In many ways, shopping for a pickup truck might seem like shopping for a passenger car. You choose a color, engine configuration, and trim, and you’re all set. However, considering the versatility and the special uses of pickup trucks, as well as the increasing number of styles and options, the number of choices can quickly overpower an average buyer. Here are the main considerations.
Midsize or full size
If you just like the idea of having a truck and don’t plan using it for your trade, a midsize model like the Chevrolet Colorado, Honda Ridgeline or Toyota Tacoma are the way to go. They are easy to drive and park, while still carrying plenty of utility. On the other hand, if you plan to use the bed for hauling cargo or towing a heavy trailer, you might have to go with a full size. This choice will automatically narrow the field down for the next considerations – two-or four-wheel drive. Towing a boat trailer often means maneuvering on slippery boat ramps, where 4×4 might become useful.
Light, medium, or heavy-duty
When you know what your cargo will be and what you will tow, you can use the information to choose between a light-duty and a heavy-duty truck. Back in the day, manufacturers used to rate trucks by their payloads – half-ton, ¾ ton, and so on. Nowadays, it’s more common for trucks to be divided into light-duty, medium-duty and heavy-duty categories marked with numbers like 1500, 2500 and 3500 or 150, 250 and 350. For example, the Chevy Silverado 1500 and the Ford 150 are both considered light-duty trucks despite their formidable towing capacities. If you fail to estimate the power requirements, your truck might have difficulty hauling your load. Similarly, if you chose a bigger truck you need, you may find it hard to fit into most parking spots or tight driveways, not to mention paying more for what you don’t need.
Manufacturers today typically offer three to four cab sizes. A truck with four full-size doors and a spacious back seat that is generous enough for cross-country travel is called a crew-cab. The idea is that a contractor can drive both his crew, tools, and materials to remote work sites. Double-cab trucks have four doors, as well, but the rear doors are smaller and there’s less legroom in the back. Extended cabs, or super cabs, have rear doors that hinge outward and can’t be operated unless the front doors are open. Finally, there’s the regular cab truck with a single row of seating for up to three people. When compiling their offer of trucks for sale, dealers need to keep all the options in the game, as the cab size may also affect the bed length, which is the next consideration important for many buyers.
If you’re looking for a standard-length truck, keep in mind that a crew cab will take away from the truck bed length. If you want to keep both a large cab and a long bed, your only choice is a model with a longer wheelbase, which is more challenging to park and maneuver. On midsize trucks, beds are usually 5 to 6 feet long, while on full-size trucks, it goes up to 8 feet. Having plenty of space for the crew and cargo is nice, but ask yourself if you could put that truck into your current garage. Some manufacturers offer an optional bed extender that allows the owners to lower the tailgate and use it as additional bed space, without adding length to the truck.
Engine and axle ratio
Trucks have had a longstanding reputation of being economical as army tanks. However, now manufacturers offer more engine options that allow buyers to find an ideal engine option on the power and fuel economy balance. A modern V6 engine can perform like a V8 from a decade ago with an added fuel economy bonus. While previously manufacturers offered diesel engines in heavy-duty trucks only, now you can have the Chevrolet Colorado or a Ford 150 with a diesel engine which is the best option for towing, as it provides high torque on low speeds. When it comes to the axle ration, different values affect the fuel economy and towing capabilities of your truck. Higher the number, the more you can tow but worse the fuel efficiency.
Knowing how you plan to use the truck will eliminate two-thirds of the potential candidates. After you’ve chosen the cabin capacity, you need to figure out how the cargo bed length adds to the equation. Finally, you’ll be able to tell whether you’re looking for a mid-size or full-size truck.
After deciding on mid-size or full-size check for best floor mats for your truck here.