Now that the kids are mostly out of the house my mom wants to mothball the Sienna and pick up a midsize 4dr pickup as a DD. She is a die-hard Toyota person though and has decided on a Tacoma without even considering the options. I want to get her to open her mind a bit. We’d be looking at used previous-gen trucks, so there’s plenty to choose from:

Chevy Colorado

  • Handsome boi
  • Atlas engines are supposed to be great
  • Chevy parts prices are a plus
  • How are these on long term build quality though?

Tacoma

  • Proven, dependable
  • She’s in great standing with her Toyota dealer and can likely get a good deal.
  • Still $$$ even with a good deal, these hold value way too well.

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Ridgeline

  • Everyone (all two of them!) I’ve known that has had one loved it
  • Honda reliability
  • Questionable styling
  • Possibly a bit bigger than she needs
  • Not a ton of them out there

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Explorer Sport-Trac

  • More of an SUV with a truck bed than an extended cab truck, which I think would work for her
  • Good-looking
  • Same issues as the Ridgeline, a little too big and not many out there

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Frontier:

This is the one I want to coax her into. You can get one just as capable and dependable as a Tacoma for significantly less $$$, or even get a much newer Frontier than whatever Tacoma she could afford would be.

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She’s trying to buy a house and she’s looking for a property that will allow her to keep chickens and goats so a pickup is a must. She needs the extended cab for my two remaining siblings at home, and the minivan would be kept as a backup or for the occasional road trip when we’re all together.

The hard part really will be convincing her to look at other things in the first place. It’s not so much loyalty to Toyota so much as just sticking to what she knows. I don’t have a problem with that, or with her getting a Taco, but it would bother me to have her potentially be spending a lot more money on a second-hand car than she really needs to.

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To that end I’d like to be able to present her with compelling options. So, Oppo, what comments or experiences do you have with the models I’ve shared above?

(P.S. I’m not even listing the last gen Dakota because eww)