It was a spur-of-the-moment thing, and we got there about 30 minutes before they closed. The Honda dealer had NO sales staff there, just some frightened looking little receptionist wearing a mask, and behind a big clear plastic shield. They had one outside, all locked up, that looked like it just came off the tuck, and one inside that we crawled all over, doing the tire-kicking and door-slamming thing all by ourselves. VERY nice interior ("soft touch" surfaces everywhere), paint looked pretty good, all the panel fits were excellent, the doors and tailgate closed with a solid feel, and the seats seemed very comfortable. SLW could easily get in and out of it even though it didn't have the steps she wants on it, and she thought she could see out of it adequately well, but she wouldn't know until she drove one. She was quite impressed with the rear seat that folds up to free a lot of cargo space, and the "Two Way" tailgate that drops down like a proper tailgate, but also swings out like a door.
She agreed a beige leather interior would get filthy beyond belief in six months, so she backed off on wanting a red one as that's the only color interior available with red. If we buy a Honda, we'll get a blue one, as it has a slate grey/black interior.
The we went up the street to the Chevy dealer. They had Colorados (Coloradoes?) galore, but all the ones on the lot were either strippers, or fully-loaded Z71 and ZR2 off-road specialists. A nice young guy came out (one of the owning family's sons), and after talking a bit, he said he had a car with a deposit on it like we wanted, but he'd go get it so we could look at it. Except for the color, black, and the "RST" package at $2995, it was exactly what we wanted as far as trim level and interior. We crawled in and around that one, but he couldn't let us drive it as it was too close to closing, but he said if we came back during the day, we could drive one with the same config (4WD, mostly) that we were looking for. The Chevy had beautiful paint, good panel fit, nice interior, REAL KNOBS for the radio and climate control instead of touch-screen everything, and SLW could easily get in and out of it even though it, too, lacked the side steps she wants. She could see out of it OK ("Not As Good As The Honda"), and she liked the flip-flop-fold-em-up rear seats, but again, she proclaimed them "Not As Good As The Honda", which has tons of very cleaver storage cubbies, and a lockable trunk in the cargo bed. I noticed lots of hard plastic on the doors and dash of the Chevy, but it seemed to be screwed together pretty well.
So we kind of shot ourselves in the foot by going out so late, but at least we got to look at two of our choices.
And as expected, she's got doe-eyes for the Honda even though she hasn't driven it.
As of this time, the original five contestants have been winnowed down to three, the Nissan Frontier and Toyota Tacoma having not made the cut. Don't get me wrong, the Toyota is about as reliable as an anvil, and WSF has friends that say the same thing about the Nissan, but they're 10-year old designs, due for a redesign, somewhat loud and crude, and the interiors have a strong "Work Truck" look to them. I'm sure *I* could live with one, but I don't think she'd be happy with it unless she got several more orders of magnitude "countrified".
And although she's agreed to test drive the Gladiator, I don't think she'll care for it. It's a stretched Wrangler, pretty much has a Wrangler interior (gussied up right nice, though), has coil sprung suspension with straight axles front-and-rear, and looks pretty utilitarian.
I think she'll want to go with the Honda. I'd be stunned if she found the Jeep "acceptable". I just hope we drive the Jeep over some reeeeally nice roads on the test drive so it doesn't shake her fillings out.....