i currently drive a 2001 manual ford mustang that i LOVE. i get about 25-27 MPG with it. i think i need a little bigger vehicle for everyday. thinking on nissan frontier (manual) or explorer sport trac. i come from a LONG line of fords but i want something with 4 doors, 4 wheel drive, and a truck box. I have a GREAT relationship with my ford mechanic and get great deals on service but don’t think the sport trac will get great gas mileage. any thoughts? or experience with either? i also have a V10 F250 for heavy hauling- this is replacing my mustang as the errand-mobile.
I don’t think any 4X4 truck with a crew cab will get great gas mileage. But Consumer Reports New Car Preview, available at the local bookstore, will give you the data to compare and contrast. Since you’re a Ford man, it’ll enable you to compare the different Ford models also.
Newer Tacoma pick ups in 2wd come with mechanical or electronic limited slip rear differential which give you very good non off road or dirt road/snow traction potential. They are capable of 25 plus mpg in 2wd, 4 cyl form on the road but not in 4wd. The Frontier in same set up should be same. I’d avoid a Ranger if you want any comfort at all and any 6 cyl in any truck. I can’t think of a an “American” 4 cyl truck that isn’t under powered or an American 6 cyl truck that will give you the economy. That leaves you with Toyota and Nissan 4cyls with 2wd.
I know that you set your parameters, but why have 2 pick-up trucks? Consider a small SUV like an Escape or Flex. An Escape with the 4 cyl or hybrid will get about the same mileage as your Mustang. Either truck is a lot larger than the Mustang. On those days when you have something to haul that won’t fit into the cargo area, just take your hauling truck.