yz250-effer

Member
Nov 4, 2000
305
0
I know there is a wealth of information out there from you experienced mini-pickup owners. I am thinking of buying a mini-pickup in the near future. I usually just haul my own bike, but is it pushing the payload and engine ( especially a 4, not a 6 cyl. ) to haul 2 bikes?

Assuming most of you recommend a 6 cyl. and the payload is fine - what is your favorite and why? Ranger, Tacoma, frontier, Izuzu are what I was going to start researching.

In case you are wondering, I want to use it as a fairly effecient commute vehicle as well, so I want better mileage than a full size pickup for sure.

Any feedback would be greatly appreciated. Not looking for a "contest" on what is the best truck, just your own impressions, thanks.:)

p.s. My friend has a frontier desert runner with a 6 cyl. in it. The power is great, mileage is decent (18 mpg with 2 bikes), but the payload sure seems topped out around 1100 lbs., instead of the 1400 it states in his manual. Should I just spring for full size pickup with a 6 cyl. in it? Life is full of choices.:confused:
 

Highbeam

~SPONSOR~
Jun 13, 2001
665
0
The mpg of a full size chev can be very good. Heck, my fullsize chev with a 350 V8 gets a low of 16.5 to over 19 on the highway. Try asking people with the fullsize chev and a 4.3 liter v6 what their mileage is and I think you'll be impressed. My 1985 Toyota 4x4 could get as high as 22 on the highway and could carry a max of about 1200 lbs comfortably and it was very underpowered for empty driving. If you're concerned mostly with payload and mpg get a stick shifting 2 wheel drive diesel full size. mpgs in the low 20s and gobs of torque for hauling.

The limits of payload in a mini-truck will be the suspension sagging not the lack of power, they always have a lack of power and it doesn't get much worse with a couple thousand extra pounds. If you must go minitruck please go with Toyota 4cyl.. Fullsize gas powered your best mpg will be from a chev. Diesel mpg should be best with a cummins from dodge. Payload is not an issue with 700 lbs of bikes and the toyota minis have exceptionally good brakes after 1986.
 

yz250-effer

Member
Nov 4, 2000
305
0
THanks Highbeam.

Exactly the info I was looking for. Never thought of a diesel Full size, but now I will have to throw that in as an option for sure.:)
 

zio

Mr. Atlas
Jul 28, 2000
2,291
0
FWIW...

I used to haul two bikes - an XR600 (PIG!) and CR250- in my '89 Toyota pickup. It was a 2wd, 4 spd stick, power nuthin. It never felt underpowered. In fact, when empty, It was pretty quick for a truck, and I could easily break the rear wheels loose (granted, the rear end is pretty light with no payload). It was a really fun car to drive. It handled pretty well, too. My only complaint, though a minor one, was the lack of sound insulation. It was a pretty noisy ride at freeway speeds with only 4th gear.

And the 22R 4cyl. engine is infamous for longevity and reliability. Same goes for the manual tranny in the Toyota pickups. Not sure if they're still producing the 22R engines, I think they stopped a few years ago. Bed length was the only limiting factor, of course. And as it was a standard cab legroom was tight with my 10" sub behind the seat, though I wouldn't say it was ever uncomfortable.

I vaguely remember averaging around 18-22 mpg, but that was before high gas prices and I wasn't too concerned back then. I liked it so much, that I'm selling my Infiniti Q45 to get myself another (gearing up for that new bike, of course!!!).

Hope this helps!!!
 

yz250-effer

Member
Nov 4, 2000
305
0
Thanks ZIO.

It does help. I have heard lots of good things about the toyota engines, and it is best to hear them from someone who has owned them, not a media source, IMO. I am actually leaning towards a mini-pickup, since it will only be 4-5 times a year I anticipate throwing another bike in there.

BTW, The new 426's are in. ( 02's) My riding buddy got his today. He gets a new one every year and shells out 1500+. Darn the luck there.;)
 

Camstyn

Hoser
LIFETIME SPONSOR
Oct 3, 1999
2,247
2
I have a 99 GMC Sierra 1/2t shortbox 2wd with the 4.3 V6. The V8s get better mileage. The payload downright sucks, it looks fine on paper however. 2 heavy guys, 2 250s in the back and gear for one day of riding, and the truck feels overloaded with the rear squatting about 4" or so.:think
 

jmk_151

Member
Sep 21, 2001
14
0
I have a 97 mazdab2300 which is 2.3L4cyl. 5speed (exact same truck as ford ranger). You can notice a power difference when hauling 2 bikes, 2guys, 2 cabinet tool boxes and water for the pressure washer but its not a problem if you adjust the way you drive accordingly. I simply drop out of OD into 4th more often. It does however level the truck out quite a bit (it usually sits up in the rear) so that at night I find alot of people flashing their high-beams at me but this is getting fixed over the winter with a set of add-a-leafs in the rear to stiffen up the springs. I don't notice one bike and gear at all. I get 500km on a 55L tank when loaded with two bikes (I don't understand gallons or miles, hey I'm Canadian) so you can do the math if you want.

