By on January 27, 2017

1992 Ford F-150 Nite Edition, Image: Ford

Yesterday I told a story about a colleague of mine who was lookin’ for love in all the large places. Because this is TTAC, the conversation in the comments quickly turned to the traction merits of various drivetrain systems. You crazy kids. I bet that when most of you think about Fast Times At Ridgemont High, your minds immediately go to the one scene where we get a good look at the voluptuous curves of … Judge Reinhold’s 1960 LeSabre.

We’ve had a lot of conversations about trucks lately, whether it’s a Nissan Frontier, a Toyota Tacoma, or a Honda Ridgeline. You could say that we’re in some kind of trucking phase, and that it might be a while before we get the truck out of here.

So, what the truck do you want?

Speaking personally, I actually want two completely different trucks.

I want a traditional quarter-ton mini-truck to run my bikes around, with a low ride height and a stick shift. Two-wheel-drive only, please.

But I also want a crew-cab one-ton long-bed monster that tows a race car with the kind of insouciance you only get when you outweigh your trailer by a factor of two and a half to one. And that could be 4WD, because why not? In fact, last year I towed my Neon about 1700 miles to and from a race with a Dodge Power Wagon and I was totally satisfied with it — but you can bet your Captain Hook Fish & Chips hat that I’d rather ride my son’s TT-R90 on my errands than steer that beast around the suburbs.

Pick your truck. Or your trucks. Just to make things interesting, let’s cap your total spend at $75,000 just to keep the International CXT or the AMG 6×6 out of the equation. And let’s say no more than two trucks. Which would be — wait for it — moving in stereo!

[Image: Ford]

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197 Comments on “Question Of The Day: What The Truck Do You Want?...”


  • avatar
    bikegoesbaa

    I only want one truck.

    Regular bed regular cab late-model F-150 XL with the 2.7 ecoBoost, vinyl floor, cruise control, trailer package, and remote start.

    Still on the fence about 2wd vs 4×4. I probably wouldn’t need 4WD enough to justify the cost and other compromises.

    I like it because it would do all the “truck things” I would want for the rest of eternity for cheap, while still having the convenience equipment I’d actually use.

    I also like the fact that we live in a world where an aluminum-bodied twin-turbo direct-injected pickup truck even exists; much less where it can be had for under $25k.

    • 0 avatar
      Higheriq

      Funny, I bought that exact truck, sans remote start, three months ago. I have been extremely pleased so far.

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      There’s few compromises with 4×4 these days. I’d get it for the simple fact that when you go to sell it, someone will actually want to buy it.

      • 0 avatar
        friedclams

        Wisdom.

      • 0 avatar
        bikegoesbaa

        It’s been a while since I compared in detail, but doesn’t 4×4 still cost like 4 grand, reduce fuel economy, raise ride height, reduce ride comfort, add NVH, and only get used like 1% of the time?

        That’s a genuine question, I remember a few model generations ago it was a significant difference.

        Playing around with a few online value comaprators says that the additional value of a 5 year old 4wd truck over the 2wd equivalent is *less* than the original cost of the 4wd option. So you make some back on resale, but not much.

        And less the longer you plan to keep the vehicle.

      • 0 avatar
        stuki

        And triply so for reg cab short beds. There are more offroad intenders looking for out of warranty 4×4 rcsbs than there are such trucks for sale.

    • 0 avatar
      True_Blue

      I too have a nearly-identical F-150… 2.7TT, trailer package, cruise, remote start. Mine’s 4×4 (FX4) as winter here leaves snow measured in feet. Cloth seats, 36 gal tank.

      So I’ll keep that… and for my second truck, make it a Syclone.

    • 0 avatar
      Jean-Pierre Sarti

      looks like you basically want a slightly optioned work truck from yesterday which i can appreciate. But to me there is still one problem will all trucks these days : PRICE!

      I guess what I am saying is I’m not sure your target price of 25K is still all that cheap relative to cheap cars that can be had today.

      in 2002 i went to a toyota dealer to buy the cheapest new toyota vechicle i could buy for cash. that turned out to be a green on beige reg cab 2wd tacoma 5sp for 13k out the door! in terms of cheap and reliable: let’s just say this thing will still be running when the cockroachs inherit the earth…

      I guess the nissan frontier is next closest thing in today’s dollars?

      Bottom line for me, i don’t see a cheap to buy cheap to run truck out there…

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        When trucks were as cheap as cheap cars, they didn’t meet car-like emissions or safety standards. Now they have to. So they’re engineered to more or less the same standards as cars, and they have nearly twice as much material. They’re going to be more expensive.

        The poor values in the truck world, to me, aren’t the $25k work trucks. They’re the $65k trucks that are mechanically the same as the $40k configurations, just with $5k-$8k worth of extra goodies that you can buy for $25k.

      • 0 avatar
        bikegoesbaa

        I emphatically do not want a bare-bones deathtrap truck from two decades ago.

        I want something that rides and crashes like a modern vehicle, and has the functional capabilities of a modern fullsize truck.

        I don’t care if it costs 50% more, as the extra content is worth it to me.

  • avatar
    MatadorX

    Diesel, “J” VIN, under 40k, extended cab 4×4, available in California.

    No “J” VIN, no deal. Everything else is potentially negotiable.

    I can dream….

  • avatar
    Syke

    Chevy S-10 or GMC Sonoma, short or stretch cab, 4 cylinder, 5 speed.

    Don’t need a truck for daily use, but something of this vintage would nicely take care of my occasional dirty hauling and the rare occasion I need to truck a motorcycle.

    • 0 avatar
      Maymar

      I was going to go with the vaguely Jalopniky answer of an old VW Caddy/Subaru Brat, or take your pick of South American compact FWD trucks (basically what I already drive with a bed), but the old S10 is a much more sensible take on the same idea.

  • avatar
    S2k Chris

    I live in suburbia, so I have little to no need for a truck, but if I lived somewhere where it made sense, I’d want either a Raptor for the bada** factor, or on the more reasonable side, a Tacoma TRD Offroad or Pro or something.

  • avatar
    BigOldChryslers

    I want a RAM1500 Laramie crew cab, 6.5′ box, RWD with the 3.0L diesel (combination not available, at least not in Canada). With this truck though, I would also want a lifetime warranty on the emission system! I don’t trust it to not bankrupt me with repair costs once the warranty runs out.

    Alternatively, I’d like a 2007 RAM2500 quad cab, 6.5′ box, Cummins 5.9L diesel, RWD, manual trans. I saw this exact truck for sale and would’ve bought it, except my daughter was still in a child seat and wouldn’t have fit in the back. That’s how I wound up buying a Megacab.

    • 0 avatar
      VW4motion

      From my understanding you can’t get a 2017 FCA ecodiesel in any State due to accused cheating of diesel engine mapping. I know this is true for Jeep GC ecodiesel models.

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      You’ll be able to order that once the ’17s get certified and shipping resumes. I say order cause no dealer in Canada would stock that truck on purpose.

      I don’t know where you’ll find a lifetime warranty on the emissions system, though.

      • 0 avatar
        BigOldChryslers

        When I looked into it, you could only get the EcoDiesel + RWD with a 5.5′ box, not the 6.5′ box. EcoDiesel with 6.5′ box only available with 4WD. I inquired about this at the Toronto Autoshow last year and the guy at the counter looked at me like I was from Mars.

        It doesn’t matter now anyhow. I’m not longer in the market for a truck since I bought the Megacab.

    • 0 avatar
      nrd515

      I pretty much want the same Ram 1500, not a Laramie (I don’t see the point of paying that much for a fancy interior) with the hemi instead. I have a friend who leased a Ram with the diesel and while it was trouble free, it just wasn’t “right”. Too slow. Slow enough to bring back memories, bad ones, of my ’77 Power Wagon, when it was stock and so slow that it was annoying as hell to drive on the highway. He ended up turning it in early for what he wanted in the first place, a 1500 Big Horn 6.5 bed quad cab or whatever it’s called now, hemi, 8 speed, as near a duplicate of my old 2003 Ram, which he loved, as is possible. Looks a little different and has a better drivetrain, but pretty close. He even got the color he wanted this time, bright red. Last one was maroon. It’s been a great truck so far, about a year in. He bought this one, as he was sure he was going to keep it.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    I’ve got a 2004 F150 Heritage 4×2, standard cab, long bed has been replaced by a flatbed, rubber floor, cloth bench, 4.6 V8, auto trans. At the slow rate I’m putting on miles it will probably last me 20 more years.

    If I had new truck money I’d be torn between a standard cab Ram Tradesman Hemi 4×4, vinyl seats or a Ford F-150 XL standard cab long bed, vinyl bench and I haven’t firmly landed on an engine option.

    Honesty though I’d rather spend money on the one I’ve got. Rear locker, heavy duty rear springs, it’s about time to rebuild the ball joints…

  • avatar
    VW4motion

    2017 F250 Limited 4×4. Reason being go big or go home. Also not a junk Ram that will need transmission work at 120k miles or a poorly constructed GM product with out dated engine technology. As for the FCA product, you have to go 3500 with the Cummins to get the Aisin transmission. Ridiculous amount of money just to have a transmission that doesn’t have to be worked on or replaced at 1/3 of the engine life.

