3rd Jun 2013, 06:09

I think many that buy small trucks, buy with more of a car buying mindset. They want a commuter to drive to work, and try to adapt it to the thought that they have a truck. I had that logic myself. The problem is unexpected applications arise where a truck with strength and durability is required. Moving furniture, helping a friend, finding a deal on a tow behind trailer, boat etc.

My girlfriend always finds something she bought that she likes me to meet and pick up. If I had a smaller truck, I could get out of it though. At any rate, if you are paying insurance for a truck, why not buy a full size? Even if it's just a 6 cylinder with basic options and of course air conditioning.

5th Jun 2013, 11:53

I don't at all agree that those who buy small trucks, buy them because they have a "car mindset". The truth of the matter is that in all 17 years that I've owned my small Tacoma, there has been very few occasions where I actually needed a full size truck instead. I have moved across country twice in it, moved all of my possessions with it 5 times, the latest when we actually bought a house and literally moved a household worth of stuff with it, used it for years to haul lawn mowing equipment, hauled loads of firewood, and hauled innumerable amounts of other things with it day in day out.

What is for certain is that unlike all of those people who actually think they simply must have a giant full sized truck, well I'm not the one who's having to shove $75-$100 worth of gas into the tank on every single fill up, nor am I going to be one of the many thousands of full size trucks owners, whom every time gas prices spike, will be forced to sell my truck because I lacked the foresight and thus can no longer afford to drive something that gets poor fuel economy.

The bottom line is that a lot of Americans feel that they are entitled and absolutely have to own the biggest trucks money can buy, and also that they have to maintain that "manliness" image that goes along with it, and it's worth expending large portions of the paycheck in order to get that image as well.

And talk all you all want about oh-how-bad Tacomas are. Mine has 260,000 miles so far, and it still runs absolutely perfectly.

6th Jun 2013, 13:02

Question for you. If you have zero need for a truck, why not buy a car? A high MPG economy hatchback and a rope to tie things down. If you are insuring a truck, buy a full size and have capability. I was short changed with a small one, and it was extremely limited. Not worth the insurance.

6th Jun 2013, 13:23

No one I know buys a pick up truck for image. It certainly isn't the best vehicle to impress a date with. As far as a manly image, it's either there or isn't prior to entering any vehicle. It is good however to have room for adults and an average family to ride together vs. take 2 vehicles. I bought mine without a loan and use it on weekends. I would much rather drive a nice, comfortable sedate automobile with nice amenities.

6th Jun 2013, 13:51

The older Tacomas, built before Toyota build quality and safety dropped drastically after 2000, were pretty good little trucks. The only real issues with them was frames that broke in half and steering that could fail.

And I agree that the idea that only large trucks will do is wrong. I've owned four Ford Rangers and a Dakota. All of them served my hauling needs just fine, and got twice the mileage of large trucks.

7th Jun 2013, 09:46

My first truck upgrade was a full size long bed with a 6 cylinder and A/C. I never regretted that. Over 20 MPG with overdrive. Gas was a couple fill ups a month vs long commutes.

If you have a full size, you will find plenty of reasons to use it. If you stay small, it's unlikely you look for the increased opportunities. I love deals with people downsizing and moving. And many yard sales. I bought a very expensive used patio set used last weekend. One trip and it's home. Not 2 or more trips, wasting time and gas in a small narrow pick up.

I can handle passengers and not be banging shoulders inside. I leave my hitch on at all times.

I can honestly say my full size saves us a ton of money annually. I had to think out all the times I had a small truck. And no one is impressed that we own a truck. It's versatile and has tremendous capability. If it costs us a 100 more a month, we can simply walk room to room in our home and laugh all the way to the bank. We have saved a ton of money on our antiques and used finds. It's not an empty vehicle that roams the interstates, skipping sideways over highway expansion strips.

7th Jun 2013, 15:32

Why would I buy a car? Like I said - I have hauled my fair share of things in my Tacoma without the need of a full sized truck. I was in no way saying people should not buy a full sized truck if they want to, but that those making some sort of argument, that somehow those who buy smaller trucks do so for the same reason people buy small cars, is wrong. It's not the same thing.

Lastly, the "Oh - Toyotas used to be good until XXX" date is one of those persistent old wives tales. They're just as good as they ever were. Otherwise they wouldn't have such a high overall reliability rating.

7th Jun 2013, 16:15

When gas spikes upward is the best time to buy a low MPG vehicle. I waited on the last big gas hike, and then bought a late model, large high top conversion van with a 37 gallon tank. A great buy as a secondary fun vehicle.

As I recall, when gas prices stabilized there were those that abandoned the brand new, waiting list, small city smart cars, and walked away from deposits in our area to go back to the roomy SUVs. Especially those with families. Savvy buyers buy at the right moments.

I also feel truck buyers hang onto theirs, large or small. You can always make a buck with a truck. Run an errand, do services, haul etc. Worst case scenario is you may drive a bit less or even take public transportation (heaven forbid) vs drive alone commuting hours to work.

Of those I know with full size trucks, they always buy another. They are very hard to live without due to their practical applications and utility vs a car.

8th Jun 2013, 09:43

Based on first hand experience going from a car to a small truck, it was a mistake for us. It was a compromise as a truck. It had much less interior space, and was no better than our mid sized SUV. In fact with less security in an open bed, it was less. The only benefit was not having dirt inside.

I do not know if you utilize your small truck solo most of the time, or make it work with an average size family. I would rather have a full size, inexpensive work truck with a 6 than small ever again. Add automatic and A/C. Many families have minivans or mid size SUVs, and I see zero benefit adding a small truck in the mix.

I was out already this morning hitting some yard sales in some nice neighborhoods. You never know what you will find.

Lastly, if you have a small truck, you rarely consider opportunities that a full size can handle spur of the moment. I know as I owned one for a couple years. Many times it ended up staying parked at home, as more room for family and friends was needed. I was followed, taking 2 cars at time with a small truck. No one wanted to sit in the back with 2 opposing jump seats suited only for small kids. And the loading and unloading behind the seats was another hassle.

I disagree with you. We should have bought an economical full size, even with a 6 and cool A/C to start with. My friends drive the same as well, and are repeat buyers. If you don't daily drive them high mileage vs simply buying a car, they can last for decades. You are paying insurance, so why not pay as a real truck vs small. I keep mine clean and run it through the car wash monthly with good wax.

The new ones ride as nice as a car. Very smooth, comfortable and provide a great ride. I scan my iPad with CL and sales, and can bring things home easily with one trip. Add a cap and you can pick up and ride with the family after for dinner in the same vehicle!