Interesting midsize truck comparison / test

DaveInDenver

Expedition Leader
lack of a frame and by golly my current XJ doesn't have a frame either so I best not take it down any nasty roads.
I pointed that out and didn't bash the Cherokee for it. Although I will point out that there's a cottage aftermarket for plates you weld underneath to make the unibody look an awful lot like a traditional frame.

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Todd n Natalie

Observer
Need to get rid of that commute altogether. ;)


Problem with mid-sizes is...they do nothing well. Other than being slightly smaller, no clear advantages over a 1/2 ton. Small trucks made sense when they got nearly double the mpg's years ago, but that isn't the case anymore. Everything gas in the midsize to half ton range seems to get around the 20 mark, some a little less, some a little more but not by much.
Oh man, I wish I could ditch the commute. Don't think that will happen for a long time. Maybe when the kids are done school? lol

I'm thinking idling down the freeway like I do, a truck with 2 or 4 less cylinders has got to be better on gas than my V8. Even a few MPG / L/100 KMS adds up. Right now I'm spending about $400 per month on fuel. Right now with winter gas / warming the truck up I'm averaging about 18 mpg. In the summer it's about 21 / 23.
 

Dalko43

Explorer
Better tell Motor Trend, as it won their 2006 TRUCK of The Year award. ;) According to my registration back in the day, my 1976 Scout II was a station wagon.
The reason for my original post was because people were bashing it because of the lack of a frame and by golly my current XJ doesn't have a frame either so I best not take it down any nasty roads. :p
Car journalist awards mean diddly squat to me nowadays, especially within the truck/4x4 segment. One year truck A wins because it has a fancy nav screen, the next year truck B wins because it looks cool and has a plush ride....most of those fellows don't own or use trucks on a daily basis, so their perception of what adds value to a truck isn't necessarily aligned with the demands of the enthusiast or average owner.

XJ certainly has proven itself in the offroad realm, though it seems to be the exception to that trend. And I do believe the hardcore builds employ sub-frame reinforcement because of the unibody construction. If the Ridgeline could genuinely hold up while enduring the same level of abuse that a Tacoma or Colorado sees (overloaded with modifications, technical offroading, operating in severe conditions) I think it could be considered a genuine contender to the BOF trucks. The thing of it is: I don't know of many owners who test the Ridgeline to the same extent that an owner might test a Tacoma or Colorado.

And quite honestly, I don't think Honda designed the Ridgeline to physically compete with other midsized trucks in that sense.
 

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Clutch

<---Pass
Oh man, I wish I could ditch the commute. Don't think that will happen for a long time. Maybe when the kids are done school? lol

I'm thinking idling down the freeway like I do, a truck with 2 or 4 less cylinders has got to be better on gas than my V8. Even a few MPG / L/100 KMS adds up. Right now I'm spending about $400 per month on fuel. Right now with winter gas / warming the truck up I'm averaging about 18 mpg. In the summer it's about 21 / 23.
For perspective, I am getting 16.5-17.5 in my Tacoma right now. Bumps up a little to 19-19.5 when I throw my summer tires on.

The new ones get about the same. Unless we go with diesel, don't thing we are going to save any money on fuel. Think the only reason to downsize is wanting to tow easier with a smaller setup. Do love that about mine. Can get into some tight spots without too-too much worry.

Might be a case of the grass is greener...I would love to have my neighbor's brand new Tundra and 26' TT, man that looks like a super cush base camp...while he mentioned he loved how small and simple my setup is.
 
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Clutch

<---Pass
And quite honestly, I don't think Honda designed the Ridgeline to physically compete with other midsized trucks in that sense.
Believe they are aimed at the AWD wagon consumer who occasionally needs to truck to haul stuff. Like the Spring runs to the nursery to get flats of flowers and potting soil for the garden, and don't want to muck up their wagon interiors...know I have been itching to get out there and start prepping my flower and veggie gardens.
 

Todd n Natalie

Observer
Might be a case of the grass is greener...I would love to have my neighbor's brand new Tundra and 26' TT, man that looks like a super cush base camp...while he mentioned he loved how small and simple my setup is.
So true. We keep looking at small hardwalls 17/19 footers. But then we think well what if so and so wants to come with us.... Then we find ourselves looking at 26 foot trailers. I really don't want anything that big though...

*Plus....if you want to come camping with us... get your own damn camping set up. Why should I have to pay to accommodate you*?

*I mean this tongue in cheek as the people we talk about accommodating are our nieces and nephews who range between 2 and 9 years old.....lol
 

Clutch

<---Pass
So true. We keep looking at small hardwalls 17/19 footers. But then we think well what if so and so wants to come with us.... Then we find ourselves looking at 26 foot trailers. I really don't want anything that big though...

Plus....if you want to come camping with us... get your own damn camping set up. Why should I have to pay to accommodate you?

*I mean this tongue in cheek as the people we talk about accommodating are our nieces and nephews who range between 2 and 9 years old.....lol
Sounds like her side of the family, "we would come and visit you guys, but your house isn't a big enough!"

Hmmmm, why should the two of us get a bigger house if you guys only come out every 5-10 years to visit?

