What Do You Look for When Buying a Truck?

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As someone who writes a great deal about pickup trucks, I cover the full gambit of new pickup trucks. Here, we emphasize the Ford F-Series pickup truck, for obvious reasons. With the 2015 Ford F-150, Ford focused on shaving weight with the aluminum body, and improved fuel economy with the 2.7L EcoBoost. Additionally, the increased towing and hauling capacity. Soon, a new Super Duty will be here. When you go truck shopping, whether it’s new or used, what do you look for?

Everyone has different reasons for selecting the truck they do. A Raptor truck buyer isn’t the same as a Super Duty buyer, as they have different objectives and goals in mind.

2016 F-Series Super Duty Strobe Light

Ford also believes you’re interested in safety and technology, as shown by the Top Safety Pick rating from the IIHS on the SuperCrew models, and the addition of Pro Trailer Backup Assist on the 2016 models.

So what do you look for? Do you care about the safety and crash test ratings of the truck? Would you buy a truck that was a Top Safety Pick over a non-Top Safety Pick truck because of that distinction?

What about fuel economy? Manufacturers spend a great deal of time and money advertising the fuel economy of their vehicles, and how they stack up against the competition. Would you choose a truck or engine because of fuel economy? Would you opt for a lower final drive axle ratio if it meant getting better fuel economy?

What about gasoline or diesel? Are you hellbent on getting a truck with a diesel engine, or do you look at the overall cost and compare to the gasoline alternative?


What about features? Do you care about such things as backup cameras, parallel parking aids, massaging seats, and what have you? Or are you a work truck buyer who’d be happy with hand crank windows and manual mirrors? Is there an in-between, where you’d want power windows and air conditioning, but satellite navigation isn’t needed?

Is it all about towing and hauling capacity? At the end of the day, the truck needs to be a truck, so is that where you focus your attention; the capabilities?

What about the material that the truck is made out of? Are you concerned about Ford’s use of aluminum, and would prefer a steel body truck, or are you okay with a truck trying new things, as long as it was as capable and strong as the steel that came before it?


Some trucks are lifestyle trucks, like Ford’s Raptor or Toyota’s Tacoma, and others are dedicated work trucks like the Super Duty line of Ford F-Series trucks. But even with Super Duty, they are becoming available with more options than they ever had in the past.

Trucks are a divisive sector of the automotive industry, where people are more passionate about what they drive than almost anywhere else. But ultimately, it comes down to what the consumer wants and what they look for. That’s why we want to see what you are looking for when you actually go out to buy.

Let us know your thoughts in the comments or on the forums and we’ll highlight a few of them on a future post.

Chad Kirchner is a regular contributor to Corvette Forum and Ford Truck Enthusiasts, among other auto sites.

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