What Truck Should I Buy?
Feb 16, · Pickup Truck Types Compact trucks are usually the least expensive way to join the club, and they are offered by many manufacturers. Full-sized . May 29, · Simply put, pickup trucks dominate the North American car market. Several full-size trucks, in particular, have been the top-selling individual vehicles for Author: Kevin Linder.
Towing what it can pull and payload how much it can carry depends on several factors, including engine and transmission, rear axle ratio, and truck size. And those biggest numbers are usually for bjy gooseneck or fifth-wheel trailer, the type that attach to a hitch in the bed. For conventional towing, with a hitch at the back, the maximum numbers are usually much less. Quite often, the highest towing capacity belongs to a regular vuy and two-wheel drive — the type few people buy!
Be sure you know what your desired model can handle. Too much weight puts a strain on the brakes, tires, frame, steering, and transmission. Make sure the truck meets your needs. Will your motorcycle fit, or do you need a bed extender? Can you attach ramps for your ATV?
Is there lockable storage for your tools? Most should be able to handle a dirt bike in the box. Their smaller size is good for everyday driving as an SUV or crossover alternative.
They have different styling cues, but these two are mechanical twins. Configuration is Extended Cab or Crew Cab, which comes in two box lengths. Maximum towing with the diesel is 7, lb. This beefed-up model comes with V6 or diesel, and with more ground clearance, wider front and whwt tracks, front and rear locking differentials, and really decent performance when you want to go barrelling along truk high-speed off-road course.
It uses a 3. Its secret weapon is its storage. The tailgate goes down conventionally, or opens sideways like a door for easier loading. Its 4. You can get a 2. When you order the right package, the Tacoma is all but unstoppable off-road.
Half-tons how to use feeler gauge valve adjustment got the name because they could haul half a ton 1, lb.
The capacities are higher today, but the name has stuck and refers to the lightest-duty models among full-size trucks. They use a 4. Maximum towing capacity is 12, lb. There are all-new versions coming for Their new V8 engines will feature sophisticated cylinder deactivation that can run from one to eight pistons for fuel efficiency, depending on power requirements; and a new 3.
Never mind best-selling truck; this is the best-selling vehicle in Canada. The turbos are fuel-efficient when used moderately, but they can tuck up fuel pretty quick when towing. Top pulling capacity is 13, lb. The F undergoes a mild restyling foradding an all-new 2. Also coming is a 3. The original factory-built off-road beast, the Raptor uses a high-output twin-turbo 3. Like the Frontier, the Titan how to cure sinus infection natural remedies also an older design.
Forall models come standard with a rear-view camera. It uses a 5. You get a bumper-to-bumper warranty for five years how to apply floor waxkm. You can get a 3. Maximum towing is 10, lb. The Ram has a smooth ride thanks to its rear coil-over springs — everybody else uses leaf springs.
An all-new Ram is coming forwith stronger frame and maximum towing capacity of 12, lb. An all-new 3. Both gas engines will be available with a mild-hybrid eTorque system that provides a burst of fuel-free power when needed. All others use a 5. Maximum towing capacity is 9, lb. Forthe Tundra adds new standard safety features such as adaptive cruise control, emergency braking, and lane-departure warning. These are the trucks for your fifth-wheel or gooseneck campers, horse trailers, and car trailers.
For really heavy loads, consider a truck with dual rear wheels. Only the Detroit automakers offer true heavy-duty models. The and models use a 6. Maximum conventional towing is 14, lb. The F, F, and F offer a 6. Conventional towing tops out at 21, lb. Available engines are a 5. Maximum towing is 12, lb. The diesel makes either or lb-ft of torque, depending on which automatic transmission you order.
By Jil McIntosh. April 03, Share this article:. Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 This beefed-up model comes with V6 or diesel, and with more ground clearance, wider front and rear tracks, front and rear locking differentials, and really decent performance when you want to go barrelling along a high-speed off-road course.
About Jil McIntosh. Jil McIntosh writes about new cars, antique and classic cars, and the automotive industry. In addition to testing new vehicles, she owns two from the s.
