Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Did you get a great deal? Let us know in the Values & Prices Paid section!
Meet your fellow owners in our Owners Clubs

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



  • 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.
  • squonksquonk Posts: 2
    Why buy a 4 cyl. pick-up? How about real life 25 mpg city/30 hwy. Most people haul air in the beds of their trucks, 120 hp is actually quite adequate for that.

    As for DOHC engines, beyond making cool sounds, I don't see that they offer any great advantage over OHV engines, especially in a low end torque desiring trucks. The are more costly to make and repair and they generally get attrocious mileage. As for proven technology, the things that GM continues to do with the pushrod 350 (in the corvette and camaro), now that's technology.
    Tell me again why we need DOHC engines in trucks?
  • danz28danz28 Posts: 19
    I still say that GM could ditch that pathetic 2.2L OHV and put in the far better 2.4L DOHC 150hp engine, just to keep up with the Toyota and Nissan.

    As for Ford, it needs another cam and about 35 more horses.

    GM should stick to their pushrod V6s and V8s (by the way the Corvette/Camaro engine is 347 cu. in. but I know what you were trying to say.)
  • lwflwf Posts: 223
    I appreciate squonk's remark about wanting good fuel economy, but I assumed most people who buy a pickup want to haul or tow something with it. If all one is going to do is "haul air in the bed or their truck", why buy a truck? Why not something like a Civic which will get even better economy?

    As for DOHC engines getting atrocious fuel mileage, I don't think that has been proven. I believe that the opposite is the case and that the 4-cylinder Toyota and Nissan will do better than the lower-powered 4-cylinder Ford and Chevy. One thing we'll have to admit about the Japanese pickups, they are not ashamed of their fuel consumption figures and publish them in their catalogs. I wish the American companies would do the same.
  • puttyputty Posts: 1
    I own an '82 Toyota longbed that I bought dirt cheap. It has been extremely reliable, but I'm thinking about getting a newer truck. 92-93 Toyotas are too expensive. My question is, will I be satisfied with the reliability of a Ranger or Nissan? I'd really like to know if there's something as good--or almost as good--as a Toyota for less money.
  • BrutusBrutus Posts: 1,113
    The new Ranger is considered a really good truck, with one exception. And it's a big exception for alot of truck owners. It's considered underpowered compared to some of the other trucks it competes with. The critics say the problem could be resolved if they offered the same engines for the Ranger as they do for the Explorers. I think I heard that the Ford V-6 is different in the two vehicles. Anyone know why they would use an inferior V-6 when they already have a replacement.
  • BrutusBrutus Posts: 1,113
    I was watching the news tonight and the insurance industry just issued crash ratings for the top five compact trucks. None of them received a "good" rating. That seems to take away some of the incentive of owning a truck.
  • enyaw24enyaw24 Posts: 1
    I used to have a '93 Nissan 4x4 with the 2.4 L 4-cylinder. It was so underpowered it took 2 days to get up to 60mph. Then, after owning it for 3 years, I've had to replace the front wheel bearings twice. I heard some pretty scary noises coming from the transfer case (at least that's where I'm guessing it was coming from) which sounded like metal rubbing against metal every revolution, whenever it was in 4WD or even if it was still in 2WD with the hubs locked. Other than that I loved it. It was an eyecatcher too with the factory polished steel wheels. It just looked better than it performed. In fact, the only vehicle I could ever beat to 60 mph was a geo metro, and it was a close one, too. (not that I drag raced the thing, I was just trying to keep up with everybody else.) However, I am convinced that the engine itself would have lasted forever. It ran like a top, just didn't move like one. I've since traded it in for a '98 Malibu with a V-6. I now feel like I can keep up with everybody, but it's not as eyecatching as my lil pickup ever was, and I bought it based on looks, not for hauling. I think if I would have started out with a Toyota 4x4, I'd probably still own it to this day, based on a lot of the postings I see.
  • timztimz Posts: 1
    Last year I bought a new Chevy S-10 LS 3 door ext cab. At the time, I also needed a vehicle that I could tow behind my RV and wanted a manual transmission to simplify that process. My only real complaint with this vehicle is a lack of power, but that is my fault. I opted for the 4 cyl motor with the 5 speed transmission. The ext cab is fairly heavy and the little four provides only marginal acceleration. The real selling point was the third door. Most of my hauling is of the few 2 X 4's or two sheets of plywood variety so I didn't need a lot of load capacity. The s-10 rides fairly well, is relatively quiet and with the LS trim and air conditioning is comfortable enough. The truck has a 4:10 rear end making for a lot of rpm at highway speeds but still averages 24-25 mpg making it economical to operate. Had the third door been an option on either the Ranger or Mazda, they would have been my choice with the 3.0 engine and an automatic transmission. Chevy would be well advised to offer either the 3.1 V-6 or the 3.4 in their little trucks. The jump to the 4.3 kills any hope of fuel economy.
This discussion has been closed.