    • 0 avatar
      Drzhivago138

      There is no Limited on the Super Duty models, “just” Platinum. So if you’re going big or going home, go for a Platinum F-450, starting MSRP $77K.

      • 0 avatar
        Adam Tonge

        There is the King Ranch Cowboy Cadillac trim.

        • 0 avatar
          Drzhivago138

          Which is technically “below” Platinum, but IMO they’re about the same level of luxury and technology. The Platinum trim was originally developed out of the Lincoln Mark LT, which itself was originally developed as a luxury model for those that didn’t want the Western motif (as well as a Denali competitor).

          The Limited really is a step up above that, but it’s F-150-only.

      • 0 avatar
        VW4motion

        I get the Limited and Platinum mixed up, either way the new F250 is sweet. Seriously the new benchmark for superduty pickups. F450 to much go big for me.

        • 0 avatar
          stuki

          The new Superduty is too tall. Those few extra inches over the outgoing one, crosses the line between barely fits under and don’t fit under, in an annoyingly large number of parking garages. Ford got away with bursting through the 19 foot parking spot length “limit” with their supewrcab and crewcabs, by being Ford and the biggest name in trucks. But wrt height, there’s not nearly tolerances for that kind of “better to beg forgiveness than ask permission” limit pushing.

          Even the tall looking Ram HDs slip under the very common, in garages, hard 80″ concrete beams, even if they may brush the 2 inches lower gauge boom by the entrance. The new Superduty, in 4×4 trim, just don’t. So you either park outside, or stand around airing down to the rim, then reflate once back outside. For actual “Superduty” work this may be irrelevant, but for those who contemplate even the occasional urban or airport excursion in their truck, it could rate somewhere between a real bummer and a deal breaker.

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      The 66 and 68 RFE transmissions are pretty decent transmissions. Seems like this perception is from the 4 speed 48RFE days.

    • 0 avatar
      MrIcky

      Well if you’re talking about the Cummins in the Dodge 2500, I guess that’s only fair that the transmission gets overhauled at 1/3 the engine life since the engine life is 3x that of a Ford diesel.

      The water is now chummed, have fun.

      • 0 avatar
        VW4motion

        Maybe that would have be true for Cummins diesels of 10 years ago. Now I’m hearing emissions issues are plentiful on new Cummins. Just talked to someone that spent $2600 at 83k miles for some emissions filter part. Truck would not run without the part. It was a 2014 ram3500. He basically said he’d never buy another Cummins diesel.

        • 0 avatar
          MrIcky

          I’ve got plenty of “a friend” anecdotes too. Like turbo failures and untraceable DEF sensor failures and such, but really- I was just yanking your chain.

          Also, the Duramax is pretty rock solid these days and Dodge truck transmissions have been good for a while (and not just the Aisins). But I’m sure you’ll have an anecdote that disproves that.

          • 0 avatar
            VW4motion

            No anecdotes, I just don’t see spending $50-70k on a truck that “might have a good transmission these days”. True the Duramax is good engine. Just don’t like the seating position in the GM products. Also, the build quality of GM is currently sub par. Constantly looking at misshaped or poorly put together interiors would drive me crazy.

            Besides that can someone explain the black box on the 2500-3500 Silverado/Sierra’s hanging below the passenger side front seat. Think it’s only on Duramax models. Black box about 3 feet long and 8 inches high, under the truck right below the passenger side front seat. Just sticks out, looks like it would interfere with ground clearance. Looks like a design mistake.

          • 0 avatar
            stuki

            The “black box” on Duramax’ GMs is the def tank. GM, with their IFS, makes no pretense at all about being an “offroad” truck, completely ceding that battlefield to Ford and Ram. So the tank isn’t really an issue, aside from looks.

            OTOH, by leaving the ag-petro-forestry-badassBro markets to the others, GM has packaged a more suitable urban/suburban/highway HD truck. Lower overall height, a better highwayhandling front end, lower ingress/egress… In the chassis cabs even offering a narrower rear track dually, allowing heavier service bodies to fit in some spots where the others would be limited to single rear wheel models.

          • 0 avatar
            Hummer

            I just want to make note I’ve ridden in a 2017 power stroke 4×4, a 2010 6.0 vortec4x2, a 2011 duramax 4×4, as much as I hate what Ford has done to their entire lineup, the power stroke with the solid front axle handily out rode the GMs torsion bars on the 4×4 truck, while feeling much tighter. I still despite everything have not yet driven a current Ram 3/4

            All 3 trucks are 4 door long beds, the 6.0 rode well but that’s a different animal since it has significantly less weight up front and presumably lighter torsion bars.

            Anecdotally, the Duramax has been in the shop multiple times for DEF system issues.

            That’s why I still want to test drive a Ram… in 6.4 gasser form.

      • 0 avatar
        BigOldChryslers

        LOL!
        I bet a lot of Dodge automatics get rebuilt that don’t need it, or wouldn’t if they were maintained properly.

        On the 48RH and 48RFE, you’re supposed to occasionally adjust the bands, just like on the 727 from which they are derived. The one that usually needs it is the “kickdown band”. That one’s easy to do. The adjuster is on the outside of the case, so you don’t even need to drop the pan.

        In my ’94 Cummins with 48RH, the torque converter would occasionally unlock momentarily while cruising at steady speed on the highway. A trans shop wanted to overhaul the trans, but I insisted it was an electronic problem. I diagnosed it myself… throttle position sensor developed a dead spot that was confusing the ECU. When the next TPS started acting-up about 5 years later, I hacked-in a capacitor to filter the signal and never had any more troubles. I got 20 years and 250,000 miles out of that trans. The shop that overhauled it said I got 100% of the life out of it. :)

        My ’07 Cummins has the 48RFE. When I bought it (used), it had a problem where it would shuttle between 1st and 2nd gear at low speed, like in parking lots. I assume a trans shop would’ve wanted to overhaul it. A common problem documented on internet forums: just needed a new solenoid on the valvebody, which I obviously installed myself.

    • 0 avatar
      redmondjp

      I hate to tell you this, but that “out dated engine technology” will probably run for 100K miles longer than yours w/o any major engine repairs.

      You can badmouth GM all you want, and a lot of it justifiably so, but their truck engines are one of the best things they have going, period.

      I can show you my friends and neighbors with their 15-year-old GM pickups and suburbans with over 200K still chugging away, and then show you my other friends and coworkers with their Ford pickup engines with the wasted cam phasers and blown-out spark plugs at under 150K miles.

      • 0 avatar
        VW4motion

        Redmondjp,
        Never said GM products don’t last. But the current GM build quality just looks awful right now. You seem to know a bit about GM trucks. Do you have any input on the below question?

        Besides that can someone explain the black box on the 2500-3500 Silverado/Sierra’s hanging below the passenger side front seat. Think it’s only on Duramax models. Black box about 3 feet long and 8 inches high, under the truck right below the passenger side front seat. Just sticks out, looks like it would interfere with ground clearance. Looks like a design mistake.

        • 0 avatar
          jack4x

          That is the DEF tank. IMO it is a design mistake, and it is disappointing that it was not corrected in the changeover from GMT900 to K2XX

        • 0 avatar
          JD-Shifty

          A guy whose name is VW4motion crying about the reliability of a GM pickup. That’s rich. LOL

          • 0 avatar
            nrd515

            I would take the worst Chrysler product I’ve ever owned, my ’77 Power Wagon, over anything the VW group has made in the last 10 years. I know several people who have had the pleasure of VW and Audi ownership, and it wasn’t pretty. If anyone actually buys one of their vehicles, keep another one as a spare to drive while your main one is in the shop.

  • avatar
    krhodes1

    For my place in FL I would love to have an appliance white, regular cab 2wd Ford Ranger with nothing but A/C and an automatic for running errands and leaving at the airport. Automatic so Mom can drive it when she comes down for a month in the winter, if it was just me it would be a stick.

    For Maine, a pickup is useless, the weather is too crappy most of the time for an open bed, so I will stick with what I have up there, a mint condition no-options stickshift ’95 Land Rover Discovery. Holds plenty, tows 6500lbs of boat just fine.

    • 0 avatar
      John-95_Taurus_3.0_AX4N

      I found a manual Discovery near Atlanta last week. My buddy always gives me crap when I say I found a LR or RR I like.

      Yes, they aren’t a pillar of reliability, but I wouldn’t own one as a daily driver, just for the times I want to go off roading, or if the situation arises that I need to go up to the PNW in the winter.

      Oh just buy winter tires and a 2wd Ranger will be perfect! Lol no, and besides, who wants to stop and chain up in 12° when you get waved right through with 4wd.

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      “For my place in FL I would love to have an appliance white, regular cab 2wd Ford Ranger with nothing but A/C and an automatic for running errands and leaving at the airport. Automatic so Mom can drive it when she comes down for a month in the winter, if it was just me it would be a stick.”

      Can’t help you, krhodes1. Mine has the stick and less than 25K miles on it (in 20 years.)

  • avatar
    zoomzoomfan

    I want an old beater truck that I won’t care too much about if it gets hailed on during Kentucky’s famous severe weather. Or if someone hits it with their door and dings it. Or, when taking it to my friend’s farm and going camping, I find new scratches and dings from driving through the woods, etc. And I got one. ’95 S10 4×4, 171k miles, venerable 4.3 that is basically unkillable. Done.

