Man driving an SUV instead of a truck

Truck vs. SUV: Which One is Best for You?

When it comes time to buy a new car, you may be unsure about which type of vehicle you should purchase: a truck or an SUV? To help you find the answer, we'll outline some pros and cons of buying both a truck and an SUV. Only once you've weighed them yourself will you find the solution.

Trucks: An Overview

One of the main reasons people decide to purchase a truck is for work. Because of this, most people will look at the towing capacity. You should expect a lower than usual fuel economy with a truck as well. So, ask yourself what your specific needs and expectations are for your vehicle. If you need it to haul gear from one place to another, keep in mind that you can't load things like lumber into an SUV.

Pros of Purchasing a Truck

1. Powerful engines: It will be hard to find an engine that is more powerful than a truck. While many truck and SUV models from the same manufacturer may share the same powertrain, truck models often have upgradeable diesel engine options.

2. Storage bed: On top of hauling things such as lumber, you will also be able to move other things such as furniture with ease. The bed of the truck is flat, making it easy to move nearly anything.

3. Towing capabilities: This one is a no-brainer. Trucks can pull boats, trailers, campers, and other vehicles with ease.

Cons of Purchasing a Truck

1. Difficulty maneuvering: Unlike most SUVs, trucks can be very large. It can sometimes be difficult to maneuver into parking spots or on the road.

2. Seating vs. Truck Bed Trade-Off: Choosing an adequate seating arrangement can be tricky with trucks. Full cabs with enough seating for 5 adults typically come with shorter beds, taking away some of the usability of having a truck in the first place.  But choosing a more utilitarian-sized bed often means a smaller cab or shelling out more money for the longer bed length.

3. Low gas mileage: Trucks that have good mileage will get around 15-20 mpg in the city and close to 25 on the highway. This is lower than many popular small SUVs available.

SUVs: An Overview

SUVs can be used for many different purposes. They are great for passenger vehicles and also useful if you need to load smaller objects into the back. SUVs are sometimes compared to a cross between a truck and a car. These vehicles are great if you're into sports, as you can mount a bike rack on top, or throw your supplies in the back.

Pros of Purchasing an SUV

1. Passenger seats: Compared to a truck, SUVs have much more room for passenger seats. You can easily fit five to seven people comfortably into one SUV.

2. Maneuvering: The SUV is much easier to drive compared to a truck, although slightly harder than a car. You can usually easily move in and out of lanes and parking spots without hassle.

3. Gas mileage: SUVs will typically get better gas mileage than a truck. Some smaller SUVs even get better gas mileage than many cars. For example, the 2015 Mazda CX-5 receives 26 mpg in the city and 35 on the highway. There are some smaller trucks, however, that have similar gas mileage to large SUVs.

Cons of Purchasing an SUV

1. Flipping danger: Since SUVs are further from the ground, these vehicles present a slightly higher risk of flipping over. While many SUVs have features to prevent this, it is still something to consider.

2. Cost: The cost of SUVs is slightly higher than trucks. The average mid-size truck is around $32,000 while mid-size SUVs come in at $32,000. These prices can go as high as $60,000 for full-size SUVs or crossovers, compared to $46,500 for full-size trucks.

3. Increased insurance rates: SUVs owners pay on average 10% to 20% more to insure their vehicle compared to others due to the higher risk of accidents.

Last Updated: July 11, 2017