5 Questions for Finding the Best Pickup for You

2015-GMC-Canyon-three-truck-family-043 II

Finding the right pickup truck is not as easy as you might think. And if you're not sure you even need a pickup, the array of choices can be overwhelming. To help, we've put together five questions you need to ask yourself before you move forward. These questions will help narrow your choices in a pretty wide field.

One of the reasons so many people like pickup trucks is their capability and flexibility; even the most luxuriously appointed pickup still offers more work-duty capability than crossovers and SUVs combined. At its most fundamental level, a pickup is a tool that can be used in different ways, which is a big part of their appeal. Think it's the right tool for you? Answer the questions below honestly and you'll know.

1. What Size Do You Need?

This may sound like a simple question but it's probably the most important one — which is why we're asking it first. The choices are mid-size, half-ton, three-quarter-ton and one-ton pickups, and they come with varying levels of capability. Consider where you live, where you park, how tight or wide your average drive routes are, and above all else, what purpose your vehicle serves. We're all for people being prepared for those just-in-case moments that can pop up, but if you don't carry or tow heavy loads, don't purchase a three-quarter-ton pickup. If you're mostly commuting and not carrying a load, stick with a smaller pickup.

2015-GMC-Canyon-Crew-Cab-SLE-MidSize-Pickup-smaller-maneurverable-021 II

2. How Much Torque Do You Need?

Think about how you'll use your new pickup truck. Do you need a lot low-speed grunt to get your jobs done or will it mostly see duty at highway speeds over long distances? The choices here are small or large diesels, V-8 gas motors or V-6 gas engines with a pair of turbos or a supercharger. If you plan to do any hauling and pulling, you might want to think about a diesel engine, which are offered in all four pickup classes. Diesels provide the most pulling power. Or if diesel doesn't appeal, consider a V-8 engine; they also produce quite a bit of torque relatively low in the rpm range. If your needs are mixed, you might want to think about a V-6 with extra boosters, like a set of turbos or a supercharger, to give you the boost you need only when you put your foot into it.

3. How Many Seats Do You Need?

This is pretty simple. Most pickup trucks are offered in several different cab configurations so you can find the right cab to fit your needs. The choices are regular cab (two front seats), extended cab (two full-size front seats, two mini-seats in back) and crew cabs (four full-size seats or more). If you plan to use your truck as a family vehicle, you should consider a full-size four-door crew cab. This will give you at least four seats and as many as six if it's equipped with front and rear bench seats, allowing you to use the pickup as a people hauler. If you won't have many passengers, regular-cab — usually pretty spacious in the half-ton and heavy-duty classes — or the extended-cab models might suffice. Most extended-cab pickups can be reconfigured to create more space for passengers or cargo. Another thing to keep in mind: Some brands use names other than regular, extended or crew to describe their truck cabs, so ask about passenger capacity.

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4. How Will the Pickup Be Used?

Pickup trucks are designed to accomplish work, hence the cargo bed in the back. That makes them a little different from other vehicles, which have a primary purpose of transporting people. So, you need to be honest about how you plan to a pickup: To haul cargo? Carry people? Carry tools? Tow a boat, a trailer or some other toy? How frequently will you do those things? The more honest you are with yourself, the more likely you are to make a good choice. As noted, we are big believers in "just-in-case" purchases that will provide you more options down the road. If you believe that too, go for it.

5. Do You Really Need a Pickup?

There are many vehicles that can serve as your main or secondary mode of transportation, but if you carry messy cargo or tow something occasionally, it's possible a pickup truck is your best choice. If our unscientific observations are any indication, it seems like there are many people who really don't need a pickup truck as their everyday transportation. Owning a full-size pickup comes with trade-offs — a stiffer ride, parking challenges, less-than-great fuel economy, restricted visibility, the occasional rude hand gesture and more — and if you're not prepared to absorb those trade-offs, you could be disappointed with a pickup.

Manufacturer image; Cars.com photos by Christian Lantry, Evan Sears

 

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Comments

Your HEMI gets at best 18 mpg. And if you drive it like you stole it, you're getting 12 mpg. The 6.2 GM using premium will have lower fuel costs, no matter how you drive it.


Posted by: GMSRGREAT | May 14, 2018 1:31:44 PM

Wow! Children letting loose on the keyboard again. Good LAWD!!

