Published on Friday 29 May 2020 in Van News
Before deciding which pickup truck you want to lease, it's worth taking some time to compare the vehicles available. To help you do that, Vanarama's commercial vehicle expert Tom Roberts has put together a list of the 7 key areas to base your comparisons on.
When comparing pickup trucks, it's important to think about the overall purpose of your new vehicle. What do you need the vehicle to do? Do you need it to be a work & family vehicle? Do you want to carry heavy materials? By establishing what you need, you'll have a clearer image of what to look for when you start comparing trucks.
To help, I've put together a guide of what I consider to be the 7 key things you should think about when comparing. These topics are not ranked in any order… although I have put 'price' at the top of the list because it's one area we are rarely beaten.
Let's cut to the chase… one of the first things you'll look at when choosing a vehicle to lease is the price - you want to know you're getting a great vehicle & good value for money!
Typically, the lower the trim level & smaller engine size you choose, the lower the price will be. However, the more prestigious a brand name - e.g. Mercedes X Class - it's likely the price will be higher. Pick your budget & work around that, it's the easiest way to start your comparisons - you might even find that leasing makes it incredibly affordable to get the one you really want.
I'm not going to labour this point too much - there's countless pages of content on this site & the internet filled with reasons why leasing a truck is the way to go. But leasing is the most cost-effective way to get a new pickup truck, even the more expensive & desirable ones… it's hassle-free, we work with 10 funders to get you the best possible deal on the market & we'll deliver it to you free.
2. Running Costs
The vast majority of pickup truck drivers use their vehicle for business & pleasure. A modern double cab pickup truck usually shares interior elements from its manufacturer's car offering - e.g. Ford Ranger Wildtrak & Mitsubishi L200 - which makes them as perfect to use on the weekends as they are during the week.
Using one vehicle for two purposes is a great way of saving money on running costs, but it's not the only one. Larger engines tend to burn through fuel - but are especially useful if you find yourself towing heavy loads & need a pickup truck capable of doing so. Smaller engines - such as Ford's excellent 2.0-litre EcoBlue engines - can offer better fuel efficiency & real cost savings. Most modern engines with smaller literages output as much power as older higher-literage engines - so take a look at the power outputs before dismissing smaller engines, you could save some serious cash.
In the end, running costs can be negated by making the vehicle dual-use & picking one with an engine size that suits your needs.
When establishing what the "right size" of pickup truck for your business is, it's important to be realistic about your business needs. Work out if you need a truck with an engine capable of towing, or a loading bay wide enough to take a Euro pallet - because then I'd recommend the VW Amarok with the 3.0-litre V6 engine, but I digress.
Some trucks are also bigger than others - the VW Amarok is the widest truck on the market, while the Nissan Navara is an overall more compact truck. If you can, try test driving the vehicles before you decide which one to lease: test how accessible the vehicle is, whether it's easy to manoeuvre & if you can see the end of the bonnet through the windscreen.
Size matters, but in the main, there's only a couple of pickup trucks substantially bigger or smaller than most. Business needs come first & size can often play a major part in the one you go for.
4. Vehicle Features
Considering just how many extra bells & whistles you can put on all types of vehicles these days, I'd always recommend that you make a list of the features you know you will need.
For example, if your business involves manoeuvring while towing a trailer you might consider a rearview camera as more of an essential feature than having cruise control. You'll then be able to pick a vehicle & trim level perfect for that need.
By establishing the purpose of your vehicle at the start of this process you are more likely to be pleased with the end result. If safety ratings are your highest concern, check out the NCAP ratings of the vehicle - the Nissan Navara, for example, has a 4-star safety rating, one of the highest.
5. Manual or Automatic
Choosing the right transmission type will be heavily influenced by the role your pickup truck plays in your business. I will always suggest going for an automatic if you plan on towing large cargo loads - firstly, frequently shifting gears can cause damage to the clutch & secondly it's a massive hassle you just don't need to worry about while you tow.
However, you might just prefer to have a manual - after all, you're more in control of where the power goes & can properly drive the vehicle. Manual vehicles are often slightly cheaper than their automatic versions - just take a look at the difference between a Mitsubishi L200 auto & manual, it's not a huge difference but might have an impact on which way you go.
If you're going to be in your pickup truck for long periods of time, or are using it as a business & personal vehicles, then you should definitely try to find a pickup truck that's really comfortable in the front & the back.
Take a look at the trim levels available & see what each one offers. At higher trim levels you'll get seat warmers, heated steering wheels, leather detailing, extra padding & more. But at some lower trim levels, you'll find the seats are just as comfortable, but lined with hardy fabric designed to take an absolute pounding.
Basically what I'm saying is, don't go for the highest trim level because you think it is the only one that will be really comfortable - you can usually save a bit of money & still get the comfort you want at a lower trim level.
However, if I was pushed to let you know my personal picks for top-flight comfort levels in pickup trucks… I'd have to say the Ford Ranger Wildtrak & Mitsubishi L200 Barbarian-X interiors. They're some of the most comfortable & well thought out pickup truck interiors you will find on the market right now.
This might be the shortest entry on this list… everyone wants a reliable vehicle & some are more reliable than others, but I'm a big believer that if you choose the right truck for the uses you put it to, then your truck will be reliable.
The majority of supposed "horror stories" I hear about trucks breaking down or being "unreliable" usually involve whoever's using them trying to make a truck do something it's not capable of doing.
Don't forget to check out our Pickup Leasing Deals where you'll find unbeatable prices on a range of all the latest ranges and models or enjoy more of our expert reviews and insights in the Vanarama blog.