Ok; we’ve all seen shots like this before, and we all know how much bigger a Tundra is compared to a Toyota pickup from the 80s. But how could I not stop and shoot this scene anyway?
I get how the market has changed, but I did have a hard time when the big Tundra came out; I so liked the midi-sized Tundra/T100, which had the cargo capacity of a full-sized truck with a slightly more compact cab and overall size. Oh well; things change, and not always to my liking.
Kind of wish somebody would make a compact pick-up again. The Ford Ranger was the last one. The Tacoma and Colorado have bloated up so much they have become only slightly smaller than a full size pick-up.
What about the Tacoma? I see a new one at work in the parking lot everyday. A real base model, stripper version and with a manual transmission! Nice little pickup. Without the crew cab, extended bed, etc it seems small to me, or smaller than the Ranger was. I think thats it these days.
Nah the Tacoma seems bloated also. In the next neighborhood there is a early 2000’s base 2wd Tacoma and it looks like the perfect pickup truck. Not too small but not to large and it had a ground clearance of only slightly more then a car and not some over the top clearance that required a ladder.
It is too bad that the compact pick up truck died out because somebody convinced the lemmings that make up the majority of car buyer that they needed a fullsize pickup in order to simply drag two small bags of mulch back from Home depot.
I agree. The Tacoma is the little brother trying to look like the bigger brother. When it first debuted, it looked like the perfect truck for those who don’t need the bigger Tundra.
The little truck market shriveled when people noticed a stripped down base model 1/2 ton big truck only cost slightly more than a little truck and got only slightly worse gas mileage.
I’m upset you can’t get a base model 1/2 ton big truck with a stickshift anymore.
Paul, you have an uncanny ability to locate so many automotive juxtapositions. Eugene must be like an automotive Easter egg hunt where you are routinely rewarded, with pics like this one. Where I live in Central Canada, opportunities like this would present themselves in 5 to 10 year spans. If ever. As there are generally so few cars on the road here older than 10-15 years.
The simplicity of the small Toyota really appeals to me.
The Toyota HiLux in its most basic (2WD) trim and with a single cab is still far away from that agressively styled class 8 truck wannabe.
Man, I wish us ‘Muricans could get a real bare-boned HiLux-though I would splurge for A/C and some type of factory sound that I could plug in an aux player. There would be about 12 other people interested.
The basic HiLux comes with this 2.5 liter D4D diesel, so a turbo diesel with an intercooler. The intercooler is on top of the engine, you can see the air inlet in the pickup’s hood.
The bigger models have a 3.0 liter D4D. I really don’t know if the HiLux is availabe with gasoline engines at all.
Turbo Diesel! Do’h… But we are not allowed diesels without all those weird emissions controls that ruin them. I see more Wankel than diesel cars were I live almost, and those are all Mazda RX7/8. And Diesel cost more than super premium gasoline in many areas.
When we had real HiLuxes, they only imported diesels briefly in the mid eighties or so. They are beyond highly sought after now and stupid expensive, along with their Isuzu P’up sisters.
That’s what I don’t like, emissions requirements. You’d think there would be a way for diesel engines to meet North American emissions requirements.
There are ways for diesels to meet US emission standards; it just costs money. And the manufacturers have to bet that enough buyers will pay for that (extra cost). With the current price of gas, that’s not very likely, beyond the diesels on sale here now.
Are European~North American emission requirements still that far apart nowadays ? I mean for new diesels.
Heck, I visited a client / farmer a few months ago who had a brand new tractor (a Fendt 718). It did have electronically controlled common rail injection and a urea aftertreatment (AdBlue) system. Plus an electronically controlled transmission comparable with a CVT. That monster was technically as advanced as any diesel on-road vehicle. Or even more.
There is a way for diesel engines to meet EPA emissions requirements but it is expensive and reduces the real world MPG. There are lots of manufacturers that are doing it though. Those that don’t bother are mainly the Aisian mfgs. You can buy a diesel in most vehicle classes today. Doesn’t make financial sense to do so but mfgs are offering them and there are some takers. VW/Audi offer them in many of their vehicles. BMW and Mercedes have a lot of vehicles with available diesels. GM has the Cruze and HD pickups. Ford has the Transit and of course Super Duty. Chrysler has the Grand Cherokee LD and HD pickups. The Asian mfgs are the hold outs, though Mazda keeps threatening to bring one over. I bet with the current fuel price situation it will be delayed yet again.
How much more expensive? I’m sure there are people who would be willing to pay good money if the engine was well built, as is the truck. I know I would be willing. It’s simply a matter of having the money to spend, and the willingness to part with that money.
I’d buy a used Hilux if the condition was good, and the cost were within what I’d be willing to spend. I’d also buy an Isuzu P’up diesel if one were available at the right condition..
@Johannes: Euro standards for petrol engines are not dissimilar to U.S. standards, but the ECE emissions standards have separate categories for diesel and petrol. The U.S. does not, so diesels here have to meet the same standards as spark-fired engines for NOx and so forth.
There seem to be issues with the D4D engines with lots of service replacement parts required for the injectors only available at your friendly Toyota dealer but the utes are still quite popular.
The sales leader in NZ has become the new Ford Ranger with its Peugeot 5 banger diesel motor it now tops the sales charts beating the Hiluxes 30 year reign.
The Duratorq/PowerStroke 3.2l 5cyl is a Ford engine, part of the “Puma” engine family and was developed and built by Ford for use in only Ford corp vehicles. It has nothing at all to do with the PSA joint venture engines which are not “Peugeot” engines but rather a joint venture where both companies developed and both produce versions of them in their own plants. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ford_DLD_engine
I said it in the comments of the “Worst Japanese Cars” CC the other day. Toyota is just not on top of the game anymore with their common rail D4D diesels. I’ve read about a lot of fatal engine failures with the 3.0 D4D engine in the first series of the Land Cruiser J120, apart from the 2.2 D4D D-Cat in the Avensis I already mentioned below that CC article.
The HiAce vans and Dyna light trucks are not available here anymore. Their current ProAce is a 100% rebadged Euro-van.
