Car opinions – anyone have a pick up as their only vehicle?

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  • Car opinions – anyone have a pick up as their only vehicle?
  • Premier Icon grizedaleforest

    I’ve had a pickup similar to that pictured, but in the UK. Wife and x1 child – all of us outdoorsy.

    Cons are it’s a long car with a turning circle to match; security, as in theft from – those canopy jobbies are a bit crap; running costs are high the UK; ride on poor roads can be awfully uncomfortable; you need some sort of container or system in the load bay to stop stuff bouncing around.

    Pros are that they are hard as nails; primary safety; ground clearance; huge luggability/towability and, in my view, they’re fun to drive.

    I hired the Avanza in South Africa recently and thought it quite nice. For me I’d take it over a Fiesta. But if costs are all much of a muchness, I’d go for the Isuzu!



    dont confuse big stuff the wife wants with big stuff the kids need.

    do you do any distances ? leaf springs make me feel sea sick when i travel in the back seats especially unloaded (designed to take a tonne… a buggy weighs 15/20kgs ? . vomiting kids doesnt sound like fun.

    I need to buy a car by Friday to avoid giving the rental man another few hundred pounds!

    (Should say first, living in Thailand) I went shopping today and today and looked at a 2011 Fiesta (hatchback), a Toyota Avanza (pics below, they’re not sold in the UK) and thought the Fiesta was pretty good.

    Then took my wife back for a test drive and she liked the look of a ISUZU, pick up.

    Actually (and I’ve checked the figures) the cost of a 3.0L pick up is lower than a 1.6 petrol over here. Not too much, but a little. About 75p per 100km. I think that’s the reason that at least 50% of the cars on the road are pick ups.

    The Fiesta is all the car we need at the moment (me, wifey and an 18 month old. Bikes would need a bike rack on the back.

    The Big-ass pick up would have space for two buggys (beginning to think / talk about #2) and all the other stuff children need. The extra ride height could be useful in the rain (we have a Corolla and water was up to the door sills on a road yesterday. Obviously great for bikes. Can hose the back out. I’d imagine the pot-hole (they are frequents and effin’ huge!) damage is less on a pick up as opposed to a delicate Fiesta. Safer? Maybe? Certainly if you’re going to be sandwiched by other pick-ups. Insurance and tax are both the same here. The price of the Fiesta (Jan 2011, 92,000km) and ISUZU (2005, 153,000km) are near enough the same. The ISUZU is likely to be easier to sell whenever we leave

    I guess what I’m asking is,

    Does anyone have a pick up as a family car?

    Will I regret it?

    Are running costs going to be as low as they appear?

    Are there other drawbacks we haven’t thought of?

    Thanks a lot



    Considered it, then calculated that I was spending BMW money on a glorified commercial vehicle, so I never bothered and got a Volvo estate.

    It did all the things the pick up would have done with the added bonus of being nice to drive.

    As for pick ups – I still want one of these for biking weekends. I could probably buy a nice car and one of these & still be quids in from a 3 litre Isuzu. But then I live in the UK….

    For the cost aspect – the 3 year old Fiesta hatchback costs £200 less than the truck. It would be approx. £6.6 per km in petrol. It’s done 93k km so highish milage for the year. The truck would cost ~£4.6 per 100km. It’s 2005, 140k km on the clock but, of course, it’s a diesel work horse so I’m less concerned about that. Cars are expensive over here and hold their value. A 2nd hand estate (like a Volvo) would be great but well out of our price range. The two cars we’re looking at are £9,000!

    I’m sure, parts cost more for a big truck, but they’re less likely to break due to wear and tear.

    Financially, I’d say the truck wins.

    Grize: how did you carry small (domestic) loads without them sliding and moving around? Got an ingenious solution?

    Premier Icon mikewsmith

    Extra costs?

    Some fairly meaty tyres?
    2x the moving/driven parts
    Is the extra cost the fuel usage? I’d check for some real world numbers on that.

    Other things
    How long would you sit in the rear seats for?
    How practical is the rear load space?
    How secure is the rear load space?
    Some other factors would be road noise/comfort/refinement
    Your also looking at an 8 year old pickup, what’s been don in the service book, whats coming up?
    Most people I know over here in Oz with the canopy ones still have a rack on the back for the bikes as it’s a pain breaking them up to put under the canopy.

    Thanks Mike.

    It’s not 4×4 so not twice the driven parts.

    Tires – these are brand new (less than 20km on them) but I know when they do need replacing, they won’t be cheap.

