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2007 Pick Up : Ranger Vs Dmax Vs Triton


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#1 fedor

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Posted 2007-07-18 23:56:16

WHICH OF THIS 3 PICK UP HAS MORE POWER AND CARGO LOAD BAY?

#2 thai4u

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Posted 2007-07-19 12:02:01

if u take the price into consideration I would say mitsubishi give much more.(price factor).
Real machine- D-max.
Ranger- you really dont want this truck..

*its just my personal opinion.

#3 draggons

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Posted 2007-07-19 12:09:35

Got a Dmax at the moment and well happy with it, powerfull beast.

#4 soandso

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Posted 2007-07-19 12:37:19

I've got the 3.0 New Ranger 4x4 and 2 doors since last December and so far I blew away all Tritons and D-Maxes.

In addition I saw some Isuzus with unhealthy looking black smoke coming from their exhausts when changing gears. :o

The Ford is surely not a perfect car (keeping in mind that it's still a truck) but in my opinion of better built quality compared to the 2 others. Rangers always had a very good reputation for being work horses which is also perfectly true for this car. I loves to be packed and handles much better with about 500 kg in the back.

If it weren't for the traditional dislike of Ford due to sales and management failures in this country (and the exept for the Hilux not really founded appreciation for Japanese brands) I would assume that Ford would sell much better.

It's also interesting to see that the Ford obviously sells worst in the poorest regions where you simply have to buy a Mitsu or Toyota for social reasons and because of finance models that allow you to pay it off in your next life. :D
I noticed that there are many New (an old) Rangers on the street where people are supposingly better educated and make up their mind free from other opinions /pressures.

The old Ranger is one of the toughest trucks around and a solid pice of metall. The New Ranger seems to follow this tradition in a more modern and sadly plastic like outfit which I like because of its simplicity, and with very powerfull and much more fuel effecient (Mazda engineered) engines.

So my choice would be the New Ranger again but it's also just my opinion. :D

Edited by soandso, 2007-07-19 12:39:04.


#5 Sanpatong

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Posted 2007-07-20 15:52:35

WHICH OF THIS 3 PICK UP HAS MORE POWER AND CARGO LOAD BAY?


Cargo load bay is all very similar when comparing the same models. (single/extra/double cab).

Power... All should have plenty.

Really the only thing that sets them apart is resale value, unfortunately. From that point of view you'd go with the D-Max.

If you're going for an extra-cab model (so 2 door but with somewhat of a bench behind the front seats) then do look into the Ford as the side panel opens like a door. This also applies tot the Mazda, and now Nissan as well. Nissan reportedly has torque issues, as it's only a 2.5 liter engine.

If I was buyign a 4 door model then I'd go for the Triton, it looks very nice in 4 door 4WD.

And finally for single-cab model cargo haulers, the only answer is the D-Max.

So there you go. :o

#6 Thanyaburi Mac

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Posted 2007-07-20 18:33:48

WHICH OF THIS 3 PICK UP HAS MORE POWER AND CARGO LOAD BAY?


Longish article on this subject in the Bangkok Post, Motoring Section, on 1 June 07.

Mac

http://www.bangkokpo...007_motor05.php
DOUBLE CAB PICK-UPS
HOLIDAY TRUCKS

Which of the market's four-door pick-ups make up for an ideal weekend recreational vehicle? We find out

THE TEST: AT A GLANCE

- Assembled here are seven brands from all pick-up manufacturers in Thailand. Models tested are top-of-the-line versions with double-cab body, most powerful engine, automatic transmission and four-wheel-drive.

- There are two pairs of jointly developed models: Ford Ranger/Mazda BT-50 and Chevrolet Colorado/Isuzu D-Max. The Mitsubishi Triton, Nissan Frontier Navara and Toyota Hilux Vigo are independently engineered.

- The price difference between the cheapest (Nissan Navara: B851,000) and most expensive (Mitsubishi Triton: B906,000) is B55,000, explaining the competitive nature of the Thai pick-up market.

- All have engines featuring multi-valve head, turbocharger, common-rail fuel injection technology and Euro 3 emissions compatibility. With maximum power rated at over 150hp, not a single model was considered as slow or excessively fuel thirsty.

- Despite being forced to use rear leaf springs by legislation, most makers have managed to tune the suspension to be on the comfortable side when compared to those found in conventional cargo-hulling single-cab versions.

- The test initially included on- and off-road trails in the mountains of Tak province. But due to poor weather conditions, the test featuring these seven models was restricted to on-road driving.






6th place (shared)

Ford Ranger/Mazda BT-50

FOR: torquey and smooth drivetrain.

AGAINST: dated chassis, rear space.
The Ford Ranger is at its best as a utilitarian pick-up with plenty of useful performance. The package is cramped resulting in poor rear legroom and entry/exit, while the chassis is dated making the handling/ride balance flawed. The Mazda BT-50 is the sister model to the Ford Ranger, meaning the same basic package, powertrain and driving characteristics. The BT-50 is differentiated by coloured wheelarches and hard-terrain tyres. The Ford has all-terrain ones.


