What's Today's Most Underused Car?

Illustration for article titled Whats Todays Most Underused Car?

Today's cars and trucks are built to a level of performance like no automobiles before. Few of us actually use all of this potential, particularly for trucks.


It seems like a good chunk of truck buyers haul nothing heavier than a bed full of air as we heard in a conversation between ADabOfOppo and Jaymez in our post on Ford's four-cylinder production goal.



Dear Ford,

Want to reach that goal? Build us a small truck, about the size of what was it called? Oh yeah, the Ranger, the small truck you used to sell us but never bothered updating for 25 years.

Equip it with your EcoBoost engines around 1.8-2.5L, a manual transmission would be nice as well, and also selectable 4WD. Allow us to choose different cab and bed sizes regardless of power-train, and don't bundle a bunch of options people don't want just to get headlights or cruise control.

If you had this for sale already I would have bought one; extended cab with a 6-7' bed and 4x4 with a 2.0L and a manual. Though I would have settled with an Auto because I really want a small truck with a capable small-displacement Turbo engine, an extended cab, and 4WD.

Instead I had to buy a truck on CraigsList. Which is fine since I have no payments now. But that also means that Ford isn't getting my money. If you want it, I've just told you how to get it.




Being active on a couple of truck forums, I'm not sold on boosted motors for pickup trucks. The F150 EB's are getting worse than V8 fuel economy when used as actual trucks. Even the smallest of loads sucks away those fuel economy numbers.


I suppose of you're always pulling a heavy trailer, or are constantly hauling around enormous wall-safes then a small boosted 4-banger is probably a bad idea.

But what about the rest of us, who don't use a truck for actual work, but would like a vehicle that can on occasion carry something you wouldn't put in your car.

This is why I went and bought a used truck on CL. I wanted to be able to use it for truck-things but it's not my DD, and I don't plan on carrying a herd of life-sized concrete Hippos on a daily basis.

And as was pointed out, most people would be commuting in a truck like this. Hell, most people commute in their F350s and very rarely use it for truckificationing (I've already trademarked that, by the way).

A small turbo-4 may not be the best when you are using it to haul very heavy items, so if you've got a boat or other heavy truck-accoutrements then you're probably better off getting one with a bigger engine. But for those of use who only want to be able to haul sticks, some landscaping materials, and mulch it doesn't matter that we would take a hit on the fuel economy when we haul those things since that isn't a frequent occasion.


Now, some Rangers live a perfectly hard life (just ask DustyVentures), but we all know that there are thousands of people driving trucks right now using them as nothing more than big commuter cars.

What other vehicles are rarely used to their full performance potential? Do any Bugatti Veyrons ever crest 250 miles an hour? Do any Mercedes G63 AMG drivers ever go offroad? Who hypermiles a Prius anymore? What is the most underused car?


Photo Credit: Steven Harrell

Share This Story

Get our newsletter


Jeep Wrangler. In a world where all SUVs are migrating towards soccer-mom freindly unibody construction, its still one of the most capable offroading machines available. And how many actually make in off the pavement?