Whether you have owned a pickup truck previously or this will be your first time buying one, there are several aspects to consider when making the final deal. Although you may be aware that pickup trucks can cost considerably more than passenger cars, you'll want to ponder some other important aspects before deciding on a particular model. Before you shop around, it's a good idea to consider the following questions to choose the right truck for your needs:
1. Should You Choose a Single Cab Truck Or One With Rear Seats?
This is an important aspect to consider. Pickup trucks are available as single cab or with back seats. If you plan in only using your truck for work-related tasks, you may be inclined to choose a model without the back seats. However, consider the resale value. A truck that includes back seats will command a higher resale value than the single cab model. In addition, with a rear seat model, you'll be able to hold or store possessions securely, rather than in the open truck bed of a single cab model. When you think about it, a pickup truck with back seats is practical for many reasons.
2. How Important Is Four-Wheel Drive?
Consider where you'll be driving your truck. Is your climate snowy and icy in winter? If so, four-wheel drive (4WD) is a must-have. It will offer better traction on snow and ice and possibly eliminate the chance of becoming stuck somewhere. For a low-grip surface or on rough terrain, you'll want the security of a four-wheel drive truck.
On the other hand, if your driving environment and climate is mild or moderate, you may do fine with a two-wheel drive truck. With the two-wheel drive truck, you may notice a slight advantage in gas mileage. Ultimately, you need to weigh your needs to decide which way to go.
3. Should You Choose a Pickup Truck With Side Steps (Running Boards)?
Climbing into a pickup truck with high ground clearance may be a bit difficult for some passengers or drivers. If you can manage the climb easily and you won't be transporting others in your vehicle, you may not find this feature important. However, if you feel you'd benefit from running boards or side steps, you do have options.
Your pickup truck may be purchased with the steps included from the factory, or you can purchase the boards or steps as an add-on accessory later. If you do buy them separately, consider electric side steps. These will automatically "drop" to a height that will make it easy to climb into the truck. The electric steps will lower as the truck's door is opened and the sensor is activated.
4. Will Your Pickup Truck Be Powered By Diesel or Gasoline Fuel?
If you'll be towing heavy loads for extended miles at a time, you might do best with a diesel powered vehicle. Diesel trucks are built to be stronger than the gas powered models and they are considered to be workhorses. Diesel trucks have stronger engine transmissions as well. Of course, you will probably be paying a higher price for a diesel fueled pickup truck, so keep that in mind as well. If you will be using your truck simply for play and pleasure rather than for hauling heavy workloads, you may do fine with a gas powered model.
As a final consideration, remember that regardless of the model you are set on buying, take a few test drives. Testing a few different models out on the road will give you the best idea and feel for how it operates. This is especially important if you have never driven or owned a pickup truck before.