The most outstanding featuring of the Ranger and BT-50 is the engine. Although Ford calls its Duratorq and Mazda MZRD, the 3.0-litre engine (like the smaller 2.5) has been developed by Mazda's engineering unit in Japan.

Rather than joining the power craze as with other pick-up makers, this duo has opted for the sensible approach by focusing on usable torque. This explains the 156hp and 380Nm the turbo-diesel produces.

As a result, the Ranger and BT-50 performs well in the real world. There's a good spread of torque at nearly all engine speeds, as well as being smooth and refined when compared to most of its competitors.

Ford and Mazda were the first brands to offer a five-speed automatic transmission which have good shifting smoothness but are slightly short on kickdown response. But once you get used to it, performance at low to medium speeds is linear and spirited.

Unfortunately, the Ranger and BT-50 don't have the chassis to match the engine, which can be considered as nearly the finest in its class. The platform is the same as the outgoing Ranger/Fighter models.

You can frequently feel how performance overwhelms the chassis when you drive harder than usual in the two pick-ups. That also explains why top speed in both the Ranger and BT-50 has been capped at 158kph.

In an effort to introduce higher levels of ride comfort, Ford and Mazda have softened the suspension. It works in their game, but is still the stiffest in-class.

And while there is a reasonable amount of interaction between the driver and the vehicle, handling can get a little sloppy during hard cornering.

The other drawback of using a dated floorplan is flawed cabin. There's enough space up front, but it is cramped in the rear where occupants suffer inadequate legroom, too upright seats and awkward entry and exit.

The fascia in both the Ranger and BT-50 is not a masterpiece in design, but is easy to use and more car-like than ever.

A feature that separates the Ranger from the BT-50 is Ford's decision to equip its pick-up with All Terrain tyres which means, as a 4x4, it has the ability to go farther than its Mazda sibling. The downside of this, of course, is pronounced tyre roar during highway cruising.

VERDICT: The pick-ups with macho performance.


4th place (shared)

Chevrolet Colorado/Isuzu D-Max

FOR: comfortable ride, resale value (Isuzu).

AGAINST: sombre cabin, coarse engine.
The Chevrolet Colorado stands out by being a pick-up with a comfortable ride. The engine is not that spirited as rivals' and is also crude. Cabin quality is the best among pick-ups, but has a dated appearance. The Isuzu D-Max is the cousin to the Chevrolet Colorado and shares the same body, underpinnings, engine and transmission. The D-Max is differentiated by a sporty-feeling black interior.


The Colorado and D-Max have been on the market for quite awhile, with Isuzu having given its trucker a mid-life facelift last year including a more powerful engine to match its competition.

The Colorado has yet to get an update principally because it was launched at a later date than its Japanese sibling. However, Chevrolet wasted no time in refreshing the Colorado with the D-Max's new 163hp turbo, intercooled 3.0.

With this new engine, the Colorado and D-Max aren't out in the field to maintain their reputation of offering fuel economical motor but to catch up with the power craze most of its rivals are infatuated with.

The tweaked up turbo-diesel may still not be a match for the 165hp Mitsubishi Triton or 174hp Nissan Frontier Navara but certainly for the Toyota Hilux Vigo that generates an identical 163hp in 3.0-litre form.

Because of this, the Colorado and D-Max now escape criticism of being comparatively sluggish in relation to its competition, albeit thirstier fuel consumption as our real-world figures reveal.

However, the Colorado/D-Max engine doesn't feel as spirited as those numbers on paper suggest, although it won't be outrun by say the Vigo in a straightline. What most testers noted about this duo is the insufficient amount of engine refinement, that is, it is a tad on the coarse side.

Where the Colorado and D-Max seemingly outshine over opponents is the chassis setup. Both Chevrolet and Isuzu made it a point that their double cabs have their suspension tweaked on the soft side when compared to regular pick-ups.

On the move, this seems to be confirmed _ the Colorado and D-Max have the most comfortable ride and that could matter to those buyers who have always been deterred from buying double cabs fearing a hard ride.

Naturally, the comfort-oriented set-up means a slight compromise on handling sharpness. If there's excessive load on board, or if the driver gets enthusiastic on winding roads, the two pickups won't handle with that fluency (by standards of pickups) you could find in rivals like the Navara or Vigo.

Elsewhere, the Colorado and D-Max score averagely. Their cabins, particularly the rear portion, are better than in the Ranger/BT-50, but behind the Triton, Navara and Vigo.

The dashboard and steering wheel design in the Colorado and D-Max are beginning to feel dated in both visual and ergonomic terms. The only difference between the two is colour trimmings: the Colorado emphasises a classy light-coloured theme, while the D-Max chooses a sporty, dark ambience which most testers said look better.

