On the front page of core77 today TOP GEAR does a review of th ford f 150 pickup, a product that is the worlds best selling “car”, and almost all of them sold in the USA. I DO live in the country (sans pickup) and see these things all over, the vid goes on to show exactly why it is just a farce to own one of these in UK or USA in a consise but funny manner. The best selling car, seats 2 ish gets 15-18 mpg, is a joke in frontal crash and will roll over if look at crossly. Why is this the worlds best selling “car” in the US? I dont know, terminal head up ass syndrome? One joy I do get when I am at the gas stop, and the “truckers” are filling up (for the second or third time that month) and going on and on how SOMETHING MUST BE DONE ABOUT GAS PRICES!!! The poor silly shits, aint nothing to be done, gas will never be a 1.50 a gallon again…unless the dollar is re valued in a major way. Its a good thing that steel is so easliy recycled, cause there are going to be a lot of F 150’s back in the remelt…hopefully soon.
yeah. its nuts to me.
i was just having a conversation in my office about the monte carlo the office manager drives, she said she bought it because it used regular unleaded and her other choices used premium…
as if $0.20 makes much of a difference at $5.00 a gallon.
the top gear review was a little silly in that they test drove a SVT, which is about the most useless vehicle ever and only a very small % of the truck market.
What is not shown here is that the F-150 model that is shown is over 5 years old and is the worst gas guzzling model. Ford design and engineering has changed a lot in those years and their trucks have become much safer. It also is available in a V6 which gets much better gas milage.
I also wanted to point out that there was a lot of America bashing in this clip. Making comments around it being “rubbish” , Americans needing a gun rack so they don’t get eaten by bears, and that the UK is “more sophisticated with their espressos and zinc counter tops”. This is ludicrous and extremely cocky. I believe if we look back in time the UK has no grounds to be criticizing when it comes to cars being that theirs never seemed to run properly.
I do think that it is amazing though that in this day in age with the gas prices the way they are this truck still stays on top. I have to admit that I drive a Pick-up (Toyota Tacoma) and it is starting to get to be too much at the pump.
In doing a bit of quick reseach the v6’s are a tiny piece of the f 150 sales pie, by far most of them are v8’s. The bashing is a bit thick, but excange that village with a suburban landscape and its right on the money. People buy trucks because they want them, I cant figure out why, they handle like shit, guzzle gas, are a bitch to park etc. Trucks are outside the bounds of CAFE btw, so it dont show up in corp fuel figures. I have no problems with trucks, but come on, zillions of these things are being used as commuter drives, WHY? How often do you haul 1/2 ton of gravel, how often do you haul 10 squares of shingles, how often do you haul 20 4 x 8 foot pieces of sheet rock, or even firewood? Even hauling your motorcycle is tough, need a long damn ramp. Need a truck to haul shit, how about renting one for the day? f-150’s, SUV’s all the same rational…i am bigger than you neener neener neener…oh well the pump prices will level the field again, happend in the 70’s for a brief time.
People drive trucks for a few reasons. The main reason is simplicity. The truck is closer to a utilitarian wagon than any car is. In spite of how the vehicles are used, I’m sure that truck owners think that a car would be “too much” for them. This is a huge part of truck buying, whether acknowledged or not. Interestingly, I think the iPod taps into the same root.
The other smaller reasons are perceived safety and the outdoor sporting movement.
This is obviously your first time watching Top Gear. Top Gear is not about real world performance and reliability. It’s a comedy show about 3 Brits and their antics with automobiles (which I may add is the most viewed show on the BBC and has a cult following around the world, myself included). Most of Top Gear is about ridiculous tests, challenges, and adventures, they’ll occasionally throw in a Ford Mondeo and tell you how much they love it, but thats about once a season.
But as far as people buying the F series pickups, I think it’s because we’re getting too hung up on what we think consumers SHOULD be driving. Smart cars and Civic’s and Priuses - which are all fine and good if you live in a major city.
You’re forgetting how many pickups that get sold go into fleet usage, commercial vehicles, private contractors, etc. About half my friends drive pickup trucks or own a pickup truck in addition to a car.
There are certain normal tasks that plenty of people do that you simply can’t do with another vehicle. You don’t want to be hauling 50 pounds of fish in the truck of your Prius - thats for sure.
I think you’ll find that the “My cars bigger than yours” mentality goes to Soccer moms who need to drive Excursions and other ridiculously obscene vehicles, because they feel safer.
all true about top gear, but the real question is this…how many drive pickups because they must, or because they want…
I suppose it depends how you qualify that.
If someone uses a truck for some legitimate purposes (moving large cargo, offroading, etc) MORE enough times a year (probably about once a month) that the extra cost of gas is LESS than renting a truck (which is a huge pain in the ass if you just want to go to Ikea and grab a piece of furniture) then I’d say it’s justified.
The best of both worlds is just to have a lot of friends with trucks, so when you really need one you can just borrow it.
So many owners are way way below the once a month break point.
Volvo 240 Wagon.
-Comfort, Safety, Handling, and Fuel efficiency of a car.
-Reliability (2.6 million miles on a Volvo)
-Turbo option makes it fun, but not fast by any means.
-It can fit as much as a truck with the back seats down. I just moved everything I owned from GA to TX in the back of my Volvo, fit perfectly. It also has a weatherproof/theft-proof cover built in to protect the cargo.
-Messy stuff, rubber cargo liner optional.
-Doesn’t tow 700+ tons, but neither do other truck owners that drive from home to office and back.
-Lastly, the Volvo is somewhere between four and eleven thousand times cooler than a truck.
Point being, you don’t need a truck to get all the benefits of one, without the negatives. If I need to haul 1 ton of sheetrock, then I’ll rent a truck for one day.
