tbunder: From what I gather, Toyota pickup didnt just get a name. It seems it was a complete redesign of a truck, with new pricing and everything. Thats why the sales went down. You can expect the same thing with new Ranger in 2003 and with new Tacoma.
As far as engines go: you said Tacoma I4s were severely underpowered. So in a comparison, Ford's I4 is really really bad. And the 3.0L is not much better than Toyota's I4. Please don't steer the conversation to "Well, my 4.0L has 17 horses more". We've all heard it before. Thats not the point. You wrote that I4 was severely underpowered: that makes Rangers I4 even worse. I still see plenty of Mazda B2000s around....so what about them?
Ranger sales: I hate to break this to you, but " the ranger has risen drastically" does not get supported by numbers. From 280K in 1990 to 330K in 2000...wow, a whooping 25% increase in -->10<-- years. And if you take a 1995-2000 period, when Tacoma was introduced, that makes 21K units more for Ranger....A whooping 7% increase in 5 years? That doesnt sound like a bestseller truck to me. The rate of inflation is higher than rate of Ranger sales increase stang: I've agreed before that a V6 in regcab is a definite must for Toyota. They've done it up to 97 or so, and discontinued it. Ford has a winning hand there. As for having V6 standard on a 4x4.....why is that a plus? At least Toyota owners have a freedom of choice, and if you go ask ttora guys, most of them would not have traded the 4-banger for a V6.
I can honestly say that that was exactly what my conception of the Yota name was b4 I got my truck. I then started reading tons of articles about how they offroad and the huge OR following. It dwarfs any similar group of Ranger owners. That, coupled with the bumps that I have hammered with my truck that is still squeak free (100%), made me see that these "jap traps" are the real mccoy. Everyone says the same as you, tbunder, about the foreign vehicle not being tuff enough. Just cuz they "seem thin and weak," though, is simply not true.
If that many trucks in Iowa have that problem you talk about, then I'll go out and count the full size Fords of the same age with similar problems here in MS. Seriously, the only rusted Yota I have seen was a first year PU, that had 300k on the odometer on the original everything that still ran fine. Ill take body work over a new engine anyday.
Did you have a tonneau cover on your Ranger? I am thinking of one for my truck ($700 fiberglass job), simply to get better mileage. I am not displeased with the current mileage, but for college students, every little bit helps. Are they really supposed to help much???
The reason I was getting mad about your comments was that you just kept listing alleged probs. Similar claims from me have always seemed to be discredited without any backup or anything. Its easy to debate that way, try to debate over specific topics, its alot more fair and two-sided to the ones who really come here looking for info.
In '90 the Toyota trucks were redesigned and the engines were 2.4L 4cyl (116hp) or 3.0L V6 (150hp). They also were released with galvanized beds which pretty much eliminated the rust problems associated with Toys. I see no more rusted toyotas '90 and newer than I do any other trucks, which are very few. Biggest rust buckets I see are Explorers, Caravans, and GrandAms in the '90 and newer category.
Half-way through 1995 the Tacoma was released with three engines: 2wd trucks had the 2.4L 4cyl, and 4X4's had the 2.7L (150hp) and the 3.4L (190hp). So Tbunders buddy was pulling the Jet skis with a 116hp 4cyl, a far cry from the 2.7L and 3.0L for that matter. I didn't make him buy the thing with a 4cyl and then try to pull a trailer.
The Tacoma was also a completely different vehicle than the pickup, although they didn't change the looks much. Any joe on the street probably can't tell the difference between a '90 pickup and a '97 Tacoma just by looking at them. The late 80's models even look the part on regular cabs. Now '98 and newer is a different story and I think the looks went to hell in a handbasket.
I test drove all engine combos on 4X4 ext cab trucks back in '96 when I was looking for a truck. I didn't see a huge difference between the 4.0L and 3.4L acceleration wise. In fact the first automatic 4.0L I drove I thought the dealer stuck me in a 3.0L as it was not near the power I expected. I popped the hood and it was in fact a 4.0L. The next 4.0L I drove was a 5-speed and it felt on-par with the 3.4L but wasn't blazing saddles by any stretch of the imagination. The 2.7L or 3.0L weren't much slower so I bought the 2.7L 5-speed and stuck 80K trouble-free miles on it averaging 22mpg. Can a 3.0L ranger turn 23mpg? I suppose it could but doubtful on a constant basis. Like I said my brothers was averaging 17mpg which was 5 less than my similar performing 2.7L. One-trip wonders and inflated EPA numbers do nothing for real-world day-to-day driving.
The only 4X4 trucks that can routinely turn 22-24mpg are 4cyl, and their power is not all that far off (if any beyond towing) from the entry-level V6's of the competition. So your choices if you want good mpg and decent performance is a Toyota or Nissan. And unlike some that preach the gospel on trucks they've never driven or even know what engines they have, I'll say I know nothing about the Nissan besides I think it's ugly and I don't want one.
I don't think you'll save $700 in fuel in less than a couple million miles if you really want to talk savings. Everything I've read indicates that the tonneau's don't really do much for mpg. And Tbunder's putting the tailgate down is actually worse on mpg in every physical and computer simulated test I've seen. Once the air is trapped in the bed, it swirls deflecting the downward air over the top of the tailgate. The same thing a tonneau cover does except without the added weight, which is substantial on a a hard cover. If you flop the tailgate down, all the air drops straight into the bed causing additional down-force.
I noticed no difference in mpg with a Tonneau on my 2.7L Tacoma. Mine had one on it when I bought it and after unsnapping and resnapping the thing a couple dozen times I got redneck on it threw it in the trash. Worthless if you use the bed of your truck regularly. And I noticed no change in mpg which I was watching quite closely when I first bought it.
i have a tonneau on my 2000 Ranger. I don't notice much, if any, difference in mileage. The only time I think it may help is highway, if you're going for long drives. But like someone already said, that doesn't help your commute to work. It would take about 600 years to pay for the tonneau with the mileage "savings."
It's nice to have a cover but I think if I did it again i would opt for the hard top "trunk" cover. I also notice that the frame of the tonneau scrapes the top of my tailgate when I close it, so now I have nasty scratches on the tailgate top. NOT a satisfied buyer.
who taught you physics? tailgate up and you get better mileage? what? with it catching all that air and slowing it down? it is common sense that if the gate is down, the air will just slide right over it, creating less restriction on the truck and the air it's pushing. where's your logic?
you say that the air "swirls" around in the bed. how can this happen since the bed is open and nothing is there to even trap it in there? no sides, no top. face it, the air comes in over the cab and goes right to the tailgate. if its up, gas mileage will suffer. if its down, it is more aerodynamic and mpg will improve a little.
Do a little reseach and see what you come up with.
I believe I've seen some posts on this at cartalk.com as well as a few others. Was several years ago I ran across a discussion like this and that's the consensus. I believe the air inside the bed pressurizes from the air coming down into it and basically the airflow then goes from the cab and off just as you'd imagine with a bedcover. And I don't think the air flow hits right at the tailgate, it's about middle of the bed. So with the gate down the air flows down further then has to roll out further across the tailgate. But like I said, do the research. If physics were just simple "common sense" there would be nothing to learn.
Lets end this anyway before this forum goes back to it's previous bottom-feeder levels.
Numerous tests have proven there is no advantage either way. The theory is that a boundry layer of air fills the bed with the tailgate closed. Basically the air flows over the bed. Have you ever been laying down in the back of a truck while moving. It's pretty still. Also notice loose items that are light enough go up and out, they don't get slammed to the front of the tail gate.