Comparison shopping: Colorado, Gladiator, Tacoma

LimaMikeMike

Observer
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.
My point is that most of us buy what we want, generally not what we need. The percentage your truck will spend on tarmac going from a-b vs camping, towing and hauling together will be far greater even though we are “off road enthusiasts”

You and by in large a huge percentage of us on expo don’t fit that stereotype, that’s why we are here. However we are a small percentage of the driving public.

A friend of mine has a ridgeline, It’s his work truck lol (residential electrician) the canopy and box are filled with tools and supplies and tows a 3.5k cargo trailer, everyday. I like to point and laugh, but I’m secretly jealous of the “trunk” in the box.
 

DaveInDenver

Expedition Leader
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)?
I don't think ford or the EPA care as standard long as MPG and emissions goals are hit. It's going to skip gears based on RPM, throttle position, vehicle speed. Seems to me it's just another situation where the driver should just let the thing do what it does. I've only heard it's an improvement over older autos but I dunno personally.
 
My point is that most of us buy what we want, generally not what we need. The percentage your truck will spend on tarmac going from a-b vs camping, towing and hauling together will be far greater even though we are “off road enthusiasts”

You and by in large a huge percentage of us on expo don’t fit that stereotype, that’s why we are here. However we are a small percentage of the driving public.

A friend of mine has a ridgeline, It’s his work truck lol (residential electrician) the canopy and box are filled with tools and supplies and tows a 3.5k cargo trailer, everyday. I like to point and laugh, but I’m secretly jealous of the “trunk” in the box.
Could be? I have no way of knowing how many of the trucks I see are like me. Could be weekend warriors towing trailers, boats...who knows....

And for sure, I'm guessing 90% of the time my truck is empty with just me driving to and from work. The Jetta TDi I had did the same commute.

The only downside I see with that trunk is that is where the spare is located. Or was in the 1st gens. So if you have a box full of stuff and get a flat...

And agree 100% we buy what we want. I'm okay with that though, lol
 

calicamper

Expedition Leader
I’ve driven the 10spd in the F150 and the Mustang. I honestly am really impressed with it. Smooth and yes no doubt lots of logic going on for gear selection. Plus the big torque numbers at lower rpms really help eliminate the gear hunting. There is always a good gear ratio and grunt. Add to the really creative way ford slipped a Electric motor into it for their EV applications and its really interesting. I honestly think this 10spd is a total game changer no matter what power plant is chosen.
 

calicamper

Expedition Leader
My point is that most of us buy what we want, generally not what we need. The percentage your truck will spend on tarmac going from a-b vs camping, towing and hauling together will be far greater even though we are “off road enthusiasts”

You and by in large a huge percentage of us on expo don’t fit that stereotype, that’s why we are here. However we are a small percentage of the driving public.

A friend of mine has a ridgeline, It’s his work truck lol (residential electrician) the canopy and box are filled with tools and supplies and tows a 3.5k cargo trailer, everyday. I like to point and laugh, but I’m secretly jealous of the “trunk” in the box.
I take it he hasn’t over heated it yet then? Yeah its an issue. One that a “truck” today shouldn’t have
 

Cackalak Han

Explorer
Mid-size truck, between those 3 (or 4 including Ranger), I would have to go Jeep. Good payload, plenty capable off-road, manual transmission, aftermarket support galore...what's not to love?
 

NevadaLover

Forking Icehole
I posted this here because I tend to appreciate the more considered opinions here than other similarly themed forums. Some interesting posts.

I haven't figured out the character of the Colorado forum yet, and that's where I initially read about the AEV conversion finish issue. I heard back on the other forum about it though, and that specific truck was super early in production (first dozen produced according to the owner, who is a GM employee), and the owner of a later production vehicle checked his and it's been remedied (it's not the prettiest work, but it's under other body work, so not really a major issue as long as it does the job). So that's a big relief.

To some degree, the lower quality of materials (thinking specifically dash pads and that sort of thing) is part of being a truck. For $50K, if I wanted a BMW, I'd have several to choose from. It's a tool first. I thought the headliner in the Colorado left some to be desired, for instance, but the headliner in the Gladiator doesn't actually exist... I was too disappointed in the Toyota to look up, so I don't know how that turned out there. It's the scratches and such that get to me in a brand new car.



I may have to look a little harder for deals on the Jeep. I'm in Denver, and it's like part of the initiation is buying a Subaru or a Jeep depending on your altitude. The Jeep salesman disagreed with my characterization that "it's full MSRP or go pound sand", but then went on to say that there no way they're coming a dime off MSRP...

The car engine in a truck is, IMHO the big downside of just about any midsize. I don't like V6es at all from an engineering perspective, and would take... I can't think of a configuration I wouldn't prefer to a V6... My current truck is the final leg of my tour of the Big 3, and it's a 2004 Dakota with the 4.7L. I liked the Mercedes V8 it's based on, and it's the closest to an appropriate engine in the class. I used to exclusively do classic cars, but a bad wreck and a kid on the way has pushed me into the modern era, or I'd stick with the old school rolling stock. I have an M1009 in the barn I need to do something with...

