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
#7 of 76 Total Cost of Ownership
Mar 16, 2005 (11:32 pm)
It is interesting how much people focus on "first cost" of a vehicle - look at the comments about how much more "expensive" a Tacoma is compared to the Chevy, for example. However, if you take into account the total cost of ownership over several years, you will often find that the Toyotas are actually considerably cheaper.
The single biggest cost of a new car is the depreciation hit you take the day you drive it off. Let's look at some projected residual values after 5 years for 2004 models from the Automotive Lease Guide:
Tacoma - 44%
Dodge Dakota - 37%
Chevy Colorado - 35%
GMC Canyon - 32%
Ford Ranger - 31%
Now, add some numbers. Lets say that the Tacoma is "over $32k" (let's call it $32,000 even) and the Canyon is $27,500 (I'm guessing here). Not taking anything else into account, the residual value of the toyota would be $14,080 whereas the residual value of the Canyon would be $8,800. Subtract the original price from the residual value and you have the depreciation cost for those five years (which captures the original purchase price, plus the loss of value over time):
Now which car is "over-priced"? Using these hypothetical numbers, the Canyon actually costs more than the Tacoma!
Also, factor in repair costs and general fit and finish, reliability, etc. and the picture becomes a lot more complicated than the simplistic "first cost" that we tend to fixate on.
By the way, I should mention that I have never owned a Toyota truck (or any Japanese car for that matter) in over 30 years of owning cars... I'm just an economics geek thinking about buying a truck.
#8 of 76 Ford Ranger XLT ...
Mar 17, 2005 (2:21 am)
I cannot add too much as I have never driven any of the other newer small trucks besides the Ford I currently own. I used to own a 2000 Chevrolet S-10 Ext. Cab (POS) and a 94 Nissan 2X4 (poor build and it isn’t really a truck imho). Before this was the much larger trucks … The 03 Ranger XLT 2.3 L w/ a 5-speed is by far the nicer of the 3 and I picked it up brand new for just $9,692. Besides having one tough as nails bed and frame (it is my summer landscape truck), I have received 36.8 mpg from it throughout the Chicago winter while commuting. Nothing that Toyota, Nissan, Chevrolet, or DCC offers could even come close to the price, utility, std. amenities for this price, and FE that I have received. This (the Ranger XLT) is by far the best small truck I have owned in 13 years of truck ownership to date …
When considering TCO, when you pay just $9,692 for a brand new Ranger XLT, you will not get hit nearly as bad as you will with a more feature rich Ford or other (Toyota, Nissan, Chevrolet, DCC) given the very small initial cost.
Winter FE can be seen at the following:
Whether you can find this kind of deal in the future or not is anyone’s guess but I believe you could have come within $1,000 of this price at the end of last year on the 04 Ranger XLT’s similarly equipped. Hopefully some will find an 05 for a similar price in another 6 months or so?
On the other hand, would you consider such a basic work truck vs. the much more loaded up small P/U’s being discussed in this thread … I could not in any way shape or form pick up a 3.0 or 4.0 L w/ Auto and a Power package for this kind of price as everyone surely knows … I am however pleased as a pig in the mud trough at the FE I have been receiving from it. Simply amazing given what gasoline costs today.
Wayne R. Gerdes
#9 of 76 Re: Testing the big 5 [smayne]
Mar 17, 2005 (8:20 pm)
You say you don't like the Nissan because of its French connection, but you give the Ranger a #1 even though it has a transmission made in France. ???! Then you say you sold your 2006 Nissan to your father. ???!
#10 of 76 Re: Total Cost of Ownership [sbsyncro]
Mar 17, 2005 (9:27 pm)
The "true cost" depends heavily on if you trade the vehicle off in a few years. If you hang on to them for say 10 years its a different picture. I've owned Toyota, Subaru and Volvo. Everyone of them was more $$$ for parts and maintenance than any of the domestics we've owned. And if you have to finance, the front end price is important also. If you pay $4k-$5k more for the Tacoma and then pay interest on that difference over several years, the cost of ownership on the Tacoma is higher.
#11 of 76 Re: Total Cost of Ownership [ocmike3]
Mar 17, 2005 (10:30 pm)
All good reasons why cars in general are such a darned waste of money! But they sure are fun to talk about!
Seriously, tho - you raise some good points. There are a lot of variables, which just reinforces my point - you have to take the whole picture into account, not just the first cost.
