Opinions needed on new vehicle choice

colodak

Adventurer
I'm debating between a brand new 2014/2105 Nissan Frontier Pro-4x or a newer Ram 2500/3500. My budget is $31K max. For that price, I can get a brand new Frontier from several dealers. But, when I look at Ram's, I find either 10 yrs old, or 3 to 4 yrs old with 100K + miles and unknown service history. My plan with the Ram is diesel, although if I want a 5.7 I can get them much cheaper with much lower miles. I prefer the long term durability of the diesel, but have serious reservations about picking up something that's 3 or 4 yrs old with 100K and unknown history. A few of these trucks I've looked at are former oil field work trucks, Haliburton, Schlumberger, etc. Did look at one the other day, 2012 Ram 3500, 130K, vinyl interior, rubber floor mats, A/C, basic radio, they wanted $29,900 for it. Another one, similar situation with 145K. I don't want to end up putting thousands back into it to keep it on the road.

Opinions?

Before someone suggests a Toyota, I'll sooner buy a Ford, but Ford's I'm finding lately are even pricier then Ram, and apparently GM is about the same.
 

ttravis5446

Adventurer
I personally would go for the Hemi, really good bang for the buck. I am the head of maintenance for an oil field fleet with mostly Dodges. We aren't as well off as the big companies so we run our equipment until it doesn't run any more. We have mostly cummins in our fleet but have a few hemi's. Honestly the hemi's are holding up just fine, with several over 300k in '07 to '08 trucks. The trucks don't last nearly as long as the motors do. The '10 to '12 cummins trucks have been pretty good, just EGR / DPF stuff and front end repairs. Some of them are in the 200k to 250k mile range now and are doing ok. The 13's and 14's have been either really good or really bad, not too many in between.

I'm personally a Ford guy but the dodges are growing on me. I wouldn't go near a 2000 or newer Chevy after seeing what I have seen in this job.
 

Buliwyf

Viking with a Hammer
Fords are more expensive, they're supposed to be. 39,000 would open up your budget to them, though.

If you don't 100% need a diesel, then don't get a diesel. Need to get past the fanboy stuff and really look at your towing needs, not your towing/driving wants. The gas engines are more reliable right now. Modern gas engines are plenty powerful in normal trucks and trailers. Dodge is improving, but I still give the Fords an edge right now despite the added cost. I also despise GM and their planned obsolescence engineered life expectancy. (Parts designed to wear out quickly to keep the dealer busy)

Nissan Frontier vs F250 vs Dodge 2500, does not compute. The entire Frontier ways less than just the wheels and tires on an F250. You could crush 4 Frontiers and haul them in a bed of an F350. It's like comparing a Ruckus minibike to a BMW GS1200.

Check out base model and working model Fords and Dodges. Extra inventory plow trucks for example (just replace the front springs with stock springs). With a slightly larger budget, you might be able to get them new as well. Both Ford and Dodge charge substantially extra for upscale models and interiors. IMO, the base interiors are superior. You'll need to budget a fresh longblock and transmission rebuild with the used oil field trucks. Just in case. Also budget for a full carpet replacement, and possible seatbelt replacement. (won't retract, grease stains etc. etc.) I also have a new steering wheel on the shelf for mine.
 
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colodak

Adventurer
the only reason I'm contemplating the full-size is for the diesel option. I've gone 15 yrs with my Dakota, so staying in a mid-size with the Frontier is the only reason I contemplate it. I've never even come close to the towing capacity of my Dakota, which is the same as the Frontier. But, I'd be going from a V8 to a V6. In order to keep my payments at level the allows me to modify the vehicle and live, $31,000 has to be my max price.
 

Kmehr

Adventurer
What about the upcoming diesel Colorado/Canyon? sounds like you don't need the 3/4ton + payload or towing capacity. The Colorado could get you both of the things you are after, diesel engine and mid size sized truck. I know pricing isn't out yet on that engine option, but I would think you could get a brand new one pretty close to your budget depending on what options you want. Maybe could even pickup a slightly used truck in the spring.

