By on January 19, 2018

2018 F-150 Power Stroke Diesel, Image: Ford

It seems we stood and talked like this, before. We looked at each other in the same way then. But I can’t remember where or when… no wait, I remember it perfectly well. It was eight months ago when I asked you to help me pick a perfect pickup. I ended up with a 2017 Silverado LTZ Crew Cab 6.5′ bed with Max Tow package and the 6.2-liter engine. Not all of you approved.

The Silvy ain’t going nowhere, but there might be space in the driveway for a second truck starting in the spring. Just like last time, I’m going to set some loosely-defined rules — but this time the rules will be very different.


The previous set of requirements were detailed, specific, and difficult to fulfill on a budget. This time I’m going to lower my expectations, and my budget, a little bit.

The purposes and tasks assigned to Truck Number Two will be, in order of descending importance:

* Carry no more than four cyclists and their BMX/mountain bikes to events both competitive and non-competitive. A SuperCab/ClubCab/KingCab is fine.
* Occasionally haul equipment used by my race team and its ever-expanding number of cars. So a 6.5′ bed is a minimum.
* Carry motorcycles from time to time.
* Serve as backup hauler and short-distance tow rig on race weekends, so it should be able to pull 6,000 pounds in fair-weather, no-drama conditions.
* Transaction price after rebates and incentives but before tax and title of $34,999 or less.

Note that I didn’t specify full-sized or compact pickup here. I also didn’t specify mandatory 4WD, so let’s consider the pros and cons. The two candidates that come immediately to mind are:

* 2019 RAM low-spec quad cab with Pentastar.
* 2018 F-150 XLT SuperCab with 2.7-liter Ecoboost.

Are those the best ideas? Should I try the new Ranger? Or should I get another crew cab just for resale purposes?

Oh, one last thing. All suggestions for used trucks will be ignored, unless the suggestion is to purchase a “Prospector Edition” Dodge Ramcharger.

[Image: Ford Motor Company]

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110 Comments on “QOTD: Pick a Perfect Pickup, 2018 “Extra Truck” Edition...”


  • avatar
    redapple

    F150 and RAM are solid picks. For me, it boils down to
    1-Resale
    2-Looks
    3-Hencho ? NO ! (They ve rapped us enough)
    4-MPG
    5-Build Quality

    The new Chevy is FUGLY.

  • avatar
    jack4x

    F150 (and a few Tundra configurations) is the only way to get an extended cab with 8 foot bed in a 1/2 ton. If you’re regularly carrying large items in the bed, the extra foot and a half may be worth it.

    • 0 avatar
      RHD

      If you have a trailer like the one in the picture, you don’t need the truck, just a vehicle with a tow hitch.
      You could take a nice vacation every year with what you save on truck payments.

  • avatar
    NoID

    Color me suspicious, but I’m getting a strong “One rule for thee, but not for me” vibe here. Aren’t you the one always telling people to weigh the need for a truck and the cost of ownership versus the cost of renting a truck when one is required? And here you are asking the B&B for their opinion on a second, extra, backup truck?

    I have a strong desire for context…why do you need this extra truck again?

    Turning a blind eye to the justification, I’d go with the 2019 Ram. Built in the USA, the engine is a proven, multiple Ward’s 10-Best winner, and it helps keep my paychecks coming in. All solid reasons.

    • 0 avatar
      Jack Baruth

      The primary driver is that my wife and I are both running a fairly stout SCCA season this year, each of us in our own car, and my newest race car is 3100lbs.

      For us to tow both our cars together would require a fifth-wheel one-ton and a very large trailer that isn’t close to being legal in our neighborhood. Not to mention the new DOT reqs.

      Right now I’m handling all of the other stuff with my Accord Coupe mounting a Yakima hitch rack and roof box… So I am practicing what I preach.

      • 0 avatar
        NoID

        You could skip the new truck and rent a 26 foot U-haul each time you’re hauling both cars. Just don’t get pulled over like one guy I saw with an Impala stowed among his living room furniture.

      • 0 avatar

        Have you considered getting one of Peter Brock’s Aerovault enclosed trailers? They’re made for hauling race cars and are about $28K.

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          An enclosed trailer big enough for 2 cars means getting a bigger pickup. You have to be able to carry tools, parts and gear plus occupants. You will exceed the rated gross combined weight rating rather quickly with a 1500.

          Another factor then becomes driver’s licencing requirements across multiple jurisdictions. Again GCWR becomes a factor as well as trailer weight.

  • avatar
    EBFlex

    You will get far more truck if you go with the Ram over the Ford. Far better equipped for the money. Ford seems to think that arrogantly high pricing is the way to go, Ram prefers to also give you features for your money.

    Plus, you cannot beat the ZF 8-speed. Even attached to the V6 the truck will perform very well. And, the coil springs will give you a much nicer ride than the jittery F-150.

    • 0 avatar
      jfk-usaf

      you get what you pay for. Most of the people I know that have FCA products right now lease them and would not consider owning them. too many trips to the stealer-ship and too many damn recalls

      • 0 avatar
        EBFlex

        Both false but ok!

