The rebirth of the mid-sized truck has become a reality. How ironic is it that GM releases their first mid-size truck in three years and the price of gas is at 1.98 a gallon, in Texas?
I’ve been preaching to anyone who will listen for years that there is a market out there for these mid-size trucks. Ford has one of the best examples…if you live in Central America. Oh, and for the rednecks reading this review Central America is not Oklahoma, it’s actually south of us.
Why did it take so long for this to happen? If you ask the dealers they will tell you the death of the mid-size truck came about because of pricing. In 2006 a Full size Ram 1500 was about the same price as a similarly equipped Dakota. They told me that when bubba was in the market for a truck, and a full size was the same price they took the larger truck…every time.
It turns out Manufacturers won’t produce what they can’t sell, and well, they couldn’t sell mid-size trucks. So, we had a three year period without a domestic offering.
The Chevrolet Colorado won the 2015 Truck of the Year and it should have. Driving different cars each week allows me to take inventory of the looks the cars get on the road. The Colorado turned heads daily. Full-size truck guys too. Everywhere I went people asked about it. So, if you’re curious, here goes.
I was lucky enough to enjoy the 2015 Chevrolet Colorado Z71 a few weeks ago. delivered in red with charcoal interior and a great stance, I couldn’t wait to get in. My expectations were through the roof and I was preparing myself for the let down that I did not want. Not only was I surprised, I was shocked. The 2015 Colorado is quiet and rides as comfortably as any full size on the market. What is even more impressive to me is how nimble it is.
You full size guys will never understand what it’s like to zip in a parking place. I see you parking your full size trucks, in the city. It looks like Shaq squeezing into a Chevy Cruz. Fun to watch, hard to do.
Let’s talk towing. If you own cows buy a full size. If you tow a twenty foot trailer, buy a full size. But, if you’re like me and so many other city dwellers and like to have a truck to haul stuff at times and pull anything that goes on dirt street or, water then the Colorado will be more than adequate. With a tow rating of 7,000lbs with the added 250.00 trailering package you should never have a problem.
Of course, towing is all gears, torque and horsepower and with two engines available Chevy delivers on this too. For now, you can choose between a 2.5L I-4 or a 3.6 liter V6. the 3.6 liter offers 305hp and almost 300 lbft. of torque. There is a turbo-diesel on the way and I for one, can’t wait. If you drive a truck you need to think in the terms of turbo-diesel in the future.
The bed of the 2015 Colorado is deep and can accommodate large loads of mulch or dirt, or engine parts. With almost nine inches of ground clearance on the Z71 you can tackle challenging off-road obstacles.
The interior is whisper quiet and very comfortable. As a man of considerable size….5-10 180. I found the seat height to be perfect for slipping in and out.
Fuel prices will rise again. Why not rethink the big truck next time you’re ready to make a purchase. You can get a well equipped mid-size, do anything, four-wheel-drive truck for less than the full size and you’ll never look at parking the same again.Read More
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As a boy growing up in Texas there was a time when you put on a grown mans boots, while you were still less than six years old. The top of the boots usually hit you about the groin but, that was fine. All you knew is that you could fill your dad’s or grandpa’s boots. I’ll never forget the feeling I got from walking around is those old smelly things.
Fast forward a half a century and I was able to recapture that feeling again, behind the wheel of a 2014 Ram 3500 Dualie. This truck is big. With hips that make a Kardasian blush, you have to take great care in cornering and parking but, the good news is most drivers will get out of your way on the road.
This wasn’t my first time to drive a daulie. As I mentioned, I’m from Texas. When I was in college I worked at a local nursery and from time to time I had to drive a flat bed daulie to make deliveries of trees or grass. This was the legal kind of course. That truck would skip all over the road when the rear had no payload. It was loud, mud fouled, and the steering had more play in it than a one year-old puppy.
The 2014 Ram 3500 suffered none of these shortcomings. With 375Hp and 850lbft of torque you could haul anything UP TO 15 tons. Or, put another way, you could haul anything. In Tyler, Texas dualies are a way of life. I see them everyday doing what the manufactuers intended them to do, haul horses, hay, cars, and many different kinds of freight. The life of a daulie is usually hard, so all of the big three offer trucks that are designed to be almost bullet proof. But, unlike the dualies of the past the 2014 Ram 3500 has an incredibly quiet cabin.
The ride is much smoother than I anticipated and I drove it quite a bit. It was my pleasure to take this behemoth on a round trip to the DFW Auto show last week. Hell, it even got to park at the downtown Omni Hotel. It should be no surprise to you that it was the only daulie in the parking garage. There was a small bit of levity as the parking attendant ran out to protest my arrival, in vein of course. No one can stop a three ton truck from going where it wants to go.
It was on this trip that I was able to acclimate myself to piloting the big Ram. After you get used to it, it’s really quite easy to drive, comfortable in fact. Just don’t plan on parking it anywhere but a pasture. Even with four-wheel drive the turning radius is a little over a mile in diameter.
But enough about my metrosexual take on the truck let’s talk about what this truck has to offer the hard working potential buyer. For starters it has a new 11.8-inch rear axle and Hotchkiss leaf spring rear suspension. I have the same hothkiss brand on my 1974 Camaro. I’m sure it’s the same one. Power is transferred from the Cummings to the ground via a very responsive 6-speed transmission that allows the Ram to get decent mileage. And although the Chevy and Ford are more impressive on the track, the Ram cam still offer more torque.
Look, no one buys a daulies unless they need one. If you are in the market for an Armageddon vehicle you owe it to yourself to check out the 2014 Ram 3500. Pricing starts at $54,385.00 and top out just north of $70,000.00. But, hey, when it comes to payload, that’s around two bucks per pound. And that’s cheaper than the cows you’ll be hauling.Read More
I was fortunate to attend the 2014 DFW Auto Show Preview this week. Too many good cars to list so, I took pictures instead. Enjoy, and please keep and eye out for the all new 2015 Mustang.