10 Reasons Why New Pickup Trucks Are So Expensive

Small trucks They have been the go-to choice for American automobiles for nearly a century. These powerful muscles are ubiquitous nationwide in a variety of sizes and body types. However, this has also caused their prices to rise, so getting a new truck is now more expensive than ever. Kelley Blue Book had previously reported that by December 2022, the average price of a pickup truck had risen to more than $59,000. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, pickup truck prices are 90.69% higher than in 1983.

However, let’s ignore the general fact that the prices of all goods, including cars, have risen dramatically due to inflation. There are some specific reasons why pickup trucks now cost a lot more than before. The evolution of pickup trucks over the years is a critical factor that has contributed to the rise in prices. Spending nearly $60,000 on a new pickup truck is definitely a big investment. Here are ten facts that explain why new pickup trucks are so expensive.

1 The size of pickup trucks has increased dramatically

Sure, pickup trucks have always been bulky and muscular compared to regular passenger cars. However, over the past two decades, the size of trucks has increased significantly. This is mainly because the consumer preferred form factor for trucks has changed from single cab to crew cab. This is due to the evolution of trucks from refined work trucks to capable family haulers, something we will explain in detail in the future.

In general, the relatively larger size of modern trucks has resulted in significantly higher manufacturing costs and prices. The following comparison of the 2003 and 2023 Ford F-150 shows how trucks have increased in size over the past two decades.

2003 Ford F-150 vs. 2023 Ford F-150: Size Comparison


2003 Ford F-150 Super Crew XLT

2023 Ford F-150 SuperCrew XLT


225.9 inches

243.5 inches

an offer

79.1 inches

79.9 inches

to rise

73.9 inches

75.8 inches


138.5 inches

157.2 inches

Bed length

5.5 feet

6.7 ft

2 Modern pickup trucks are faster than sports cars

Old pickup trucks used to be strong but underpowered, powerful but slow, and durable but boring, which is no longer the case. Modern trucks are faster than some venerable sports cars. The 2023 Rivian R1T Quad-Motor currently holds the record for the fastest pickup truck on the planet. It’s followed by the GMC Hummer EV SUT, which reaches 60 mph in 3.3 seconds. But it can be said that both of these ultra-modern electric cars benefit from their electric motors.

There come the gas-guzzling RAM 1500 TRX and Ford F-150 Raptor R, both of which accelerate from 0 to 60 in less than four seconds. All this performance comes at a cost and that speed is clearly reflected in these trucks’ MSRP.

2023 Porsche 911 Carrera vs. 2023 Rivian R1T Quad-Motor: Performance Comparison


Porsche 911 Carrera 2023

2023 Rivian R1T quad-motor

Management systems renewal project




Twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter flat-6 engine

Four electric motors

moving in

8-speed dual-clutch automatic

1-Direct driving speed


379 hp

835 hp


331 ft. lbs

908 ft. lbs

0-60 mph

3.2 seconds

3.0 seconds

Curb weight

3,360 lbs

7,173 lbs

RELATED: 10 Reasons to Choose the Rivian R1T Over the Ford F-150 Lightning

3 Minivans have evolved into family haulers

As mentioned earlier, pickup trucks aren’t just no-frills work machines anymore. They are now family cars that are supposed to seat five people comfortably. The boom in the new compact pickup truck segment populated only by the Hyundai Santa Cruz and Ford Maverick is evidence of this fact. Car buyers now view trucks as functional passenger vehicles that offer tremendous practicality along with additional cargo space. Hence, they need to be equipped with attractive clothing and provided with comfort features. This again leads to higher manufacturing costs and thus higher prices.

2003 Ford F-150 vs. 2023 Ford F-150: Interior space comparison


2003 Ford F-150 Super Crew XLT

2023 Ford F-150 SuperCrew XLT

Front elevation

39.8 inches

40.8 inches

Front shoulder room

63.7 inches

66.7 inches

Front leg room

41 inches

43.9 inches

Back height

39.8 inches

40.4 inches

Back shoulder room

63.6 inches

66.0 inches

Rear leg room

36.8 inches

43.6 inches

4 Minivans are now very luxurious

Heated and ventilated leather-trimmed seats with massage function, adaptive suspension settings enhance ride quality, and powered side steps make getting in and out a breeze. These features are expected to be found in luxury SUVs such as the Cadillac Escalade.

However, these luxury options are now found on higher or even mid-level trim levels of popular modern pickup trucks. This adds back to the price of these now luxurious beasts.