The 5 cylinder engine used in the Thai built Ranger is also in the Mazda BT50, The PSA joint venture engines used PSA HDI technology on a range of Ford and Peugeot diesel engines used in various cars and commercials ranging from Jaguar thru Transit, my info came from a Ford parts employee familiar with the new Ranger and BT50 pickups.
The Ranger has never received one of the Ford/PSA joint venture engines. The engines from that JV were the DLD(Ford)/DV(PSA) 4cyl and the AJD(Ford)/DT(PSA) V6. The 5cyl and 4cyl diesels used in the international Ranger/BT are from the ZSD or Puma family.
There is no such thing as “HDI Technology” that is just a marketing brand name, used by PSA for their engines with Common Rail injection. Common Rail injection is the technology. Every emissions controlled diesel engine currently produced uses Common Rail Injection
“Modern common rail systems are governed by an engine control unit (ECU) which opens each injector electronically rather than mechanically. This was extensively prototyped in the 1990s with collaboration between Magneti Marelli, Centro Ricerche Fiat and Elasis. After research and development by the Fiat Group, the design was acquired by the German company Robert Bosch GmbH for completion of development and refinement for mass-production. In hindsight, the sale appeared to be a tactical error for Fiat, as the new technology proved to be highly profitable. The company had little choice but to sell, however, as it was in a poor financial state at the time and lacked the resources to complete development on its own.
The common rail system is suitable for all types of road cars with diesel engines, ranging from city cars (such as the Fiat Panda) to executive saloons (such as the Audi A8). The main suppliers of modern common rail systems are Robert Bosch GmbH, Delphi, Denso, and Siemens VDO (now owned by Continental AG)”
The PSA, Ford/PSA, and Ford engines use parts from three of those mfgs which varies depending on the exact year and model of the engine. On the DLD(Ford)/DV(PSA) engine families the injection systems used were sourced from Bosch, Siemens, or Delphi.
The US Base 2wd Tacoma really does not look much different.
Apparently there are 3 things the market no longer wants, per the manufacturers. A proper big sedan, and a proper big station wagon, and a proper small truck. Of the three, despite my yen for the big boats of yore, it’s the lack of interest in the small truck may be the one I understand the least in the abstract.
You could probably add a small/mid-sized body-on-frame SUV to the list. Pretty much all that’s left is the XTerra and 4Runner.
At least part of the reason companies seem to be steering away from small trucks is that they don’t want to poach sales of their larger trucks.
I remember when the Toyota pickup truck was small by comparison to the Tundra. My dad had a 1978 Toyota pickup truck when I was a boy. The first time I saw a large Toyota pickup truck was the T100 pickup truck. At the time, I was still driving my dad’s 78 Toyota truck. I thought that the T100 was an awesome start for a mid-sized Toyota pickup truck. I miss the compact truck. It may not be for everyone, but I believe that compact trucks are still capable workhorses. 🙂
I recently bought a house needing some work. I picked up a 1987 Dodge D50 for a yard work truck. Pre-dented, Pre-scratched and Pre-oxidized… exactly what a truck should be. Eight foot bed and I can actually load and unload the truck without standing on tippy toes (and I’m six feet tall). I don’t get why a 2wd truck needs to reach the sky.
The 87+ Ram 50 (as they were actually called) had a 7.5′ box as the long bed. It was 6″ longer than the 7′ box on the Hilux, Nissan Hardbody, Ranger, S-10/S-15, and Jeep Comanche, but 6″ shorter than the “full” 8-footer on the mid-size Dakota and the full-sizers.
Thanks for the clarification. I just assumed it was an 8 foot bed since the truck looks like its morphed with a dachshund. Regardless the long bed is proving to be mighty handy.
I ended up looking for a Mitsubishi or an Isuzu since the resale values for old Toyota or Nissan trucks are through the roof. Also every Nissan Hardbody I encounter looks like they have spent too much time in local high school parking lots.
I would think the high resale values for small elderly pickups would convince automakers that a market still exists. They were hot when I was in high school and college, providing guys with cheap and fun entry level wheels.
Amazing….every other “trend” in the car business has been to slowly upsize and/or upgrade the product and then slot in a smaller offering. Yet, after just 1 round of compact trucks, the “Big 3” decided to give up.
But hey, folks want/need vehicles like the BMW X6 and now the X4. Or folks want/need the Honda Pilot, CR-V and HR-V.
We find the “progress” (size, appearance, electronics/entertainment) of these vehicles so disturbing that we are acquiring first generation Tacomas. Simple, economical, and comfortable enough. We don’t need no chrome trim. Several hundred thousand miles are common on these. My son’s 2002 was bought from the original owner with 85k, and the same with my “new” 2003 with 25k. Now all we need is a replacement for the avocado HiLux my wife had in the early 80’s.
It’s weird how were in an era of driving vehicles larger that early 70’s Newports again. And the little one is about as useful as the large one, albeit not as safe.
That little Hilux is in remarkable shape for a ca.1981 Japanese pickup. These were tough little trucks, but here in the Great White North you could expect them to disintegrate after a few winters. By 1990 it was common to see these with the box removed, or more correctly rotted off, and some form of home-built flat deck or wooden enclosure on the back. As long as you replaced the timing chain from time to time they’d literally run until they fell apart.
Those are interesting photos, even allowing for the effect of apparent perspective that’s one heck of a difference in size!
This is the kind of stuff that annoys me to no end. I’ve one of those guys who’s idea of a proper pickup is an S-10 or a Ranger. A proper compact car is a first or second generation Honda Civic. And I consider the constant size inflation of cars as lazy engineering on the part of the automobile manufacturers. Anyone can make a car bigger and fatter. Its keeping them small and light that takes effort and talent.
Plus we tend to lazily buy are vehicles like our meat, buy the pound. And the safety argument is kinda lame, that’s why one should drive defensively.
Agreed, “defensive driving” is seen as passé.
I overheard a coworker tell her son that, if a car merged into his lane and he was tempted to swerve and swipe the guardrail, “You should always let the other car sideswipe you. Otherwise, they’ll drive away, and the damage goes against our insurance.”