@TNTGMC

i will agree with you on the premium fuel i have a 2018, 3.5 EB, King Ranch with the tow package and all i run is premium fuel and knew that going into it, but CT and GMbailout are also speaking the truth about which is cheaper to run (premium vs 87) no need to get your panties in a bunch, also i don't know where you keep getting the idea that the EB gas sucking motor when towing it ran toe to toe with the 6.2 towing 10K it was .3 MPG worse than the 6.2, here read all about it

http://news.pickuptrucks.com/2016/01/texas-truck-showdown-2016-towing-mileage-test.html

and also was really close when it came to towing .4 seconds, empty it was a little more .5 seconds would hardly call that dominating, but the 6.2 is faster

PUT.com

Why do you let TNT post personal atttacks and call others names?

That is opposite of trying to be civil. This is a public site and it doesn’t help your reputation to allow such behaviour that he shows.

WHY can't you guys ask me a creative question that stumps me about the Eco-Boost ?

such as: If the Eco-Boost is so wonderful Why doesn't Ford use the Eco-Boost in the Super Duty Trucks?

WHY can't you guys ask me a creative question that stumps me about the Eco-Boost ? such as: If the Eco-Boost is so wonderful Why doesn't Ford use the Eco-Boost in the Super Duty Trucks?
Posted by: Ecoboost Rules | May 14, 2018

That would be a REAL who-cares question. I don't know anybody planning to buy a Super Duty under any conditions. Not trying to be mean, dude, but with the excellent RAM 2500 Cummins and the awesome GM 2500 Duramax to choose from, why would someone even consider a 3/4 ton Super Duty powered by a 1/2 truck ecoboost engine?

Did you think about that?

Jason, I agree with those statements. Allowing people like that on a site like this inhibits others from joining in on the conversation, just like me.

Jason Massy and ScottsDen:

This is my first post in about a year. I still read the articles and comments ( helps prove why I stay off the keyboard ) but until this one, I don’t indulge in leaving comments anymore.

Posters like Papajim, TNT, Johnny Doe, GMS etc have ruined the forums here. TFL gets my input. There people don’t partake in such lowbrow things.

Posters like Papajim, TNT, Johnny Doe, GMS etc have ruined the forums here. TFL gets my input. There people don’t partake in such lowbrow things.

Posted by: Kory | May 14, 2018 4:11:52 PM

Ouch! Interesting how you are not calling out the intellectuals such as 2.7 ecoboostroost, ecoboost rules, Frank, crunchtime, cliff and the rest of the FORD gang.

I insult once and the fanboys cry bc they know im right.

@Kory

I get a little hyper myself from time to time.

So the lady at my local organic grocery told me about some non-toxic oils that you can take every day without harm and it settles me down a little.

Not saying YOU should try it, but what harm would it do?

TNT careful though, your extra feul mileage doesnt mean much when you are paying premium fuel, which is what the 6.2 is tuned for. In reality a truck that gets 1-2 mpg less than the 6.2 but only needs regular gas will win out in the end. Something to think about.

-CT
Posted by: crunchtime | May 14, 2018 6:45:04 AM


Except that Ford themselves state quite clearly in the owners manual for Ecoboost F-150 that 91 octane should be used whenever towing or driving aggressively. Not to mention all of Ford's advertised power numbers are based on 93 octane. Running 87 octane in an Ecoboost results in potentially reduced performance and reduced fuel economy.

This is my first post in about a year. I still read the articles and comments ( helps prove why I stay off the keyboard ) but until this one, I don’t indulge in leaving comments anymore.

Posters like Papajim, TNT, Johnny Doe, GMS etc have ruined the forums here. TFL gets my input. There people don’t partake in such lowbrow things.
Posted by: Kory | May 14, 2018 4:11:52 PM

Why are you singling out Papajim/TNT/JD/GMS?

Why haven't you mentioned:
redbloodedxy
frank
chingon
Ecoboost Rules
GMBailout
Clint
oxi

Or are you saying it's OK as long as it's a Ford/Toyota fan bashing GM vehicles?

@DLE

I was never arguing that u couldn't put regular in it...I said that it is recommended and if u tow, or like to get on it, then use premium just like the 6.2L

GMbailout and CT love to pot stir and can't comprehend ANYTHING!!!

If ANYONE is worried about saving $10 on the difference between premium and regular bc thats what it is here.....50 cents higher in Midwest. I fill up always before 1/4 tank to keep stress off fuel pump. So usually around 18 to 20 gallons!!! If u are worried about that. You probably shouldn't own a truck that costs north of $40k, $50k $60k them!

