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Category: Dodge

Best used trucks to buy in 2024


American car buyers have an almost unbelievable affinity for pickup trucks of all shapes and sizes. For just about as long as pretty much anyone reading this can likely remember, the best-selling vehicles overall in the United States have been trucks, led for 42 years by the Ford F-Series (it’s been the best-selling truck for 47 consecutive years), closely followed by competitors like the Chevrolet Silverado, Ram and GMC Sierra lineups. This being the case, it certainly won’t come as a surprise to see that the best-selling used vehicles in America are also trucks. But which used trucks are the best used trucks to buy in 2024?

iSeeCars, an online resource that bills itself as “a data-driven car search and research company” analyzed over 9.2 million used car sales from the past five model years (that would start in 2018 and end in 2022). After compiling all the numbers, the researchers calculated each vehicle model’s share of used car sales. You can see the list of the best-selling used pickup trucks down below, but before we get to that, let’s highlight some of the used truck buys in America.

Best used trucks to buy in 2024

 

Best used truck under $10,000: 2005-2011 Dodge and Ram Dakota

Dodge Dakota for sale

The Dodge Dakota, which in its final few years was known as the Ram Dakota, with its standard 3.7-liter V6 won’t win any drag races — the optional V8s offered more power, naturally — but a decent Dakota offers the ability to haul and tow for just about the lowest price point in America.

Best full-size truck under $10,000: 2008-2012 Nissan Titan

Nissan Titan for sale

If you need a larger truck than the Dodge Dakota or need to tow heavy loads, your best bet may be an older Nissan Titan with its 5.6-liter V8 engine.

Best used truck under $15,000: Any Toyota Tacoma (but check for rust)

Toyota Tacoma for sale

The Toyota Tacoma is known for reliability and durability. High resale value is another, as well as a cramped interior and below-average comfort, even for a truck. Still, Toyota’s compact Tacoma is likely to offer more years of trouble-free service than anything else in this price range. Expect to see a lot of Tacomas with comparatively high mileage.

Best used full-size truck under $15,000: 2013 or newer Ram 1500

Ram 1500 for sale

Look for a 2013 or newer Ram, and consider choosing the 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 and 8-speed automatic combo over the V8 and six-speed auto. The 5.7-liter Hemi V8 is generally a reliable engine, but it’s thirsty and this budget doesn’t allow for a truck new enough to snag the desirable V8/8-speed automatic combination.

Best used pickup truck under $20,000: 2014-2018 Chevrolet Silverado

Chevrolet Silverado for sale

The Chevy Silverado is slightly more affordable than its competitor from Ford, which went to a lightweight aluminum body for the 2015 model year. GM’s V8 engine options are all very solid and have well-earned reputations for durability. The Toyota Tundra is also a solid choice, but it’s not easy to find nice options in this price range.

Best used pickup truck under $25,000: 2015-2019 Ford F-150

Ford F-150 for sale

Look for a 2015 or later Ford F-150 to take advantage of the lighter weight and great capability offered by the aluminum-intensive construction Ford switched to starting that year. Budget buyers should look for an XLT model, and Ford’s base V6 and optional 5.0-liter V8 engines are both solid choices. In fact, the F-150 with the V8 engine offers impressive payload and towing capabilities that match what heavy duty buyers were looking for just a decade or so previously.

Best used compact pickup truck under $25,000: 2016-2019 Toyota Tacoma

Toyota Tacoma for sale

A redesign of the Toyota Tacoma for the 2016 model year brought about welcome changes to the best-selling compact truck, but it’s still less refined and less comfortable than most of its competition.

Best car-like used pickup truck under $25,000: 2017-2019 Honda Ridgeline

Honda Ridgeline for sale

The Honda Ridgeline’s car-like ride and handling come courtesy of a car-like unibody design. It can’t tow like a proper full-size pickup truck, but it’s more efficient and more comfortable for daily use.

 

Best-selling used trucks over the past five years

  1. Ford F-150: 21.9% of all used truck sales
  2. Chevrolet Silverado: 17.7% of all used truck sales
  3. Ram 1500: 14.0% of all used truck sales
  4. Toyota Tacoma: 9.1% of all used truck sales
  5. GMC Sierra: 8.1% of all used truck sales

No real surprises there. The Ford F-Series is the best-selling new nameplate, and the light-duty Ford F-150 is the best-selling used vehicle overall. Ford’s popular truck takes top honors as the best-selling used vehicle in 34 out of the 50 states in America. In second spot is the Chevy Silverado (below left), which, for what it’s worth, is the best-seller in the state of Iowa.