And to top it all, she called herself “pro-life” (which, under any other set of circumstances, I couldn’t care less about one’s personal views…despite my being described as a moderately devout Catholic). Oh, the irony. I felt for the poor kid, whose life she’d prefer to endanger so that their insurance wouldn’t go up. He must’ve really felt valued, with damage to the car being more important than damage to HIM.
Oh, and before I forget, I’m the proud owner of a low mileage, 2000 Ford Ranger! 🙂
That’s the type of thinking that many employed by the legal profession enjoy- Just as dentist thrive on dental pain, or morticians death, bankers debt…et cetera.
I had an ’81 SR5 in that beige color. Last year of round headlights, so the one in the first picture is either an ’82 or ’83. ’84 and later had the fenders extended out to get a more aggressive look.
You won’t see a small truck like that again; costs just a little less to make than a big beast, but lots less on the MSRP which kills the profit potential.
I put 85K miles on it in 4 years, other than tires, I replace a gasket under the fuel pump that was leaking oil. Typical Toyota. I bought it with 15K on it, two years old in perfect condition for $5500, cost about $9K OTD…Today, that truck would be in CL at $10K+ and probably get it from an exporter to ship it overseas.
Even a newer Taco is as big as my ’70 Camper Special! Let alone a Tundra….
I have no particular grouse with the Toyota, but what is the appeal of a pickupo like this in place of a car anyway?
People around here buy pickups as a trendy vehicle. Most sold here are crew cabs with 5.75′ boxes and are loaded with tons of options. People sometimes use the utility, but honestly many are being used as alternative to having a minivan.
Some people do actually use the utility of a pickup on occasion, but also need it to be capable of hauling more than two passengers since it has to also act as a secondary family vehicle.
While a lot of it has to do with trends and what’s fashionable, much of it is also said to be due to Corporate Average Fuel Economy, or CAFE.
It’s a long, convoluted explanation, but compared to almost everywhere else, we live in the land of affordable vehicles and fuel. In a nutshell (and this is by no means complete), about 40 years ago Congress attempted to make gas guzzling cars less attractive by slapping a penalty on those manufacturers who didn’t meet a certain average fuel economy target for all cars sold, and a “gas guzzler tax” on individual units whose fuel mileage fell below a certain standard.
Sounds all well and good, except there were different standards for trucks, and none for trucks over a certain weight class. And credits if a vehicle could run on E85, or on batteries. And manufacturers could buy and sell credits from each other.
One immediate effect was a boost in the sales of light trucks and SUV/CUVs, particularly when fuel prices are relatively low: They’re larger, can carry more passengers and cargo, and perceived to be superior for towing.
You also hear it said that people of the U.S. tend to be larger, and that we simply fit better in larger vehicles. Also, over 125 million of us are over 50, and more apt to be able to afford new vehicles; I’ve heard my peers say they’ve chosen a particular truck, SUV or CUV because it’s easier to get in and out (not most full-size, 4×4 trucks, of course).
While by no means a complete explanation or one that everyone in the U.S. would agree with, it hopefully gives you some idea of why we drive such big vehicles, beyond the explanation of “because, by God…we can!”
No need to get into explaining CAFE and it’s effects on the truck sales. These same regulations killed off traditional full-sized wagons and sedans. I’d argue many are using pickups in there place now. People, or at least North Americans, like large cars. And although anecdotal, I do know many people who drive trucks for no reason other than the status.
Yeah, sorry for the long post…but since Roger is British, I felt the need to explain CAFE.
No problem, I wasn’t aware that Roger was British. I thought the info was directed at me.
Thanks guys – interesting background.
I agree with this. It doesn’t necessarily explain why small pickups are not made, but it’s very clear to me that the reason big SUVs and trucks are popular is that big cars were legislated and press-condemned out of existence, but many people want something like what they got from them. Ironically their high-up replacements are equally or less fuel efficient and arguably less safe since, say, Chrysler New Yorker Broughams were not known for rollover tendencies.
The way the current CAFE regulations are written the required MPG for a given vehicle is based on the footprint or wheel base x track width. the smaller the vehicle the more MPG the vehicle must have. The individual automakers target is based on a weighted average of the footprint of the vehicles they sell.
I hope this means manufacturers will start pushing the wheels to the extreme corners of the vehicle.
Orrin, you raise a question that is on par with the age old chicken versus egg conundrum: Did we actually quit buying compact pickups, or did the manufacturers starve us of supply?
I know that I cross-shopped a regular cab F150 when I bought my extended cab Ranger new in 2000. Given that GM and Ford each average over 750,000 full size pickups per year (and could probably sell over 500,000 without much effort), the incremental cost of each additional unit is nil, relatively speaking. Now, compare that to the cost of producing another model on a completely different platform; you’d have to hope and pray for the 300,000+ Ranger buyers last seen in 2000 (oh, and many of those were low-profit fleet strippers). And then you’d have to keep two platforms up to date, and Federally certified. The trend among all makers seems to be one of putting more effort into products you do well, and less on keeping “place fillers” alive in the product line until you can do infrequent updates.
I love my Ranger, and wish I could replace it with a Ford pickup that easily fits into my garage, but I can see the logic from Ford’s standpoint. Which means that I’ll probably end up replacing it with a CUV and a folding trailer, but with only 125,000 miles over 15 years, it may be a while.
From what I’ve read, Ford was simply following market trends: While the Ranger continued to sell, it was in “secular” decline over the years & they saw the writing on the wall. A volume selling, public company like Ford can’t afford to sell niche vehicles indefinitely.
From the number of times I’ve seen parked cars with engines idling for many minutes (one did so for a whole hour), I conclude that many Americans consider gas as expendable as water; no wonder the Ranger fell. Though I’m not an environmentalist, I find this wastage sickening.
No wonder monster trucks/SUVs are the rage.
Most likely the Ranger was discontinued because of the new regulation requiring traction control on all new vehicles.
Almost John, it was the requirement for stability control that led to the death of the Ranger and the Panther which did have traction control. Otherwise they probably would have soldiered both on for at least a couple of more years. Yeah they weren’t selling lots of them but they had many customers that kept coming back for more of them and were willing to pay enough money that made Ford a good profit on each one that went out the door.
Ho-lee crap, that’s a shocking comparison.
