Comparison shopping: Colorado, Gladiator, Tacoma

Tex68w

Beach Bum
Yea, the ride quality of my 4Runner could definitely be improved if I upgraded the suspension (body roll and brake diving are my two biggest complaints there), but the on road ride really isn't that big of a deal to me, just a point to mention. To be honest most of my complaints aren't that severe except for two:

1) the transmission hunting is just horrible, I've been on long interstate drives in mountainous areas and have had to take a break from driving out of frustration from it and it destroys mpgs
2) This is intangible, but the 4Runner just doesn't excite me. I love cars, love driving, and I am honestly never excited about driving the 4Runner. It just doesn't have...character I guess? It's just bland. Silly but it matters to me (and others it would seem)
I agree whole heartedly here. And yes, the 4Runner lacks soul, it’s the most polarizing vehicle I’ve ever owned and yet I’ve never fallen in love with it. I too think that a vehicle should have some personality and inspire you to want to drive it and if it doesn’t then it should go on its way.
 

DaveInDenver

Expedition Leader
I agree whole heartedly here. And yes, the 4Runner lacks soul, it’s the most polarizing vehicle I’ve ever owned and yet I’ve never fallen in love with it. I too think that a vehicle should have some personality and inspire you to want to drive it and if it doesn’t then it should go on its way.
Toyotas have always been ordinary. I mean geez, when I drove my 1991 home back in 2000 it was the poster child for plain even with the fancy side stripe.

DSC00569_mid.jpg

But it became mine, Imelda The Wonder Truck, over time with mods, dents, busted knuckles and trips. I don't have any desire to buy some conceptual designer's vision of a truck, thankyouverymuch.

wrt_40_sm_mid.jpg
 

calicamper

Expedition Leader
Truck camper the Bison is out. Its not setup for heavy bed loads.
I would have the Ranger on my list too. Put proper 4x4 tires on it and its going to be as good as the Tacoma. Some things will be unknowns like the 2.3turbo but Ford has been thrashing that thing for yrs and tweaking the design to make it pretty durable. The 10spd is way over kill on the ranger so not really a concern. Cabin space and comfort is dramatically better than the Taco. Ride is a little better. 500,000 miles ride and comfort matters! Don’t kid your self about that.

The jeep? You keep it 100% stock don’t pile on a bunch of bolt on junk and drive it reasonably and you’ll get 200k but probably have things like failed radiators etc just lower quality stuff more likely to have odd failures. Better space than any of the competitors

Skip the Bison unless your packing light. Its more of a jeep truck than a hauling truck persay.
Z2 is about the same. The load hauler is the standard versions of those rigs. The AT’s are decent known to be nothing exciting but durable. Same for the V6.
 

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LimaMikeMike

Observer
Toyotas have always been ordinary. I mean geez, when I drove my 1991 home back in 2000 it was the poster child for plain even with the fancy side stripe.

View attachment 532061

But it became mine, Imelda The Wonder Truck, over time with mods, dents, busted knuckles and trips. I don't have any desire to buy some conceptual designer's vision of a truck, thankyouverymuch.

View attachment 532060
I used to own a 86 Toyota 22RTE pickup, loved that truck. With a garret turbo upgrade and some mods it was actually fairly interesting to drive.

It died the common death for Canadian Toyota trucks of that age, rust.
 

calicamper

Expedition Leader
The all new ranger / Bronco platform is likely due to Fords hybrid plans. The 2020 Lincon Aviator is a rough look at what Ford could be planning regarding the Ranger and Bronco ability to be hybrid and/or plugin hybrid. The new platform will need a crash safe frame location for the battery pack. The location in the Explorer/Aviator and also in the new Escape makes a whole lot of sense in a Ranger/Bronco platform. They retain full size spare tire locations and are otherwise unaffected by battery location. Yet they could easily see 25+% fuel efficiency bump and with the EV tech they could give them gobs of torque at near zero RPM for wicked truck power etc

The Aviator plugin is 450hp 3L turbo and 600ftlb of torque! Even 390hp at say 400ftlb and 25-28mpg would make the Ranger a no brainer over a Tacoma with 270Hp and barely 300ftlb at stupidly high Rpms.
 

LimaMikeMike

Observer
Whats with the dissertation? I thought I was in the Toyota forum for a second.

Buy what you want. Every new truck is a great one and you really can't go wrong with anything. They all have plusses and minuses.
Exactly buy what you want, what works for you may not work for someone else. This forum is full of opinions.

I was thinking the other day if the majority of truck owners here in Alberta bought the truck they actually needed for the majority of uses, a base model Ridgeline would be the top seller.
 

85_Ranger4x4

Well-known member
I was seeing a shrunk version of the Super Duty in those Ranger renderings. Hello, welcome to my new Ford Wall of Chrome and Light!

View attachment 532065
* with a harmonica stuck in the middle of it...

Honestly I do not care for the looks of any of the newer trucks aside from the Taco and Ranger. Tacoma has a sporty aggressive look to it, Ranger has similar but with cleaner lines.