But there is one thing that surely separates the two: resale value. Despite being jointly developed products, veteran Isuzu has a fine reputation of strong residuals _ the best among all brands here _ while newcomer Chevrolet has yet to catch up.

VERDICT: The pick-ups for comfort-seekers.




The Mitsubishi Triton stands out from the rest with bold styling, if not necessarily to all tastes. It has the best package and specification here, but is flawed on the move.

3rd place


The Mitsubishi Triton stands out from the rest with bold styling, if not necessarily to all tastes. It has the best package and specification here, but is flawed on the move.


Mitsubishi Triton

FOR: packaging, interior features

AGAINST: steering, crude engine

Mitsubishi revolutionised the pickup segment two years ago when it launched the Triton with radical design cues. Today, the Triton still stands out in a class of its own by attempting to appeal to buyers wanting something different and modern, yet functional in the pickup fashion.

The Triton looks particularly well proportioned in 4x4 guise, thanks to a short front overhand, curvy profile and a rear end that may look a little plain but is still distinguished from the rest.

The same goes for the inside of the Triton. The steering wheel, console and seats are individualistic in appearance, and Mitsubishi has fine-tuned them with small details to make the overall ambience the most car-like in the pick-up sector.

For instance, the seats are cladded with quality-feel perforated leather stitched with a discreet colour. Then there's a mix a silver plastics going together with other black trimmings that ooze with good build, although that as solid as in the class-leading Colorado/D-Max relatives.

The marketers at Mitsubishi have also been given much freedom in sprucing up the Triton's cabin and specification. Features you won't find in rivals are electric adjustment for the driver's seat, automatic climate control and a rear windscreen window that can be opened via a flick of a button inside.

It's very car-like in the Triton. Passengers get adequate legroom and the rear seats, in particular, are angled enough and offer wide shoulder room to feel nearly as comfortable as in a saloon.

It's just a pity that the overall driving experience is flawed preventing the Triton from being a near natural winner in this contest here.

A strong point is the 165hp 3.2-litre engine that yields a breadth of abilities in performance, be it acceleration, mid-range punch or top-end surge, despite the so-so four-speed automatic transmission.

But what spoils this is the refinement. You simply feel and hear too much of that lump under the bonnet _ it's not only vocal but unrefined when the whole competition comes into the picture.

The chassis is nearly the best among all the pick-ups here. It yields a cosseting ride, good amount of body control over more demanding roads and fine straight-line stability.

But the steering isn't a match for the commendable chassis. The rack has too much off-centre feel, lacks precision in swift cornering and feels so lifeless.

If you can live with such dynamic and refinement shortcomings, the Triton is a decent pick among this seven offering that kind of aesthetic modernity and completeness yet to be found in any of its competition.

VERDICT: The most complete and car-like pick-up.


2nd place



The Nissan Navara is the latest entrant in the Thai pick-up market and is the biggest of all _ at times unnecessarily big. Unlike rivals that use 3.0-litre engines, the Navara utilises a high-output 2.5 that goes well.

Nissan Frontier Navara


The Nissan Navara is the latest entrant in the Thai pick-up market and is the biggest of all _ at times unnecessarily big. Unlike rivals that use 3.0-litre engines, the Navara utilises a high-output 2.5 that goes well.


FOR: straightline performance, value

AGAINST: short on driving agility

One of the major weak points of the old Frontier was the dated cabin _ much in the same fashion as the Ford Ranger and Mazda Fighter. But unlike these two rivals, Nissan took the opportunity to largely improve this shortcoming.

Based on a new platform, the Frontier Navara boasts substantially larger dimensions than before, even to the extent of making its body longest in-class; the crucial wheelbase alone measures a lengthy 3.2 metres.

Because of this, interior space is not an issue anymore in Nissan's latest pick-up. Actually, it's one of the best around.

In spite of that, the Navara can't lay claim to be the most comfortable cabin to be in, especially for rear seat passengers which are still too upright and not that relaxing in relation to the Triton or Vigo.

The Navara's interior is still functional featuring an array of cubby holes and small stow compartments. The dashboard itself is modern and apes some design themes of those found in Nissan cars.

The other distinct selling point Nissan has created for the Navara is the class-leading outputs of the 2.5-litre (it's the only one here using this engine size): 174hp and 403Nm. Like the Ranger/BT-50, transmission is the five-speed auto type.

Despite these fancy figures, performance isn't perfect. Yes, the Navara should virtually outperform all its rivals in a straightline; and the way it collects momentum in the mid-ranges makes this pick-up suitable for those needing outright performance.

But power delivery isn't as smooth as say in the Ranger/BT-50. The Navara suffers from turbo lag below 2,000rpm and therefore makes low-speed driving a little irritating. But elsewhere, it just goes convincingly.

There have been efforts made by Nissan to enhance on engine refinement due to the high outputs from a relatively low displacement. However, engine smoothness is still not the best in its class, even though adequate in its own right.

The large chassis means that grip and ride is above average in the class, although its handling could be occasionally be described as cumbersome when road space begins to tighten.

