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cockswain's avatar

Ford Ranger vs. Chevy S-10 vs. Toyota Tacoma vs. Dodge Dakota?

Asked by cockswain (15181 points ) June 2nd, 2010

I need to get a small truck for home projects (picking up bricks, lumber, removing debris) and am looking at the models listed in the question. Also, since I live in Denver I need a V6 and 4wd to be able to handle snow and high altitude. Currently I’m leaning toward a Ranger because they seem plentiful (therefore cheaper) and pretty reliable. But the S-10 (which I believe is also a GMC Sonoma??) and Dakota look pretty good too. The Tacoma seems the most reliable and holds its value well, but is more expensive. Can you provide any help in my selection process?

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22 Answers

lillycoyote's avatar

I’ve got a Dodge Dakota for sale :)

missingbite's avatar

I have an ‘03 Tacoma and it is great. Has never failed me, and has a GREAT resale value. My next truck will be another Tacoma.

cockswain's avatar

@lillycoyote How do you like it?

ShiningToast's avatar

The Tacoma is more expensive for a reason, those damn things last forever. The S-10 is indeed a Sonoma, and Chevy recently dropped the S-10 name and replaced it with Colorado (same truck though).

My dad used to have a Ranger, great little truck, and at the moment I can’t think of a single problem it had.

I’m not too experienced with Dodge or Chevy trucks, someone else will have to chime in.

If I were you, I’d go for the Tacoma if you plan on keeping it for a number of years. It’ll run great, and it’ll hold more value (if you ever want to sell it). The Ford Ranger is a good choice here too. Like I said, I can’t really speak for the others.

WestRiverrat's avatar

None of them are really a bad choice. I went with a Ranger when I was in the market, mainly because the Ford dealer gave me a better deal than Chevy, GMC or Dodge offered.

Toyota was not an option for me as it is a 2 drive to the nearest dealer.

cockswain's avatar

@ShiningToast What kind of work have you needed to put into it so far? How many miles on it now?

ShiningToast's avatar

We don’t have it anymore, we sold it a few years ago. We had it from 1994 to 2006, and that thing was fine the whole entire time. Might have been a small problem here or there, but nothing we couldn’t take care of ourselves. I don’t think it ever had a major problem, nothing comes to mind. My dad loved that truck.

As for mileage, he put probably 2 hours of commute a day on it when he had it (and more at some points). He also towed his small boat with it, no problem.

lillycoyote's avatar

I like it. The only problem I have with the Dakota is that it isn’t exactly the nimblest truck around. The truck I had before the Dakota was a small Nissan and I found that easier to drive. It’s been very reliable.

lilikoi's avatar

1980s 2-seater Toyota, Datsun or earlier. Would not settle for anything less.

Up to this point in time, I would never buy a Ford, Chevy, or Dodge. Here’s to hoping they move in a better direction in the future.

cockswain's avatar

@lilikoi Do you mind providing some reasoning for your answer? Like why do you dislike 20 years of trucks by those companies?

Fred931's avatar

This is England’s Toyota Tacoma. Just so you get the idea…

evan742's avatar

I have a 92 toyota they are great trucks, i have no problem with the other trucks. Even though the toyota cost more now when you add up all of the repairs you will have to do with the other trucks it comes out on top!!!

missingbite's avatar

Slightly off topic but Top Gear is the best show ever!!!

Fred931's avatar

@mylastpost Goddammit, someone at the BBC thought it would be funny to not show the actual falling and destruction part until after a quick commercial break. Sorry about that, and here’s a full clip.

Jabe73's avatar

I only ever had rangers with V6 4WD and they held up very good (as far as my small trucks were concerned). I never had any chevys, gmc, dodge, nissans and toyotas but knew other people that did and from what I can tell you Toyota Tacomas’ are by far the most reliable, I know guys who still have their same trucks for over 15 years, beat the heck out of them and never had any problems. Yes, Tacomas’ are more expensive but seem to be worth the extra money from what I can tell, I was even thinking about getting one as my next small truck.

Like I said my Ford Rangers held up pretty good for me as well however.

cockswain's avatar

Just in case anyone cares, I bought a 1999 Ford Ranger with a V6 3.0 for $2800.

missingbite's avatar

Great price and I think you will be pleased. Thanks for the update.

cockswain's avatar

I have been. I crawled under it a couple days ago and the differential, transfer case, and front axle fluid all looked nearly new. The previous owner did a great job maintaining it.

missingbite's avatar

All of these small trucks will run and run if you just maintain them.

cockswain's avatar

Yeah, I really like it. Really nice to be able to work beneath without a jack too.

lillycoyote's avatar

No agenda, of course… : ) but I still have a 1998 Dodge Dakota for sale, with pretty low miles, if anyone’s interested :)

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