        My jeep had a rattle in a door panel and a few other very minor issues. Problem free for 51K miles. My buddy has a 2016 Ram and needed a wheel bearing under 1K miles…Since it has been flawless.

        And what recalls?

      • 0 avatar
        MrIcky

        Everyone I know with a ram loves it. Including me. 110k+ miles on a hemi + 130something on a cummins. And access to some good fleet info for my state. Ram makes a good truck and it’s improved every year, and I don’t know of any cases of Ram’s leaving someone stranded.

        Ford makes a good truck too and the 2.7 is a particularly sweet little engine in that vehicle that doesn’t get enough love on the sales floor. Frankly it’s the only engine that Ford makes that comes close to fulfilling the promise of the ecoboost. There were some early issues with the ecoboost in general and engine shudder and some line failures but to the best of my knowledge those are ironed out and it’s a great choice (other than no one seems to want to buy the 2.7).

        Those 2 trucks have the worst resale due to engine choice afaik even though they’re very capable. Unless mileage is a priority, I’d go with the Hemi or 5.0. If MPG is a primary concern, then a mild hybrid v6 may be a winner by truck standards.

      • 0 avatar
        Flipper35

        Most of the farmers I am friends with around here all drive Ram trucks. There may be issues with the 200 and other products, but the farmers are happy with the Ram.

      • 0 avatar
        OzCop

        Wow…exactly the opposite of my last 3 new trucks from FCA…I did lease my current one, but only because I tend to trade every 3 years anyway…

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        @jfk-usaf: “too many trips to the stealer-ship and too many damn recalls”

        Why don’t I believe you? Could it be because my personal experience with FCA products is the exact opposite of yours?

    • 0 avatar
      silentsod

      I have seen the ball joints on (not the newest) recent Ram pickups and they are woefully undersized. No wonder they die with such regularity. When companies aren’t picking the right component for the application I have to wonder about it. That alone would push me to the Ford.

      • 0 avatar
        OzCop

        That is a new one on me and several friends whom have owned FCA Rams for for hundreds of thousand miles collectively…never, ever heard of this problem…My brother recently retired as a tech for Chrysler for 30 years, and his specialty was suspension and alignments…I just texted him and ask him if he was aware of any of this claim…Nope, but did say the 90’s models that began the big truck image did have some problems with front end bushings and alignment, but those issues were handled in 1996…

        • 0 avatar
          TwoBelugas

          Love my Ram but I welcome people who blindly say “I will never buy a Chrysler”, keeps the price low for me. LOL.

        • 0 avatar
          silentsod

          I had the wrong generation truck in mind, premature ball joint wear was/is (they’re still on the road) an issue for 3rd gen trucks.

          https://dodgeforum.com/how-tos/a/dodge-ram-2002-2008-common-problems-394502

        • 0 avatar
          gtem

          To be around Mopars that much and not be aware of their horrible reputations in regards to weak front ends (ball joints specifically) is at best suspect.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            “To be around Mopars that much and not be aware of their horrible reputations in regards to weak front ends (ball joints specifically) is at best suspect.”

            Yup… And it’s the reputation that is suspect, not the supposed issue.

          • 0 avatar
            MrIcky

            “their horrible reputations” … they don’t have a horrible reputation. No truck that I know of built from 2010 on has a ‘horrible reputation’ except maybe the 6.7 diesel, and even that card is overplayed.

            It’s like me holding the head gaskets on the old v6 4runners against all 4runners for all time.

          • 0 avatar
            silentsod

            The 3VZ-E motor you reference is a turd in more aspects than just the head gaskets going. How they managed to make a 3.0 V6 so gutless is beyond me especially considering the follow up 5VZ-E is actually a solid power plant that makes decent (not amazing) power.

          • 0 avatar
            gtem

            To quote Levar Burton, “don’t take MY word for it!”

            3 year old Grand Caravan:
            https://youtu.be/33T1b4alccY

            3 year old Chrysler 200:
            https://youtu.be/UjL56gWWyUU

            https://blog.dieselpowerproducts.com/2013-ram-3500-the-front-end-fix-weve-all-been-waiting-for-from-ram

            Certainly, they very well may have seriously committed to tackling these sorts of issues, but the decades long precedent is there, and you can’t ignore it.

          • 0 avatar
            gtem

            3VZ-FE was on par with the rest of the SOHC 3.0L V6s from the Japanese competition of the era (Nissan VG30, Mazda JE, Mitsu 6G72), all were fairly thirsty and sluggish for the weight they had to haul, and really had to rev to move out (which they at least did smoothly). I think there’s no denying that the American SUV formula of the time of a larger displacement OHV V6 yielded better low end power, and at least equal if not superior MPG (Chevy 4.3L, Ford 4.0L Cologne, Jeep/AMC 4.0L I6).

            The 5VZ-FE is in every way a better engine (power/torque, mpg, reliability, easy to work on), but with correctly torqued head bolts, the 3VZ is a solid 300k+ motor. I’ve never driven one, but paired with a 5spd I hear they’re tolerable in the acceleration department.

          • 0 avatar
            MrIcky

            “To quote Levar Burton, “don’t take MY word for it!”