~jk
 

Highbeam

~SPONSOR~
Jun 13, 2001
665
0
If your going to use the canadian card to get out of math then you need to also write things like... "eh" and "hoser" alot. Refer to the movie strange brew frequently. M:cool:

500 km to 55l is approximately 22.38 mpg. Pretty good.

I would expect the rear end to sag if you have tool boxes, two bikes, two big guys and gas cans in the back. Sagging is fine, clutch slippping and overheating is not. For the uses described, yz250effer would be happy with a 4 cyl. (toyota;)). That would probably be the most economical and dependable vehicle that will fit his needs.
 

CAB

Member
Nov 18, 1999
43
0
Hey Effer:

I have an 89 toy. 4x4 4cyl, x-cab. 132500 orig. miles. I bought it new nearly 13 years ago. This has been a great truck. I have loaded it down w/two bikes, camping gear, etc.. and it does great on the flats. It's a 5 speed manual tranny. On the hills---that's another matter. That's ok, patience is a virtue!. I'm gearing up to buy my third Toyota in a few weeks (Tundra- need the V-8). If you're still looking for a clean 1-owner Toy w/all records, drop me a line. Clint (Prescott) 928-443-1393.
 

WoodsRider

Sponsoring Member<BR>Club Moderator
Damn Yankees
Oct 13, 1999
2,812
0
My '92 Toyota V6 X-cab 4x4 just turned 190k miles. I've never kept a vehicle this long. My old '85 Toyota 4x4 had the 22R engine and a 7' bed :), but was only a regular cab :(. I traded it it on the '92 after 170k miles. Gas mileage on the '92 is around 18 combined city/hwy driving. It's about time for it's second tune-up though.

I've been very happy with my Toyota's (also own a '95 4Runner Limited). I don't really need a full-size truck, but living in snow country means 4wd is mandatory.
 

biker

Member
Sep 22, 2000
170
0
I had a 99 Toyota 4X4 est. cab V-6. I took it to a suspension shop and had them add a leaf to the rear springs. It made a huge difference when hauling a trailer. I think the tongue weight is only rated at around 300 lbs. stock. I've also hauled bags of cement and sand and it didn't sag much, I don't remember how many lbs., but it was way more than two bikes. The v-6 has good power, but when loaded heavy expect to use overdrive less. The only reason I got rid of the truck is that I haul a heavy trailer now, so I went with a Ford Diesel.
 

CAB

Member
Nov 18, 1999
43
0
Zio-

I'm asking $6750- a little high, but I'm hoping someone will pay a little extra for a one owner vehicle in great condition with all service records.

Clint
 

zio

Mr. Atlas
Jul 28, 2000
2,291
0
That sounds fair to me. Remember, these pickups hold their value extremely well. the 2wd's routinely go for $4000, year doesn't seem to matter much, as long as they're 89 or newer (when Toyota changed body style/interior). I'm looking at an 89 4wd for $5500, which sounds like a good proce to me.
 

michigan

Member
Mar 9, 2001
424
0
97 s10, 2wd, 4.3L v6, 5spd manual transmission.
with this combo i rarely get less than 20mpg. empty, i usually get 24-27 mpg on the highway. pulling a bike trailer with two cr250's and a weekend's worth of camping and riding gear i get around 20mpg. with one bike and gear in the bed i'm at 21-24 mpg. it has enough payload capacity to haul two 250's and a weekend worth of gear in the bed, but there just isn't enough room to do this comfortably (and without looking like the beverly hillbillies).
i have calculated the mileage of every tank of gas i've run through the truck, so these numbers are reliable. the key to my good mileage is the manual transmission and lack of 4wd. also, i believe that i'd do worse with the four cylinder because it would be working way too hard to be fuel efficient.
however, the s10 is not known for reliability and quality, and i can vouch for this. a better setup would be a similarly equiped ranger... or anything other than an s10 for that matter.
good luck truck hunting.

ps- i had an 86 toyota 4x4 w/ 4 cylinger several years ago and i miss that truck dearly.
 

Camstyn

Hoser
LIFETIME SPONSOR
Oct 3, 1999
2,247
2
Wow, I'm jealous. I've got the same engine and transmission in a 2wd regular cab short box 99 GMC Sierra, and I'm lucky to get 18mpg. That's cruising at 70mph, light on the gas pedal. I can't imagine hitting anything over 20mpg.

How do you do it?

Cam
 

michigan

Member
Mar 9, 2001
424
0
a sierra is a heck of a lot more truck to push than my s10. my last truck was an f150 2wd with a six cylinder/ 5spd and i got less than 16mpg most of the time.
my speed is generally between 70 and 75. any faster and the mileage drops by 3 or 4 mpg. also, this is on flat ground. i also have wimpy little pizza cutter tires.
i think i'd trade the good gas mileage for a manly truck.
 

