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Old 02-26-2018, 10:22 AM   #1
AVANTI R5
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Default Are Pickup Trucks Becoming the New Family Car?

Pickup truck sales are the hottest they’ve been in a decade, and it’s no wonder: Driving one is no longer a bumpy, jarring experience that you have to endure.

Truck makers today are building pickups with broader appeal, with a softer ride and more safety, convenience, and comfort features.

As a result, pickups are now attracting more buyers, including those who like the addition of backseats and more cab space and don’t seem to mind sacrificing some truck bed length for the extra room inside.

2018 AUTOS SPOTLIGHT
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The Race to Improve Fuel Economy
10 Noteworthy Cars Coming Soon
Autos Spotlight Guide
Although the pickup market remains overwhelmingly dominated by male buyers, the number of women who registered full-sized pickups increased 67 percent from 2008 to 2016 (reaching more than 470,000 trucks in 2016), based on data from IHS Markit. “Family trucks are 40 to 50 percent of our mix,” says David Elshoff, Ram brand spokesman. In the industry, a family truck is one with four full-sized doors in a midlevel or higher trim.

Additional seating has been a trend over the last 10 years, and those bigger cabs mean more space for adults as well as kids, says Jen Stockburger, director of operations at Consumer Reports’ Auto Test Center in Connecticut. “In our tests, crew-cab pickups typically offer generous rear-seat room to install child seats,” she says.

But the space needed for those seats means a trade-off in the size of the pickup beds. Twenty years ago, the Ford F-150’s most popular combination was a regular cab with an 8-foot bed, according to Mel Yu, CR’s automotive analyst. Today the cabs are a lot bigger and the beds are smaller. Consumers don’t seem to mind: General Motors says the most popular combo now for the Chevrolet Silverado 1500 is a crew cab with a 5-foot-8-inch bed, the shortest available.

2019 Chevrolet Silverado
2019 Chevrolet Silverado
Family-Friendly Changes
Shoppers who choose a pickup as a family vehicle bring different needs to the segment than traditional buyers, says GM spokesman Nick Richards. Core truck capabilities, such as hauling, towing, and off-road ability, are still priorities, he says, but “exterior appearance, safety, and technology are now more important than ever.” It also doesn’t hurt that pickups sit fairly high off the ground, with acres of glass, giving drivers a good view of the world outside, although the long and tall hoods can make parking situations a challenge.

Ford has been evolving its F-150 for years, offering larger cab options, a quiet interior, and more luxury features. “Given the versatility of today’s trucks, more are being utilized as a primary family vehicle,” says Dawn McKenzie, a Ford spokeswoman.

True luxury pickups are a real thing, too. Hop up into a high-end truck these days and you’ll find leather seats, power-adjustable pedals, soft-closing tailgates, powerful infotainment systems, and multizone climate control. Ram says demand for its high-end trims has doubled since 2009, to 20 percent of the mix.

“Among vehicles that cost more than $50,000, full-sized pickups are some of the most popular,” says Gabe Shenhar, associate director of the auto test program at CR. “These are $60,000-plus vehicles with amenities and swagger.”

Despite the embrace by more families, the pickup truck segment hasn’t been as quick as cars and SUVs to adopt advanced safety systems. Toyota leads the pack by putting standard automatic emergency braking (AEB), forward-collision warning (FCW), and lane-departure warning (LDW) on its 2018 Tundra full-sized and Tacoma compact pickups. AEB and FCW aren’t standard on the 2018 Ford F-150, but they’re available, along with blind-spot warning (BSW), rear cross-traffic warning (RCTW), LDW, and lane-keeping assist (LKA). On the 2018 Chevrolet Silverado, AEB, FCW, LDW, and LKA are available, but not BSW or RCTW.

The 2018 Ram 1500 lags the most in this area, lacking any advanced safety features. That will change with Ram’s 2019 redesign, which makes all of those features available, along with a 360-degree camera.

Although pickups can be gas guzzlers, automakers have improved truck mpg by using more efficient engines and transmissions, and by reducing weight. The Ram 1500 EcoDiesel is currently the most fuel-efficient full-sized pickup, managing 20 mpg overall in CR’s testing. The F-150’s gasoline 2.7-liter V6 turbo gets an impressive 19 mpg overall.

Ford’s F-150 dropped 700 pounds when it switched to an all-aluminum body, and Ford is adding a diesel version later in 2018 that the company says could reach 30 highway mpg.

Trucks like this 2018 Ford F-150 can serve as a family car.
2018 Ford F-150
Smart Buying Advice
Pickup trucks have become more civilized, but make no mistake—they still don’t ride or handle as well as cars or SUVs.

Most have a higher step-in and are more difficult to park. So unless you really need an open bed, a truck might not be for you, especially in an urban living situation.

