Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Pickup Truck Pontifications

So my little Mazda is in the shop right now and I'm driving a rental. It's a Chevy Colorado mid-size pickup. In three words, no thanks GM.

First, the interior is cheap. And oddly shaped. Badly textured plastic runs as far as the eye can see. You sit on the floor with your feet stretched out in front of you like you were in a truck designed by the same people who found firebirds to be comfortable. Come to think of it, they probably were.

Second, the truck is both slow and thirsty. The 3.5 liter inline five cylinder doesn't have a lot of oomph to it. And it's the big engine. Likewise the truck sort of wallows through the turns in truckish fashion. Now this engine is the powerplant in the "fuel efficient" Hummer H3. "Fuel efficiency" in this case makes sense when the Hummer H2 gets single digit fuel economy. But there is no way I could call it a gas sipper. I'll have used $10 of gas just getting to work and back. If I listen closely I can hear my wallet screaming.

Now all this really proves is that I'm a small car guy. This is not a small car. It isn't even "compact" truck. Nobody makes "compact" trucks now except Ford. Tacoma, Frontier, Ridgeline, Colorado, Dakota? Everything is midsize now. And I'm betting it all has the same problem of being both too big and too small.

So all this rental experience has taught me is that the only truck I should consider buying is the New Ranger. And that's only if Ford ever brings it to the states and puts the 4.6L V8 and six speed auto into it like they have in the Explorer. Now that would be a great pickup truck.

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