Comparison shopping: Colorado, Gladiator, Tacoma

Dalko43

Explorer
BOF doesn't have to be boring... and generally isn't.

Tacoma is actually rather noted for hunting but that is about as much the engine's fault as it is the transmission.
I don't know what you or the OP mean by "boring." What BOF SUV isn't "boring" as compared to the 4runner and please explain the reasons why.

The Tacoma's AT hunts somewhat, the manual works just fine and is arguably the better way to go.
 

85_Ranger4x4

Active member
As for 4runner not "exciting" you....then why are you looking to replace it with another SUV or pickup? It's a body-on-frame SUV...it's not fast or flashy but its robust and reliable, especially in arduous conditions....if that isn't your cup of tea, then my recommendation is to look outside of the BOF 4x4 market all together.
I don't know what you or the OP mean by "boring." What BOF SUV isn't "boring" as compared to the 4runner and please explain the reasons why.
Because in my opinion no vehicle model is the end-all perfect solution for every person. More or less saying "if you don't like what I like you might as well get a car" is a pretty bad line and that is mainly what stuck in my craw.

With 100+ years of BOF 4x4's on the market there is something for everyone.
 
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spectre6000

Observer
I didn't remember saying anything about boring, and a search confirms I hadn't. It IS a sentiment I have held for a long time though, so maybe it was subtextual.

IMHO, modern vehicles, on the whole, are extremely boring compared to vehicles from several decades ago due to changes in design parameters. Modern vehicles have a strong committee-led design process where the manufacturer attempts to appeal to the widest market possible, and in so doing, manages to serve none of them particularly well.

In the past, a vehicle was more likely to have been designed for a purpose rather than a market niche. For instance, the VW Beetle was famously designed to A) convey four people and their luggage on a weekend getaway B) at 100 km/hr C) efficiently. The Beetle did this with aplomb, and didn't do much else. That limitation was ultimately perceived as either character or a flaw, depending on your overall sentiment toward the vehicle (or, I suppose, any number of other things about the vehicle or its origins or what have you). Jeeps and Jeep-like vehicles (i.e. FJ-40 Land Cruisers, which I've also owned) are another excellent example of this. They're meant to take a small number of people and or things pretty much wherever they point the steering wheel. They do it better than any other, but are quite flawed for that capability... Or riddled with character.

All of the trucks in the OP approach that boundary of character and flaws, but mostly fall short because they're going at it bass ackwards AND trying to appeal to the greatest possible swath of the market (the Gladiator may be an exception, but I'm not wholly convinced). The Tacoma and Colorado start as extremely basic work trucks where the point is to carry a small amount of people and a medium amount of things efficiently. That's the core of the design. From there, they expand to meet more niches until you're at the top of the range. By the time you get to that top though, you've found yourself with all manner of entirely unnecessary bells and whistles that you're stuck with for the trouble. In an off road oriented truck, leather is a liability. Electronic gewgaws are a liability. Most importantly, many of the elements that started at the most basic levels of the platform with the intent to check some unrelated box (i.e. style-oriented wheel wells) are liabilities. Even the Gladiator, which is extremely purpose-oriented compared to just about everything else on the road, is chock full of these sorts of flaws that don't rise to the level of character. The Gladiator's primary mission is, supposedly, off road prowess. The secondary purpose, being a truck, has elements that are counter to that primary goal, and elements of that primary purpose were compromised to a such an extent that the mission creep, all-things-to-all-people dragon reared it's head (break over and departure angles are what I'm thinking of). The fancy interior gewgaws intended for the soccer moms are the biggest liability and most unnecessary. These are the negative types of compromises. The weird door lines at the rear of the cab are a definite compromise, but they result from sharing parts with the Wrangler; that makes repairs less expensive because there are few parts for the manufacturer to produce in greater numbers and more available donors in yards down the road.