Ever since its 2007 redesign the Tundra looks like 10 gallons of stuff in a 5 pound bag and it only gets worse in high trim levels. At least the 2014 Tundra Extended Cab has a comfy rear bench since the 2014 Silverado Extended Cab’s bench is like an unpadded wooden church pew; uggh. Base model Tundras are hard to find and I cannot think of the last time I saw one. Both Toyotas have nice looking license plates.
How about the Honda Ridgeline? Don’t know much about them, but they seem like a very nice mid-size truck.
Ridgeline was interesting but the cost was comparable to a full size with less cargo space and towing. Gas mileage was not that great either. I think they were on the right track, it got my attention, they just missed on the details. I think there is potential in that idea.
I went to the Washington Auto Show yesterday. The Ford display was nearly half pickup trucks, and not a single one had a standard cab. Despite all the people who say they want a small truck, what sells is giant crew cabs with built-in step ladders to access the cab and bed.
It’s a shame Mahindra never figured out how to sell their little diesel truck here. Would have been interesting to see how many they could have moved.
Mahindra was never interested in selling their truck here. It was a used car dealer who was trying to import it but failed. I’m sure his judgement was clouded by the high prices that used compact pickups sold for. The problem is that the demand for used compact pickups exceeds the demand for new compact pickups.
Mahindras arent really that small close up they are Great Wall, HiLux, Ranger sized, I shot a couple at a rural dealers recently waiting for a wrecking yard to open to collect my Hunter diff head, They are cheap like their Chinese counterparts and seem to sell ok as I do see quite a few about.
Yeah, whatever became of the Mahindra truck coming to the U.S,? It was supposed to be diesel powered, I believe.
It was essentially a scam. Mahindra was not originally going to import the vehicles a Buy Here Pay Here dealer in Georgia was the one that tried to make it happen. He failed to do all of what was required to get them certified for sale in the US and set up a final assembly point and the contract expired.
Mahindra did eventually start the process of getting it certified for sale in the US but once they actually studied the market they found no business case to continue.
Heres the pickup version yeah turbo diesel,
I’ve seen a couple of new Tundras here in the past year, I think they are about $100k by the time they are imported, converted and complianced.
I also drove a Hilux like the one Johannes posted except it had the 2.7 four banger and a flat tray with tool boxes and a large water tank. The latter being full of water not only made the thing work hard but it was entertaining to come to a stop and have the vehicle rocking and swaying as the water sloshed (not a huge amount of movement!). It had done 130k miles pounding around the suburbs with probably 2000lbs load and still pulled hard, shifted fine (manual trans) and has a lot of life left in it.
I’ll take the little Toyota please. Also notice how the small Toyota is a true pickup, not a stended cab or crew cab? I also wish someone would produce a small pickup again, much like that ’80s Toyota. There has to be at least some market for a truck that is not half the size of the Titanic. I looked at both the Tacoma and Frontier. Both are way to big. I do own a ’93 Chevy S10, but I put a V8 in it, which kind of defeats the purpose of a small truck. I would love to have a stock small truck that got close to 30 mpg highway.
Volkswagen also has a not-so-tall and pretty basic 2WD pickup with a single cab. 4WD and double cabs are also available. I rarely see them though, since small flatbed trucks (like Volkswagen’s Transporter) are the norm. The Army has them though, as the successor of the good old Mercedes G-class.
Any success for these Amaroks in Australia, New Zealand ?
Yeah there are plenty of Amaroks here but at twice the price of a Great Wall and more expensive than a Nissan Ranger or Hilux they are vastly overpriced for what you get which is only a Volkswagen
What strikes me is the 180 hp power rating from a relatively small 2.0 liter TDI engine. That’s a lot. I mean, it’s not a VW Golf GTD, but a commercial vehicle. In this kind of vehicles that kind of power usually comes from a 3.0 liter.
Two Amaroks in full military trim. The Army bought 1,667 of them.
Any new compact pickups will almost certainly have to be FWD/AWD unibody to meet CAFE requirements.
I can’t and won’t speak for urban consumers, but on the farm, we never saw the point of less-than-fullsize pickups. Both compact and fullsize got the same MPG, but the full-size could actually haul or tow a load without feeling like it was about to bust something. The compact is more maneuverable/easier to park, but that’s irrelevant in almost every rural environment. The compact also has a shorter wheelbase, meaning it rides rougher through a bumpy field or washboard gravel road; it’s also narrower and lighter, which doesn’t make it feel as safe.
Even without all that, the Tundra is still much more useful (and therefore more valid as a pickup) than the old Hilux (even if it has the most pigfat, bloated styling and gets the worst MPG of all full-size pickups) since its bed is wider, only 6″ shorter (6.5′ vs. 7′), and it can seat 6 in (relative) comfort. Tallness is equally an advantage and a disadvantage (better ground clearance vs. difficulty accessing the bed).
The only advantage the older one has is that I wouldn’t feel as bad getting it all dirtied up. But I dunno, I was always brought up to never drop or throw anything into the back of a pickup and to always kick the dirt off my boots before getting in a vehicle, regardless of how old, dirty or beat-up it already was. And the Tundra shown here is a base-model SR, so it has the rubber floors and vinyl or cloth seats so beloved by our resident Luddites.
Although the Tundra is large, it no larger than it’s American branded counterparts. As far as MPG’s go the Titan actually has the lowest EPA ratings, although the Tundra isn’t far off it. However, in real world testing it actually isn’t far off the other trucks. Consumer reports, who keeps their test vehicles much longer than other magazines, reported that they averaged 15 MPG overall with a 5.7L Tundra. The 5.7L Ram, 2014 F-150 Ecoboost also both returned 15 MPG overall. The new Chev/GMC with a 5.3 averaged 16MPG, while the Titan only got 14 MPG overall. While the Ram Ecodiesel averaged 20 MPG overall, easily beating the V6 Tacoma which averaged 17 MPG.
I do wholeheartedly agree with your comments about the compact trucks. While I am sure they fit the needs of many, they just aren’t as capable as a fullsize truck. When it comes to towing an hauling, even the larger modern day Tacoma doesn’t compared.
