Black pickup truck

10 Things to Consider When Buying a Pickup Truck

You’re looking into purchasing a new truck, but before you do so, you should consider several things. You want a truck that will deliver exceptional performance and provide everything you need. Here are 10 things you should consider when buying a pickup truck.

1. Usage

What will you use your truck for?  This question is the first one you need to answer before purchasing any truck. If you plan on towing large boats or other vehicles, you should consider a larger truck. However, if your payloads are rather minimal, a small truck may be the best decision.

2. Towing Capacity

Many people buy a truck so they can tow campers, trailers, and other vehicles. Every truck isn’t made the same. Some trucks can pull thousands more pounds than others. For example, the Ford F-150 can tow up to 10,000 lbs while a Toyota Tacoma can only pull up to 3,500 lbs.

3. Power and Engine Size

Engine size and power is just as important as towing capacity. A smaller, 4-cylinder engine may not provide you with the power you desire from your truck, but it will save money on gas. For smaller payloads, 4-cylinders are perfect, but if you plan on towing large boats, consider purchasing a V6 or even a V8.

4. Gas Mileage

Trucks are notorious for getting terrible gas mileage, so you need to factor in that many trucks will get less than 20 mpg for both highway and city. But there are some, such as the 2016 GMC Canyon, that can get up to 22 mpg in the city and 31 mpg on the freeway. Different models can have vastly different fuel economies.

5. Passenger Capacity

Trucks aren’t great for passengers. Larger models will have enough room for passengers, but passenger space sacrifices truck bed space. Expect that most trucks will be two-person vehicles. If you need enough space for multiple passengers, consider purchasing a larger cab model.

6. Bed Size

If you frequently move lumber or long materials, you want to have a bed that will accommodate your needs. Smaller trucks will require you to leave the tailgate down, which is illegal in some states. Be sure that the truck bed will fit your needs.

7. Two-Wheel Drive vs. Four-Wheel Drive

A 4x4 costs more than a traditional two-wheel drive truck. However, if you'll frequently be driving in bad weather, you may consider purchasing a 4x4. Your driving habits and the climate where you'll drive impact which you should purchase, but know that opting for a 4x4 will negatively affect your gas mileage.

8. Manual or Automatic

When it comes to a transmission, choosing between a manual and automatic can be difficult. If you spend a lot of time in traffic, an automatic transmission will save you unnecessary shifting while driving around the city. Trucks with manual transmissions generally cost less.

9. Camper Shell

If you’re buying a truck to transport objects in the bed, you may consider purchasing a camper shell. This shell will protect the bed contents from theft or rain. While a shell can set you back a good amount of money, it can save you more in the long run.

10. Included Features

If you are a contractor, you want an accurate and up-to-date navigation system. If you spend a lot of time in your car during the winter, you may want heated seats in your truck. Before purchasing a truck, make sure the included features are perfect for you.

Last Updated: April 06, 2017