If I were to base my buying decision based solely on character and what's not boring, it would be a Gladiator hands down. For all of Chrysler's failings (and there are MANY), the one thing they're doing better than any other manufacturer, left, right, and center, is making vehicles with character and purpose. I likely won't be going with a Gladiator, however, because it doesn't meet my particular use case quite as well as the Colorado. To wit, I need a bed topper (none are available at this time), I don't like the engine (no V6 is appropriate in a truck application IMO), the convertible aspect is of no use to me (I get a sunburn under a full moon), and the price is just too high for what it is relative to what I actually need (spec'd out how I want it, I'm pushing $60K and waiting a year for the diesel). The Colorado's flaws suck, and definitely could be described in terms of "boring", but for all its flaws, it best meets my use case. I don't like the wheel wells (I put 33"s on every truck I've ever owned, and that's not easy in the silly square wheel wells), and the interior is somehow compromised doubly at opposite ends of the spectrum (both too cheap for the price and too nice for the application).

My wife has requested we do another round of testing now that we've had time to digest our thoughts on the three options. That'll either clear things up, or muddy them further.
 

Cackalak Han

Explorer
IMHO, modern vehicles, on the whole, are extremely boring compared to vehicles from several decades ago due to changes in design parameters. Modern vehicles have a strong committee-led design process where the manufacturer attempts to appeal to the widest market possible, and in so doing, manages to serve none of them particularly well.

My wife has requested we do another round of testing now that we've had time to digest our thoughts on the three options. That'll either clear things up, or muddy them further.
I don’t think modern cars are boring at all. Just like rearing children, we tend to forget the sleepless nights, throw ups, blow outs, teenage years. It was never fun being stranded on the side of the road on a regular basis back in the day. Being hot as all get out in the back seat with the AC on max. Crappy suspension having us bounce all around on the roads. Nah, no thanks. Keep the old cars with “character.” I’ll take a new one any day.
 
I don’t think modern cars are boring at all. Just like rearing children, we tend to forget the sleepless nights, throw ups, blow outs, teenage years. It was never fun being stranded on the side of the road on a regular basis back in the day. Being hot as all get out in the back seat with the AC on max. Crappy suspension having us bounce all around on the roads. Nah, no thanks. Keep the old cars with “character.” I’ll take a new one any day.
For commuting / day to day yes. Modern car. Agree 100%. If I could... maybe an E39 M5? Wait.. even that's 15 years old now.....

I'd still love a classic to cruise in on the weekends though.
 

spectre6000

Observer
The plot was lost pages ago... I'm still enjoying the conversation.

I nearly bought an E36 M3 not too long ago... Ended up with an E46 330i. Not quite as good, but 4-doors and still a lot of fun. Genuinely good car.

I don’t think modern cars are boring at all. Just like rearing children, we tend to forget the sleepless nights, throw ups, blow outs, teenage years. It was never fun being stranded on the side of the road on a regular basis back in the day. Being hot as all get out in the back seat with the AC on max. Crappy suspension having us bounce all around on the roads. Nah, no thanks. Keep the old cars with “character.” I’ll take a new one any day.
My child rearing experience is limited to none at the moment (though that changes come New Years, or thereabouts). I embraced the breakdowns (I call them adventures), suspension, crappy (although, usually just absent) AC, etc. as character. But for years, I exclusively DD'd classic cars. I used to run an investment company back in the day. I parked my '62 VW Bus, house paint, splotchy mismatched patches and primer, the whole nine, between a DB9 and a Range Rover whatever-the-hell with all the bells and whistles. It was pretty comical. They didn't get me, and I didn't care. Even in the oppressively hot Dallas summers, I just popped the vent windows, opened the ceiling vent, and took it all in stride. It was well worth it. My rule was no car newer than me, no car that I can't get in toy form (indicates that there's enough people to buy it when I move on), and no car I don't truly want. It was great. I drove some seriously awesome cars, as well as a few that were more 'meh'. My Bus, '57 Karmann Ghia (google image search '57 karmann ghia', and a photo of my car is currently the 7th result, but for years was #1 including the entire time I owned it; last I heard it was in Sweden), FJ40, RX7, CUCV, and my BMW were all fantastic cars that I'd love to have again. What makes it better, with nearly every car I owned for the past decade or so, I MADE money. Not much, a few hundred to a few K depending on the particular car and price range, but enough to justify and cover the expense of the hobby. Despite a new car every six months on average, I never had a car payment.