Sorry if I was unclear; but I don’t think I implied that the Tundra was any bigger (or smaller) than other full-sizers. And in some ways, even a full-size truck is small potatoes. Our F-150 SuperCrew/6.5′ box looks monstrous when you’re trying to park it, good-sized when you’re riding down the highway, and positively dinky when viewed from a tractor cab. I just looked at the 2015 F-150 the local Ford dealer got in today and I was struck by how big it didn’t seem. Now our F-350…that’s a big truck, even though it’s a regular cab.
An EcoDiesel Ram would be an attractive proposition if it wasn’t a $4000+ option and gasoline wasn’t currently $1.99.
It was this line “even if it has the most pig fat, bloated styling” that made me think you were implying it was larger than the other pickups. I apologize if I misinterpreted. For the record, the half-tons are all with in an inch or two in all dimensions. I agree size is relative. My half-ton looks small compared to my BIL’s F-250 ext-cab long box.
I also agree with you on the EcoDiesel Ram. I think the return on investment would take some time. Further, the jury is still out on it for long term reliability.
The styling makes it look bigger, even though it isn’t. Much like how the ’14+ Silverado is only marginally bigger than the GMT400 truck.
But even when the price of diesel was only 15% more than regular unleaded the fuel cost was about the same as with the gas V6. Now that the price spread is much greater than that it will cost more per mile to fuel it than the Hemi powered truck. So you’ll never get a return on the higher purchase price.
Actually, the GMT400’s were sized about right. The new GM trucks are significantly larger.
1995 Chevrolet Ext-Cab Short Box (4×4)
2015 Silverado Ext-Cab Short Box (6.5′)
2015 Toyota Tundra DC-short Box (6.5′)
Park a GMT400 in a garage, then do it with a current truck and the size difference is very noticeable.
On the Ram, here in Canada diesel is much closer to gas prices and often times it is cheaper. The Ram Eco Diesel gets 33% better overall fuel economy than the Hemi as per the Consumer Reports results. Depending on the number of miles driven, and the price of fuel, this engine may still eventually provide a ROI.
The wheelbase is within two inches between the old Chevy and the new (141.5″ vs. 143.5″, respectively). The extra 10″ of OAL is nearly all front overhang (which is probably not the best place for it on a pickup truck, but doesn’t affect driving dynamics much).
Last weekend I payed $2.99 per gallon per diesel for the rental truck I had, though much better than the $6 that Ryder charges. I’ve payed $1.97 for regular unleaded for my vehicles.
A fellow co-worker has a bought new 2014 Silverado ext cab 4 door with the new 4.3 285 HP V6 with 4WD and was initially averaging about 17-17.5 going back and forth to work and running the odd errand etc. It now has 6500 miles and MPG has gone up to 18-18.5 which is better than either the Taco or Frontier V6 4WD trucks. That is pretty good going for such a large truck and all the power that engine provides!
First of all, how can a small standard cab four cylinder truck like that ’80s Toyota and the millions like it made or sold by every brand sold in the U.S. (my favorite was the Nissan D21 “Hardbody”, sold from 1985-1997) possibly burn as much gas as a full sized truck with twice the weight, twice the frontal area, bigger tires with more rolling resistance, and a much larger engine?
Add to the list of cars they don’t sell any more the personal luxury coupe, my favorite of them all. I also miss wagons, especially woodgrain ones.
The Tundra gets decent-ish mileage despite its larger size because of its newer, more efficient engine tech (possibly at the expense of reliability). The Hilux was essentially running on mid-’60s technology. Also, at the time this model was released, MPG was barely a consideration when buying a pickup truck. Compare that to now–current pickup truck buyers may not admit that MPG is a deciding factor when buying a new truck, but the success of Ford’s MPG-improved EcoBoost and Chevy’s EcoTec (and, to a lesser extent, Ram’s EcoDiesel) proves that it’s on the minds of more than a few of them.
Compact pickups of the time were favored more for their urban agility and low up-front cost than for any MPG improvements. Fuelly.com says the average MPG of a pre-Tacoma pickup hovers around 19-20, which admittedly is better than a Tundra, but still not that good for such a small vehicle, particularly one with either side of 100 hp. A more-than-threefold increase in HP (381) is, in my book, certainly worth a few MPG.
And that large HP increase (as well as the associated increase in torque) can partially take credit for the MPG. As we all know, even a 5000+ lb landyacht can get above-adequate highway MPG if it has a torquey enough engine. Keeping RPM low is better than using a smaller-displacement, high-revving engine. Plus at highway speeds, weight is almost a non-issue (since all it does is contribute to momentum) and the determining factor for good fuel economy is aerodynamics, which, despite their freight-train front ends, modern full-sizers do better than yesterday’s compacts.
(Also an FYI: If you’re going to use “first of all,” it helps to have a second point made after the first. Hope this helps! :))
It doesn’t. These old Toyota pickups average about 20-25 real-world mpg.
That’s not bad. 🙂
Those older trucks got great mileage and we’re very economical to keep on the road. It is interesting you mention the Nissan. My father has one and if you drive it at 55 you get nearly 40 mpg.
The newer “small trucks” have over powered v6’s and high gearing. They really do not get much better mileage then a full size truck with an underworked v8.
It is kind of a catch 22.
If you need a truck regularly it should be full size (with a real box) because you will save trips and repair costs.
If you want to look manly at the mall get a nice spicy Taco!
The only place they make sense is off road on trails.
That said, I wouldn’t trade my rusted, beat up, 85 RamCharger for any of the small trucks no matter how sweet the ride or flashy the chrome.
There is a real comfort not worrying about your paint job or plastic crap getting shattered when you are miles down a trail that just got “a little too narrow.”
Plus it runs on propane, actually cheaper and more environmental.
We had a 1996 S-10 extended cab RWD pickup with the 2.2 and 5 speed for a delivery truck for our used car business and it easily saw 28/29 on the open road and averaged 24-25 otherwise. The full sized pickups at that time such as the Ram were lucky to see 12-13 combined and 16 on the open road.
Yeah, that was the old days. At some point, the big trucks got better mileage and the little trucks got worse. I think you can still get a big truck with 12ish MPG. But the 1/2 tons with 6cylinders get mid 20s. And the little trucks with 6 cylinders get about the same.
