Ten Most Manly Trucks of 2004
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Ten Most Manly Trucks of 2004
08-28-2004, 12:23 PM
An Article Posted on the CompuServe Members Site:
Ten Most Manly Trucks of 2004
By Eric Peters
Dodge Ram 1500 Hemi:
Even if it didn't have that honkin' 345-horsepower "Hemi" V-8 under its hood, the Ram 1500 is the hairiest-looking new pickup by a country mile--an intimidation-mobile that looms large in the rearview mirrors of people driving compact economy cars and aging Volvos papered over with faded "Mondale/Ferraro '84" bumper stickers. The "mini-Kenworth" styling makes even the base V-6 model seem threatening. Remember the opening scene of the first "Terminator" movie? When Arnold--still in his hulking, 280-pound, Mr. Olympia form--rises naked from the time-warp bubble to survey the Los Angeles nightscape? You'll feel the same intoxicating rush of mastery when you idle up beside your fellow motorists and let them hear (and feel) the bladda-bladda-bladda exhaust pulses of the mighty, 5.7-liter Hemi V-8. All that's lacking is a pistol-grip shifter. (Just wait: The 500-horsepower SRT-10, with its Viper drivetrain, is coming soon.) Prices range from $19,970 for a basic ST regular cab with two-wheel drive and a standard bed, to about $35,500 for a decked-out Laramie Quad Cab with the 5.7-liter Hemi engine, four-wheel drive, and an 8-foot bed.
The Ram 1500 may have the strongest available engine you can get in a half-ton pickup, but Nissan's all-new Titan has the strongest standard engine of any full-size pickup truck currently on the market. Every '04 Titan comes with a 5.6-liter, 305-horsepower, aluminum-alloy, dual-overhead-cam V-8 included in the base price--an engine more powerful than most of the optional V-8s available in competitor models. The Titan also features a five-speed automatic transmission (most trucks have less-efficient four-speeds), 17-inch wheels, height-adjustable brake and gas pedals--and a lockable, double-sealed storage compartment in the bedside. A neat Titan exclusive is an easy-entry "pillarless" cab with a pair of reverse-opening mini-doors that provide unobstructed, wide-open access to the truck's roomy interior. Also available is an off-road package that includes a heavy-duty Dana 44 axle, electronic locking differential, Rancho gas shocks, and skid plates to protect the fuel tank and transfer case. You can even order a factory-applied, sprayed-on bedliner. Maximum rated towing capacity is 9,500 pounds. DVD-based satellite navigation is optional. Prices start at $22,400 for the base XE King Cab with two-wheel drive, and run to $34,200 for an LE Crew Cab with 4WD.
America's best-selling vehicle (not just truck) receives a complete makeover for 2004--from its all-new hydroformed steel frame to the manlier-looking sheet metal on the outside, which has a much more squared-off and buzz-cut look than the softer, "melted-brick" appearance of the previous generation of F-trucks (which ran from 1996 to 2003). Ford has also upgraded the standard 4.6-liter, 231-horsepower V-8 and bumped the output of the optional 5.4-liter "Triton" V-8 to an even 300 horsepower. There are now five separate trim lines, too: base XL, sport-themed STX, volume-leader XLT, luxury-oriented Lariat--and a new, purpose-built off-roader called the FX4 that comes standard with the 5.4-liter engine, a first-ever floor console and shifter, a model-specific cockpit-style instrument package, carbon-fiber accents, and 18-inch rims shod with aggressive M/S-rated tires for tromping the backwoods. The new F-truck can also be ordered with three different bed lengths--5.5 feet, 6.5 feet, and 8 feet--and in regular, extended, and crew-cab configurations. Prices start at $21,215 for the base XL two-wheel-drive model with the 4.6-liter V-8 and five-speed manual transmission, and roll upward from there to $34,185 for a loaded FX4 Super Crew cab with the 5.4-liter engine, automatic, and 4x4.