    I could never have a fancy truck. I’d have a panic attack each time it got a scratch, like I do with my car. And if you use a truck (as a…truck), it’ll get scratches.

    • 0 avatar
      JD-Shifty

      My Daily Driver is a single cab longbed (7 foot), 4.3, auto withfirestone winterforce tires. 428,000 miles and counting. In the garage I have a S10 4×4 5 speed with heavy duty springs, AC and rubber floors. 60,000 miles and looks brand new. Plenty of these around if you look for them. My next truck will be a colorado, tacoma or frontier. If this S10 ever quits running.

  • avatar
    relton

    I want, and have, a nice 1983 El Camino. It carries car parts nicely, brings home anything I csre to buy at Home Depot (even if the kids who work there are loath to put 2x4s in, “a bitchin’ classic” as one of them put it.

    I think it out-drives any other modern truck as well. Quarter mile in 13.60, superb handling. It can corner so hard that anything in the bed will fly out. I think it can corner harder than my wife’s 06 Mustang GT. It doesn’t beat you up on long trips. What’s not to like?

    Sure, it’s got RWD. So when it snows, or ices, I stay home. Problem solved.

    The El Camino is the perfect truck for a guy who doesn’t want to work very hard. And that’s me know that I’m pushing 70.

    It’s also the perfect truck for guys who don’t have to use their truck to express their macho personality.

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      I’d go for the ’59 El Camino or the ’72 Ranchero with “Laser” stripe down the side.

      Then again, I’ll pass on the Ranchero; with that high hood and shoulder I felt like I was sitting in a pit in my ’73 Gran Torino (same platform) and I was always worried coming up to a narrow bridge that I would scrape the right side. (Never scraped it, but it just didn’t give me any confidence.) That and the fact that the Gran Torino averaged $400/month in fuel and repairs even when gas prices were far lower than they are now and honestly, I’m not sure I’d be happy with it. The ’59 El Camino however…

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    The new twin turbo V8 diesel 79 Series pickup, with a small 3″ of lift, ARB of course.

    Live axles front and rear.

    This is my off roader fishing wagon.

    I’ll keep my BT50 as a daily driver.

  • avatar
    Adam Tonge

    I want the truck that is pictured. Exactly that truck. I love me some F150 Nite.

  • avatar
    JMII

    Dream truck: size of my current ’02 Dodge Dakota Quad Cab, no bigger it has to fit in my garage. Small diesel, around 200 HP / 400 ft tq. Under $30K. The tea leaves indicate this aligns well with the new Ranger. 2WD and short bed is fine. Basic interior, nothing fancy required. A lower sport truck would be perfered over a lifted pre-runner style.

  • avatar
    danio3834

    I’ve been on a bit of a truck bender lately. Currently I have a 2017 Ram 1500 Laramie Longhorn cowboy limo special. Luxury Brown, gold trim, real wood interior trim, etched leather seats. With the 2016 clearout deals, the wife got a 2016 Laramie, a little more understated, true blue, black interior.

    I got the Longhorn specifically to tow a 24′ enclosed car hauler across the country at the end of December with an old Charger in it. It did that job really well. The truck is a Hemi/8spd/4×4/3.21 axle with air suspension and never struggled with the 8,000lb+ trailer, was very comfortable for 60+ hours of seat time. The only real downside was a steady 9mpg with the trailer on it. Empty it gets 23mpg hwy. Truck guys will tell you you need a 3/4+ ton diesel for that kind of load, but for someone who tows less than 10k lbs casually, it doesn’t seem like the added up front cost, added cost of maintenance and lesser reliability are worth it. That and having to drive a much bigger truck the rest of the time.

  • avatar
    Mickiemac1

    I have a 2014 F-150 King Ranch and look forward to the Ranger if its comparable in everything (features similar to my KR) but size. The KR is a super nice truck but can be cumbersome to drive at times. The other ‘midsize’ trucks (Tacoma, Canyon, Colorado & Ridgeline) are not my cup of tea style/feature wise. The Frontier is old but it’s replacement (should it arrive before the end of this decade!) could be a contender. I live in a rural area and need 4WD (not AWD) at times due to the snow. I’ve also got a 2011 Venza FWD V6 which I use when a truck is not required. My first truck was a 1986 F-150 regular cab with an inline 6 and it was more than adequate but 30 years later (and older) I want comfort and features so lets hope the Ranger (and Frontier) can deliver.

  • avatar
    Higheriq

    I have a ’16 F-150 XL, regular cab, regular bed, with the 2.7EB. If it were available, I would take the same truck but with the long-gone 300ci straight six and 4-speed. First gear in that tranny was a granny gear for towing, and I simply prefer manuals.

  • avatar
    dabossinne

    Traded in my beloved ’06 Taco 4×4 CC year before last on a new ’15 F150 4×4 SCREW. At the time I thought the F150’s much larger size would be hard to to get used to, but I have since gotten used to it no problem (except in tight parking situations). I like almost everything about it…it drives great, the gobs of interior room in the thing comes in handy all the time. In short, it does everything I need and ask of it with ease. It’s been the perfect truck for me.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    Late ’80s Chevy two door pickup in red…if I wanted a truck.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    Jack,
    My BT50 has all the bullsh!t bling and leather I want (a want not a need like my or most any pickup).

    There is only one thing missing.

    WHERE THE FOCK IS MY “TEXAS EDITION BADGE”?

  • avatar
    gkhize

    I want a regular cab truck with an automatic, 4×4, decent wheels, and a chrome grille (no F150 XLs). Beyond that the only other nicety would be an AM/FM radio. My preference is an F150 or Super Duty (no diesel I have nothing to pull) but a GMC would work too. I don’t want 4 door truck, they’re just SUVs with a box and I already have an SUV. I need to haul stuff, not people.

  • avatar
    TonyJZX

    We only get mid sized four door dual cab trucks here.

    Driven a few Hilux Rangers Colorados Navaras and whatever.

    They are largely too big for many urban areas especially shopping centers.

    Furthermore I’m not convinced these are good choices given they compromised for rear seat space AND the 1.5 meter load space isnt sufficent for many needs.

    And they generally have terrible handling and braking given then 4,400lbs avg.

    I dont mind the traditional “truck” like the Ford Everest that is popular in Asia (its just a Ranger in a SUV package).

    I do love the looks of this thing though:

    https://mccarthyford.co.za/blog/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/Ford-27-November.jpg

    I also love the look of the UN spec Toyota Fortuner:

    http://www.themotorreport.com.au/content/image/2/0/2016_toyota_fortuner_gx_review_02-0105-920×544.jpg

    Yes thats right, a $50,000 truck with black steel wheels and a plastic tiller.

    Looks the business though.

    I’m also of the opinion that some people may be better off with a midsized van… the crew vans we have here are white, vinyl interior with configurable seating for 3, 4 to 6 people.

    I think a 3 seat van would suit me well. I rarely have 4 people on board but often have more than 2 and I prefer my cargo inside locked up and I dont really need 4wd ability.

    I also love the anonymity of a typical white van.

  • avatar
    MrIcky

    Sometimes I want a new truck, but then I realize that my old trucks have the best quality of all- paid off. Which makes them the perfect size, options, and colors.

    But…I want the middle range Power Wagon with sticker delete.

  • avatar
    Steve Biro

    The last truck I had was a 2003 Ford Ranger… white… standard cab, standard bed, 2WD, 5-speed manual, 2.3-liter four (the second improved 2.3). XLT package with air, carpeting and sliding rear window. 25 mpg around town, 33 mpg on the highway and 27-28mpg average. This truck was great in the snow and rain – I say the short wheelbase and modest power had a lot to do with that. I only traded it because I finally needed more people room.

    I wish I could buy this kind of truck again. But almost all new trucks – like most vehicles – offer way too much in terms of size, equipment and connectivity. And did I mention ugliness? Most modern trucks look like cartoons.

    The closest to my Ranger today, I guess, would be a base Nissan Frontier. But to even get air conditoning, you have to take a lot of extra crap like a CD player and backlit steering wheel audio controls and more.

    My dream truck? How about an early 90’s Ford F-150 with inline six, manual transmission, 2WD, rubber floor matting and air? Standard cab and bed, of course. I might have to go back farther than that in order to get a three on the tree. A Bronco with 4WD from that same period would also be great – even with the six. Oh, if one could only buy those two vehicles brand-new today!

  • avatar
    bunkie

    Truth is, I have the truck I want:

    2015 Base Tacoma 4WD (4-cyl, 5-speed) with the SR package (cruise, black-painted allow wheels, body color bumpers). With the addition of a folding tonneau, user-installed backup camera, user-installed tailgate lock, dealer-installed tow hitch and a stereo upgrade (Focals in the doors, mild amplifier), it’s just about perfect for my needs.

    Since you mentioned a second truck, I have to say that, given the time and inclination, I would like a ’69 C10 with airbags, an LS and a Tremec.

  • avatar
    VoGo

    Home Depot has all the truck I want, and they are kind enough to lend it to me whenever I like for $20. Even better, I discovered recently they are pretty happy to deliver what you want to your house.

    But if I HAD to get a truck, that new Ridgeline would be the only one I’d consider.