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Truckmakers typically offer diesel engines in heavy-duty trucks. But now you can choose a diesel engine on a midsize truck such as the Chevrolet Colorado or on a full-size, light-duty truck such as. May 23, · The first thing anyone shopping for a new pickup truck will notice is that, in most cases, they're considerably more expensive than the average passenger car . Aug 14, · What kind of truck should we buy to pull our horse trailer? John Paul, AAA Northeast's Car Doctor, answers a question from a reader seeking a truck .
Once used primarily as beasts of burden, pickup trucks now routinely play an additional role as day-to-day family haulers and tow vehicles for weekend playthings. Ongoing advancements have helped them become aspirational vehicles for buyers who crave an exclusive luxury vehicle. Modern rigs are still big, bold, and highly capable. There are seemingly endless combinations of trim choices, bed sizes, engine options, and exterior and interior color palettes.
For example, if you have no plans to carry large loads or pull a very heavy trailer, there probably is no need for a heavy-duty pickup truck; a lighter-duty full-sized truck, or even a compact or midsized pickup, could fit the bill.
Pickups differ greatly not only in size but also in price, fuel economy, comfort, performance, safety, and reliability. Some of these factors are connected: The trucks with the best fuel economy typically weigh less, are smaller, and have less powerful engines.
Likewise, we find that the more heavy-duty a truck is, the worse the ride gets. While choices have never been more prolific, prices have steadily crept up. Compact trucks are usually the least expensive way to join the club, and they are offered by many manufacturers. Full-sized pickups, sometimes called half-ton trucks, are by far the biggest-selling type.
Heavy-duty trucks are designated and or F and F, respectively , with the larger numbers conveying greater capabilities. And the larger the number, the more commercial-focused the truck becomes. That being said, these brands do offer luxury oriented trims of their heavy-duty models.
As with all types, buyers can choose extended-cab and crew-cab body styles regular cabs are pretty hard to come by these days ; two-, four-, or all-wheel drive; and tons of engine and transmission combinations. Most are built using body-on-frame construction like their full-sized brethren, and they usually offer a range of four-cylinder and V6 engines. The Honda Ridgeline uses unit-body construction and an independent rear suspension—borrowing underpinnings from the mild-mannered Honda Pilot SUV.
This helps the Ridgeline deliver among the most refined rides of any truck. Full-Sized Pickup Trucks These are the brawny workhorses of the pickup world. These form the backbone of the pickup truck market. They serve well as work trucks and, for many, as a substitute for the family car. Powertrain choices vary widely from turbocharged four-cylinders to old-school V8s and even a hybrid option in the F Adding any of the available turbodiesel engines raises the price considerably.
Of course, there are multiple ways to break the bank with these trucks. These kinds of prices used to be the domain of high-end European cars. Now, for some drivers, the most prestigious car to own is a top-shelf truck.
Heavy-Duty Trucks These supersized trucks carry numerical designations such as or They are configured for muscling serious loads and for hauling fifth-wheel trailers, those with a hitch point in the center of the cargo bed. These are bulky trucks for the most demanding chores, making them overkill for most noncommercial purposes shy of hauling a huge trailer.
Only Detroit competes in this heavyweight division. Add even more for the s. Cab Size and Seating Regular cabs are the least expensive to buy, but they tend to be available in only basic, work-oriented configurations. Extended cabs are far more useful, and crew cabs provide roomy accommodations, especially in full-sized trucks.
Pickup trucks are among the only vehicles left that can be configured to seat three across in the front seat. The real advantage of an extended cab is additional interior storage. Crew-cab trucks have four full-sized doors and a rear seating or cargo area on a par with mid- and full-sized SUVs, but these large cabs usually come with a smaller cargo bed.
As you move up the trim lines, cloth seats turn into leather, and heated and cooled seats with increasing levels of adjustability become a given for the top trims. The Bed This is, of course, what sets trucks apart from all other vehicles.
The open cargo bed lends itself to accomplishing serious chores, such as moving large appliances, bulky furniture, tools or equipment, motorcycles, snow blowers, and outdoors-only cargo like wood chips, manure, and trash.
Among other considerations, the open bed leaves cargo vulnerable to the weather or theft. Four-door crew cabs can generally be had with a 5- or 6-foot bed. Compact pickup beds usually run 5 to 6 feet, depending on cab configuration.
There are many bed accessories available, including LED lights, a tailgate step, stowable load ramps, tie-down loops, stake pockets, and remote tailgate releases.