The Navara is capable of handling such big performance, but chassis refinement is slightly lacking. When cruising, for instance, you can feel vibrations penetrating the cabin and it becomes more pronounced as you exceed the legal limit.

Even so, the Navara is a fun pickup to drive. It has sumptuous performance, lively handling, reasonable amount of ride comfort and cabin functionality for those who aren't too fussy about details.

And the best part? It's the cheapest at B851,000 _ and that still includes twin airbags and anti-lock brakes, plus other convenience items that is more or less also available in all of its competition.

VERDICT: The pick-up with performance and metal.


1st place

Toyota Hilux Vigo

FOR: responsive powertrain/handling, cabin comfort


The Toyota Vigo is the oldest here, but has the most thoroughly engineered package that compromises lesser than rivals in necessary areas. Kit so-so, though.

AGAINST: miserly specification

The Toyota Vigo is the oldest here, but has the most thoroughly engineered package that compromises lesser than rivals in necessary areas. Kit so-so, though.


The Hilux Vigo is the oldest pickup here and has marched on through three years without a significant update in technical terms. Yet, it's still nearly the best when it comes to driving manners and performance for the rear-world.

For starters, the Vigo started the horsepower and technological race with its 163hp modern-day turbo-diesel. Even though it may lack the outright punch of the Navara or the torque usability of the Ranger/BT-50, the Vigo has a fine combination of all.

In spite of an ordinary four-speed automatic gearbox as in the Triton and Colorado/D-Max, the Vigo's transmission and engine is arguably the best marriage in its class.

Throttle response is sharp at low speeds, kickdown comes quite instantaneously in the mid-ranges and the engine remains willing at even hilarious speeds. And to top it off, it's still sufficiently refined.

The matrimony doesn't end here. The entire drivetrain is also stuffed into a chassis that is also possibly the best around.

At whatever speeds, the body feels stable and composed that not only makes up or tidy handling but also a cosseting ride. Better is the steering that is the most direct rack among the seven here that blends perfectly with the chassis to make it a great on-roader by pickup standards.

The packaging is also just right, even if its dimensions aren't as generous as the Navara's. The seating position and the space it gives occupants all-round is on par with the Triton.

What the Vigo merely lacks is visual polish inside. In spite of a functional cabin, the design and colours are utterly bland and are good proof of the Vigo approaching mid-life.

And ever since the Vigo was launched, it lacked one significant safety items: a frontal airbag for the front passenger _ all of its rivals have it as standard with Ford and Mazda raising the game with side airbags for the front occupants.

And if you go into detail, the product planners at Toyota have been very thrifty with the specification _ there's only two-way adjustment for air-con ventilation. That partially explains why the price remains at just B871,000 for years.

It appears Toyota has been so confident in the Vigo's engineering that the marketers have been very relaxed lighting their cigars behind their desks.

But the simple truth is that the Vigo is still a well-rounded pick-up when it comes to the package itself, well-sorted chassis and a properly balanced powertrain. The Vigo _ in double-cab form _ is still the one to beat.

VERDICT: The best all-round pick-up.
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#7 lannarebirth

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Posted 2007-07-20 18:52:33

I have the D-Max 4dr/4wd now for 4 years. It's very rugged and needs little maintenance. I'm in 4wd everyday and it's never left me stuck anywhere (with the one exception of me driving off the edge of a road into a deep rice paddy). The only thing I can knock it for, is that the suspension seems to have been designed more for comfort than for work. I had to put a couple more leaf springs on it. Other than that it's been a very good truck. I looked at the Toyota first, and were they made the same as oversea, I would have bought one. Unfortunately they are not.

#8 Gary A

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Posted 2007-07-20 20:44:20

This is another report based on the opinion of the reporter. They call the Isuzu engine coarse. What makes an engine coarse? The Isuzu is 7 percent more efficient than the Toyota. I would call the more efficient engine more refined. I'd have to say that Chevrolet/Isuzu clearly won.

#9 fedor

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Posted 2007-07-20 21:07:19

WHICH OF THIS 3 PICK UP HAS MORE POWER AND CARGO LOAD BAY?


Longish article on this subject in the Bangkok Post, Motoring Section, on 1 June 07.

Mac

http://www.bangkokpo...007_motor05.php
DOUBLE CAB PICK-UPS
HOLIDAY TRUCKS

Which of the market's four-door pick-ups make up for an ideal weekend recreational vehicle? We find out

THE TEST: AT A GLANCE

- Assembled here are seven brands from all pick-up manufacturers in Thailand. Models tested are top-of-the-line versions with double-cab body, most powerful engine, automatic transmission and four-wheel-drive.

- There are two pairs of jointly developed models: Ford Ranger/Mazda BT-50 and Chevrolet Colorado/Isuzu D-Max. The Mitsubishi Triton, Nissan Frontier Navara and Toyota Hilux Vigo are independently engineered.

