Once seen as simple work vehicles and not much else, trucks have become serious status symbols. Whether it’s the Ford F-150 or the Ram 1500, most manufacturers invest heavily to build the best truck. And that investment appears to be paying off. According to a study of truck owners, almost 80% of truck drivers will replace their truck with another. But do Americans really use their trucks?
Why do so many Americans buy pickup trucks?
Simply put, it seems the number one reason so many Americans buy trucks is for the driving experience. According to a study conducted by Strategic vision, the biggest use of trucks by drivers is for driving pleasure. Truck owners outperform other segments in this way by nearly twice the industry average.
That driving experience comes at a cost. Trucks are not only more expensive than something like a economy car, but they are also expensive to fill up at the pump. You won’t get the same kind of fuel economy out of a Toyota Tundra that you’ll find in a Honda Civic. But apparently, that cost isn’t enough to deter Americans from buying these behemoths.
Most Truck Owners Don’t Do Truck Things
According to the same Strategic Vision study, 75% of truck owners tow only once a year or less. Even fewer people actually haul things with their truck, with only 35% of owners saying they put something in the bed. Then there’s the SUV. Data shows that 70% of truck drivers off-road once a year or less.
Those numbers make the popularity of trucks seem pretty confusing. I recently had the opportunity to drive the 2022 Toyota Tundra Capstone and while it truly is a luxury vehicle, navigating the Kansas City area was a bit tricky due to its size. Also, there is a cost to consider. As tested, my truck was over $90,000, which is certainly not cheap.
You may not actually need a truck
As someone in the auto industry, I get asked quite a bit about which car to buy. And ultimately the decision comes down to the person asking. Often a truck will be brought into the conversation. If you don’t find yourself hauling or towing more than once a year, it might be the right move to consider a Toyota Corolla.
At the end of the day, a Corolla won’t offer the same type of driving experience that the Tacoma does. So, if you really want a truck and you’re okay with dealing with the inconvenience, go ahead and submit it. Just because you can’t haul or tow doesn’t mean you shouldn’t buy a truck. Just know that there may be some more practical options out there.
In today’s world, if you need the capacity of a van, you can always rent one. Of course, that’s not the same as having one. And it doesn’t look like Americans are going sour on their trucks any time soon.