That changed in 2016 when I got in a pretty severe accident in an '81 K10 (certainly not a bad notch on my bedpost, but not especially inspiring either). I was going down the highway at 65 mph (the speed limit) on a Friday night on my way home from work with my dog laying on the bench next to me. A dumbass in a Subaru Outback was waiting at a light to turn left. The light turned yellow, and he freaked out or something, and just went for it while I was going through the intersection. I hit him head on with about a 25% overlap, completely tore the first foot or so off the Subaru, which ended up in the bed of my truck in the yard the following morning. My 33" tires helped deflect me mostly up and over the low massive parts of the Subaru, and I ended up on the shoulder in a cloud of coolant steam and a puddle of various fluids. My dog broke two ribs, his leg in four places, suffered severe damage to his liver and both lungs, and was thoroughly traumatized. I hit my knee on the steel dash, threw out my shoulder, starred the windshield with my left fist, smashed my face into the steering wheel, breaking my nose and skull "two knuckles deep" according to the surgeon, shattered my glasses into my forehead, then bounced back into the back glass, slicing my scalp open on the edge of the sliding center section. My dog made it, and he's fine. I'm outside working on the patio today, and he's behind me somewhere listening to hummingbirds and sniffing out critters (he has no eyes, but not due to anything related to the accident). I ended up with 27 stitches above the neck, multiple surgeries to fix my nose so I could wear my glasses comfortably, and of course plenty of physical therapy. The other guy was up and walking around the night of the accident, and didn't seem to have suffered anything substantial, but he also only took it as a glancing blow rather than head on. I always thought of the pre-safety cars as a calculated risk. People drove and wrecked them up until there were other options, and the human race still exists. I knew I'd likely suffer more injury, but it'd take something severe to really realize anything materially different. That wreck proved my point to some degree. The nature of that particular wreck (high speed, small overlap) is the exact crash test scenario that gave the OEMs so much trouble a few years back, and I was going faster with a smaller, yet still substantial, offset aimed right at me. About the worst you can possibly do. He said, had I been in a modern car with airbags, I wouldn't have gashed my head or banged my knee on a steel dash, but instead of a few concentrated breaks, my whole face would have been fractured... So, not exactly a substantial improvement.... The upside is that I'm now debt free (save mortgage and a single car payment), I have a lot more camping gear, and it paid for part of the new house. That K10 was the most profitable car I ever owned, but not exactly in a way I'd recommend.

With that in mind, after the K10, I started driving more modern cars, mostly out of PTSD if I'm honest... With a little girl on the way this winter, things are changing further. A new truck maximizes available safety kit, ensures I can properly fit child seats, and maximizes crash test scores. Instead of a ~6-month hold, this one will just have to stick around a while. Additionally, we bought a crazy awesome character bomb of a house, and it's a LOT of work on its own. I won't have the time to rebuild every brake and electrical system in every car I get, or really do much more than the most basic maintenance items. A new car that doesn't need much in the way of maintenance and won't need to be replaced for as long as possible maximizes utility in this new paradigm. Buying one with as many of the same characteristics that I know make for sought after classics should give me extra utility in the long run to boot. That, by the way, is part of the rationale for the Bison. It's likely the modern equivalent of the GMC Cyclone barring any substantial engineering flaws (i.e. rusting frames, bubble gum head gaskets, or some other thing that just makes them a lemon). The Gladiator would also check that box. I think the Tacoma's day as an enthusiast darling are numbered, if not done, without some major intervention from Toyota that, let's be honest, isn't coming any time soon.
 

Attachments

Cackalak Han

Explorer
The plot was lost pages ago... I'm still enjoying the conversation.

I nearly bought an E36 M3 not too long ago... Ended up with an E46 330i. Not quite as good, but 4-doors and still a lot of fun. Genuinely good car.



