Reader Question: Safe, Cool – But Not Too Small?

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Here’s the latest reader question, along with my reply!

Mary asks: I am looking for a car/tuck for our son. He currently has a Mercury Marquis, which we got in like-new condition from our mechanic – and it is a dream. However, for a 26-year-old kid, it’s not the coolest car.

I was interested in a Tundra or other full-size truck at first. However, Cali keeps squeezing the parking lots – it is almost claustrophobic if you are in a huge truck.

What do you think would be a good choice?

My reply: Based on your letter (excerpts reprinted here) I think a mid-sized pickup such as the just re-introduced Ford  Ranger or the Toyota Tacoma would probably suit. These trucks are actually close to being full-sized . . .  by 1990s standards. Same overall footprint, with the main difference being the new “mid-size” trucks are not offered in regular cab/long bed configuration. They are only sold in extended/crew cab form – with no more than a six-foot bed. But that may be fine for your son.

You might also have a look at the Honda Ridgeline, which is similarly laid out but is actually based on a car-type platform – and so is available with front-wheel-drive (rather than rear-drive) or all-wheel-drive (rather than four-wheel-drive). It’s actually a better on-road vehicle than a “real” truck” – unless you need to pull something heavier than 5,000 lbs. It handles better and is easier on gas.

You might also look at some big/safe (but more “cool,” for a young guy) cars such as the Dodge Charger and – if you can find one – a Pontiac G8 or Chevy SS.

Hope this helps – and keep us posted!

Got a question about cars – or anything else? Click on the “ask Eric” link and send ’em in!

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