    • 0 avatar
      VW4motion

      Ridgeline is not a truck. Every article I’ve read on this new Ridgeline the transmission overheats pulling 5000 lbs. If anything the Ridgeline is the mommy truck that wants to not say they are driving a mommy suv.

      • 0 avatar
        VoGo

        Sheesh. Talk about fragile male ego.

        • 0 avatar
          VW4motion

          Driving a mommy truck should not have to do with one’s sexuality issues. It has to do with not wanting to drive a real pickup that works like a real pickup.
          Having to drive something that knowingly has issues with any type of work outside of driving to Trader Joe’s just so you don’t look to butch is an issue.

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            vw4motion,
            No one cares about your sexuality issues. Keep it in the closet for all we care. Clearly, it’s not only the truck that ‘knowlingly has issues.”

          • 0 avatar
            VW4motion

            VoGo,
            driving a particular type of vehicle should not define ones sexuality. Grow up.

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            VW4motion,
            I see that you have mommytruck issues. I guess I the next time I show interest in a vehicle I need to post a warning for all those who are so easily triggered.

        • 0 avatar
          tubacity

          Video of overheating Ridgeline transmission when off roading.

          https://www.youtube.com/embed/B5eE697aqEg
          Ridgeline off road.
          Transmission Temperature Too Hot
          See at 15:07

          • 0 avatar
            VW4motion

            This was my point on “mommy pickup”. It is not built to do any real work. Could have used pretend pickup. The ridgeline is useless outside of small loads for mulch or taking your boxes home from Ikea. To many bags of mulch in the bed could probably break the ridgeline.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            “This was my point on “mommy pickup”. It is not built to do any real work. Could have used pretend pickup. The ridgeline is useless outside of small loads for mulch or taking your boxes home from Ikea. To many bags of mulch in the bed could probably break the ridgeline.”

            Shouldn’t matter if you buy it never intending to work it beyond that level.

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            VW4motion is desperate to tell me my truck needs and dictate my choices. He’d make a great supreme court justice?

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        MommyTruck?

  • avatar
    raph

    An F150 in the vintage of the lead picture would be fine maybe 4WD – with the money saved I’d snatch the motor and trans and replace them with something with a little more oomph.

    In the realm of Ford pushrod engines a stroked 5.8 (at the extreme end you can get 7.5 liters) capped with a nice set of aftermarket cylinder heads. Nothing too big since torque is what you want.

    Back in the late 80’s or early 90’s Jim Feuling messed around with cylinder heads on big block Chevrolets that used small ports, valves, and chambers which yielded some pretty neat results with almost diesel like performance in a gasoline engine. It would be fun to try and go that route.

    Or ditch the pushrods and go with a nice 2v MOD V8. Ford has a nice CGI block that can yield 5.2 liters with a few aftermarket options to pump things up before strapping on a power adder.

  • avatar
    cammark

    A late model Isuzu N-series with a flatbed instead of the typical box in back. Diesel would be nice as would 4X4. Maximize the wheel base with a cab-over!

    Then a 1990 Honda Acty Attack. It’s small enough to park in the bed of the Isuzu for a tidy, almost stackable storage solution.

    Can you tell I’m a bit of an engineering nerd..?

  • avatar
    Mandalorian

    Honestly, I’ve toyed with the idea of getting an F-150 King Ranch or even SVT Raptor as my next vehicle, but at the end of the day a Suburban/Yukon/Escalade/Navigator/Expedition is just a lot more useful to me. I don’t really need the open bed, would just have to put some sort of cover on it.

    I like trucks objectively, but in real life a full-size SUV wins out.

    • 0 avatar
      VW4motion

      Went to an auto a few weeks ago. Every Suburban/Yukon/Escalade that we looked at had some build quality issue. Doors were not aligned, dash was not aligned, or some panel was off alignment. Even my wife pointed out the huge gaps in the stereo/ash tray area. Not sure what was going on with the suv’s. Truly it was sad, they had 1990’s GM build quality.

  • avatar
    Nicholas Weaver

    Either cheap or expensive…

    Inexpensive: F150 XL, regular cab, long bed, 4×4, one of the Egoboost turbos. A nice, work grade truck for “get [email protected]#)(*” done, camping, etc.

    Expensive: F150 Raptor, extended cab, loaded. Fuck it, I want the Farmer’s Ferrari…

  • avatar
    Paragon

    A new Dodge Dakota, more like the original. Or, maybe a new D50 small little Pickup. Maybe even a modern interpretation of the Dodge Rampage, a small FWD pickup. Basically, a pickup smaller than full-size that would only get occasional use of the bed. More of a lifestyle pickup. Have heard a Jeep pickup is on the way, but don’t yet know exactly what that will be like.

    • 0 avatar
      John-95_Taurus_3.0_AX4N

      If they made the ProMaster City a “coupe utility”, I think it would do well. Same with the Ford Transit Connect.

      They did trademark the name Transit Courier, and although that name applies to vans in other countries, my hope is that it’ll be on a Transit Connect-based pickup (coupe utility).

  • avatar
    RobbieAZ

    We just traded our truck, a very nice F-150 FX4 and have no need for another one. We rarely used the bed. It would have been far cheaper to rent a truck for the few occasions we actually needed one. They’re just too big to drive and park in suburbia. And I got all the off-roading I ever needed to do out of my system the 8 years I had my Wrangler so no need for another 4×4. It was fun but I was always a bit nervous thrashing my daily driver like that.

  • avatar
    Drzhivago138

    [Current model year] F-150 SuperCab/8′ bed 3.5 EB 10-speed 4×4. Either an XLT with every box checked, including the Heavy-Duty Payload Package, or a Lariat non-HDPP. You can’t get the Lariat HDPP and Caribou two-tone on the fenders. I’d use this truck to pull my nonexistent camper, or maybe put a camper in the bed.

  • avatar
    ajla

    I’d be quite interested in a 2WD Silverado Double Cab 4.3L with a 3.42 rear end.

    But GM doesn’t offer that. For the V6, 2WD is 3.23 only and you have to go 4WD to get the 3.42.

    For what actually exists, probably a 4×2 Tundra double cab 4.6L.

    • 0 avatar
      Drzhivago138

      Does the Chevy build and price tool let you choose the rear axle? Ford’s used to, but they removed that function. It’s too bad, because it was a good method for choosing the HDPP by default–configure a Regular Cab/8′, SuperCab/8′, or SuperCrew/6.5′ model with 3.5 EB or 5.0 and a 3.73 locking rear, and you’d automatically get the Heavy-Duty Payload Package.

    • 0 avatar
      MrIcky

      Are you sure they don’t offer that combo? I bet you the fleet manager can get you any rear end option you want want, even if it isn’t showing in the standard configurator.

      • 0 avatar
        ajla

        I’m positive it doesn’t exist as a regular option.

        I’m not sure if a dealer would have the ability or desire to override on a single truck. And if they *do* have that ability I’d probably do a 6.2L Double Cab 2WD WT with 3.42 instead of the V6.

  • avatar
    Scoutdude

    I’ll take the last Super Duty that you could get the close ratio 4sp with Low and OD behind the v10. Crew Cab, 8′ bed and 4×4. XL trim with the power windows, locks, mirrors, cruise and AC. My current truck is close, missing 2 cyls the power windows, locks and mirrors. For lesser needs my Scout with the Cab Top does nicely.

    • 0 avatar
      Drzhivago138

      Not sure about the transmission, but last year for the V10 in a pickup (not chassis cab) was 2010.

      • 0 avatar
        Scoutdude

        Since I’m not a new truck buyer, typically use it 3-5K per year, I don’t follow them that closely, but I think the 5sp went away before that.

        Now if I was a new truck buyer, one that had to serve as my primary vehicle it would be a F150. SuperCrew 4×4, not sure on the engine but on paper the 2.7 EB looks like a good compromise but I’d have to drive the 5.0. I’d probably go for the Limited or Platinum trim and I’d want the highest combination of tow and payload available with the selected configuration.

  • avatar
    srh

    Over the last 20 years I’ve meandered through a handful of trucks. ’97 F-150, ’00 F-350, ’97 F-250, ’08 Chevy 2500, ’13 Chevy 1500, ’14 Raptor, ’15 F-350. All in CC/LB form (or the longest bed available)

    The 3/4 and 1-tons are great for those weekends where I’m hauling 4000 pounds of gravel or a bed full of pressure treated 6x6s. Sure, I could make two trips with a half ton. But I’d rather not. I suppose a trailer would work fine. I’ve never found it that onerous driving these trucks even in downtown Portland or Seattle.

    The Raptor was a fun truck but it was tough to live with the stubby 5.5′ bed.

    My ideal stable would be a 2017 Raptor and a used/stripped F-350. My HD trucks have all been diesels, but on the used market I’d buy a gasser. A lot cheaper, and this would be a low mileage vehicle anyway.

    • 0 avatar
      Drzhivago138

      Was the ’97 F-150 a SuperCab long bed?

      • 0 avatar
        srh

        Actually that one was a short-bed, super-cab. My first vehicle after college. Darn, I knew there had to be an exception in there.

        The ’97 F-250 was the truck I should have kept. It was the perfect beater. Stripped down, rode and looked like a truck ought to ride and look. And I never cared what happened to it, because it was only worth about $4K. Probably $2K now.

