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Pickup Trucks for Women (Experiences/Opinions)



  • mtngalmtngal Posts: 1,911
    This is just my personal opinion - yours may be totally different. But I wouldn't choose either one. I don't like the styling of the new Nissan Frontier, even though I used to own a '88 Nissan Hardbody that I finally sold in 2000, with 290,000 miles on the original engine. The only reason I sold it was that the 4 banger with an auto didn't like my new home in the mountains - I burned out 2 trannys in a year. We looked at the new one and didn't like it.

    I ended up buying a 2000 Tacoma ext. cab and I hate it. The seats are very uncomfortable if you drive for more than an hour (my daily commute is an hour and a half). Now, having said that, it has gone 63,000 miles in 19 months with only two problems - a tranny problem that disappeared and a weird radiator problem, radiator replaced under the extended warranty. It gets 28 mpg on my mostly highway commute, and the 5 speed coupled with a 4 banger has enough oomph to get up steep freeway grades faster than many cars - I can usually keep it at 70 mph if I downshift to 4th, while many other cars can only do 50. It handles nicely around 75. And as soon as I can afford to (it is depreciating faster than I can pay it off) I will get rid of it.

    At the moment I'm really undecided what to replace it with (since I can't afford to dump it yet, I'm still thinking about it). I'm thinking of a FordRanger/Mazda pickup, a full sized pickup or a Forester (a 4x4 would mean that I wouldn't have to drive my now getting elderly Wrangler in the winter just to get out of my driveway - I can keep it for just weekend wheeling).
  • 007spv007spv Posts: 3
    I am the proud owner of a 2000 F-250 Super Duty, 4x4,ORP,Lariat,V-10, SC,LB. I LOVE this truck! As a matter of fact, as long as Ford makes them, that is ALL I will ever own!
  • mtngalmtngal Posts: 1,911
    Sounds like a great truck! What's your gas mileage? I've always wondered what the V-10 really gets.

    Out of curiosity, why did you choose the V-10 over the diesel? I've been thinking of getting a 3/4 ton truck, but was thinking more in terms of the diesel. What made you choose the V-10 over the diesel?
  • cspauldingcspaulding Posts: 159
    an '02 F250 Crew, lariat package, diesel. Almost 20 mpg. of the lot with 50 miles on it...should just get better from here on out. Owned 2 weeks, put 1500 miles on, some pulling last weekend (load of hay - 120 miles) - wonderful!
  • wpalkowskiwpalkowski Posts: 493
    '01, F350 XLT, CC, LWB, 4x4, Auto, V10. 3.73 ls rear end. 11-12.5 mpg highway, ~10 mpg city, towing (~9500 lbs) 7-8 mpg. All time best ~15 mpg but not very often. Not my daily driver, but it's so powerful and I find it so much fun to drive that I make up a lot of excuses to user the truck when car would suffice.
    I don' t tow all the time, don't like diesel exhaust, or fuel odor, didn't want to worry about extra diesel maintenance, and I'd have to own the truck about 20 years before I have enough miles on it to ammortize the $4k price difference of the PS diesel. So, for me the V10 was hands down choice. It was a $35K truck, I didn't buy it for the mileage.
  • KCRamKCRam Mt. Arlington NJPosts: 3,516
    the current issue (Sept/Oct 2002) of Truck Trend has a nice article about women and their pickups. It features a very good friend of mine (Andi Vogt, although the article misspelled her last name) and her Cummins-powered Ram 2500.



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  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    A few comments about the Dodge Dakota.

    The 3.9L V6 EPA is 16 city, 21 highway with the standard 4-speed automatic transmission.

    The 4.7L V8 (287cid) in the 6010 GVW Club Cab with 5-speed automatic transmission is 15 city, 20 highway EPA.

    The EPA ratings are derived from a fixed driving cycle test that's used to judge all measured vehicles. The reason why the small difference in EPA ratings between the V6 and 4.7 V8 in the Dakota is in part due to the newer designed 545RFE, 5-speed transmission. It is more reactive and effective thereby providing increased performance and gas mileage.

