Light duty truck for the 90% of the time group

I would like this vehicle,any takers?

1.3500-3800# curb weight


3.3.70 gears+ AWD


5.250-280HP-6spd manual- 5spd auto

6.good clearance-add or criticize as you like

7.a 7ft bed with 49" at least between wheel wells.

8.Gas or Diesel,etc-remember this is a light duty pickup-Kevin

You have two choices: build from scratch or select from what’s available. Consumer Reports New Car Preview, available from the local bookstore, will tell you what’s available.

They’re not going to give you gear ratios though. Or likely inside bed dimensions. They will, however, tell you if it’s full frame or unibody.

Oh, and you may have to go to something larger to get three across adult front row seating and 250-280 HP.

Six speed manual?

Good luck. I think you’ve overspecified your new vehicle.

km; if you give me a rationale (reason) behind each of these 8 “requirements”, I will give it my best shot based on what you really NEED!

I don’t know the size and weight of your passengers, but Americans are the fattest people in the Western world, and fitting 3 across in a compact truck is a bit of a squeeze.

As others point out, you are probably needlessly over-specifying. I’ve specified a lot of equipment over the years, but vehicles require some flexibility since different supppliers have different ways of solving problems. Even the US army writes their specs so various truck makers can bid.

You describe a vehicle that does not know what it wants to be.

Actually, other than the AWD, the transmission, and good clearance you are describing an El Camino/Ranchero.

Excellent, I’m just trying to get a feel-now with this power to weight-probaly could go a bit higher on the gearing,the economy would be fairly good even in this very hilly area.And would have a power reserve for passing on these steep grades.
The reason I want wide wheel wells is to able to haul standard 4x8 sheet goods flat.I guess I want a vehicle for the outback, I have noticed most of the Tahoes and Surburbans around here generally haul around one soccer mom.Its sort of amazing when the snow flies the number of people who get stuck and wreck in spite of 4WD.Its not uncommon to pass other drivers with my vehicle in 2wd, who are stuck on the grades.Thats why I want Awd-I know Subaru already has it(take a hint domos)I believe things can improve.A very large number of people get trailer hitches and never mar the ball up.Remember I’m not refering to heavy duty trucks.The truck I’m describing would make an excellent fleet vehicle.There are other considerations-so lets here some feedback-Kevin

What you are describing describes a Honda Ridgeline more than anything. It’s a glorified minivan.

I would never buy such a vehicle. I prefer my trucks to have body-on-frame construction. A torquey V8 (If we’re talking full size), and a real transfer case. A rear locker is also a plus.

oops! my bad I see dodge is slated to Bring a truck out called the “Lifestyle” The only 2 things I dont like on the Ridgeline are its frame ahd shortbed-Remember FoDaddy ,I said light duty-Kevin

Any half ton truck (F-150/Ram 1500/Siverado 1500/Tundra/Titan,etc.) is light duty. For what’s worth, the Ridgeline is unibody. It has a few extra crossmembers welded in, and Honda likes to tout it as "Integrated closed-box frame " but they aren’t fooling anyone.

You still have not clarified what you actually need this vehicle for. If you are a commercial user, farmer or construction, I would recommend a standard full size pickup with a V8, full frame, and automatic. It will have all the power and road clearance you need to do normal chores, except heavy trailer towing. I grew up on a farm and we had just that!

IF you only need 4x8 sheets of plywood occasionally, you have the following options:

  1. Put a good roof rack on a normal size car.
  2. Have it delivered by the lumber yard @ $50 or so.
  3. Buy a truck which will consume an extra $800-$1000 more in gas per year once we get back to $4/gallon.

I used to have a large rear wheel drive car with a strong roof rack. I carried all manner of lumber on that. When I needed a large quantity of lumber for my deck, I had it delivered. Two years ago I bought a smaller car with a fold down rear seat. I can still carry a door or 2x4s inside the car, or on the roof rack. I have spent only $80 in the last 2 years on delivery charges, and saved about $800 in gas by driving a more economical vehicle.