    Rear seats – 18 month old son will be in his car seat. If we have a second baby, they will too. Rear passengers won’t be particularly frequent. Having said that, it’s not a bad place to be. More leg room than the Fiesta. Seats are ‘sculpted’ not bench style too.

    Rear load space security – would need to break the glass but at the same time, I wouldn’t leave valuables (incl. bike) there for too long. Having said that, it must be more secure than bikes on the back of a car!

    Read load space – can it get more practical than a large, hoseable, covered square area?

    Road noise, refinement etc. certainly not as good as the newer Fiesta but, at the same time, much better than I was expecting!

    A med 26″ mtb only needed the seat removing yesterday to fit it in the back!

    The extra cost (ie £200) is the purchase price. The fuel consumption is £6.6 per 100km in petrol for the Fiesta vs truck ~£4.6 per 100km. Fairly significant and confirmed. I haven’t worked out any other running costs. Will look at the log book with the 2nd viewing tomorrow.

    Thanks for the replies. My wife threw a curveball yesterday when she looked at the truck. Our last car cost £1,500 as that was all we had at the time. Now we have enough money to buy almost any car. It’s deciding what we want to spend and on what ie. be adults! 😕

    I love my truck…..

    It has just about every conceivable gadget, plenty of power, is comfy (I drive it 40k+ a year), tows a huge caravan, is full of tools and usually mud in winter as I work on the highways, can be hosed out, got me home last winter past loads of stranded motors, can do 35mpg on the motorway – and despite what everyone on here will tell you, has loads more loadspace than an estate car if you are carrying 5 people.

    Don’t expect much love for them from the middle class hippies on here though.

    Yip. I have a Ford F150 as my only vehicle and it’s great! You’d be surprised how often you use the load space when it’s there. Having the confidence to drive pretty much anywhere is great, though decent all-terrain tyres are expensive and only last 30-40,000 miles.

    Premier Icon neilc1881

    I’ve got an Isuzu Rodeo, great truck, much has been said already though so I needn’t repeat much. I just throw bikes over the tailgate with a bit of carpet, although the lid of the Ivor Williams box I have flips all the way over, you may find fitting a couple of bikes inside a bit of a faff if yours does not.

    What is that theartist…? It looks similarish to the car we like.

    Today I test drove a Toyota Hilux Vigo (more out of interest than anything else – was too expensive for us). I went through a puddle at 20-30mph and the water, instead of going sideways, went forwards, then back onto the windscreen. A little frightening! Is this normal? Was the puddle deeper than I thought? Is it a ‘feature’ of pick ups you have to get used to?

    Also, we’re looking at a 2 wheel drive. Should I expect anything more than extra ride height or will it have some off road ability? We regularly encounter 6-8″ puddles and holes in the road. It’s obviously going to be better at that, but much else? I don’t need it…


    Premier Icon chakaping

    did it have meaty tires on it at the edge of the arches ?

    my landrover and now my frontera both do this because the tires are at the edges of the arch/slightly protruding – this means that water is sprayed into the air instead of captured by the arch.

    what it means is that puddles come up onto your windscreen and you get 2 sprays of mud up each side of the car. – nightmare to keep clean.

    parts are not as expensive as you think for the isuzu and they share with alot of other cars – they are expensive for the hilux though – scary money infact.

    they(isuzu) are real easy to work on as plenty space – did the wheel bearing on my isuzu based jeep last night and it took 1 hour thanks to nice heavy duty roller bearings that had plenty beef on them to beat on unlike stupid car bearings that often require whole hub replacements at 100+ quid. both side on my truck will cost 40 quid.

    for most folk the ground clearance is what will give you offroad ability – its rare that most folk need 4wd unless you plan on going into mud – which i would avoid with a 2wd. Itll mostly be rocks and deep ruts that scupper your car but not your pickup.

    btw for the puddle – only an idiot hits water at depth un known at 30mph….. thats just asking for issues unless your cars set up for it. Youll still have to find out where your air intake, diff , engine and gear box breathers are – where your ECU is. Hitting water at speed can do all sorts of damage to steering components even on a truck – its like concrete remember

    Premier Icon Capt. Kronos

    I have a pickup as the only car – it is actually rather good, with a few provisos on comfort (mainly if “pressing on”) and reversing into spaces (hence why I got a camera and sensors fitted – my parking space is tight!)

    The plus sides as a family car not mentioned above – easy getting seats in the back, and munchkins into said seats. My boys like it as they are raised up higher, and it has lower windows than the last car, so they can see more. Throw some waterproof seat covers under the child seat(s) and it makes keeping it clean nice and easy too.