    Also, you will note across the manufacturers of trucks that there is not a great difference of gas mileage between various power plants in the same truck. The manufacturer's of trucks assume that the person who bought one will be using it for it's intended capabilities. To ensure that the vehicle can perform adequately under load the engine/drivetrains are tailored to a level of performance. For example, on a number of trucks the smaller engines get higher numberical axle ratios, which will provide more power from the weaker engine but also decrease gas mileage.

    I looked at a number of trucks the past year or so and finally ended up with a Dakota Club Cab Sport Plus. It has the 4.7L engine, 545RFE auto, 6010 GVW package (comes with the large off-road tires), and 3.55 axle ratio. My worst gas mileage -- strickly around town, lots of short trips, stop & go -- has been 15.7 mpg. The best highway has been 21.87 mpg. My to-date average is 17.6 (2900 miles). Both Tacoma and Frontier owners that I know are getting better overall, around 18-20, but I can assure you that the 4.7L V8 in a Dakota is vastly more powerful and faster than both.

    Comparatively, I, or I should say my body, found the Dakota to be the most comfortable of the mid-size and small trucks. Without having the actual dimensions in front of me, the Dakota seems roomier than a Tacoma, and even more so than the Frontier. I and my passengers have been very comfortable on long drives. My Dakota is also very quiet.

    I drove the Tacoma and I liked it. The Tacoma did not meet my fitness of purpose, however. I needed a truck that I could fit a large ATV into and the Dakota was the only one under a full-size pickup that had the width and the length with the tailgate up. I thought the Tacoma had more than enough power. I remember the seats being stiff, bellowy and a little snug. I didn't think in my test drive they were uncomfortable, but I only drove the vehicle 20 miles.

    I really would have liked to buy a Nissan truck, but the Frontier just was too small. Even the 4-door version was out of the running. They ride stiffer and are not as quiet. I've had one Nissan product and it was the best and most reliable vehicle I've ever owned ('93 Sentra). Others I've known have had the same result, car or truck.

    Reliability would not necessarily be in the Dakota's favor if based on their 19 year history. Since 1999 they have improved significantly, however. The engines are strong (albeit, torquey) and durable. Intake manifold leaking (V6 and older V8) has been fixed and has not surfaced as a problem on the new 4.7 engine. The manifold is a different design anyways. There's been some concern about automatic transmissions. However, in my personal survey of 31 Dakota owners, only one reported a transmission problem and that was a manual transmission. At a check of the three local transmission repair shops over an 11 month period, I saw only two Dakota's in for transmission repairs and they were both manuals as well. (There were lot's of S10s and Explorers, however!)

    I would bet that the Tacoma would be more reliable and the Frontier even more so. However, I don't believe that Toyota trucks have the same level of reliability as their cars. We own a Toyota Avalon and have occasion to be at the dealer's. I've noticed that the majority of service work seems to be on the trucks. In fact, I've seen two Tundra's there getting new transmissions under warranty! Brakes seem to be another problem for Tundra's, and Tacoma owners have a number of complaints as well. I have yet to discover one quality or assembly problem with my Dakota. Others that have purchase a Dakota in the past few years seem to be reporting far less problems. Of course on this subject its like rolling the dice. Our Avalon has not been a stellar vehicle and a good friend of mine who has a Tacoma has really had some major quality issues.

    Anyway, good luck with your next purchase.

