Mini-pickup survey - most payload?

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#1
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

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#2
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.
 
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#3
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

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#4
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!!!
 
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#5
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.;)
 
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#6
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
 
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#7
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

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#8
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

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#9
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.
 

zio

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#10
CAB, just out of curiosity- whatcha askin' for the '89?
 

WoodsRider

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#11
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.
 
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#12
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

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#13
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

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#14
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.
 
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#15
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.