Compact/Midsize trucks

Discussion in 'Shiny Things' started by levain, Oct 27, 2012.

  1. Heyload

    Heyload Remastered Classic

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2009
    Oddometer:
    9,049
    Location:
    San Antonio
    Gotta '08 Dakota Crew Cab I would consider parting with...white, V-6, auto, air, cruise, 'bout 56K on the odo...:deal

    Kidding, you could pick up a nice one for less that what I still owe. :cry
    #21
  2. soldierguy

    soldierguy Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2011
    Oddometer:
    499
    Location:
    California Central Coast
    I've bounced around with a few different vehicles lately...my mother swears I change cars more frequently than some people change their underwear. If that's true (and I don't think it is), I don't want to hang out with those people. :lol3

    Just recently sold the Touareg I had bought. Very, very nice vehicle. But I had a pretty significant issue with it early on requiring a week in the shop, and the computer absolutely refused to light up the brake lights on my trailer...another trip to the dealer. Combine that with a significant change of plans for next spring and beyond, and the T-Reg didn't make sense anymore. A simpler, more rugged vehicle made more sense...one that could be temporarily repaired by the side of the road with duct tape and baling wire, rather than requiring a trip to someone wearing a lab coat and speaking with a German accent.

    Anyway...

    The latest vehicle, and the one that I'm going to hang on to for quite a while, is a Tacoma Access Cab V6 4X4, 6-speed manual, SR5 package. I missed having a truck, missed having a manual transmission, and with some significant changes in plans going into effect next spring, the Taco makes sense. I need something that can handle a bit of rough stuff, extended camping, dirt roads, etc. If time permits (and I think it will) I'll definitely be traveling around the US next spring, possibly followed by a run through Canada to Alaska. Just for the heck of it.

    Going back and forth to work I'm getting 17.5-17.9 mpg. Suburban type driving...30-50 mph speeds, rolling hills, stoplights every 1/2-3/4 mile or so. I'm not a speedy driver though, and in normal driving I'm upshifting around 2500 rpm, but the Taco has good torque and tight gear spacing that allows me to shift early and not lug it. On the highway I'm getting a little over 21 mpg...70-75 mph speeds.

    It's a simple vehicle, and I wanted it that way. No satellite radio, no bluetooth, no automatic locks or wipers, although I think the satellite radio and bluetooth are options. I initially wanted the 4-cylinder, but then I drove it. Not a bad engine at all, but it's lacking a few beans compared with the V6. And since my intent is that it'll be driven loaded with stuff quite a bit of the time, the V6 emerged as a better choice.

    I like the Taco, and hope to keep it around for a long time.

    But I'd also say that the new Colorado supposedly coming within the next several months looks good. I've read that the plant is tooling up for it & prepping for production here in the US. Don't know what engines will be offered though. Nissan trucks are good, although the rear seat area with both cabs is cramped in comparison to the Tacoma. The Nissan's engine is nice...more power and more torque than the Taco, but the Taco feels stronger at low RPMs...need to rev the Nissan more to get the most out of it.

    Here's mine:

    [​IMG]
    #22
  3. blackfriar

    blackfriar Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2010
    Oddometer:
    230
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    I have a 2010 Tacoma Access Cab that I bought new. It is the 4x4 TRD Sport V6 with SR5 package and auto transmission. I've got 25,000 miles on it and get about 21 mpg. The only trouble has been the noisy heat/AC fan motor which has been replaced twice under warranty. That issue may be fixed in the newer models. Even though I don't do a lot of hauling with it, I will not be without a truck from now on. I just like having the four wheel drive and the capabilities of the Tacoma when I need it. I can't compare it to the others you are considering, but it has been great for me.
    #23
  4. Lobby

    Lobby Viel Spass, Vato!

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2003
    Oddometer:
    29,095
    Location:
    San Antonio, Tx
    I've often wondered whether the automakers just don't care about the small, efficient truck market segment, or whether the market has decided Americans just won't buy them.
    #24
  5. adam_c_eckhardt

    adam_c_eckhardt halfway there

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2007
    Oddometer:
    5,389
    Location:
    Live Free or Die
    I think as long as Tacomas are flying off the lots (and they appear to be just about everywhere I've lived in the past 10 years) manufacturers have very little incentive to make changes. I believe it's the best selling "small" truck on the market in the US. Drive a GM lot and you might see 100 Sierras and 5 Colorados (or whatever they call them). Ford seemed the same way when they offered the Ranger.

