Most Expensive Pickups Have Real Value


By Mark Williams

Clearly, the people at understand the finer things in life. In fact, they recently identified the 12 most expensive SUVs and pickup trucks sold in the U.S. (using pricing info from our friends at

Among the SUVs listed is a Porsche Cayenne for $162,000, a Mercedes-Benz for $125,000 and a Land Rover for $117,000. As you might expect, pickup trucks make up the bottom five, ranging between $68,000 and $53,000.

An important distinction has not been made, however. With the exception of engine size and the resulting speed down a quarter-mile racetrack, none of the SUVs on the list, functionally speaking, offers anything more than an SUV for half the price or, in some cases, a quarter of the price. They won't carry more people, won't haul more payload, won't climb steeper hills, won't get better fuel economy, won’t tow more and likely won’t be any less comfortable. In those examples, the value for what you are getting seems to be in the eye of the buyer, who wants to get something more "impressive" than his neighbor.

The same cannot be said for the last five trucks on the list, all of which are pickup trucks: the Ford F-350 4x4 crew-cab dual-rear-wheel King Ranch, the GMC Sierra 3500 HD 4x4 DRW Denali, the Chevy Silverado 3500 HD 4x4 DRW crew cab, the Ram 3500 HD 4x4 DRW Laramie Longhorn Mega Cab and the Ford F-150 Harley-Davidson 4x4 SuperCrew Styleside, which is the only non-one-ton of the group.

With each of these five trucks, I would argue that you could not get the towing, carrying capability and comfort anywhere else in or out of the segment. If you look at pickups that cost half as much, or even if you look at pickups that cost just $10,000 less, you would have to make huge sacrifices, whether it’s towing, hauling or bringing your family along in comfort for a long trip. The same cannot be said about the luxury SUVs.

It seems the definition of real value is a quantum leap different for an expensive SUV than it is for an expensive pickup truck, especially when you compare that many of these high-priced pickups are being used not to just show off wealth but in some cases are being used to haul fifth-wheel campers, horse trailers and more that are worth double or triple the cost of the pickup itself.

No offense to luxury owners of the elite SUV crowd, but I'm guessing they never find themselves in situations where they're carrying or towing anything remotely as expensive as the vehicle they're driving. Now where’s the value in that?



Exactly...if it is anything more than a trip to starbucks I'd be surprised.

Status symbol is all it is.

American trucks, gettin' 'er done! Keeping the U.S.A. going by doing the heavy lifting.

Yes is Wonderfull and more for her price

I'm always surprised at the number of high end trucks used for work. I doubt I'd ever see a Cayenne on a cut block.

On the other hand, those high priced SUVs are pocket change to their owners, are likely parked in high priced neighborhoods, and or towed by large luxury diesel-pusher motor homes. It's a losing proposition to compete with the upper crust. :)

Unfortunately, the so called "big 3" are pricing themselves out of their consumer market.

all i can say is i want that truck in the picture

Yea you can get an extended cab XL model of an F-350 with a bland interior for $10,000 less...but the King Ranch interior and exterior accents will turn heads and put a smile on your face every time you hop in. I am always getting complements on my KR F-350. I once had a guy who drove a $75,000 Jaguar admire my leather and conclude that his was "pleather" and nothing compared to the KR leather. And the reaction from the ladies? Well we don't need to go there :)

I have a king ranch F-350, and the most I've ever hauled is a set of golf clubs in the back, but I wouldn't have it any other way.

A few years ago the one exception would have been the H1 Alpha- cant get that particular set of capabilities for less...

"A few years ago the one exception would have been the H1 Alpha- cant get that particular set of capabilities for less..." -Mrknowitall

Sure you can. It comes in the form of the Ram 2500 Power Wagon (as long as you do not care about straight body panels) or a Jeep Wrangler Rubicon for even less money.

Becuase w/ a pickup you get what you pay for. Every jobsite ive worked on the foreman or company owner always has a high end half ton or one ton diesel. And although not worked as hard as the trucks that the general workers use these high end trucks certaintlly are used as trucks. Why does everyone hate on truck w/ alotta ammenities. If im gonna pay 25k why not shell out a few more to have it a little fancier. I dont have a fancy one b/c I wheel my truck often so its gets real muddy inside. But my next daily driver truck will be closer to the higher end.

Personally, I hate on trucks that are not used as trucks. That big Ford F-250 used once to haul golf clubs? Why? Why have a big truck if you're not going to use its capabilities?

Me, I honestly don't NEED a huge truck, but I do have a need of a basic utility hauler with an open bed--the '80s vintage compact trucks were almost perfect. Bring 'em back!

