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Used Pickup Truck Buying Guide

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Used Pickup Truck Buying Guide

For towing, a full-size SUV or midsize SUV with a torquey engine and tow package can do nearly everything a pickup truck can. Furthermore, SUVs are often a bit easier to live with day-to-day. Why, then, would you need a truck

SUVs almost always offer better fuel economy, thus saving you money in the long run. Additionally, their suspensions are tuned for more passenger comfort. Moreover, SUVs are more likely to rack up safety accolades than pickup trucks.

Full-size pickup trucks are the most popular trucks in America. Therefore, they are revered as the flagship products of the Detroit Three automakers. In 2021, the three best-selling vehicles in America were full-size trucks: the Ford F-150, Ram 1500, and Chevy Silverado, respectively. U.S. car and light truck sales in 2021 totaled just over 15 million vehicles. These three full-size pickup trucks accounted for 1.85 million of those sales.

Active safety systems, once common only to luxury cars, have made their way into the truck market. Forward collision warning with pedestrian detection, blind-spot warning, automatic emergency braking, lane-keeping assist, and similar technologies are now available on most pickups. However, in most cases, they are only standard on the most expensive trims or as added-cost options.

Yet, truck builders have used every trick to improve truck fuel economy. In its 2021 Automotive Trends Report, the EPA said that trucks had seen a more significant improvement in fuel economy and emissions than any other vehicle category in recent years.

Electric pickup trucks are a small but rapidly growing segment offering the functionality of a truck and the sustainability of an electric vehicle. Here's every 2023 model-year battery-electric truck ranked from worst to best.

When you shop for a used truck, these are the most common vehicles online or on the lot. But they range from bare-bones work trucks with few options to luxury trucks with every creature comfort imaginable.

Our sister site Kelley Blue Book is the only site with more than 100 years of experience evaluating the value of every car. Use our car valuation tool to figure out how much to pay, and look for Good Price and Great Price ribbons on used truck ads on Autotrader in your area.

Edmunds classifies pickups in compact, midsize, full-size light-duty and full-size heavy-duty sizes. Knowing what you need and what you want in a truck is important if you expect to get the right tool for the job and not pay for more capability than you'll use.

One of the great things about pickup trucks is that you can custom-tailor the majority of them with optional equipment. That way, they'll perform the work you require during the week, handle your adventures on the weekends, and reflect your personality at all times. So, while base prices might range from about $21,000 for a basic compact truck to $40,000 for a bare-bones heavy-duty crew cab, you can easily spend double those figures for fully loaded models equipped with all of the extras.

Picking a crew cab gives you the most space for people and items you'd rather not store in the cargo bed. At a minimum, a regular-cab pickup seats two people, or three if you choose one with a bench-style front seat. Extended cabs have rear jump seats or a small rear bench seat designed to occasionally accommodate passengers. Crew cabs offer expansive rear seating, the largest trucks supplying enough room for tall passengers to stretch their legs and relax.

Two of the main reasons to buy a pickup truck are for the towing and hauling capabilities. Across all truck classes, though, the numbers vary, and dramatically so. Broadly speaking, compact trucks top out at about 5,000 pounds of maximum towing capacity depending on the model. Going with a midsize truck will get you a little more towing capacity, around 5,000 to 7,000 pounds. Light-duty full-size trucks max out at around 12,000 to 13,000 pounds depending on the model and configuration. H


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