Long distance drive - Pickup Cab comfortability


#1

I will be driving to FL (about 900 miles) no stop. I have never driven a SUV or a pickup cab so I’m interested in renting one for the drive. Enterprise has 2 pickup cabs: Chevy Colorado and Dodge Dakota. From the Edmunds reviews, both score poorly on interior ratings.

Compared to an SUV (Ford Escape, Nissan Rogue) and Standard car (chrysler 300)…is the comfortability of the pickup far off?


#2

Are you wanting to rent a truck to HAUL something to Florida, or to check one out for a possible future purchase? Pickups are designed to carry loads. The springs, especially the rear springs, will be much heavier duty. While some PUs are quite comfortable, most are more utilitarian than a car or SUV. One that you rent from Enterprise will probably not have the highest level of comfort available in whatever brand you rent.

If you want comfort, rent the Chrysler 300.


#3

I find regular cab pickups uncomfortable these days, I always feel like they are cramped and I can’t get the seat back far enough AND have the seat back reclined how I like it. I had to drive a company vehicle 1200 miles round trip and it was a 07 sierra 4x4. It had a comfortable seat with adjustable lumbar support, but I never could get the seat in the right spot.

Do they make new dakotas with regular cabs? I would think an extended cab dakota would be more comfortable than a regular cab fullsize but its just a wild guess on my part.


#4

Check other rental companies. Avis features Fords. You might get an F150 from them. I rented a Dodge Ram with a hemi from National.


#5

Forget about the Colorado. I own a 2005 Dodge Dakota 4-door pickup and it’s comfortable on long drives. It’s actually more comfortable than a Taurus or Impala because it lets you sit high with a lot of room to move around. The (2002) models and older were a tight squeeze at times.


#6

SUV’s are made on unibody frames and are more comfortable like a car. Trucks are great for hauling heavy and big loads, but are bouncy and uncomfortable for long rides.


#7
SUV's are made on unibody frames and are more comfortable like a car.

Some are unibody…NOT all. My 4runner is body on frame. My 90 Pathfinder was body on frame…and my 98 Pathfinder was unibody. Then in 00 they went back to body on frame…and now just recently back to unibody. The Grand Cherokee is unibody. All of GM’s mid-size SUV’s are unibody. Not sure about the Ford lineup.

As for which is more comfortable…There isn’t one formula. My 4runner is a very very comfortable vehicle. More comfortable then my 98 Pathfinder which was unibody.


#8

I have found that our 2003 Toyota 4Runner SUV to be a very comfortable vehicle on long trips. The seats are firm and give good support and the high seating position is great for me. Some years back, I had a 1990 Ford Aerostar and a 1993 Oldsmobile 88. We found the Aerostar much more comfortable on long trips than the Oldsmobile, even though the Oldsmobile had a power seat that adjusted in every direction and all other accessories that Oldsmobile offered that year.
I’m not certain that a unibody construction makes a vehicle any more comfortable. A couple of years ago, we flew to California and rented a Chevrolet Traverse which we drove about 1000 miles. The Traverse is a unit frame and was comfortable for us, but no more so than our 4Runner.
Riding comfort is a matter of personal taste. In cars that I have driven on road trips, I have found the Ford Fusion and Ford Taurus to be very comfortable. I drove a Nissan Sentra on a 600 mile round trip and found it to be comfortable On the other hand, I found the Honda Civic Hybrid and the Dodge Avenger to be quite uncomfortable to drive.
My guess is that pickup trucks are also different. Back in 1968, I found a Ford F-100 to be quite comfortable for me, but I didn’t have the legroom in a Chevrolet C-10. For me, I find pickup trucks and SUVs and minivans more comfortable than conventional cars.


#9

Neighbor just got a 2014 gmc and said it was redesigned this year and much more comfortable for his 500 miles.


#10

I had an uncle who was a geologist and worked for a major oil company doing exploration. He spent a summer in British Columbia in some pretty rugged country. The exploration team used pickup trucks for transportation and to carry their gear. Of the trucks used in the fleet, my uncle claimed that the Ford truck seemed like a Cadillac after riding in the Dodge truck. However, one of the Ford trucks in the fleet had a tendency for the rear end to lock up. It was supposedly repaired a couple of times, but on one trip it locked up when my uncle was driving it and the rear end bounced up and down. Then suddenly, something broke free and he coasted down the road leaving the driveshaft and differential parts on the road. This was back in the 1950s when trucks had few amenities.