Different uses for different countries. High end Luxury SUV's ARE used for work in Australia, towing RV's. Yes you will get high end SUV's and Pickups, that never leave the pavement as well.
Toyota Landcruiser

LandRover Discovery with small campervan

Not a Porsche Cayenne, but a VW V10 diesel Touareg

@Vulpine- Why do people buy fast cars when they cant really utilize it on the open roads? Same answer: They like them

It's HIS $$ let him do what he wants with it! who are you to say stuff like that! you sound like Algore! I for one think youo get a hell of a lot more for your $$ than any car! so what if it only carries golf clubs (a game I personaly hate) but to each there own, if they can aford it so be it! it take all kinds to make the world go round! Life is to short!

Bob Ryan: what yoou need is a nice Airstream behind that egg, a paid 1/2 as much for my Chevy, and then paid probably more tha twice as much for the Airtream! but to each there own!

I dont know why journelists put cars vs suv's vs trucks and little minded people who drive a car say all truck owners are rubes ect...

I personally own 3 classic/muscle Mopar's,2 newer cars ,2 newer trucks,2 suv's...I love driving them all and dont judge a person because they drive a suv or a car,nor when I drive my truck I dont judge a car owner..its funny when you read some blogs on other sites,people bash truck owners,suv owners and car owners and vise versa..why ? I love vehicles and dont care if a truck owner doesnt use it to haul or tow anything if a suv owner never goes bush wacking and when I drive my 09 SRT Challenger I dont race around corners,dont do burn outs and drag race at every light...

Well,I (wife) also own a 2010 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT-8,my wifes sunny day ride,built for speed and handling,and awd for take off traction..Also own a new Dodge Ram 1500 that I never use as a work truck,besides taking it out of my oversized garage and then parking it in my undergound parking spot at my office.I also have a V-8 2004 Grand Cherokee suv for the wife,its roomy,4wd for the very rare snow fall we get here on the west coast,cars are too small these days,no trunk room,even the so-called large sedans have 0 trunk room,we have a 05 300 and with 2 kids some luggage there is 0 room in the trunk..I would of sold the car but still use it now and then as I love driving all of my vehicles and not just stuck on a truck or suv or car..

I drive a Ford F250 Harley Davidson 45 K a year . I did some numbers and I find for me it's one of the best deals out there .
After 3 or 4 years I still get good resale and have lots of enjoyment as a daily driver .

@ Vulpine,

Why do you care what a person does with their vehicle ? Dont be jealous,I hope you are not on the left wing lets be fair bandwagon,he has one so I should have one,though I am lazy and dont work the government needs to give me,give me,give me.......fact is people work hard for that heavy duty truck so they can cruise around and take it golfing,cruise around on the weekends ect !! I drive my truck as a daily driver and never used the bed for anything,never towed anything and I have the heavy duty trailer tow option !!! I will never use the 4x4 in off road unless they are repaving the road and take it down to gravel.

Furthermore,to get in your mindset..I will entertain myself...1980's trucks are too small,I dont fit in them,being over 6 feet tall,plus 1980's small trucks are death traps,and it bothers me to see a 1980's small truck in a mall parking lot or infront of the welfare office,why isnt the bed full of equiptment (that isnt stolen) why isnt that truck at a work site ? WHY,WHY !!!!!

See how dumb that sounds,just like your post !!! If someone wants one I dont care,just like a Smart car,drive what the heck you want !!! Drive that 4wd suv to the office,shopping,cruise around on paved roads,they are roomy,comfortable and thats why they buy them...newer cars are too small,if they are bigger they have a small trunk so people buy suv's,full size trucks to just cruise around in enjoying lfe and they dont worry who is bothered by them not going in the bush,hauling rocks or whatever !! It's their truck/suv they can use it anyway they see fit !!!!!! Freedom right ?

Just another reason to get a pickup. If I wanted to go camping I would have a hard time trying to fit everything in to one of those suv's and that is if I go tenting!

Here's what you a truck (say, a F-350 Diesel) and spend $30,000 on customization. (Assuming you were to buy one of these $130,000 SUVs) New Subwoofers, big lifts, more power. It's all good

so it's wrong to have a luxury SUV and not use it but it's ok to have a luxury truck and not use it..... pointless article.

Great discussion but would like some of the responses to stay a little more focused on topic. Article is about the difference between a high-priced SUV and high-priced pickup and their relative values. Of course there will be different opinions but my position was that pickups, regardless of their cost (and that number seems to be quite a bit lower than these high $$ SUVs) still offer more capability per dollar. Certainly wasn't trying to deny anyone their right to make the choice they want. Not sure anyone would argue we should have less choice but does sometimes make me wonder why people make the choices they make. Does seem to make me more thoughtful about the choices I make. Just throwing it all out there. Thanks for taking the time to put your 2 cents in.