Yep. Although, my dad never saw 28 with his 4-cyl 5-speed B2000 or Ranger. Low to mid 20’s is what they got. And they were regular cabs. And very cramped. Worked great as part runners, not so much for towing on the Interstate.
At one time I had a B2200 5speed 2WD regular cab and it got 23MPG. At that same time my Uncle had a Ford F150 2WD 5speed regular cab short box and it got better MPG than mine did. Both of us had toppers.
This may sound like a dumb question, but what is it that these people haul in their big rigs that couldn’t fit in a more nimble truck? If whatever you’re hauling by the day doesn’t fit in that smaller Toyota truck, the answer isn’t a bigger truck but a hauling company and a couple of movers to do it for you. I just don’t get the need for those big trucks. Unless you’re a contractor and need a couple of pallets of cement on the go I just don’t get it. What is it that people fill those truck beds with?
Ha. Unfortunately that is very true.
I wasn’t trying to be flip or rude by posting this picture, but the reality is that many more Americans are oversized today than in 1980, when these regular-cab mini-pickups were the big fad.
Undoubtedly many of the young folks who had them back in the 80s would not feel comfortable in them today. That’s just the reality; not a judgement.
Frankly, I could never get quite comfortable in the old mini-trucks either, being 6’4″; the regular cabs are just too short for me. It’s one of the main reasons I bought my old ’66 F100 instead of a Toyota.
I’ve always been most comfortable in a full sized truck. The seating position suits me. Very upright-feet-flat-on-the-ground, like sitting in a traditional hard wood dining room chair. Smaller trucks aren’t quite as upright.
the gas mileage does not suit me
the handling does not suit me
I get the farmer/contractor argument by Dr Z above. I don’t get why Joe Suburbanite hauling bags of leaves to the dump or topsoil for the garden from Home Depot wants the extended cab. But that’s because I don’t see trucks as the status symbol that big cars once were. I think other people do.
They see a fully loaded king cab as a luxury vehicle. I’m not able to see a truck as anything but a vehicle for working, but there’s a sizeable contingent I’m sure who would never actually put or haul anything in their truck that would mar it in any way. They just want a big vehicle. In 1975, they’d have bought a DeVille or Continental. This is, I guess, the Continental of today but makes you look like you might have an “active” lifestyle, i.e. more cojones. Which is valued. I think it’s all in much worse taste but I suppose deep down the desire is the same as then.
Because they want one vehicle that can be both a hauler and a passenger vehicle.
Plus, there are enough people with hobbies that occasionally call for hauling stuff or towing – antiquing, ebay selling, motorcyles, boats, campers, ect. It’s nice to be able to do these things on impulse rather than have to rent a bigger vehicle.
Well, I think part of the inflation is a reflection of the facts that (a) buyers are generally not buying pickup trucks as working or commercial vehicles, but rather as passenger conveyances, (b) said buyers are therefore demanding extended cabs, (c) buyers expect those extended cabs to have actual adult seating capacity in back (rather than the traditional extended cab tiny jump seat where you sort of crouch sideways), (d) the same fashion that has afflicted cars increasingly demands gigantic wheels, resulting in increasingly absurd ride height, and (e) buyers seem to like trucks that look “tough,” so the more it looks and sounds like a lorry, the better.
The problem is, nobody in their right mind would buy a new truck to fill the bed with topsoil. Unless they work for the park authority. And if they just want it as a personal whim, that whole point about “I need it to haul stuff that wouldn’t go into that smaller truck” falls flat. I’m really ok with people buying trucks as a statement. But call a spade a spade…
Tell the world “I want a large as fuck and mean looking rig because they look cool and I deserve it” but don’t tell the world you want it to haul stuff with it. Unless it’s padded. The most I saw people hauling in their truck beds was luggage to and from the airport. The only trucks I saw in use visiting the states was used by the city work crews mending the roads…
Are you really saying that no one ever buys a new truck to haul stuff in/with it?
But that’s not the point. The people you refer to won’t call a spade a spade because it’s not PC to drive a big car just for the sake of doing so. That became un PC when the Lincoln Mark V went out of production and hasn’t been PC since. How to get around it is to invent some practical purpose like “I need this Ford Expedition to get up my steep driveway on those rare occasions where we have 4 feet of snow and it won’t get up the driveway anyway” or “I need this King Cab because, twice a year, we go camping”. You have to fake it, otherwise you’re just a reactionary, baby seal clubbing glutton like 70s personal luxury Coupe drivers.
Of course, my whole diatribe is a little tongue in cheek, it’s mostly hyperbole. And I did that to raise a point. The point being, from a foreigners perspective, that whole thing about people “needing” big trucks is just hypocrisy of immense proportions. Unless you’re a contractor and your job is to ferry drywalls on a daily basis to and from a building site, there’s just no need for a large ass truck like that. And I would question anybody that couldn’t do the same job with a smaller truck like that Toyota.
Agree with you. Again, it’s subterfuge to justify driving the only remote equivalent to a “big car” still available.
Pretty much no city dweller really “needs” a car at all. Yet all of us on here do have one. Why? Becuase that’s what we want!
I don’t “need” a pickup. I don’t “need” to go camping and boating and snowmobiling with my family either and I don’t “need” to haul large items myself. But if I “want” to do those things, a full size crew cab pickup makes a lot of sense. And guess what? I do! And I wouldn’t trade this lifestyle for anything, so get over it.
“Pretty much no city dweller really “needs” a car at all.”
I do not understand how anyone can type such utter nonsensical drivel.
The difference is, though many people want a lot of things, most people get something that is more or less satifactory to their needs. Say I need some sort of basic transportion, I go out and get me some sort of sensible choice. If you’re a commuter, the sensible choice would be something like a Kia or something. If you’re a family man, you buy a station wagon or minivan or perhaps even an suv. This is what most people do.
Except in the United States. Where most people needing a car hauling their family and stuff gets a truck. Nowhere in the world are trucks used less for trucking and more for commuting than in the United States. Nowhere else are so few four-wheel drives driven on anything else than pavement. Nowhere else in the world are trucks and suvs used to such an exstent in city traffic. Nowhere else in this world are these cars used almost solely for going to the grocery store.
