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Pickup trucks seem to increase in size with the release of every new model year, despite an ongoing push for efficiency and environmental friendliness in the name of improving energy policy. That said, most people (and certainly the auto manufacturers) understand that work still needs to get done, which means cargo still needs to get hauled, and pickup trucks are still one of the best ways to do that. Even though new pickup truck models consistently swell in size, consumers still have a lot of options when it comes to finding a new truck. Some of the new trucks on the market have even borrowed a few tricks from the pro-environment, pro-fuel-efficiency crowd, yet they’re still powerful enough to meet the needs of many potential buyers. Pickup trucks are designed to do work, first and foremost, and though many new models tend toward the ostentatious, and sometimes even the glamorous, power is still the highest priority for a lot of truck buyers.

Trying to sort through all the new trucks and recently updated trucks on the market can be confusing. For dedicated truck enthusiasts, who have a lot of experience with pickups and have strong feelings about engine type, cab size, bed size, and other characteristics, it might not be such a chore. Buyers who are new to pickup trucks, however, have a lot of decisions to make. It’s tempting to buy a bigger pickup truck than is really necessary, because pickups are intimidating vehicles and have a commanding road presence. But a truck with a large footprint (at least, larger than is necessary) can have some drawbacks down the road. There’s the matter of the sticker price – the bigger the truck, the more it tends to cost at the dealership. Then there’s the ongoing cost of ownership, of which fuel is a major factor. Typically, it costs more to feed a larger and more powerful vehicle, even if it’s fueling capacity and functions that aren’t being used at the moment. For people buying a pickup with the intention of using it as efficiently as possible, it’s better to be honest about what’s really needed and not buy more than necessary. Of course, plenty of people will still buy the largest truck they can afford, whether or not they need it, and that’s one of the reasons new trucks have managed to stick around.