There are a lot of strong opinions on both sides of the diesel/gas engine debate, but my .02 would be to just get what you want/like the best. Diesel engine repairs probably are more expensive on the whole, but there are a lot of people getting tons of miles out of them. If you like a diesel, get one. There are really only a few truck engines out there that are objectively turds, (thinking Ford 6.0 and GM 6.5) so just get the one you like the best and enjoy it. If you were making a truck purchase decision based purely on what is the best financial decision, you probably wouldn't be on this forum anyways!
 

CRolandLJ

Adventurer
I bought a new Chevy 1500 Z71 with lots of nice options (back up cam, 8 inch screen for the radio) in the low 30s so paying that much for a frontier seems ridiculous if that's what you're suggesting. Having a mid size pick up and a 3/4 ton pickup as your options I would assume that you'd be fine with a 1/2 ton? I'm kind of confused by your options here. You should easily be able to find a used 1/2 ton of your brand of choice to suit your needs for under 30. I'll echo what Buliwyf said about the substantial upcharge for nicer packages, it's almost silly in fact. If you cut it off just before you get into the leather, seat warmers, and other fancy options you can keep the cost down a lot - plus in my buying experience both Ford and Chevy offer more discounts on the trucks that aren't luxury trimmed. Ford even had a package that was basically the Lariat without the center console shifter (302A was the 2014 model code - it had leather, back up cam, projector headlights but a column shift transmission which is somehow not desirable?) for like 10k less than a lariat because of package discounts. I think these discounts are volume related - they have more of them so they can take a hit on the margin if they sell a ton of them. This will (if it hasn't already) bleed over into the used market - especially the 2014 models with the 2015 Ford being a new body style.

FWIW my wife had a pathfinder and it had a stupid shutter while stopped in drive that the Nissan people insisted was a non-issue and was related to exhaust flow being restricted while not moving and happened in all Frontiers and Pathfinders. I pushed them on it and that's what they kept saying so I got rid of it.
 

colodak

Adventurer
What about the upcoming diesel Colorado/Canyon? sounds like you don't need the 3/4ton + payload or towing capacity. The Colorado could get you both of the things you are after, diesel engine and mid size sized truck. I know pricing isn't out yet on that engine option, but I would think you could get a brand new one pretty close to your budget depending on what options you want. Maybe could even pickup a slightly used truck in the spring.

There are a lot of strong opinions on both sides of the diesel/gas engine debate, but my .02 would be to just get what you want/like the best. Diesel engine repairs probably are more expensive on the whole, but there are a lot of people getting tons of miles out of them. If you like a diesel, get one. There are really only a few truck engines out there that are objectively turds, (thinking Ford 6.0 and GM 6.5) so just get the one you like the best and enjoy it. If you were making a truck purchase decision based purely on what is the best financial decision, you probably wouldn't be on this forum anyways!
I've looked at the Colorado/Canyon, but GM is wanting ridiculous pricing, and they aren't dealing on them either. Co-worker just tried to buy a Z-71 packaged Colorado, sticker was a hair over $40K, dealer told him to take it or leave it. Also, it appears either they aren't selling well in my market, or GM can't meet demand, but there are very on dealers lots. Took my wife's Buick in to the GMC/Buick dealer the other day, they have one Canyon on the lot, ext. cab, WT model, special order for a customer, it was a 4 month lead time, window sticker was $33,500 with very few options.
 