Though I don’t have figures at hand, I would guess that at least 90% of these vehicles fill the need an do the actual work of an ordinary family car. There’s nothing these cars actually do that couldn’t be done with a Kia Soul. I’m not talking about what they could be doing, but what they are actually doing.
I get that it’s not about “need” but about “want”. But in the eyes of the world those wants just look utterly ridiculous and above all, hypocritical to the highest degree. It looks for what it actually is, it’s about escapism seen from self-entitled and overblown egos with no sense of propriety. Fuck global warming, if I want a truck I will get me a truck! Even if I don’t even need it…
“It looks for what it actually is, it’s about escapism seen from self-entitled and overblown egos with no sense of propriety. Fuck global warming, if I want a truck I will get me a truck! Even if I don’t even need it…”
I tend to be hard on the monkey-see-monkey-do pickup crowd who do not actually need a pickup. But after reading your comments I’m inclined to take their side.
@ John: It depends wildly on where you live. If you live and work in New York City or the San Francisco Bay Area, it’s probably true: Having a car or truck in cities like that is an expensive liability whose cost (particularly as regards parking and insurance) is often more than it’s worth. In a city like L.A., which is sprawled all over the place and where lengthy commutes are common, not having a car is an enormous and constant headache. (You can get by without a car if your home and work are within some corridor actually served by public transit, but then you can pretty much forget seeing your friends and family unless they live nearby.)
@ Ingvar: You’re right, and that is one of the reasons decent examples of compact pickup trucks are in increasing demand. If you want to haul topsoil and junk, you want a used truck that already has its share of minor battle scars. The problem is that the priorities buyers have for used vehicles aren’t the same as for new ones. If you’re buying a used car, you might prefer one that wasn’t lavishly equipped just so that you don’t have to worry about a bunch of other electrical toys you might have to fix, but obviously new car buyers like that kind of stuff.
It does pose the question of where the slightly battered but still dependable compact used trucks of tomorrow are going to come from, though.
You can’t respond to me with “it depends wildly on where you live” when I was responding to “Pretty much no city dweller really “needs” a car at all.”.
I’m a city dweller, and I don’t even own a car. Or, I do, but that is a resto project. The point is, I agree with you. If you live in a fairly big city, which I do, there’s really no need for a car. Communications where I live are excellent. But yes, there are people with more needs than I.
And if you think a double cab pickup is the greatest thing that’s ever happened to you, fine! That’s great, and I’m happy for you. I’ve always wanted a utility vechicle that could fill all my needs, the swiss army knife of cars and trucks. The idea is great, and I don’t have anything against the concept in particular.
And it’s great that the fold down gate can function as a workbench. That is a great idea! It’s in fact such a great idea the truck makers should integrate that thought and have things like power outlets at the back of the truck for those instances when there’s no cord available and you just need some power for a minor job. That’s great!
But I’m not really talking to you people. You seem to be amongst those people that actually use their trucks for something. If you’re a contractor, it’s a great vehicle. And it’s perfect if it can function as a be all and end all of active lifestyle vehcicles. That’s great!
But as I said, I’m not really talking about you, the few who actually use their trucks. I’m talking about all those who don’t. So I really don’t see the need for taking umbrage. I’m talking about those that buy trucks to go to the grocery store. Or whatever. You get my point?
Trucks have become more than just a work vehicle. And it’s even more than an active lifestyle vehicle. For some people, many of them in fact, it’s just a fad and a folly. And they buy them because that’s the in-thing to do. Even if they have no need or even a place for them in their lifes. And it’s their actions I don’t really understand…
When my stepdad was alive, we’d use his 1978 Toyota pickup truck for everything, hauling rocks to remodel our house. I’d use the truck to carry my lawn mower for lawn mowing. I loved driving it. I’d buy another 78 Toyota pickup truck if I could find one in good driveable condition.
Plywood, drywall, anything else in a 4×8 sheet.
Yes, but how many does that to such a large extent they need to buy a large ass truck to do it? How many drywalls are there to be raised? And who buys a new truck just to renovate the house? I get what the intended use is, what I’m asking is, how many people does actually fill their truck beds with plywood sheets? In a new truck? On a regular basis?
I have a friend who bought brand new a 2010 Tacoma (Hilux) to use for his home building business. He’d use it to haul various tools needed for the trade. So people do buy pickup trucks for various uses.
Lots of people haul lots of stuff with pickups. It’s not always drywall or dirt, but that’s the beauty of a pickup…they haul just about anything you need them to. And the new ones are getting minivan mileage. Small trucks just don’t make much sense today, they don’t offer anything worthwhile in economy or value. They’re just smaller.
Exactly why I drive a full size pickup, but it does not require a “monster”. The original Tundra is not “mid size” because it has a full size bed and three-across bench seat. Mine is a 2005 and a superior work truck compared to most of the newer ones from any manufacturer. The confusion may be due to the styling similarities between the T100 and original Tundra. Walk up to a 1960’s F-250 or C-20 and you get a general idea of the size.
The question in my mind is just how different is the gen1 Tundra from the T100? I always assumed it was just a direct evolution. The width is exactly the same, so I assume the cab is essentially the same. The doors look like they would interchange, practically. The Tundra has a couple inches more wheelbase, but I assume that was to make the front end a bit longer for the V8 engine. Of course there are more variants in the Tundra, with the extended cab and double cab. But a regular cab gen1 Tundra looks might similar to a T100.
Just looking at the mid-size T-100 compared to the “7/8 scale F-150” 1st gen Tundra, it looks like the increase in wheelbase went partially to the front end to make room for a V8, partially to the cab to make room for a larger Access Cab, and partially to pushing the rear wheels farther back for less rear overhang in the bed.
I remember when the Toyota Tundra was first introduced. I thought it was a good looking pickup truck in every respect except the front end. I would’ve preferred they kept the T100 front end, or used a bigger Tacoma front end.
Sorry it took a couple of days for me to find a T-100 on the street to compare with my Tundra. Dad had a T-100 and gave it to my daughter, who tried to destroy it, but couldnt. Anyway, we never had both trucks at the same time to compare.