My child rearing experience is limited to none at the moment (though that changes come New Years, or thereabouts). I embraced the breakdowns (I call them adventures), suspension, crappy (although, usually just absent) AC, etc. as character. But for years, I exclusively DD'd classic cars. I used to run an investment company back in the day. I parked my '62 VW Bus, house paint, splotchy mismatched patches and primer, the whole nine, between a DB9 and a Range Rover whatever-the-hell with all the bells and whistles. It was pretty comical. They didn't get me, and I didn't care. Even in the oppressively hot Dallas summers, I just popped the vent windows, opened the ceiling vent, and took it all in stride. It was well worth it. My rule was no car newer than me, no car that I can't get in toy form (indicates that there's enough people to buy it when I move on), and no car I don't truly want. It was great. I drove some seriously awesome cars, as well as a few that were more 'meh'. My Bus, '57 Karmann Ghia (google image search '57 karmann ghia', and a photo of my car is currently the 7th result, but for years was #1 including the entire time I owned it; last I heard it was in Sweden), FJ40, RX7, CUCV, and my BMW were all fantastic cars that I'd love to have again. What makes it better, with nearly every car I owned for the past decade or so, I MADE money. Not much, a few hundred to a few K depending on the particular car and price range, but enough to justify and cover the expense of the hobby. Despite a new car every six months on average, I never had a car payment.

That changed in 2016 when I got in a pretty severe accident in an '81 K10 (certainly not a bad notch on my bedpost, but not especially inspiring either). I was going down the highway at 65 mph (the speed limit) on a Friday night on my way home from work with my dog laying on the bench next to me. A dumbass in a Subaru Outback was waiting at a light to turn left. The light turned yellow, and he freaked out or something, and just went for it while I was going through the intersection. I hit him head on with about a 25% overlap, completely tore the first foot or so off the Subaru, which ended up in the bed of my truck in the yard the following morning. My 33" tires helped deflect me mostly up and over the low massive parts of the Subaru, and I ended up on the shoulder in a cloud of coolant steam and a puddle of various fluids. My dog broke two ribs, his leg in four places, suffered severe damage to his liver and both lungs, and was thoroughly traumatized. I hit my knee on the steel dash, threw out my shoulder, starred the windshield with my left fist, smashed my face into the steering wheel, breaking my nose and skull "two knuckles deep" according to the surgeon, shattered my glasses into my forehead, then bounced back into the back glass, slicing my scalp open on the edge of the sliding center section. My dog made it, and he's fine. I'm outside working on the patio today, and he's behind me somewhere listening to hummingbirds and sniffing out critters (he has no eyes, but not due to anything related to the accident). I ended up with 27 stitches above the neck, multiple surgeries to fix my nose so I could wear my glasses comfortably, and of course plenty of physical therapy. The other guy was up and walking around the night of the accident, and didn't seem to have suffered anything substantial, but he also only took it as a glancing blow rather than head on. I always thought of the pre-safety cars as a calculated risk. People drove and wrecked them up until there were other options, and the human race still exists. I knew I'd likely suffer more injury, but it'd take something severe to really realize anything materially different. That wreck proved my point to some degree. The nature of that particular wreck (high speed, small overlap) is the exact crash test scenario that gave the OEMs so much trouble a few years back, and I was going faster with a smaller, yet still substantial, offset aimed right at me. About the worst you can possibly do. He said, had I been in a modern car with airbags, I wouldn't have gashed my head or banged my knee on a steel dash, but instead of a few concentrated breaks, my whole face would have been fractured... So, not exactly a substantial improvement.... The upside is that I'm now debt free (save mortgage and a single car payment), I have a lot more camping gear, and it paid for part of the new house. That K10 was the most profitable car I ever owned, but not exactly in a way I'd recommend.