    So maybe it's both the manufacturers, and the consumers that are responsible for the small truck market...
    #25
  6. troidus

    troidus Long timer

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2010
    Oddometer:
    16,764
    Someone around here explained that the death of small trucks and station wagons was a result of our complicated CAFE rules. Apparently the fuel economy targets are based on square footage calculated from the tire contact patches and the class of vehicle. Spread the square footage out and call it a truck and the targets are much lower than they are for a similarly-sized car.
    #26
  7. levain

    levain STILL Jim Williams

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2005
    Oddometer:
    7,691
    Location:
    Providence, RI
    Yeah. this is what I'm leaning towards.. I had a Tacoma 10 years ago. I loved the truck but wanted a 4x4. I went to a Toyota dealer today, and there were zero on the lot. Not sure what that means since a salesperson couldn't be bothered to acknowledge me. That's actually good since I don't play the games. I'll pay invoice or go to the next guy:lol3
    #27
  8. JeffS77

    JeffS77 cheap bastard

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2006
    Oddometer:
    3,377
    Location:
    Riverside , CA
    I wish they sold the Chevy Tornado in the states
    1600lb load capacity 23mpg city 30 highway... I would be all over one of these. It would be perfect for my little trail bikes and the light loads I carry which is not very often.


    [​IMG]
    #28
  9. troidus

    troidus Long timer

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2010
    Oddometer:
    16,764
    It looks a little different these days:

    [​IMG]
    #29
  10. JeffS77

    JeffS77 cheap bastard

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2006
    Oddometer:
    3,377
    Location:
    Riverside , CA
    and it will hold a bike (a little ttr :D)


    [​IMG]
    #30
  11. PoundSand

    PoundSand Long timer

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2009
    Oddometer:
    7,048
    Location:
    socal
    you can. but depending on your driving habits and gas cost, you can actually come out ahead financially. I put about 17,500 miles per year on my truck, which gets about 15mpg (2004 titan). this is mostly highway commuting miles, so a total waste. that's some $440 a month @ $4.5/gallon.

    i've been eying a cheap new car- say a new fiat 500; cheap leftovers are going at $13k or less, + tax, title, and registration, and i'm at $14.3. at 3% interest, the payment would be $256 over 5 years, and at 38mpg, the gas would be $172/month- or a little cheaper every month for the payment and gas. insurance would probably be a little more, but i wouldn't have to pay a weight fee, and maintainence would be less. and obviously you'd now have two cars, both theoretically worth *something*.

    obviously this becomes less advantageous as the delta in mileage increases and the cost of the new vehicle goes up, but the net costs aren't as high as just thinking that $30k buys a lot of gas...

    with the same parameters above, but applying to to a truck, upgrading to a 20mpg truck that cost $20k would cost you $140 extra per month. $30k brings the costs up to +$320/month. or you could buy a prius and still break even. ;D
    #31
  12. soldierguy

    soldierguy Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2011
    Oddometer:
    499
    Location:
    California Central Coast
    Unlike most other markets around the world, the US market roughly equates size to price. Conventional US market wisdom says that a small vehicle should be inexpensive, and there's no reason to buy small if a larger vehicle can be had for a similar price or not much more money. This is definitely why there has been a lack of premium compact cars in the US. I think this is slowly changing, but not much. This idea plays heavy in the US pickup truck market.

    On the consumer side of it all, I think it is also related to how we put MPG ratings on vehicles. My Tacoma's window sticker says I should get 15 city, 19 highway. A Ram 1500 4X4 hemi is rated at 13 city, 18 highway. The average consumer looks at that and thinks "hey that's only 2 mpg difference city. That's nothing." That 2 mpg city rating difference is actually pretty substantial, when you consider how much fuel is actually being consumed. The Ram achieving its city rating for 15,000 miles in a year will consume almost 1154 gallons of gas. Figure $4 per gallon, and that's $4616 per year spent on fuel. At 15 mpg, the numbers work out to 1000 gallons, and $4000 dollars. Assume the person keeps their truck for 5 years, and that works out to $3080 more spent on fuel. But the average consumer generally doesn't look at that.

    There's another factor at play: real world mileage. I've owned a couple of full-size trucks and big SUVs, and have never achieved the city or the highway ratings, even driving like grandma on valium. In smaller vehicles, I'm almost always able to exceed the city and highway ratings, as I'm currently doing with my Taco. So the real-world mileage difference for me is much more than the 2 mpg that the EPA suggests...based on my experience with the vehicles I've owned, it would be more like a 5-6 mpg difference. So that $3080 difference over 5 years turns into $7000-$9000 more spent on fuel over 5 years... or somewhere between $116 and $150 per month. Is it worth $4-$5 more per day for me to drive a full-size truck? Not to me.

    Some people genuinely need the capacity of a full-size truck. Some need the room & comfort they offer, and there is a LOT more room in a full-size truck than there is in my Taco. I'll never bash anyone who buys a full-size truck and never uses its capacity, because this is the US and we can buy nearly whatever we want...we're a free country, and I've got no business poking my nose into someone else's purchase decisions, nor judging their decisions. For me though, I'll take the extra cash and go smaller.

