Truck Vs. SUV: Which Is Best For You?

You're likely reading this post because you’re on the fence about buying a truck or an SUV. We want to make your decision-making process easier than you’d expect. So we researched this concern for you, and we found the following answer.

Take note that your best option often depends on the factors that suit your preferences and requirements. For instance, trucks are generally better than SUVs for towing. But SUVs may provide better fuel efficiency than trucks.

So you should continue reading as we talk about the pros and cons of trucks and SUVs. That way, you should be able to be closer to finalizing your purchasing decision once you reach the end of this post.

Generic modern SUV car in concrete garage. Car design is generic and not based on any real model or brand.  - Truck Vs SUV: Which Is Best For You?

What Are The Advantages And Disadvantages Of A Truck

The pickup truck first debuted in the automobile industry in 1925 by Henry Ford. Since then, the design and function of the vehicle changed and evolved through the years. Bear in mind that these updates generally bring benefits and drawbacks to users.

View at a Dodge RAM 1500 Pickup in a parking lot

Advantages Of A Truck

Tow Capacity

Many pickup trucks can haul or tow massive loads. It’s also possible to pull campers, travel trailers, or 5th wheels with certain trucks.

For instance, the 2023 Ford Super Duty can tow up to 24,200 pounds. With that maximum towing capacity, this particular vehicle can tow loads within a similar weight range as Class A RVs.

In comparison, the typical SUV only has the durability and strength to pull up to 10,000 pounds. Oftentimes, SUVs can only tow up to 8,000 pounds on average.

Also, if you want to know our picks for the best trucks for towing, read our post highlighting that topic to find out our top choices.


The world of trucks now offers different upgrade options for these vehicles. Gone are the days of the 1925 Model T Roadster, which had a thin metal bodyshell and numerous exposed parts. Today, it’s possible to swap different parts to enhance the look and feel of driving trucks.

Some of these choices include:

  • Step bars
  • Air intakes
  • Bed and floor liners
  • Wheels and tires
  • Infotainment systems

Check out these step bars on Amazon.


Perhaps one of the best draws of using a pickup truck is its bed. Generally found at the back of the vehicle, the truck bed can provide additional cargo capacity and seating.

Also, many truck beds don’t often require covers. That way, you can place relatively tall objects at the backs of these vehicles without worrying about height limitations significantly.

Note: Although people could ride in a truck’s bed while the vehicle is moving, some states prohibit this. For instance, people can't ride in the truck bed while the vehicle is on an interstate highway. Also, anyone under 19 years old can't ride in the truck's bed in Maine.

Disadvantages Of A Truck

Ford F-150 display at a dealership


The average dimensions of pickup trucks are 19.8 x 6.7 x 6.3 feet (length x width x height). In comparison, SUVs have typical dimensions of 15.4 x 6.2 x 5.7 feet on average.

Since trucks are typically larger than SUVs, it can be challenging to find good parking spots for these vehicles. Also, new truck drivers might find it more difficult to adjust to these vehicles’ large sizes, particularly while parking or driving in reverse.

Fuel Efficiency

Fuel economy for the average pickup truck isn’t as great as the typical sedan. In particular, many trucks guzzle about 30% more fuel than sedans.

For example, the 2021 Ram 1500 RTX is perhaps one of the trucks with the poorest fuel economies throughout this entire vehicle class. It offers 10 miles per gallon for city driving, 14 miles per gallon for highway, and 12 miles per gallon combined.

Still, some trucks possess decent fuel efficiencies. One example is the Ford F150 Pickup 4WD FFV, which offers 16 miles per gallon for city driving, 22 miles per gallon for highway, and 19 miles per gallon combined.

Also, the drop in fuel economy in certain trucks may come from an underlying issue. Read our post on what you can do if a Chevy Silverado’s fuel efficiency drops to gain additional insight into this particular concern.

What Are The Advantages And Disadvantages Of An SUV

Black Volkswagen Touareg car moving on the street

Like the pickup truck, the sport utility vehicle (SUV) has come a long way since its conception in 1935. It typically has features found in sedans and trucks. But take note that these characteristics can bring both benefits and drawbacks for different users.

Advantages Of An SUV


SUV manufacturers now place updated safety-focused technologies in their offered vehicles. These upgrades may range from improved airbag deployment systems to automatic driver assistance features.

These functions typically aim to provide drivers, passengers, and nearby individuals with safer experiences when within and around the vicinity of SUVs. Some of these safety features to watch out for are:

  • Lane-keeping assist: Also called lane departure warning, the SUV helps control the steering wheel to allow drivers to stay within the designated lanes.
  • Adaptive cruise control: The vehicle automatically adjusts the speed if its sensors detect a car or object in front of them while the SUV is running.
  • Automatic emergency brakes: Automatically activates the brakes if it detects people or objects directly in front of the vehicle.


Although SUVs typically have limited spaces in their storage compartments (unlike pickup trucks), these vehicles still sport more storage capacities than most sedans.

Plus, the storage areas in SUVs don't usually sacrifice legroom for the rear passenger seats. However, trucks generally have fairly compact spaces for their rear passengers to give way for the extra length of their beds.


SUVs generally promote enhanced ruggedness, thanks in part to their durable exterior frames. The strong materials used to develop these frames can aid in improving the vehicles’ lifespans. Also, the sturdy frames can help enhance the safety of the SUV’s driver and its passengers.

Disadvantages Of An SUV

Mercedez-Benz GLC 300 4Matic Coupe 2022 matte grey car


According to Kelley Blue Book, an automotive research and vehicle assessment company, the price of a full-sized SUV is higher than the typical cost of buying a full-sized pickup truck.

In particular, you should expect to pay about $56,200 to become a proud owner of a truck as of May 2021. On the other hand, prepare to spend around $68,790 to buy a full-sized SUV.


Many SUVs are top-heavy, making them difficult to maneuver. That means that drivers need to adapt during different driving scenarios to avoid accidents and injuries. It also means that SUVs are more likely to be the originators of on-road accidents than sedans or trucks.


If you’re a fairly new driver, it might be better to start with a truck than an SUV. Trucks often offer better balance than SUVs, making them safer to drive for beginners and veteran drivers.

However, if you have extra cash, you may want to choose an SUV over a truck. Although it may come with higher initial costs than a truck, an SUV possess improved comfort for both the driver and its passengers.

Final Thoughts

Take the time to finalize your purchasing decision as you choose between buying a truck or an SUV. Remember, a new vehicle is an investment, and it should be in your best interest to make the most out of that deal. If not, you might have more regrets than enjoyable experiences with your new truck or SUV.