  • avatar
    friedclams

    I have the truck I want. A bombproof old B2300 (Ranger) with the 5-speed, 2WD. Slow as dirt but quite drivable in the city, easy on gas, and with a patina of filth that perplexes my neighbors.

    The 2WD makes it terrible in snow, but I never bothered to put winter tires on it, so it’s not fair to complain.

  • avatar
    30-mile fetch

    “Because this is TTAC, the conversation in the comments quickly turned to the traction merits of various drivetrain systems. You crazy kids”

    It’s a wonder Jack puts up with us. Page hits? Pity?

    I posted my ideal trucks yesterday in a thread: 4×4 short cab, regular bed, no vinyl seats, and a reasonable feature list—cruise, AC, power accessories, a stereo with a CD and USB port. Put a shell on the back and you have a fine camping rig with absolutely no shortage of power for daily driving.

    http://tinyurl.com/gqhoueo
    http://tinyurl.com/jyrulz3

    But I have kids and lack the financial and driveway latitude for an expensive third vehicle, so I’d have to look at SuperCrewMaxiQuadriCabs and now we’re talking a price and footprint I don’t like. Midsize pickups aren’t much smaller or cheaper and the cabins are cramped for family duty. SUV it had to be.

    2nd pickup? If I’ve got one truck I wouldn’t desire a 2nd.

  • avatar
    Sobro

    Like many above, I own the truck that I want. ’02 F150 Supercab XLT 4.6. 20mpg highway if you keep it right at 70mph. Highland Green, as God intended Fords to be. And it has power tools in the back seat and a stepladder and bits of lumber in the bed. The only thing I would change is the bed length, to 8′, but then it wouldn’t fit in my garage.

  • avatar
    Feds

    2nd Gen Frontier, crew cab, long bed, 4×4, with the supercharger and the manual transmission, just because it is one of the best proportioned modern trucks, and supercharger and stick shift.

    I may swap the above for a Wrangler pickup, depending on final specs. If I’m going to have a trail-ish rig, it might as well come with solid axles from the factory.

    The “big truck” has to be an F150, crew cab, short bed, colour matched camper shell. Lariat spec so I can get the leather bench seat. Pay the extra money for two tone. Green upper and beige/brown lower.

    I like everything about the ecoboost, but for my money, I’m getting the 5.0, auto 4×4, e-locker, and I’ll pay the dealership to swap in a torsen front diff before I get it off the lot.

  • avatar
    Dan R

    Nissan Frontier 4 cyl. CVT. There, I said it.

  • avatar
    IBx1

    I already have mine! 2000 F-250 Lariat with the 7.3L Powerstroke. Crew cab, 2WD, 6-speed manual.

    I just wish it still got 25mpg like it did when I bought it 2.5 years ago, but that’s another story.

  • avatar
    heavy handle

    What the truck do I want?

    I want whatever Hertz or U-Haul can rent me for a few hours, or for the weekend.

    Basically a magic disappearing truck that doesn’t take driveway space from the cars and bikes.

  • avatar
    suburbanokie

    Already have it sitting in the garage, just need to get it running again — My grandfather’s 1979 Chevy C10 Silverado with a 350ci V8.

    Wouldn’t mind an old 4WD Nissan Hardbody either.

  • avatar
    tnk479

    I don’t want a full size but I test drove the Taco and hated it. The back seat can’t fold down without moving the front seat forward. It is oddly short and the interior is cheaper looking than I expected.

    The GMC Canyon might be the closest any automaker comes. Unfortunately the options/feature packaging is difficult. First of all, these trucks should come with a spray in bed liner. It’s ridiculous to charge extra for that. Where is the sunroof option? Wood trim in a modern truck? It looks tacky.

    • 0 avatar
      JMII

      “First of all, these trucks should come with a spray in bed liner. It’s ridiculous to charge extra for that. Where is the sunroof option?”

      +1 I know someone with a Canyon and the bed is already scratched down to bare metal. Its like GM put one coat of paint back there. They got a quote to do the spray on stuff = $500. I’d love a sunroof in the my next truck. I had a Ranger with an aftermarket one, it never leaked and was great to just tilt open for some airflow on those rare FL days when the A/C wasn’t required.

  • avatar
    philadlj

    I’ll take a 1994 NUMMI-built Toyota RN80 4×2 regular cab manual. In black.

  • avatar
    Add Lightness

    Pickup trucks are built backwards.

    They should be FWD so there is traction when empty (if you really are going to carry heavy loads in the backwoods, 4WD available) and have a nice low bed and space efficient packaging.

    Current pickups have grossly inefficient packaging but fuel is cheap so who cares?

  • avatar
    ericb91

    Here we go! I’m a truck guy. I’m all in with this one!

    Brand new Ram 2500 Tradesman Crew Cab Long Bed 4×4 Cummins Diesel 6-speed manual (in one of their exotic, fleet-spec paint colors like Hills Green or Robins Egg Blue)- MSRP $48,310. $4,500 in rebates comes to $43,810

    Brand new Ford F-150 XL Regular Cab Short Bed 4×2 5.0 Coyote V8 with 3.55 eLocker axle in Black with Sport Appearance Package. MSRP $33,290. $1,800 in rebates comes to $31,490.

    Total- $75,300 even. Before tax and modifications… The F-150 would be my Lightning impostor and would end up supercharged and lowered on performance tires. It would be a more likely daily driver. The Ram would be my towin’ muddin’ family haulin’ let’s go campin’ beast and would be lifted with big tires.

  • avatar
    Messerschmitten

    I want a presentable 1976 Cadillac Mirage.
    http://www.ebay.com/motors/blog/this-1976-cadillac-mirage-is-the-escalades-grand-daddy/

    • 0 avatar
      BigOldChryslers

      OK you win, though I would rather have their Cadillac Fleetwood 60 Castilian Estate station wagon conversion.

      https://notoriousluxury.com/2014/02/22/1976-cadillac-fleetwood-60-castilian-estate/

  • avatar
    Garrett

    I either want them to make a truck that is visually identical inside and out to the old C/K trucks, but 100% less explosion prone, or…

    Take the Volvo V90 and make it into a Swedish El Camino. In both cross country and regular variants.

  • avatar
    dividebytube

    The last truck I owned was a ’98 Toyota T100. It has all the comfort of a tractor and the interior quality of something from the 1980s; all plastic and cheap cloth. The 3.4L engine was underpowered too – could barely go over 75. It was also a bit rusty in the quarter panels. There were also a high number of squeaks and rattles – especially when the weather got really cold.

    But it sure was a rugged little beast – and with a set of snow tires, never got stuck and always stopped in the slick stuff, even without ABS. It was also the perfect size – not too small, and not too big for city driving. The bed was long enough to handle most of the jobs I threw at it – moving and hauling home construction projects.

    I miss that truck and would love to have something like it again. Just newer and a little more power.

  • avatar
    ptschett

    2017 Ram 1500 4×4, Quad Cab 6’4″ box, Big Horn or Laramie package, Hemi, Blue Streak paint, with: heated seats, protection group, 40/20/40 front seat (I don’t like the console) and a block heater; to start out with accessories of a bedliner (deciding between spray-in & Mopar drop-in) and an Agri-cover Access tonneau cover.

    (I was hoping to hold out a few more years with my ’05 Dakota Laramie extended cab 4×4, but what should have been a simple but scary spin into the ditch a few weeks ago ended with the left front wheel and fender finding the concrete base of a light tower, still moving fast enough that the frame was reshaped as the wheel came into contact with it and the lower control arm buckled… the above is what I’m going to be asking my local dealer to find for me, pretty soon now.)

    • 0 avatar
      BigOldChryslers

      My current and previous trucks have had the drop-in plastic bed liner. I would go with the spray-in.

      • 0 avatar
        ptschett

        I am leaning that way. The Dakota had the drop in, it worked generally, but when hauling something with high weight per surface contact area (e.g. a motorcycle) it was annoying how much the corrugations squished.

        • 0 avatar
          danio3834

          Which bedliner you get should depend on what you plan on hauling. If you’re gonna throw heavy pointy things in there that will dent the bed like bricks or cinder blocks, drop in plastic is the way to go. Otherwise I’d go with the spray in.

  • avatar
    gsf12man

    I have most of the truck I need: 2008 Ranger, 4.0L, manual, 4×4, 3.73 limited-slip. Bought new, and spec’d by me; it’s been about perfect for the rural life in snow country. We do a lot of light trailering. Dream truck will be the new Ranger, if they keep it as attractive as the current Australian Ranger (maybe even if they don’t). I’d prefer to have both (I love my Ranger), but that will require a lot of negotiation with the business manager to whom I’m married.

  • avatar
    spookiness

    I want the generation in the picture, 4×2, SB, I-6 with 5-spd or auto but not the 4-spd with low 1st.

  • avatar
    Yesac13

    The truck I want?

    A new half ton truck that is the same size as these in the 1990s. I could reach into the truck bed easily from the side on the older trucks. Can’t do that with newer trucks now. The new trucks today are bloated up just to look big – get rid of the bloat, please.

  • avatar
    cak446

    I wish I could just go and re order the identical 2004.5 Ram 3500 Quad Cab short box, that I custom ordered back in 2004. Trucks from this era are the highwater mark, and they’ve been on the decline since then.