            3 year old Grand Caravan:
            https://youtu.be/33T1b4alccY

            3 year old Chrysler 200:
            https://youtu.be/UjL56gWWyUU

            https://blog.dieselpowerproducts.com/2013-ram-3500-the-front-end-fix-weve-all-been-waiting-for-from-ram

            Certainly, they very well may have seriously committed to tackling these sorts of issues, but the decades long precedent is there, and you can’t ignore it”

            ***A 200 and a Caravan are not a Ram. The last one is a sales piece to sell you some aftermarket piece. Dynatrac makes something similar to the Carli for Ford. That’s not a knock on Ford, nor am I saying Ram is the be all end all. Ball joints are wear items and live axle trucks get deathwobble.

            However the 1500 we’re looking at is IFS and this isn’t really an issue here.

          • 0 avatar
            silentsod

            I currently have a ’91 Yota Pickup 4×4 in the body shop with a 5 speed manual and let me assure you it is not up to the task of getting up to even a low highway speed (60MPH) in under 17s at a mile high. I don’t know if the -FE made it into any trucks and this one is clearly marked -E on the intake. This motor is at 227k mi and running well, it just constantly feels out of breath when motivating a 4400lb (I think is what the manual states for weight on the 4×4 EXC) truck around. Things might improve when I finally put on the appropriate size tires (should be a on 31×10.5R15, currently on 225/65R15) but tires at that size are going to add a lot of rotational mass to overcome.

            The motor makes less power everywhere than a 40 year old flat six with the same displacement is the part that dismays me.

          • 0 avatar
            silentsod

            Ball joints are, indeed, wear items and on aforementioned truck I just swapped to Moog upper and lowers as the boots were blown on all four when I inspected them.

            If FCA fitted 4th+ gen 1500s with appropriate ball joints and resolved the issue of premature wear then I can’t imagine they would go screw it up on the new one. At the very least I think any holdovers on the front suspension engineering team would be throwing a fit if it were proposed to underbuild it again.

          • 0 avatar
            gtem

            “at a mile high”

            That explains a lot I think. In the flat, sea level Midwest I think they do okay (not great). I’ve always read that the 22RE 4cyl and 3VZE are close enough in real world seat of the pants power that most guys will take the 4 banger just for the bump in MPG.

  • avatar
    phila_DLJ

    I’m one of the few people who prefers the looks of the new Silvy (say what you will, at least they thought outside the box) but that new RAM’s interior is pretty hard to pass up.

    • 0 avatar
      EBFlex

      The new Silverado is absolutely fantastic. The new Ram is even better.

      I was astounded at the positive comments and words of caution for Ford, on deep blue Ford cheerleading websites when they saw the new Ram. For Ford guys to say that Ford needs to step up their game is extremely interesting.

  • avatar
    IBx1

    You need a 7.3 Powerstroke.

    • 0 avatar
      NoID

      With stacks routed through the bed.

      • 0 avatar
        IBx1

        Keep the bed functional; 4″ straight pipe to a 6″ tip at the original exit point.

        I don’t care what you say about used trucks, Jack. You should own a pre-emissions diesel like the 7.3.

        • 0 avatar
          EBFlex

          Owning the 7.3 is one hell of a commitment. That will last longer than any new vehicle today.

          • 0 avatar
            Jack Baruth

            My mechanic uses a 7.3 diesel Ford to tow my Neon for arrive-and-drives. It has 310k miles.

            It’s actually failed on the road twice in the past three years. Once it had a pretty major engine issue 800 miles from home.

            That’s probably the exception to the rule.

          • 0 avatar
            IBx1

            Only time mine let me down was a high pressure oil line for the injectors had failed. No fire and it held enough momentum and operation time for me to exit the highway and park at a gas station, but that was at 256,000 miles. Three minutes to pop the old ones off and the new ones on, and I’m good for another 250,000 miles.

            At my rate of driving, that would have been a preventative maintenance item for 13 years in the future if I set a reminder at a 200,000 mile interval.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            The 7.3 was great in its day, and OK for around the farm and intown, but they’re antiques with a tiny turbo and primative diagnostics. By now most have butchered up wiringlooms and no one’s repopping them. The 6.0 Power Stroke is definitely the way to go (not the 6.4!) unless you want a big truck payment.

          • 0 avatar
            EBFlex

            The 6.0 was garbage. Ford programmed that engine to produce power levels that it was not designed for. Funny that in Navistar applications it didn’t have near the issues. The 6.4 wasn’t and better. The last good diesel Ford had was the 7.3.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            The 7.3 was legendary but so was the ’57 Chevy. The 6.0 is as modern as you can get with big power, pre-DEF emissions and tough auto trans. The pre 2005 Power Strokes are the ones you want to avoid, the Navistar 6.0s had less emissions equipment than the Fords while Navistar school buses had zero emissions.

            The bigger problem was Ford techs were caught flatfooted and were used to diesels from the Bronze Age. So the later updated 6.0 Power Strokes, King Ranch 4X4 crew cabs especially, are fast becoming the go-to alternatives to overpriced new diesel pickups with poor mpg, DEF and high maintenance, with or without 6.0 “bulletproofing”.

