We need the return of the truly-thrifty small pickup.

Discussion in 'The Powder Keg' started by d_p_holland, Sep 28, 2020.

  1. no, Toyota did it right 30-50 years ago, I don't care to drive around a computer lab:

    EtherialOne and blaster like this.
  2. How many miles would you have to drive to save on fuel to justify the extra $15K cost? Does a dinky diesel motor truly cost that much more to produce than a dinky gas motor? A 30+ mpg gas engine 4-banger still seems most sensible. Isuzu had that in the '90's. I don't need Indy 500 speed and power to go hunting or take the dogs out hiking.
    K75RT likes this.

  3. 455rocket

    455rocket G&G Evangelist

    You can find these around from about $5K and up. My FIL had one before he passed away that was 4WD, and a dump bed. He even had a lift kit and bigger aggressive tires on it. It was great for running around the farm, similar to a side by side that could haul more.

    This guy has over 100 in stock if your really interested in one.
    K75RT, rando, blaster and 1 other person like this.
  4. Txhillbilly

    Txhillbilly G&G Evangelist

    I bought a 2007 Isuzu I-290- (Chevy Colorado) with a 2.9L 4 banger back in 2011. It was a one owner with 42k miles on it. That little truck has been a great vehicle.
    I've got 152k miles on it now, and it has cost me very little to maintain over the years. I only paid $8k for it, and other than regular maintenance, I replaced the Ignition switch, Battery, some kind of emission box under the bed for the fuel system, rebuilt the drive shaft, changed out the shocks / struts, completely rebuilt the front end, and installed 2 sets of tires. Oh,I also installed a new clutch.

    So, For the last 9 years this little truck has cost me about $11k to own and drive other than gas and regular maintenance. That's pretty cheap transportation, plus it gets 2 1/2 times the fuel mileage that my 2012 Power Wagon gets!
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  5. mitchr

    mitchr G&G Evangelist


    Reminds me of something my FIL said when trading in his diesel Cadillac. Paid extra to get the diesel, but when I traded it in, they claimed that made it worth less!:rolleyes:
  6. I had a VW Jetta TDI 1.9L, 90 hp I-4 Turbo Direct Injection, I bought it new in 2001.. It was a 5 speed manual and fun to drive. Perhaps one of the best cars i've ever had, no real issues...it got phenomenal mileage...average 45mpg but if you took it on a trip I could get 50mpg. I sold it a couple of years ago and the new owner had just ruined his when his wife hit a raised structure in the pavement and put a hole in the oil pan..seized the engine at 300K+ miles..when he saw mine for sale and the mileage he did not bat and eye..he came with $$ and an enclosed trailer...That was a great car..
    Coach and TXplt like this.

    NRAJOE YOU TALKIN' TO ME!? Forum Contributor

    I had a '94 Jeep Comanche long bed with 4.0 and 5 spd trans.love d that truck.
    Then had an 01 Ranger with 3.0 auto trans....it was okay but a little underpowered....if I had got the 4.0 Id probably still have it.
    Bought an 05 F150 BACK IN 05...5.4 Triton....4:10 rear....heavy duty tow....still have it...basic XL with rubber floors...manual locks/seats/windows.
    Paid $19,000 back then....now a basic goes for $30,000....seen some F150s up to $78,000!

    Last edited: Oct 1, 2020
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  8. cjleete

    cjleete G&G Evangelist

    I'd go with a pre- or post bailout era Chevrolet.
  9. PaleHawkDown

    PaleHawkDown G&G Evangelist

    I'm not a huge fan of Ford, but my uncle has a little Ranger that has been going strong since the '90s with very little maintenance or issue.

    Sure the thing squirms on wet roads like a Democrat being questioned about their relationship with Epstein, but it has been an absolute trooper.

    A buddy of mine has an '80-something Datsun with a body that is more rust than paint to the point I think the body would disintegrate if it weren't for the bumper stickers holding it together, but it, too, just seems to run forever from a mechanical standpoint.

    I don't know why the small trucks just vanished.
  10. Years ago I had a 93 Toyota basic Pickup Truck and Loved the hell out of it. I'd likely still have it today if I hadn't had to trade it in for something to haul a wife and two kids. At that time I think I paid less than $10k out the door for it.

    I'm hoping that Auto manufacturers realize what a huge market there is for the small light pickup trucks and bring them back and I think that all it will take is One manufacturer to do it and then everyone else will follow suit once they see how big of a market there is for them.
  11. runfiverun

    runfiverun G&G Evangelist

    i'll tell you what I want.

    a 3/4 ton 4wd. pickup with roll up windows,
    heat. A/C. a 250 watt stereo with 4 speakers, a 5-6 speed manual transmission, and a 275 horsepower gas engine.
    4 doors would be nice, plain bench seats, and 4 cup holders [one molded into each door]
    the only electronic stuff I want is turn signals, head lights, and just enough basic computer stuff to run the fuel injected engine efficiently.
    and a set of gauges to monitor things.
    maybe cruise control [shrug]

    I don't need blue tooth, a back up camera, help backing up a trailer, power locks, electric seats with air blowing up my butt, DVD players for everyone, tail gates that open 6 different ways, esp, tow/haul, abs, seat belt dingers, TPMS, or any other junk.

