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Thread: What's the best small truck these days

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    426HEMI's Avatar

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    What's the best small truck these days

    With both kids driving now I need to get another vehicle, and figured I might as well get something with some utility. Don't need or want a full size really, not a big island, but have no idea on the modern small trucks.

    AFAIK there are;
    Canyon
    Colorado
    Ranger
    Ridgeline
    Tacoma
    1500

    Missing any?

    Will probably end up leasing it as well, any spectacular deals out there?

    Open to other suggestions as well.

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    time for your annual... Dr. Lexus's Avatar

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    Canyon/Colorado probably best, but they are bit bigger than Tacoma’s I believe. Pricey.

    Ranger - my understanding is it is priced like a new truck. But is a retread of an older power/drive-train/suspension.

    Tacoma’s long in the tooth. Excellent resale.

    Nissan Frontier. Longer in tooth than Toyota. Cheaper too. I bought a 2013 in 2016 for 20k OTD with the SL package -4x4,leather,bag...etc. had it for 3 years and 20k+ miles with no issues. Shitty mileage and a bit loud. But does everything it needs to. Tacoma not much different except looks better and gets edge in off-road and reliability.

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    better than Bryce silverSS's Avatar

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    1997 Ranger

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    Registered Member NHRATA01's Avatar

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    Colorado/Canyon seems to win a lot of the comparisons as the most "Goldilocks" of the midsizes. Ranger seems to get criticized for the ride and really being an old platform. Tacoma usually gets beat up for powertrain and uncomfortable cabin.

    Ridgeline gets a lot of love for ride quality and the truck suitable for most suburban truck owners. But lacking somewhat in truck capability.

    Gladiator is new but pricey.

    I just leased a '19 Colorado, LT crew, $306/mo 2k down 3yr/10k miles. Not a truck guy but needed something for the winter (SS sedan daily), plus has conveniences for a homeowner. I like it so far. Rides nice. Reasonably quick for a truck, 308hp and 8 speed. Averaging about 20mpg, 2 better than the SS. Any questions let me know.

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    426HEMI's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by NHRATA01 View Post
    Colorado/Canyon seems to win a lot of the comparisons as the most "Goldilocks" of the midsizes. Ranger seems to get criticized for the ride and really being an old platform. Tacoma usually gets beat up for powertrain and uncomfortable cabin.

    Ridgeline gets a lot of love for ride quality and the truck suitable for most suburban truck owners. But lacking somewhat in truck capability.

    Gladiator is new but pricey.

    I just leased a '19 Colorado, LT crew, $306/mo 2k down 3yr/10k miles. Not a truck guy but needed something for the winter (SS sedan daily), plus has conveniences for a homeowner. I like it so far. Rides nice. Reasonably quick for a truck, 308hp and 8 speed. Averaging about 20mpg, 2 better than the SS. Any questions let me know.
    Ridgeline is out, I refuse to own a FWD truck. That's just wrong.

    Gladiator is out, I already own 2 Wranglers, that would just be silly at that point.

    Only diff between Canyon and Colorado are external looks?

    Not a huge fan of the rear door section on those, but the rest looks nice. How do you like the interior?

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    Registered Member NHRATA01's Avatar

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    Yeah I think the GMC carries a bit of a premium in price but otherwise identical.

    I would call the interior utilitarian. It's basic, inoffensive IMO but gets the job done. Infotainment is pretty good, first vehicle I've had with Android auto and it works well. Cloth seats are fine for me but I've read some find them uncomfortable so certainly test drive one.

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    "What up 2-1-2" Locker537's Avatar

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    Go drive a Tacoma. You may really like it. You can't look past the resale value.

    I've been very happy with my 2012. The only real issue is they still suffer from frame rust, but they handle it via a recall and extended warranty.

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    I look reasonable, but I'm not. No F-bdy Bs's Avatar

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    I think you're making a mistake by dismissing the Ridgeline. They punch wayyy above their weight.
    The current gen look awful, but it will go head to head with any mid size, and will hands down have the hest ride and comfort.


    Tacoma is a kneejerk, but they ride awful. Mpg ain't all that, and they suck for anyone over 5'10.

    Gm twins,,,, eh. Overpriced for what they offer, imo. Gm truck reliability hasn't been all that in a while. The ZR2s are sweet, but the price is absurd, especially when 4wd QC half tons can be had for $37k.