I agree. Trucks and SUVs should be daily rentals. Trucks are not so much utilitarian, many have an extreme amount of creature comforts made to look simple or disguised. Still to this day, the number one deciding factor in vehicle purchasing is ego.
As a pick-up drive I drive it for a few reasons:
I bought it 8 years ago when the gas prices were less than half of what they are now. It is now paid off and to be honest with the price of cars now I don’t feel like replacing it untill I have too.
It is a comfort thing. I have gotten used to being able to transport anything I want. My wife and I moved into a new how a couple of years ago and remodeld more than half the rooms in it. If I had not had a truck it would have been a pain. It also helped in the move.
My wife used to drive a Toyota Echo, which gets around 35 miles to the gallon if not more so it evened out my truck.
I feel it is built stronger a better. We just found out the Echo needs a new trans at 145,000 miles and is newer than my truck. Both are made by Toyota.
It gets around 20 mpg depending on what is in it. I chalange that most regular cars get around that as well. Only down side is it has a pretty large tank.
I is 4x4 which gets around better in the snow.
I have to admit it…I am a redneck…
Based on what? Do you stalk neighborhood truck owners and keep a log of what they do? Or do you just assume when you see one on the road without boulders in the back that the owner only uses it for shits and giggles. Having lived in the south for 5 years I can say the yuppie “drive whats big” mentality really isn’t the case.
If we were talking about SUV owners I’d probably agree with you. Most SUV’s can’t fit a couch, a full sheet of plywood, won’t be used to carry bags of concrete, etc. They’re just big lifted V8 cars with offroad capabilities that go unused or could be easily matched by a Subaru outback.
I think if you dove into the market research and purchasing statistics you’d find that the vast majority of pickup owners have a very specific purpose for choosing one over a car or SUV. SUV’s most people choose because they like feeling up high and “safe”
I’d venture a guess of about 50-60%, of F-150 owners (or drivers) drive them because they need a truck, or thats what they are given to drive (commerical fleet vehicle, city work service truck, delivery truck, etc) and the other F-150’s are your Harley Davidson edition, Foose edition, Big Buck Hunter edition trucks that they drive for status more than anything. I don’t think anyone buys a F-150 because they feel safer. I agree with the comment about Excursions, Escalades and soccer moms with needing to feel safe in an SUV. F-150 is a different animal all together.
Why are so many Ford Crown Vic’s used for Taxi’s, Police Cars, Government vehicles, etc? Because Ford makes it easier to do fleets of cars than almost any other manufacturer. Doesn’t make it right, its just easier.
- I have to admit it…I am a redneck…
a great friend of mine at SCAD is a small-town Georgia born redneck at heart - used to drive a massive F250 until it got totaled by a drunk driver in the city… seeing him and knowing him from when he had the truck, he approaches me, with his thick southern accent and he told me he was looking at buying a Prius, a Focus, or some tiny 40+ MPG car… cracked me up. he said he didn’t care how ugly, small, or cute it was - he just wanted safety and a great MPG. he did buy a Focus, but would’ve purchased something nicer if he had the cash at the time. he says he’ll never go back to a truck though.
it’s like watching serious West Texas cowboys in for the rodeo here eating organic Indian food served by hippies at the farmer’s market.
when I say serious; I mean 100-yard stare, Texas flag printed on a cowboy shirt, accent so thick you need a chainsaw to cut it, obligatory boots, with his horse next to him in the city.
I dont prowl the neighborhood, live in the country so there is no neighborhood to speak of. My observations are from noticing that lack of scratches in the bed, bed liner, body of all the trucks I see at the grocery store and mall. I live in the pacific north west, it truck/suv land and for the most part these beasts dont do a lick of work but are just what people seem to want. Its ok, people who need trucks will keep them no matter what fuel prices are because the NEED AND USE THEM the others, well they will do the simple math (or not) and change rides. As I said, good thing steal is so easy to recycle, because at $4.00 a gallon a lot of “truckers” will realise the aint. Oh on the SUV front, I find it funny “sport utilty vechile” hells bells they are nothing but a station wagon built on a truck chassis and the worst of both worlds.
#7 was kind of serious though. I grew up in the south. Have grandfathers that are farmers and I do see the need for a truck. Do I think every family needs one…NO. And I have to agree that probably 50% of that market is commercial. Just look at your city workers and state construction workers. Most of them drive Ford F-150s.
Hopefully on the future there will be vehicles that provide the convince of a truck and environmentally friendly.
I knew you were serious, no worries there.
The example I was mentioning was in light of the comment. My friend, redneck as well, decided his life did not warrant the need for a truck for himself any more. His point was that if he hauled stuff everyday, truck, sure, but he doesn’t, so car it is, regardless of upbringing. The need for others is still recognized, but just not for himself or his pockets. Another fact he brought up was the environment. Granted, he had to borrow another friend’s truck when he moved apartments.
In New Mexico, pick ups account for 50% of vehicle sales. There is no way 50% of a population needs a pick up.
Growing up in the states, I never met a contractor without a huge v8 pick up. In Quebec, only about half have pick ups. Many drive economy cars, like Tercels and Echos. All they need is space for their tools, the general contractor will get the material they need.
It goes back to the image your trying to project or the clan you want to belong to.
Moving from Chicago to San Diego, I was shocked by how many of these I saw out here.
They’re rediculously cheap and you can’t argue about their utility.
They tend to be painted white. I can only guess this is because people who drive them want that “professional contractor” look, even if they are white-collar.
People love to unnecessarily floor them at green lights. I can’t figure out if this is just adolecent behavior or an intentional statement like “my other car is a Harley”, an “I don’t give a damn about gas.”
Lots of them have rediculous lift kits. This is obviously overcompensating for other issues…