February 09, 2004

I’ve been converted

Okay, so I’m really starting to like the Odyssey. It drives and rides really well, it’s roomy and comfortable, and you can pack a heck of a lot of stuff in it while running those weekend errands.

That said, I’ve been jonesing for a pickup truck of late. I grew up riding in and later driving a truck; my dad had one, and more often than not, it was the vehicle I drove during my teenage years, even when I got my own car. My dad had a company van that he used during the work week, so I got his truck to use. That’s probably one reason why I’ve almost always driven SUVs since I’ve been married. I’m used to sitting up higher than in a car, I’m comfortable being able to see more of what’s going on ahead of me, etc. And on more than one occasion this past year, we’ve been in a situation where “it would have been nice to have a truck.”

Now, I don’t need a full-size truck like a F-150 or Avalanche. For one, I don’t need the higher gas bills. The Grand Cherokee is already sucking the juice in its 4.7-liter V8, with which I have towed a trailer a total of one time in the nearly four years of ownership, and any “off-roading” use of the 4x4 has come in the form of getting around an accident in the rain by driving off the shoulder in the wet grass and mud. It also has to fit in the garage. So if I go the truck route, I’m looking at one of the mid-size, light-duty trucks. I’m leaning toward the Dodge Dakota Quad Cab or the Ford Explorer Sport Trac, but both are due for a redesign, and I’d prefer to see what happens there, in light of the Dodge Ram and Explorer’s new looks.

Over the weekend, while tooling around town in the Odyssey, I remarked to my wife that I wondered why Honda hadn’t entered the truck game, seeing as how the other two Japanese automakers were firmly entrenched in the category. Well, as it turns out, Honda is entering the game, in that uniquely Honda way.

Honda SUT concept

Based upon the information I’ve gleaned thus far, this is the truck I want. The only caveat is that it won’t be available until 2005, probably as a 2006 model.

Why is the latter a problem? Because the “Smart Buy” (not!) on the Jeep is up in September of this year, which means we either come up with the balloon payment (not happening), refinance the Jeep, or walk away. At this stage, with the yet-to-be-named SUT waiting in the wings (the Honda Pilot SUT? or another name entirely?), I’m leaning toward the refinancing, and watching out for those end-of-the-year clearances dealerships invariably have, at the end of 2005.

I will definitely be going to the Dallas Auto Show next month. Want to join me again, Michael?

Running Rings Around the Conventional Pickup Truck
Honda SUT Concept photo gallery
Maximum Cars’ SUT photo gallery (higher-res photos)
Honda Targets “Cool Dads” with New SUT Concept
Honda Digital News Room any automotive journalists out there willing to share the hi-res photos contained herein?

Posted by retrophisch at February 9, 2004 01:32 PM | TrackBack