would for all manufacturers). It's just completely silly and naive to say that "Well, it's a Toyota, so it will never break."

    I find it somewhat comical (not for the owner but the responses) when someone posts a problem with a Toyota and they get responses that state "Well, that shouldn't happen." You don't see responses like that about other makes.
  • barlitzbarlitz Posts: 752
    I posted a week or so ago about an otc stock called hrct,I said rather than spend $3000 on a charger invest in this stock,if you had listened you doubled your money by now,you would have $6000.
  • scape2scape2 Posts: 4,124
    from the Toyota boys, should have known. I'm sure it would be a safe bet that the majority of you Toyota Tacoma owners have only seen a gravel road... LOL.
    Yeah, and another dumb move by another Toyota Tacoma fan... go OVER the object with your diff, real smart(tacomasrock), you can tell who offroads and who doesn't, and its not the Toyota crowd.
    I dented my bumper because I was using my truck has a truck not a race truck, not a yuppie look at me machine, a truck, something you Toyota boys don't understand. By the way, take a look at a Ranger bumper, then take a look at a Tacoma bumper. I know I faired much better with the heavier steel of the ranger's bumper. I am however having a hard time trying to find a good used one in a junk-yard. Seems as though the stepside Ranger bumpers are different than the regular box bumpers.. I may have to buy a new one.. OUCH 300 bucks!
  • webbdwebbd Posts: 176
    Well, if you take away my Consumer Reports and J.D. Powers statistical pool, then you don't leave me much discourse. I guess now the only argument which remains is do I go with the F-150 or the Silverado?

    Steve234, I only mentioned "conspiracy" in passing. I actually thought your previous comments held a lot of truth. It is hard (maybe impossible) to find recall information on certain Toyotas.

    Cthompson, I did find the phrase "special service campaign" when looking for the Toyota head gasket recall, but as there was no other information attached to it, I dismissed it. I think was the site where I saw that.

    I realize that statistics can be manipulated for almost any purpose, but without Consumer Reports and similar unbiased or un-bribed firms, we really don't have ANY numbers that we can discuss, much less manipulate. And if we have no reliable, OBJECTIVE means of debating and arguing the dependability of vehicles other than each other's personal experiences, these topics for me are going to get pretty boring.

    I know some of the posters like to rattle on and on about how well they've fared or how horrible their decisions were, but until I see undisputable proof, I'm am left feeling suspicious, to say the least.

    Am I alone here on this?
  • obyoneobyone Posts: 8,054
    years ago...I would have owned a Packard Bell computer....a real work of art. I've seen their reviews on computers, a/c units, freezers and I got to say....I wouldn't buy another issue ever again. But I will the totally uninformed, CR may be a good place to start.
  • The opinions of the J.D. Powers surveys and Consumer Reports seem to have much greater significance when they say something favorable about Ford or Chevy. Otherwise I guess they're unreliable.
  • steve234steve234 Posts: 460
    In our lives we are barraged by information, reliable and not. We therefore must make decisions based on what we know, what we feel and what we need. We will occassionally take a few hard lumps. How we react to the bad experiences is the key. I have never met a chevy that did not give me grief, but many people have loved them. This does not make GM good or bad. It and all other vehicles are mechnaical devices that may fail. Too often, it is a matter of luck.
  • scape2scape2 Posts: 4,124
    at the Ranger vs Tacoma room. There is a 1.5 difference between Ford and Toyota. The perceived huge, gigantic gap that allknowing, web, tacomatrd want people to believe that exists doesn't. For the extra thousands of dollars someone will spend on any comparable Toyota model to Ford model I would think you should have absolutely no problems from EVERY Toyota for the first 100,000 miles....:-) has some past reliability data on Toyota trucks that may raise some questions.
  • eagle63eagle63 Posts: 599
    The beef I have with CR is that they're so practical. It seems like the only vehicles they like are compact, fuel effecient, inexpensive cars. I feel like they have a bias against any truck or SUV. (especially suv's) anybody else get this impression, or is it just me?

    the problem with those little otc bulletin board stocks is that the spread is a mile wide! good call, although I'm assuming the only reason it bounced was the interest rate cut...
  • Vince, just kidding dude! My whole point was to say there are a lot of decaf's on the market and their all just as tasty in their own way. Anyone on this site can twist any stat around they want. I still prefer Taco's and you'll still prefer Ranger's. It's totally a personal thing. (btw the 100,000 mile arguments are bs cuz its all in how you get the car to 100 grand---I'm hard on cars) History and old stats are not the final word in the way of a "quality" truck since the name of the game is Innovation. Everyone is trying to out think everyone else and frankly some ideas suck and some model years suffer, and they might fix it next year or not. Who knows.