Subaru Baja Turbo:
The spunky little Subaru Baja may not have a pair of rear-facing, molded-plastic jump seats bolted to its mini-bed like its ancestor, the highly memorable and iconoclastic 1977-87 Brat, but it can be fitted out with equally cheeky stuff that's very much in keeping with the concept of the old Brat--including a pair of enormous roof-mounted spotlights and a newly available 210-horsepower, turbocharged, intercooled, flat-four "boxer" engine similar to the one used in the company's all-wheel-drive hot dog, the 227-horsepower WRX sport sedan. So equipped, the Baja becomes a vehicle that can haul more than surfboards and a keg. With the turbo engine--an $1,800 option, bringing the total tab to $27,120 --you also get a leather-trimmed steering wheel and a premium, 100-watt audio system with a six-disc CD changer. There are also interior and exterior trim upgrades--most noticeably that hairy-looking (and functional) hood scoop. All '04 Bajas ride about an inch higher than the '03 models, too (8.4 inches vs. 7.3 last year). While this is not a heavy-duty 4x4, the Baja's standard all-wheel-drive system and generous ground clearance make it a great vehicle to take on the sand at the beach, as well as very handy to have in the winter.
Though it may look like something from the late 1940s, the retro-styled SSR doesn't have a limp-noodle Blue Flame Six under the hood--or a "three-on-the-tree" column shifter inside. Instead, this fast-mover is powered by a 5.3-liter, 300-horsepower version of the Corvette's 5.7-liter, 350-horsepower LS1 V-8--with a modern four-speed automatic overdrive sending the scoot to the rear wheels, where huge 20-inch alloy rims fitted out with 40-series Goodyear tires leave a patch on the road that'd make Dale Earnhardt proud. Only Ford's 385-horsepower SVT Lightning is more of a 4x4 hot rod. But you can't drop the Lightning's top--a "no problemo" request for the retractable-hardtop SSR. There's also a locking, hard tonneau cover for the SSR's mini-bed--which can be ordered with '40s-looking "woody" trim. And while the SSR can't tow a whole lot (rated capacity is just 2,500 pounds), few trucks pull as much weight with valets and members of the opposite sex. Like the Plymouth Prowler, the SSR is a low-production "halo car" designed to get Chevy noticed--and draw people into Chevy showrooms. The SSR carries an MSRP of $41,370, but if you think of it as a Corvette with a bed out back--a truck that can haul more than just your toolbox--it'll be much easier to convince your wife you need one.
Dodge Dakota R/T 5.7 Hemi:
It's still a few months from Dodge dealerships, but the completely redesigned Dakota midsize pickup will pack even more of a wallop--cosmetically and functionally--than the old R/T with the 250-horsepower, 5.9-liter "Magnum" V-8. Instead, it is expected that the new R/T will be powered by nothing less than the Ram 1500's 345-horsepower, 5.7-liter Hemi V-8 (although perhaps slightly detuned). That would be a power jump in the 80- to 100-horsepower range. And remember, the midsize Dakota is smaller and lighter than the full-size Ram 1500--so it should be one of the quickest, baddest rides on the road. An aggressive new body treatment will complement the hairy engine--and even base models will get an up-rated version of the current truck's standard 3.7-liter V-6. Lesser trucks better prepare to duck and cover! Prices for the redesigned Dakota should roughly mirror the current model's range, which starts at $17,010 for the base model with regular cab and runs to $26,600 for a loaded V-8 4x4 SLT Crew Cab.