My sentiments exactly. I'm 23 years old and I just got my first brand new truck...A 2011 Ford F-150 FX4 Supercab with the 5.0L V8 and I couldn't be happier!

I believe with way my trucks equipped its rated tow around 10,000lbs. I will NEVER tow even close to that with this truck. I've owned it since June and put about 4500 miles on it so far and the only thing that's had the honor of riding in its bed is a new coffee table that I picked up for my parents. And I wouldn't even have hauled that had I not put the bed liner in it first!

Point being...I'll never use my truck to its fullest capabilities...I'll never tow a huge trailer or haul a huge load, or tear up the roughest offroad trails in the country with it. 95% of my driving in it is going to be nice easy street driving. But the fact is I worked HARD for the money...I saved and saved and saved for down payment money for this truck. I could have gone out and bought a Ford Fiesta which would get much better gas mileage and have much low car payments to top it all off...But I didn't want a Fiesta, I wanted an F-150, and I got it!

It bothers me to no end when I get those crazy left winger environmentalists telling me I should be driving an electric smart car. That just isn’t going to happen as long as I am paying my own bills...Sorry.


Good for you! Thank you for circulating you hard earned money back into our economy. The U.S. economy especially. Enjoy your sweet ride!

Unless your life's mission revolves around hugging trees and looking for the best fuel economy in a vehicle -the modern pickup truck is by far the most well rounded vehicle. They can do all of the daily chores that a passenger car can do plus a whole lot more. Gotta love the great American pickup truck!

I tow with my brand new Escalade all the time. I use it tow and go off road all the time. I often can out pull diesel pickup trucks up steep grades while towing. I also use all seven seats on occasion. To each their own. Buy what you love :-)

@Sandman4X4 I inspected one near Mt Rushmore where our Tour Coach was parked. Very nicely built, retro caravan. Can see why they are expensive. Problem is the suspension, like similar well balanced European Caravans, it does not cut the mustard when it comes to longevity in Australia. One by one they quickly left the Australian market. Although they build their bodies as strongly as the Airstream.

@Sandman4X4 A Lot of Australian Touring Caravans would be a mixture of the Eddie Baur and International in specs. Manufacturers include slides or they do not. Interiors are like Airstream or more European.
The Off Road or Dirt Road Caravans, do not have an equivalent elsewhere.

@Buy American Or Say Bye To America! - perhaps I can clarify- opposed to the other 100k+ SUV. And a Rubi? just try to load a few thousand ponds of stuff in there and then see where you're at. I know you love your P/W, and I'd never try to detract from it. I only wish they would still let you get it in some other configurations, like a Regular cab, or a quad-cab w/ 5ft bed. Or, god forbid, let you get it with the Cummins/MT and drop the winch.

@MrGeorgiaPeach - Good for you for getting enjoyment and varied use out of your Escalade. This kind of makes the author's point that your rig is every bit as functional as the more expensive Porsche, Benz, etc. Plus you have plenty of luxury.

While have seen general contractors that drive a Porsche Cayenne Turbo to job sites, I tend to think the opposite of this article--CHEAP pickups have real value.

Most of the manufactures sell loaded King Platinum El Lariamie Power Harley $50-60K pickups. Ridiculous.

Every one of those expensive pickups is still underpinned by a model that can usually be had for HALF that price. It is just loaded up with (IMHO) foo-foo, useless, or rarely used junk to bloat the price.

This is where I have to give Toyota and Dodge credit and snub Ford and GM--with Toyota and Dodge, you can buy a pretty basic working joe pickup with the best drivetrain they make without all of the foo-foo price bloating crap. Ford and GM, if you want the top of the line power train, you gotta pay out the nose.

Now this changes somewhat year after year, but when I bought my new truck a few years ago, it was absolutely true.

My father in law just traded his GMC Duramax in for a Ram Longhorn. Awsome interior, great craftmenship. Got it from the dealer and that day loaeded it up with mulch, then firewood. Towes his fishing boat, also. Not afraid to get the outside dirty at all. And very comfortable to boot.

Buy American Or Say Bye To America!,

Can you STOP compring private pickups to this nation!

They have NOTHING to do with our Constitution, so STOP comparing a pickup to a nation, they do not create rules or laws and you cannot vote for them to hold office and we certainly DO NOT go into wars because of them...

They are machines (most imported anyways) they do not possess human ideals, so stop comparing a pickup to a nation, that is the most ridiculous thing ever!


