If you’re in the market for a new family vehicle, you may be considering a pickup. Pickups are becoming more and more popular as family vehicles, and there are some definite pros and cons to consider before making your decision. In this article, we will take a look at 10 of the most important factors to think about when deciding if a pickup is right for your family.
These vehicles are growing in popularity every year, and there doesn’t seem to be any slowing down! With trucks like the Ford F-150 becoming the most popular vehicle purchased in the USA (vehicle, not just truck), you can see that families and not just people that need it for work are moving over to the pickup truck.
So are pickups good family vehicles? From experience, a pickup can make a great family vehicle. They can tow anything, transport as many people as you want, are great for work and play (including off-roading), and more. Although, you will be losing out a bit on gas mileage, and things like getting groceries, and parking the vehicle become a bit more difficult than an SUV.
Why do pickups make great family vehicles?
1. Pickups can tow the weekend toy trailers
This is one of the major reasons why people end up purchasing a pickup truck as a family vehicle. Knowing that you can easily get in your truck, and tow that 4-Wheeler or side-by-side up into the mountains on the weekends, while still being able to commute to work during the week in the same vehicle is a huge upside.
The versatility of a pickup truck is par none, and there isn’t another vehicle out there that can do it all like a pickup truck. Sure, some SUVs can tow quite a bit, but a pickup truck is going to be the most capable and purpose-built to make sure it gets it done well.
2. Up to 6 people can be transported
Just like most SUVs on the market (unless you need the 3rd row), pickups can carry up to six people (if you have a bench seat in the front).
This means that it can easily carry the whole family, and possibly a couple of friends on outdoor excursions, to and from school, and to go out and do your weekly shopping.
3. Trucks are much more comfortable now
Back in the day, pickups were not known for their comfort. However, now that pickups are quickly becoming a family vehicle, manufacturers have stepped up their game to better appeal to that crowd (considering pickups are highly profitable, this is a good choice).
Now, pickups offer a much more comfortable ride than ever before, with features such as heated seats, cooled seats, and even massaging seats becoming available in some models.
4. They’re great for off-roading
Pickups are also great vehicles to take off-road. With the ability to easily switch into four-wheel drive mode, they can easily traverse all sorts of terrain. And, with the pickup bed, you can easily transport all of your gear and toys without having to worry about space.
5. You can use your truck for hard work when needed
What you need in a good family vehicle, is versatility, and the pickup continues to shine with working.
If you find yourself needing to transport a lot of hay, equipment, or other materials around, the pickup truck is still your best bet. With the ability to haul and tow more than any other vehicle on the market, it can easily become your workhorse when needed.
What are the downsides to a pickup as a family vehicle?
1. These vehicles are more difficult to drive
Pickups are not small vehicles (unless of course, you are buying a car-based truck), and because of this, they are increasingly more difficult to drive around. I am much more comfortable doing city driving or long-distance driving in an SUV, as you have better visibility, a smoother ride, and a lower seating position.
That said, if you don’t have another SUV to compare a pickup truck to, you do get used to driving a pickup and it becomes second nature. It isn’t until you drive something smaller that you notice how different the driving experience is.
2. Pickups are more difficult to park
This goes hand in hand with the pickup being more difficult to drive. Not only do you have to worry about length and width when parking (which takes up more space than an SUV), but also the height of a pickup.
This can be a bit tricky in tight spots, like in a city, where you have to deal with tight parking spots (it is much more difficult to park a pickup in any spot) and tight parking garages. There is nothing quite like going into a parking garage and wondering if you are going to hit that overhang every time you go under one.
3. Getting groceries is more work
This is one of the most surprising differences between a pickup and something like an SUV or a sedan. Getting groceries in a pickup truck can be quite difficult! Over the years, SUVs especially have made it so much easier to open the large rear hatch with the push of a button (or even waving your foot under the bumper), and then place your groceries in the back.
However pickup trucks have such a large cavernous bed, that groceries like to roll around, and it is just more difficult to place the groceries in the back in the first place. Sure, there are some great ways to resolve this, especially if you have something like a DECKED bed system, however, the back of an SUV is just easier.
4. Lower gas mileage
Pickups just don’t have the best gas mileage when compared to other family vehicles. This isn’t a huge surprise, as they are larger, heavier, and have more horsepower. However, if you are conscious about your gas mileage, a pickup may not be the best choice for you.
That said, there are quite a few pickups that do have great gas mileage, and you can read about those in this article we put together.
Frequently Asked Questions
If you don’t go off-roading and don’t need to tow a lot, an SUV will generally be a better vehicle for families. They are much easier vehicles for transportation, are less expensive, and are better for daily chores.
Driving a pickup truck is not a hard thing to do. There is most definitely a learning curve, as you need to get used to the size and length of a pickup, however, it by no means is a difficult thing to do.
There is no way around the fact that pickups are a fun vehicle to drive. You get to enjoy the size, and horsepower of a large vehicle daily. There is just something about a pickup that you can’t get from an SUV.
There are many pros and cons to consider when thinking about if a pickup truck is the right family vehicle for you. Ultimately, it comes down to what is important to you and what type of driving you will be doing.
If you are looking for something great for daily transportation, an SUV is a better choice. However, if you are looking for something with more power and that is more fun to drive, a pickup truck may be the right fit for you.