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Best Compact PU - Toyota, Nissan, Chevy, Ford?



  • DanGDanG Posts: 1
    Has anyone out there driven the new 98 Ranger? It seems to have basically the Explorer front suspension and supposedly drives well.

    I can't say I love the new grille but overall styling is good. Current customer incentives are $1K off for a 4X2. How do you get a dealer to order the exact truck you want--in my case, a LWB regular cab w/3.0L V6 and standard tranny--while still getting the incentives? My local dealer says you gotta take what they got on the lot.

    I tried Autobytel a couple of weeks ago. Can't say I'm too impressed so far. Any advice would be appreciated.
  • rite3rite3 Posts: 69
    Toyota means alot of things to me but mostly it means resale value. I bought my 1990 extracab v6 4x4 5 years ago, it had 37k on it and I paid 10500 bucks for it. I am in the full size hunt now, because my needs have changed and I need more room. I have researched the value of my truck in the real world for months. I will ask 10k for it, and with 80k miles on the truck I am sure I'll get close to that for it. Buy the toyotas.
  • RoclesRocles Posts: 985

    You are nuts! If any idiot pays 10k for your old TOY than I will surely kiss your rear-end. Get real. You wouldn't get close here in Delaware. MAYBE In California but then again, the people out there are different.
  • rite3rite3 Posts: 69
    Rocles, Well your right I dont live in Delaware, as a matter of fact I dont even know where Deleware is. Just kidding, I remember your state from history class. I live in Washington ST in the north west and around here the v6 4x4's like mine go for 8k to as much as 13k. I know that may seem a little steep, But our market here is honestly that steep. Dont take my word for it, check out and see for yourself. Oh yeah, I am a little nuts, you have to be to want to spend over 30k on a truck.
  • jdwojdwo Posts: 1
    Dan, I've been checking into several vehicles lately and found that AutobyTel will give me 500 over dealer invoice and they will order the truck like I want it (Toy4x4v6xcab5spd). Look around. Even if you must drive a little ways to find a cooperative AutobyTel or dealership in which he/she works, do it.
  • dssdss Posts: 1
    Just bought a Toyota Tacoma, 4WD x-cab because my last one was destroyed in a 50 mph broadside collision in which I sustained no injury .. built like a tank, 105K miles and looked like it was just off the show room floor before we got hit ... I looked at the others, but came back to Toyota; although a little high, if this one's as sturdy and the last one, it'll be worth it. Now, I have to decide if the $900 extra warranty plan is worth the price???? anybody got any ideas on that??
  • BrutusBrutus Posts: 1,113
    If you're looking into a warranty, you might check out the FWI conference. I personally am not a big fan of extended warranties, but I read some things in that area that were interesting. It sounds like you can get more coverage for longer periods for less money from companies like Warranty Gold and their competitors than you can get from the manufacter. One plan will refund you 85% of your premium at the end of your warranty if you never use it. I think they also have payment plans. It's probably worth taking a look in that conference if you're considering an extended warranty.
  • wantaf150wantaf150 Posts: 19
    I would not get the warranty- especially on a Tacoma. Although I'm more of a Ford Ranger fan, the Tacoma is a great truck and a warranty on it ($900 out of your pocket) would be a waste of your hard-earned moola.
  • thor_0thor_0 Posts: 1
    I like toyota trucks
  • BrutusBrutus Posts: 1,113
    In topic #5, "goofyfoot73" referenced an article in Motortrend Magazine that compared the Ford Ranger Splash, the dodge Dakota, the Tacoma, and the Sonoma. The article can be found at the Motortrend site at When the first page pops up, scroll through the articles and select "Sports Truck for the Buck".

    The criteria for the test was a V-6 Extended Cab. This eliminated the Nissan Frontier and the S-10. The S-10 was replaced by the Sonoma. The Ranger covered the Mazda and Ford. The Dakota and Sonoma were both EPA classified as midsize pickups, while the Ranger and Tacoma were classified as small pickups.

    Although the testers set the criteria as a V-6, they tested the Dakota with the V-8 and it appears to have been the 5.9L V-8. Needless to say, the Dakota won hands down. The other three trucks scored fairly similiar overall. The Dakota was also $3,000-$6,000 more expensive than the competition when equiped with similar equipment (sport truck price identified by Motortrend).

    Based on the article, if I were in the market for one of these four trucks, I'd buy the Dakota. Then again, I'm a full size truck person. Testing a pricier, midsize V-8 against a more economical, small size V-6 seems a little odd. Still, the article is worth the read for anyone interested in buying a less-than-fullsize pickup.
  • toymantoyman Posts: 4
    As you can tell, I'm a toyota fan. I'm currently on my second truck and have 171K on my '85 model. I'm going to buy a new truck because I now need an extended cab.

    Although, I'm a Toy fan, I will probably buy a Dodge Dakota. I do feel the toyota is more reliable but the dodge seems to be built better (body is more sturdy), rides better, has more room, and I can probably get the v6 for the same price I would pay for the 4 cyl tacoma ext. cab.

    I agree the toyotas have the reliability and resale value locked up. I'm just willing to take my chances on a dodge.