One of my cars is a '89 VW Vanagon Syncro Camper with 250,000 miles on it. In 1989 it was the most expensive car VW produced (equivalent to today's v10 Tuareg, I suppose). Furthermore, Vanagons (and Syncros in particular) are notoriously expensive to maintain. Yet after 10 years, en engine replacement, and a transmission replacement the cost-per-mile is lower than any other car I have ever kept detailed records for. A big part of this is because I have kept it so long (to your point) and because it is still worth almost what it sold for in 1989!
#12 of 76 Re: Testing the big 5 [smayne]
Mar 20, 2005 (8:36 pm)
I am thinking about buying one of the big three . Tacoma , Frontier or chevy . With the price of gas increasing every day , I am getting more intrested in the four cylinder with two wheel drive. My problem when looking at the vehicles is that Nissan does not offer traction control with its two wheel drive . Toyota offers it , but the truck must be special ordered and was told it may take up to three months for delivery and costs $800 extra . Chevy says it offers traction control ( locking rear diff ) on all its models and it costs $ 300. I liked the quality of the bodies on the Toyota and Nissan , but felt the Colorado's fenders and bed were rather cheap. Just tap the rear fender on a Colorado and it rattles like crazy . Very thin metal or it was not formed to give it strength. The Toyota seemed a little better and the interior was very solid. I liked the Nissan and would buy one if it had the traction control offered . The truck seems to me to have the most solid body . Also Nissan was willing to work on the sticker price and Toyota said the sticker price was the lowest price . Chevy offered a instant rebate , which lowered the price to be between the Toy and Frontier.
I have owned a two wheel drive 1991 Nissan in the past and the light weight rear end got very poor traction unless I put enough weight in the bed , my friends have had the same problem with thier trucks . So why don't manufactures build the 2-wheel drives all with traction control ? At least it would help with some traction problems .
#13 of 76 The big 5? Honda?
Mar 22, 2005 (1:47 pm)
You need to add the Honda Ridgeline to your test
drive impression. I also think the Explorer 4-door would be more comparable vehicle than a Ranger. I took a quick look at the Honda other day. Looks rather like a smaller GM or Chevy model. The price should scare off most people? Since I've driven a 2001 Dakota Quad since new and still love my truck (except gas milage), and plan on keeping it 3 more years.
If I were to make a purchase today, it would be
a new Toyota Tacoma double cab, 2WD, short bed.
In 3 years I might be looking at a hybrid or a
4 cyl. model.
#14 of 76 Re: The big 5? Honda? [mtrialsm]
Mar 22, 2005 (3:48 pm)
I'd go for a 4 cylinder if it was offered by any manufacturer with a CC configuration.
#15 of 76 I drove the Ridgeline, and still bought a Frontier
Mar 23, 2005 (5:39 pm)
The Ridgeline is a nice truck, but it's wider, heavier and has less HP than the Frontier, all of which I noticed on the test drive. Not much grunt entering the freeway, and I actually thought the ride was a tad harsher, even with 4-wheel independent suspension (kinda bizarre). Lots of the usual Honda "bells & whistles", some of which I wanted, but at the usual Honda premium price, and no dickering.
BTW- we love our new Frontier CC LE 4X4 in Storm Gray with cloth. Really a wonderful truck, and worth every cent, IMHO. Got a super deal too with Nissan trying to sell a million cars. Super trade-in on my old '02 Ranger, which was rattling and squeeking with only 36K miles.
#16 of 76 Re: Truck Comparisons: Colorado, Dakota, Ranger, Tacoma, Frontier [Sylvia]
Mar 23, 2005 (6:56 pm)
I did a lot of research and test drive of all these trucks ... in my opinion Tacoma and Frontier are the two best trucks. At one point I couldnt decide which one I would buy .. finally I made my choice .... I bought Nissan Frontier Crew Cab 4x4 SE. I enjoy the ride I took it off road.... It has lot features then any other truck for sale in Canada ... such as standrad Tire pressure monitering system ... full size spare wheel ... Limited slip and EFD and ABS ... GM Trucks dont come with all these. GM five line engine consume more gas then Frontier 4.0 V6. Not to mention its has 265HP. Both Toyota and Nissan offer spray bedliner ... which keep your metal safe and scretch free. because of the rough surface your stuff wont slide around unlike GM and Dakota ( unless you tie your stuff).... I m now regreting why I didnt buy NISMO ?? well soon I will trade my truck with NISMO.