    Frontier is proven, and unchanged. All the bugs are gone, but it's still a Nissan.



    For towing, the Ranger will be tough to beat. Also, around here they go for stupid cheap compared to the others. A quad cab, 4wd XLT can be had for a shade over $30k. Everything else will be an easy $5,000 higher. However, its a 10yr old design, and the front end looks gay. Why Ford goes so conservative on their looks is beyond me.

    If it was me, I'd get the Ranger just because of the power over the others. That's my hangup with all of them. None of the engines are impressive. Literally EVERY MIDSIZE ENGINE (aside from the Dmax) is a car engine, in a fairly heavy truck. None have an engine dedicated to their platform.



    The GM twins need the half ton, inline dmax, or the turbo 4cyl. Truth told, put the fuckin 5.3 in there.
    Ranger needs the 2.7 EB
    Last edited by No F-bdy Bs; 01-12-2020 at 07:08 PM.

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    426HEMI's Avatar

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    I'll most likely be leasing if that changes anything. Never leased before, but an island is probably the best place to get into a low mile lease.

    I wont' be towing anything, or at least don't intend on it. Want a truck to be able to haul surf boards, SUP boards, kayaks, etc and the occasional HD run.

    I'll take a look at he Ridgeline I guess, for what I'm looking for it might be a good fit considering I don't need a real truck.

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    "What up 2-1-2" Locker537's Avatar

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    Oh hell, you're in Hawaii and leasing? Doesn't that imply a Tacoma is the best choice???

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    426HEMI's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by Locker537 View Post
    Oh hell, you're in Hawaii and leasing? Doesn't that imply a Tacoma is the best choice???
    Well it would certainly help my journey to official local status, but no idea what the lease deals are like. I'll most likely go with which ever one gives me the most for the least. I'm incredibly ignorant on leases though.

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    Team Hobbit windham's Avatar

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    Hey Hemi, off topic question, what does a gallon of milk cost in Hawaii right now?

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    better than Bryce silverSS's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by windham View Post
    Hey Hemi, off topic question, what does a gallon of milk cost in Hawaii right now?
    3 conch shells

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    Team Hobbit windham's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by silverSS View Post
    3 conch shells
    damn inflation!!

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    426HEMI's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by windham View Post
    Hey Hemi, off topic question, what does a gallon of milk cost in Hawaii right now?
    Depends on where you buy it and I only know about what it is because I made gravy the other day. Otherwise we don't buy milk anymore, shit isn't good for you.

    WM has it for around $3.

    Along those lines, my local gas station is $3.29/gal

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    "What up 2-1-2" Locker537's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by 426HEMI View Post
    Well it would certainly help my journey to official local status, but no idea what the lease deals are like. I'll most likely go with which ever one gives me the most for the least. I'm incredibly ignorant on leases though.
    https://leasehackr.com/

    I haven't used that site personally, but I've heard good things. I'm pretty ignorant to leasing as well, but my understanding is it is in fact possible to get good deals.

    PM TTU on here. I bet he can help.

  18. #18
    426HEMI's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by Locker537 View Post
    https://leasehackr.com/

    I haven't used that site personally, but I've heard good things. I'm pretty ignorant to leasing as well, but my understanding is it is in fact possible to get good deals.

    PM TTU on here. I bet he can help.


    Ty sir.

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    Registered Member Anthony's Avatar

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    check out lease trader as well

    https://www.leasetrader.com/

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    Team Hobbit windham's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by 426HEMI View Post
    Depends on where you buy it and I only know about what it is because I made gravy the other day. Otherwise we don't buy milk anymore, shit isn't good for you.

    WM has it for around $3.

    Along those lines, my local gas station is $3.29/gal
    I had a student asking me about the COL in Hawaii the other day. It is her dream to move there for college and then live and work there for life. Most kids I am like "meh, whatever" when a 5th grader tells you where they want to live, but this one is from one of the pacific islands so maybe she will do it.
    Last edited by windham; 01-13-2020 at 06:29 AM.

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    426HEMI's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by Anthony View Post
    check out lease trader as well

    https://www.leasetrader.com/
    Thanks Ant.

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    I look reasonable, but I'm not. No F-bdy Bs's Avatar

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    Gal of gas, and a gal of milk were both $6 when I was there in 2008.