With that in mind, after the K10, I started driving more modern cars, mostly out of PTSD if I'm honest... With a little girl on the way this winter, things are changing further. A new truck maximizes available safety kit, ensures I can properly fit child seats, and maximizes crash test scores. Instead of a ~6-month hold, this one will just have to stick around a while. Additionally, we bought a crazy awesome character bomb of a house, and it's a LOT of work on its own. I won't have the time to rebuild every brake and electrical system in every car I get, or really do much more than the most basic maintenance items. A new car that doesn't need much in the way of maintenance and won't need to be replaced for as long as possible maximizes utility in this new paradigm. Buying one with as many of the same characteristics that I know make for sought after classics should give me extra utility in the long run to boot. That, by the way, is part of the rationale for the Bison. It's likely the modern equivalent of the GMC Cyclone barring any substantial engineering flaws (i.e. rusting frames, bubble gum head gaskets, or some other thing that just makes them a lemon). The Gladiator would also check that box. I think the Tacoma's day as an enthusiast darling are numbered, if not done, without some major intervention from Toyota that, let's be honest, isn't coming any time soon.
Safety is a big concern for me as well and something I highly considered when I was in the process of purchasing a new truck. I wanted to like the Tundra but too many little things, including the sub-par safety rating, took it off the list for me. Some people on here dismiss the IIHS test ratings but not me. F-150 and Ram both earned the best ratings, which narrowed the list for me.

Note that the Gladiator hasn’t been tested yet but the JL earned a 1-star rating in Europe. Yikes.
 
The plot was lost pages ago... I'm still enjoying the conversation.

I nearly bought an E36 M3 not too long ago... Ended up with an E46 330i. Not quite as good, but 4-doors and still a lot of fun. Genuinely good car.



My child rearing experience is limited to none at the moment (though that changes come New Years, or thereabouts). I embraced the breakdowns (I call them adventures), suspension, crappy (although, usually just absent) AC, etc. as character. But for years, I exclusively DD'd classic cars. I used to run an investment company back in the day. I parked my '62 VW Bus, house paint, splotchy mismatched patches and primer, the whole nine, between a DB9 and a Range Rover whatever-the-hell with all the bells and whistles. It was pretty comical. They didn't get me, and I didn't care. Even in the oppressively hot Dallas summers, I just popped the vent windows, opened the ceiling vent, and took it all in stride. It was well worth it. My rule was no car newer than me, no car that I can't get in toy form (indicates that there's enough people to buy it when I move on), and no car I don't truly want. It was great. I drove some seriously awesome cars, as well as a few that were more 'meh'. My Bus, '57 Karmann Ghia (google image search '57 karmann ghia', and a photo of my car is currently the 7th result, but for years was #1 including the entire time I owned it; last I heard it was in Sweden), FJ40, RX7, CUCV, and my BMW were all fantastic cars that I'd love to have again. What makes it better, with nearly every car I owned for the past decade or so, I MADE money. Not much, a few hundred to a few K depending on the particular car and price range, but enough to justify and cover the expense of the hobby. Despite a new car every six months on average, I never had a car payment.

That changed in 2016 when I got in a pretty severe accident in an '81 K10 (certainly not a bad notch on my bedpost, but not especially inspiring either). I was going down the highway at 65 mph (the speed limit) on a Friday night on my way home from work with my dog laying on the bench next to me. A dumbass in a Subaru Outback was waiting at a light to turn left. The light turned yellow, and he freaked out or something, and just went for it while I was going through the intersection. I hit him head on with about a 25% overlap, completely tore the first foot or so off the Subaru, which ended up in the bed of my truck in the yard the following morning. My 33" tires helped deflect me mostly up and over the low massive parts of the Subaru, and I ended up on the shoulder in a cloud of coolant steam and a puddle of various fluids. My dog broke two ribs, his leg in four places, suffered severe damage to his liver and both lungs, and was thoroughly traumatized. I hit my knee on the steel dash, threw out my shoulder, starred the windshield with my left fist, smashed my face into the steering wheel, breaking my nose and skull "two knuckles deep" according to the surgeon, shattered my glasses into my forehead, then bounced back into the back glass, slicing my scalp open on the edge of the sliding center section. My dog made it, and he's fine. I'm outside working on the patio today, and he's behind me somewhere listening to hummingbirds and sniffing out critters (he has no eyes, but not due to anything related to the accident). I ended up with 27 stitches above the neck, multiple surgeries to fix my nose so I could wear my glasses comfortably, and of course plenty of physical therapy. The other guy was up and walking around the night of the accident, and didn't seem to have suffered anything substantial, but he also only took it as a glancing blow rather than head on. I always thought of the pre-safety cars as a calculated risk. People drove and wrecked them up until there were other options, and the human race still exists. I knew I'd likely suffer more injury, but it'd take something severe to really realize anything materially different. That wreck proved my point to some degree. The nature of that particular wreck (high speed, small overlap) is the exact crash test scenario that gave the OEMs so much trouble a few years back, and I was going faster with a smaller, yet still substantial, offset aimed right at me. About the worst you can possibly do. He said, had I been in a modern car with airbags, I wouldn't have gashed my head or banged my knee on a steel dash, but instead of a few concentrated breaks, my whole face would have been fractured... So, not exactly a substantial improvement.... The upside is that I'm now debt free (save mortgage and a single car payment), I have a lot more camping gear, and it paid for part of the new house. That K10 was the most profitable car I ever owned, but not exactly in a way I'd recommend.