  • avatar
    Flipper35

    Just get the Prospector with a minor upgrade…The Trackhawk drivetrain.

    Or get the RAM if you aren’t towing far. I can’t imagine towing over the mountains with the Pentastar. It is a good motor, Bob mused, not a great motor (for towing). Tough to beat the interior on the Ram for the money.

  • avatar
    ajla

    Get the F-150, but make it a Supercab 8ft bed 2WD with the 5.0L instead.

    • 0 avatar
      Sigivald

      There are zero of those within 100 miles of me in Portland.

      I would not bet on finding one on a lot anywhere in America.

      (Edmunds has zero within 500 miles, no broader search.

      But they *do* show plenty of 2.7EBs around in that spec.

      So if you don’t want to order one custom …)

      • 0 avatar
        ajla

        Ford’s website says there are 42 in that configuration within 100 miles of me.

        Here’s one:
        peacockford.com/new/Ford/2018-Ford-F-150-maitland_fl-e438a45e0a0e0ae819f4e0a9b225139b.htm

  • avatar
    EBFlex

    I just built a Ram Express, extended cab (but with full doors), tow package, proper HEMI V8, black on black (looks fantastic), trailer tow with mirrors and brake controller, keyless entry, Sirius, 5.0″ uConnect, LED bed lighting and a spray in bed liner for:

    $34,744 (estimated selling price)

  • avatar
    ernest

    Good luck getting the features you specified for the price listed. (In the PacNW, a 2WD pickup is about as common as a unicorn, so 4X4 would be part of the equation one way or other).

    • 0 avatar
      Sigivald

      Northside Ford here in Portland has a handful of RWD F-150s … but they’re all the 145″ WB with the 5.5′ bed and the 3.5L EcoBoost.

      But they’re under $33K!

      (Not exactly sure why they have four of that specific spec; must be some sort of fleet use for that specific combo?)

      • 0 avatar
        ernest

        Think about that though. 1/2T Regular cab 2WD Ford, for $33K… AFTER discounts and rebates. Reading this thread, I’m thinking it’s been awhile since some of the guys have actually bought a pickup. My son just bought a new F250 Supercab this weekend. Diesel XLT, 4X4- nothing special in other words. Had to settle for contractor white, all the neat colors were Lariat’s or better, and most were crew cabs. Still- low $50’s OTD, after substantial discounts and rebates. I’m speechless.

        FWIW, the only question for him was which Ford he’d buy, and which dealership he’d buy it from.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    The deals I’m seeing around here you should be able to pick up a quad cab Big Horn Ram with Hemi and 4×4 for that price after the haggling is done – just my 2 cents. (Of course that’s the soon to be “old” RAM.)

    In the Desert Southwest I’m seeing Colorado crew cab, V6 (capable of towing 7,000 lbs), available with 7.5 ft “long bed”, dealer installed trailer hitch and wiring, plus locking diff for less than $35,000 advertised. As you have pointed out Jack the GMC has a demonstrably nicer interior but might not be sold as cheaply as the Chevy.

  • avatar
    cliff731

    I can’t give too specific of a recommendation as I don’t own a pickup truck… yet. For now, I’m still stubbornly stuck in Crown Vic “Panther” love and enjoying a S-197 Mustang Bullitt too.

    But the new 2019 Ram pickup has sure caught my eye… and I believe it warrants and garners all due attention of any prospective new pickup buyer who is window shopping and kicking tires on all of ’em in the next few months.

    Even the current 2018 Ram deserves honest and objective consideration therein. Gonna be some good deals to be had on this one!

    Either is where my money would likely go in a time frame window of new pickup buying over next six months were I wanting to get the most bang for the buck!

    Otherwise, I believe your best choice would be a 2018 Ford F-150 XL Supercab V-6 with long bed… and don’t expect to find much factory money on the hood. Even better with Ford’s 5.0 liter V-8… if you can ante up the extra almost $2,000 price uptick for this engine.

  • avatar
    tnk479

    That’s a good price point. Where I live, F-150’s go for 8-12k off MSRP depending upon trim level and perceived demand of the configuration.

    Is there anything on the XLT that you must have that an XL with the STX package doesn’t provide? Like, do you care about LED box lighting or a rear sliding window or something like that?

    Personal opinion – the Supercab looks better so if you can go with that (since it is a second truck) then go with that. The STX package grille looks better too. You can option it up with most things you would find on an XLT.

    • 0 avatar
      PrincipalDan

      Personally one of my requirements is adjustable lumbar in the seating (I don’t care if it is manual or power) – as far as I’ve been able to tell looking at F150s online I don’t think that the XL has lumbar adjust.

      Although I’m an odd duck because I prefer front bench seat too.

  • avatar
    smartascii

    If this is more than just a thought exercise, Jack, I just replaced my F150, and when I was twiddling my thumbs at the dealer, I saw a sign advertising a 2018 F150 V8 4×4 supercrew STX on a lease for $279/mo. I have no idea how long the bed was, but if this is just a backup truck, that might be the best way to keep your actual cash outlay at a minimum. This was in Pittsburgh, so it’s within driving distance from you if your local Ford dealer somehow couldn’t replicate that deal.

