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Old 12-28-2008, 04:40 AM
 
Location: Escondido, CA
1,504 posts, read 5,458,905 times
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My current daily driver is a BMW 3-series, a very nice car which, unfortunately, can't haul any dirty or bulky stuff, and, on top of that, it is rather costly (keeps depreciating like there's no tomorrow and costs to the tune of $200/month to insure).

I'm buying a house on acreage and it looks like I could really use a pickup truck in my household. My first option is to keep the BMW and to buy a beat-up Ford Ranger or something like that for $2000.

The other option that occurred to me is that maybe I can commute to work with a pickup truck. Are pickup trucks viable commuters? My daily commute is 25 miles one way in a 75 mph traffic. I can live with poor fuel efficiency for a couple of years and buy a Prius or like when gas prices climb back up, if the truck itself is cheap enough.

Is it possible to get something under, say, 5k, that would comfortably get me to work and back, with enough passing power at 75 mph, and without too much risk of getting stranded on the shoulder because of a blown engine? What would be the most commuter-friendly model?

I don't need 4WD and I don't need to tow 10,000 lb boats. I do need a full-size cargo bed (70+ inches). Obviously, A/C is a must. Cruise control is nice to have. I can drive stick.
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Old 12-28-2008, 07:15 AM
 
Location: North Beach, MD on the Chesapeake
33,831 posts, read 41,883,302 times
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An under 5K truck will likely have had the snot run out of it-that may not be a viable statement now since many people are dumping their trucks.
A P/U as a commuter is not a bad choice, that depends on where you're driving. Full size ones are bulky and a bit of a pain in more urban driving.

I have an '03 F 150 with a big 6 cylinder, 20+ MPG on trips, a bit less in day to day. I use it as a commuter 3 days out of 5- 20 miles one way. 2WD will get you better mileage than 4WD-mine's 2WD.
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Old 12-28-2008, 07:44 AM
 
Location: SW Florida
5,121 posts, read 6,185,315 times
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It's all a matter of taste, I would suppose. My daily driver is a Crew Cab, dually 4X4, with a turbo diesel. About 14 mpg around town, and 18 hwy. Weighing in at 7,000 lbs +, it is quite comfortable, and stable.......... But parking is a total PITA
The smaller trucks, full size 1/2 ton, and mini style, I've had were as comfortable, easy to drive and park as any car (IMHO). I have had 3 and 5 series BMW's when younger. Of course a(any) truck cannot compare to the ride and performance of one of those. But for reality based, simple commuting in the real world, the truck wins hands down.

I think if you were to look at some later model 1/2 tons, regular cab, with six cyl engine, you could find a nice mix of comfort, economy and utility for $3-5K today. I see plenty of them on the lot. The ones that do have sixes, and manual tranny's(best fuel economy, and least numbers built) still sell fast.
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Old 12-28-2008, 07:49 PM
 
Location: Earth
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If you get a small pick up truck like an S-10 or a Ranger, and if it has the 4 cylinder you can get 20 + mpg all day long as long as you're not towing or hauling anything heavy. The V6 models deduct 5 mpg.

Bigger trucks like a Silverado or F150 you might get 13 mpg to 17 mpg.

Note these do not apply to Dodge trucks, which are fuel hogs.

I drive a small truck every day, it suits me fine. But it's no BMW, but that's ok.
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Old 12-28-2008, 08:40 PM
 
Location: Seaford, Delaware
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I have a stick 6 ranger supercab. it's got all the bells and whistles. I had to hunt for months to find it becasue I wanted a stick with all the bells and whistles.
Anyway...I drive it everyday and it's comfortable and easy to drive and easy on the gas. Plus it works as a work truck and hauler when needed.
Finding one is the hard part. used trucks come in 2 kinds...good and near dead. At $5, you may have a hard time finding a dependable one for daily hard commutes. maybe up your budget a bit to find a better truck.
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Old 12-28-2008, 08:56 PM
 
Location: Scottsdale, AZ
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$5K isn't going to get you a newer truck but if you're ok with having an older style F-150 (I mean older as in the mid 90's style), you should be able to find one for around $5K. Don't expect much more than a regular cab with a V8. Diesel engines are very $$ and hold value like none other so nix that off your list. But since you're selling a BMW 3 Series, I'd imagine you're going to get a fair amount of coin off of that sale so if you can bump up your price range to around $10K, you can get a fairly new truck with low miles. Some dealers have leftover 2008 Chevy Silverado Work Trucks that I've seen for sale as low as $13K. Sure it's a basic regular cab but it's actually a pretty nice truck and you can't beat $13K on a brand new truck!
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Old 12-28-2008, 09:18 PM
 
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I recently sold a Ford Ranger (5-speed, plain jane model) and got 30mpg at 55 mph. It didn't have much passing power.
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Old 12-28-2008, 10:20 PM
 
Location: Earth
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BLAZER PROPHET View Post
I recently sold a Ford Ranger (5-speed, plain jane model) and got 30mpg at 55 mph. It didn't have much passing power.
4 cylinder?
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Old 12-29-2008, 06:17 AM
 
22,769 posts, read 26,126,307 times
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I also think manual transmissions are the way to go with these little trucks.

In fact I am looking at Nissans and Toyotas myself, as a daily commuter. Something like a 4-door, 4x4, 4-cylinder, with a stick. I'm noticing you definitely pay a premium for a Toyota truck these days, especially with less than about 50k or 60k miles.

Last edited by le roi; 12-29-2008 at 06:54 AM..
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Old 12-29-2008, 06:39 AM
 
5,273 posts, read 12,365,552 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deez Nuttz View Post
4 cylinder?
Yes.
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