    I just want a truck that'll haul some bags of cement, drive through a mud puddle or through some snow without the computer killing the engine, or tow a trailer a few hundred miles without a bunch of drama.
    Palladin8, Ranger4 and blaster like this.
  12. big shrek

    big shrek G&G Evangelist

    The Ford Ranchero has come a LONG way...in Australia.
  13. big shrek

    big shrek G&G Evangelist

    Back in the 80's/90s I had a blue Ford Courier pickup...
    which was a Mazda B2000 with a Ford 2.3L, 6 speed manual, & a 4.11 rear gear.
    6-bolt hubs...and it would LITERALLY pull down a house.

    There was a furniture moving van from Knock On Wood that got stuck in
    sand on Pensacola Beach...I pulled up in my little zippy and offered to
    pull 'em out. They laughed and said, "Try it if you think it'll do it!"
    I hooked up the tow strap, made sure both my rear tires were on pavement,
    and proceeded to haul them straight out of the sand onto the road!!
    Everyone was mightily impressed with that little stinker's granny gear!

    Strangely enough, they seem to be rebooting the Courier!!
    I'd buy that!!

  14. runfiverun

    runfiverun G&G Evangelist

    I'd rather see the Lightning come back.
  15. jerry

    jerry Since 03-15- 2002 Forum Contributor

    Wish I still had my Isuzu pup

    Sent from my iPhone using Gun and Game
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  16. Ranger4

    Ranger4 G&G Evangelist

    Never break even. It is a math thing. Historically gasoline was about 10% cheaper than diesel. On a full size truck like my Dodge diesel the break even point was about 125,00 miles in terms of gas/diesel savings. Today, it will never happen. The reason is diesel is about 10% more and all new diesels have the extra tank for the Blue Def additive which lasts about 5,000 miles.

    Then there are other costs that just go on forever. For example, if your diesel truck costs $10,000 more than a gas one, your insurance is going to be more forever, simply because if they have to replace it, you are insuring a $10,000 more valuable truck or car.

    Then there is the added taxes you pay the day you buy it. In Louisiana I think it is 9% now, in Oklahoma they pay both sales tax and excise tax totaling 4.5%.

    Then there is the added costs of interest. If you paid $10,000 more and financed it, then you are paying additional interest that is added to the very tail of the loan.

    If you took that added money you might pay for diesel and just put it in your 401k it would become a chunk, so the diesel purchase has an opportunity cost loss built in as well.

    Same deal with buying a hybrid vs a standard car. These hidden costs are always there but unless a person is a finance major they have no clue, they just think they are getting 40 mpg and do not realize their break even point will probably not get there until they trade or sell the car. All the while they think they are saving the planet.

    That is why most businesses will never buy a hybrid for a company car and will not buy diesels, unless they need the pulling power. I love my diesel and have about 143,000 on this one, but buying one today at $70,000 is nuts unless you have something big to haul.

    Hope that answers your query. Run the actual numbers, it is shocking how much extra they cost over time.
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2020
  17. cjleete

    cjleete G&G Evangelist

    Don't know if that's really necessary. The newer F150s with the Coyote 5.0 makes more ponies than the old supercharged Lightning. 395 vs 360 also much improved real world gas mileage. And naturally there's all manner of things you can do to the 5.0 to pep it up even more. But I think we've hit the point of diminishing returns in pickup horsepower. Without the traction control, it already leaves rubber at green lights if you're not gentle on the pedal.
    Ron The Legend and jerry like this.
  18. chris l2018

    chris l2018 G&G Evangelist

    Most European cars are frugal; we have a Terrano 4WD that does>30mpg, a VW estate that does >50mpg and a baby Mercedes that does ~55mpg!
    cjleete and Felix's Tattoo like this.
  19. PaleHawkDown

    PaleHawkDown G&G Evangelist

    The cool part about that guy is that it is the sister car to another defunct American car - The Ford Falcon. I would love to have either one of those.

    Back in the late '90s, when I was working in a bank mailroom, we received an Australian car magazine in the mail. There was no name on it for us to forward it, and we didn't have any Aussies in the company, so none of us had a clue why it came or who it was for.

    Anyway, page 3-4 was a spread on this thing:

    and on page 8-9 was this thing:


    but with a really cool black and red trim package, and the photo was very Mad Max looking.

    Both of these cars were honest-to-goodness muscle cars - something that died decades before here in America.
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  20. runfiverun

    runfiverun G&G Evangelist

    there's no way that 5.8 in the lightning only made 360 HP.
    if you ever stood near a lightning or rode in it you'd know 360 was a fairy tale on the first order.
    630 is more like it, it was the same engine they run in the GT-40 that'd do about 200 M.P.H.
    the engine was tuned more in the Lightning than when it was in the 5.8 Cobra.

    granted the coyote engines are nothing short of amazing.
    but that 5.8?,, oh my,, god.
    I think they just had a pile of leftover 850-900HP Nascar engines they needed to get rid of and figured a 2500 lb truck was the way to do it without getting the insurance companies all over their backs.
    Ron The Legend likes this.