    I'm surprised gas is that cheap. That's only about +$1gal over the states.

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    426HEMI's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by windham View Post
    I had a student asking me about the COL in Hawaii the other day. It is her dream to move there for college and then live and work there for life. Most kids I am like "meh, whatever" when a 5th grader tells you where they want to live, but this one is from one of the pacific islands so maybe she will do it.
    It will be HARD for her to do that straight out of college. Jobs are tight, don't pay enough and things are very expensive. Milk is one of the worst measures, though when talking about a 5yo it is much more of a good example I guess. Something they can relate to better. It would take a great deal of planning to not end up homeless.

    Having said that, it is very easy to live here if you are homeless. Plentiful free food and it doesn't get cold.

    But housing here is very expensive. I have a house that is less than 2k sq. ft and with electricity/water my monthly expense on the house alone is over $4k a month.

    But things like gas prices aren't a big factor like some think they are. Plenty of public transportation available, its an island so you aren't driving far, thus I spend WAY less on gas here than I did in MD.

  24. #24
    426HEMI's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by No F-bdy Bs View Post
    Gal of gas, and a gal of milk were both $6 when I was there in 2008.

    I'm surprised gas is that cheap. That's only about +$1gal over the states.
    Gas has never been $6/gal on Oahu AFAIK. Highest I saw, historically, was $4.59 in 2012. If you saw 6 then it was a tourist trap kinda place, but with the amount of gas stations in Honolulu I'd doubt any single station would do that.

    I'm not sure it has every been $6 in the US, even adjusted for inflation.

    Right now I can go to Costco and get gas for under $3 I think, but I rarely do because it is out of my way by a couple miles.

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    Registered Member TransAmDriver's Avatar

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    Tacoma or Ranger.

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    Registered Member mogs01gt's Avatar

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    Best looking and driving small truck is the GMC.
    Best affordable truck is the Nissan Frontier.

    I've been looking at downsizing from my Avalanche and want something that isnt inflated due to the name, so I've been looking at Frontiers.

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    Registered Member speed_demon24's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by 426HEMI View Post
    Thanks Ant.
    Check edmunds forums too.

    https://forums.edmunds.com/discussio...als-and-prices

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    pret-tay, prettay good TTU's Avatar

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    Assuming you are ok with a Tacoma, it's an easy choice. Get a tacoma. You should PM me the details once you have a deal working, I can take a look for ya, see how good or bad it is.

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    The Masters Call MTU 5.0's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Lexus View Post

    Ranger - my understanding is it is priced like a new truck. But is a retread of an older power/drive-train/suspension.

    Not sure about the Ranger suspension, but the power and drivetrain are completely modern. Ford uses the 2.3L turbo (similar to the Mustang) and the 10R transmission. Reviews almost all seem to say it makes great power, and is probably the highlight of the truck.

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    426HEMI's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by TTU View Post
    Assuming you are ok with a Tacoma, it's an easy choice. Get a tacoma. You should PM me the details once you have a deal working, I can take a look for ya, see how good or bad it is.
    Appreciate that, will do. I see they have this right now.


    $339 per mo. 36-mo. lease; $2,550 due at lease signing
    Dealer Offer

    $339 per month for 36 months
    $2,550 cash due at signing

    Offer only valid 1/07/2020 through 1/31/2020

    Applies to new 2020 Tacoma Double Cab SR5 V6 (Model #T8462; MSRP: $33,185).

    Hows that look?

  31. #31
    time for your annual... Dr. Lexus's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by MTU 5.0 View Post
    Not sure about the Ranger suspension, but the power and drivetrain are completely modern. Ford uses the 2.3L turbo (similar to the Mustang) and the 10R transmission. Reviews almost all seem to say it makes great power, and is probably the highlight of the truck.
    Duh.

    That was the gist of the article I read a ways back. Suspension/body/brakes not up to engine standard. Biggest criticism was suspension felt floaty and bad brake dive.

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    Enough is enough.
    SwollHottie's Avatar

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    do they have a small diesel?

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    Registered Member Gearhead SS's Avatar

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    As I've stated before, I loved my Z71 Colorado. The V6 was more than enough for me. Interior is kinda basic but mine did have bose and heated seats.