5 Advanced infotainment features in minivans

Two decades ago, an 18-speaker premium audio system would have been an unimaginable feature inside a pickup truck. However, this has now become the norm, with some of the latest trucks offering removable Bluetooth speakers that you can take on outdoor adventures. Intuitive infotainment units with more than 15 inches of touchscreen displays are part of the standard equipment list for current generation pickup trucks. These advanced technical features invite a premium that is reflected in the price of the car.

RELATED: 10 Rugged Old Pickup Trucks We’d Love to Drive

6 Pickup trucks are now very capable off-road

The 2024 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Bison, a midsize pickup truck, comes with 35-inch off-road tires; The first and best part feature. To keep up with the current off-road trend, almost every truck manufacturer now offers dedicated off-road versions of their popular pickup trucks. The rugged pickup trucks are now factory-equipped with stronger off-road suspension and stock tires for mud terrain. GMC and Chevy have begun making off-road versions of their heavy-duty trucks. These off-road devices are expensive, and clearly increase the price of the truck.

Most Factory-Built Full-Size Pickup Trucks: Off-Road Comparison


2023 Ram 1500 TRX

2023 Ford F-150 Raptor R

Suspension preparation

Bilstein Blackhawk e² shock system

FOX Live Valve Shocks


35-inch Goodyear Wrangler Territory all-terrain tires

BF Goodrich K02 37-inch all-terrain tires

Land clearance

11.8 inches

13.1 inches

Approach angle

30.2 degrees

33.1 degrees

Break more than one corner

21.9 degrees

24.4 degrees

Departure angle

23.5 degrees

24.9 degrees

7 Electric pickup trucks require more expensive components

The future is undoubtedly electric, and we are currently firmly in the transition from gasoline to electricity. Highlight privacy Electric cars Is that their batteries are expensive. For this reason, the cost of electric cars is much higher than their gasoline-powered counterparts. The same is true for electric pickup trucks because they are supported by more expensive components which are factored into their price tags.

2023 Ford F-150 SuperCrew vs. 2023 Ford F-150 Lightning SuperCrew: Price comparison

2023 Ford F-150 Super Crew XL

Starting price

2023 Ford F-150 Lightning Super Crew

Starting price

3.3L V6


Pro – Standard range battery


2.7L Turbo V6


XLT – standard range battery


5.0L V8


XLT – Extended Range Battery


3.5L V6


3.5L V6 + electric motor (hybrid)


8 Requirements to meet fuel efficiency requirements

Gas prices are more unstable now than ever, putting enormous pressure on automakers to deliver more efficient vehicles across all segments. Small trucks are also severely affected by this change and manufacturers are turning to hybridization as a panacea.

Hybrid trucks provide higher fuel efficiency numbers than gasoline engines and meet emissions standards seamlessly. However, hybrid engines therefore require more expensive components including batteries which again inflates the price.

2021 Toyota Tundra V8 vs. 2023 Toyota Tundra iForce Max Hybrid: Fuel Efficiency Comparison


2021 Toyota Tundra Limited Crew Max

2023 Toyota Tundra Limited Crew Max


Front engine, rear wheel drive

Front engine, rear wheel drive


5.7L V8

3.5-liter twin-turbo V6 + one electric motor


381 hp

437 hp


401 ft. lbs

583 ft. lbs

moving in

6 speed automatic

10-speed automatic

Fuel economy in the city

13 mpg

20 mpg

Highway fuel economy

17 mpg

24 mpg

Combined fuel economy

15 mpg

22 mpg

RELATED: These Are the 10 Upcoming Hybrid Trucks We’re Most Looking forward to

9 Strict safety regulations make trucks more expensive

Meeting safety regulations set by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is mandatory for every vehicle on U.S. roads. Incorporating more advanced safety and driver assistance features increases the cost of developing and manufacturing a vehicle. When it comes to pickup trucks that are often used for towing, advanced trailer monitoring features are included as expensive add-ons. Features including trailer blind spot monitoring, trailer sway control, and a built-in trailer brake controller are all driving this price hike.

10 The chicken tax still affects pickup truck prices

The reason we don’t see many affordable non-Big Three midsize pickup trucks in the US market is because of the so-called “chicken tax.” It was introduced in 1964 and imposed a 25% tax on imported light trucks. It is precisely because of this obstacle that Toyota replaced the deified Toyota Hilux with the US-built Tacoma. The “chicken tax” remains in effect, restricting the importation of affordable foreign pickup trucks into the United States. Hence, manufacturers have to build their trucks within the country, charging the same labor and materials prices, and thus higher prices.

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