GMC Sierra 1500 HD with Quadrasteer:
One of the small hassles of owning a full-size truck is maneuvering the big beast in close quarters. You back up, you pull forward, you cut the wheel--and do it again (and again) until, finally, you get pointed straight ahead. Not fun in cul-de-sacs, hairpin turns, crowded parking lots, and narrow side roads made narrower by cars parked on either side--especially if you've got a boat or trailer hanging off the back bumper. GMC's Sierra 1500 HD ("heavy duty") pickup, with General Motors' unique Quadrasteer four-wheel steering system, addresses this problem. Quadrasteer uses an electrically powered supplemental steering system to adjust the angles of the rear wheels in relation to the front wheels. At low speeds, the rear wheels are automatically adjusted to "turn out" opposite the front wheels, which decreases the Sierra's turning radius to just 37.4 feet--less than that of a Saturn coupe. At road speeds, the angle of the back wheels is adjusted in the same direction as the front wheels--which makes the truck feel much more nimble, and increases driver control. For anyone hauling a trailer, boat, or camper, it also means the Sierra 1500 HD is more stable and less likely to fishtail--especially during high-speed lane changes or emergency maneuvers. Prices for the Sierra 1500 HD run from $31,093 for the SLE 2WD to about $40,000 for a loaded 4x4 SLT with Quadrasteer, XM radio, and drop-down DVD entertainment system. The standard engine in both the SLE and SLT 1500 HD is a 6-liter, 300-horsepower "Vortec" V-8. Maximum rated towing capacity is an impressive 10,200 pounds
Chevy Colorado/GMC Canyon:
GM's compact pickup "twins" get longer and stronger for the new model year--and even base models get a sizeable 50-horsepower boost compared to last year's S-10 and Jimmy, which the all-new Colorado and Canyon replace in Chevy's and GMC's product lineups. The Colorado and Canyon are basically the same, aside from standard and optional equipment and a few interior and exterior trim details; the GMC version is slightly nicer (and slightly more expensive) than its Chevy cousin. Both models ride on longer wheelbases than the old S-10/Jimmy models (111.2 inches vs. 108.3) and are about 3 inches longer overall. While not truly midsize like the Dodge Dakota or Toyota Tacoma, the Canyon and Colorado are substantially bigger and more capable than their predecessors--and offer two all-new, dual-overhead-cam aluminum engines. Base models get a 175-horsepower, 2.8-liter, inline four that's 50 horsepower stronger than the 2003 S-10's standard 2.2-liter engine. But the really big news is the optional 3.5-liter, inline five-cylinder--an all-new engine for GM and one of the stoutest and biggest engines available in any '04 compact pickup. It is rated at 220 horsepower and can be teamed with either a five-speed manual or a four-speed automatic gearbox. Colorados start at $15,565 for the base model regular cab with 2WD, and run to $27,960 for a top-of-the-line LS with the Z71 off-road package, 4x4, and the 3.5-liter engine. GMC Canyons start slightly higher at $15,895 for the base SL regular cab 2WD.
Toyota Tundra Double Cab SR5:
You don't have to sacrifice bed length to get four full-size doors--if you buy a new Double Cab Tundra. By extending the wheelbase to 140.5 inches, Toyota was able to extend the Tundra's cab without cutting its bed. Double Cab models have the same bed length as regular Access Cab Tundras--but gain 3.5 inches of depth. The rear bench seat in the Double Cab also offers 24 degrees of seatback angle for added comfort, and a more car-like experience in this full-size, four-door pickup. While a 3.4-liter, 190-horsepower V-6 is standard in the Tundra, the way to go is with the optional 240-horsepower, 4.7-liter V-8; sport-themed SR5 trim level; and Toyota Racing Development (TRD) off-road package, which includes Bilstein gas shocks, 16-inch alloy rims, M/S-rated tires, and an off-road-tuned suspension. Prices for a new Double Cab SR5 run from $25,645 for the 2WD version to $28,975 for a loaded 4x4 Double Cab. The TRD off-road package is a stand-alone option that adds $935 to the tab. A DVD entertainment system is also available--but limited to Double Cab models only. Maximum rated towing capacity for the Tundra is 7,200 pounds.