If you’re buying a pickup for the first time, be careful not to get more truck than you need. The brawnier the truck, the more it can cost you in fuel. The burlier ones also tend to have the highest step-ups, and the ride comfort will suffer.

For instance, if you’re not planning to frequently carry heavy loads or pull a big trailer, you probably don’t need a heavy-duty truck (¾-ton or more)—stick with a light-duty version (½-ton/1500-size). Even a compact truck, such as a Chevrolet Colorado, Honda Ridgeline, or the upcoming Ford Ranger, could fit the bill.

If you rarely haul dirty cargo, large appliances, or motorcycles, then a minivan or an SUV might be the better choice. If you truly need a pickup only once in a while for a specific task, then you might be better off renting on those occasions.

https://www.consumerreports.org/pick...ew-family-car/
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Old 02-26-2018, 11:12 AM   #2
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They certainly are in my part of the world where pickup trucks rule. Kind of ironic in times where auto manufacturers are tasked to reduce emissions in their cars that pickup trucks which are all gas guzzlers are outselling cars. Just feels wrong that the squeeze is on cars which are already pretty efficient while pickup trucks get to skirt through an EPA loophole. We are kind of chasing out tails here when it comes to reducing emissions.

Last edited by heavyD; 02-26-2018 at 11:18 AM.
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Old 02-26-2018, 11:19 AM   #3
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They certainly are in my part of the world where pickup trucks rule. Kind of ironic in times where auto manufacturers are tasked to reduce emissions in their cars that pickup trucks which are all gas guzzlers are outselling cars. Just feels wrong that the squeeze is on cars which are already pretty efficient while pickup trucks get to skirt through an EPA loophole.
They are dominant here and many of the drivers of them, oh my. They slaw the BMW and Audi cliches. Pull out in front of you all the time, clog fast lanes, I don't hate the vehicles as they serve a purpose, it's just many of the buyers of them here are completely awful drivers and the large size of the thing is a factor why. Some of the owners think they own the road and why they buy them in the first place. I still prefer compact trucks.
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Old 02-26-2018, 02:01 PM   #4
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They certainly are in my part of the world where pickup trucks rule. Kind of ironic in times where auto manufacturers are tasked to reduce emissions in their cars that pickup trucks which are all gas guzzlers are outselling cars. Just feels wrong that the squeeze is on cars which are already pretty efficient while pickup trucks get to skirt through an EPA loophole. We are kind of chasing out tails here when it comes to reducing emissions.
That's painting with a pretty broad brush, IMO. Over the first 1400 miles, and lots of remote start use, my F150 is getting 18.5mpg. I'm not up to speed on the loophole you're talking about, but I know Ford put a lot of work into the truck to get it to the mileage numbers it's at.

I've had (performance) cars in the past that got worse mileage. My Outback gets 22 and our slow 4cyl. Mazda5 only gets 24.
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Old 02-26-2018, 02:05 PM   #5
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They certainly are in my part of the world where pickup trucks rule. Kind of ironic in times where auto manufacturers are tasked to reduce emissions in their cars that pickup trucks which are all gas guzzlers are outselling cars. Just feels wrong that the squeeze is on cars which are already pretty efficient while pickup trucks get to skirt through an EPA loophole. We are kind of chasing out tails here when it comes to reducing emissions.
The regulations are according to vehicle footprint, based on the dimensions. So it's not the same as the "truck" loophole that made 13mpg Explorers popular in the 90s. Still, good fuel economy on a full sized trick is still worse than 20mpg real world.
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Old 02-26-2018, 02:21 PM   #6
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The increased fuel economy and ultra smooth/quiet ride is one of the reasons I picked up my F150 2.7EB 4WD. It rides better and quieter than Mercs and BMW I've been in recently. Lifetime I'm averaging 22.5 mpg which is more than I averaged in my STI.

Plus it can tow 8000 lbs, carry 2000 lbs, hit 60 under 6 seconds, trap in the 90's, and carry 6 of my friends while bringing home the 4'x8'.

On 87.
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Old 02-26-2018, 02:23 PM   #7
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They are dominant here and many of the drivers of them, oh my. They slaw the BMW and Audi cliches. Pull out in front of you all the time, clog fast lanes, I don't hate the vehicles as they serve a purpose, it's just many of the buyers of them here are completely awful drivers and the large size of the thing is a factor why. Some of the owners think they own the road and why they buy them in the first place. I still prefer compact trucks.
The phrase "man I don't have to worry bout nothin" springs to mind. I hear it often from people I work with and know that own large trucks. They just want the biggest thing they can get a hold of so that in a battle of physics they win. Never mind they'll never tow anything, their truck will never see dirt, etc. It's irksome, but oh well I suppose.
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Old 02-26-2018, 02:32 PM   #8
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The increased fuel economy and ultra smooth/quiet ride is one of the reasons I picked up my F150 2.7EB 4WD. It rides better and quieter than Mercs and BMW I've been in recently. Lifetime I'm averaging 22.5 mpg which is more than I averaged in my STI.