- The price difference between the cheapest (Nissan Navara: B851,000) and most expensive (Mitsubishi Triton: B906,000) is B55,000, explaining the competitive nature of the Thai pick-up market.

- All have engines featuring multi-valve head, turbocharger, common-rail fuel injection technology and Euro 3 emissions compatibility. With maximum power rated at over 150hp, not a single model was considered as slow or excessively fuel thirsty.

- Despite being forced to use rear leaf springs by legislation, most makers have managed to tune the suspension to be on the comfortable side when compared to those found in conventional cargo-hulling single-cab versions.

- The test initially included on- and off-road trails in the mountains of Tak province. But due to poor weather conditions, the test featuring these seven models was restricted to on-road driving.






6th place (shared)

Ford Ranger/Mazda BT-50

FOR: torquey and smooth drivetrain.

AGAINST: dated chassis, rear space.
The Ford Ranger is at its best as a utilitarian pick-up with plenty of useful performance. The package is cramped resulting in poor rear legroom and entry/exit, while the chassis is dated making the handling/ride balance flawed. The Mazda BT-50 is the sister model to the Ford Ranger, meaning the same basic package, powertrain and driving characteristics. The BT-50 is differentiated by coloured wheelarches and hard-terrain tyres. The Ford has all-terrain ones.


The most outstanding featuring of the Ranger and BT-50 is the engine. Although Ford calls its Duratorq and Mazda MZRD, the 3.0-litre engine (like the smaller 2.5) has been developed by Mazda's engineering unit in Japan.

Rather than joining the power craze as with other pick-up makers, this duo has opted for the sensible approach by focusing on usable torque. This explains the 156hp and 380Nm the turbo-diesel produces.

As a result, the Ranger and BT-50 performs well in the real world. There's a good spread of torque at nearly all engine speeds, as well as being smooth and refined when compared to most of its competitors.

Ford and Mazda were the first brands to offer a five-speed automatic transmission which have good shifting smoothness but are slightly short on kickdown response. But once you get used to it, performance at low to medium speeds is linear and spirited.

Unfortunately, the Ranger and BT-50 don't have the chassis to match the engine, which can be considered as nearly the finest in its class. The platform is the same as the outgoing Ranger/Fighter models.

You can frequently feel how performance overwhelms the chassis when you drive harder than usual in the two pick-ups. That also explains why top speed in both the Ranger and BT-50 has been capped at 158kph.

In an effort to introduce higher levels of ride comfort, Ford and Mazda have softened the suspension. It works in their game, but is still the stiffest in-class.

And while there is a reasonable amount of interaction between the driver and the vehicle, handling can get a little sloppy during hard cornering.

The other drawback of using a dated floorplan is flawed cabin. There's enough space up front, but it is cramped in the rear where occupants suffer inadequate legroom, too upright seats and awkward entry and exit.

The fascia in both the Ranger and BT-50 is not a masterpiece in design, but is easy to use and more car-like than ever.

A feature that separates the Ranger from the BT-50 is Ford's decision to equip its pick-up with All Terrain tyres which means, as a 4x4, it has the ability to go farther than its Mazda sibling. The downside of this, of course, is pronounced tyre roar during highway cruising.

VERDICT: The pick-ups with macho performance.


4th place (shared)

Chevrolet Colorado/Isuzu D-Max

FOR: comfortable ride, resale value (Isuzu).

AGAINST: sombre cabin, coarse engine.
The Chevrolet Colorado stands out by being a pick-up with a comfortable ride. The engine is not that spirited as rivals' and is also crude. Cabin quality is the best among pick-ups, but has a dated appearance. The Isuzu D-Max is the cousin to the Chevrolet Colorado and shares the same body, underpinnings, engine and transmission. The D-Max is differentiated by a sporty-feeling black interior.


The Colorado and D-Max have been on the market for quite awhile, with Isuzu having given its trucker a mid-life facelift last year including a more powerful engine to match its competition.

The Colorado has yet to get an update principally because it was launched at a later date than its Japanese sibling. However, Chevrolet wasted no time in refreshing the Colorado with the D-Max's new 163hp turbo, intercooled 3.0.

With this new engine, the Colorado and D-Max aren't out in the field to maintain their reputation of offering fuel economical motor but to catch up with the power craze most of its rivals are infatuated with.

The tweaked up turbo-diesel may still not be a match for the 165hp Mitsubishi Triton or 174hp Nissan Frontier Navara but certainly for the Toyota Hilux Vigo that generates an identical 163hp in 3.0-litre form.

Because of this, the Colorado and D-Max now escape criticism of being comparatively sluggish in relation to its competition, albeit thirstier fuel consumption as our real-world figures reveal.

However, the Colorado/D-Max engine doesn't feel as spirited as those numbers on paper suggest, although it won't be outrun by say the Vigo in a straightline. What most testers noted about this duo is the insufficient amount of engine refinement, that is, it is a tad on the coarse side.