The bigger and bolder than anyone has bigger and bolded before fad can't die fast enough.
 

spectre6000

Observer
With turbo pressures Ford must be using to get those figures out of such small displacement engines, I have to question long term reliability. That's my primary point on that front. And the 10-speed may be overkill for the platform, I assume you're referring to its use in larger trucks), it's the number of gears that seems like it would get annoying for a similar reason to the 4Runner crowd's complaints.

I had a 99 4Runner once upon a time. It was OK. Actually, no it's was pretty good. I wasn't upset when it died. My wife rolled it in an ice storm up in the canyon we lived in at the time, and she was unscathed. It was good for what it was. I thought the 4th gen-on sorta killed it though. It didn't get too much bigger physically, but they went to great pains to make it look bigger visually in a way that was neither warranted nor wanted. My use case requires the bed be separate from the cab though, and the Tacoma has fallen well below the 4Runner in a number of aspects. As far as vehicles coming from Toyota with character any more, 4Runner is probably it. Sounds like even that is waning. They will almost assuredly be getting a pretty serious wakeup call in the next few years.

As for Jeep reliability, I agree. We had to have my wife's JKUR transmission significantly worked on (replaced the 3/4 shaft, IIRC), and just replaced the radiator for a leak at the tank/core seam. The thing Jeeps have going for them though is the aftermarket. It may start causing some serious pains around 200K, but you'll always be able to keep it on the road if you're reasonably savvy with a wrench and want it. That is not nothing, especially these days. For that reason, a Jeep tech I talked to a few weeks back said to stick with the 3.6. The I4 is nice, and sounds like it's good in the platform, but it's a DIY maintenance nightmare. I asked him what he thought would be easier to keep on the road in ten years, and he didn't hesitate to say the 3.6 was the answer. Too much unnecessary complication in the I4, most notably in the fuel system. A Gladiator with a 3.6L will likely go the distance as long as you like it enough to help it along.

The Colorado bed load capacity is a notable limitation, and looking through the manual I saw where it even states not to put a slide in camper in the bed. Not something I'm all that interested in, so not a concern. When I said 'camper', I meant 'shell' or topper? Whatever they're called. If I needed the extra capacity, there are other options I'd be entertaining. I live up in the mountains above Denver, and the traction aids definitely come in handy. 4X4 is required to leave the house several times a year, and lockers have been known to come in handy. I typically haul lighter stuff: slash, home improvement stuff, and cardboard on the one side, and fishing/camping gear on the other. If I need anything more than the payload figures allow, there's always a trailer.

I like calicamper's characterization of the Bison as "a jeep truck". That's pretty much exactly what I'm after. My wife's JKUR is about perfect for what we need save for the lack of a bed. I made a liner for it that essentially turns the back into a bed, but she still hates it when I use it 'as a truck'. "Nothing exciting, but durable" re: the automatic transmission is another thing I'm after. Part of the reason I like the expedition portal over Pirate4x4, for example, is that there is generally (though certainly not always) a much more realistic approach to building the trucks with a focus on getting home rather than getting in trouble. 33" tires are the biggest I have any interest in (largest size my preferred studded snows are available in anyway), and I'm short so a 2" lift is about all I need (any more, and I just tear up the seat bolsters trying to get in). What the Bison lacks in heroic lift and tires, it makes up for in armor. Add to that the heavy focus on daily driving, and it's a nice overall package.

I also like: "The bigger and bolder than anyone has bigger and bolded before fad can't die fast enough." Part of the attraction to the Colorado for me is that it's a world market truck where that aesthetic philosophy has not caught on. They tried a bit, and definitely had some effect, but nowhere near as much as with the Canyon... That is grille hideous in the exact way described.
 

Todd n Natalie

Observer
Exactly buy what you want, what works for you may not work for someone else. This forum is full of opinions.

I was thinking the other day if the majority of truck owners here in Alberta bought the truck they actually needed for the majority of uses, a base model Ridgeline would be the top seller.
No clue what their uses are. Mine is a weekday commuter and tows my travel trailer and hauls crap on the weekend. A Ridgeline wouldn't tow my trailer.
 

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DaveInDenver

Expedition Leader
And the 10-speed may be overkill for the platform
Something to consider is that the tranny doesn't have to use all 10 sequentially so it might actually be pretty smooth as it learns your driving style.
 

spectre6000

Observer
Something to consider is that the tranny doesn't have to use all 10 sequentially so it might actually be pretty smooth as it learns your driving style.
Good point. Hadn't considered leaving some gears out of a shift strategy. I've read that it's fairly smooth shifting, and assumed the valving was likely such it was just soft band engagement with the hope that people don't notice all the transmission activity. I'm pretty sure it's a conventional unit and not a double clutch, but that's an assumption. Continuing to look at it from an engineering perspective though, the whole point of all those ratios is to keep the engine in its most efficient band, which is narrow, and thus all the gears with tight ratio spreads. Do you think Ford (or really, the EPA) would allow a preference for skipping gears to avoid extra shifts if that's a major part of the MPG strategy (yet another assumption)?
 
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