  • avatar
    TOTitan

    A Nissan Titan SV King Cab, 4×4, 6’6″ bed, with 390 hp V8, tow, utility bed and convenience packages MSRP is 44K and its made in Canton Mississippi. They are typically selling for 34K. They dont sell in huge numbers but they are great trucks.

  • avatar

    Prospector Ramcharger no question.

    I still have my 88 Royal SE Ramcharger two tone Blue 318 4wd.

    Actually I would go for a Canyon edition Ramcharger if I had my choice plus you get the magnum engine in 93 so that would be my pick. Make mine Green or Blue with Tan lower panels.

    As to actual current trucks. My vote would be the Penta star ram. I saw a left over 2017 for sale near me last weekend Crew cab 4wd Express for 28,900.

  • avatar
    srh

    It’s a puzzling question; why a second truck when your current truck meets all the criteria you set forth?

    So my answer is a non-pickup answer. Get a Ford Transit Van. Even in XLT passenger wagon trim you can easily hit your pricepoint. 2 years ago I bought a regular wheelbase medium roof passenger XLT for $32K (just sold it for $29K). Regular wheel-base allows you 2, 5, or 8 person seating with 10-foot covered storage, 7 foot covered storage, or perhaps 3 foot covered storage respectively. The seats come out in a minute or two leaving you a flat load floor.

    With 5 person seating you can easily fit 4 mountain bikes and gear in the back (I’ve done this frequently), or 2 bikes and a cot if you want to arrive early and take a nap. I’ve also carried both my Yamaha Grizzly ATV and my Kawasaki KLR650 in the back (not at the same time, obviously), so they work fine for that.

    Not to mention, the van is practical for things your current truck isn’t. The low load floor makes getting even a large bike into the back a piece of cake. The covered storage means you don’t need to worry about your mountain bikes getting stolen if you are staying overnight at a hotel. The huge covered space makes moving in the rain a non-issue (I used mine for two house moves in the last 2 years, in the rainy winter of Portland).

    The only thing it’s missing is the tow rating. Probably closer to 5500 pounds than 6000 pounds. Who cares, I’m sure it’d do fine. If it really matters, you can step up to the 250 and still hit your price target.

    The 3.5L ecoboost, while not competitive with your 6.2, still has more pep than any van I’ve driven previously.

    Yes, this is an easy choice. You’ve already got a truck. A van will do everything you need in a pinch, and a lot more to boot.

    • 0 avatar
      srh

      By the way, as an avid cyclist, the other awesome feature of the van was that for lunchtime rides, you change in the back of the van. Privacy windows meant not worrying about trying to hide my junk with a towel to avoid offending office-mates.

      And as a non-married dude, that same privacy afforded other two-participant recreational activities in the back after, for example, a day at the lake.

      Both features you won’t get in a truck (easily). Despite having just sold my van (to buy a truck, as it happens), I suspect another Transit is in my future in the next couple years. This time I’ll probably go all out on a long-wheel-base high-roof edition (I’m tall).

    • 0 avatar
      Nick 2012

      I second the Transit. Don’t have to worry about theft; room to haul any combination of people and cargo; and they drive very nicely. Plus you’ll always have a nice, warm, dry metal tent at the track or when BMXing.

    • 0 avatar
      HattHa

      I 3rd the transit van for all of the aforementioned reasons…

    • 0 avatar
      Nick 2012

      I looked at the tow ratings – no one has a clear answer for why the transit Van can tow 7k while the passenger version is rated for 5k. Same everything. Bozi could figure this out.

      According to C&D, the ecoboost transit 350 runs a 15 second quarter and stops in the same amount of space as a Kia Optima.

  • avatar
    Prado

    I’d advocate for the Ford 2.7 Supercab that you indicated, specifically with the 302a package. They seem like a pretty common configuration which will help in finding one already on a lot configured with options you want. I’m guessing as long as the sticker is under 45k, you could meet your budget target. Incentives look strong already for this time of year. The DesertSouthWest ford region email I recently got, indicated $5300 off, and usually there additional non advertised incentives like the private offers, loyalty, competitive vehicle owner, etc. (start requesting brochures for the private offers if you haven’t already)

  • avatar
    DanyloS

    I’ll be the dark sheep in the room here and suggest:

    Nissan Frontier crew cab long bed.

    Will tow north of 6k lbs, you should easily be able to find one well under your budget as an out the door price and you might even find a stick shift. Loading into the bed will be easier with the lower height.

    Might be more fun and convenient that a full second full size, the biggest downsides is the old design and interior if that’s a concern for you.

  • avatar
    Ryannosaurus

    I was in the same predicament back in 2015. It is interesting that until the new RAM and Chevy are released, you are looking at the same trucks and configurations that I was (excluding the new Titan). I ruled out the Titan and Tundra because they were out of my price range and gas hogs. Looking at base crew cab trucks, the deciding factor for me was that the F-150 comes standard with tilt/telescoping steering wheel. I could not get into a comfortable driving position without it and you could only get this on up-level RAMs and Chevys. I know you are driving an LTZ, so keep this in mind when looking at cheaper models.
    FYI, I had to go to the city to find a 2 wheel drive model and the local dealer was advertising one for $30k. Tried to do the bait and switch me into a pricier truck. I am sure it worked on a lot of city folk when they saw the rubber floor with no carpet, but I loved it!