If you have to have a lot of road clearance then a cross-over type vehicle with a tailgate would be a good choice. Most people who buy trucks actually don’t need a truck, or 4 wheel drive, and later are unhappy with their choice, usually for gas mileage and comfort reasons. Ask Tom and Ray; they used to get at least one post per week!

So, if you are not towing a trailer, only occasionally need that 4x8 sheet of plywood, but need the road clearance because you live on a back road you would be happier with a crossover vehicle rather than a truck. The standard power plant and automatic in those vehicles are more than adequate for your needs.

By the way, it is dangerous and usually illegal to pass anybody on steep grades except on a 4 lane highway.

Perhaps this example will help you with your vehicle selection process. A friend of mine sells real estate. A couple looking for a house will have a long list of things they want. He will politely listen to them and mark down all their requests.

THEN he will gently ask them about themselves, their children, hobbies, physical impairments, if any, and gradually form a picture of what this couple really needs and can afford. They usually end up buying along the lines of what he had in mind, rather than the couple “wish list”. HE IS A VERY SUCESSFUL BROKER!

Rather than have me rattle off a long list of specifications, ask yourself what you need this vehicle for, whether you can afford to drive it on a daily basis with $4 gas or diesel, and how often you really need those 4x8 plywood sheets which the lumber yard cannot possibly deliver on Sunday afternoon.

Your list so far resembles a Christmas wish list.

Well I have a 06 Dodge Dakota QC,it is about on par with the 99 Nissan Frontier,I sold,Both would handle a 1000# fine -comparable performance and fuel economy.They are both v-6 trucks-and automatic.The Nissan was a X-cab,so the bed was bigger,you couldnt lay a 4x8 flat in either one its about 35-40 miles to the lumberyard , so sometimes you drive home on the edge of the seat.Neither one would leap steep grades in a high gear,should have got a V-8 in the Dak-but the dealers always act like they are doing you such a favor, when they upgrade.So Dang it! I want something good by default next time-the dak doesnt merge with a darn and it has 3.92 gears-Kevin

With respect, you’re trying to design the truck when in reality you’ll need to choose from what’s available on the market.

I still say Consumer Reports New Car Buyer’s Guide is your best first stop.

Chevy Silverado or GMC Sierra two wheel drive. Unless you have steep hills and snow, you will never need 4WD. Winter tires and weight in the back will provide all the traction needed. G man would go four wheel driving in a huge truck, get to the fishing hole and find Ron and his Ford wagon already fishing.

Re to MB;yes I need to be realistic,however I think this is a interesting topic.The engineers will never know what people would like,if they dont get feedback.I have had some pretty heartfelt discussions with company reps and strangely seems to have helped.
Re to Van2;I learned to drive in old Ford pickups with open diffs,so I know what you mean,have actually went by parked 4wd in ice event.But it sure is nice when I have to go push snow,to go there in a 4wd.But dont think I haven’t considered a Desert Runner.
One thing that bothers me now is how vehicles creep up in size-I know it sounds like I’m contradicting myself,have a feeling the breed can be improved-Kevin

Why on earth would you specifically want a unibody? I mean, I could see how if you did a lot of serious offroading you might specifically want a frame-on construction, but the only real advantage to a unibody is weight savings.

I agree with your comment about everything growing in size. I wish they’d go back to the way things were, when you actually could buy a three-across bench seat on a truck that would carry 4x8 sheetrock but was low enough to get in and out of without having to climb, and with a bed low enough to load and unload without a “man-step” (sorry Ford guys, no offense meant).

Perhaps a restored oldie is the answer?

Re: the unibody idea, do you want this because they’re typically designed with a more car-like ride?

Basically for weight savings,I like the stiffness too-Kevin
PS-MB-maybe your right,an older truck rodded may fill the bill.SLA suspensions ride and drive good.

It wouldn’t cost much to build a cradle out of 2x4s that you could put in the bed when needed. The plywood rests on an angle. You could have a comfortable, economical Frontier and still haul the wood. My cousin loves her Frontier for the reasons mentioned above and the great cargo securing system available from the factory.

And you can get a factory spray in liner on the new ones-Kevin