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Small/mid-size trucks, best all around

buckbull

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Joined
Jan 19, 2014
Messages
572
The tranny is one of my few gripes on my 18. I’ve looked at reprogramming and such, but it is $$$$. It works fine, but it definitely takes some learning to optimize. I have had zero mechanical issues with it.

I admit… I am tempted… ZR2
Well the 8 speed had a lot of issues when the truck was first released in 2015 but 95% of the issues were solved by changing the automatic transmission fluid. There is a TSB out there for GM to replace the transmission fluid for free on these trucks. I'm not sure if your 18 would fall under that but might be worth checking out. This transmission will be gen 2 which supposedly has improvements over the gen 1. I still was hoping for a 10 speed.

Edit: Looks like 18's are covered under the TSB. https://static.nhtsa.gov/odi/tsbs/2019/MC-10163890-9999.pdf
 

Hammsolo

Well-known member
Joined
May 16, 2020
Messages
959
Well the 8 speed had a lot of issues when the truck was first released in 2015 but 95% of the issues were solved by changing the automatic transmission fluid. There is a TSB out there for GM to replace the transmission fluid for free on these trucks. I'm not sure if your 18 would fall under that but might be worth checking out. This transmission will be gen 2 which supposedly has improvements over the gen 1. I still was hoping for a 10 speed.

Edit: Looks like 18's are covered under the TSB. https://static.nhtsa.gov/odi/tsbs/2019/MC-10163890-9999.pdf

I’d prefer the ten also, and thank you!
 

shannerdrake

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 14, 2017
Messages
434
Location
Indiana
So related to this thread, but maybe belongs somewhere else - I’ve always been curious what the draw is to the compact trucks? I’ve owned two rangers, an explorer, and a blazer. I always found them smallish for my needs in terms of storage, towing capacity, and roominess. None of them seemed to get much better fuel economy than full-size truck/SUVs.

I also found that their initial costs aren’t that much less expensive. From my experience I’ve found compacts at most 25% cheaper to buy and own and probably have about 50% the capacity, room, payload, and towing. Part of it might be that I’m bigger guy and a tall family so compact trucks always feel tight.

All that being said, compact truck guys are usually religious in their love for them and I’m sure that’s for a reason. I figured this group could educate me if anyone could.
 

ajrcktts

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Joined
Sep 19, 2016
Messages
2,313
Location
East TN
So related to this thread, but maybe belongs somewhere else - I’ve always been curious what the draw is to the compact trucks? I’ve owned two rangers, an explorer, and a blazer. I always found them smallish for my needs in terms of storage, towing capacity, and roominess. None of them seemed to get much better fuel economy than full-size truck/SUVs.

I also found that their initial costs aren’t that much less expensive. From my experience I’ve found compacts at most 25% cheaper to buy and own and probably have about 50% the capacity, room, payload, and towing. Part of it might be that I’m bigger guy and a tall family so compact trucks always feel tight.

All that being said, compact truck guys are usually religious in their love for them and I’m sure that’s for a reason. I figured this group could educate me if anyone could.
That is part of the reason I was interested in the Maverick. It's price actually seemed appropriate for the size. Of course, on the used market they are going for $35K-$40K which is nonsense when you get an F150 for roughly similar prices, although not as new.
 

hank4elk

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Joined
Jan 8, 2015
Messages
6,496
Location
SW NM
So related to this thread, but maybe belongs somewhere else - I’ve always been curious what the draw is to the compact trucks? I’ve owned two rangers, an explorer, and a blazer. I always found them smallish for my needs in terms of storage, towing capacity, and roominess. None of them seemed to get much better fuel economy than full-size truck/SUVs.

I also found that their initial costs aren’t that much less expensive. From my experience I’ve found compacts at most 25% cheaper to buy and own and probably have about 50% the capacity, room, payload, and towing. Part of it might be that I’m bigger guy and a tall family so compact trucks always feel tight.

All that being said, compact truck guys are usually religious in their love for them and I’m sure that’s for a reason. I figured this group could educate me if anyone could.
Sometimes you feel like a nut, sometimes you don't. The Tacoma is lots of fun & sporty to drive,at times. And I sure wished I had taken the F-150 the other day to the docs...the ducts in the Tacoma are rat clogged and the AC was nothing. My ass was sore by the time I got home and I smelled like a goat.
The F-150 is like a Lincoln to me now and the Tacoma a lowslung go cart.
 