  • avatar
    stingray65

    ITEM 1. Ride the damn bikes to/from the event – great warm-up and warm-down from the actual competition – no truck needed.
    ITEM 2 and 4: Get back to the old days when men were men and drove their racers to the track and back. Jaguar drove their D-Types from the factory to LeMans every year, and knowing you need the vehicle for the ride home will stop you from taking unnecessary chances during the event – no truck needed.
    ITEM 3: If you have a motorcycle because you like the wind in your hair or the feeling of flight, why not ride the damn bikes to where ever you are planning to ride them? – no truck needed.
    ITEM 5: I’ve just saved you $35,000 and put you on the road to financial and physical fitness – you are welcome.

  • avatar
    Scoutdude

    The problem is that you bought the wrong truck the first time around. You have complained about the 6.5′ bed it has which is why it should have been a 3/4 ton so you could have the crew cab and a 8′ bed. Then a Supercab 1/2 ton with the 6.5′ bed would have complemented the existing truck nicely.

    That’s what I have a 4dr 8′ bed 4×4 F-250 and a Supercab 6.5′ bed 4×4 F150. The little truck does great for a lot of jobs but the big one is there when it is needed.

    So the best choice at this point would be the F150 2.7 Supercab 8′ bed 4×4.

    Chrysler doesn’t have a record of good launches, either with stop sale orders, long delays or both. Additionally don’t expect the dealers to give much in the way of discounting on launch if they have the truck you want.

    • 0 avatar
      EBFlex

      “Chrysler doesn’t have a record of good launches, either with stop sale orders, long delays or both. Additionally don’t expect the dealers to give much in the way of discounting on launch if they have the truck you want.”

      BS.

      Further, they are pulling a page out of GMs book and offering the 2013-2018 model alongside the new 2019. If he want’s the correct truck, he would steer far clear from the Ford.

  • avatar
    Sigivald

    Can you *get* a new Ranger with a quad cab and a 6.5′ bed and 8-9k tow rating? Doesn’t look like it.

    So that’s out.

    (I say 8-9k because it is universally recommended to not run at or near your maximum rating…)

  • avatar
    Fordson

    You’re going to be doing a lot of towing – of a rig that will probably trim out at around 5,000 lbs., with a vehicle that will weigh around 5,200 lbs all by itself, and you’re wondering whether to get a tow vehicle with 269 lb./ft. of torque or one with 400 lb./ft. – ?

  • avatar
    Dan

    1. If other recent launches are any indication, it will be most of the first model year before either value trims or competitive incentives show up on the new Ram. Paying the extra 5K for the new hotness because you like it is one thing, conceding down to the base motor stripper to meet a fixed budget is another.

    2. The cab and a half is to keep your tools and groceries dry, if you’re going to ever carry people back there you really, really want the crew cab.

    3. 35K before taxes is on the low side of a decently equipped Ford crew cab. If you can stretch another 2 or 3K you’re there. If not then I’d look elsewhere. The current gen Ram will come in comfortably under. You won’t get a decent Toyota under 35.
    Nissan doesn’t have a standard bed with their crew cab but they’re the clear value leader if you can live with the cab and a half.

    • 0 avatar

      Haven’t been in the current super cab Ford but the quad cab ram was alot roomier then the previous gen Ford Super cab. I think it’s fine for occasional back seat use. If you were hauling 2-3 kids everyday then yah go crew cab.

  • avatar
    dal20402

    Look at the payload numbers carefully before you get a Ram. If you’re towing something as big as a race car, most configurations of the current generation can’t carry much beyond passengers and tongue weight. I’d start with a bias toward Ford or another Chevy for that reason alone.

    • 0 avatar

      The 2019 Ram payload numbers are quite a bit higher more in line to a little better then GM but still under Fords. Also he’s looking at lower trim Pentastars those tend to have the highest payload in the Ram world.

  • avatar
    DenverMike

    The STX F-150 or Tradesman Ram in extra cab V8 configuration, 6.5 bed and 2wd. For a backup truck, no need to get crazy, but power windows group, fog lights and tinted sliding rear glass would be nice (or the absolute minimum if you ask me). A midsize truck would require a crew cab, even for small human ridealongs, so let’s not even go there.

    Eight ft beds are totally unnecessary for 1/2 ton multi-cabs.

  • avatar
    Yesac13

    Backup towing 6000 LBS time to time? Well…

    The Pentastar is a wonderful motor.

    But I would go for the 5.7 Hemi if choosing the Ram. Why? Torque. I am actually surprised the Pentastar did not go direct fuel injected, that would boost torque numbers. Well, the hybrid version might help in that department. If it helps then get the Pentastar, after all. All depends on the torque.

    I am leery of FiatChrysler for 1st year models… So I think the Ford F-150 with the 2.7 ecoboost is the way to go. It cranks out far more torque and wouldn’t be dramatically worse than the Chevy Silverado in the towing department.

    But… test drive both. See which one you like best.

