There are lucky people who know exactly what they want. They set goals, pursue them and enjoy the result when fulfilled. However, that is not the case with most of us as we need to consider advantages and disadvantages of a product before buying it. We consider our options upon entering a food court, we ponder between two pairs of shoes before choosing the perfect fit. But when it comes to selecting the right vehicle, the choice becomes even more painful as you only want to splash out your hard earned thousands of dollars on a vehicle that would satisfy you for years to come.
Considering the variety of options available in the market, you’d better learn the subject before paying a visit to local dealers. There are plenty of details to have in mind, such as size, fuel economy and level of emissions, taxes, cabin transformation, the number of seats, reliability record, handling sensations and many more.
Some drivers are also affected by public opinion and reputation of the brands. When choosing the perfect vehicle you are often guided by the needs of your family, business or by the state of roads in the area you live. You might want a small convertible, but three kids assume you’d rather go with a minivan. You might want a large sedan, but living in a European city suggests hatchback is a much more reasonable choice.
In this article we are going to talk about the difference between cars and trucks as this is the most troublesome choice in North America.
There are plenty of car types these days, including sedans, station wagons, crossovers, hatchbacks, coupes, convertibles, sports cars, hybrids and more. They differ in size, seat number, powertrains, trim level, style and price. However, there is one common feature uniting the cars: most of them are designed for transportation of the driver and passengers and are not particularly suited for cargo transportation and heavy loads. Check out the pros and cons of the cars:
- Compact size – cars may offer plenty of space in the cabin, but still remain compact comparing to trucks. This makes them easy to handle and maneuver, which is a great advantage in towns and in heavy traffic. Easy parking is another advantage deriving from compact size – your parking lot neighbors will not feel bitter. Neither will you need a huge garage to park your car.
- Convenience and variety – cars offer just what you need from a vehicle — comfort, dynamics and some space for your baggage. There are luxury sedans for your comfort, there are hatchbacks for easy parking, there are convertibles for relaxing summer rides, there are seven-seaters for large families, there are station wagons for extra cargo space. Cars can offer it all, depending on your preferences.
- Fuel efficiency – there are several reasons why fuel efficiency is really important: you save money when driving an economical car, your car produces less environmental pollution than bigger vehicles and you don’t need to find a gas station after every highway exit. Unless you are driving a powerful sports car, you regular car will definitely show better fuel economy than a truck.
- Security – most of the cars are built with solid roofs and isolated trunks. It means your belongings will always stay out of sight and out of reach, unless you drive a convertible, of course.
- Driving pleasure – this advantage does not concern all cars, for sure, but some of them can deliver pure satisfaction. Just test drive a Mazda MX-5 Miata or a BMW 4 Series and you will never want to get back to your bulky truck again. Precise steering, rigid suspension, low ground clearance can make your driving experience unforgettable. This is only possible when driving a car.
- Limited space – that’s right, what may be taken as an advantage at a small parking lot represents certain disadvantage when it comes to the need of transporting some large-format cargo or when you need a spacious cabin for big guys. Try to load a couple of bikes into your regular sedan or find room for several big loggers in a small hatchback and you will find that your car is not an all-round vehicle for all purposes.
- Limited choice of roads – as good as cars perform on city roads and highways, you’d better not try to reach a remote campsite in the forest or pass through flooded country road. Low ground clearance may be an advantage on good roads, but it’s a liability off road.
- Limited visibility – in most cars seats are installed low, which makes it difficult to notice a dangerous road situation beforehand. It will take you time to notice a traffic tail ahead of your car on a highway, and this delay may cost you. There is no such problem on high vehicles, such as trucks.
- Limited towing ability — cars are generally equipped with less powerful transmissions and engines than trucks, which results in lower towing ability. They are also less rigid and may suffer from minor accidents.
A typical truck features two or four-door cabin, large open cargo bed, high ground clearance, powerful suspensions and transmissions and great off-road abilities, as most of them are equipped with four-wheel drive system. Trucks are extremely popular with American customers and are sometimes used as family vehicles, not just work transportation. But what are the advantages and disadvantages of these monsters?
- Mighty powertrains – this is something that lures both professionals, who need immense torque for towing and other applications, and enthusiasts who simply get excited with the sound of a powerful V8 engine often installed in trucks.
- Off-road abilities – there is a number of features making trucks a perfect vehicle for off-road driving. All-wheel drive system, high ground clearance, durable suspensions and mighty powertrains are the features rarely available on cars but coming as standard equipment on trucks.
- Cargo bed – any cargo you might think of will fit into the truck’s huge storage bed. Accessible through rear tailgate or from simply over the sides, this cargo bed can carry up to 7,000 lbs of load, depending on the model. This is something unthinkable for a regular car.
- Brutal image – let’s face it, according to latest researches, around 85% of all pickup truck owners never use them for commercial purposes and do not use their off-road or towing abilities. Brutal image is something that people buy before any other specifications. Truck owners probably think they look more masculine inside a Ford F-150 or a Chevrolet Silverado. This is something you certainly don’t get from a Honda Fit or a Ford Focus.
- Size — something that many customers look for, especially in North America, becomes as a huge disadvantage when it comes to driving in a limited space, such as congested city traffic or a parking lot. Trucks are harder to maneuver and handle and are better suited for rural places rather than civilization.
- Fuel economy — we’d rather say fuel drainage, to be honest. Powerful engines come at a price of consuming enormous amounts of gas. Manufacturers have been trying to introduce more efficient engines, aided by turbo chargers and other fuel saving technologies. However, trucks still look like behemoths in terms of fuel consumption comparing to cars. Ecology impact and short range are here as well.
- Seat number – regular trucks come with two doors and one seat row. If you want to have extra seats for your family, you will need to pay more for another set of doors and seats.
- Taxes – depending on the region, higher taxes and duties may apply to trucks comparing to cars.
- Limited choice – while there is immense variety of cars in the market, you will need to choose from just a couple of manufacturers if you look for a truck. For the same reason, there are not many promotions from dealers.
- Security issues – if you own a truck, you should always remember to take your cargo away from the bed before going home. Standard trucks do not offer a cover for cargo compartment, unless you pay for this extra option.
- No real driving engagement – trucks may have a potent engine to pull you forward strong and accompany this with impressive sound, but do not expect exquisite reactions when making turn. They are just not built for that. Heavy weight and archaic suspensions will never let you enjoy the ride on curvy roads. Drive slow or drive forward.
As we’ve said before, there are many cars and trucks available in the market. All of them feature different designs, specifications and manners. Make sure to have a clear idea of what you need from your vehicle before splashing out cash on one of them. Cars are more economical and practical, provide better driving sensations and offer an extensive variety of options, while trucks can be used off-road, are indispensable in business and have powerful and durable transmissions, suspensions and engines. We hope you make the right choice the next time you visit a local dealer.