    Plus, the Taco fits in my garage along with my utility trailer and my Guzzi. :D
    #32
  13. Mr. B

    Mr. B Contrarian

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2004
    Oddometer:
    1,958
    Location:
    Minneapolis
    We have an '07 Tacoma with the 4 cyl auto. It will seem gutless unless you really mash the accelerator. If you stomp it, the 4 banger scoots along fairly well.
    #33
  14. JNRobert

    JNRobert Breaking Wind

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2003
    Oddometer:
    10,113
    Location:
    Bay Area, California
    :huh The best I got from mine (same spec) was 20mpg and that was on the freeway with the cruise set to 65mph. I was consistently at about 16mpg everywhere else.

    Great truck but thirsty.

    I now have one of these

    [​IMG]

    '97 Nissan Frontier. Four banger with a five speed, it's great and does everything I need in a truck.
    #34
  15. HardCase

    HardCase winter is coming

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2004
    Oddometer:
    11,098
    Location:
    Griz Country
    I have to say that I am skeptical when I hear claims of 21+ mpg out of a V6 4wd Tacoma. Maybe a 2wd. Not a 4x4, no way. I drove my 07 4cyl 4wd Taco on a number of extended road-trips, and if I babied it (60-65) I'd get 20-21mpg, 18-19 if I leadfooted it a little (75mph), and about 15 around town. And while the V6s mileage might not be a whole lot less, they sure as hell don't do better.
    #35
  16. FatChance

    FatChance Road Captain

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2003
    Oddometer:
    10,784
    Location:
    Durango, Colorado, USA
    My '07 Tacoma has the V6/auto, double cab, long bed with a shell on the back and is 4x4. My average mileage is right at 20mpg with E0 regular gas since I bought the Taco five years ago. There is only one station here in Durango that has E0 but it pays to buy there. If I buy E10 at most other stations, the mileage goes down to about 18.5 to 19mpg. The 21mpg was unusual but it was the last tank mileage I got when I made that post. We are 200 miles from the nearest freeway so the vast majority of my driving is on two lane roads in SW Colorado and I drive like a 62 year old. :lol2 We do tend to get better mileage up here at altitude due to the lower air resistance, but that is the mileage I get with where and how I drive. As always, YMMV!
    #36
  17. 2whlrcr

    2whlrcr gooligan

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2005
    Oddometer:
    6,847
    Location:
    Dubuque, Iowa
    Nice truck. How much did it cost speced out that way, excluding the wheels and topper?
    #37
  18. Rogue_Ryder

    Rogue_Ryder 速 Flat Biller 速

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2005
    Oddometer:
    7,771
    Location:
    Pinewood Springs, Colorado
    What ever happened to these coming stateside? :dunno
    [​IMG]

    The biggest reason I think a lot of people buy the Full Size Ford, GM, Dodges over their "Compact" counterparts is because the fuel mileage and sticker price isn't that different. My Dad just got a new Ford F150 last year dunno if it's a '10 or an '11 but it's a single cab V-6 4x4 and he consistently gets 20+MPG and it was only like 22 or $23K new. Way more truck than a Ranger.

    I am personally not the biggest Fan of Full Size trucks just because they are difficult to live with as a Daily driver. It's a lot easier to park a compact truck in a city and most 1/2 Ton pickups won't fit in a normal garage.

    If a car company could build a compact pickup with a 4cyl turbo diesel that got 30MPG and came in under $30K, I'd bet they couldn't build them fast enough to keep up with demand.
    #38
  19. soldierguy

    soldierguy Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2011
    Oddometer:
    499
    Location:
    California Central Coast
    MSRP was about $28.9K. Paid about $26K, including an extended warranty and extended free maintenance package. KBB and USAA target price was about $1300 off MSRP. The dealer initially did not want to come down to the $26K range. However in there was a double-cab short-bed V6 4X4 SR5 6-speed manual on a lot in Denver with $26.8K written on the windshield (MSRP on that one was somewhere between $30-$31K). That worked to my advantage, although I never would have bought the double-cab short-bed...I wanted the longer bed, and was willing to trade cab space to get it. Yes, there are double-cab long beds out there, but they are automatic only (I wanted a manual), a LOT more expensive, and they won't fit in my garage.

    The dealer's lot was jam-packed...they had vehicles parked everywhere, very tightly spaced. They needed to move vehicles, particularly 2012's, as there were already 2013's on the lot. I'm sure that someone could have negotiated a better price than I did, but I was comfortable with where the price ended up.
    #39
  20. soldierguy

    soldierguy Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2011
    Oddometer:
    499
    Location:
    California Central Coast
    I remember hearing about those Mahindras...not sure what happened. It was delay, delay, delay, then I saw a report a while back that the deal had been scrapped.

    There's still rumors and questions out there about whether or not Chevy will put a turbo-Diesel into the upcoming Colorado. I don't think Chevy is against the idea of diesels in smaller vehicles, as I had read they are supposed to be putting a Diesel into the Cruze soon. But no confirmation of a Diesel into the Colorado. Pricing would be a key point...too expensive and people would just buy a Silverado instead. Too cheap and they'd lose money...Diesel technology (primarily injectors and emissions systems) is crazy expensive.
    #40