Gone are the days when you could buy a cheap little car for $4,000. Even when you knew it would fall apart in a few years, it had to be comforting for folks to know they had so little to lose. These days, even the most disposable vehicles on the U.S. market cost $12,000. If you adjust for inflation, the prices are still way above what they were a few decades back.
Automakers will argue their products are also better. Considering they were still putting death traps on the road in the ’90s, it’s hard to argue. However, we’d love to hear the argument for a glorified Chevy SUV costing $75,000 or a slow half-car that costs $15,000. Those are tough sells, indeed.
The same goes for pickup trucks. While there are workhorses that deliver incredible value for years on the job, some take way too long to become worth the money. Here are the seven most overpriced trucks on the U.S. market.
1. Ram 2500
Following the Volkswagen Dieselgate scandal, you have to keep an eye out for inconsistencies in claimed fuel economy and real-world performance. So the EPA investigation into Ram heavy-duty trucks and the class-action lawsuit alleging 25% drops in fuel economy should be red flags. (Ask any VW diesel owner why.) Of course, the terrible reliability ratings from Consumer Reports might grab your attention as well, especially if you’re paying $42,740 to start on a Ram 2500 turbo diesel.
Next: Ford also makes the list.
2. Ford F-450 Platinum
Any pickup with an MSRP of $77,325 has an uphill battle ahead when you want to call it overpriced. But dig a little deeper into the Ford F-450 Platinum and you are unlikely to find real value when matched to a wildly expensive F-450 King Ranch ($72,655). With the King Ranch, you’re already getting bells and whistles no one ever expected in a pickup.
Platinum F-450 takes it to another level with leather seats that are unique to the trim level, rear heated seats, and a color-coordinated leather steering wheel. (In the King Ranch, you have to suffer through life with a leather-wrapped wheel in Mesa Brown.) You also get a few extra safety features, but for an extra $5,000 on a truck that’s pushing $80,000, it’s a big stretch.
Next: Not all Toyotas are a great value.
3. Toyota Tacoma
Over the years, Tacoma earned a reputation as one of the most bulletproof vehicles around. It was the Camry of midsize picks, sporting unquestioned reliability in an industry that often forgot it. But the midsize/compact truck segment got more competitive when the Chevy Colorado ($20,000) arrived. Suddenly, Tacoma’s base price ($24,320) seemed high, especially for a four-cylinder engine that delivered 159 horsepower. (Colorado’s four offers a minimum 200 horses.)
Moreover, Tacoma didn’t exactly ace the side crash tests. Then the 2017 model got hit with a dreadful reliability rating from Consumer Reports. All things considered, a starting price near $25,000 is too much.
Next: We haven’t forgotten about GMC.
4. GMC Sierra 2500HD
While a rising tide lifts all boats, an outgoing one makes them all sink. This principle applies to the 2500 pickup segment as a whole and GMC’s three-quarter ton model in particular. This Sierra without options begins its march at $34,190. With four-wheel drive and two rows, you’re over $40,000. That price strike us as elevated for the worst-rated pickup when it comes to reliability. Other 2500 models didn’t exactly set a gold standard in this department, but you’ll struggle to get value when paying the most for the worst.
Next: Ford makes the list again.
5. Ford F-250
When Consumer Reports asked its legion of subscribers for the worst-value truck on the market, Ford F-250 was the answer. Even in the rough-and-tumble world of pickups, this model was worse than the competition in terms of ride quality and near the bottom in reliability. Over years on the job, the small vibrations add up and sap more energy than you think. So you can dress it up in Platinum trim level ($62,310), but you’ll still walk away feeling a bit rattled.
Next: Ram also makes the list again.
6. Ram 1500 Sport
What would you pay for a Ram 1500 with two-wheel drive, cloth seats, and a funky color? If you go for the Sublime Green Sport package on a 2017 model, the bill comes to $47,135. That bump of $21,000 over the base model’s price gets you some cute badges and racing stripes, though not the blacked-out wheels (they’ll run you another $500.) In a world where you have to laugh at some goofy style options on cars, this neon-green pickup is among the funnier overpriced ones.
Next: This special edition comes at a hefty price.
7. Chevrolet Silverado Z71
As we have seen, it does not take an awful lot to spend $50,000 on a pickup. However, it takes some doing for a half-ton Chevy Silverado, which starts at around $27,500. Buyers who want a special edition model will quickly find out how it works. Choosing the V8 Rally 2 edition with Z71 suspension gets you there. On the Z71 suspension upgrade, we again defer to the folks at Consumer Reports who spent countless hours testing this truck. The gang there described Z71’s effect as “atrocious.” We don’t think the style upgrades make up for the rest bringing the price to $49,910.