It is interesting to note that the Ram 1500 (below right) actually fell behind the Chevrolet Equinox crossover on the overall chart that includes all vehicle types. Chevy’s compact crossover barely edged out the fullsize Ram truck for third-place when all vehicle styles were included, but the numbers were so close between the ‘ute and the pickup that they both claimed roughly 2.1% of the overall market.

“Trucks have been so dominant in the U.S. market for so long that it’s strange to see the Ram lose its top-three ranking, even to an SUV as popular as the Chevrolet Equinox,” said Karl Brauer, iSeeCars Executive Analyst, who goes on to offer a reasonable explanation. “This shift reflects the jump in gas prices during 2023, which led many consumers to move away from large trucks and SUVs and into smaller, more fuel-efficient models.”

The Toyota Tacoma is the best-selling midsize pickup truck in America, easily outselling its larger sibling, the Toyota Tundra (a truck that doesn’t even crack the top 20 overall). As well as the Tacoma sells, however, it is outsold on the used market by well-known nameplates like the Toyota Camry, RAV4 and Corolla, Honda Civic and CR-V, Ford Explorer and Escape, and the Nissan Rogue and Jeep Grand Cherokee.

In fifth spot on the used trucks list and 17th overall, the GMC Sierra is almost identical to the Chevrolet Silverado underneath its skin, with similar powertrains and interior technology. Combining the sales of the Silverado and Sierra would put General Motors in the top light-duty used truck position by manufacturer, ahead of Ford.

Trucks that don’t appear on the list include fullsize models like the aforementioned Toyota Tundra and the Nissan Titan, as well as mid-size nameplates like the Chevrolet Colorado, GMC Canyon, Ford Ranger, Honda Ridgeline, Jeep Gladiator and Nissan Frontier. The resurgence of the compact truck market, which currently consists of the Ford Maverick and Hyundai Santa Cruz, means we could see some smaller trucks crack their way onto the list in the coming years.



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What is the fastest car in the world in 2024?


It wasn’t that long ago that the notion of reaching 200 miles per hour in a car, on a road, seemed basically impossible. As you likely know by now, that time has passed. And once that threshold was crossed, the automotive world immediately began eying the next triple-digit benchmark: 300 miles per hour. It may have taken a little while, but the 300-mph line has been crossed, and some cars have moved well past that seemingly insane speed number. While some of these speeds have been achieved in simulations (including the fastest car listed below), there’s little doubt that a driver with nerves of steel and a heavy right foot could indeed push several automobiles up to 300 miles per hour and beyond.

Interestingly, it’s not just one car or automaker in the 300-mph club, as a handful of models have earned a place (sometimes claimed but not yet demonstrated) on the leaderboard.

The fastest car in the world is: Koenigsegg Jesko Absolut (330 MPH)

Fastest car in the world 2023

That title goes to the Koenigsegg Jesko Absolut, which recorded a staggering 330 mph top speed earlier in 2023. The car’s twin-turbocharged 5.0-liter V8 lays down 1,600 horsepower and 1,106 pound-feet of torque, which plays a significant role in delivering that speed, but Koenigsegg’s engineers have given the car a lot more than mind-blowing power.

The Jesko Absolut has a super-slippery 0.278 drag coefficient and a nine-speed transmission that shifts so quickly it’s almost imperceptible. Koenigsegg calls it a Light Speed Transmission (LST), saying its shifts happen at almost light speed. While that might be a slight exaggeration, the gearbox is impressive, bringing several wet multi-disc clutches and a super lightweight construction.

As Koenigsegg says, “the Jesko Absolut is destined to achieve higher, more extraordinary speeds than any Koenigsegg or any other fully homologated car before it.”

How expensive is the Koenigsegg Jesko Absolut?

If you were reading that and wondering how much the fastest car in the world costs, the price tag is just another dizzying number on the Jesko Absolut’s spec sheet. All 125 Absolut cars offered sold out at a price of almost $3 million. Of course, being able to afford the Koenigsegg is just the first step in realizing its full potential. There are very few places on the map that can support a 300-plus-mph speed run, and the locations that do are not conveniently located. That said, it’s likely that many people who shelled out the cash for a Jesko Absolut will be happy with the bragging rights instead of using the speed.

