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.

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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





Extra power for hauling and towing capabilities
Pickup truck height and combined weight for driving in bad road and weather conditions.
The enhanced safety of a pickup.
Respect and confidence - Driving a big and powerful machine the owner is treated with respect and gains confidence.

Extra power for hauling and towing capabilities
GMC 6.2l
Pickup truck height and combined weight for driving in bad road and weather conditions.
GMC Magnetic Ride Control
The enhanced safety of a pickup.
Respect and confidence - Driving a big and powerful machine the owner is treated with respect and gains confidence.
GMC Professional Grade

GMC Gay Man's Chariot

F - fires
O - or
R - recalls
D - daily






I drive a new 6.2l GMC sierra premium plus package. Im married, with 2 kids, a new boat and a lake house...GAY? Why yes, I am a very happy man!!! Why thank you!

That is the correct definition of gay!! Lmfao.....fanboys.

What do u drive, that makes u gay then??

O - OR


I'm a happily GAY married man with two adopted kids who drives a Sierra. You got a problem with that?

anymore 95% of the time I do not need a truck,even then I could haul tree stands and hunting gear as I have in the past, in a Grand Cherokee.. I have hauled deer and game birds before in a GC, when sold still looked like brand new. Sold the boat and don't fish much anymore. Told the wife while she was picking out a NEW GC Overland w/High Altitude package that I ought to sell my Colo ZR2 and buy a Cherokee or the new Compass...

Have greater choice to pick from. This should be the first step in improving the odds of getting what you want, not what is offered.

There is a world full of pickups.

I'm very happy with my choices. I don't want a Mazda B250.

That stiffer ride they refer to is a non issue with the uni-body Honda Ridgeline it's ride is smooth and refined.
This is one off the main reasons for choosing the Ridgeline with it's crossover/carlike qualities. It is beefed up with suspension and sub-frame for truck duties.

Another good question is, "how much can you really afford?" The best pickup is the one that doesn't put you into debt.

Correct Red, that should be #1 on the list. What can you afford? You have to pay to play, and your wallet dictates your options.

“I'm very happy with my choices. I don't want a Mazda B25”
When they ever make one, you can cross that bridge when you come too it

How many times have you guys drive your truck thru flooding water, tree limbs on the road, or hit a deer or running thru deep snow and told yourself: I'M GLAD I WAS DRIVING A TRUCK - or
If I wasn't driving a truck I wouldn't make it thru that"

That full size pickup is a survival tool that you depend on
If you live in a winter snow belt area without a full size 4x4 pickup you're dependent on the snow plow operator so you can get out to get to work or go to the hospital if sick.
If you live in the boonies with bad roads the heavy duty suspension can handle the potholes and ruts in the roads.

The type of vehicle we drive is an extension of us, it's a safe place that we feel safe and secure in, I know if I do crash I have a much better chance of survival cause the heavy duty construction of my pickup will protect me better.
Safety and Security - that's why I own a pickup


(off the subject)
Excellent story in Car And Driver Magazine , June 2018 on "Turbos"
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.

PUTC this would be an excellent story that I suggest you to post here
The F-150 Eco-Boost is getting an unfair and bad rap in here
The turbo does make the most power with the best gas mileage !

Rarely have I heard (or read) someone say they wish they had less truck.
But often I hear (and read) folks attempting to rationalize their decision.
Own your choice, whatever works best for YOU, and don’t worry what others think.
Modern crewcab short bed trucks are the new V8 fullsize sedan.
As far as the gay comment, WTH, bigot?!
One of the best NA hunters, an expert wilderness survival guide, and is well know for the NA 25, is a gay dude. Does that offend you, or worry you?

Stop trying to rationalize your gay lifestyle. Own it


Sorry man, not gay.
But I am Libertarian enough to see that gay slurs only embolden them into Progressive Leftist ideology.
You know-Gun control and confiscation, 54.5 mpg fuel economy standards, public land grabs and closing of public access, and of course intrusion into private business.

Keep it up, what’s next? Jews, African Americans, Hispanics, Catholics, non-Catholics, Pepsi drinkers, etc?
All that hate is going to eat you up and leave you bitter and lonely.


BJ may have gotten teased about his name when he was in school

The turbo does make the most power with the best gas mileage !
Posted by: Ecoboost Rules | May 13, 2018

Wrong. Mileage depends on the way you use your truck. Operating conditions are everything.

The turbo does make the most power with the best gas mileage !
Posted by: Ecoboost Rules | May 13, 2018

Turbos do increase power, however, best gas mileage is a result of engine size, vehicle weight and driving style. Put a 2.7 eco in a F-350 duelly and get back to me about the mileage.

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

@ ecoboost

I'll take my 6.2L set the cruise and get within 1 to 2 mpg of that 2.7L. Heck I've gotten better than my nephews father laws 2017 2.7L when traveling highway!
Then let's pull 5k lbs or more and your 2.7L wont even touch the gas mileage of a 6.2L. All while having 95 more HP and 65 or 90 ft lbs of TQ depending on the year of the 2.7L. And if u wanted to race, well your gerbil motor will get it handed to it there. The ecoboosts are ecobusts!!!!