The rear suspension, (bigger) axle and braking layout was basically similar, in fact look like my ’84 Toyota did. The cab, front frame, suspension, steering and brakes are not at all the same. Its not just to accommodate the V-8. Front track is four inches wider. The cab is big enough not to have the “shifter notch” in the bench seat. Also, the dash is, to me. a copy of the 1997 F-150 style. In fact, it looks like a T-100/F-150 hybrid. The whole truck is close in dimensions and heft to my ’93 C-1500 regular cab.
“This may sound like a dumb question, but what is it that these people haul in their big rigs that couldn’t fit in a more nimble truck?”
Well, when I was self employed, I hauled a 1200 lb Lincoln pipeliner welding machine and 3 medium sized gang boxes full of very heavy equipment on a flatbed that itself weighed quite a bit. By the time I had a load of steel plate, pipe, and refractory on it, I was over the rated capacity of the truck.
First of all, I am by no means an expert writer. In fact I failed English all the way through school. Probably spent to much time reading car magazines. So I apologize for my composition not being perfect
Second, if technology helped increase the mpg of larger trucks, couldn’t it do the same for smaller trucks? If my ’01 Malibu with a 3.1L V6 and an automatic gets 30+ mpg highway (which it does) couldn’t a smaller, lighter truck with a 4 cylinder engine and manual transmission be made to beat that?
Third, The Japanese manufacturers got their foothold in the U.S. back in the mid ’70s, after the (IMO fake) oil crisis in late ’70s, when gas prices doubled overnight, and people were looking for smaller, more fuel efficient vehicles, which the Japanese had. They sold millions of those small trucks. Toyota, Datsun, Isuzu, Mitsubitshi, and Mazda all had one. GM had the Isuzu built LUV, and later their own S10, Ford had the Mazda built Courier, and later on the Ranger, and Chrysler had the Mitsubitshi built D50, and later the Dakota, which was a little bigger than the imports. A whole culture grew up around these “mini trucks” They were everywhere. Yet today, with crazy gas prices (yes, they’re going back up) when we have never needed a small fuel efficient truck more, there is not a single one to be found. People buy the biggest thing they can find, then spend 30% of their income on gas, complaining all the way.
I will say this. If someone makes and sells a decent small standard cab bare bones truck (it would have to have A/C, as I live in Phoenix) that will get 30 mpg highway, at a reasonable price (compared to other new vehicles) I will buy it brand new. I can’t believe there is not enough of a market out there for at least one manufacturer to make money selling small trucks. But then I also find it difficult to understand why there is no market for standard cab trucks, even though they are available, and at about half the price of a crew cab. 90% of the crew cabs I see have only the driver in them. I rarely ever see one in the carpool lane. They also not fit in a garage. Buy a $50,000+ truck and have to let it set out in the weather. Common sense does not seem to apply to today’s car/truck market.
How about buying one with 4WD then bragging about how it goes so good without the 4WD they only use the 4WD about twice a year? Or buying the F350 ext cab short box SRW with tow package and heavy duty suspension then use it to haul and tow stuff that could be hauled/towed by a ford explorer? Or making payments on a $45,000 vehicle loan and more for a plow so you can use it to push snow 5 times a year and call in sick to work and lose pay to do it?
Getting better highway mileage is tricky with pickup trucks simply because of their configuration: higher ground clearance and an open pickup bed are pretty disastrous for aerodynamics, so you have a lot of drag area to push around. That means you use more energy maintaining higher speeds than with a car of similar weight with similar-sized tires. 4WD also cuts into mileage with added weight and mechanical drag.
Trucks are bigger today for two main reasons: They need cab space to be used as family vehicles and the toys they tow are larger than ever. The demographics have changed.
They are now do-it-all family vehicles. There is not a more versatile vehicle on the market. I love my Crew Cab pickup more than any other vehicle I’ve ever owned and don’t see myself going back to smaller stuff. Do I need every single capability on a daily basis? Nope, but I do use almost every bit of it throughout the year.
I would like to see lower bed heights. Even at 6’4″ I think my bed is too high. And there’s really no reason for that, seeing as how the ground clearance isn’t that high. But I love the spacious cab.
After a recent fender bender I was given a Kia Sorrento, which is supposedly a mid-size, as a loaner. Despite the 3rd row I found completely impractical to fit my kids in with their carseats. Just couldn’t do it without having the kid in the booster seat climbing over the middle seat to get to the back because the center seat was too narrow. That is a big reason why full size trucks continue to sell so well.
One upside of higher bed is that the tailgate is a good height for using as a work bench. I could not count the number of times I have cut sheet goods or lumber right on the back of the truck. Just plug in the circular saw and go!
Not that you can’t do that on a lower bed, but if you are doing it all day and keeping a three man crew busy with pre cut material it is nice not to have to stoop.
Another good thing about the higher bed is that if you load it to its full weight capacity (which, according to all the experts here, is the Only Acceptable Use For A Pickup Truck One Hundred Percent Of The Time), the vehicle won’t squat so badly. Remember how tall old one-tons were in the back? Well, guess what, a “half-ton” F-150 now has a payload approaching 2,000 lbs. (exceeding in some configs), and if a person doesn’t use that capacity at least once, they have little right to complain.
“I would like to see lower bed heights. Even at 6’4″ I think my bed is too high. And there’s really no reason for that, seeing as how the ground clearance isn’t that high.”
I finally figured this out. Its just about styling. Notice how many new passenger cars have “gunsight” side glass. It is due to the large wheel openings needed for giant diameter wheels, and still keep the proportions visually ok. Trucks now come with 20 inch rims from the factory, leading to huge wheel openings and the resulting high sides for visual proportions. 16 inch rims were the most common light truck size from the 1940’s until recently and the bed sides were about the same height.
I like the looks of those old 80s Toyota trucks much better than the new Tacoma, Tundras . The Nissan trucks are better looking. The new Toyotas are so bull dog ugly in front, no wonder they don’t sell like they used to. I had an 88, and highway mpg was usually about 26. One time I kept it at 55 mph. non stop, and got 34 mpg.
I am thoroughly enjoying my ’07 RCSB Tundra and it’s 5.7L V8, great power, low maintenance and a tight turning circle. 290,000 miles and counting.