So, the Jesko Absolut holds the speed crown and does so with more than a few miles per hour to spare, but the other cars in the 300-mph club are nearly as impressive.

Other cars that drive faster than 300 mph

BUGATTI Bolide 300 mph

The Bugatti Bolide sees 1,847 horsepower and 1,365 pound-feet of torque from a quad-turbo 8.0-liter W16. Its top speed lands at 311 mph, and its styling is just as wild and exaggerated.

However, unlike the Koenigsegg, the Bugatti is a track-only affair. Though it shares an engine and some of its underlying structure with the road-legal Chiron, Bugatti opted to keep the Bolide limited to track duty. While that’s a bummer, especially at the roughly $4.4 million price tag, not having to build a car to meet road car regulations gave Bugatti the freedom to create a brutal car with speed that defies logic. The Bolide is also far more exclusive than the Koenigsegg, as Bugatti produced just 40 of the extreme cars.

The car’s suspension is far stiffer than the Chiron’s, and the car rides on Michelin slicks. It utilizes a revised carbon monocoque and is built using an array of 3D-printed parts. Without the need to worry about curbs, speed bumps, and pedestrians, Bugatti could go wild with aerodynamics and bodywork, resulting in a car that looks like it could cut you.

What goes into creating a car that can go faster than 300 mph?

The Jesko Absolut and Bolide make reaching 300-plus mph sound easy, which you’d expect for their multiple-seven-digit price tags, but there’s a lot that goes into hitting their mind-blowing top speeds. Beyond the fact that it takes miles of glassy-smooth tarmac, the cars have to be exceptionally aerodynamic and be able to consume gobs of air, and fuel consumption at those speeds is immense. Engineers have to shape a car that easily slices through the air while also creating tremendous downforce to keep it on the ground.

Adding thousands of pounds of downforce stresses almost every part of the car, especially the suspension and tires. The dampers have to be able to support the temporarily heavier car while also keeping the tires in contact with the tarmac. At 300 mph, even subtle imperfections in the road surface come faster and much harder, so the car has to be able to cope.

Tires take a particularly brutal beating during the top-speed runs, as their sidewalls get compressed with all the downforce. They’re also subjected to extreme temperatures due to the friction that comes from rubber clawing against the pavement at 300 mph. At that speed, the tires rotate thousands of times per minute, so they must also be sturdy enough to hold their shape through the harsh rotational forces. Finally, high speeds do funny things with the weights of vehicle components, such as the tire pressure monitoring sensors, which can weigh several times their normal amount when rotating at 300 mph and cause wheel imbalances and other issues.

What about the previously fastest cars from Ferrari and Porsche?

1969 Dodge Charger Daytona

While we’re now talking about cars reaching speeds in excess of 300 mph, the first car to cross 200 mph did so more than 50 years ago. The 1969 Dodge Charger Daytona hit 200 mph in March 1970 at Talladega in Alabama. That’s right, the first car to 200 wasn’t wearing an Italian name on its nose, though many of the most well-known cars in the 200 club do. That said, the Charger Daytona, like the Bugatti Bolide today, was not street-legal, and the first road-going car to hit the benchmark was a Ferrari.

Several years after the Dodge’s record-setting run, the Ferrari F40 (below left) reached 200 mph as the first production car with the record. Its twin-turbocharged 2.9-liter V8 cranked out 471 horsepower when new, giving it a 0-60 mph time of 3.8 seconds and a top speed of 201 mph. Interestingly, the most impressive Porsche at the time, the 959 (below right), fell just short of the F40’s speed, reaching “just” 197 mph.

Electric power could change everything

As the automotive world moves toward full electrification, there are questions about EVs’ top speed and battery power, but there are at least five models on sale today with a 200-plus mph top speed. The slick Lucid Air Sapphire offers a 200-mph top speed and a 0-60 time of under 2 seconds. It tied the Tesla Model S Plaid’s top speed but did 0-60 quicker, as the Tesla takes 2.1 seconds to do the deed. The Lotus Evija also promises a 200-mph top speed, but the top two cars are helping move the EV performance needle close to the extreme numbers seen from today’s fastest gas cars. The Pininfarina Battista offers a 217-mph top speed and a crazy 1.8-second 0-60 time, and at the tippy-top of the performance hill is the Rimac Nevera, which offers a 258-mph top speed and a 1.9-second 0-60 mph time.