Hammsolo

Well-known member
Joined
May 16, 2020
Messages
959
So related to this thread, but maybe belongs somewhere else - I’ve always been curious what the draw is to the compact trucks? I’ve owned two rangers, an explorer, and a blazer. I always found them smallish for my needs in terms of storage, towing capacity, and roominess. None of them seemed to get much better fuel economy than full-size truck/SUVs.

I also found that their initial costs aren’t that much less expensive. From my experience I’ve found compacts at most 25% cheaper to buy and own and probably have about 50% the capacity, room, payload, and towing. Part of it might be that I’m bigger guy and a tall family so compact trucks always feel tight.

All that being said, compact truck guys are usually religious in their love for them and I’m sure that’s for a reason. I figured this group could educate me if anyone could.

I have owned both, am a bigger guy. I had a jacked up 82 Chevy in late high school and college. I loved it, but it rode like a brick and was downright scary on the highway.

My gift to myself after college graduation was a 1998 Nissan Frontier. I wanted better fuel economy and reliability. It was okay at best. It only topped out at ~20 MPGs on the highway. I like it at best. It was too small. My should hit the window and head was tucked into the sunroof. I bought on impulse and sold.

I have had multiple full-size Chevys and Fords. The Ford F-150 Lariat was sweet but sucked gas, and I had to sell due to divorce.

I owned a Ranger after my divorce and it was too damn small, but I was on a tight budget.

My most recent 2016 Chevy 1500 is now owned by my foster son and it has 200k on it. The only non-wear and tear issue Clarence has had is the end links on the front suspension. My head tucked into the sunroof too.

I like trucks… I wanted a new one. My buddy is a Taco lover. I never really got in his, and honestly the cheap ass materials big me. I decided to get a TRD Pro for off-roading. I went and drove one. I was unimpressed for the price. It was nice, but my head hit the roof and they’re dogs.

I didn’t know what to do… I was going to go big truck, and ran into my ZR2. I sat in it and fell in like. It feels more spacious than my 1500, and is definitely a mid-sized pickup. Then I drove it, and fell in love. It’s fast, and drives like a sports truck. I get 25 mpg and right about 400 horse on the highway now after intake, pipes, and chip. It has all the off-road stuff I love. I go to the ORV park, trail, and more. It pulls my trailer with ease. It isn’t perfect. The tranny shift points can bug me, the interior is somewhere between a Tacoma and A Denali, but the truck fits me. That’s the key.

I think I want the new ZR2 eventually, but who knows. I love trucks.
 

PrairieHunter

Well-known member
Joined
May 17, 2018
Messages
1,496
Location
Laramie, WY
So related to this thread, but maybe belongs somewhere else - I’ve always been curious what the draw is to the compact trucks? I’ve owned two rangers, an explorer, and a blazer. I always found them smallish for my needs in terms of storage, towing capacity, and roominess. None of them seemed to get much better fuel economy than full-size truck/SUVs.

I also found that their initial costs aren’t that much less expensive. From my experience I’ve found compacts at most 25% cheaper to buy and own and probably have about 50% the capacity, room, payload, and towing. Part of it might be that I’m bigger guy and a tall family so compact trucks always feel tight.

All that being said, compact truck guys are usually religious in their love for them and I’m sure that’s for a reason. I figured this group could educate me if anyone could.
Simply look at what is popular in the rest of the world. Americans love driving empty full size trucks, not so much anywhere else.

I do agree that it seems like the little trucks should get better mileage.

One reason I would drive one is to be easier to park. Parking spots keep getting smaller it seems.
 

buckbull

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 19, 2014
Messages
572
I have owned both, am a bigger guy. I had a jacked up 82 Chevy in late high school and college. I loved it, but it rode like a brick and was downright scary on the highway.

My gift to myself after college graduation was a 1998 Nissan Frontier. I wanted better fuel economy and reliability. It was okay at best. It only topped out at ~20 MPGs on the highway. I like it at best. It was too small. My should hit the window and head was tucked into the sunroof. I bought on impulse and sold.

I have had multiple full-size Chevys and Fords. The Ford F-150 Lariat was sweet but sucked gas, and I had to sell due to divorce.

