How to choose a truck: Pick-up truck features you need to consider before leasing

Date Posted 21st May 2021
Read Time 6 min read

Pick-up trucks were always rugged and reliable, but they’ve come a long way in the last few years. 

Not only do they deliver exceptional dependability, they now come equipped with even more powerful engines, luxurious interiors and the latest technology.

Navara Front

With so much choice now available, there’s a lot to consider when choosing a pick-up truck and it can be difficult to know which is right for you. 

So, here’s our guide to help you make your decision.

Is it practical?

A pick-up truck is one of the most practical vehicles available because you can use it for a variety of purposes. To decide which pick-up is right for you, you need to know what you’ll be using it for. 

If it’s for commercial purposes to carry loads, hauling or towing, for example, you should choose something tough and versatile; such as the Mitsubishi L200.

However, many of today’s pick-up trucks are brimming with the same comforts and technology found in cars. 

So if it’s a family vehicle you’re after, something like the Nissan Navara with its impressive display of safety systems and comfortable interior is ideal.

How much can it tow?

Really, it’s hard to find a pick-up out there that can’t pull a heavy load. But some are better than others.  

And while it’s great to own a truck that could haul around a small tank, ask yourself whether you really need the amount that heavier-duty models boast. 

If you do, the Isuzu D-Max is certainly one for consideration. This no-nonsense, 1.9-litre turbo diesel will happily tow up to 3.5 tonnes and is tough enough to battle the roughest of terrain.

Do you need a large load area?

This is really what sets pick-ups apart from all other vehicles. While a double-cab pick-up truck may offer the biggest interior space, it can often compromise the length of a load bed. 

So, if you’re going to use the load area a lot, it’s important to research which pick-up works best for you.

One we’d recommend is the Ford Ranger, which comes with the largest load bed on a double-cab pick-up in the UK – more than 1.6 metres. Although, be wary that changes depending on which model you choose, as you lose space in both the Wildtrak and Raptor.

How much power do you need?

Again this comes down to what you’re going to use the pick-up for. If you’re going to be tackling rough terrain regularly then a torque-strong engine would be best – such as those in the Toyota Hilux

However, it’s important to note that the more powerful the engine, usually, the more fuel you’ll burn – meaning it’ll cost more to run. 

If that’s an important factor for you, then the Nissan Navara with around 46mpg should be high on your shopping list.  

How many passengers will you have?

Not all trucks will happily double as a family vehicle, so if that’s what you have in mind it’s wise to check the cab space first. 

With some pick-ups, two people can sometimes be a challenge. Meanwhile, others have a more spacious interior such as the Volkswagen Amarok.

To make your decision easier, you can narrow it down by cab size:

Regular, Standard or Single Cab

  • As the name suggests, these are the standard pick-ups with two doors and a single row of seats which can comfortably fit two or three occupants. Usually, there’s no space behind for seating.

Extended Cab

  • With an Extended Cab, you have four doors. Like a Standard Cab, there’s a single row of seating, but there’s also usually a small seat behind, too.

Double Cab

  • If you’re looking for more of a family-friendly vehicle, a Double Cab is a minimum. They come with four doors and at least two seats in the rear which – depending on the model you choose – may be slightly more cramped for taller adults, but perfect for children.

King or Crew Cab

  • These are usually laid out the same as Double Cabs, but with a Cew Cab, there’s much more legroom in the back for passengers.

What’s the fuel economy like?

As they tend to cover larger distances with heavier loads, fuel costs can be a big factor in which pick-up truck you choose. 

Over recent years, pick-ups have become increasingly fuel-efficient with advancements in technology. And while many now rate fairly well, the Nissan Navara, Isuzu D-Max and Ford Ranger come out on top with 46.3mpg, 45.6mpg and 43.5mpg respectively. 

How far off-road will you go?

The majority of pick-up trucks are four-wheel drive, so you’re safe to tackle muddy fields or icy roads.

But if you’re looking to take on tougher terrain or steep inclines – particularly if it’s fully loaded –  there are some other factors you should consider.

Ground clearance is huge in how well a pick-up performs off-road. The Mitsubishi L200 and VW Amarok set the bar in that department. However, if you’re looking for a pick-up for the family, remember to think of ease of access, too.

For all-round off-roading, though, the Toyota Hilux is considered by many as the hardiest of the bunch. Its dependable nature and decent ground clearance impress, although when it comes to wading it’s outdone by the Ford Ranger

Do you want any other features?

Pick-ups are no longer made just for practicality – they’re also built for comfort and style. 

Many nowadays share a lot of technology with cars, which makes them great for exploring, working and cruising down the motorway. 

The Ford Ranger Raptor is a particular standout in this category; featuring leather seats, cruise control, privacy glass, rear parking sensors and camera, lane-keep assist, traffic sign recognition and keyless entry and start – to name just a few of its features. 

So, if you’re looking for something which is practical, family-friendly car and luxurious, several pick-ups now fall into that category.  

They’re no longer a one-trick workhorse. 

How much do you want to spend?

Of course, when choosing which pick-up is right for you, price is usually a big factor. 

Here at Hippo Leasing, you can lease a pick-up – meaning you get to enjoy all the positives that come with owning a four-wheel-drive monster, but none of the responsibility. 

You simply pick your pick-up, say how long you want it for, then return it at the end. Then, if you want, you can choose another and start a new contract. It’s really that simple. 

On a lease, you may also be surprised at how affordable pick-up trucks are. Read our guide: Pick-Up Trucks To Lease Between £200 & £300 Per Month

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