Most Truck Owners Probably Don’t Need a Full-Size Pickup

As more and more Americans choose to make trucks their mode of transportation, it is becoming clear that most truck buyers do not actually use the capability of their pickups. According to a study conducted in 2019, consisting of 250,000 persons, 75% of truck owners use their truck to tow about once a year and just 35% of owners actually haul something more than once a year. Because of this, the question must be asked, do most truck owners actually need a truck, or would they be better off with something like a Toyota Corolla.

Why do Americans love trucks?

A red 2022 Ram 1500 navigates a rough terrain a full-size truck.
Ram 1500 | Ram

Now, we do not play the vehicle police here, if you have the means and feel the need, a pickup truck is a valid purchase. Americans have been dealing with a truck love affair for some time, but maybe full-size trucks are being bought by those who do not actually need them. 

Modern full-size trucks have entered a new era. They have usability, practicality, and even luxury features that make them attractive to a range of buyers. But, if you are the owner of a Ford F-150 or Ram 1500, think about the last time you actually towed or hauled something that could not fit into a car trunk or an SUV’s rear cargo area. The answer may surprise you.

a brown 2022 Nissan Titan Pro4X driving off-road, there are a few reasons not to buy the full-size pickup truck.
2022 Nissan Titan PRO-4X | Nissan USA


According to Alexander Edwards, president of Strategic Vision, “people love trucks, they name their trucks, but they’re not necessarily more loved than a Honda Civic or Toyota Sienna.” Something Strategic Vision also found, according to The Drive, is that 80% of truck owners replace their vehicle with another truck. So, the addiction is real, and manufacturers realize this.

Some brands may be dropping things like a potent V8 engine, but they are not getting rid of their trucks.

Should you buy a full-size truck?

A black 2021 Ford F-150 Raptor off-road pickup truck is parked.
The 2021 Ford F-150 Raptor | Ford

At the end of the day, the consumer has the power of choice, if you want a truck, nothing else can really satisfy that. But, considering whether or not you truly need a $50,000 pickup truck is probably worth thinking about. Especially if you do not find yourself hauling or towing often. 

Full-size trucks often compromise on efficiency and ride comfort, but new trucks do offer comfort features that help to make them attractive. Plus as EV models become available, trucks will only get better in terms of efficiency. Still, a body-on-frame vehicle is going to ride more harshly than a unibody vehicle. And, larger trucks can prove difficult to get in and out of. But that is the sacrifice you have to make to have a commanding presence on the road. 

Plus, most trucks come with a fairly high price tag. That is outside of the 2022 Ford Maverick of course, which is not a full-size truck, but a compact pickup. The Maverick has a cost of around $20,000 which does put it around the same cost as a compact car. But, even the Maverick is not a replacement for a full-size truck, it is unibody and doesn’t have the same capabilities.

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