Here's what the manual has to say about premium fuel:

“ For vehicles with EcoBoost engines, to provide improved performance, we recommend premium fuel for severe duty usage, such as trailer tow “

Premium fuel is not required.

Posted by: GMBailout | May 14, 2018 12:06:38 PM

Which is almost IDENTICAL to what GM states for the 6.2. Premium is strongly recommended but it can run on 87 octane. GM does not say 91 octane is the minimum octane required.

------------------------

TNT careful though, your extra feul mileage doesnt mean much when you are paying premium fuel, which is what the 6.2 is tuned for. In reality a truck that gets 1-2 mpg less than the 6.2 but only needs regular gas will win out in the end. Something to think about.

-CT


Posted by: crunchtime | May 14, 2018 6:45:04 AM

ALL engines are tuned to run on premium octane fuel. They use knock sensors.and powerful computers to adapt to the fuel ithe engine burning. GM stated quite clearly that the premium fuel is recommended (just like Ford states with regard to the Ecoboost), but that 87 octane is the minimum octane it can run on. There are plenty of guys on gm-trucks that run 87 octane in their 2014+ 6.2 trucks without a problem.

------------------------

".... although Ford says its EcoBoost powerplants do not require premium fuel, power ratings for these engines are calculated while using 93-octane gasoline..."

https://www.caranddriver.com/reviews/2015-ford-edge-first-drive-review

I guess you missed all the hub bub over the revelation that the 2015 Mustang 2.3EB couldn't make its advertised power numbers without 93 octane fuel huh....

------------------------

Turbos beat the window sticker gas mileage by 3.1%

340 vehicles were tested on a highway fuel economy test, a 200 mile interstate slog run at an average speed of 75 MPH
the data reveals that the 193 turbocharged vehicles beat their window stickers by 3.1%
Naturally aspirated models performed WORSE than the window sticker

Car And Driver
June 2018
page 45

Posted by: Ecoboost Rules | May 13, 2018 12:17:29 PM

LOL funny how you failed to mention that the 2018 Mustang 2.3EB delivered
21.6% worse in real world testing than its EPA estimated fuel economy. Look at the graphic down in the corner on the page you cited. I have the magazine right in front of me lol.

@ Brick

Thank you! Exactly what I stated!

@ HD ramking

Same too u! Thanks, I mentioned it, but they don't bother to listen

Plus, when the service manager at ford tell me and my step dad to put premium in it while picking his f150 up from.oil change. I think my step dad should listen to him......or are u fanboys arguing that YOUR Ford technicians have no idea what their talking about??

Thought so!!!!

Looks like Ramking beat me to it. The misconceived notion that the 6.2 "requires" premium and the 3.5 Ecoboost doesn't gets really old. The octane requirements for these engines are identical. 87 is the minimum, 91 is recommended for both. Based on my experience with the 3.5EB, I wouldn't run any less than 91 octane in the summer time. I don't get why guys dump $300+ on a cold air intake or even more on a handheld tuner, yet they're too cheap to pay a lottle extra for decent gasoline. Ethanol blended 87 octane is terrible fuel.

As I recall, all manufacturers tout their numbers using premium fuel. Yes indeed 87 octane and 10% alcohol will screw the numbers up pretty good.

Ouch! Interesting how you are not calling out the intellectuals such as 2.7 ecoboostroost, ecoboost rules, Frank, crunchtime, cliff and the rest of the FORD gang.


Posted by: GMSRGREAT | May 14, 2018 4:27:40 PM

that because there is only two guys on here that resort to calling names to make a point Frank and TNTGMC as soon as someone questions him or calls him out he resorts to name calling to get his way kinda like a spoiled little kid it was all good they where going back and forth but this is taking it to far IMHO

I never said required.....u are an idiot!!!!! I said recommended. Do u know the difference. Its like talking to an adolescent... I'm not surprised u drive a ford

Fckn
Owners
Really
Dumb

Yes I am name calling bc u ford clowns blow this all out of wack....us GM guys have a V8/that performs better than any junk ford gerbil motor that supposedly gets best in class FE when it doesn't and when u strap a trailer to it, it sucks gas like a Hollywood stripper using cocaine......u guys are buffoons!!

Its so true....the longer u drive a ford the dumber u become.


