If you’re looking to buy a pickup truck, there are several things you should know. Here’s our list.

Getting back into the automotive market can be overwhelming, especially with the many vehicle types and options at your fingertips. If you’re looking to buy a pickup truck, there are several things you should know.

What Size Do You Need?

When shopping for a pickup truck, determine whether your vehicle will be midsize or full-size. There are no true compact pickups on sale in America now—small trucks are considered midsize, and they aren’t far off from the full-size trucks of the past. Larger trucks are still considered full-size.

The midsize class currently consists of the Chevrolet Colorado, GMC Canyon, Honda Ridgeline, Nissan Frontier, and Toyota Tacoma. The full-size category includes the Chevrolet Silverado, Ford F-150, GMC Sierra, Nissan Titan, Ram 1500, and Toyota Tundra.

Decide what size fits your needs and wants. Midsize trucks are much easier to maneuver in suburban and urban environments, and they typically burn through fuel less quickly. However, they also can’t tow as much as full-size trucks, and they offer less bed space—and less room for passengers, in some cases.

What About Four-Wheel or Two-Wheel Drive?

Most trucks offer a choice between four-wheel drive and two-wheel drive. So it’s your choice which one to buy. For example, four-wheel drive is recommended for areas where it snows frequently and required for most types of off-road driving, according to the Chicago Tribune. However, if your truck will spend most of its time on city streets, two-wheel drive should suffice, especially if snow isn’t much of a concern.

Do You Want Heavy-Duty Options?

Full-size trucks offer heavy-duty versions that can tow more and handle tougher tasks. Most city and suburban residents probably won’t need heavy-duty capabilities, but those who use their trucks for work duty might—and that goes for all sorts of jobs, from farming to construction to utility work. Some HD trucks can be custom-fitted for certain uses, as well.

Is Diesel or Gas Better?

Some truck models in both size classes offer diesel power. According to The Fast Lane Truck, the advantages of diesel include more torque and increased fuel range. However, diesel can be a little harder to find, and sometimes, pricier at the pump. Still, for a certain percentage of users, particularly hardcore off-roaders and those who use their trucks for work or towing, diesel might make sense.

There are many trucks to choose from, even though truck models make up a small percentage of the vehicles available for sale across the board. Knowing what you want and need before you start shopping will help you pick the right truck for you.

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About the AuthorTim Healey

Tim Healey is a writer and reporter specializing in covering the automotive industry and reviewing new cars. He also has experience covering sports in a past journalistic life. The Chicago-based journalist loves cars, sports, and music, and can write passionately and knowledgeably about all three topics.