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Re: Foreign invasion: US-made trucks face increased competition from quality... [12.9.5]

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Re: Foreign invasion: US-made trucks face increased competition from quality... [12.9.5]

With all due respect I doubt anyone's going to bother to register at another site to read an article declaring that Japanese trucks like Honda may have better reliability vs. domestic. Anyone who didn't know that raise your hand.

BTW, my understanding is that Nissan has several teething problems related to reliability lately, & ditto Toyota (trannies & other drivetrain items, probably related to absolutely phenomenal recent growth rates, passenger cars). I sat in recent new Dodge trucks & vans & was shocked at the interior's archaic design, materials & "craftsmanship". OTOH GM & Ford not shabby in that area. I hate the Ford's lack of visibiltiy from the tall bed sidewalls. As a person who loves cornering prowess this Ridgline will run & hide from any other truck on a curvy road. It handles like a BMW, & I've driven plenty of modern BMW's to make the comparison.
 

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Re: Foreign invasion: US-made trucks face increased competition from quality... [12.9.5]

We have a crew cab 2005 GMC Canyon at work that was close in price to my RL.THERE IS NO COMPARISON to fit,finish and quality. I lay my money down with confidence on my '07 RL!
 

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Re: Foreign invasion: US-made trucks face increased competition from quality... [12.9.5]

CT RIDGELINE FAN said:
We have a crew cab 2005 GMC Canyon at work that was close in price to my RL.THERE IS NO COMPARISON to fit,finish and quality. I lay my money down with confidence on my '07 RL!
When I started looking for a new truck, the first vehicle I drove was a Colorado, because I liked the look of it. To make a long story short I was....unimpressed. The fit and finish was lacking plus the engine left me wanting more. At one point I stomped the gas to the floor and the truck literally sat there and did not move for 3-4 seconds. I thought...what the heck?!?!
 

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Not much to the story. You'll spend more time registering to read the story than you will actually reading it.

I'm not fond of registering for newspaper sites, but I went ahead with this one as I've "hit the wall" on the SacBee web site before chasing stories. Hmmm...maybe I should set up one of those "disposable" email addresses.
 

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I live near Sac so I have a subcription. Here's the full article:



The Bee's Best Bets: Foreign invasion
U.S.-made trucks face increased competition from quality Japanese pickups
By Mark Glover -- Bee Auto Editor

Published 2:15 am PST Friday, December 9, 2005
Story appeared in Auto section, Page E1

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Honda Ridgeline

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To our readers
Today's installment of The Bee's 14th annual Best Bets series looks at 2006 pickup trucks and crossover vehicles, which combine characteristics of passenger cars and light trucks. Recommendations are listed below, along with some vital statistics. Best Bets do not necessarily reflect the best vehicles in the world but typically are chosen for the enjoyment, reliability and value they provide to Northern Californians.

The current lineup of pickup trucks on the American market reminds me of the evolution of National Basketball Association players over the past half-century.

Bigger, stronger, faster.

Those old single-bench-seat pickups of your grandfather's day have evolved into the luxury-laden, incredibly rugged and enormously powerful pickups of our time.

There are seemingly no limitations in this decidedly American segment, except that Asian firms have recently entered the arena with pickups bearing the size, strength and performance loved by U.S. buyers.

Are Toyota, Nissan and Honda going to gobble up the U.S. pickup market like they did in the passenger car segment over the past 20 years? Well, they're certainly introducing trucks to challenge America's Big Three of General Motors, Ford and Chrysler Group.

But the Big Three have responded aggressively, determined to make a stand in the truck wars.

Buyers are the big winners. Today, a truck can be had virtually any way you want it - from a thundering log hauler to a luxury laden cowboy Cadillac.

Best Bets winners for the 2006 model year were selected on factors that included price, standard features, options, safety features, body styles, gas mileage, tow ratings, engine choices and handling characteristics. One other note: I have not yet had seat time in the brand-new Mitisubishi Raider, so watch this space next year on that one.

Here, in no particular order of preference, are the picks of the pickups:

It pains me to think of a pickup as sexy, but the Honda Ridgeline is the truck most likely to become that breakthrough centerfold in your favorite auto mag. It's sleek enough that you want to avoid getting that first scratch on it ... something you don't often hear associated with a pickup.

The fully boxed frame contributes to exceptional handling. It literally hugs the road on high-speed corners. The only engine choice is a 3.5-liter V-6 with around 250 horses, but it has more than enough juice to propel this machine.

This is Honda's first pickup effort, and it's an impressive one.

The Chevrolet Silverado/GMC Sierra trucks have what I once figured was impossible - a gas-electric hybrid option. No, it's not the over-the-top system you'll find in a Toyota Prius, but General Motors Corp. deserves credit for installing hybrid technology in two mainstream pickups. And the non-hybird versions of Silverado and Sierra are just as hard-working and rugged as ever.

Ditto the Chevrolet Avalanche, a big beast that can do heavy lifting in pickup trim or in sport-utility vehicle form with a few quick adjustments on the truck's signature midgate.

Hey, looking for a massive truck with an interior so large you and your friends can toss around a Frisbee inside for fun? Look no further than the brand-new Dodge Ram Mega Cab - the latest super-size-me, American-made pickup. It's part of an impressively upgraded lineup of Dodge Ram pickups.

With Hemi engines and a Ram SRT-10 version that has a whopping 500 horsepower, Dodge is definitely aiming at buyers who like their trucks with muscle.

Dodge also builds an impressive midsize pickup in the Dakota, although it's so brawny that most mistake it for a full-size model.

Best-selling vehicle in America? If you said the Ford F-Series pickup, you're correct. It has been No. 1 for years.

And why not?

A lengthy list of standard features, terrific options and a blizzard of cab/box variations make the F-Series a crowd-pleaser. These trucks breeze through everything from modest grocery store runs to construction-site marathons.

Nissan has a pair of winners in the Frontier, a midsize pickup that can be had with a pleasant four-cylinder engine or a growling V-6 with 265 horsepower, and the Titan, a big-brute pickup that can do tough, muddy work in the best American tradition.

Toyota also has a pair of aces and repeat Best Bets winners in the Tacoma and Tundra.

Tacoma can be configured in so many ways that it typically takes an hour of studying and drooling before deciding on the perfect truck for your needs. For all it has, driving/riding comfort are hard to top.

Tundra has a little more beef at all four corners, and Toyota engineering is evident in its handling and classy interior layout. Watch for the introduction of a bigger, better Tundra next year.
 
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