Nissan Frontier S/C:
The Frontier may be compact-sized, but it's a bulldog of a pickup--especially when ordered with the 210-horsepower, supercharged, 3.3-liter V-6 engine. No other compact pickup offers a "blower"--which howls wonderfully the heavier your right foot gets. The distinctive sound of the Frontier's supercharged engine under full boost is complemented by the S/C's brashly styled body kit--which gives it the appearance of a 4x4 Ostrogoth clambering over boulders, ready to bash in the gates of Rome. If you want auditory power to go with the under-hood grunt, select the optional "nuke-'em-hard" 300-watt Rockford Fosgate nine-speaker audio system with six-disc CD changer: It can produce shock waves as impressive as the sounds of the supercharged engine. A full-length (74.6-inch) cargo bed is available with Crew Cab models; it is the longest bed offered with any currently available compact four-door pickup. King Cabs have a shorter (56.3-inch) bed. The Frontier is the first small pickup to offer electronic stability control and a tire-pressure monitoring system. Prices for the Frontier S/C start at $24,270 for the two-wheel-drive, short-bed Crew Cab, and run to $27,420 for a 4x4 Crew Cab with the long bed. A King Cab 4x4 carries an MSRP of $24,890.
08-30-2004, 04:16 PM
Nissan Frontier S/C:
The Frontier may be compact-sized, but it's a bulldog of a pickup--especially when ordered with the 210-horsepower, supercharged, 3.3-liter V-6 engine. No other compact pickup offers a "blower"--which howls wonderfully the heavier your right foot gets.
That's odd. I enjoyed a TRD (Toyota Racing Developement) supercharger on my Toyota Tacoma for over a year before I sold it and bought a Silverado. Actually, the s/c Frontier is a dog compared to the 265 HP s/c Tacoma, but for some reason the Toyota always get overlooked in these type of know-nothing reviews. I remember one comparison of several 4x4 trucks that included a s/c Frontier and a non-s/c Tacoma. In the 1/4 mile (or maybe 0-60, I don't recall which), the s/c Frontier was just barely able to beat the stock Tacoma. Even with it's 31 inch tires, my s/c Tacoma was every bit as fast as my 5.3L Silverado.
08-31-2004, 11:12 AM
I agree that this was a Know nothing-review. I found sevral mistakes and inaccuracies. Frankly, this review is crap, it almost makes me angry. Its entitled "Ten Most Manly Trucks of 2004", right? I ask you, what is so manly about a Subaru Baja? Its not even a truck, its a four banger wagon with the roof cut off.
Another thing, this is the Silverado forum, why would you post such a thing here, when there is no mention of a Silverado. The only chevy worth mentioning is the SSR, but they got that one wrong too. The SSR is not a fast truck, that should have been an SS Silverado in its place.
As far as manly trucks go, there are at least 3 "trucks" that should have never been on this list. I'm slightly disgusted.
09-10-2004, 02:01 PM
3500 Crew Cab with 8 foot bed. - super man truck. Ok I got new Chevy love, I can not help it. :screwy:
I bet $2,000 that my 81 cj5 with a 450 hp 350 chevy can out do everything those other trucks do. Ok maybe not A/C, Powersteering.. ETC. :evillol:
Please do not take anything I say serious. I am a very laid back, joking around type of guy. If I offend anybody in anyway, I would like to say sorry up front. Now relax and enjoy the show.
09-10-2004, 08:13 PM
The Chevy SSR?????? :screwy: That things ugly as hell, and looks more like a girls truck anyway.
09-10-2004, 08:57 PM
Actually, the 05 SSR IS a fast truck: 390 hp, 405 lbs-tq LS2, and 6-spd manual trans.
09-11-2004, 12:24 AM
Sweet. I used to rebuild those with my dad and sell them.
Out of 20 vegas two are still running today.
I guess that monster has a 350 in it.
Good to see Vegas put to good use.
Off roaders are always trying to get the steering box from them. They are bullet proof. I remember junk yard dealers would turn down those cars now those parts are worth gold.
09-12-2004, 02:01 AM
It actually has a 406 small block (400 bored .030).
We never have any trouble out of the steering box (knock on wood) but I'm nto so sure its still a Vega, lol. The front suspension is from a Corvair. I do know its a steering box and not rack and pinion though.
The car does pretty good. This current motor is only a flat top motor, but it has huge valves. And it doens't relaly have a drag race cam. The engine was built for a dirt track, but we wound up with it. It does alright in the bottem end, but man it will fly once it gets in high gear! lol.
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