It used to be that pickup trucks were reserved for people who had to get a lot of hard, physical work done -- landscapers, construction workers, farmers and other hard laborers. While these people are still buying trucks, other customers have begun to buy them too, and the whole auto industry is experiencing a change.
Trucks are extremely popular right now, and with a large number of different configurations and options people have found that they can get a truck that fits their lifestyle. Whether that be an urban or rural one. There are several reasons why the pickup truck has gained so much popularity lately, but there are a few things that stand out to us. Here are the factors that have led to the truck’s rise to fame.
Trucks Offer Tons of Utility
Need to tow a boat, move a couch, pick up some lumber or tow a trailer? A truck can do all of these things easily. Even a small truck can handle these tasks. There simply isn’t a vehicle that offers more when it comes to utility than a pickup. Sure, minivans and SUVs can do many of these things too, but they don’t do them as well and it’s often harder to get things done. Trucks are the best option for anyone who needs to do anything.
It used to be that a truck just had a box in the back, now there are features that make it an even more useful vehicle. The Honda Ridgeline takes a bit of a different approach to truck utility by adding an under bed trunk and a swing tailgate. This provides a feature that pickups didn’t used to have and allows you to do even more things. Ram trucks have bed boxes (pictured above) that allow you to lock up tools and other items, making it even more of a utility vehicle.
Smoother, More Comfortable and Easier to Drive
On the flip side of the point made above, trucks have also gotten better at being daily driver vehicles. It’s not hard to drive a truck in everyday situations. Trucks are comfortable and offer plenty of technology and amenities. These vehicles aren’t just workhorses that get put in the garage when work is done. Trucks cart kids to schools, make grocery runs and move families across states on long family road trips. They do it as well as any other vehicle type too, with comfortable interiors, smooth-riding suspension, and plenty of interior room and storage.
You can still buy a stripped down work truck, but the majority of trucks sold to the average consumer come with all the technology and creature comforts you’d expect in an SUV, minivan or car. When you buy a truck that’s outfitted for every day driving you get more than you ever could out of another vehicle type, and you don’t really pay that much more money. The truck has become the every-person vehicle, and as more and more people figure this out, more pickups leave showroom floors.
Trucks get Decent Gas Mileage
Trucks have always been notorious gas hogs, but many midsize trucks and even some full-size pickups get decent gas mileage. Take for example the GMC Canyon. When equipped with the 2.8-liter turbodiesel four-cylinder, the GMC Canyon offers 22 mpg city and 31 mpg highway. Another option is the full-size RAM 1500 in diesel form, which manages 21 mpg city and 29 mpg highway.
Don’t want a diesel? The gasoline version of the Ram 1500 with the 3.6-liter V6 still gets 18 mpg city and 25 mpg highway. While that’s not amazing, it’s still pretty good. Ford does it even better with 19 mpg city and 26 mpg highway when equipped with the 2.7-liter turbo V6. The days of getting 11 or 12 miles per gallon are over. If you buy a modern pickup, you’re going to get decent gas mileage and that is yet another reason why people are flocking to the truck.
Trucks are only going to get better as time goes on. New technology will improve efficiency, ride, performance and everything else. While this new technology will help other vehicle types a well, the truck may be the ultimate benefactor due to the fact that it’s just a superior body style.