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    Eraser Dope's Avatar

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    My dad picked up a new 2018 Colorado when I got my Silverado (funnily enough we had a 2000 Silverado and 2000 S10, respectively). It's a bare-bones model (literally cost like $20k out the door) but it's surprisingly nice and capable for what it is. He looked at the other trucks but they are basically jokes in comparison.

    Dope

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    I look reasonable, but I'm not. No F-bdy Bs's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by SwollHottie View Post
    do they have a small diesel?


    Always one.

    Fuckin diesels
    Last edited by No F-bdy Bs; 01-15-2020 at 06:29 AM.

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    Bugzapper gonna zap 5.0THIS's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by SwollHottie View Post
    do they have a small diesel?
    No it’s the 6.6 duramax.

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    Registered Member mogs01gt's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dope View Post
    My dad picked up a new 2018 Colorado when I got my Silverado (funnily enough we had a 2000 Silverado and 2000 S10, respectively). It's a bare-bones model (literally cost like $20k out the door) but it's surprisingly nice and capable for what it is. He looked at the other trucks but they are basically jokes in comparison.

    Dope
    4door 4wd?

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    Registered Member BurnEm's Avatar

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    How is this even a question? Taco all day

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    I look reasonable, but I'm not. No F-bdy Bs's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by BurnEm View Post
    How is this even a question? Taco all day
    Out of what's listed, it's probably the safe bet, but they ride like shit, and their transmission tuning is probably the worst out there right now. Buddy has a brand new one, and I swear the engine and transmission are programed to fight each other. Seems to be a common problem.

    I wouldn't have one due to the ride quality alone.

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    Registered Member DrivingZiggy's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by SwollHottie View Post
    do they have a small diesel?
    Not unless you cross a border. Heck, prolly have to cross an ocean.

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    426HEMI's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by No F-bdy Bs View Post
    Out of what's listed, it's probably the safe bet, but they ride like shit, and their transmission tuning is probably the worst out there right now. Buddy has a brand new one, and I swear the engine and transmission are programed to fight each other. Seems to be a common problem.

    I wouldn't have one due to the ride quality alone.
    Well keep in mind I will rarely drove more than 30 min at a time. Most days I'll be in it for 30min total.

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    Registered Member AlmostFamous's Avatar

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    Seen as low as $22k. Run deep 12s with just an E85 tune.

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    Registered Member Cap'n Hook's Avatar

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    2000-2006 4.7L Tundra. By today’s standards it’s a small truck. EOT

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    426HEMI's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by AlmostFamous View Post


    Seen as low as $22k. Run deep 12s with just an E85 tune.
    There's a couple of Lightnings for sale around here if I wanted to have something with power and 2 doors.

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    Bugzapper gonna zap 5.0THIS's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cap'n Hook View Post
    2000-2006 4.7L Tundra. By today’s standards it’s a small truck. EOT
    Those older Tundras are gigantic piles of shit. just lol.
    Last edited by 5.0THIS; 01-17-2020 at 10:39 AM.

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    Registered Member Gearhead SS's Avatar

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    My desire for a Colorado Bison is high right now. Love that truck. I just can't see paying for it. It costs more than a Silverado Custom Trail Boss with the 6.2 V8.

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    I look reasonable, but I'm not. No F-bdy Bs's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by 5.0THIS View Post
    Those older Tundras are gigantic piles of shit. just lol.

    Uh, no.

    4.7 is one of the best engines Toyota has ever made. Transmissions go 300k, and the cab/chassis is solid as well.

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    I look reasonable, but I'm not. No F-bdy Bs's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by 426HEMI View Post
    Well keep in mind I will rarely drove more than 30 min at a time. Most days I'll be in it for 30min total.
    It's probably the most reliable, all Bs aside.

    Out of the mid size options, I'd go with the Tacoma, unless I had to tow a lot.

  49. #49
    Registered Member mogs01gt's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by 5.0THIS View Post
    Those older Tundras are gigantic piles of shit. just lol.
    one of the worst trucks ever. Very close to the 90s Dodges with the trannies made of glass and toothpicks.

  50. #50
    Registered Member mogs01gt's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by AlmostFamous View Post


    Seen as low as $22k. Run deep 12s with just an E85 tune.
    WTF this is a pretty good deal!
    https://www.metrofordofokc.com/new-O...MF1C51KKE60465

    Whats the HP rating? NVM its a rip off. You have to read the fine print.
    *Please Note: We turn our inventory daily, please check with the dealer to confirm vehicle availability.

