In a world populated by machines that transport humans, the pick-up truck stands alone. Since its inception by Henry Ford as a Model T with a bed over the rear axle, the truck has been a part of our culture and our identity as residents of North America. Since 1925, the truck has never gone out of production. In fact, more manufacturers adopted the simple, clean, utility concept and today produce a wide selection of vehicles. The volume of trucks and their particulars can overwhelm a buyer, but a little research can yield excellent result. Like all endeavor in the modern age, any comparison between trucks begins on the Internet.
Enter “compare trucks” into any search engine and a bundle of websites will appear touting comparison capability. Scan through the various makes and models, enter your desired criteria, i.e. cab size, engine size, bed size, to name a few, and in the time it takes to read this, the results will appear.
Staring at numbers will produce only a part of the comparison. You will see the numbers that count most, like the MSRP and even some rebate offering. We plugged in the 2011 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LS 4x2 Extended Cab 6.5' Box into autobytel.com’s comparison engine and set it against the 2011 Ford F-150 FX2 4x2 Super Cab 6.5' Box and found the Ford costing about $5000 more but offering more power, more gears, and a higher towing capacity. If we change the trim on the Ford to the STX, we see an almost identical price of $26,000 for both trucks, but we also see a six-cylinder engine for the Ford, replacing the V-8. The greater the detail of the information gleaned, the sharper the comparison, and with a little time and a fast connection, the Internet will narrow your truck comparison.
However, the final truck comparison happens in person. You must experience the truck with your whole person. Your eye must be pleased by what it sees. You hand must be pleased by what it touches, and your backside must be pleased by what it feels. Allow your body to do the work. (This does sound a little Zen.) One make and one model will shine over the others.
The dealership should be able to provide all the trim levels, engine options and cab sizes available. The opportunity will allow you to compare the various trucks against each other before you check another manufacturer who also should be able to provide a myriad of sample vehicles. Dealers will also provide their prices and any rebate offers that the Internet missed.
All this comparison work should produce a conclusion. What you select may be very different from what you intended. That’s the job of the truck comparison. The journey should be fun and rewarding. With a little truck comparison work, the right truck will be in your driveway, but it won’t arrive by itself. Until you try all the rest, you won’t find the best for you.