    Stay with 4×4 for resale reasons. I know about snow tires and blah blah but 4×4 is useful for trucks. My truck… in summer… on a nice day… spins its rear tires uselessly in my driveway. No weight out back. Just stick with 4×4 and be done with it. You’re in Ohio. RWD is fine in the south unless you tow boats.

    • 0 avatar
      gtem

      “Stay with 4×4 for resale reasons.”

      I came here to say this. And in general it will just massively broaden your search of in-stock trucks if you’re anywhere in the snow-belt. Of course on an off chance you might find a RWD truck up North that’s been collecting dust and you can swing a crazy deal on.

  • avatar
    87 Morgan

    If the intent is to tow a race car along with the requisite accoutrements that cpme along i think smaller than a half ton could arguably be dangerous. There is really no savings to be had either at the dealer or the pump. Towing at the max end of any vehicles ‘comfort’ range for any length of time is not fun.

    Why take that risk?

    Since you already have a Chevy and dont appear to be brand loyal, I believe the Ram will offer up the best value for dollar. They make a good truck, too many on the road for them all to suck as bad as some here seem to claim

  • avatar
    TOTitan

    Dodge/Ram trucks dont age well. Their drivetrains are ok but the bodies and accessories like AC, cruise, power windows, etc are crap. They just dont hold up over the long run due to the cheaply built components the use and inconsistent build quality. If you only keep a truck go ahead and get a Ram. If you want a truck that will hold up for ten years or more go with GM, Ford, Toyota, or Nissan with the last two being better built than the first two.

  • avatar
    Vulpine

    Before reading anybody else’s commentary, I would suggest a broader lineup. Clearly, by your description, you don’t need a heavy hauler or, what I call, a Road Whale™. That’s what I call all of the currently available full-sized pickup trucks. You want a fairly low cargo bed which eliminates the vast majority of full-sized trucks, especially the 4×4 editions. Therefore, you’re looking for a 4×2 with enough power to tow a relatively light trailer and a big enough bed to carry four bikes. With the tailgate down, the bed of a Honda Ridgeline is more than long enough and can tow 5,000# while offering a lot more convenience in the bed than any other truck and starts at $29K. I personally think this would be your best choice. But…

    Any available mid-sized truck would meet most of your needs, especially the Colorado/Canyon. Their prices start a little lower than the Honda but I think it’s still bigger than you need and you will need a larger engine–keeping you close to the Ridgeline’s starting point before you add any other options.

    Naturally, there’s a plethora of full-sized trucks and nearly any half-ton model would be gross overkill on capability per your needs though the pricing will be more forgiving. Even though their list prices tend to start at or above your limit, there are usually enough incentives to pull them back down. My personal choice HERE would be the F-150 SuperCab for part-time 5-passenger seating and a reasonably clean floor when you fold up the seats in back… letting you carry a mountain bike (front wheel removed) easily inside… very similar to the Honda. I might suggest the 3.3 NA V6 over the 2.7 EcoBoost for a little cost savings. You still get almost 300 horses for hauling and towing and less torque than the EB but you avoid some of the EcoBoost’s notorious issues and will probably see better reliability. That would start you around $32K if you choose the base XL model without any options (option prices add up quickly… the 101A Equipment group (power everything, Sync and Cruise Control) adds $2500 almost before you do anything else and certain color choices automatically include that option group. So the F-150XL is already approaching your limit and any other model is already over your limit. The rest become less functional inside (featuring seating over usability) and, with the exception of the Rams are likely to be greatly overpriced for your needs. But again, my complaint with any full-sized truck is the high loading height, making loading those bikes more difficult than necessary, even with ramps.

    • 0 avatar
      EBFlex

      $32K for a V6 XL???

      Man you can get a lot of (HEMI) Ram for that.

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        “$32K for a V6 XL???
        Man you can get a lot of (HEMI) Ram for that.”

        I did say “before incentives.” Those are the numbers from Ford’s own “build and price”. Of course, an XLT equipped the way I’d want it runs $42K and I’m certainly not willing to pay that much. $10K off the hood or it’s a no go, buy or lease.

  • avatar
    marmot

    Careful-the new Ram is sure to have some significant teething problems. Wait till 2020, at least.

    • 0 avatar
      TOTitan

      You can count on it. In my world of commercial construction the general consensus on Dodge/Ram is that they will run for years but the body, bed, and front suspension will fall apart long before that.

    • 0 avatar
      EBFlex

      “Careful-the new Ram is sure to have some significant teething problems.”

      BS

      • 0 avatar
        TOTitan

        No it is not BS

        http://news.pickuptrucks.com/2016/10/ram-ranks-last-in-consumer-reports-reliability-survey.html

        • 0 avatar
          Vulpine

          I’ve already commented multiple times on CR’s ratings. They’re not accurate.

          • 0 avatar
            TOTitan

            Sorry to disappoint you but this was not a CR rating…it was a survey of over 400,000 people.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            “Sorry to disappoint you but this was not a CR rating…it was a survey of over 400,000 people.”

            Show me. The article essentially says nothing while CR itself clearly states that the majority of complaints are about infotainment stacks, NOT reliability.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        “Careful-the new Ram is sure to have some significant teething problems.”