With that in mind, after the K10, I started driving more modern cars, mostly out of PTSD if I'm honest... With a little girl on the way this winter, things are changing further. A new truck maximizes available safety kit, ensures I can properly fit child seats, and maximizes crash test scores. Instead of a ~6-month hold, this one will just have to stick around a while. Additionally, we bought a crazy awesome character bomb of a house, and it's a LOT of work on its own. I won't have the time to rebuild every brake and electrical system in every car I get, or really do much more than the most basic maintenance items. A new car that doesn't need much in the way of maintenance and won't need to be replaced for as long as possible maximizes utility in this new paradigm. Buying one with as many of the same characteristics that I know make for sought after classics should give me extra utility in the long run to boot. That, by the way, is part of the rationale for the Bison. It's likely the modern equivalent of the GMC Cyclone barring any substantial engineering flaws (i.e. rusting frames, bubble gum head gaskets, or some other thing that just makes them a lemon). The Gladiator would also check that box. I think the Tacoma's day as an enthusiast darling are numbered, if not done, without some major intervention from Toyota that, let's be honest, isn't coming any time soon.
Sounds like you've had some fun cars!

Glad to hear you're okay now. Poor dog. Our old pooch is starting to lose his vision.

Still have yet to see a Bison in the flesh. But, that or the Gladiator would be fun vehicles.

I would tend to the Gladiator because I miss my old '64 Buick Wildcat convertible. It would scratch the itch for a convertible plus it can still tow / haul which is something I require now.

In winter, the soft top could be replaced with something like this rendering.... (If anyone ever makes one)

Capture.PNG

Curious to see what you end up with.
 

docwatson

Adventurer
At the risk of being a fanboy, why isn't the Frontier considered here? I know it's "old" but I would consider it a prime candidate for a truck that I wanted to take to 500k. The Pro4x is pretty competent and you can add a front locker and lift to it and still have way more money in your pocket to make it more "expo ready"
 

spectre6000

Observer
Still worlds safer than most of the cars I've been through by a huge margin. I have personally experienced about the worst you can and still survive. We're looking at it like car seats: they all have to pass a minimum bar that's safer than just about everything that's come before to even make it to market in the US. Beyond that, it's about features, and marginal extra safety is a feature along the lines of checking the "Bose" box. The scenario wherein the line between one star and five star crash ratings within the current automotive safety paradigm comes into play in a life changing way is on the order of 0.0000...0001% likelihood. Since I've already been there and done that, statistically speaking at least, it ain't gonna happen again. My odds increase because of where I live, but decrease because I'm an incredibly defensive driver (I chalk that up to DD'ing the bus in Dallas traffic). It's all academic though; at this point it's all about peace of mind. How safe, esoterically speaking or otherwise, do you need to be to FEEL safe?
 

