The single engine option in the latest models is a 3.6L V6 that offers 283 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque. The powerplant is mated to a six-speed automatic. The duo offers 25 mpg on the highway. That is solid fuel economy, if you can stand all of the cabin noise.
Ford’s Special Vehicles Team (SVT) went to work on the 5.8-liter small block V-8 and managed to squeeze 240 horsepower out of it. A lowered suspension, new shocks, anti-roll bars and 17-inch tires put that power to the road and made the Lighting a great handling truck in addition to being a speed demon. The Lightning cranked up to 60 mph in 7.2 seconds and blazed through the quarter mile in 15.6 seconds. The biggest complaint about the Lightning was that it gulped down gasoline.
The Nissan Quest barely survived the 2017 model year and reached the end of its production run after the 2018 model year. There are many reasons the Quest is out; the main one being that Nissan has not updated the oddly designed minivan for several years.
The Highboy was available with a 360 V-8 or the less powerful six-cylinder. A C6 automatic transmission was a common choice on the Highboy. Its tough look makes these trucks pretty collectible so they can be hard to find and sort of pricey for a fully restored version but if you have the budget, it’s a great choice if you are looking for a cool old ford truck.
With the Town & Country, Chrysler did not go far enough to eliminate the noise and ride quality issues found in the Grand Caravan. To further exacerbate these issues, the Town & Country is a fairly expensive used minivan. The most recent versions of the Town & Country are powered by the same 3.6L V6 that you will find in the Grand Caravan. The engine offers the same 283 ponies and 260 lb-ft of torque. Chrysler didn’t even bother to tweak the fuel economy.
The Lightning was so popular that it was brought back from 1999 to 2004 and now, Pioneer Ford a dealer in Bremen, Georgia, is sort of selling a new version of the Lightning. They are building 650-hp supercharged F-150s that imitate the look of the original Lightning. If you have $50,000 burning a hole in your pocket you can stick one in your garage.
Another party trick of the 488 is its ability to run on compressed natural gas (CNG) or liquefied petroleum (LPG) in addition to regular pump gasoline. That’s thanks to the stainless valves and hardened valve seats. A forged crank, rods, pistons, full-length cooling jackets, and cast-iron head and block ensure maximum durability and longevity even in high-stress situations. Just add your choice of intake manifold, carb, and all the regular bolt-ons we talked about earlier, and you’re good to go.
Even if you can overlook the drab exterior, the cheap plastic interior of this used minivan can almost turn your stomach. Once inside, you will find average passenger space and less-than-stellar cargo space. These things could be overlooked if the Grand Caravan offered a smooth and quiet ride, but it doesn’t offer either.