    My truck had the 6 speed manual, a lever actuated transfercase, and was still nicely optioned up with all the options I wanted, including leather seats. This truck didn’t have traction control, stability control, or any other intrusive nanny, only ABS, that was easily defeated.

    The Cummins engine wasn’t yet burdened with complicated emission equipment, so it was reliable and still got great mileage. With the addition of a simple power chip, it was also ridiculously fast for a truck, and I was able to beat a Corvette, and CTS-V at our local 1/8 mile track.

  • avatar

    B R O N C O

  • avatar
    r129

    I’m not really into trucks, but something about a regular cab, short bed 1999-2006 GMC Sierra 1500 in bright red appeals to me. Perhaps with a stepside bed, to make it less practical. Why GMC Sierra and not Chevy Silverado? Just because it’s less popular.

  • avatar
    threeer

    Third gen Mazda B2000/Ford Courier (final year, 1985 for the Mazda variant)
    Plymouth Arrow (make mine with the crazy Arrow graphics package, please!)

    Stepping up a size,
    third gen Chevy C/K (as late into the run as possible, mid to late 80s)

  • avatar
    NoGoYo

    Something late 70s/early 80s lifted to the skies with raised white letter mud tires, white wagon wheels, crazy graphics, and a quartet of KC Daylighters up top.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    Toyota Hilux with an available V8.

  • avatar
    dchturbo

    Current ride is probably what I would want. 2016 f150 extended cab 2.7 xl 4wd, with the basic power equipment package and backup camera.

    I like the extra space in the rear of the cab. I do have other people with me sometimes. I got the 6 foot bed, which I’ve found to be just right for putting tires/motors in. I haven’t towed yet but I’m looking forward to it in the spring.

    I really don’t like trucks that are super “nice.” I like vinyl floors and such. I do, however, wish I had the bigger screen, which can be found with the STX package (unavailable for ’16).

    I do LOVE the late 70’s GM trucks, though. I’m just picky about air conditioning and stuff like that. Would have to be a modern V8 and manual trans, too.

  • avatar
    thats one fast cat

    While not a truck with a bed (but a truck nonetheless)a 1999 Chevy Suburban 2500. Acquired with 90K on the odo, now with nearly 180K. Dented and dirty -and never a worry – it will haul whatever I attach to it. Tows my 23′ seafarer without any problems, and accelerating with a 19 foot Grady is sufficient to merge into traffic without problems with my 3 kids and wife (and all of their stuff) in it.
    I have never figured out the fascination of spending boku dollars on a new truck. If you use it like God intended – and the designers designed- the thing is going to get dinged up.
    Best $5K tool I have ever bought myself.

  • avatar
    AlfaRomasochist

    I’ve already got one of my two perfect trucks – it’s a 1968 GMC 3/4 ton, fully restored. Blue with a white roof, built 396 with a Turbo 400 and a Vintage Air kit. And it’s freaking sweet. But it’s a bit of a show pony rather than a workhorse. I could use a big ugly dually 4×4 for towing / hauling, maybe a pre-6.0 Ford with the 7.3 Powerstroke.

  • avatar
    210delray

    I’d like an update of my present 1998 Nissan Frontier regular cab 2wd 4-cylinder 5-speed manual. Make the new one a King Cab for inside storage space, add 2017 safety features like side airbags and ESC, keep the same 6.5-foot bed but with a spray-on bedliner. Add a 6th gear to the manual tranny. Cloth seats and a hard dashboard are fine. The bulletproof 2.4-liter 4-cylinder has sufficient power and I’m getting 26 mpg overall now, which is more than adequate for a truck. I don’t tow, just haul yard debris to the recycling center and mulch to our home (plus the occasional load of furniture).

  • avatar
    dal20402

    If I stay in the city, I want something no bigger than a regular-cab Ranger, so that it can park in car-size spaces on tight city streets. Our parking lanes are 84″ wide and it needs to fit entirely in that amount of space with the tires off the curb and the street-side mirror retracted, which full-sizers and even today’s bigger midsizers have trouble doing. 4WD, please, but other options are negotiable. The problem is that well-preserved Rangers are jaw-droppingly expensive.

    But who am I kidding… I won’t ever actually buy a truck unless I move to the country.

    There is a side of my wife that badly wants to live in SE Idaho or western Wyoming. If she ever makes that happen, I’ll buy a truck. And in that scenario I’d want a 4×4 half-ton, short bed, crew cab (if the kids are still at home) or extended cab (if they’re not), body-color package, locker with the shortest axle ratio, well-equipped but still at the point where the value is reasonable. I’d have to drive both GM and Ford for a few days to see which I liked better. Ram’s tiny half-ton payloads and bad reliability are out, along with the Japanese makers who just aren’t competitive in this segment.

  • avatar
    Michael Haz

    Not a brodozer. Not a cowboy cadillac. Not a coal-roller. Not a constructuion site no-option stripper.

    What I want is a latter-day El Camino; an up-to-date Ranchero. Base it on an Impala, or a Taurus or a Focus or a Malibu or whatever. A two door car I can use to tote an ATV or the annual springtime yard of bark mulch.

    It will be as comfy as a sedan. No sill height issues for transporting elderly relatives. Quiet. Useful. Easy to park.

    The new Ridgeline comes close, but it’s not quite there.

  • avatar
    Truckducken

    Corvair Rampside, for the lulz.

  • avatar
    jack4x

    I would love a modern equivalent of my 2002 Avalanche 2500. All the useful bed/compartment features with better interior quality and materials. Heavy duty suspension for my plow. 10K towing would be enough. Revised 8.1 V8 with DI and other tech learned from the 5th gen small block. Maybe 400 hp/550 lb-ft as a conservative 300k mile tune. 8 speed to gain a couple mpg. My checkbook is ready GM, are you listening?

  • avatar
    Vulpine

    My pick would be a Ram 700/Fiat Strada with 2.5L Tigershark, 9sp. automatic and the 2WD/AWD system as installed in the Renegade/new Compass/Cherokee. Enough room to carry my 3-ball bowling bag inside the cab and able to carry just about any home maintenance materials in the bed, to or from the house.

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      Oh, and I think I’ve saved almost 66% of that capital investment. I could use that to take a few cruises to the Caribbean or even do a little nautical globe trotting.

  • avatar
    Willyam

    To echo Michael Haz’s “El Camino-ish” requirements, I would want my 1998 Dakota back.

    I worked at Dodge in the early 90’s, and the Dakota of the time was quite “Chrysler-y”. Square shape, plastic bits inside, but useful. I liked the Sport models, especially a two-tone, extra-cab, auto with V-8, as it was really fun to run away from most nineties cars. They had some punch.

    Then the 97’s came out, and they echoed the Ram styling but with way better ergonomics, parking size, and looks, IMO. I special ordered a V6 stick shift, extra-cab Sport. I got the steepest rear gears I could (owning a camper/boat at my salary was a silly notion anyway), and no options other than A/C and a sliding rear window. Dark green over charcoal.

    It got around 21 mpg, towed a full-size ’65 Chevy project home (not safely, but it did the job), and had an actual bench in the extra-cab for kid-size people. Best of all, it handled like a Chrysler sedan, rather than a Ram. Offramp exits weren’t sliding, tilting, panicky affairs.

    I wish I’d kept it, but I needed 30+ mpg back when gas was expensive. After 2004 the Dakota went plasticky, boxy, and weird again. The reviews got much worse. Now they’re gone. Or am I describing a 2wd Tacoma that a person could actually afford?

    That’s a possible neat topic: What are some vehicles that were right for only ONE generation, before they went back to being awful?

  • avatar
    Lou_BC

    75K cap on spending?

    Easy.

    Raptor or Power Wagon.

  • avatar
    Zykotec

    1st is easy , 1957-59 Ford Ranchero with full 58 Edsel front clip with matching 58 Edsel Villager tail lights offcourse.
    Can anyone even imagine a more stylish truck? 25k should net me a nice’ish one.

    2nd should probably be a more proper truck that can do proper truck things. I had a look at the big 3’s configurators after reading yesterdays Ace of Base.And I had a blast. I wish all cars were optioned like trucks. I’d probably be better off with a base 4×4 Ranger, Tacoma, Ridgeline or a Colorado. But an F-350 Super Duty XLT regular cab, Diesel, shortbed ,4×4 duallie would really be tempting with a higher budget XD

  • avatar

    Daily Driving: late-model Ford Ranger with a manual, but with an extended cab and a long bed

    Work stuff/hauling/moving things: 1990s F150 XLT Regular Cab/Long Bed, with the straight six and an auto transmission.

    Weekend toy: 2003/2004 Ford Lightning.

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    I’ve owned three trucks in my life, and just voted with my wallet last year.

    For me, the Avalanche is the perfect “truck.” I have never towed with either, but got towing packages both times because of the improvements in cooling it provides. For me, a tow package is added insurance for extra life.

    In my first Avalanche I hauled, I carried, I off-roaded in serious terrain, rock crawling, up mountain sides, through water, etc. etc. At the time I was married so for non-commuting there were 4 on board, and during summer months I would take the bus.

    For the record, I hated, loathed, the Avalanche when I first saw one. I thought it was overpriced, overwrought, a solution in search of a problem. I ended up buying one after poking through one on a showroom floor while I had a vehicle in service. A solution looking for a problem, but it answered exactly what I was looking for.

