Truck Trend Letters to the Editor
The Only OnePerhaps the most disappointing news I read this year in Truck Trend was the announcement that FCA was building a Jeep Wrangler pickup. Mind you, I am both a Jeep and a pickup guy. At 14, my father gave me a ’53 M38A1 and allowed me to roam our 100-acre Wisconsin hobby farm. I was hooked, and over the last 40 years, I have had numerous Jeeps, including most recently an ’04 Wrangler Willys Edition, an ’05 Wrangler Rocky Mountain Edition, and an ’08 Wrangler Unlimited Sahara, all modified to various degrees. I am presently going through withdrawal, as I am down to just my ’05 and the ’16 Jeep Renegade Trailhawk I bought my wife this spring. With checkbook in hand, I am anxiously awaiting the introduction of the ’18 Jeep Wrangler. I am not as enthused, however, over the introduction of a Wrangler pickup. Pickup trucks have come so far that what we will tolerate in terms of poor build quality in our Jeeps, we will not tolerate in our pickups, in my opinion.
Frankly, given a choice, for $35,000 I would take a loaded Chevrolet Colorado over a prospective Wrangler pickup if the Jeep has the same build quality as the last 10 years. Yes, I want to go off-road, but I also want backup cameras and safety options, more features, doors that actually stay open, a more civilized on-road ride, higher gas mileage, and frankly, a better pickup with its own identity. While I love the AEV Brute and the Jeep concept Gladiator, I was hoping for something different, perhaps something akin to the Crew Chief 715 concept Jeep teased us with at Easter Safari last year. Certainly Jeep can come up with a different pickup design, apart from the looks of the Wrangler, even the new Wrangler. No, I don't want a Renegade or Cherokee-based pickup; I want a real, capable, off-road, on-road, quality-built Jeep pickup that stands out. Not a Wrangler with a box. If that is what Jeep is serving up, I'll stick with my ’11 Dodge Dakota. But don't get me wrong, I am hoping it will soon be parked next to my ’18 Wrangler Unlimited.
Hi Steve. Thanks for your letter. However, you’d be among the minority of the Truck Trend staff. Most of us are eagerly awaiting the JL Wrangler pickup. And in terms of getting a “loaded” Chevy Colorado for $35k—good luck with that. Fully loaded, the Colorado goes for closer to $50,000. And the newer JKs are surprisingly well-equipped. It sounds like you might be interested in the Colorado ZR2 coming out, with front and rear lockers and trick Multimatic shock absorbers, giving it both a civilized on-road ride and awesome off-road performance.
King For A DayWhen I read the article “Fully Cooked” in the Jan./Feb. ’17 issue, it stated that Nissan was planning a King Cab version of the Titan with a 6 1/2-foot bed. Do you have any insight into when Nissan is going to actually put that model on the production line? “Available in the future” is a pretty vague. Also, are there any plans to introduce a gasser version of last year’s Warrior concept?
You are in luck, at least partially. Nissan officially took the wraps off of the King Cab Titan at the 2017 Chicago Auto Show, and by the time you read this, King Cab Titans should be on a dealership lot near you. Unfortunately, the Warrior concept is exactly that, a concept. We wouldn’t hold our breath on the Warrior coming to production any time soon.
First World ProblemsI have been racking my brain for about a month deciding between the ’17 Ford Raptor and ’17 Shelby F-150. My basic confusion is picking the one that would be a more comfortable everyday drive. I will never ever go off-roading. I believe the Shelby is lifted off the ground a little more, but the Raptor is built for off-roading. Yes, the Shelby is a 700hp badass, and it’s the coolest looking truck, but I want to make the right decision on which you think would be a better driving truck around town.
We think you answered your own question there, Marc! The more comfortable ride will be the Shelby. Don’t get us wrong, both are awesome, but the Raptor is geared towards going fast off-road, and as such, it makes some compromises in the on-road ride. We think you’d be happy with either, but for around town the Shelby has our vote.
Blown AwayI’m a new subscriber and find your magazine the perfect fit for all pickup and SUV loyalists. I own an ’09 Chevy Silverado 1500 and an ’04 Lexus GX. We enjoy both vehicles but use the pickup a little more. It is spacious inside and drives like a car. I am considering trading it in and the only problem I have with it is that there is no ventilation for the rear seat passengers. Whether you want air or heat, rear seat passengers must receive it from the front seat vents. This is unlike SUVs or regular passenger cars that have a vent for the rear seat. Since it is hard to receive any vehicle brochures anymore unless you go into a dealership, can you list any fullsize crew cab trucks that do provide rear seat venting?
This is a common issue amongst pickups, unfortunately. Some trim levels of fullsize pickups have rear seat vents, but they have little in the way of control, receiving the same temperature as the front seat occupants. And you’ll need a crew cab with front bucket seats with a center flow-through console. Most Fords that fit these criteria have rear vents, but it varies wildly among the other manufacturers.
De-RangedDo you know if Ford will bring back the Ranger in 2018? I know it sells in Europe, so why not in the States?
Ford announced at the 2017 North American International Auto Show in Detroit that the Ranger will be returning to the States as a ’19 model year. We’d look for it to hit showrooms late in 2018. We’ll have more news about Ranger (and forthcoming 2020 Bronco) as it becomes available.
Missing Tundra?First, let me thank you for a great magazine! I have been a reader for many years and have greatly enjoyed each issue. In the last few issues I have not read one item about the Toyota Tundra. Granted that Toyota is slow to embrace changes in design and technology, and nothing really new has been done to it. But I never see any advertisements for it either in print or television. Realizing that it doesn't meet the sales numbers of the domestic brands, is Toyota on the brink of discontinuing it? I am currently on my third Tundra and love the truck, although I wish the mileage was better.
Fret not! The Tundra isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. While it is true that the Toyota Tundra isn’t the most modern 1/2-ton pickup on the market and hasn’t seen a large-scale update since ’07, we can tell you with some certainty that Toyota is still making large investments in the platform. For ’18 the Tundra is receiving a mild facelift and new TRD Sport model. What you don’t see is that under the skin Toyota has fully replaced the Tundra’s electrical architecture, paving the way for future updates and the next generation of the platform. The ’18 model also receives Toyota Safety Sense, with features such as autonomous braking, which are a first for fullsize pickups. Our sources are telling us to look at 2020 for the next-generation Tundra, so stay tuned!