colodak

Adventurer
I bought a new Chevy 1500 Z71 with lots of nice options (back up cam, 8 inch screen for the radio) in the low 30s so paying that much for a frontier seems ridiculous if that's what you're suggesting. Having a mid size pick up and a 3/4 ton pickup as your options I would assume that you'd be fine with a 1/2 ton? I'm kind of confused by your options here. You should easily be able to find a used 1/2 ton of your brand of choice to suit your needs for under 30. I'll echo what Buliwyf said about the substantial upcharge for nicer packages, it's almost silly in fact. If you cut it off just before you get into the leather, seat warmers, and other fancy options you can keep the cost down a lot - plus in my buying experience both Ford and Chevy offer more discounts on the trucks that aren't luxury trimmed. Ford even had a package that was basically the Lariat without the center console shifter (302A was the 2014 model code - it had leather, back up cam, projector headlights but a column shift transmission which is somehow not desirable?) for like 10k less than a lariat because of package discounts. I think these discounts are volume related - they have more of them so they can take a hit on the margin if they sell a ton of them. This will (if it hasn't already) bleed over into the used market - especially the 2014 models with the 2015 Ford being a new body style.

FWIW my wife had a pathfinder and it had a stupid shutter while stopped in drive that the Nissan people insisted was a non-issue and was related to exhaust flow being restricted while not moving and happened in all Frontiers and Pathfinders. I pushed them on it and that's what they kept saying so I got rid of it.
I'd love to know where to find a new Z-71 Silverado 1/2 ton in the low $30's, base is $41K in my area. At the same dealer in my other post, I did look at a 2013 lease return, sticker was $35,900. That issue with the Pathfinder, I think that was a certain year range of issue. My wife had a '94 that was a great vehicle until it developed an emissions problem that had the dealer stumped. The funny thing, about 5 months after we traded it in on her Audi, I saw it at 4WP's. Turns out, he was the son of the service manager at the dealer, his dad bought it for him, they replaced the whole exhaust system and it ran like a charm, no codes or anything.
 
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Buliwyf

Viking with a Hammer
It might be worthwhile to look into the Titan and a leased, turned in, F150 as well.
 

chet6.7

Explorer
I'm debating between a brand new 2014/2105 Nissan Frontier Pro-4x or a newer Ram 2500/3500. My budget is $31K max. For that price, I can get a brand new Frontier from several dealers. But, when I look at Ram's, I find either 10 yrs old, or 3 to 4 yrs old with 100K + miles and unknown service history. My plan with the Ram is diesel, although if I want a 5.7 I can get them much cheaper with much lower miles. I prefer the long term durability of the diesel, but have serious reservations about picking up something that's 3 or 4 yrs old with 100K and unknown history. A few of these trucks I've looked at are former oil field work trucks, Haliburton, Schlumberger, etc. Did look at one the other day, 2012 Ram 3500, 130K, vinyl interior, rubber floor mats, A/C, basic radio, they wanted $29,900 for it. Another one, similar situation with 145K. I don't want to end up putting thousands back into it to keep it on the road.

Opinions?

Before someone suggests a Toyota, I'll sooner buy a Ford, but Ford's I'm finding lately are even pricier then Ram, and apparently GM is about the same.
I saw the same thing when I was looking,I was thinking of spending a similar amount as you on the truck.I very reluctantly upped my budget 8K and bought a new CTD for 39K,I know the history of this truck
Gas or diesel... pick your poison. I see you are in CO,is an exhaust brake something that would be a benefit? Do you want to run a mountain pass at 2000 RPM or 3,500 RPM? Is the added range of the diesel something you want? A gas engine does warm up quicker in winter,of course,you can use an engine block heater on gas or diesel.
 

155mm

Adventurer
Don't just shop at your local dealers. Shop ALL dealers within a days drive.

I live in Virginia, but I saved thousands by flying to upstate New York and driving a new truck back down.
 

