Needless to say, Americans like pickup trucks. And the bigger the truck, the more it seems to be the object of desire. Monthly and annual sales charts are some of the broken records; Track One is the Ford F-Series, followed by Chevy Silverado, Ram’s Line of Holer, and nowhere below the line, the GMC Sierra. Big Japanese players fall a little lower – not that there’s nothing wrong with selling a million Toyota Tundras – and smaller trucks of one size like the Toyota Tacoma, Ford Ranger and Chevy Colorado have also proved terribly popular.
In addition to their sales numbers, the average cost of new trucks has similarly increased.
Now, I don’t pretend to have the right to tell people what they should or shouldn’t buy with their own money. But I can’t help but wonder why a growing number of Americans are choosing to spend huge sums of money on super luxury pickup trucks.
Let me tell you first I understand the appeal. People like beautiful things, after all. I know I do. I myself am willing to spend more than the average American on all sorts of considerations, from wine and wine to cameras and lenses. I’ve even spent my own money on vehicles that I don’t need but want anyway. A certain vintage VW camper van must qualify. I currently own a large, inefficient SUV with a 454-cubic-inch large block V8.
So the answer to the question I’m asking here is if you’re willing to pay a hundred percent better in a chromed-out and leather-lined pickup because you want to, but above all – not that you need my permission – go buy one.
The part I don’t understand is: why don’t you split your garage in half as a rational person? On one side sits a nice car that is quiet, rides and operates evenly and gets average fuel mileage. Maybe it has hundreds of gasoline-fueled horsepower, or heck, maybe it’s electric. On the other side (or even outside) a decent pickup truck is parked. That could pull up to 10,000 pounds, carry anything close to a ton in bed, and have all the things most Americans want in their car, such as cruise control, power windows and locks, keyless access, and a decent infotainment screen.
If you’re just looking to buy the brand new, a look at Ford’s online configuration for the F-150 proves that it’s not hard to find an excellent F-150 XLT 4×4 with rear seats and an EcoBoost engine priced at around $ 49,000. A loaded F-150 Limited costs about $ 86,000. Both are fully capable of doing trucky things, but one costs around $ 40,000 more than the other because it comes in leather, wood and technology.
I’m not picking Ford. This is the same story of Ram, Toyota and General Motors. We recently ran a section where we picked the best and worst automaker vehicles currently sold and I chose a larger, full-size truck for both categories. About the Chevy Silverado 3500 HD I chose as GM’s best, I said:
For less than $ 58,000, a buyer can snatch a Silverrado with four doors, four-wheel drive, dual rear wheels and a 6.6-liter turbodiesel engine with a 10-speed automatic attachment. Avoid animal comforts (many of which are available) and you have a truck with 910 lb-ft of torque and a powerful enough package to carry up to 36,000 lbs or 7,400 lbs. “
Regarding GMC Sierra Denali, which I chose as GM’s worst, I said:
“I just went to GMC.com and used their online configurator to create a virtual 2023 Sierra Denali that would cost 86,360. Naturally, I chose all the best bling with beautiful pearl white tri-coat paint and 22-inch bright chrome wheels. It’s a really cool pickup truck, but a pickup truck that I would never really work with. “
And that’s the problem as I see it. Trucks serve a very important purpose in modern society. Whether John and Jane are homeowners who like to lean on their gardens on weekends or construction workers who arrive at their workplace every morning with a full load of tools without a locking bin in bed, people need to take things with them. We bought campers and dragged them hundreds of miles. We take our boats to the lake, our dirt bikes and race cars to the track, and we sometimes throw loads of rocks and pebbles on the bed.
We need trucks. The trucks are good. They are excellent tools if used properly. In fact, they probably made the best go to America. But we don’t need to use all these trucks as our daily driver. There are better tools for that.
Before you think I’m going to tell you to buy an electric car (it’s not the worst idea in the world), take a look at this previous opinion article I wrote. Whether or not you want to power it up, you can buy a pretty decently used car for the $ 40,000 price difference between the aforementioned F-150 XLT and F-150 Limited.
If I were to spend my own money, I’d look at a certified pre-owned F-150 with a 5.0-liter V8 below 35 35,000. There are over a dozen of them around me with warranties for sale right now (remember how many of these things Ford sells?). It’s not a small amount, but it’s not so much that I’m afraid to fill its bed with building supplies. Or, you know, better than any other kind of work trucks do. You can choose to go really cheap and get something like the old used Dodge Dakota or Toyota Tundra.
Either way, you’ll have a lot of money left over to keep another nice car in the garage, which is more luxurious, quieter, more comfortable, more fun to drive, easier to park and, yes, significantly more efficient. Two tools, and each of them is intended for their specific purpose.