        Any new vehicle especially any new *domestic* vehicle tends to have teething problems. JD Power a while back had a report on that very issue and most everyone I know who is into vehicles says the same thing, “don’t buy 1st year of a new model”.

  • avatar
    Lou_BC

    I am surprised that Jack would mention the EB 2.7 since turbo V6’s was an exclusion criteria when buying the Chevy 6.2. I’d be inclined to go with a 5.0 V8 Ford not because the EB2.7 is a bad motor but because I tend to see more discounts on 5.0 F150’s especially at year end. The only other engine that sits on the lot longer is Ford’s normally aspirated V6.
    I’d be inclined to look at a crewcab over an extended cab for back seat comfort. Kids grow fast.

    If one looks at small trucks then I’d be inclined to suggest the Colorado crew since the interior is much more comfortable than the Tacoma.

    4×2 over 4×4 drops the purchase price and if one were to scout out dealers that sell mostly 4×4’s, there may be some good deals to be had on 4×2.

  • avatar
    HeeeeyJake

    Jack-

    Take the plunge on new, early build FCA platform and buy a new 19 Ram this spring. A lot of disagreement on here about FCA quality, etc. so why not take a flyer on the whole deal and document it for us, settle the FCA quality “battle of the anecdotes,” once and for all.

    Really would make a great series for this site, ith you owning a new Silverado too. Something along the lines of “proven GM reliability vs. new FCA” and alternatively, maybe a “are people really buying $25000 more truck than they need? comparo” between the two.

  • avatar
    Nick 2012

    If you’re ever going to consider an enclosed trailer if you start working on your own race cars more often, you may want to look at a gas F250 with the excellent 6.2. We use a 6.2 F250 to tow a 24’ V nose weighing 9-10k depending on loadout. A half ton can do it, but it is much happier behind a F250. Eight foot beds in all cab combos.

    • 0 avatar
      EBFlex

      The 6.2 is an awful engine. Gutless and drinks fuel. I suspect that’s why Ford is looking to quickly replace it with something that actually works.

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        While Ford needs a new and exciting (supercharged?!) V8 for the entire F-series line, the 6.2 will do anything its diesel counterparts will do, just with less spectacular panache, but with similar mpg. For the max weight, 13 ft tall, extreme trailer pull up a 7% grade battling a strong headwind at high altitude, it may be 45 mph, 4-way flasher time, but the $10K upfront savings more than makes up for it, if that’s not a common scenario for you.

      • 0 avatar
        ajla

        “The 6.2 is an awful engine.”

        Good God, this is possibly the most incorrect comment in TTAC history.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          WHO! Who doesn’t want to wear the ribbon!?!?!

        • 0 avatar
          EBFlex

          Actually it’s the 100% truth.

          The engine is a boat anchor. We have one in a work vehicle and it’s slower than molasses. Takes forever to rev, gutless bottom end, and the transmission hasn’t a clue as to what it needs to do. The only upside to hearing this engine scream to try and move the truck and watching the fuel gauge go down is the wonderful V8 symphony your ears get to listen to.

          • 0 avatar
            ajla

            Find any publication where the 6.2L SD is slower than the 6.0L GM or 5.6L XD in a comparison test.

            It’s usually within a tenth +/- of the 6.4L Ram (which I’m guessing you don’t consider a ‘boat anchor’) depending on configuration.

            This particular test had a regular cab F-250 run a [email protected] and a 6.49 0-60. Those are impressive numbers.

            pickuptrucks.com/2017/03/whats-the-best-34-ton-work-truck-for-2017.html

            How fast do you expect an HD truck (or ambulance or whatever you have at your job) to be?

            The Ford engine isn’t anything special down low but from 3500 – 5000 it hits with a lot of force. And, it revs a little better than my Charger RT.

            You don’t know what you’re talking about. I don’t even really like modern-day Ford and all their Ecoboost/mobility solutions talk, but they did a very good job on the 6.2L.

          • 0 avatar
            EBFlex

            “You don’t know what you’re talking about. I don’t even really like modern-day Ford and all their Ecoboost/mobility solutions talk, but they did a very good job on the 6.2L.”

            Wow. You’re so off base.

            If the 6.2L was any good Ford wouldn’t be looking for a replacement. But the fact remains, it’s a garbage engine. Having driven one extensively, I know exactly what I’m talking about.

  • avatar
    Art Vandelay

    I own a 2015 F150 Super Crew. It is an XLT with the rear locker, trailer brakes, and the chrome package. I added an aftermarket Android auto headunit that all in including the good install kit that let me keep the stock HVAC controls (other ones use a crappy looking touch screen) was 700 bucks. It will turn 40k on the trip back to Huntsville this weekend and I’ve had zero issues with it. It is a 2.7 and I pull a 5000 pound travel trailer with it on occasion. Serious pulling will get you into the low double digits mpg (grante my trailer has the profile of a parachute) and even single digits from time to time. Overall I’m at 24 mpg over the lifetime. I drove all the full-sized trucks when I purchased and IMHO it drove the best. The fact that you can actually see out of the Ford cant be overstated.


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