Pickup trucks are selling like crazy this year. While the rise of the CUV is dramatic, the popularity of pickup trucks is something that cannot be understated. With all of these trucks selling fast, you may think there’s a return to farming and hard labor, an exodus back to an older way of life where people built things, fixed things and otherwise worked with their hands. You might think that the future will be filled with blue-collar workers framing houses and cowboy-hat-wearing folks chucking bales of hay into the bed of a Ford F-150 with aplomb. You might think that, but you’d be wrong.
There are plenty of people out there making and doing things of a physical nature. Those people certainly need trucks to do the work they do, but that isn’t what’s driving the surge in truck sales. Suburbanites, urban-dwellers and basically everyone with enough coin and a desire to sit up high and have a lot of cargo space are buying trucks. Commercial truck sales are high, but consumer sales are high as well. Put that together and you have lots of trucks making their way from the assembly line to the road. Here are some reasons why.
Gas Prices are Down, Truck Efficiency is Up
Energy efficiency and alternative fuels are probably going to be the major forces in the automotive industry in the future. However, at the moment, gas prices are relatively low, and that means good news for those with regular gas-powered vehicles. A lot of people are willing to drive vehicles that get decent but not great gas mileage. Trucks fit into this category and also provide unparalleled utility.
Today’s trucks are more efficient than ever. Improved engine technology paired with lighter materials have increased fuel economy considerably. However, if people were really worried about fuel efficiency, they’d buy small cars with little, turbocharged engines. Many of them aren’t. They’re opting instead for full-size and mid-size pickups that offer adequate efficiency and plenty of utility.
The Versatile Cargo and Storage Space is Unmatched
SUVs, CUVs, vans and station wagons all offer quite a lot when it comes to cargo space, but even those vehicles are limited in ways that pickup trucks aren’t. The bed of a pickup is a versatile space. It can haul everything from a load of gravel to furniture to a load of lumber from the hardware store or a bunch of bags of groceries.
Truck makers are also getting more creative with how they implement and utilize cargo and storage space. Bed boxes, under-seat storage, and more specifically in models like the Honda Ridgeline’s unique beneath the bed trunk, all help make pickups more practical and easier to use.
Roomy Seating and Feature-Packed Interiors
While pickups with a single cab configuration will always be tight for anything but two people, crew cabs are very spacious and comfortable. The days of utilitarian pickup truck interiors across the board are long behind us. You can still buy a stripped-down work truck but most of the pickups on the road come with some seriously nice amenities. Top-of-the-line infotainment systems, heated and cooled seats, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi—all of these things can be had in a modern pickup.
These amenities used to be only available in luxury vehicles. As technology has progressed and become more widely spread, it’s been added to more vehicles, even pickup trucks. Who said you couldn’t tow or haul stuff in comfort and style?
A More Car-Like Drive Than Ever Before
Perhaps one of the biggest reasons pickup trucks have become more popular in recent years is that they’re smoother and more refined than ever. Today’s pickup trucks drive more like cars than ever before. There are some limitations to the body-on-frame design most pickups employ, but for the most part, these vehicles are as easy to drive and smooth as most unibody cars or CUVs.
In modern pickups, steering is more precise, bumps do little to disrupt the ride and handling are greatly improved over previous truck models. All of this, plus the fact that trucks are much more capable than cars or CUVs helps lure drivers over to team pickup truck.
Hi-Powered and More Rugged Versions Up the Ante
The last reason trucks are flying off car lots around the country is that they can be more fun and are tougher than basically everything else on the road, especially with upgraded versions. Recently, truck makers have played this up by releasing off-road versions of their pickups. Sometimes these vehicles are over-the-top, over-styled and a little silly looking, but for the most part, they’re a notch or two above the already great stock trim vehicles. Take the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2, for example. It looks fantastic and has the equipment to be fun no matter where you’re driving. Ram,
While special editions and versions of pickups are the most interesting, there’s no denying that even your everyday, run-of-the-mill pickup trucks would put any Honda CR-V or Toyota RAV4 to shame when it comes to doing extreme stuff. This is important for people who don’t even do extreme stuff. They just like to know they could if they needed to. That may be one of the biggest reasons people buy trucks. They like to know that no matter what their vehicle will be ready for the challenge.