CRolandLJ

Adventurer
I'd love to know where to find a new Z-71 Silverado 1/2 ton in the low $30's, base is $41K in my area. At the same dealer in my other post, I did look at a 2013 lease return, sticker was $35,900. That issue with the Pathfinder, I think that was a certain year range of issue. My wife had a '94 that was a great vehicle until it developed an emissions problem that had the dealer stumped. The funny thing, about 5 months after we traded it in on her Audi, I saw it at 4WP's. Turns out, he was the son of the service manager at the dealer, his dad bought it for him, they replaced the whole exhaust system and it ran like a charm, no codes or anything.
I live in the DFW, TX area and the TV ads down here are even saying 8500 off certain models during certain months, seems like every truck commerical I see no matter what brand. I bought mine on Halloween and October had special price incentives (or so they said) but I have seen similar deals advertised multiple times since. My final price was like 34,500 or 32,500 on a new 2014 Z71 crew cab 2LT package. I dont remember the sticker price but if you're right and it was in the 41k range then that 8500 advertised cut on the price would get you to the ballpark of what I paid. I had a trade-in but they seemed to want to do that price either way and either take cash or my trade as the down payment so I don't think that affected it. I wouldn't think DFW would be dramatically different from the rest of the country other than the fact that us Texans probably buy more trucks per capita but trust me, there are plenty of dealers and inventory. There's a chevy dealer in every town. This was not some super lucky deal either because I had 3 dealers at that same price after shopping around trying to find the truck I wanted and just went with a dealer I like more at the end of the day.

On the pathfinder issue you're right - this was an issue from 05-11 (we had an 11 pathfinder) but the frontier is still that same body style as that 11 pathfinder so it might just be something you want to check out.
 

bfdiesel

Explorer
Haven't really heard anyone say "I have to much truck" and mean it. I personally would not own a common rail diesel and definitely would not get one that came with an egr system and dpf. If you just want a diesel to have one you will probably not be happy with it. If you want to hot rod it or plan on getting a trailer queen or fifth wheel you will love it.
Any diesels in your price range are going to be old or high mileage, and 100k on a diesel is not really that much.
 

colodak

Adventurer
I saw the same thing when I was looking,I was thinking of spending a similar amount as you on the truck.I very reluctantly upped my budget 8K and bought a new CTD for 39K,I know the history of this truck
Gas or diesel... pick your poison. I see you are in CO,is an exhaust brake something that would be a benefit? Do you want to run a mountain pass at 2000 RPM or 3,500 RPM? Is the added range of the diesel something you want? A gas engine does warm up quicker in winter,of course,you can use an engine block heater on gas or diesel.
Problem is, that $8K price increase translates to $150/month increase in truck payment, on an income that can vary wildly every month, I have to base the payment on my minimum monthly income, not my average monthly income. 6 months of the year I bring home $4,500/month, 3 months of the year I bring home $2,000/month, 3 months of the year are anywhere in between.
 

colodak

Adventurer
I live in the DFW, TX area and the TV ads down here are even saying 8500 off certain models during certain months, seems like every truck commerical I see no matter what brand. I bought mine on Halloween and October had special price incentives (or so they said) but I have seen similar deals advertised multiple times since. My final price was like 34,500 or 32,500 on a new 2014 Z71 crew cab 2LT package. I dont remember the sticker price but if you're right and it was in the 41k range then that 8500 advertised cut on the price would get you to the ballpark of what I paid. I had a trade-in but they seemed to want to do that price either way and either take cash or my trade as the down payment so I don't think that affected it. I wouldn't think DFW would be dramatically different from the rest of the country other than the fact that us Texans probably buy more trucks per capita but trust me, there are plenty of dealers and inventory. There's a chevy dealer in every town. This was not some super lucky deal either because I had 3 dealers at that same price after shopping around trying to find the truck I wanted and just went with a dealer I like more at the end of the day.

On the pathfinder issue you're right - this was an issue from 05-11 (we had an 11 pathfinder) but the frontier is still that same body style as that 11 pathfinder so it might just be something you want to check out.

I was reading up on the Frontier forums about some common issues between the Pathy, Xterra and Frontier. It's really seems to vary by the vehicle as well, my neighbor traded off her '07 Frontier for '15 Arcadia back in Feb., mainly because of needing interior space. I was asking her about the reliability of it, she said in 120K miles, she only had one emissions issue and that was a bad Oxy sensor right after she bought it. She commutes about 50 miles a day, she's kinda regretting getting the Acadia though, the ride is rough, it gets about the same mileage as the Frontier, and has been in the shop more.
 
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