I owned a Ranger after my divorce and it was too damn small, but I was on a tight budget.

My most recent 2016 Chevy 1500 is now owned by my foster son and it has 200k on it. The only non-wear and tear issue Clarence has had is the end links on the front suspension. My head tucked into the sunroof too.

I like trucks… I wanted a new one. My buddy is a Taco lover. I never really got in his, and honestly the cheap ass materials big me. I decided to get a TRD Pro for off-roading. I went and drove one. I was unimpressed for the price. It was nice, but my head hit the roof and they’re dogs.

I didn’t know what to do… I was going to go big truck, and ran into my ZR2. I sat in it and fell in like. It feels more spacious than my 1500, and is definitely a mid-sized pickup. Then I drove it, and fell in love. It’s fast, and drives like a sports truck. I get 25 mpg and right about 400 horse on the highway now after intake, pipes, and chip. It has all the off-road stuff I love. I go to the ORV park, trail, and more. It pulls my trailer with ease. It isn’t perfect. The tranny shift points can bug me, the interior is somewhere between a Tacoma and A Denali, but the truck fits me. That’s the key.

I think I want the new ZR2 eventually, but who knows. I love trucks.
Im puzzled why GM doesnt sell more of these. Wholly smokes they are an off road beast. The 2023 looks even better on an already great looking truck. For GMC fans they are coming out with an AT4X with the same suspension as the zr2.
 

Farmerj

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 12, 2021
Messages
345
I liked my 4runner and Toyota pickup for the ability to get into tight places and off the beaten paths. Lot of spots that a full size truck could go do to the path was just physically too small.

My full size blazer/suburban and Tahoe though got me places I couldn’t get reasonably to because I was forced to now tow a trailer or other load that the full size just carried in the bed.
 

Hammsolo

Well-known member
Joined
May 16, 2020
Messages
959
Im puzzled why GM doesnt sell more of these. Wholly smokes they are an off road beast. The 2023 looks even better on an already great looking truck. For GMC fans they are coming out with an AT4X with the same suspension as the zr2.

I agree. The hints they’re dropping on the GMC look awesome. I’m curious to check out the turbo 4. I personally didn’t like the diesel version… I like pep, and it was sssslowwwww.
 

Hammsolo

Well-known member
Joined
May 16, 2020
Messages
959
Simply look at what is popular in the rest of the world. Americans love driving empty full size trucks, not so much anywhere else.

I do agree that it seems like the little trucks should get better mileage.

One reason I would drive one is to be easier to park. Parking spots keep getting smaller it seems.
Great point. I take my truck where no crew cab 1/2 ton or 3/4 ton could go.
 

shannerdrake

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 14, 2017
Messages
434
Location
Indiana
Simply look at what is popular in the rest of the world. Americans love driving empty full size trucks, not so much anywhere else.

I do agree that it seems like the little trucks should get better mileage.

One reason I would drive one is to be easier to park. Parking spots keep getting smaller it seems.
I guess so, but not sure why that matters. My full size Trail Boss gets the same MPG that a Tacoma gets. Fits 5 adults easily (4 extremely comfortably), hauled 4 adults and a truckbed of luggage on a 1600 mile trip and averaged 19mpg doing, and even towed a 5000lb trailer 800 miles and for 14mpg doing that. I get that same performance if I’m driving alone or with the family.

I’d be more attracted to the compact trucks if they got double the MPG or cost half as much, but I just haven’t been able to get onboard.

I also have a theory that truck makers invest their R&D primarily in the full size market because it’s such a large portion of sales. If Chevy can figure out how to make my 5.3 get 20MPG, why can’t Toyota make the 2.7 or the 3.5 with half or 2/3 the cylinders do much better?

Sorry to Taco owners. Not hating one bit. If I was ever a compact owner again the first and only purchase would be a Taco.
 

jvanhoy

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 4, 2016
Messages
1,218
Location
VA
Not to derail but any Tundra guys out there? I’ll be buying a used truck next year and can’t decide if I want a taco or tundra. I’m leaning towards the V6 Tacoma but the thoughts of pulling a trailer loaded down with a side by side for my dad and all our hunting gear 1600 miles to CO has me wondering if I should just go full size.
 
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