    Any comments on the new dodge would be appreciated.
  • Edmunds has an excellent article, chocked full of info regarding compact pickup trucks. You might want to check it out in addition to reading each others comments...

    Here's a hot link you can click on to take you there:

    1998 Compact Pickup Truck Shootout
  • If your search goes beyond simply "Ford vs GM" you can find lots of other Road Tests here:
    Other Truck Road Tests

    Check 'em out.
  • iceman2241iceman2241 Posts: 1
    I recently purchased a V-6 Extended Cab 4x4 automatic...and I flat love it....I researched a total of 2 months and discovered that vehicles vary in their ability to hold their value and that careful consideration would need to be taken. The largest consideration in a vehicle is it reliability, cost, and lastly the supply and demand of that vehicle in the market. It was extremely hard to find used Toyota trucks in the market. It was also hard to locate new 4x4 V-6 Ext Cabs with the SR5 Packages with CD and the I was patient and found the truck...THE 1998 V-6 4x4 Automatic Toyota...if you can find it! "Your gonna flat love it" I guarantee it!
  • bhohstabhohsta Posts: 3
    There is no shortage of used Toyota Pickups around here, but are they really so much better that they are worth the 10-20% higher cost than the other makes?
  • bhohstabhohsta Posts: 3
    How about some feeback on the 98 Nissan Frontier? I mean something more than "don't buy it because it is ugly." Also the 4 cylinder now has 154 horses, which is plenty for my needs. I am thinking seriously of buying one because right now they are going for 2000 less than invoice! Any Nissan owners out there?
  • lwflwf Posts: 223
    I used to be. If you look again, you'll find that it's 143, not 154 HP. But if you drive one, it'll feel more like 103 HP. In my opinion it's grossly under powered, and every review of it I've read says the same thing. I had an '87 Nissan V6 pickup, and I liked it so much I thought I'd be buying Nissan pickups for the rest of my life. Then I test drove the '98 Frontier. It's no coincidence they use dogs in their ads. It is one. It's also no coincidence they're giving large rebates. No one wants them, and Nissan knows that so they have to drop the price to unload them. I ended up buying an American-made truck, but the advice from this ex-Nissan pickup enthusiast is to buy anything but a Frontier.
  • bhohstabhohsta Posts: 3
    Yeah the Frontier is no hot rod, but then I was looking for a mountain goat, not a race horse. You were right about the HP, 143. I got it mixed up with the torque, 154. And in 4L, that motor works fine, and I do spend time in 4L. And it cruises the freeway at 70-80 no problem. And its a really nice truck other than the motor. Great seats, standard includes Air and a good stereo, cloth buckets, dual airbags you can turn off, nice trim. I know all this because I bought one today, an xcab for $3900 below sticker. I immediately took it for an off road test, and it was real sturdy (I have owned 4 different 4 wd's) and plenty torquey enough. Anyway, as you said, you liked Nissans great execept for the engine in the Frontier, so for someone who isn't offended by the 4 cylinder, its a great deal.
  • danz28danz28 Posts: 19
    When will GM and Ford put some REAL horses in their compact regular cab pickups.

    1. Ford/Mazda base engine - 2.5L SOHC 117 HP
    2, Chevy/GMC/Isuzu base engine - 2.2L OHV 120hp
    3. Nissan Frontier - 2.4L DOHC 143hp
    4. Toyota Tacoma - 2.4L DOHC 142hp

    GM could easily put the 2.4L DOHC found in upscale Cavaliers/Sunfires rated at 150hp and blow the competition away! Ford builds an excellent truck but they lack any real power.

    As for V6s, for the price you pay for these options you could get a nice full size pickup.
  • lwflwf Posts: 223
    The best of luck with it bhohsta. I'm sure it will serve you well. Mine did for close to 11 years and almost 140,000 miles and one of my kids took it over (a couple of months ago) and it still has no problems. It has the original clutch too. Sorry for venting like that, but I thought Nissan really screwed up by dropping the six cylinder a couple of years ago. Why couldn't they leave well enough alone or at least make up for it by bringing back the six when they introduced the new (Fontier) body style? There was an article in the news a couple of months ago that three vice presidents of Nissan here in the States got fired because of the Frontier and Altima blunders, so it's clear I'm not the only one who was upset about that.

    And to danz28, I completely agree with your statement regarding the V6 option in these pickups, and I've been waiting for someone else to say it. I had mentioned in another topic that I had picked out a V6 XLT Ranger for myself, but it was only $1500 less than an F150 with what I considered to have superior options, so I got the F150. It was well worth the slightly extra cost.

    You also mentioned that you didn't care for the low-powered 4-cylinder engines in Ford and GM PUs.
    I also consider the GM and Ford fours to be relics from what should be the long-forgotten past. But I just don't understand why anyone would buy a four-cylinder pickup anyway, so it doesn't seem all that important for them to upgrade them to current engine designs. I do think, however, that Dodge, Ford and GMC should all offer a V6 with DOHC. Since this technology seems to have been proven over and over, it's kind of hard to understand why we still have push rods in those pickup engines.
This discussion has been closed.