Posted by: TNTGMC | May 14, 2018 1:16:10 PM

I don't get why guys dump $300+ on a cold air intake or even more on a handheld tuner, yet they're too cheap to pay a lottle extra for decent gasoline. Ethanol blended 87 octane is terrible fuel.


Posted by: Brick | May 14, 2018 6:08:46 PM

good point, i see guys doing it all the time

TNT should be banned for the above post you quoted DLE.

As I recall, all manufacturers tout their numbers using premium fuel. Yes indeed 87 octane and 10% alcohol will screw the numbers up pretty good.

Posted by: GMSRGREAT | May 14, 2018 6:12:23 PM

I didn't write that comment.

Yes I wrote comment.

TNT should be banned for the above post you quoted DLE.

Posted by: GMSRGREAT | May 14, 2018 6:25:51 PM

Oh, oh, here we go again, an alter ego impostor. Just letting people know in advance. Because I have been a longtime contributor to the comments section, PUTC should ban the IP Address of the person who posted the last 2 comments that I have identified as not mine.

Yes, like TNT, you should be banned too.

@ DLE

So I didn't get put in my place bc everything I posted where facts!!! Unlike the junk GM bailout and CT posts!

Did I maybe take it to far?? Maybe, but when they won't listen, bc they THINK they know what's right, when they don't....frustrating

They also can't stand that a GM guy knows more about their own brand of trucks then them......embarrassing

As for GMS... Yes people need to stop using others address names. If u have something to say. Use your own name.

1. What Size Do You Need?
This may sound like a simple question but it's probably the most important one — which is why we're asking it first. The choices are mid-size, half-ton, three-quarter-ton and one-ton pickups, and they come with varying levels of capability.
--- You left out mid-sized, which has effectively the same capability as a half-ton but measures 10% smaller. A much better choice as a commuter if you don't need massive capacity. Honestly, losing another 15% would be even better.

2. How Much Torque Do You Need?
Think about how you'll use your new pickup truck. Do you need a lot low-speed grunt to get your jobs done or will it mostly see duty at highway speeds over long distances?
--- Unless you intend to tow a large RV trailer or put it to work as a heavy hauler, you don't need anything bigger than a mid-sizer.

3. How Many Seats Do You Need?
This is pretty simple. Most pickup trucks are offered in several different cab configurations so you can find the right cab to fit your needs. The choices are regular cab (two front seats), extended cab (two full-size front seats, two mini-seats in back) and crew cabs (four full-size seats or more).
--- But considering how many OEMs are dropping the regular cab, you're stuck with two choices and many of the dealerships don't readily make their Extended Cab available.

4. How Will the Pickup Be Used?
Pickup trucks are designed to accomplish work, hence the cargo bed in the back. That makes them a little different from other vehicles, which have a primary purpose of transporting people.
--- So why even bother with a crew cab in the first place unless it's your vacation hauler?

5. Do You Really Need a Pickup?
There are many vehicles that can serve as your main or secondary mode of transportation, but if you carry messy cargo or tow something occasionally, it's possible a pickup truck is your best choice.
--- Everyone needs one pickup in the household. There are some loads you simply don't want to carry in your family car.

As someone who has driven 50 miles to get a deal on various supplies, I won't be buying anything less than a 3/4 ton pickup next time.

How about some real world examples?
1 pallet of landscape blocks 2,340 lbs.
1 pallet of livestock feed 2,000 lbs
1 cubic yard of gravel, black dirt, manure (not even half the depth of your pickup bed) 2,000 - 2,900 lbs.
Half a cord of wood 2,350 lbs. on up

You can haul 20 square hay bales or one round bale with a half-ton. With a 3/4 ton you can load two round bales on an 8' bed, but you need a tractor or skid steer to unload.

Montesa_VR

You can get a 2018 F-150 with 3260 lbs payload
(requires heavy duty suspension option)

plus if you get it with the 3.5 Eco-Boost it will pull that heavy weight faster with better gas mileage and everybody will envy you for owning the best pickup out there

Number 5 is the biggest one.

ScottsDen, funny how they all get called out and have to keep going back to the internet to try to prove anything. They claim its fanboys, the only real fanboys here are them. I laugh so hard watching the scramble and spin on here. It is very entertaining for me.

-CT

ScottsDen, funny how they all get called out and have to keep going back to the internet to try to prove anything. They claim its fanboys, the only real fanboys here are them. I laugh so hard watching the scramble and spin on here. It is very entertaining for me.

