Last post on May 31, 2005 at 8:13 AM
You are in the Pickups - Archived Discussions
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Chevrolet Colorado, Dodge Dakota, Ford Ranger, Toyota Tacoma, Nissan Frontier, Exterior, Engine, Interior, Transmission, Truck
#20 of 76 Re: Testing the big 5 [smayne]
Mar 25, 2005 (9:20 pm)
I am test driving these mid-size trucks as well. I have a few comments to make in regards to your review.
1. Fiat does not "= Nissan" BTW. Fiat owns the Alfa Romeo and Lancia brands. The Fiat group also owns a 56% stake in Ferrari. Fiat is an Italian company.
2. Renault, the French company, has invested approx. $6 billion in Nissan (circa 1999), and as such has approx 35% share in the Japanese company. Without this infusion of capital and design experience, it is unlikely that Nissan would be solvent today.
If you choose 'not to support the French', ostensibly because of the Bush/Cheney junta's foreign policy issues, that is certainly your right, but you should be aware of facts.
3. The Ford Ranger I test drove ('05 FX4 V6) was completely and utterly outclassed by the Nissan, Toyota and Dodge trucks. I cannot imagine how the truck you tested out performed in any way better the others. Ford loves to sell this truck to fleet buyers and municipalities, and it shows. I suspect this is what is responsible for its "#1" sales rank. Ford clearly has put all their eggs in the F150 basket, and the Ranger is sorely in need of a refresh.
2. What exactly is the "Europeanization" and "San Francisco'ization" of vehicles? Sounds like your having a a bit of emotional leakage over politics here.
3. I agree with your assessment of the Dodge completely.
4. Your Nissan review, IHMO, is much more that looks. Save for the excessive plastic used on the dash, the Fronty I drove (LE CC 4x4) clearly outperformed the Ranger and the Dodge, and was neck to neck with the Dakota.
5. I agree with your review of the Taco, and of Toyota's inane option packages, which are ridiculously complicated, and their excessive pricing. The Taco was very well built.
IMHO, the Fronty the clearly the best value here.
#21 of 76 A few more words about the Ranger
Mar 26, 2005 (6:59 am)
I just traded-in my 2002 Ranger (XLT, 4x4, V6, auto, loaded, etc. w/ 36K miles)on our new Frontier. Bought the Ranger new three years ago for $17,500. Really good deal at the time, and the truck was very reliable. Only in the dealer once for a check engine light. Always started, and ran fine; good power and a pretty good stereo.
That was the good, here's the bad: lots of engine, wind and road noise. The dealer(s) could never get the small doors to seal properly, and claimed "its the design." Rubbish! Gas mileage was only OK, about 16 mpg. Very harsh and choppy ride, IMHO. Finally, lots of rattles and squeeks after only three years, and it was only off-road once.
I test-drove an '05 Ranger and the only thing Ford changed was the steering wheel in three years. Sure, you can get a good deal, but man, this thing really needs a major re-design.
My opinion? Ford builds a decent, cheap truck, just not a GOOD cheap truck. However, I was able to get the Nissan dealer to give me $13K as a trade-in, which means I drove it for three years for $4500, which isn't bad.
Mar 26, 2005 (7:16 am)
I wonder if the price differences reflect 4WD's only. I bought a 2WD Tacoma Thursday only after comparing costs,ride, etc of other vehicles and the Taco was no more expensive, and at times cheaper, than competitors (i.e. Chev, Nissan)pricing and online pricing. A Ford Ranger was cheaper but Rangers are like opinions up here (Canada), everyone has one. Anyway, I'm biased because I traded my 1996 Tacoma for this one.
#23 of 76 Ranger FE ...
Mar 26, 2005 (7:41 am)
I took the 03 Ranger - 2WD - 2.3 w/ a stick down to Florida and back (Illinois) last week …
03/18/2005: 575.5 miles on 15.629 gallons = 36.82 mpg. 27 - 34 degree temps.
03/19/2005: 671.9 miles on 16.026 gallons = 41.93 mpg. 38 - 68 degree temps.
03/21/2005: 695.8 miles on 16.596 gallons = 41.93 mpg. 47 - 75 degree temps.
03/21/2005: 660.2 miles on 16.286 gallons = 40.54 mpg. 29 - 65 degree temps.
As you can imagine, I was pleasantly surprised to say the least! 21,500 miles now with no squeaks, rattles, or returns to the dealership.
