We journeyed to Manson’s last hideout for a perfectly legitimate reason. It sits 3280 feet up in the Panamint mountain range not far from Death Valley, and we had five brand-new four-door, four-wheel-drive pickups just waiting for us to conduct our own—excuse this—acid test.

Once the poster child for staleness, the compact-pickup-truck segment is suddenly hot. In the past 18 months, five models have made their debuts. The senior member of this group, the Chevy Colorado, had replaced the S-10, which had been around since 1982. And then there’s the new kid on this active block, the 2006 Ridgeline, which is Honda’s first effort at building a pickup truck. In between, Dodge, Nissan, and Toyota have all redesigned their entries.

Until you see how CRAPPY the products were just sixteen years ago, you cannot appreciate the complete paradigm shift in vehicles today.

Read the old review and then go to what you're driving now and MARVEL at the changes. For the better...

And tell us what you appreciate MOST in today's rides vs. these old junkyard dogs.

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WOW! Think SMARTPHONES And Your Tech Changes Fast? Look HOW Far Car Companies Products Have Improved In The Last 16 Years!

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