Full-size pickup trucks from Ford, GM and Ram continue to lead domestic automotive sales. Nothing beats the utility and versatility of a pickup, whether you’re a homeowner with a family, a contractor running a small business or someone with an active lifestyle and lots of gear. But the last few pandemic years have been a challenging time to buy a new pickup truck — from supply issues to skyrocketing prices to empty dealer lots, it’s a lot more challenging for buyers than it used to be just a few years ago.
If you’re thinking about purchasing your first pickup, here are five things to consider before you buy.
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1. How Will You Use It?
Pickups come in many more varieties than cars, with different bed lengths, cab sizes, a wide choice of interior trims and powertrains, and two-, four- or all-wheel drive. Which configuration you choose depends on your needs, and that will have a big impact on price, fuel economy and handling.
The most common pickup configuration is a four-door half ton with 4WD in a mid-level trim. These trucks hit the sweet spot for most buyers, combining room for a family with ample towing and hauling capability, a more carlike ride and better fuel economy than the three-quarter-ton or one-ton trucks. That said, if your plans include work like plowing or heavy towing, you’re going to need a stronger pickup.