    Any-who-- Vince I'll hit the trail with you. Give me a couple months to get the new truck broke in (300 miles on it now)-- I wouldn't take a brand new Ranger on a tough trail either.

    PS-- I had to get rid of 97 Tacoma for the 2001, because of a trail accident in the Sawtooth's. I folded my front right tire under. Next time I'll use my standard equipment Toyota helicopter blades to get out! JD Power's rave about 'em!
  • webbdwebbd Posts: 176
    I guess if the J.D. Powers study had ranked Ford 4th, instead of 21st with 443 problems per 100 vehicles, and ranked Toyota 21st, instead of 4th with 299 problems per 100 vehicles, then that "1.5 difference" would be turned into an accurate difference with the loser and winner clearly identified. It might have read something like this: "There are 148% more problems per 100 vehicles for Toyota than for Ford (443/299)."

    Anyway, lousy statistics aside, do you guys have any advice for an individual looking to trade in for a full size American truck? I am considering either the F-150 or the Silverado 1500. Now, mind you, I know nothing about trucks, and I have no access to reliable, impartial information or statistics. In your opinions, which truck should I go with? I also heard that neither truck is 100% assembled here in the U.S. Does this mean that the truck is somewhat foreign? I hope not. I've been braggin' to all my buddies that I was gonna have a 100% Made-In-America truck.
  • eagle63eagle63 Posts: 599
    I'd go with the F150. I'm shopping for one myself. the silverado is a good truck too, but to me the F150 "feels" higher quality. I'm not quite ready to trust a GM product yet.

    yeah these guys are in it for the looks.

    I've got tons of more links if needed-
    i'm sure you've got the ranger ones bookmarked too-so don't send them-- notice there's even a 4wd toyota tercel decked out! If you've got some offroad festiva pix hook me up.
  • cthompson21cthompson21 Posts: 1,102
    I think you are completely missing the point.

    CR, JD Powers, etc... use sampling and statistical methods to determine a vehicle's reliability (whatever their definition may be, which seems to vary greatly among owners). If someone takes this information as gospel whether for or against any make/model, I think they are quite foolish.

    If you'll open your eyes, you'll see that no one (not even Vince) has even disputed that, on average, a Tacoma will have fewer problems than a Ranger.
  • webbdwebbd Posts: 176
    Cthompson, Vince on many occasions has disputed the Toyota owners' claim to higher reliability by reciting the story of how he owns a ranger that did so many miles while his neighbor across the street has a TRD Tacoma and has had this problem or that problem. He also narrows the "perceived" gap, as he refers to the discrepancies between Toyota and Ford in the statistics from CR or J.D., with his own unique brand of mathematics that do make it appear as if one should save the extra money and just by the cheaper Ford.

    How is it that the statistics (CR, J.D. Powers, Auto magazines, etc) are not totally trustworthy, yet, there IS a consensus, according to you, among all the owners here, domestic and import, that, on average, a Tacoma will have better reliability than a Ranger?

    From what source are those who agree upon this matter getting their information? Maybe it's like Eagle63 pointed out when I asked about opinions on full size trucks--maybe the Tacoma, to those who've owned or even test-driven one, just "feels" higher in quality.

    Eagle63, thanks for the opinion, but I was just being sarcastic and trying to make a point about those who are ignorant or unschooled on the matter of automobiles who come to Edmunds looking for objective advice.
  • barlitzbarlitz Posts: 752
    Its up 29% today,I know its a risk but this company has a lot going for it,We'll see what happens but I will post about it every once in awhile.
    Webbd,the closest you'll get to 100% american is the Saturn and thats something like 95% made in America.
This discussion has been closed.