    Serious ability to go off-road (had an outdoor adventure travel company at the time, so was used for the business) while carrying 5 in relative comfort not Mercedes luxury, but truck luxury). The ability to go to a long bed on demand, if needed. A sealed cargo area giving me a massive, secure trunk. A couch for a backseat where kid one and two are far enough apart that they can’t torture each other, and far enough away to not kick the crap out of the seats in front of them. Watch the DVD player kids.

    Easy to service, easy access to parts.

    Got rid of it in 2005 under a change of live (single dude), change in commute (bus routes not compatible) and crushing fuel prices. When I did the math and concluded I would spend $6000 on gasoline on a year, it just felt…stupid.

    Life changed again with a Polyanna commute, wife, large house, large yard, an a bit of the, “must keep up with the Jones.” However, I’m past the point of buying new, which I now just see as being stupid (and to Jack’s awesome story of last year, I’m comfortable enough to have the privilege of owning a used vehicle).

    So I bought a 2011 Avalanche 4WD LTZ. Doesn’t have the off-road chops of my 2002 Z-71 with a mediocre approach angle in particular, but don’t see a lot of that in my future. But I can convert to a long bed on demand, the wife adores the comfort and “American truck grade luxury,” which is super important to me. I can haul 1,500 pounds of rock in the back, long with 4 people and their crap. I get 20 MPG highway if I play nice and use the cruise control, at its worst I get around 14 MPG in stop and go.

    I love the Migate, I love the suspension and the better ride, I love the wide range of aftermarket parts, easy to work on, and cheap to maintain. By the 2011 model year any kinks on the 6-speed automatic and the AFM system had been worked out, it’s reliable as feckin’ anvil. We have 4 cars in our motorpool, so if gas goes to $5 a gallon again, in inflation adjusted dollars it won’t hurt as bad as 2005 for starters, and I can simply choose a more efficient vehicle, or take the bus to work.

    I think the Avalanche is generally a misunderstood truck, but there is a reason CR put it at the top of their recommended list year after year (for owner experience, not quality) and I agree with their assessment. It can transform from a two passenger work truck, to a 5 passenger family truckster with a giant trunk in 30 seconds. That’s pretty damn cool if you ask me.

    • 0 avatar
      30-mile fetch

      Nice writeup, makes sense. I thought the Avalanche was a joke as well when it launched but descriptions like this make me wish it was still being made.

      • 0 avatar
        jack4x

        +1.

        Love my 2002, apart from the cheap plastic interior. As someone who has been hoping they will bring the Av back, you can imagine my surprise/excitement when I saw the production model Silverado High Desert at the NAIAS last week. Same 3 piece bed cover, same lockable bedside compartments, even similar looking buttresses. Alas, no trick folding rear seat, removable rear glass, or midgate, which of course are the things really worth having.

        Anyone questioning the purpose of the Avalanche has never tried parking a CCLB truck in their garage….

        • 0 avatar
          Vulpine

          Thumbs up, Jack.

          Maybe too big for my taste, but I agree with the intent whole-heartedly.

        • 0 avatar
          APaGttH

          Ya, the 2002 interior (single model year IIRC) was already outdated when the Avalanche rolled out.

          On my 2011 there are some key basic technology that weren’t even available. Blind spot monitoring and front parking assist both come right to mind that GM could have added out of existing parts.

          As I understand it, blind spot monitoring uses the rear ultra sonic sensors to detect objects on the side out of mirror view, and the mirrors on higher end models already had LED turn signal lights integrated. Wouldn’t have been hard to add, but GM was broke.

          Front parking assist sensors could have been added to the front bumper.

          One HUGE plus of the 2002 model interior, they are STUPID EASY to work on and modify. Instrument cluster swap is less than 5 minutes, and so many options (GMC, Cadillac) all plug and play. Plenty of companies can do the certified odometer swap.

          The 5.3L V8 doesn’t have AFM and the 4-speed automatic was already super reliable.

          But ya, the GMT800 Gen I interior was definitely engineered by Playskool. The update was a step in the right direction, but still behind. When GMT900 came out it was a HUGE step forward, but just barely to parity. By 2011 it was behind again.

          • 0 avatar
            jack4x

            I did not know the 2002 was a single year interior, very interesting. As has been my experience with many GM products of that vintage, the interior is simple, easy to use, and functional (real oil pressure, trans temp, and coolant temp gauges!)but I have trim pieces breaking off everywhere, a decaying headliner, a glove compartment that won’t close well, etc. I honestly had a better built interior in my 97 K2500.

            Mine is the rare 2500 model, so I have the 8.1L/4L85E. Great powertrain, and as I said in an earlier post, I would be at the dealer tomorrow with checkbook in hand if they had a modern version of a big block on sale. Some of the 1500’s ride quality is lost by going to rear leaf springs, but it still rides better than any 3/4 ton truck I’ve owned, and I like the heavier front components for snowplowing.

            That is disappointing about the sensors. Presumably those systems were available somewhere in the GMT900 SUVs, but someone wanted to save a buck. It seems like the Avalanche launched with a lot of fanfare and then was kind of left hanging for the rest of the run. I don’t remember seeing too many ads for the 900s. Makes me wonder if a decision was made early on that there wasn’t going to be a K2XX version and they just didn’t bother with marketing or updating the GMT900 with those kinds of little things. It’s too bad, because anecdotally, Avalanche owners just seem more loyal than most and I expect they would continue to sell.

  • avatar
    ericb91

    Okay I’m back for more. This is a fun game!

    Brand new 2017 Ford F-150 XLT loaded up 302A SuperCrew 5.5′ Bed 3.5L EcoBoost 4×2 (Family hauler, grocery getter, the wife’s truck) – MSRP $51,220. Rebates of $2,000 comes to $49,220.

    Brand new 2017 Toyota Tacoma SR 4×4 2.7L 5-Speed manual Access Cab – MSRP $27,065

    Total- $76,285. I know, I’m over $75,000. Whatever.

  • avatar
    St.George

    Icon FJ45

    http://www.icon4x4.com/fj#

    Don’t know what the price is but I don’t care!

  • avatar
    Goatshadow

    Toyota FJ70 series pickup version.

  • avatar
    White Shadow

    Zero desire to even own any truck. If I really need a truck, I’ll rent one, probably by the hour from Home Depot.

    I do like SUVs though.

  • avatar
    cdotson

    Being in somewhat of a quandry looking for a vehicle to replace my 2006 Odyssey while being able to tow my travel trailer (both my present 5000lb GVW one and future ~8500lb GVW one) better than my GCWR-limited stick shift Ram that will only pull hills in 4th, the truck I truly want doesn’t exist.

    I want a three-row 8 or 9 passenger truck with short bed. At the requisite wheelbase an old GM 4ws rear axle would be helpful. Call the truck a Ram since I like them plus the I6 Cummins is the best diesel, but a Hemi would be perfectly fine. Auto shift, because trailering through mountains is presently the bane of my existence with a 5spd that won’t stay in any gear but 4th at WOT. I only need 2wd, but 4×4 is ok because resale value. Must tow 9k lbs on top of 800-900lbs passengers plus 500-700lbs gear in the truck. And ideally barely more than half the allotted budget so that I might actually stand a snowball’s chance of acquiring said truck.

  • avatar
    MikeP20

    2017 regular cab worktruck stripper raptor F150 with a Dodge rambox dumpbed on back . PW/PL,air, cruise and delay wipers and cloth bucket seats. Column shift, real lever on floor for the transfer case. Allison 1000 6sp automatic with either the 3.0 ecodiesel or the 2018 ford lion diesel with the big fuel tank. Galvanized frame, stainless fuel and brake lines and rustproofed like crazy. Nice long lasting Bilstein shocks. Headlights and reverse lights you can actually see something with at night. Radio and climate control with knobs – no touchsreen controls. Double sunvisors and grease fittings on all pivot points and on the driver door hinges. And a good winch on front with a practical non-brodozer tiny member special grill gaurd to keep bambi’s head from going through the radiator. for $40k in plain white with a matte black hood.

  • avatar
    whitworth

    A Toyota Tacoma crew cab is pretty close to ideal for me, but I will concede that now that truck pricing is in the stratosphere for basically all trucks, you might as well simply get a fullsize and pay a bit more as the extra size has very little penalty but offers a lot more versatility.

  • avatar
    Michael Haz

    Hey, no love for an updated Subaru Brat? How about a two-door Outback, pickup bed from behind the front seats to the tail lights.

    It’d work. Of course, Subaru can make its cars fast enough in Indiana to keep up with demand, so probably never.

  • avatar
    Dan

    I did the newish car with a used truck for weekends thing for a while but once the used truck that I had at the moment got reasonably modern (08 GMT900), which happily came right before the gas price collapse, I stopped driving the car.

    That being the case, I bought my first new truck, a 2014 Ram Express crew cab, almost exactly two years ago. I got the V8, the 8 speed, the 3.92 axles, and just about nothing else which suited me fine. I loved the way that truck rode and drove but FCA quality is all that it’s cracked up to be. At 4K miles the rear brakes repeatedly stuck requiring new calipers. At 15K the AC compressor started coming on and off on its own. At 24K the cluster went completely dead. The dealer fixed all of those under warranty on the first try except for the brakes which took them two, which is pretty good in my book, but they shouldn’t have had to. On top of that the squeaks and rattles behind the dash were coming on strong as soon as it hit 30 degrees out this winter.

