These compact, half-ton, 3/4-ton, and one-ton pickups can tackle the toughest jobs, yet boast the lowest long-term ownership costs.
In a separate post we discussed the importance of choosing a new car or truck that has the lowest long-term operating costs to get the most bang for one’s vehicular bucks over time. Here, we’re highlighting the pickup trucks in four classes that the experts at the auto-industry research firm Vincentric have determined deliver the lowest five-year ownership expenses in their respective vehicle classes. We’re featuring the cheapest-to-own cars, SUVs and minivans, and hybrid and electric cars in separate posts. Vincentric’s breakdowns of ownership costs for all makes and models are included with the full range of new-vehicle pricing data posted online at NADAguides.com.
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As with autos, the biggest rewards come from choosing a model that holds onto its value the most tenaciously, gets the best fuel economy, and boasts the lowest insurance premiums, relative to other competing models. Also in the mix, though of somewhat less value are variables like the cost of financing, projected maintenance and repair expenses, and state and local registration and fees. You can find Vincentric’s breakdowns of ownership costs for all makes and models included with other new-vehicle pricing data posted online at NADAguides.com.
Depreciation costs, which represent the difference between a vehicle’s initial cost and what it’s expected to be worth at trade-in time, are especially critical with the costlier pickup trucks that can easily reach and even break the $50,000 price barrier these days. Each of the models in Vincentric’s list have among the lowest rates of depreciation in their respective vehicle classes.
Likewise, variances in fuel costs can be profoundly different, both among different vehicle types and models, but within specific product lines as well. For example, the spread between the most frugal full-size Ford F-150 pickup truck (fitted with the 2.7-liter turbocharged V6 engine and EPA rated at 19/26 mpg with an annual fuel cost of $1,600), and the thirstiest powerplant in the line (a 5.0-liter V8 rated at 14/19 with an annual fuel cost of $2,200) amounts to a $3,000 difference over a five-year ownership period with 15,000 miles driven per year and gas at $2.37 a gallon.
Here are the four cheapest-to-own pickup trucks in their respective classes for 2017, based on Vincentric’s annual Lowest Cost To Own In America awards:
1. Small Pickup: Toyota Tacoma
Five-year operating costs: $33,258. The Tacoma remains one of the only bona fide compact pickup truck sold in the U.S. and it’s long been an outstanding value for its stellar resale value and low ownership costs.
2. Full-Size ½ Ton Pickup: Toyota Tundra
Five-year operating costs: $39,998. A low rate of depreciation helps give the Tundra the nod over its domestic rivals in the half-ton pickup category.
3. Full-Size ¾-Ton Pickup: Nissan Titan XD
Five-year operating costs: $46,926. A new and more extensive line of full-size Titan pickups debuted over the last two years, and now includes heavy-duty XD models that Vincentric says feature the lowest ownership costs among ¾-ton models.
4. Full-Size One-Ton Pickup: Ford F-350
Five-year operating costs: $49,456. Ford leads the heaviest-duty models for 2017 with the most muscle for the lowest operating costs, with its low rate of depreciation being especially noteworthy.