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Old 07-30-2018, 08:09 AM   #10 (permalink)
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Fort Worth, Texas
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2004 CTD - '04 DODGE RAM 2500 SLT
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Until some recent point in time, the engine lineup for pickups was a shorter version of those for cars.

Pickups had shorter rear gears, and the engines used were tuned for high vacuum (short duration camshafts); the same as the entry-level versions in cars.

As to mpg, most engine time is spent in metro areas.

A pickup is not a highway vehicle due to design shortcomings: live axles, high center of gravity, terribly forward weight biased. If it weren’t for electronic bandaids (beginning with antilock brakes) few would be stupid enough to use them as such.

But they are the sedan replacement. Interior room, mainly.

After 1985 American cars aren’t the size most would prefer. The Caprice and Crown Vic soldiered on awhile, but advertising pushed buyers other directions. First the minivan, and ten years later, the SUV.

What’s the average annual number of miles for Americans? The median? And the most popular vehicles with combined EPA average under 20-mpg? Those are the inflection points. Size won’t be given up until fuel pricing forces it. They’ll keep an older one longer, cut out some lengthy annual driving trips, and forestall other capital expenditures first.

I’d argue it makes sense when the vehicle in question makes sense. A sedan of sufficient size (Charger/300). They at least are amenable to FE concious Driving. A pickup is only such when bed fully loaded (fulfilling its purpose).

Specifying the vehicle to the job puts MPG barely into the top five. It’s the type, then reliability and longevity. Brand differences are where MPG pops up. After drivetrain.

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