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Car vs Pickup

A photo collage of a car and pick up truck.

It is a big mistake to believe that cars and pickup trucks are simply the same thing. They are definitely not. It is important to understand the differences between the two, and it is ideal to try to hold on to this knowledge so that you have the greatest opportunity to get exactly the type of vehicle that you need for your specific needs. Today, we want to take a look at the differences, similarities, and things that make up a car and things that make up a pickup. 

Car Features

There are literally thousands of pieces of material that come together to build a car, but you really only need to know about the absolute most critical pieces if you want to get an idea of what makes a car so special. This is why we want to look at the most requested and most interesting features of a car today. 

Car vs Pickup

Many people who are looking to purchase a car are interested in getting a sunroof/moonroof as part of the package. Now, this is not exclusive to cars (there can be trucks with sunroofs/moonroofs), but they are more commonly seen on cars than they are on other types of vehicles.

This is a nice feature because it literally allows the owner to let the sunlight in when they are driving around. Not every car has one, but you can ask about this ahead of time if you are wondering if a car that you are looking at may have one. 

Navigation System

A photo of a womann driving a car in a manual transmission.

Again, a navigation system is not exclusive to a car, but it is going to be likely to be prominently featured on cars because this is a major selling point for many cars. The people love it when they have a navigation system available to them in their vehicle. It is one of the best ways to convince certain people of the value of a particular model of vehicle. 

Remote Start

This feature is a fun one, and it is more commonly seen on newer model cars. Remote start allows the car owner to literally start up their car even if they are not sitting in the car. They just hit a button on the keys and the vehicle will go ahead and start up for them.

That is a very big deal because it takes some of the burden of getting the car started off the hands of the driver. They can just hit a button and allow the vehicle to go ahead and start on the processes that it needs to go through in order to get started.

Related: 9 Different Types of Cars 

Pickup Truck Features

Orange modified Ford Ranger displayed at a carshow.

There is no getting around the fact that pickup trucks are so popular because of their greater ability to haul large loads to wherever they need to go. This is a big part of the reason why pickup trucks are favored over standard cars by so many people. They know that they need to get certain things from Point A to Point B, and the best way to make it happen is to have a powerful truck that can bring them to that finish line. 

This is why we wanted to look at some of the features that make a pickup truck so special. 

Multi-Cylinder Engine

The exact type of engine that you get to power your pickup truck will ultimately depend on the make and model that you opt to go for, but almost all of them will have a multi-cylinder engine that you can count on.

Many of the models that are made today have at least a four-cylinder engine, and sometimes even more than that. This allows for the pickup truck to have the kind of power that it needs to carry those loads where they need to go. 

All-Wheel Drive

Another common and popular feature on pickup trucks is all-wheel drive. People prefer to have as much control over their driving experience as possible, and a great way to do so is to have the all-wheel drive option. This allows them to maintain a greater sense of control over their pickup truck as it is carrying large loads to wherever it needs to go.

Many buyers will specifically ask about all-wheel drive when they are in the process of purchasing a truck. It is a feature that they simply don’t want to go without, and that is entirely understandable. 

Average Costs of a Car

2020 Model Gray Toyota Camry spotted at the street of Prague.

The average cost of a new car is climbing sky high as of late. It turns out that the average price, according to Kelley Blue Book, jumped from $39,000 in 2020 to more than $48,000 now.

It seems that a significant portion of that price increase has to do with a shortage of both parts and labor, but that is still a significant jump in the average price for a car in a single year. It is very important that consumers keep an eye on things like this because vehicles are so essential to everything else that we do in life. 

Average Cost of a Pickup Truck

The average cost for a pickup truck is not significantly different from that of a new car. In fact, the average cost for a pickup truck is somewhat lower than the average cost of a new car. This may come as a shock to some people, but it just goes to show that cars and pickup trucks are often relatively in tandem with one another when it comes to pricing. 

In 2020, the average pickup truck cost approximately $38,000. By 2021, that number had jumped to $41,000. That said, this is still significantly below the average cost of a new car. It is still possible for people to get the pickup truck that they need for the work that they do at a fairly reasonable rate. 

Benefits of Cars and Pickup Trucks

We all know that transportation via vehicles is necessary for the ways that we all live and work today. That said, different people have different needs from their vehicles depending on the kind of work that they routinely do. For example, there are plenty of people who can get by just operating with a standard car, but that isn’t true for everyone.

There are indeed some people who need a pickup truck in order to accomplish certain parts of their job. For those people, it may literally be the case that they need a pickup truck to do the work that they do. 

Benefits of Cars

A blue honda civic hatchback driving passing the pedestrian lane.

Cars are great for getting people to and from the places that they need to go. Given their smaller sizes, cars are almost always more fuel-efficient than trucks, and that is another things that people need to pay attention to when they are weighing the benefits of each. 

Most insurance companies will charge smaller premiums to insure a car than they would a truck because they know that the damage that a truck can do to another vehicle or person is so much more severe. Thus, it is also the case that insurance tends to be cheaper for people to purchase on cars instead of trucks.

Therefore, you may say that the total cost of ownership on a car is lower than what it would be on a truck. It may be necessary to pay a little more out on the front end, but at least one will be able to say that they didn’t spend as much on their vehicle in the long run when they drive a car instead of a pickup truck. 

 Benefits of Pickup Trucks

Toyota Tacoma Pickup Truck

Let us not get too heavy on emphasizing the benefits of cars without also mentioning that there are numerous great things about pickup trucks as well. It is certainly the case that some who purchase pickup trucks can get a lot of upsides from them.

For example, pickup trucks can be used to move a significant amount of materials to and from wherever it is that they need to go. It is a lot easier to move things like that in a truck compared to a car. 

There is a certain coolness factor to pickup trucks as well. Many people purchase them simply because they like how they look and feel, and there is nothing wrong with that either. If you are willing to pony up some of the extra costs that are associated with owning a truck, then you should be able to enjoy the experience of having one for yourself. 


An old classic car from the 1920's parked in the sidewalk.

Cars have certainly been around for longer than pickup trucks, but both have a lengthy history and play a role in how we understand the American dream. In fact, plenty of people relate the idea of America itself to the invention of the car. 

As far as pickup trucks are concerned, they are said to date back to 1896 when it was pitched as a “horseless wagon”. However, the first pickup as we know it in the modern sense didn’t come out until 1925 when Henry Ford started to roll them off of the assembly line at his factory. 

The pickup truck has continued to change and evolve over the years, and it will continue to do so going forward. Consumers have adjusted their taste preferences over the years, and that has led many of them to demand certain changes to the features that are offered on the pickup trucks that are put out into the market. 

The first car dates back all the way to January 29th, 1886 when a patent was filed by Carl Benz for a “vehicle powered by a gas engine”. It is something that we take for granted these days, but vehicles are obviously a very big part of our daily life and the way that we get around and conduct commerce. If it were not for the visionary people who came up with the ideas for how to make them work, we never would have made nearly the amount of progress that we have made as a society over these many years. 

Which is Better? 

It is so hard to say that either a car or a pickup truck is always better in every circumstance. The truth is that they both serve specific purposes and that each one has a lot of value to add to society in and of itself. However, it seems reasonable to believe that most people will benefit more from owning a car than they would from owning a pickup truck. This is only true because the total cost of ownership is so much lower with a car than it is a truck. 

Those who have a genuine need to own a pickup truck can certainly make the case that this is what they need to go with, but it is certainly not a guarantee that a pickup truck will always be the better option. In fact, it is usually only better if there is a specific need for one to own a pickup truck in the first place. If not, then going with a car will make more economic sense in the long run. ,