  • SylviaSylvia Posts: 1,636
    One of our journalists is writing an article about women and trucks: why they love their trucks, the decisions that they have to make when purchasing a truck versus a car, and whether or not they’ve encountered discrimination or bias when buying or driving a truck. If you’d like to share your story, please respond to jhelperin@edmunds by Sunday, March 26th. Thanks!
  • KCRamKCRam Mt. Arlington NJPosts: 3,516
    Be sure and read this article on our site:
    Women Love Their Trucks

    kcram - Pickups Host
  • mtngalmtngal Posts: 1,911
    Great article! While I may have sold our last true pickup last summer, I've replaced it with another Jeep Wrangler (Jeeps are for girls, too!) and when we finally retire we'll get a diesel 3/4 ton and a trailer. A pickup and a Jeep - what more could a girl want?
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 11,042
    A reporter with a national newspaper would like to speak with professional women who for the first time are buying a fun car or truck they have been longing to own but were not able to buy before because it wasn’t practical. This vehicle purchase is a splurge. The reporter would like to speak with first time buyers of full-size trucks, convertibles, Miatas, Porsches or Jaguars. If you fit what the reporter is looking for, please email a brief description with contact information to Kirsten Holguin at as soon as possible.


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  • i am a farmer/dairyman's daughter and have drove hay trucks and pickups on the farm since i was 9 years old, i'm 44 now. let me tell you i would not be caught dead driving everything but a pickup or truck. at this time i own a red and white ford ranger xlt short bed stepside. pickups/trucks are the greatest.
  • mtngalmtngal Posts: 1,911
    As far as Wranglers go - the Unlimited with its longer wheelbase is much less bouncy than a SWB Wrangler - you might want to try one if you start getting Wrangler Fever. Even the current SWB TJ Wrangers (since '97) are much more comfortable than the older YJ (pre-1997) models

    We test drove a loaded Chevy 1/2 ton a couple of weeks ago and I didn't like the seats at all - they've made them for someone much taller than I am. I found the edge of the seat hit me below my knees, even with the seat back adjusted as upright as I could stand it. The Ford F150 was much better - I could get the seat adjusted better and the moveable pedals meant that I could stay far enough away from the air bags.
  • nevaneva Posts: 1
    I have always loved trucks!!
    15 years ago when I graduated from nursing school I was in the market for a new vehicle (I was driving a 1974 ford LTD at the time) and I wanted a truck or a SUV, my husband at the time (now ex) wante me to get a Taurus (yuck) everyone in his family had them, dependable, affodable, practicle blah, blah, blah...... well I got one much to my dismay, unfortunatley it outlasted our marriage, finally the engine blew!!!! I was so HAPPY, I could finally get my truck!!!!!
    The first one I bought was a Toyota Tundra access cab 2001 cloth seats V-8
    I-force engine thunder grey, loved it so much, we drove it to New Orleans and back up the east coast went 4WD on the Outer Banks in the Carolinas, just beautiful.
    Then last year Toyota had to mess with me and come out with the new 2004 Tundra limited 4 full sized doors, moon roof, full slide down back window, leather heated seats etc.... now its Thunder grey, I plan on having this one for a while and can't imagine driving anything but a truck, when I do get in a car I feel very uncomfortable.
    "I love big trucks & I dont know why"
  • I always loved those really old pickups when I was a kid. However, in my youth, "ladies" did not drive pickups. (I was born in 1951.) I got my first pickup in about '95 or so, after REALLY wanting one since about '87, after I wrecked my '68 'Stang... a 1983 Ranger... basic, with NO frills. It was quite a dog until I put a different engine in it. It didn't even have side windows when I bought it! I still have it, but it is not on the road at the moment, sadly. Now I drive a 1984 Bronco II, and I have to say, I love it for some things... it's 4WD and it's a stick, and my dog can ride in the back seat, without risk of jumping out, but I really miss driving my pickup. I went to college in it in the latter half of the 90's, hauling tons of art stuff around, and getting looks from everybody at traffic lights... loved it. It was great!!!
  • mel67mel67 Posts: 1
    I am also a truck owner myself. I love having a truck, I have a 1998 Dodge Dakota.It was just a plain jane with a cap on it when I bought it. I have added a lot of extras too it. I too feel safer in my truck, I am higher up and just feel better owning one. I am a single woman and I was tired of having to ask other people to borrow a truck if I needed one. I also own a camper which now I can tow myself. I have a picture of it if I could post it. I would never go back to owning a car again.
  • You women are an inspiration! I have to admit, I've been a city slicker most of my life and never even considered a truck... though looking back, perhap I should have because there were a LOT of times I had to haul stuff and had to rent or borrow. But tricks are much tougher to park in the city, of course.