Wayne R. Gerdes
#24 of 76 05 ranger stx
Mar 26, 2005 (12:37 pm)
Has anyone seen the new STX? Ford installs a Mazda bed with tricolor tailights,then goes to JC Whitney for finishing touches,and they have a new Ranger.
I have had 3 Rangers,92,95,00 and wait for a new design.
Also local dealers have about 10% of what they used to stock.Are they trying to shift everyone to the F150?
#25 of 76 Re: Testing the big 5 [pb2themax]
Mar 28, 2005 (5:22 am)
Thanks for the info on Toyota . It kind of shines the light on the prices of the trucks. Do you know what the manufactures - chevy , Nissan and Toyota generally order thickness wise in sheet metal for the bodies of thier vehicles ? The metal on the GMC or Chevy Colorado seem so thin that I could probably tear the fenders off with my hands . It actually rattles and flexes with ease... The Nissan has to either use thicker metal or when forming the metal it gives it the strength . Maybe Nissan reinforces the fenders some how ? Toyota seemed as strong as the Nissan, as far as the fenders and truck bed was concerned. The truck cabs on all the trucks seem very solid , but I guess they have to be to pass safety standards ?
#26 of 76 Re: Total Cost of Ownership [sbsyncro]
Mar 28, 2005 (5:38 am)
It is true that new cars depreciate in price as soon as you drive it off the lot and can never be considered an investment. Just finding one that will give you your money's worth is a chore... Looking at value, quality and costs , I feel Toyota and Nissan do the best.
As far as American made vehicles are concerned ? Toyota and Nissan trucks are both assembled in the USA . Chevy , Ford and Dodge have some built here , but many are built either in Canada or Mexico ...
#27 of 76 Re: Testing the big 5 [pro152]
Mar 28, 2005 (1:45 pm)
The guage of the steel varies a lot. There's no way for me to tell what part of the car that the steel is being used for. Could be the body, firewall, floor, gas tank, etc. But I'll start paying attention to see if I see any difference in which companies are using mostly heavier guage steel. Most of the automotive steel we run seems to be from .095" to .165". Just for reference .125" would be 1/8" thick.
#28 of 76 American Trucks
Mar 28, 2005 (1:49 pm)
I like the good old American trucks from Toyota, as well as Dodge and Chevy versus the larger numbers of foreign-made Fords. Chill out, folks, I am just picking on you.
One thing I think people don't look at enough is the mindset of the truck owners. Those who buy Fords, Chevys ,and Dodges expect to load their trucks down far past what even the manufacturer recommends. I know I have had over 4000 pounds in the back of my LIGHT DUTY dodge. The back end was darn near dragging on the ground! My point is that the Nissans and Toyotas are made more to car standards than to truck standards, and the miniature shallow beds they had until recently ensured that nobody could really weigh them down the way the "domestic" trucks get weighed down.
Nissan and Toyota trucks have been predominantly used as sporty trucks rather than heavy commercial trucks. As such, you can't possibly compare their "durability and longevity" to that of Fords, Chevys, and Dodges. Let's let the newer larger trucks get on the market for awhile in Texas and see how many of these new larger Titans are still pushing the 400,000 mile mark. Common sense says that the percentages will drop severely when workers start loading up steel and boulders into them on a regular basis, providing they can actually steal some of the market from the likes of Ford truck owners who know how to abuse a truck. I have driven a Toyota in the past and, though it had a distinct car-like ride, it was toast when I tried to load down the bed. All of the sudden it felt like I was trying to steer an aircraft carrier with a toothpick. That's just my perspective. People's expectations make a difference in their satisfaction of a truck. I expect my truck will eventually develop a rattle or two. But I also expect my truck to start every single time I turn the key and never give me any hassle when I load the largest-in-class bed to the hilt with rocks. When I want a car-like ride and don't have to haul anything around I drive my car. Come on, folks, these are TRUCKS.
Mar 28, 2005 (1:59 pm)
If I am not mistaken, PB2themax, you are also just producing smooth sheet metal, right? The thickness of the steel does not necessarily directly correlate to the thickness of the finished product. Sheet metal is used to "press" or "stamp" forms out like doors and tailgates. Smoother forms will yield a consistently thicker steel on the same guage stock, but the more rigid product comes when curves and lines are pressed into the forms. This results in a slightly thinner yield on the end product, but also one that holds its shape much better. If it didn't, then the surfaces of all vehicles would be as smooth as glass without any corners or ridges. That would make them as aerodynamically sound as possible. Let me know, if you wouldn't mind.