My neighbor went from a DCSB Tacoma with a teeny tiny popup trailer....to a 19' TT, that the Tacoma struggled with, so he replaced it with a Tundra. The 19' disappeared one day and the 26' showed up about a month or so ago.

Think it is the whole never satisfied thing....Hell I am constantly looking for the perfect setup, and there will never be one.

Sportsman show is in town this weekend...caught on FB that FWC is going to have a couple campers on display, of course I am going to run over and have a look-see.... :D.

F350 SCLB/FWC Granby with that new 7.3 gasser...sure would be niiiiiiice.

Oh, buying stuff won't save us any money...we buy stuff because we want it, trying to solve problems we don't have! ;)
 
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Clutch

<---Pass
...that’s a $150,000 military vehicle you want to drive around town. If that isn’t “machismo fascia” I don’t know what is.
Think your definition of "machismo fascia" is different than mine.

That $150K military vehicle that looks like a Plain Jane old HiLux, but far from it...We call those type of vehicles sleepers where I come from. Unassuming and plain looking to the casual onlooker, and all business underneath. Quite a bit different than trying to "look" tough (machismo fascia), but not really.

Good example of a sleeper is this Camry. Looks like a boring family sedan.



But wait there's more...

 
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AbleGuy

Too Much Fun Club, founder
So another point to consider for the AWD bashers here...

We have lived in the Cascades, Northern Idaho up near the Canada border, and western Montana on the Rocky Mt Front....all places where winter weather, snow and ice can create some really daunting travel experiences. When we lived in those places, my wife’s vehicle was a Subaru Outback AWD, and mine was a 3/4 T 4WD pickup.

I loved my truck for getting out of town during the three “non-winter” seasons and going out on back roads exploring, but often while driving on paved roads in the winter time, the truck simply was lacking. This was mainly because paved mountain winding roads would frequently go from dry in the sun to icy and snowy in the shade...and driving on them was not a great use for 4 wheel high.

I found I very often would swipe the wife’s AWD Suby for long winter drives as the AWD was bulletproof on mixed or snowy roads. Once I had a very long drive back home to Idaho from Calgary, Alberta in mid December on a below zero day on unplowed roads covered with several inches of fresh new snow. The AWD Suby with its studded, siped snow tires got me home safely...and enjoyably.

Another December we had to drive to Kalispel Montana in a raging high plains blizzard...one that was so bad the state closed the highway down right after we got into town. Again, taking the AWD Suby made an otherwise stressful, dangerous drive very enjoyable.

Those experiences were many, many years ago. Today, the wife still has an AWD Outback (her fourth) and I still have a 3/4 Ton 4WD pickup. They each have their strengths. We still are happy to continue to stick with the Suby on wet, icy or mixed snowy roads though.
 
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Todd n Natalie

Observer
So another point to consider for the AWD bashers here...

We have lived in the Cascades, Northern Idaho up near the Canada border, and western Montana on the Rocky Mt Front....all places where winter weather, snow and ice can create some really daunting travel experiences. When we lived in those places, my wife’s vehicle was a Subaru Outback AWD, and mine was a 3/4 T 4WD pickup.

I loved my truck for getting out of town during the three “non-winter” seasons and going out on back roads exploring, but often while driving on paved roads in the winter time, the truck simply was lacking. This was mainly because paved mountain winding roads would frequently go from dry in the sun to icy and snowy in the shade...and driving on them was not a great use for 4 wheel high.

I found I very often would swipe the wife’s AWD Suby for long winter drives as the AWD was bulletproof on mixed or snowy roads. Once I had a very long drive back home to Idaho from Calgary, Alberta in mid December on a below zero day on unplowed roads covered with several inches of fresh new snow. The AWD Suby with its studded, siped snow tires got me home safely...and enjoyably.

Another December we had to drive to Kalispel Montana in a raging high plains blizzard...one that was so bad the state closed the highway down right after we got into town. Again, taking the AWD Suby made an otherwise stressful, dangerous drive very enjoyable.

Those experiences were many, many years ago. Today, the wife still has an AWD Outback (her fourth) and I still have a 3/4 Ton 4WD pickup. They each have their strengths. We still are happy to continue to stick with the Suby on wet, icy or mixed snowy roads though.
Agreed. I've been impressed with Subarus in winter for a long time. I find trucks really aren't great on icy roads. Too light in the back. Our Tucson feels more competent on icy roads than our F150.
 

DaveInDenver

Expedition Leader
I can't think of anyone would reasonably disagree that part time 4WD is a PITA and or that full time or automatic 4WD or AWD is head-and-shoulders better for pavement in snowy regions. All about using the right tool for the job. We have a Forester, we dig that car a lot, much like I suspect a Ridgeline owner would for similar tasks.

My feeling is trying to force a truck like a Tacoma (or Land Cruiser, Ranger, whatever) to be better for in town use because people are IMO misunderstanding what "4WD" is good for is why electronic shift t-cases, automatic hub or diff disconnects and nonsense like that is around. It's trying to make a truck more like a car. Problem is the trucks are less good for what they are supposed to be good for then.
 
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Todd n Natalie

Observer
I don't think my issue is that 4WD is a PITA vs AWD. It's more to do with the fact that trucks are inherently light in the back end and the back ends can 'step out' in icy conditions unless properly weighted down.
 

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