MRRMX

Member
Nov 24, 1999
192
0
Originally posted by jmk_151
I have a 97 mazdab2300 which is 2.3L4cyl. 5speed (exact same truck as ford ranger). You can notice a power difference when hauling 2 bikes, 2guys, 2 cabinet tool boxes and water for the pressure washer but its not a problem if you adjust the way you drive accordingly. I simply drop out of OD into 4th more often. It does however level the truck out quite a bit (it usually sits up in the rear) so that at night I find alot of people flashing their high-beams at me but this is getting fixed over the winter with a set of add-a-leafs in the rear to stiffen up the springs. I don't notice one bike and gear at all. I get 500km on a 55L tank when loaded with two bikes (I don't understand gallons or miles, hey I'm Canadian) so you can do the math if you want.

~jk

dont feel left out many Americans can not do simple math...lol ask any young American to convert a klic to miles or visa versa
 

ditchrider

Member
Jun 20, 2001
26
0
Hey did ya ever think of the Comanche. Jeep pickup biult along the Cherokee line. I have a diesel (2.1 litre turbo) and I get 30 miles per gallon but those are imperial gallons eh hoser
 

rames90

Member
Sep 7, 2000
94
0
My '99 Sonoma Highrider gets about 12.4 miles/gallon, with nothing in the box. It has a 4.3 litre V6, granted, I drive fast but the mileage sucks regardless.

I have been told a few times by the Chevy dealers that the smaller trucks get poor mileage when compared to the full size trucks.

As for payload, with two 250's in the back, full gear, tools and camping equipment there is little to no sag in the rear of the truck, that's with no modifications to the suspension.

Hope I was helpful :eek:
 

ghunter

LIFETIME SPONSOR
Sep 24, 2001
133
0
Capacities

I just sold my '00 Dakota 4x4, with a 360 cu.in. V-8. Man, that truck would haul anything! I towed boats, trailers, 4 bikes-4guys-and gear, loads of soil, you name it. It also got decent mileage - around 18 on the freeway and 14 around town. Definitely not 4-cyl territory, but had 3 times the power and a decent payload capacity. Plus, it would stop when I wanted it to.

Do yourself a favor and determine what is more important to you: Price, Gas Mileage, or towing capacity?

For price, any mini-truck with a 4 banger will get you going, but it isn't designed for hauling big loads. Mileage will be fine until you have to floor it to get a heavily loaded mini truck up a steep grade. Ever tried to stop a mini-truck with a heavy payload? The brakes just aren't made for all that weight.

For Mileage and towing, get a diesel. Be prepared to pay an extra $4-5,000 for the diesel engine, and you won't notice astronomical mileage in the 25MPG range - more around 17-21MPG. Kinda' overkill unless you plan on towing 10,000+ lbs, though. Desinged to stop with a heavy load.

For Price, Towing, and Mileage, any full-size truck will get you there with a moderately sized v-8. Don't get a 6 banger in a full size or you will be underpowered. you may only get mileage in the 'teens, but at least you know that it will haul and STOP when you need it to.

I have owned everything from a 4 cylinder s-10 to a Supercharged and Intercooled Dodge v-10: The bigger they are the better they tow. Just my opinion.
 

canucklehead

Member
Apr 13, 2000
155
0
Originally posted by rames90
My '99 Sonoma Highrider gets about 12.4 miles/gallon, with nothing in the box. It has a 4.3 litre V6, granted, I drive fast but the mileage sucks regardless.

I saw your truck on your website, and it's the EXACT truck I really want! Little pricey new though...

I'm also considering a mid-size truck for hauling (and commuting, which is why I don't want a v8). Has anyone considered a Dakota Sport? With 31" they can look pretty sweet. Does anyone have any input about these?
 

orion163

Member
Mar 12, 2001
66
0
I drive a '95 dakota 4x4 with a 318 (5.2 liter for you canucks) v-8. Gas milage isnt great at all, about 18 on the highway if i'm lucky, but the thing has an unbelievable amount of power, never seems to run out of power, it will even pull away from some cars that in my opinion should not be beaten by any four wheel drive truck.
 

cweingartz

Member
Jun 6, 2000
242
0
I don't thinnk you are considering it, but I don't recomend the 4 cylinder s-10 for anything. I have a 2000 and I can barley go 60mph with my bike in the back. The only reason I got the truck was for haulin my bike and so I had a reliable economical vehicle. Sad really the z-24 cavalier has more power than my s-10. Anyways if your going to get a 4 cylinder don't get a chevy. Oh and airconditioning with bike in the back, thats a no no.:confused:
 

ktmboy

~SPONSOR~
Apr 1, 2001
2,474
0
You may want to consider getting a small truck (for that daily commute) and towing a small trailer when you haul the bike. You can get a lot of weight on the trailer without taxing the trucks rear springs out. I trailer my KTM behind my wifes' Explorer, and prefer it to the 10 MPG F350 I used to have, not only because of better mileage, but the trailer bed is so much lower, and easier to load. When empty, I can wheel it around by hand, so most of the weight is bike/gas.
 
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