85_Ranger4x4

Active member
I don’t think modern cars are boring at all. Just like rearing children, we tend to forget the sleepless nights, throw ups, blow outs, teenage years. It was never fun being stranded on the side of the road on a regular basis back in the day. Being hot as all get out in the back seat with the AC on max. Crappy suspension having us bounce all around on the roads. Nah, no thanks. Keep the old cars with “character.” I’ll take a new one any day.
For a daily driver I whole heartily agree.

For a toy? I have had a lot of fun building my '85, I wouldn't trade it for any new one sitting on a dealer lot. After 19 years we are pretty well bonded.

And Congrats!

We are due with our first around the first of November.
 

spectre6000

Observer
Sounds like you've had some fun cars!
You betchyer bippy!
Glad to hear you're okay now. Poor dog. Our old pooch is starting to lose his vision.
Losing it slowly is the way to go. Janus (my dog) lost vision fairly suddenly in his first eye when he was six. I don't know that he really ever had great vision, but that's when we found out the hard way he had glaucoma. We kept the other eye sighted and comfortable for four years (the usual prognosis is ~4 months), and he lost vision slowly. Even after he was totally blind though, he would still chase squirrels from tree to tree by sound and familiarity with the yard (and he only ran into a few of them!). Now, we're back up in the mountains, and when we're up there, he scales the canyon wall like a mountain goat, finds a prominent boulder, and sits regally as he surveys his kingdom by smell and sound. He's taken up digging as a hobby as well. They adjust incredibly well, such that you find yourself more concerned with other people being concerned about things you know he'll have no trouble with at all. He knows he's going to run into things if he's in a new place; if he was concerned about hurting his nose, he'd slow down!
Still have yet to see a Bison in the flesh. But, that or the Gladiator would be fun vehicles.
Agreed. I really can't go wrong.
I would tend to the Gladiator because I miss my old '64 Buick Wildcat convertible. It would scratch the itch for a convertible plus it can still tow / haul which is something I require now.

In winter, the soft top could be replaced with something like this rendering.... (If anyone ever makes one)

View attachment 533030
That is my favorite rendering of all. I haven't seen ANY bed caps yet though, and given that it's a core part of the utility of the truck to me, it's concerning. The removable top may be a problem. The soft top wouldn't be openable without removing the cap, and I suspect there are issues with air flow and turbulence in either case with that opening in the middle followed up by a hard air dam. I also wonder if whatever toppers ultimately come out (assuming they do) might not be especially expensive due to the lines of the Gladiator being so different as to make the forms require some unique characteristics that make the caps extra pricey.
 
Losing it slowly is the way to go. Janus (my dog) lost vision fairly suddenly in his first eye when he was six. I don't know that he really ever had great vision, but that's when we found out the hard way he had glaucoma. We kept the other eye sighted and comfortable for four years (the usual prognosis is ~4 months), and he lost vision slowly. Even after he was totally blind though, he would still chase squirrels from tree to tree by sound and familiarity with the yard (and he only ran into a few of them!). Now, we're back up in the mountains, and when we're up there, he scales the canyon wall like a mountain goat, finds a prominent boulder, and sits regally as he surveys his kingdom by smell and sound. He's taken up digging as a hobby as well. They adjust incredibly well, such that you find yourself more concerned with other people being concerned about things you know he'll have no trouble with at all. He knows he's going to run into things if he's in a new place; if he was concerned about hurting his nose, he'd slow down!
They really do adapt well! Our guy used to...well... still runs into things. I think was / is more to do with him being clumsy and not looking where he's going though....

That is my favorite rendering of all. I haven't seen ANY bed caps yet though, and given that it's a core part of the utility of the truck to me, it's concerning. The removable top may be a problem. The soft top wouldn't be openable without removing the cap, and I suspect there are issues with air flow and turbulence in either case with that opening in the middle followed up by a hard air dam. I also wonder if whatever toppers ultimately come out (assuming they do) might not be especially expensive due to the lines of the Gladiator being so different as to make the forms require some unique characteristics that make the caps extra pricey.
I'm sure someone will come to market with a canopy for a Gladiator. I wouldn't let that aspect alone hold me back from one. Drive them all and see which one you like best.
 
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