Despite their less-than-stellar fuel economy, high operating costs, unwieldy size, and slower pace, there is still very good reason to buy a truck. Here's a hint: it starts with ‘H' and ends with ‘auling.' if you've ever complained about the cargo space of your hatchback or grumbled about renting a U-Haul for the fifth time in a year, you should consider getting a truck.
Why a Used Truck Beats an SUV for Cargo Space
But I'm Just Not a Truck Person
If you've never owned a truck, it might be hard to envision buying one. Truck owners have a reputation for working hard and playing hard. Many believe trucks live on the construction site or the farm, or belong heading toward the lake towing a big camper or boat. Even if you don't live up to the stereotype in your head, you might still benefit from a truck.
If you're pining for more cargo space and have five family members or fewer, you might be a truck person and not know it yet. Imagine not renting or borrowing a truck every time you want to move a piece of furniture. And then there's the satisfaction of throwing whatever you're hauling in the back and driving off. That's a lot better than finagling it into a trunk, folding down seats, or driving away unhappy because you can't make your cargo fit.
By the Numbers
The primary reason to own a truck is to carry what other vehicles simply can't. Let's look at the numbers. The Fiat 500L boasts the most cargo space in a hatchback: 68 cubic feet with the second row folded down. The largest SUV, the Ford Expedition, features 79 cubic feet of cargo space throughout the cabin. And the Chrysler Pacifica has the most in a minivan, with 140 cubic feet behind the first row. Those might sound like big numbers, but let's look deeper.
If you own an SUV or minivan, how often do you have all the seats folded down? And who's left home when you do and reduce the number of available seats? Watch your cargo capacity numbers dwindle to 20 cubic feet or less if you don't want to go through the hassle of removing the carseats or kicking almost everyone out of the car. If you regularly haul, you might want a truck. A truck can with an extended cab can seat five and still use the entire a truck bed, plus anything it's slated to tow.
Why Else Should I Get a Truck?
Besides all that hauling power, a truck has higher ground clearance and can go where other vehicles can't. Obviously, that's good for off-roading. But even if you stick to the well-traveled roads, trucks can handle bad weather better than cars, minivans, and most SUVs. Because you're seated higher, you have better visibility too. And if you decide you do want to cruise down gravel and dirt roads, you should have no problem.
Where Do I Start?
If you think you might try a truck, don't rush out and buy a one-ton 2018 model. Buy used and get a half-ton truck. If you normally drive a car, a half-ton will be more vehicle than you're used to anyway. If you want to save on gas, it's okay to let it be your second vehicle. Park it by the driveway and back it out just on weekends when you're doing yard work, helping a friend move, or going camping. Who knows? Before long, you might start wondering how you got by without it.