It feels like just yesterday we were buying the Ranger. Alas its been nearly 6 years and while the engine and transmission are still good the Ranger's body is just giving up. Its got a bunch of holes in the bed and the rockers are rusting away. Worst the middle crossmember is just evaporating.
So for the past couple months we've been searching around. So far we've tried:
2006 Toyota Tundra - loved it but people want stupid money for them
2011 Toyota Tacoma
2006 Toyota Tacoma - I don't get why people love Tacomas. I didn't like either particularly and both had 6spd manual transmissions that I hated. They're like driving a 5 ton truck from the '50s, imprecise, long throw, heavy clutch.
2011 Nissan Frontier - Nissan's seating position kills me, the seats never go back far enough, and this crew cab truck shouldn't be having that problem.
2014 Nissan Frontier - This one was an access cab vs the crew cab above, Angie hated it, said it felt claustrophobic.
2011 Nissan Titan - POWER! The 5.6l v8 in this makes it easily the fastest, most powerful pickup we tried. Seating position is better than the Frontier but because the engine is tucked into the cab the truck gets a really long weird dash area.
2010 Chevy Silverado - Where the Japanese can bend space to make a car feel bigger on the inside than the outside would indicate Chevy has managed the opposite. This truck felt very big and ponderous to drive. I didn't mind it too bad but Angie hated it.
2010 Ford F150 Lariat - The Lariat is the top of the line, full of upgrades and features. Nice truck, the first crew cab where I could really stretch out in the back seat. Way more truck than we need and way more money than I want to pay.
2014 Ford F150 STX - The only access cab full size truck we've driven. We both liked it a lot and if the dealership had come down $3000 more we'd have bought it. As it is I've come to my senses, buying a new truck doesn't make any financial sense for us, we don't drive it that much. If we were looking to pay that much it'd make more sense to buy a jalopy of a pickup and a new car for me.
2004 Dodge Dakota - I did this one on my own today as a bit of a lark, I happened to see it and stopped in. Unfortunately it was a smokers car and while I know I could get the smell out I know Angie would give me hell over it. Worse it wandered badly down the road, the AC didn't work, the radio didn't work, the driver's seat was all squished out and had cigarette burns. I'd consider buying it but they wanted nearly $8,000, then I'm going to have to put maybe $1500 into it. Maybe I'll go back and point out all its faults and get them down some. I'd probably do it at $5,000.
Anyway the search continues. The drive today reminded me how much I like Dakotas although I hate how they changed the body style in 2005. Dodge seemed surprised sales of the Dakota slumped, I'm not.