    *pricing does not include conversion package, please ask dealer for details
    Last edited by mogs01gt; 01-17-2020 at 07:51 PM.

  51. #51
    Bugzapper gonna zap 5.0THIS's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by No F-bdy Bs View Post

    Uh, no.

    4.7 is one of the best engines Toyota has ever made. Transmissions go 300k, and the cab/chassis is solid as well.
    You do realize that the stuff you just listed as strong points are mostly known weak points, right? The engines had camshafts breaking, the frames were about as strong as wet newspaper, the rear diff was weak, and the tailgate folded in half if you looked at it wrong. Just lol.

  52. #52
    Registered Member mogs01gt's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by 5.0THIS View Post
    You do realize that the stuff you just listed as strong points are mostly known weak points, right? The engines had camshafts breaking, the frames were about as strong as wet newspaper, the rear diff was weak, and the tailgate folded in half if you looked at it wrong. Just lol.
    Didnt those engines have plastic components on the cams that kept failing?
    Last edited by mogs01gt; 01-18-2020 at 12:37 AM.

  53. #53
    Registered Member AlmostFamous's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by 426HEMI View Post
    There's a couple of Lightnings for sale around here if I wanted to have something with power and 2 doors.
    You know modern mid-size (small as you call it) trucks, such as the Tacoma, are actually going to be about the same size as that F150. For example, while that F150 will be wider than the Tacoma, the Tacoma will be longer and even weigh a hair more. The F150 will crush it in any performance comparison (speed, towing, etc) while being much cheaper (under $25k brand new). Plus you said you no longer have to tug your kids around. I felt it was a valid suggestion.

    Quote Originally Posted by mogs01gt View Post
    WTF this is a pretty good deal!
    https://www.metrofordofokc.com/new-O...MF1C51KKE60465

    Whats the HP rating? NVM its a rip off. You have to read the fine print.
    Lebanon Ford will build one for you for $39,999.

    https://www.lebanonfordperformance.c...wer-for-39995/
    Last edited by AlmostFamous; 01-17-2020 at 11:55 PM.

  54. #54
    Registered Member mogs01gt's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by AlmostFamous View Post
    You know modern mid-size (small as you call it) trucks, such as the Tacoma, are actually going to be about the same size as that F150. For example, while that F150 will be wider than the Tacoma, the Tacoma will be longer and even weigh a hair more. The F150 will crush it in any performance comparison (speed, towing, etc) while being much cheaper (under $25k brand new). Plus you said you no longer have to tug your kids around. I felt it was a valid suggestion.



    Lebanon Ford will build one for you for $39,999.

    https://www.lebanonfordperformance.c...wer-for-39995/
    There is one here near me doing the Roush blower for like 25k on top of the stick price. Its a fucking joke.

  55. #55
    426HEMI's Avatar

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    Checked out the Tacos yesterday and they are nice trucks. Don't like the Rangers or Colorados. If I go the truck route it will be the Taco I think. Not sure if I want to lease or buy a used vehicle now. Just browsing what is available on the island and found this, know nothing about them. Is this a good deal?

    https://www.truecar.com/used-cars-fo...010-gmc-yukon/

  56. #56
    I look reasonable, but I'm not. No F-bdy Bs's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by 5.0THIS View Post
    You do realize that the stuff you just listed as strong points are mostly known weak points, right? The engines had camshafts breaking, the frames were about as strong as wet newspaper, the rear diff was weak, and the tailgate folded in half if you looked at it wrong. Just lol.
    I think you're thinking about the first gen, full size units, yeah?
    I'm talking about the first gen, midsized ones.

  57. #57
    426HEMI's Avatar

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    This is more tempting than it should be.

    https://www.cargurus.com/Cars/l-Used...ting=252114458

  58. #58
    426HEMI's Avatar

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    That's a lot of fun for the price, but those damned things cost an arm and a leg to repair.

    https://www.truecar.com/used-cars-fo...5/2006-bmw-m6/

  59. #59

  60. #60
    Team Hobbit windham's Avatar

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    I would get the Lightning, but I make terrible car decisions based on how much it makes me grin and nothing else.

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