Plus it can tow 8000 lbs, carry 2000 lbs, hit 60 under 6 seconds, trap in the 90's, and carry 6 of my friends while bringing home the 4'x8'.

On 87.
Yep, this is exactly why I love my 2017 EB. I averaged 19.5mpg doing on average 90mph from San Diego to Salt Lake City last Saturday. Truck is damn quiet, comfy, and I just love the damn thing.
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Old 02-26-2018, 02:37 PM   #9
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They certainly are in my part of the world where pickup trucks rule. Kind of ironic in times where auto manufacturers are tasked to reduce emissions in their cars that pickup trucks which are all gas guzzlers are outselling cars. Just feels wrong that the squeeze is on cars which are already pretty efficient while pickup trucks get to skirt through an EPA loophole. We are kind of chasing out tails here when it comes to reducing emissions.
I’m in Kootenay National Park a number of times per week (tons of Calgary traffic) and I see 10 trucks per every car.
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Old 02-26-2018, 02:38 PM   #10
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large pickup trucks annoy me. They generally are driven like they own the road... love to tailgate then refuse to yield to faster moving traffic. Also can't see **** around them. Don't let them change lanes in front of me for that reason. I pass them just for better visibility often. Nice to have power on tap to do so.

i see the desire to have one as a family car. I considered it when we instead got our outback. just didn't want to drive the vehicle that I hate.
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Old 02-26-2018, 03:17 PM   #11
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That's painting with a pretty broad brush, IMO. Over the first 1400 miles, and lots of remote start use, my F150 is getting 18.5mpg. I'm not up to speed on the loophole you're talking about, but I know Ford put a lot of work into the truck to get it to the mileage numbers it's at.

I've had (performance) cars in the past that got worse mileage. My Outback gets 22 and our slow 4cyl. Mazda5 only gets 24.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corpor...tandard_reform

it's all there.

trucks have lower requirements than cars as part of CAFE.

It's not a loophole, it's there by design.
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Old 02-26-2018, 03:33 PM   #12
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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corpor...tandard_reform

it's all there.

trucks have lower requirements than cars as part of CAFE.

It's not a loophole, it's there by design.
It's by design to protect American automakers who would all go under without pickup truck sales. 20 mpg may be good for a truck but it's poor compared to typical compact and mid size cars that are held to higher standards. Eventually the bulls eye will land on trucks as it's just a matter of time.
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Old 02-26-2018, 03:55 PM   #13
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Article quote from October, 2017:

Quote:
Pickup trucks are a vital source of profit for the Detroit companies. While the Asian auto makers are formidable rivals in cars and crossover SUVs, none offer any serious challenge in the market for big pickups. Profit margins on those trucks—used to haul recreational boats and on construction sites across America—are typically far above 10% and can outpace luxury cars.
https://www.wsj.com/articles/ford-po...ump-1509017675


Also, AFAIK, truck frames are cheap and don't require the same R&D as cars.
I mean, the higher profit margin isn't an accident.
Hence the SUV boom a couple decades ago...and the renaissance happening now.
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Old 02-26-2018, 04:32 PM   #14
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The phrase "man I don't have to worry bout nothin" springs to mind. I hear it often from people I work with and know that own large trucks. They just want the biggest thing they can get a hold of so that in a battle of physics they win. Never mind they'll never tow anything, their truck will never see dirt, etc. It's irksome, but oh well I suppose.
They don't understand the battle of physics too well. Low speed impacts sure, but not at a high rate of speed and collision. Cars are designed to better impact standards.

If I was never going to tow anything heavy, nor carry heavy payloads, I just don't see the point myself, I'd get a compact like a Ridgeline, Canyon, etc. I actually quite like the Ridgeline for this reason. Since it is designed off the Pilot, should be safer in high speed collision. Unibody, when it collapses, just better designed for impact than a ladder frame.
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Old 02-26-2018, 05:58 PM   #15
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20 mpg may be good for a truck but it's poor compared to typical compact and mid size cars that are held to higher standards. Eventually the bulls eye will land on trucks as it's just a matter of time.
Sure, but how does it compare to a full size car or even a mini-van? I love that I can climb into the back while hooking the boys into their car seats.

