Buying Pickup Trucks

Even though there are only a few pickup truck manufacturers, there are so many different types of pickups to choose from that it almost feels as hard as selecting a car. The key to finding the right pickup will be to hone in on exactly how you plan to use it.

Pickup Truck Basics

Pickup trucks have long been a popular type of vehicle in the United States. They're one of the oldest forms of vehicles in the country and have evolved ever since.

They serve as a commercial vehicle for people in construction, farming, and other fields where a large vehicle is needed to transport materials. But you also see pickup trucks used as common everyday vehicles, and even luxury-style pickups that are purely for show.

Pickups come in three main sizes or categories:

  • Mid-size.
  • Full size.
  • Heavy duty.

The full size tends to be the most popular and is the category often referred to when you hear the terms “half-ton truck" and “1500".

You can also find pickups with:

  • Two, three, or four doors.
  • Standard or automatic transmissions.
  • Gas or diesel engines.
  • Four-wheel drive.
  • Different cab sizes.
  • Sophisticated sound and navigation systems.
  • Significant variations in engine capacity.

With so many options, choosing the right pickup truck can be a daunting task.

Researching Pickup Trucks

There are several questions to ask yourself as you start your pickup truck research:

  • What's your price range?
  • Is it for pleasure or work?
  • Do you plan to pull a trailer?
  • Will you be hauling cargo?
  • Is cab size important to you?
  • How big of a pickup do you need?

Your answer to these questions should significantly help you get on the right track to finding the perfect pickup.


If you are looking for a pickup with the specific intention of towing large amounts, be sure to do research on the correct pickup and towing specifications. A larger truck does not automatically mean it can tow more, and the axel ratio on one model will not mean the same as it does on another.

Tips & Warnings

The two main drawbacks of pickup trucks are:

  • Gas mileage.
  • Relative lack of comfort.
    • The chief complaint regarding comfort is that the ride isn't smooth, especially when the cargo bed is empty. Still, as with their increase in safety standards, pickups have made great progress with regard to comfort.

One temptation that is hard to resist is the desire to buy a bigger and more powerful truck than you really need. As attractive and imposing as they are, the long-term expense of poor mileage and the larger upfront cost significantly impact how much you will pay for an upgrade you won't use.

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