The truck wars, for both midsize and full-size trucks, kicked off in earnest last year, as we saw the debut of the 2020 Jeep Gladiator, 2019 Ford Ranger, the new 2019 Chevy Silverado, and the new 2019 Ram 3500 at the Los Angeles and Detroit Auto Shows.
Early last year CarGurus surveyed truck owners to learn about their thoughts on these vehicles, and recently we benchmarked that with this year’s 2019 Truck Sentiment Survey.
We found that more shoppers think the cost of trucks is too high. Sixty-eight percent of respondents to this year’s survey think trucks are too expensive, up from 64% last year.
It’s true that trucks are getting more expensive: The average price for both full-size and midsize trucks has increased in recent years. New full-size trucks in 2018 were 16% more expensive than those in 2015, and midsize trucks were 3% more expensive.
Those high price tags combined with lackluster fuel efficiency have 17% of all truck owners looking outside the segment. Crossovers and SUVs were the top segments for these shoppers. Crossovers like the 2019 Honda Pilot and 2019 Hyundai Santa Fe are ideal for shoppers who want ample cargo room and better fuel economy.
For those still interested in buying a truck, price matters most. It turns out shoppers are more loyal to a good deal than one particular brand. Seventy percent of respondents would switch brands if their preferred brand increased prices by $10,000. When we looked closer at brand-level loyalty, we found that 72% of Chevy truck owners would consider switching brands, while 73% of Ford truck owners would do the same.
The Future of Trucks
With consumers paying such close attention to price, it may take longer for electric trucks to gain a following. Take Rivian, an electric truck maker, and its R1T. While it offers positives, like an all-electric 400-mile range, it has a starting price of $60,000 before EV tax credits. Contrast that with the Ford Ranger: It features Ford’s 2.3-liter EcoBoost engine, which is meant to increase fuel efficiency, and starts at $24,300.
Learn more about our Truck Sentiment Survey here.
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