Where the Colorado and D-Max seemingly outshine over opponents is the chassis setup. Both Chevrolet and Isuzu made it a point that their double cabs have their suspension tweaked on the soft side when compared to regular pick-ups.

On the move, this seems to be confirmed _ the Colorado and D-Max have the most comfortable ride and that could matter to those buyers who have always been deterred from buying double cabs fearing a hard ride.

Naturally, the comfort-oriented set-up means a slight compromise on handling sharpness. If there's excessive load on board, or if the driver gets enthusiastic on winding roads, the two pickups won't handle with that fluency (by standards of pickups) you could find in rivals like the Navara or Vigo.

Elsewhere, the Colorado and D-Max score averagely. Their cabins, particularly the rear portion, are better than in the Ranger/BT-50, but behind the Triton, Navara and Vigo.

The dashboard and steering wheel design in the Colorado and D-Max are beginning to feel dated in both visual and ergonomic terms. The only difference between the two is colour trimmings: the Colorado emphasises a classy light-coloured theme, while the D-Max chooses a sporty, dark ambience which most testers said look better.

But there is one thing that surely separates the two: resale value. Despite being jointly developed products, veteran Isuzu has a fine reputation of strong residuals _ the best among all brands here _ while newcomer Chevrolet has yet to catch up.

VERDICT: The pick-ups for comfort-seekers.




The Mitsubishi Triton stands out from the rest with bold styling, if not necessarily to all tastes. It has the best package and specification here, but is flawed on the move.

3rd place


The Mitsubishi Triton stands out from the rest with bold styling, if not necessarily to all tastes. It has the best package and specification here, but is flawed on the move.


Mitsubishi Triton

FOR: packaging, interior features

AGAINST: steering, crude engine

Mitsubishi revolutionised the pickup segment two years ago when it launched the Triton with radical design cues. Today, the Triton still stands out in a class of its own by attempting to appeal to buyers wanting something different and modern, yet functional in the pickup fashion.

The Triton looks particularly well proportioned in 4x4 guise, thanks to a short front overhand, curvy profile and a rear end that may look a little plain but is still distinguished from the rest.

The same goes for the inside of the Triton. The steering wheel, console and seats are individualistic in appearance, and Mitsubishi has fine-tuned them with small details to make the overall ambience the most car-like in the pick-up sector.

For instance, the seats are cladded with quality-feel perforated leather stitched with a discreet colour. Then there's a mix a silver plastics going together with other black trimmings that ooze with good build, although that as solid as in the class-leading Colorado/D-Max relatives.

The marketers at Mitsubishi have also been given much freedom in sprucing up the Triton's cabin and specification. Features you won't find in rivals are electric adjustment for the driver's seat, automatic climate control and a rear windscreen window that can be opened via a flick of a button inside.

It's very car-like in the Triton. Passengers get adequate legroom and the rear seats, in particular, are angled enough and offer wide shoulder room to feel nearly as comfortable as in a saloon.

It's just a pity that the overall driving experience is flawed preventing the Triton from being a near natural winner in this contest here.

A strong point is the 165hp 3.2-litre engine that yields a breadth of abilities in performance, be it acceleration, mid-range punch or top-end surge, despite the so-so four-speed automatic transmission.

But what spoils this is the refinement. You simply feel and hear too much of that lump under the bonnet _ it's not only vocal but unrefined when the whole competition comes into the picture.

The chassis is nearly the best among all the pick-ups here. It yields a cosseting ride, good amount of body control over more demanding roads and fine straight-line stability.

But the steering isn't a match for the commendable chassis. The rack has too much off-centre feel, lacks precision in swift cornering and feels so lifeless.

If you can live with such dynamic and refinement shortcomings, the Triton is a decent pick among this seven offering that kind of aesthetic modernity and completeness yet to be found in any of its competition.

VERDICT: The most complete and car-like pick-up.


2nd place



The Nissan Navara is the latest entrant in the Thai pick-up market and is the biggest of all _ at times unnecessarily big. Unlike rivals that use 3.0-litre engines, the Navara utilises a high-output 2.5 that goes well.

Nissan Frontier Navara


The Nissan Navara is the latest entrant in the Thai pick-up market and is the biggest of all _ at times unnecessarily big. Unlike rivals that use 3.0-litre engines, the Navara utilises a high-output 2.5 that goes well.


FOR: straightline performance, value

AGAINST: short on driving agility

One of the major weak points of the old Frontier was the dated cabin _ much in the same fashion as the Ford Ranger and Mazda Fighter. But unlike these two rivals, Nissan took the opportunity to largely improve this shortcoming.

Based on a new platform, the Frontier Navara boasts substantially larger dimensions than before, even to the extent of making its body longest in-class; the crucial wheelbase alone measures a lengthy 3.2 metres.

Because of this, interior space is not an issue anymore in Nissan's latest pick-up. Actually, it's one of the best around.

In spite of that, the Navara can't lay claim to be the most comfortable cabin to be in, especially for rear seat passengers which are still too upright and not that relaxing in relation to the Triton or Vigo.

