Monday, July 15, 2013

A look into a segment: Compact Pickup Trucks

H628JAUR9M4P This post is part of a series of entries looking at one particular segment and body style, and seeing what the state of the market is by using The Vehicle For Me.  This entry is looking at compact pickup trucks.

I always wanted an El Camino as a kid, and there has always been a soft spot in my heart for compact pickup trucks.  Unfortunately, nobody in the US really makes small trucks anymore like the Datsuns of old.  But let's see what is available.

First of all, let's stick to trucks under $30,000, because I'm not made of money.  That gives us 10 models to choose from.  Second, I can't imagine buying a small pickup truck that isn't a Manual transmission, it just isn't right.  So that leaves us with 4 models to look at, each with a huge selection of trims.  I'll select the base model for each because that will probably be the smallest.  So that leaves us with the Toyota Tacoma, Nissan Frontier, Chevrolet Colorado, and the Ford Ranger (which doesn't seem to be made in the US after 2011).

Remember, I'm going to be using this truck for work, so it's going to need decent dimensions on bed size, as well as a good amount of torque and tow capacity.  However, like I said, I want this to be in a small package, so I'm going to select for small exterior dimensions.  

Link to Comparison Page
It is fairly close between the 2012 Chevrolet Colorado Work Truck 2WD at 77% and the 2013 Toyota Tacoma Regular Cab 4x2 at 75%, with the Chevy edging out in front on the strength of it's small size and power in a small body.  However, the Toyota has almost an extra 100 miles of total driving range, due to it's better MPG and larger fuel tank, as well as a better tow rating, that it is really close for me.  This is probably a case where you would have to decide what is more important to you, fuel economy or horsepower.

Trailing behind the Chevy and Toyota is the now-defunct Ford Ranger and the Nissan Frontier.  The Nissan is the largest of the bunch by far, and that pretty much disqualifies it from this discussion, which is strictly looking for compact trucks.  The Ford Ranger is an interesting option if you're willing to buy used, and it is one of the smallest of the bunch (it's the lightest), so it may be worth considering.

Victory: 2012 Chevrolet Colorado Work Truck 2WD

My personal choice here would probably be the Toyota, due to it's better fuel economy and tow rating, though I would definitely want to check out both for a test drive.

No comments:

Post a Comment