The 5 fastest cars in the world in 2024

  • Koenigsegg Jesko Absolut: 330 MPH (Claimed)
  • Bugatti Bolide: 311 MPH (Claimed)
  • Bugatti Chiron Super Sport: 305 MPH
  • Hennessey Venom F5: 300 MPH (Claimed)
  • SSC Tuatara: 283 MPH



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Junkyard Gem: 1977 Dodge Aspen Wagon


Chrysler killed off the wagon versions of the Plymouth Valiant and Dodge Dart compacts in the United States after 1966, which meant that the only new small station wagons offered through the middle 1970s by American Dodge and Plymouth dealers were the Mitsubishi-built Colt and the Hillman-built Cricket. Meanwhile, American Motors was doing pretty well selling Hornet Sportabouts, so something needed to be done. That something turned out to be the Dodge Aspen and its Plymouth Volaré sibling, which debuted as 1976 models and included longroof versions. We saw a discarded Volaré wagon in glorious brown a couple of years back, and now it’s the turn of a similarly brown Aspen wagon, found in a northeastern Colorado self-service boneyard recently.

For quite a while, American manufacturers giving place names to their products preferred to use the titles of picturesque (or at least wealthy) regions with warm climates, e.g., Bel Air, Capri, Monaco, Barcelona, Montego, Monte Carlo, Cordoba, Granada, Torino, Riviera and so on. Aspen, Colorado, isn’t warm but rich people like to ski there and so it seemed like a properly aspirational name for the cheapest U.S.-market Dodge not built by Mitsubishi. Later on, other ski-centric regions of the American West, such as Tahoe and Telluride, were used for vehicle names.

Aspen got even more absurdly wealthy in the decades that followed the Dodge Aspen (which was built for the 1976 through 1980 model years), so Fiat Chrysler couldn’t resist reviving the name on a luxed-up Durango with Chrysler badges during the late 2000s.

The Aspen and Volaré replaced the dependable but antiquated Dart and Valiant, with the general idea that they would be a bit bigger and more modern-looking than their predecessors while still being cheap, simple transportation.

The chassis design was all new, though it still used an old-timey torsion-bar front/leaf-spring rear rig. The powertrains were essentially identical to those of the Dart/Valiant.

The base engine in the Dodge Aspen was the 225-cubic-inch (3.7-liter) Slant-6, but this car has one of the optional LA-series small-block V8s. Both the 318 (5.2-liter) and 360 (5.9-liter) were available in these cars; the two look identical at a glance and I didn’t feel like catching hantavirus from all the rat poop I’d have had to remove to look at block casting numbers. If it’s a 360 and it’s original, then it’s the two-barrel version with 155 horsepower rather than the four-barrel with 175 horses.

The transmission is the optional three-speed automatic rather than the base three-speed column-shift manual.

In 1977, American Dodge dealers offered car shoppers four sizes of new station wagon: the subcompact Colt (then in its final model year in wagon form here), the compact Aspen, the midsize Monaco and the full-size Royal Monaco. 1977 ties with 1964 for the title of Peak Wagon in the United States, with 47 different wagon models available here that year. The decline in wagon popularity happened slowly until 1984, when the introduction of the new front-wheel-drive Chrysler minivans and the Jeep XJ Cherokee marked the beginning of the end for the American longroof.

How much was the 1977 Aspen wagon? This one appears to be a top-of-the-range Special Edition, so its MRSP with 318 V8 and automatic transmission would have been $4,758, or about $25,403 in 2024 dollars. The cheapest possible 1977 Aspen wagon (with six-cylinder engine and three-on-the-tree manual transmission) started at $3,953 ($21,105 after inflation).

Meanwhile, the 1977 Colt wagon started at $3,900 ($20,822 today), so it wasn’t much cheaper than the Aspen.

This car has some pricey options beyond the $270 ($1,442 now) automatic transmission, the biggest-ticket one being the $466 air conditioning ($2,488 in today’s money).

The rear window in the Aspen/Volaré wagons didn’t open, but Chrysler still included warning stickers to prevent users from driving or idling with the hatch-style tailgate open and huffing carbon monoxide.

There were some notebook pages with maintenance and repair items dating from the 1980s inside.

The Aspen/Volaré platform lived on, in slightly modified form, through the 1989 model year (when it underpinned such cars as the Dodge Diplomat and Chrysler Fifth Avenue). The final new Dodge wagon sold in the United States was the 2008 Magnum.

Hey, it’s Dr. Dolittle pitching the Aspen wagon!



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