The Navara's interior is still functional featuring an array of cubby holes and small stow compartments. The dashboard itself is modern and apes some design themes of those found in Nissan cars.

The other distinct selling point Nissan has created for the Navara is the class-leading outputs of the 2.5-litre (it's the only one here using this engine size): 174hp and 403Nm. Like the Ranger/BT-50, transmission is the five-speed auto type.

Despite these fancy figures, performance isn't perfect. Yes, the Navara should virtually outperform all its rivals in a straightline; and the way it collects momentum in the mid-ranges makes this pick-up suitable for those needing outright performance.

But power delivery isn't as smooth as say in the Ranger/BT-50. The Navara suffers from turbo lag below 2,000rpm and therefore makes low-speed driving a little irritating. But elsewhere, it just goes convincingly.

There have been efforts made by Nissan to enhance on engine refinement due to the high outputs from a relatively low displacement. However, engine smoothness is still not the best in its class, even though adequate in its own right.

The large chassis means that grip and ride is above average in the class, although its handling could be occasionally be described as cumbersome when road space begins to tighten.

The Navara is capable of handling such big performance, but chassis refinement is slightly lacking. When cruising, for instance, you can feel vibrations penetrating the cabin and it becomes more pronounced as you exceed the legal limit.

Even so, the Navara is a fun pickup to drive. It has sumptuous performance, lively handling, reasonable amount of ride comfort and cabin functionality for those who aren't too fussy about details.

And the best part? It's the cheapest at B851,000 _ and that still includes twin airbags and anti-lock brakes, plus other convenience items that is more or less also available in all of its competition.

VERDICT: The pick-up with performance and metal.


1st place

Toyota Hilux Vigo

FOR: responsive powertrain/handling, cabin comfort


The Toyota Vigo is the oldest here, but has the most thoroughly engineered package that compromises lesser than rivals in necessary areas. Kit so-so, though.

AGAINST: miserly specification

The Toyota Vigo is the oldest here, but has the most thoroughly engineered package that compromises lesser than rivals in necessary areas. Kit so-so, though.


The Hilux Vigo is the oldest pickup here and has marched on through three years without a significant update in technical terms. Yet, it's still nearly the best when it comes to driving manners and performance for the rear-world.

For starters, the Vigo started the horsepower and technological race with its 163hp modern-day turbo-diesel. Even though it may lack the outright punch of the Navara or the torque usability of the Ranger/BT-50, the Vigo has a fine combination of all.

In spite of an ordinary four-speed automatic gearbox as in the Triton and Colorado/D-Max, the Vigo's transmission and engine is arguably the best marriage in its class.

Throttle response is sharp at low speeds, kickdown comes quite instantaneously in the mid-ranges and the engine remains willing at even hilarious speeds. And to top it off, it's still sufficiently refined.

The matrimony doesn't end here. The entire drivetrain is also stuffed into a chassis that is also possibly the best around.

At whatever speeds, the body feels stable and composed that not only makes up or tidy handling but also a cosseting ride. Better is the steering that is the most direct rack among the seven here that blends perfectly with the chassis to make it a great on-roader by pickup standards.

The packaging is also just right, even if its dimensions aren't as generous as the Navara's. The seating position and the space it gives occupants all-round is on par with the Triton.

What the Vigo merely lacks is visual polish inside. In spite of a functional cabin, the design and colours are utterly bland and are good proof of the Vigo approaching mid-life.

And ever since the Vigo was launched, it lacked one significant safety items: a frontal airbag for the front passenger _ all of its rivals have it as standard with Ford and Mazda raising the game with side airbags for the front occupants.

And if you go into detail, the product planners at Toyota have been very thrifty with the specification _ there's only two-way adjustment for air-con ventilation. That partially explains why the price remains at just B871,000 for years.

It appears Toyota has been so confident in the Vigo's engineering that the marketers have been very relaxed lighting their cigars behind their desks.

But the simple truth is that the Vigo is still a well-rounded pick-up when it comes to the package itself, well-sorted chassis and a properly balanced powertrain. The Vigo _ in double-cab form _ is still the one to beat.

VERDICT: The best all-round pick-up.
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here in my country ford dont put speed limiter . the ranger 2.5 tdci can go max speed of 170-180kph at just 3000rpm while the 3.0 tdci can reach 190kph exceeding 180kph speedometer. maybe thats the reason why ford ranger owners increase its no. despite its boxy appearance. before you can only see dmax, triton and vigo . now new ford ranger owners are very proud cause no prob. being experienced. while vigo has prob. in their brakes,common rail pumps specialy the 2.5l. the triton have problems in steering, 3t km already replaced by warranty,electrical prob. and 4 cases of engine died while cruising. only dmax have no prob. reported in the forums.

#10 taxexile

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Posted 2007-07-20 21:17:39

But due to poor weather conditions, the test featuring these seven models was restricted to on-road driving.


like saying the road test of a ferrari , a porsche and an aston martin was restricted to 30m.p.h. because they got stuck in a traffic jam.