@ ecoboost

I did not see the article, not sure why you didn't post the link? Possibly something you don't want us to see?
I can only assume that not one of those vehicles was an F150 with a tiny under size motor (2.7)? I would say for the cars with the proper size engine is believable.

What the heck

I have the magazine made from paper
If you don't believe me you can buy the magazine or look it up yourself if it is online.
Car and Driver is an excellent magazine for technical stories and if you read more into the turbo story big advancements are coming especially high speed electric motor turbos.

The F-150 Eco-Boost is constantly attacked by the know-it-alls that post here in PUTC with lies and more lies that they don't get the claimed gas mileage and I know that's not true.
These same guys will end up eating crow when their Bruce Jenner transmission Silverado and their plastic hubcap Ram will eventually go to turbos in the near future.

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.


@crunchtime and @EcoBoostRules: Bingo bros, paying about 15% more for fuel needs to be accounted for. Second, the 6.2 is not available in lower trims, so there's the extra cost there as well.

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.


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

Premium fuel or not, the 6.2 makes more efficient use of the fuel. The premium fuel is required due to the higher compression ratio which helps contribute to the "smack down" the GM 6.2 puts on the competition. Not to mention the "OMG" responses you get from your passengers when you floor it.

I have the magazine made from paper

Posted by: Ecoboost Rules | May 14, 2018 12:29:44 AM

Was a F-150 eco boost included in the test?

@ all u fanboys!!

The ecoboost recommend premium fuel just like the 6.2!!! Get it straight or don't comment!!! So if your ecobust wants to use regular unleaded it will.perform less then manufacturers specs!!

Anything else to say??

TNT- geez, i did not even mention the ecoboost or any other engine, but you went there anyway. Just simply stating the facts on the 6.2. MPG does not matter when you are paying more for gas than diesel with premium fuel (in my area anyway, its over 20 Cents). nobody has to get a ecoboost, they can the v8 and not have to dump premium dollars.


Good Lord!!


The ecoboost recommend premium fuel just like the 6.2!!! Get it straight or don't comment!!! So if your ecobust wants to use regular unleaded it will.perform less then manufacturers specs!!

Anything else to say??

Posted by: TNTGMC | May 14, 2018 8:09:10 AM

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.

Read and weep TNT.


Good point GMbail- I did not look at those ratings, was just saying there are many options that do not require premium where you can save some money.


Its not false l!!! It says right on the owners manual by ford that by not using premium fuel.can lead to engine failure. Lokk it up!!!!

Know anything else

U are supposed to be a ford guy Bailout?? Lol....to funny.

BTW...my step dad has one and the Ford dealership service guy flat out told him he should be running premium in it


Hey pot stirrer....stay out of this convoy bc u obviously don't know what your talking about and your a dodge guy, who states he isnt concerned about FE. Lmfao. U will when gas is above $3 and approaching $4 like it did 10 years ago.

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.

Like I said TNT. Stop spewing falsehoods.

TNT, not stirring the pot on this one, just having fun calling you out. You are the one who claims the 6.2 MPG. But for normal people looking to buy any truck, I'm just saying to check if it requires premium fuel, any brand. In your case, claiming how great the 6.2's FE is, all the while paying over a dollar more for the fuel is a bit misleading. The 6.2 is great, but you will pay out the arse for the fuel to run it. My new hemi runs mid grade per the manual, and getting less than .5 mpg I'll still be ahead in the fuel department savings compared to the 6.2.

MIC DROP!!!!!!!!!


It says it right in manual.....plus if u wanted to run 87 or 89/in a 6.2L u can but it also stats there will he a chwnc at an engine knock.....u are out if line and ignorant. If the owners manual states it...use it.

And I was stating that with almost 100 hp more and 60lbs or 90 lbs I get just as good as that gerbil motor.....your comprehension skills are terrible and u keep.defending!!!! U are worse than frank

@ CT

U are stirring the pot...u aren't putting me in my place. Your hemi is a nice engine but its still not 420hp and 460 tq....if u wanna drive something like u stole...which u proclaim... Then your truck would b left in the dust... Heck the 5.3L in the test showed it would do that!!! Now that laughable....
And u aren't getting 20+ mpgs if u drive like u stole it....u are such a pot stirrer and contradictor
Class dismissed.

I do not comment much on this site. It is quite funny reading the comments section. I will say I agree with the others. If you care about money, buying a big V8 with premium fuel will not save you anything. Sure you can brag about your horse power, but not your bank account paying for all that extra fuel cost. Unless, you enjoy placing regular in that 6.2 and hearing the engine knock (that was funny reading that), you will pay more for this ride. Enjoy.

Speak English.

You’re proven wrong once again. The owners manual states premium is NOT required. I posted a quote straight from the manual.

Why is that so hard for you to understand???

@ Scotts

Just stating what manual says. U can run regular gas but if u tow and run it hard there is chance at engine knock

Plus if u are buying a $50k truck or more. And u are worried about filling it up with the extra $8 to $10 its costs.....then u probably shouldn't be buying that vehicle.

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


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.

My new hemi runs mid grade per the manual, and getting less than .5 mpg .....

Posted by: crunchtime | May 14, 2018 12:16:21 PM

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.

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