popularity, they are entering new arenas. Rather than existing solely as a work truck, many now earn their livings primarily carrying passengers. The cargo bed, instead of being the most important part of the truck, is reserved for occasional use-conveying the oversized shopping load or recreational gear. Thus, four-door pickup trucks have been developed.
Following on the heels of the Nissan Frontier, the Dakota is the second pickup with four full doors. Dodge’s Dakota Quad Cab is the largest of the compacts, approaching a full-size truck in size and price. It also has full-size power with a choice of a 175-horsepower V6 or one of two V8 engines, a 235-horsepower 4.7-liter or a 250-horsepower 5.9-liter.
The bed is 51/4 feet in length, but the passenger cabin holds adults in the rear and will carry up to six people. Prices start at $19,490, but can approach $30,000 for a luxuriously equipped four-wheel drive. The ride is quite calm and comfortable for a pickup, yet it’s still capable of doing the heavy work.
GMC Yukon XL
Take the Yukon and super size it to come up with the Yukon XL. This is the successor to the Suburban. However, Chevy gets to keep that name for itself for 2000 and GMC decided that the time is right for a new name because it’s also a new generation of SUV.
This vehicle sits on an extended version of the same platform that supports the GMC Yukon and Chevrolet Tahoe, as well as the company’s full-size pickup trucks. Although the XL remains essentially the same as the Chevy Suburban, the $1,334 higher starting price reflects a much higher level of equipment. GMC intends to separate from Chevrolet by going more upscale. You get a basic XL for $38,056 (add about $2,900 for four-wheel drive), but you’ll move well into the mid-$40,000 range for the
most luxurious models.
When it comes to moving up to nine people in comfort, the Yukon XL does the best job of anything that will fit in a normal garage. Choose from either a 5.3- or 6.0-liter V8 for motivation and among scores of options to tailor it to your needs. When there’s a lot of stuff to haul or tow, this big truck is the way to go.
As an entirely new automotive concept, the Honda Insight sets a number of firsts. It’s the first gasoline/electric hybrid car to go on sale to the general public in the U.S. It’s also No. 1 in fuel economy ratings, with an astounding EPA rating of 61 miles per gallon city and 70 miles per gallon highway. As an ultra-low-emission vehicle, the Insight is among the least polluting out there.
There is just one option: air conditioning with automatic climate control. Getting that addition moves the price from $18,880 to $20,080. Although the Insight is rather expensive for a small, two-passenger economy car, it is aimed at those who are not just ecologically sensitive but also technologically minded. The car is rather slow and performance is not spectacular