The pickup truck is as American as apple pie, which is probably why you see them everywhere in all sorts of shapes and sizes. From crew cab to extended cab, medium-duty to luxury, how do you find the right one for your needs? The key is research, and whether you’re looking at Boise used cars or hunting for your dream truck elsewhere, it’s nice to have a set of criteria to narrow things down. Here are a few tips to help you choose the best pickup truck for you.

Establish Your Budget

One of the first things you’ll notice when shopping for a pickup truck is that they’re often more expensive than the average car or SUV. Base models for used and certified pre-owned trucks can start as low as $10,000, but the more affordable vehicles often come with higher mileage. On the flip side, newer trucks can quickly approach $35,000.

For this reason, you must establish your budget from the get-go. These bare-bones truck models are usually geared toward tradespeople or commercial fleets. If you fit that category, you’ll have an idea of what you might spend for a basic pickup truck. On the other hand, if you’re looking for more features, take a moment to review your budget and ask whether those features are worth the higher cost.

Choose a Size That’s Right for You

Like their price tags, trucks also vary in size, coming in mid-size and full-size categories. They’re also split between light-duty and heavy-duty variants, with each variation offering its own set of compromises. Mid-size trucks like the Ford Ranger or Toyota Tacoma will have smaller cabs and cargo beds, meaning they can’t tow as much as a full-size pickup truck. The tradeoff, however, is that they’re more accessible, more fuel efficient, and easier to maneuver through tight spaces like parking lots.

On the flip side, full-size pickup trucks will have more diverse features, greater towing capacity, and typically be offered in light-, medium-, and heavy-duty options. The heavier the classification (think Chevy Silverado 1500 vs. 2500HD), the more the truck can tow and haul. Which size is right for you depends on your needs and where you’ll drive.

A compact or mid-size truck might be best for you if you plan to drive in an urban environment. If you need a truck for the ranch or regularly hauling heavy loads, a full-size truck might better suit you. Whether you’re living on the east coast or you’re browsing inventory at used car dealerships Boise residents trust, take a look at the different size options to help you narrow down your choices.

Pick the Perfect Powertrain Option

Shopping for a truck also means choosing between different powertrain options. While some truck purists will always say, “go for the V-8 with the four-wheel drive,” you don’t necessarily need to go that route. Technology has come a long way, meaning smaller engines can still provide more than enough power for the average truck driver.

If you decide to put more stock in the powertrain, you’ve certainly got options. Full-size trucks like the Toyota Tundra and Nissan Titan can provide that raw V-8 power, while a GMC Sierra 1500 and the Ford F150 will offer up to eight different powertrain options. Overall, base your decision on what you plan to do with the truck. If you’re going all out all the time, a V-8 makes sense. If you’re only purchasing to have the versatility of a truck, a smaller, less powerful option might be a better fit.


For over 48 years, DENNIS DILLON has been the premier automotive group in the Treasure Valley. With convenient locations in Boise, Meridian, Eagle, Caldwell, and Nampa, they’re here to help you find a quality vehicle at a fair price. Whether you’ve set your sights on a new Toyota or other used cars Boise residents love, DENNIS DILLON is committed to ensuring you have the best car-buying experience possible. With regularly updated inventory, knowledgeable salespeople, and on-the-spot financing options, buying a new, used, and certified pre-owned vehicle has never been easier. 

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