Get all the information you need before buying your next new or used truck.
First and foremost, you should consider your needs before settling on which pickup truck is best. Light-duty full-sized, midsized, and compact pickup trucks are useful when you are required to haul debris, dirt, cargo, manure, or mulch on a regular basis. When you need to pull heavy trailers or multi-ton loads, a full-sized, heavy-duty truck is the most reliable. The intended purpose of the truck is the main factor determining which model is best suited for you.
Brands with the largest pickup truck sales are Ford, GMC, Chevrolet, and Ram, formerly operating as Dodge. Toyota, Nissan, and Honda are Japanese manufacturers with a much smaller share of the pickup truck market.
Full-sized pickup trucks are considered to be half-ton trucks that typically have the 1500 designation. The most recognizable models include the Ford-F-150, the Ram 1500, the Toyota Tundra, the Chevrolet Silverado 1500, and the Nissan Titan. The full-sized models are the best sellers in the pickup truck market. These full-sized models ride higher than compact trucks and often serve as work trucks or secondary family vehicles.
Pickup trucks with the 2500 to 3500 series designation are considered to be heavy-duty pickup trucks. These vehicles are designed for commercial purposes, multi-ton loads, and to haul fifth-wheel trailers. However, the government officially designates these and any other vehicles that weigh less than 14,000 pounds as “light-duty.” The Ford versions of heavier-duty pickup trucks are the F-250 and the F-350. The Ram heavy-duty pickup is the 2500 and 3500.
Compact pickup trucks are smaller in size, built on a different chassis than the full-size models, and typically come equipped with a smaller four- or six-cylinder engine. Some of the most recognizable compact pickup trucks include the Nissan Frontier, the GMC Canyon, the Toyota Tacoma, the Honda Ridgeline, and the Chevrolet Colorado. These compact pickup trucks may also be referred to by some as mid-sized pickup trucks.
If the truck is going to be used by the family, consider a crew cab with four-door or an extended cab. Having an extended cab is functional, but the regular cab is the least expensive. However, the rear-seating in an extended-cab may prove to be more suitable for children than adults.
Having more interior storage space is the main advantage extended cabs offer for most truck drivers. Crew cabs may also be appealing if you don’t mind having a smaller cargo bed. These vehicles come equipped with four doors and as much rear-seating or cargo room as most SUVs.
Engine Size and Fuel Efficiency
Most compact pickup trucks come equipped with a four-cylinder base engine and offer the six-cylinder as a more powerful option. The base engine for many full-sized pickup trucks is a V6, and the V8 is offered as the more powerful option. The V6 is considered the optimum balance between power and fuel economy. The V6 may be fitted with a supercharger for more power or the V8 may be fitted with cylinder deactivation for better fuel economy.
Full-sized trucks running on gasoline should average 14 to 17 mpg combined, while compact trucks should average around 18 to 20 mpg.
Rear-wheel drive is most common for trucks because it’s best-suited for hauling heavier loads. Four-wheel drive is ideal for pickup trucks used in tougher conditions like off-roading or for winter traction. Four-wheel drive may be a part-time system engaged with a lever or button or a full-time system that engages front-wheel drive for additional traction as needed.
Most full-sized trucks can tow from 5,000 to 10,000 pounds, while most compacts safely tow anywhere from 3,000 to 7,000 pounds. Depending on the features and options onboard, heavy-duty trucks can tow between 12,000 and 31,000 pounds. The towing capacity of the pickup truck also depends on the amount of torque provided by the different rear-axle ratios available.
Single-vehicle rollovers are most common with compact pickup trucks. If you’re in the market for a used truck, at least consider one with electronic stability control — a mandatory safety feature starting in 2012 that helps reduce fatality rates for these vehicles. Other safety features worth considering include latch attachments for the seat belts, airbag positioning, and traction control.
What Truck Should You Buy?
Determining which truck is best depends on your individual needs, wants, and preferences. Consider the truck and cab size, engine, fuel efficiency, drivetrains, towing capacity, and safety when picking out your perfect pickup.
For a full range of options, visit Bryant Motors in Sedalia, MO today. We have the regions best selection of new and used trucks for sale from all the biggest manufacturers. Come on in for a test drive!