When will you understand? If everyone in the U.S.A. bought imported brands/products (such as yourself), and nobody bought domestic brands/products, where would all of America's money go? If you guessed that our dollars would be exported to the other countries, then you are correct. If you still believe that foreign brands are best for our country, then you are mistaken.

Hmm, it is well known that oxi is a Tacoma enthusiast--which primary ARE made in this country. So in buying a Tacoma, the majority of the $$ stays in the USA--which has the multiplier effect here, in this country. Buying a Fiat made in Mexico, for instance, means the majority of the dollars stay in Mexico. So if you guessed that it helps the US more by buying an American made Tacoma as opposed to a Fiat made in Mexico, you guessed right.

No Dav.. they are primarily assembled in the US.. they are not made here.

@oxi and Buy american - in relation to your polar opposite views and the fact that you'll never agree:

I'd like to quote Ronnie James Dio

Sing me a song, you're a singer
Do me a wrong, you're a bringer of evil
The Devil is never a maker
The less that you give, you're a taker
So it's on and on and on, it's Heaven and Hell, oh well
The lover of life's not a sinner
The ending is just a beginner
The closer you get to the meaning
the sooner you'll know that you're dreaming
So it's on and on and on, oh it's on and on and on
It goes on and on and on, Heaven and Hell
I can tell, fool, fool!
Well if it seems to be real, it's illusion
For every moment of truth, there's confusion in life
Love can be seen as the answer, but nobody bleeds for the dancer
And it's on and on, on and on and on....
They say that life's a carousel
Spinning fast, you've got to ride it well
The world is full of Kings and Queens
Who blind your eyes and steal your dreams
It's Heaven and Hell, oh well
And they'll tell you black is really white
The moon is just the sun at night
And when you walk in golden halls
You get to keep the gold that falls
It's Heaven and Hell, oh no!
Fool, fool!
You've got to bleed for the dancer!
Fool, fool!
Look for the answer!
Fool, fool, fool!

@ Lou -- Never in my wildest dreams did I think we'd be quoting Ronnie James Dio here. With that said, as long as it relates the major topics at hand, I'm all for it. And I, too, believe there is plenty of room in this world for both points of view. Well done sir.


Are you serenading me, sir? I am flattered!

@Mark Williams - maybe I should of made this post on the country music thread?

@Buy American - sure, why not? LOL. Doesn't sound very manly though - I should buy a one ton dually crewcab to compensate for my feminine side ;)
Have a good weekend.

Interesting how at least one of you had to make a political attack. I still think people who buy big trucks as a status symbol are just stupid and have more money than they need. Come on now, those things are running in the $35,000 range! Most of us can barely manage a $25,000 vehicle and many can't even afford that much--unless they wait for a used one at $15,000 or so. A smaller truck is not only more compact, but more economical both in fuel usage and in purchase price. Face the facts, big trucks are going to require CDLs just to drive them any more. A smaller truck with a decent bed (rather than super-luxurious cab) is far more efficient for contractor work.

As I said previously, I don't need or want anything so huge; I'd far prefer an S-10 sized truck than the Colorado/Canyon which is as big as the full-sized trucks of the '60s-'70s. We've already seen that diesel 4s and gas V-6s have as much power and torque as the V-8s of those days. They also don't use as much fuel as those V-8s or even the V-8s of today.

Meanwhile, I await the Jeep Gladiator.


Yeah, it might take a Ram 3500 dually, Mega Cab, Laramie Longhorn, Long Hauler, though? Try saying that five times fast. Sheesh!

You have a good weekend yourself also, thanks! XOXO ;-)

The top-of-line Ford-F150 models are vehicles that wealthy people can buy to get a respectable, luxurious ride that isn't too flashy (e.g., Escalade EXT).

Heh. Get the truck you need for the work. I'm glad of my brother-in-law's F-350 Dualie 4x4 when we haul huge logs to his sawmill. Saves us from hiring out a semi with a flatbed.

At the same time, I do see a lot of these big dogs used for that is just dumb. Buy a used car and save the truck for truckin' instead of hogging my lane.

I love trucks and can't deny the appeal of the capability but some of us need the space of 3 rows AND the ability to tow or haul. I've an Expedition EL Limited and regularly use the 3 rows to the full in addition to the space behind the 3rd row and the tow hitch cargo box fully loaded. I'd love a truck but right now during this period of my life with a young family, a full-size body on frame SUV is the perfect fit. I can't do this with any of the trucks on the market. I can however hook up a twin-axle trailer for my trips to Lowes and Home Depot for heavy\big loads and tow them confidently. That versatility is the whole point of a full-size SUV.

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