    I had always been intimidated by the size, weight, and power of trucks, but today's trucks are so much easier to drive, that I'd actually enjoy it. (I liked the Frontier and the Ridgeline; haven't graduated to the big trucks yet.) Though with two young kids, it's still easier for me to do my normal errands, loading and unloading in the back with a minivan or SUV. I'd have to cap a truck in order to protect all the stuff I put in the back, and for me that kinda ruins the look of a pickup, you know?

    We recently came very close to buying a Tacoma quad cab long bed for my husband, because he hauls about 1,000 pounds of gear around for work (taking up 6 ft of space), and I wanted him to be able to carry children as well, and this was the smallest vehicle we could find that could do that job adequately. But although the Tacoma's a great truck, we still didn't feel comfortable driving it -- difficult to see where the car ended, would be really tough to park and maneuver in the city, etc. So we ended up buying him a used cargo van and getting a mid-sized SUV as well (Toyota). Now, embarassingly, we have three cars, but they all do the jobs they were designed for.
  • mtngalmtngal Posts: 1,911
    I personally don't like the seats in the Tacoma, but that's just me. My favorite pickup was a '76 Chevy - I had 2 of them at different times, and both were great trucks. I never had any problems telling where the front or the back were - I do much better with trucks than I do with cars. Though I have noticed that as the seating on full sized pickups get designed more for bigger people and get lower, I have more trouble seeing over the dash.

    I've had a shell on the last couple of pickups we've owned. There have been times when I wish I didn't have it on, for the most part I was always happy with it. It's a good way to go if you travel with a dog in the back. And it also makes a place one can sleep in a pinch.
  • What an inspiration you women are! At 57 years of age I just bought a 2005 Tacoma doublecab and would sell my house before selling this truck! I have a Golden Retriever who loves to swim and I got turned off by putting a smelly, wet Golden in the back of my SUV - plus, she did not have much room. The Tacoma (with the cap) is great for her. After she has been in the back I just have to hose it down. She now goes everywhere with me and my 88 year old mother and we both feel safer bringing our dog wherever we go (Thelma and Louise). I have to admit that I put up with a lot of "raised eyebrows" from a lot of people. People thought I was more the Lexus type - which is the one of the biggest insults I have ever experienced. Because I work in Manhattan does not mean I can't drive a pickup. Anyway, I just decided that if I can pay a mortgage, I can drive whatever I please. As a matter of fact, am shopping for a travel trailer to tow. Would appreciate any input with respect to popups, etc. It has given me a new lease on life! In researching trucks, I found out that auto manufacturers are hiring more female engineers to design trucks for the new breed of women truck drivers. Trucks are much more practical than any other vehicle and I think truck drivers drive more safely. You don't have the maneuverability to weave in and out of traffic like those annoying kids in smaller cars (getting old). Anyway, I look forward to driving every day. So glad I found this website!
  • mtngalmtngal Posts: 1,911
    Can I ever relate to the wet, muddy Golden in the back of a Tacoma - mine (who sadly passed away 2 years ago) loved hiking and playing in streams.

    The biggest thing about buying a trailer is to check the loaded weight against the vehicle's towing capacity. The old 4 banger Tacoma I had couldn't tow a full sized trailer, just one of the lighter pop-ups (some of the bigger pop-ups are not light!). I don't know if the newer (and larger) Tacomas have more towing ability. I've thought that a hard-sided pop-up might be the way to go since it has a lower profile but would stand up to the blowing sand of a windy beach. There's an A-frame hard sided pop-up trailer (made by Aliner) that intrigued me but looked in the photos like it would be a bit cramped for my husband. I'd have to see one in person - it might be fine for you.
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