Some even come with power-operated tailgates. Spray-in and drop-in liners are popular for added protection when hauling items in the bed. The tailgate has become a differentiating factor among trucks. The Honda Ridgeline comes with a dual-action tailgate, which allows it to flip down like a conventional tailgate or swing sideways like a door. The smaller Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon even offer a four-cylinder diesel, which returned an impressive 24 mpg overall in our tests.
Ford offers a hybrid powertrain that includes a 3. The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that this powertrain will deliver 24 mpg combined—4 mpg more than the standard 3. The series diesel engines from GM and Ram also rank high, with 23 mpg overall. Heavy-duty trucks are built for working hard. They create a lot of power and torque, with fuel economy around 14 to 16 mpg overall for the big rigs. Towing Pickup trucks are well-suited to hauling boats, cars, utility trailers, and campers behind them.
Buyers can have the manufacturer or dealer install towing equipment, or they can add it themselves, using aftermarket parts. Purchasing from the factory is the best choice because installation could involve complex wiring for the trailer brakes and lights, special attachment points for the tow hitch, and accessories such as a heavy-duty alternator and a transmission oil cooler.
In addition, the manufacturer-engineered packages come backed by the factory warranty. Most pickups can be ordered with a trailer-brake controller. Other available towing features include a hill hold assist, trailer sway control, a transparent trailer-view camera that allows the driver to seemingly see through the trailer, and steering assist that compensates for a trailer.
They include cab and bed size, wheelbase length, rear axle ratio, and the presence or absence of a factory towing package. The differences can be significant: A properly equipped truck can safely tow more than 12, pounds, but some configurations are limited to as little as 5, pounds. A typical compact pickup truck can tow between 5, and 7, pounds, and most full-sized class trucks can handle 9, to 12, pounds.
Heavy-duty pickups can be configured to tow over 35, pounds. For ambitious hauling or towing, consider getting a diesel engine; many are available in both regular and heavy-duty models. The higher torque output associated with diesel engines makes heavy towing easier. Ride and Handling Trucks are designed to carry weight in the bed, so most deliver a stiff ride when the bed is empty.
The heavy-duty models are borderline punishing. Some models, such as the Honda Ridgeline and Ram , have made the greatest strides in delivering a reasonably comfortable and quiet ride. With just about any truck, placing even a modest load in the bed helps calm the ride somewhat. But when it comes to handling, the sheer bulk of many of these gargantuan machines means that buyers should abandon all hope of nimble moves. Again, compared with full-sized trucks, the compact models have an edge when it comes to responsive handling—relatively speaking.
However, buyers should expect trucks to have clumsy and somewhat ponderous handling. Further, our road tests detail issues regarding child seat installation and headlight performance. Forward collision warning FCW , automatic emergency braking AEB with pedestrian detection, and blind spot warning BSW are crash-avoidance technologies that CR believes should be standard on all vehicles.
These should be on the next new or used model you buy. AEB responds to an imminent collision, braking if the driver does not react in time. Learn more about car safety. There are certainly benefits to buying a brand-new pickup truck.
Most notably, new trucks have the latest safety gear and engineering improvements. Further, there are tons of choices for color, trim line, and option levels.
And financing rates are typically lower than those for a used truck. The key drawback of buying a new truck is how quickly it will depreciate. New trucks have been known to shed half their value in the first two to three years. But the depreciation picture can change a lot from year to year, depending on competitive forces, fuel prices, new model introductions, and other factors.
It has already taken a big depreciation hit but should still have most of its useful life ahead of it. Modern pickup trucks, if soundly maintained, can stay on the road for , miles or longer. The key to selecting a good used pickup truck is to focus on reliability, even if the truck is still covered by its original factory warranty.
Check with Consumer Reports to find models that have top-notch reliability scores. At the same time, every used truck is unique. Because trucks can often lead hard lives, make sure the mechanic looks for signs of extreme duty, such as off-roading or large-trailer towing.
When buying from a private seller, ask how the truck was used and maintained. Whether buying new or used, it is important to do research so that you can choose a good model and to follow that up with effective negotiation. We respect your privacy. All email addresses you provide will be used just for sending this story. Sign In. Become a Member. Remember Me.
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