I definitely looked into the Ford. Not at all impressed. My Dakota is about to eat its second set of head gaskets due to poor design, but I'd take another Dodge over a Ford. Multiple bad experiences there. Less anecdotally though, I don't think they did a good job Americanizing it. Chevy went a little too far IMHO on the 2.8L, but Ford took it too far in an entirely different direction while simultaneously seeming to forget to do anything at all. The rear seat configuration is what sticks in my craw mostly. I use the back of my truck constantly to carry things, and the rear seat setup in the Ranger is the most halfassed thing since... I don't know... I feel like when trucks first started having back seats they still put more effort into them than that. The drivetrain is the real deal killer. A solid I4 is preferable in a small truck to a V6, but that is a highly strung little thing with what has to be an incredibly busy transmission. I think that engine debuted in the base Mustang? Not a truck application. Not a truck engine. Beyond that, I find it so odd, but not odd at all at the same time, that Ford brought what is essentially a 10(?) year old platform back to the states as their re-entry into the midsize market. It's a very poor effort that can only be described as rushed and half baked, and it shows. They're supposed to completely redo the platform in two years (I think that's what I heard most recently), and it's hard to imagine the cost analysis that went into federalizing a platform like that in lieu of expediting development of a new platform. That extra year in such a booming section of the market must be expensive. Then again, Ford's recent rushed development exploits (the dual clutch in the passenger cars) didn't exactly go well...

As for the EcoDiesel's issues, it's a VM Motori (Fiat owned) design. The 2.8 Duramax was initially designed by the same firm, but the design was bought a decade or so ago, and started independent development at GM. It's sort of an evolutionary offshoot with an extra degree of removal. There are definitely some things I don't like about the current Chrysler engine (the single use fuel lines come immediately to mind), but don't yet know if GM is guilty of the same poor decisions. I'm trying to get in contact with a tech at the dealership to get an idea for what's going on there.
The biggest problem with the portal lately is the fact that any discussion about any vehicle type brings 4 or 5 users into the discussion screaming "ford rules, ford rules"... and the immediate downplay of any and all brands other than ford, here you asked a question about 3 different trucks not including ford and the ford fanboys jump all over it screaming "ford rules ford rules", seems like pirate has invaded the portal and if you don't do as you're told by the fanboys then they just keep pushing "ford rules ford rules"..... gets old doesn't it?
Seems as though the mods turn a blind eye to the constant attempts at shoving ford down everyones throat and it keeps getting worse, might as well call this the ford portal anymore!
 

jaxyaks

Adventurer
If I remember correctly 2016 or possibly 2017 was the first year of the new 3.5. Lots of complaints about it so far that I've read.
I think most of those complaints are about the automatic transmission and programming attached to the engine.
 

calicamper

Expedition Leader
I think most of those complaints are about the automatic transmission and programming attached to the engine.
I spent 6 highway hours driving my brothers 2017 Highlander. The low grunt till 4000rpm was really noticeable we had 5 adults no gear. I could easily see the engine power / grunt combo being a show stopper for many truck guys. Especially once you up tire size, load some gear probably lift the Taco slightly etc. It would be a miserable highway rig. Id rather buy an older Tundra with the 4.7 V8 nearly the same size, better power light yrs better engine for truck use. Equal or better mileage. My Sequoia did the same 5 adults 6 hour trip and posted 1 less mpg than the Highlander 😳
 

jmodz

Member
A lot of Tacoma 3.5L bashing on here. It really isn’t that bad of an engine, all the transmission issues have been cleared up via TSB for over a year. It just wasn’t really an improvement on the 4.0, which coupled with the tranny issues caused a lot of backlash. However the chief engineer at Toyota said they went to the 3.5 because it would be able to hit required emissions over the model cycle that the 4.0 likely won’t be able to. Try driving the 3.5L and see if suits your needs, it really is a perfectly fine and capable engine. It’s a Tacoma, not a 3/4 ton truck, it doesn’t need 400 lb/ft of torque.
 

spectre6000

Observer
Fit and finish aside, it's hard to fault Chevy trucks for reliability. There are a lot of REALLY high mile Suburbans and the like running around out there. Their passenger cars are garbage, but they can make a truck. I fully expect things like... I don't know... Heated steering wheels to give up the ghost relatively early in the game without a fair amount of attention, but I feel like the parts that matter should do the miles just fine. Hopefully the diesel only adds to that potential, and I read early on about some particularly high miles trucks in Australia living rough lives. I think there's enough of a difference between that generation and the current Americanized version of the engine, but hopefully things haven't fallen too far. Where the Jeep falls flat in outright reliability, you can be sure you can get parts long term. The Toyota SHOULD match both just fine, but I don't think for a second a new one could hold a candle to the first and maybe second gen Tacomas. I've owned at least one from all three makes, and a Tacoma has specifically been on my "list" for more than a decade, but I think Toyota got complacent and left us all behind. And seriously, if Consumer Reports is giving Toyota the lowest marks for expected reliability, something has gone very very wrong in the land of the rising sun...
 
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