Edited by taxexile, 2007-07-20 21:18:56.


#11 peterd1961

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Posted 2007-07-21 01:37:06

But due to poor weather conditions, the test featuring these seven models was restricted to on-road driving.


like saying the road test of a ferrari , a porsche and an aston martin was restricted to 30m.p.h. because they got stuck in a traffic jam.


Hahahahah!!! Taxexile your 100%

Edited by peterd1961, 2007-07-21 01:39:25.


#12 peterd1961

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Posted 2007-07-21 01:40:23

But due to poor weather conditions, the test featuring these seven models was restricted to on-road driving.


like saying the road test of a ferrari , a porsche and an aston martin was restricted to 30m.p.h. because they got stuck in a traffic jam.


Hahahahah!!! Taxexile your 100% right!!!!



#13 tahaan

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Posted 2007-07-21 15:21:10

Nissan reportedly has torque issues, as it's only a 2.5 liter engine.


What's the torque issue with the Navara? I certainly haven't noticed one. Nearly everyone who's been in mine comment about the power available and how quickly it gets up to cruisin speed; 2.5l perhaps but 174hp.

Maybe reviewers have been in the wrong gear? Personaly, I like to drive in shorts and a polo shirt.

#14 sbk

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Posted 2007-07-22 12:13:56

Might want to see this thread before buying a new Dmax : Dmax Recalled

#15 Sanpatong

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Posted 2007-07-23 11:51:42

But due to poor weather conditions, the test featuring these seven models was restricted to on-road driving.


like saying the road test of a ferrari , a porsche and an aston martin was restricted to 30m.p.h. because they got stuck in a traffic jam.


No it's not, it's worse. Because to test off-road driving, YOU ABSOLUTELY *NEEEEED* poor weather conditions. I can test a (*$#(*&# Honda Civic on a dirt road in the dry, but to properly test an off-road vehicle, you NEED mud!

Bunch of nutters there, at the BK Post. Typical BKK yuppies, better stick to testing CRV's and Daewoos driving in and out of shopping mall parking buildings. Go buy some pampers, and go test kid tricycles, you ridiculous bunch of automotive babies!

#16 Sanpatong

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Posted 2007-07-23 11:54:39

Might want to see this thread before buying a new Dmax : Dmax Recalled


Given that they actually recalled it and replaced parts free of charge, you can only assume they also now do this at the factory and any trucks already at the dealer before being sold. Unless of course there's any benefit to anyone by selling a vehicle and then bring it back to fix something free of charge that you could just go ahead and do right here right now?

#17 Sanpatong

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Posted 2007-07-23 11:56:03

Nissan reportedly has torque issues, as it's only a 2.5 liter engine.


What's the torque issue with the Navara? I certainly haven't noticed one. Nearly everyone who's been in mine comment about the power available and how quickly it gets up to cruisin speed; 2.5l perhaps but 174hp.


It's not a power (HP) issue, it's a torque issue. I.e. what happens when you load it up, then go up a steep incline in first gear. It's not about anything that happens when driving on the road in any gear.

This torque needs to be available starting real low, like 1200-1500 rpm.

#18 Buddyyyyy

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Posted 2007-07-23 13:15:35

navara nissan, has the highest torque amongst the other pickups.

174hp/ 403tq..
fastest pickup in the market....

it may be a 2.5L but it ranks the 3L & 3.2L....due to its highpressure output. higher boost, lower compression ratio.

still would prefer a triton though. when you are talking about a few 3-10hp here and their it really doesnt matter, it should come down to which one u like the most to drive and interior that you will have to live with.

want more power add a few bolt ons, a new intake and exhaust will give u nearly same readings as a nissan navara....so its down to personal preference.

#19 Buddyyyyy

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Posted 2007-07-23 13:21:03

high torque low rev, help you to start your move....

why is it most drivers in thailand just take so long to start moving? it causes the traffic.... i think most the time they dont really care that people all have something to do. getting of the traffic light decently can make all the difference.

either way, unless your planning to carry really heavy loads, lowdown torque will help signifcantly, then again you can always punch it for 1,000rpm... :o

#20 tahaan

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Posted 2007-07-24 10:27:17

Yes, I know about torque and offf road performance - I spent a fair bit of a previous life in various marks of L/Rover. I don't think I'll be doing much of that here.

I agree with previous posters, there's very little to differentiate between any of the trucks available here. Most users are buying these things because of what it is perceived to say about them; not what they do. Look how many Pre-runners, Hilanders et al are out there.

...and why is it that people pull away from the lights soooo slowly here? And why do they appear to change up when overtaking? And? And?

#21 Buddyyyyy

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Posted 2007-07-24 22:01:39

true to that.

i guess everyone just has to stop complaining and just live with it, it is amazing thailand yet again and i just love it here!

be sure to spot me as the first one off the traffic lights... haha





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