    So long story short, I just bought a 2016 Ford XLT with, and I have to hang my head here, the twin turbo 2.7.

    Empirically that’s the one that I want. I signed the check for it after all. But I honestly liked the Ram better.

    I just don’t trust FCA to screw one together right.

  • avatar
    arach

    I’m 99.9% happy with my F350 Lariat Diesel.

    Power, Speed, comfort, Luxury… everything I could want.

    Only real issues are size and Fuel Economy

  • avatar
    Acd

    I don’t think I want a truck.

  • avatar
    ericb91

    Okay, one last time. I just built my perfect F-150 online.

    2017 F-150 XL SuperCrew 5.5′ bed 101A Sport Appearance in Lithium Gray. 2.7L EcoBoost 4×4 3.73 eLocker axle, Trailer Tow package, Tailgate step, power-sliding window with privacy glass, trailer brake controller, 110V/440W Inverter outlet, cloth seats with center console and Kicker subwoofer. MSRP as built $45,350, then a $2,300 rebate. Dang haha. But that’s perfect for me!

    The rest would be spent on some nifty stick shift truck.

  • avatar
    geozinger

    I haven’t driven a pickup since the 1990’s. Both my father in law and brother in law had mid 80’s Ford Rangers back then, both were a bit underwhelming. When I got my own truck, I ended up with a 1995 Dodge Dakota SLT V6 Club Cab. I liked everything about it except the fuel mileage. I got the V6 at the time because I thought it would have better fuel mileage. I guess I was too optomistic. But, I would take one again, but give me the 5.2L V8 this time.

    Someone else also mentioned the Fiat Strada (South American FCA mini pickup truck) which would be a good size for me. Failing that, maybe the Fiat Toro (South American bigger pickup truck), so long as it isn’t 22 feet tall and gets 4 MPG.

    If I were to bump up against the $75K limit, the ZR2 Colorado would prolly get me most of the way there. I’d love it if FCA would build the Ram Raptor clone they showed a few months back. If nothing else, the Raptor would do it for me, in a blue sky situation.

  • avatar
    gearhead77

    I want a new Ranger that’s the same size outside as the old one but larger inside or at least repackaged. A new Colorado is not THAT much smaller than a Silverado, why a 7/8 scale Ranger?

    Or a simple Toyota 2wd from when they began until they all became “Pre Runners” and jacked up even on base 2wd models.

    Ranger prices are insane right now. I’ve seen trucks that are now 6 years old that are probably selling for what they did new, although at a steep discount when new.

  • avatar
    stuki

    For an only truck, I’d want a stripper (vinyl floor & seats) Tradesman (only way to get a proper manual transfer case) Ram 2500 4×4 Crewcab with an 8 foot bed. Cummins and a real transmission, of course.

    I’ve driven one configured like that quite a lot recently, and it, along with the Miata, are better suited for current American speed limits and driving patterns than most any other car/truck out there :) The coil rear suspension rides better than most 1500s, especially with even as much as a big motorcycle in the bed. And the steering is so communicative and well weighted, one could be forgiven for thinking a live axle may actually make some kind of sense for an urban runabout. At least until you start looking for parking in San Francisco…..

    The coil Ram may not have the most impressive spec sheet papyloads etc., but for a general use truck, it’s eons above any 1500 (Nissan XD possibly excepted, but those don’t come with real trannies) for anything properly “trucky.” 7000lbs on just a regular ball hitch is no issue at all, day in, day out, although i’m sure most actually towing day-in-day-out at highway speeds will still want a wdh. But the sheer weight and length of the CCLB diesel monster just makes loads that really starts bothering a 1500, pretty much a non-event.

    And then there’s the bed itself, which excepted from EPA mileage reqs, are still made of something thicker than tinfoil. Ditto for the frame, for when you want to mount a crane, liftgate, joehauler or such.

    And to top it off, once you put 10-ply rated tires on 1500s, they no longer enjoy a ride advantage over the coil Ram. And with any kind of load in the bed, even a popup camper, I’ll never again expose my sidewalls to Alaskan gravel highways without coming properly prepared with 10-plys.

    So, while it may look like an overgrown BroTruck compensation device for the coalrolling set, I’m still convince that the Ram 2500 is THE truck to get for those who just want a truck, as long as they have space for it.

  • avatar
    SirRaoulDuke

    Besides the slushbox, this about covers it for me:

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/1987-Ford-F-150-Custom-Standard-Cab-Pickup-2-Door-/262825850678?forcerrptr=true&hash=item3d31a43736:g:1hUAAOSwt5hYi10P&item=262825850678

  • avatar
    dont.fit.in.cars

    My ride is 2015 2500HD WT long bed, crew cab, 6oh gasser with 4.10 back end, 2WD, white paint included. 82k miles and multiple coast runs, bone stock. Hauls truck camper while towing 10k. Everything you need nothing you don’t. 36k OTD. Can’t say I love it, but she does what asked of her without protest.

  • avatar
    AVT

    Well it would replace the 2011 3500 GMC Sierra Denali crew cab DRW duramax long bed. We only put about 10k miles a year on it but it’s always while towing a 5th wheel with load. I do like the new Sierras but the ram air scoop just doesn’t work for me. So I’d get a previous model year 3500 GMC Sierra DRW diesel extended cab short box with 4wd, heated seats, remote start, sunroof, and upgraded radio with nav, and the full tow package. Get it in black and stick the Denali grill on it aftermarket. Thankfully some dealers still have them on their lots. Hopefully, it will tow tractors and such as good as our current truck despite the shorter wheel base. Man, to think I could have avoided all this if I just didn’t get my CDL.

  • avatar
    mikey

    For me …A Silverado reg cab,8ft box Z71 package , V8 with the most upgraded interior available . I’d want the aluminum alloy wheels. Oh yeah and the heavy duty trailer package {i don’t pull a trailer but it improves re sale.} I pretty sure i can’t get leather on the reg cab. But heated seats, and mirrors would be on my wish list.

    The dealers around here stock a lot of stripper models. However i would need to factory order a heavily optioned Reg Cab long box. Me thinks the dealer will want a substantial deposit, because they don’t want to stuck with it.

    Oh well, I’m not about to buy it. Its sure nice to dream though

  • avatar
    Jimal

    Well I just sold my ’65 Chevy 4×4 pickup because I wasn’t using it enough as a truck to justify all the effort I had to put into keeping the gasoline in it from going bad. It worked fine as a weekend around town hauler, but the 4wd made it taller than I wanted and a heck of a lot less fun to drive and generally live with.

    If I get another truck, it will reflect that experience; 2wd, possibly lowered. I haven’t had to tow in decades so that isn’t an issue. Just a bed that I can put mulch or homeowner grade construction materials in, or take homeowner grade bulky waste to recycling. Maybe a ’70s Chevy/GMC stepside next time. Or an ’80s S-10, if rust-free examples can still be found.

  • avatar
    ATLOffroad

    I love the size of my 2005 Toyota Tundra. I test drove both a Silverado and 2016 Tundra. I just can’t get over how big they have become. Since I sold my boat I no longer need the towing capacity my 05 Tundra gives me. I would probably go with a GMC Canyon (better styling than the Colorado) or a Honda Ridgeline. I would need to drive them before I can make a conclusive decision.

  • avatar
    Hummer

    Well since you can’t find a 2006 HMCO for under 75k, I would go with a PowerWagon Laramie with the AEV treatment.

  • avatar
    Luke42

    The new Ridgeline is the truck I was looking for back when my Ranger’s lack of kid-hauling ability became a problem, back in 2012.

    I’ve driven it and I loved it. The new Ridgeline matched what I was looking for, except that I’m not prepared to pay $37k (equipped like our $20k Civic EX) for a vehicle without a plug.

    If I find myself with $40k burning a hole in my pocket, I’ll schlep on down to to my local Honda dealer and write them a check. Until then, my $20k Mazda5 is an OK dadwagon.

  • avatar
    HattHa

    F150 Crewcab 4×4 with the 5.0 and 302A package (android auto / car play w/ big screen; heated seats; trick powered back window)

    Pros: body won’t rust, awesome engine, great ride, hella capable all-around, seating for six, 20+mpg on hwy, bullet-proof engine/tranny
    Cons: expensive

    Verdict (picked mine up a week ago): keep anything long enough and the depreciation works out

  • avatar
    DirtRoads

    I’m late to the game here as usual.

    1990 Chevy work truck, 2WD, 4.3 V6 TBI, long bed, manual, no air, no electric locks, nothing fancy anywhere except the decals on the door that say “W/T” (which the ex took off with a razor blade years ago for some inexplicable reason), and paid for years ago.

    Oh wait, that’s the truck I do have! I can haul full size sheets of plywood, tow my boat, and park it in the winter when the snow is up to the axles.

    Who needs more than that? Oh Jack, I can also haul bicycles and tow a trailer with a car on it. Maybe not FAST, but I’ll still get there before the race.

  • avatar
    ddrap14

    AAA, I wanted the 6×6, but then I’ll either have a Nissan Titan or a regular G-Class.

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