    I went with the L200 as it was more compact than anything else (relative really – but it will fit in a standard UK parking space), and it has a turning circle that is not an embarrassment. The Super Select 4 Wheel Drive system is also handy as it can be used on tarmac, and I have a big slippery hill to get over in winter most days! It is, however, probably one of the more agricultural offerings on the market at the moment. Fortunately due to depreciation and residuals we are able to change them every year at a cost of about 13ppm 😉

    Current one has Bridgestones on it which are showing pretty much no wear after 10k miles. I hate Bridgestones, but they do seem to wear well. Probably try and convince the dealer to pop something else on next time though!


    Off for a 2nd viewing this afternoon but it would only be the wife feeling sick from the leaf springs that would put us off.

    The puddle I hit at 20-30 was in the outside lane of a dual carriageway and wasn’t deep enough to slow the car or have an effect on steering etc. ‘Water’ would have been a better description than ‘puddle’. I’ll look to see where the edges of the arches vs tires are later.


    makecoldplayhistory – Member

    What is that theartist…? It looks similarish to the car we like.

    It’s a Nissan Navara – selectable 4×4

    A 2wd (presumably rear) will be horrible in slippy conditions if not loaded

    It’s a Nissan Navara – selectable 4×4

    A 2wd (presumably rear) will be horrible in slippy conditions if not loaded

    By slippery, you mean on wet roads (eg 50mph on a dual carriage way) or ‘properly’ slippery eg, mud, sand etc?

    Have looked at Navara’s. Get more for your money but the canopy simiar to yours is an expensive option!

    Premier Icon maccruiskeen

    do you do any distances ? leaf springs make me feel sea sick when i travel in the back seats especially unloaded (designed to take a tonne… a buggy weighs 15/20kgs ?

    My neighbour keeps a few big tractor weights in the back of her pickup to make the ride more civilised. They’re flat so don’t take up any load space. But I wish she’s strap or bolt them down.

    are stiffer leaf springs possible to buy and fit? Expensive? Surely it’s only metal slats.

    just thinkin…….


    stiffer is not what you want.

    yes you can buy less heavy duty ones but then it turns into a major wallow fest.


    I’ve got the same as STR, bought mine for towing and launching a boat, which it’s great for. They’re a bit heavy on the clutch, so if you’re often stuck in traffic, it can get a bit tiring. As said, tyres will be twice or thrice the price. You can’t tank it for fear of the back end going. You can’t parallel park in tight spots, it doesn’t fit in most parking bays, mpg on mine is about 34mpg driving like Miss Daisy, It’s less practical than a large estate as a biking car. However, overall I’ve found it to be fine and nice to drive in a tonka toy sort of way, I don’t have much issue with the above. I can get a bike on the back seat if I want it secure (they fold up like cinema seats), you can probably get 5 bikes in the back tray.


    oh and by slippy he means tail happy coming out of junctions on wet roads- turning into wet junctions , negotaiating round abouts.

    will never forget the navara that overtook me booting it on the a82 hit a wet patch and got major fish tailing going – musta been a 20p 50p moment as he countered it. fair play to him though.

    in my SWB frontera which is also RWD unless i select 4wd . its never been an issue unless i want it to be an issue 😀 – because its so short.

    Premier Icon surroundedbyhills

    I opted not to buy a pick up on the basis of the leaf springs which are cheap and reliable but not smooth or compliant in anyway, if most of the time the back is empty (i.e. less than 100kg) they can be pretty tail happy in the rain.

    If you want more carry space and smoother ride go for a van.


    Re the slippery back end, i park at the bottom of a short cobbled stone slope, if it’s wet and i stop half way up, i can’t get going again, have to drop back down and take a run up again. That’s how little traction it can have.

    Well, the missus decided on the truck. Got a good deal on it in the end and, as she said, “when else will we have a pick up?”

    We went to the beach yesterday and was brilliant. Our boy loved being a bit higher. With the window down, his car seat gives him a great view out. Being able to change him on the tail gate was brilliant as was (literally) sweeping the sand out of the back.

    The car feels big (of course) but not crazy. There aren’t many roads around here where you can do any more than 100kmph so ‘pressing on’ isn’t a common scenario. On the way home, it rained like it only can in Asia (‘Naam war film style) and then, the truck’s a great place to be.

    As an added plus, surely I get a couple of bonus man cards driving a truck not an I’ve-given-up-on-my-life-and-here’s-my-practical-Toyota 🙂

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