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Old 04-03-2011, 11:46 AM   #101 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by jamesqf View Post
I think you misunderstood what I was trying to say, which is that there does not seem to be ANY solution/product for those of us who are fit and rural - and who don't need an oversized pickup to substitute for testosterone &c :-)
I first thought of the Chevy S-10 but that seems to have gone away. In fact, the whole class of small pickups seem to have disappeared. Perhaps a Toyota Tacoma or Nissan Frontier?

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Old 04-03-2011, 01:11 PM   #102 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by bwilson4web View Post
I first thought of the Chevy S-10 but that seems to have gone away. In fact, the whole class of small pickups seem to have disappeared. Perhaps a Toyota Tacoma or Nissan Frontier?

Bob Wilson
The Ford Ranger is still just about the only true compact pick up truck left, but that will be going away soon as they are not planning on replacing it with the global ranger which is too close in size to the F series
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Old 04-03-2011, 01:23 PM   #103 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by bwilson4web View Post
I first thought of the Chevy S-10 but that seems to have gone away. In fact, the whole class of small pickups seem to have disappeared.
Whatever gives you the idea that the Chevy S10 (or a Ford Ranger) is a small pickup? Mid-size, at best.

Besides, I think you may have a basic misconception of what's needed by rural/fit people like me. It's not (usually) a pickup. Sure, one comes in handy for jobs like hauling firewood or bales of hay, or for getting places on really rough roads, but I don't suppose I drive mine ('88 Toyota) more than about 3000 miles a year.

No, what I really need is a car that'll give good mpg on long highway drives (like the Insight), but has a bit more ground clearance for the dirt roads, and fording the occasional creek - which is something to be done cautiously in an Insight.
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Old 04-03-2011, 02:18 PM   #104 (permalink)
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Only pickup I really enjoyed was my 5 speed diesel rabbit pickup Handled good and got great mpg. Unbelievable range with a 15 gallon tank too.

Though a 4 door diesel rabbit with a trailer was far more versatile, carry the average family AND 4x8 feet+ of crap when needed, getting 50mpg on renewables.

I wonder if the truck could be made more aero than the 4 door (or even the prius with extensive mods) with a well designed openable shell, and add in some rear facing seats in the bed beside the cab. Add a mat and the dog would like it fine back there certainly.

EDIT: and/or drive under the camper a few times a year.

(though a tent is still the most efficient traveler)
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Old 04-03-2011, 05:49 PM   #105 (permalink)
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Though a 4 door diesel rabbit with a trailer was far more versatile, carry the average family AND 4x8 feet+ of crap when needed, getting 50mpg on renewables.
There's the question: whether it's better to have one versatile vehicle, or two more specialized ones. I've opted for the second alternative: the problem comes when I need vehicle A for the first couple hundred miles, and B for the last ten or so that're rough dirt up the side of a mountain.
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Old 04-03-2011, 06:44 PM   #106 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Arragonis View Post
No. Its much much simpler. Honest.

In Europe we have higher fuel costs - Diesel and Petrol (Gas) so we have a habit of smaller, fuel efficient cars. Today a US gallon in the UK will cost you $9 - at that cost would you drive a 3.8 V6 auto or a 1.4 hatchback ? If I offered you a 2.0 Turbo Diesel that would match the 3.8 V6 for pace, match it for size and use as little fuel as the 1.4 hatch would you buy that ?

Of course you would. If I added an auto or semi-auto then its a dead match for a US car.

This fuel cost difference has been there since WW2 - tax and other costs. So whilst you (the US) were off with cars that had under 50hp / litre and under 10mpg in the the muscle car era (giggles) we had Mini Coopers (the original 1960s ones), Gordinis and Abarths all of which would extract super power from < 1 litre and > 30mpg. Also most European cars are manuals and 99+% of drivers are trained on how to use them.

Japan is similar to Europe except they restrict Diesel to commercial vehicle use (trucks mainly) for emissions reasons - their cities have stricter limits and are more dense than ours.

But they also have mega high powered smaller car engines (google the Kei car turbos, and Honda Type R anyone ?) and turbos - modern Nissan Skylines can kill Corvettes without breathing hard, and they go round corners

But lets do a little modern comparison :

Prius US base - $23K.
UK Prius base is 20K which is ~ $32K.

And that is the 'base' model.

For that money in Europe I could buy a top spec VW / Audi / BMW / Merc / PSA / Renault / SEAT / Toyota / Nissan / Kia / Hyundai / Honda / Ford (Europe) / GM (Europe) Turbo Diesel car with much better equipment and not much difference in MPG. In fact the difference in cost would probably buy me a few months of fuel alone. Note the names here - Toyota sell a turbo diesel, as do Honda - both make and sell Hybrids here. PSA also sell a Diesel hybrid - apparently - I have yet to see one.

But that is top spec - all the toys, probably also including semi-auto gearboxes and stop-start.

So unless (as my wife is just now) you were offered a Hybrid as a company car, why would you choose one ?

Some of us on this site enjoy being "drivers".

Drive a Prius around (no performance mods available that I know of) then drive a VW TDI with a chip and suspension tweeks.

You would rather have a 90's Hyundai than the Prius. It drives like a dog and doesn't handle the way you would expect a Japaneese car to.

FE is nice, but sometimes cranking it around a corner and on to a hwy ramp just rocks !!
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Old 04-03-2011, 10:49 PM   #107 (permalink)
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Understand I have no problem with getting the right tool for the right job. If someone needs to 'feel the G,' the Prius is not the best choice. As for cross-country performance, at sustained speeds over 70 mph, some diesels are competitive. But often these same diesels have smaller internal volume . . . which would go to waste in a Prius if not needed.

But USA diesels with Prius equivalent payload fail in both highway and city performance. Worse, when a highway competitive diesel and the Prius hit a city, the Prius drives away with substantially lower fuel costs.

Still, our family requirements are met by not just one but two Prius. My 1.5L, 2003 Prius for commuting and my wife's 1.8L for highway commuting and errands. The right tool for the right job.

Bob Wilson

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