#11

With all due respect to Chevy guys, I believe those Colorado trucks are POS vehicles

We have some in our fleet, and we always laugh when they roll into the shop

Those things are built to extremely low standards, ESPECIALLY the interior

Honestly, I’m baffled as to why anybody would buy one. For a few bucks more, you could have a 1/2 ton real truck

I can’t speak for the Dodge, as we don’t have them in our fleet


#12

A pickup will have a harsher ride than the vehicles you’re comparing it too. Unless you’re planning on hauling stuff in the bed I’d opt for comfort and rent the 300.

On the other hand, 900 miles in a modern era pickup is not much of a jog in my opinion so the truck may be viable or tolerable; all depending.

There’s also the fuel/money saving issue when comparing the car to the pickup.


#13

@Db4690
I agree to this extent. If you buy the intermediate trucks with six cylinders, avoid the Colorado at all costs. But, even considering others, you might as well get a full size one that tends to be more comfortable with little difference in mileage. The 4 cylind Nissan and Toyota can be very efficient in two wheel drive and fairly comfy in the extra cab. Go 4 wd in the smaller trucks and Toyota Nissan are the only legit off road but your back and butt pay dearly. Had a bunch of these and loved their prowess but they were always second cars and trips over 25 miles were torture.

We now have a 4Runner which is as comfy as you can expect for off road capability and moderate towing. It works better then any truck I know for all round versatility because…we have a 9 by 5 utility trailer with a ramp that loads greater weight and more easily then any much higher and smaller truck bed. Towing as much as two thousand lbs in a trailer is a lot easier then carrying it in a bed ! Wthout the need for leaf springs under a truck bed which you must ride on when not using it as a load carrier, your back gets a break. Can’t see us ever going back to a truck. There ! Hard riding pick up problem; solved. Must say, I was always a pick up guy before but this combo which was my wife’s idea 10 years ago. We never looked back. Five passenger SUVs with utility trailers.

Pick up trucks; can’t live with’m, pass the beer nuts


#14

Pretty much any truck that’s not carrying a load will bounce more. Probably not a big deal on a smooth interstate. But unless you need to tow something or haul a load, why not rent a car? You’ll get much better mileage out of a car.

I have had Dodge, GMC, Ford, and a Nissan pick up as rentals and they were all pretty comfortable to drive. None really made a bad impression on me other than the GMC, which had a drivability problem and would bog/surge–not really the pickup’s fault, it just needed to be serviced. The Ford felt the most stable but was the most gutless. The Nissan was the quickest and had the most amenities, but returned the worst mileage. The Dodge was a happy medium. The GMC had great A/C and a nice satellite radio as I recall, but kind of squishy brakes. All were comfortable to sit in and drive.


#15

Thanks for all the great info. As I only got 2 choices of pickups to rent from and both are awful interior/comfortability…I’ve decided to rent the chrysler 300.


#16

Best decision was the 300, those are sweet cars. I recently took a 500 mile round trip in one day in my Caprice and I felt great, the last time I took a 400 mile round trip in my truck after the first 300 miles I was ready to crash it into a bridge embankment because I was so angry, The truck has big noisy tires and noisy exhaust and driving it long distances makes me really angry.

I wonder if thats why I see so many Jacked up trucks flying 85-90 down the highway, they can’t take it anymore and just want to get home. The caprice is a road sofa, even the prius is fairly comfortable for long trips.


#17

If you’re driving nonstop, does that mean one person will drive while another sleeps? Where do you intend for the passenger to sleep?


#18

You probably made the right choice in renting the Chrysler 300. My son has a 2001 Chevrolet S-10 pickup truck. I’ve only ridden in it for about 50 miles. The ride seemed tolerable, but his has a 4 cylinder engine and an automatic transmission. I wanted to stick my foot out the door and pedal it along. It did ride more smoothly than the 1972 Datsun pickup my brother owned. He would make the 300 mile trip to my house and 2 hours later his eyeballs would still be bumping up and down. The S-10 certainly rode better than the Datsun.
As far as SUVs are concerned, I am quite comfortable in our 2003 Toyota 4Runner. I had a Ford Escape hybrid assigned to me for a 300 mile round trip to a conference from my institution’s fleet. I found it comfortable for me. I’ve ridden for miles in my brother’s 1999 Ford F-150 and it is comfortable.


#19

Well, it will be a solo trip and only about 900 miles.


#20

No matter what you are driving, you have at least a 16 hour drive. Be sure to take frequent breaks. At my age, I would break the trip into two days of driving.