-CT

Posted by: crunchtime | May 15, 2018 7:13:38 AM

Funny how you disappeared yesterday after I called you out on your claimed fuel consumption #'s. Reality is, you're paying mid grade fuel prices and getting 3-5 fewer miles per gallon than a GM 6.2. Now that's funny. Hope you put aside some extra cash to help feed that HEMI thirst.

@GMS

Thats CT for u...he claims he knows.... But he doesn't. He is the one always scrambling!

and everybody will envy you for owning the best pickup out there
Posted by: Ecoboost Rules | May 15, 2018

Everybody except all the other guys in the waiting room at the Ford service dept that you're sitting with waiting for your truck.

GMs, there is a reason for the mic drop. You can only comment so much on these forums and you people still do not get it.

MIC DROP!!!!

-CT

Stop trying to rationalize your gay lifestyle.

GMs, there is a reason for the mic drop. You can only comment so much on these forums and you people still do not get it.

MIC DROP!!!!

-CT

Posted by: crunchtime | May 15, 2018 9:55:16 AM

I admit, I don't get the fictional comments that you make. Try telling truths or better still, facts. Then you may garner some respect.

I admit, I don't get the fictional comments that you make. Try telling truths or better still, facts. Then you may garner some respect.


Posted by: GMSRGREAT | May 15, 2018 11:09:32 AM
———————————

Says the guy who can’t tell the truth about “ Silverado sales “. And instead invents fiction.

How about you try telling the truth?

The F150 2.7L and 3.5L power ratings are 87 octane. Only premium is recommended if you tow regularly. Daily use that fuel is not needed.

Stop spewing falsehoods.
Posted by: GMBailout | May 14, 2018 11:19:50 AM

The manually doesn't say "if you tow regularly". They say you should use premium if you tow. PERIOD.

**********

They did a long term study and found out turbocharged engines actually beat their window sticker gas mileage by 3.1%
They matched up the 2018 Mustang 2.3 Eco-Boost against the 2017 Camaro 3.6 V6 and you know what happened.
Plus what's really exciting is electric turbos (turbo with a high speed electric motor) that's in the works for future vehicles.

Posted by: Ecoboost Rules | May 13, 2018 1:29:45 AM

WRONG. The 2018 Mustang Ecoboost got 21% WORSE fuel economy than its EPA Esimate. Page 45, bottom of page, graphic on right side.

Most turbo gas engines are designed purely for fuel economy. They're very small I4's and optimised to stay out of the boost in 90% of real world scenarios. Look at the fuel economy of a steel F-150 Ecoboost. Horrible fuel economy. It wasn't ubtil Ford lopped off 800 lbs of weight and mated the Ecoboost to a 10-speed (to keep the engine out of the boost where it guzzles gas) that it was able to deliver decent fuel economy.

How about you try telling the truth?

Posted by: Harvey | May 15, 2018 11:23:37 AM

HARVEY! Welcome to PUTC. What previous user name are you replacing.

GMSRGREAT

great post at least you're not yelling and calling people names to make you're point

The EcoBoost fuel requirements thing has been beaten to death.
Okay, here goes again- severe duty means towing, hill climbs, off-roading, or in temps over 100 degrees F use of 91 octane is recommended.
Most Ford dealers will recommend 89 for normal use to maximize fuel economy and responsiveness.
In ideal situations the EcoBoost will make peak power numbers with 87 octane, but that diminishes with any deviation from ideal.
The controls will cut boost, ignition timing, and advance fuel timing to reduce combustion temps and control knock. Just because you CAN doesn’t mean you SHOULD run 87.
The 6.2 will run on 87 also, but GM knows that someone who paid for a package with a 6.2 won’t worry about fueling with premium. Ford knows that the EcoBoost is largely a marketing thing, so when customers complain to their service department, they are advised to use 89 octane because of heat, load, stop and go driving, etc.
Don’t believe me? Ask the service manager at San Tan Ford.

I can't believe the childish commenters on here. I come to read the news and comment now and then but this site has gotten ridiculous. It needs to be moderated.

I can't believe the childish commenters on here. I come to read the news and comment now and then but this site has gotten ridiculous. It needs to be moderated.

I need not go any farther than the first question. I bought a 2008 Ford Ranger yesterday. I don't need no huge, gigantic monstrous vehicle. The midsize trucks are just too large for me. Ford screwed up by dropping the Ranger and then years later introducing a monster truck instead.



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