I also put off buying a truck for years because I didn't think I'd enjoy driving one. I didn't buy this one to drive every day. Now that I have it, I hardly drive the van because the truck is so comfortable and isn't the penalty box that I expected it to be. I don't drive it like a douchbag, but am familiar with that of which you guys speak, it can be scary sometimes.
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Old 02-26-2018, 09:13 PM   #16
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My Legacy GT wagon averages 18.5mpg. If I can equal that in today's typical 350 hp full size V8 pickup, I'd say a lot right has happened over the years. Not gonna get down on people who choose big ol trucks. After all, they are the ones who have to labor parking the thing and thinking about where to park the thing. I chuckle and give them thumbs up when I notice their huge dilemma unfolding. Good times...
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Old 02-27-2018, 12:07 AM   #17
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The Wrangler fits my reqs for a truck-like vehicle. Waiting on the diesel because its the correct kind of motor to have until they do a diesel/electric hybrid with 4 motors and no axles.
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Old 02-27-2018, 01:23 AM   #18
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My Legacy GT wagon averages 18.5mpg. If I can equal that in today's typical 350 hp full size V8 pickup, I'd say a lot right has happened over the years. Not gonna get down on people who choose big ol trucks. After all, they are the ones who have to labor parking the thing and thinking about where to park the thing. I chuckle and give them thumbs up when I notice their huge dilemma unfolding. Good times...
Some of the owners of such vehicles DGAFF and simply use part of the adjacent stall/hardpark. Never mind the general lack of spatial awareness most drivers have trying to park normal-sized vehicles...
And trucks have been used in the role of "family vehicle" for a long time here due to the larger physiques of a good portion of the residents here. Think Maui from the movie "Moana".

Last edited by hi5.0; 02-27-2018 at 01:32 AM.
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Old 02-27-2018, 01:54 AM   #19
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^

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Old 02-27-2018, 02:08 AM   #20
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the way I look at it is, if the next STI is not a new overhaul and a game changer like back when it was a pocket rocket, then I might go for a Tacoma TRD Pro 6speed. That's my fav. truck and still offers a manual.
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Old 02-27-2018, 12:33 PM   #21
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you do not have to be fat ass to enjoy a super crew. I had one and it was the best road trip car I ever had. Crazy interior room. Kids had space to stretch out. Acres of floor space for their stuff. Good visibility, room for my wife to get comfortable and stretch or cross her legs in the seat, 600+ miles on one tank, and the biggest trunk in the damn world.

It makes a whole lot of sense.. Yes, I hated parking it. And when we decided to hold off on buying our boat, I got rid of it, but I had that bed full of something at least once a month.

miss that thing, and at no point do I ever rule out buying another one. With the crazy discounts (20000 dollars off MSPR and 72 months 0% financing) it is hard to ignore such a capable vehicle.
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Old 02-27-2018, 05:24 PM   #22
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With the crazy discounts (20000 dollars off MSPR and 72 months 0% financing) it is hard to ignore such a capable vehicle.
I understand the utility of trucks, having owned a couple BRATs and a Tundra, but I can't get over the downsides of truck ownership. Sure, they're easy to cruise in, but in every single other way, it turns me off. Looks, dynamics, size, thirst, registration fees; it's all wrong. And while they many not be as thirsty as they used to be, I'd rather get 20 mpg brapping around in my WRX than simply commuting to work in a truck.

To add insult to injury, when did a top-of-the-line pickup start to cost more than a fully-optioned 5-series BMW?!

When acquaintances bring by their new trucks by to show off, I always ask them why they bought a farm implement for their daily driver. "It's for hauling manure, not kids!"

I just do not understand the allure. Maybe it's because I have a dog instead of kids...
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Old 02-27-2018, 06:01 PM   #23
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Yeah, that may have something to do with it. When you have kids you need to be more self reliant and have the ability to go anywhere and do anything. Want to take the family and kids camping for a few days, a WRX will NOT work. NOt enough room for tents, gear, bags, fishing poles, bikes, etc. I tried, and with just one kid and myself, it was darn near impossible.
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Old 02-27-2018, 06:55 PM   #24
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Yeah, that may have something to do with it. When you have kids you need to be more self reliant and have the ability to go anywhere and do anything. Want to take the family and kids camping for a few days, a WRX will NOT work. NOt enough room for tents, gear, bags, fishing poles, bikes, etc. I tried, and with just one kid and myself, it was darn near impossible.
I mean... that depends on your definition of camping... I went car camping in my old MCS.

I see your point, and we considered a pickup a while back... One determining factor was the fact that unless you get a cap, your stuff gets wet when it rains. A cap basically turns a pickup into an SUV, except you can't access the cargo from the inside. Just not what we wanted.
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Old 02-27-2018, 07:29 PM   #25
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Here is the other thing most people don’t consider. It’s significantly less expensive to buy a truck that’s rather loaded than a full size suv or even a midsize. I think my F150xlt with almost everything but a sunroof and having the seats redone with cat skinz leather cost me $33k. Almost everyone who rides in my truck is blow away that it only cost $33k. Suv’s Have become so damn expensive even with minimal options that a truck becomes damn appealing.
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