QOTD: Are Pickups Trucks Too Expensive?
If I had my way, and I’m sure others feel the same, Ford would dial back its styling about 40 years, return the 300 cubic-inch straight-six back to the F-150’s engine lineup, and dust off the column-mounted three-speed manual. We could all tool around like Uncle Jesse, confident in knowing we made a solidÂ buying decision. As our need for fancy driver’s aids and entertainment systems and seats that do everything but propose marriage fade into hazy recollections, our only gripe would be the stickiness of the vinyl bench seat on hot, un-air conditioned days.
Never fear, though. The truck’s filled with refreshing watermelon and beer and lemonade!
Okay, enough of this fantasy, as it’s never going to happen. Not possible. Automakers are addicted to pickup truck revenue, and consumers are only too happy to play the enabler, topping up those coffers ever higher thanks to a never-ending thirst for more options, more features, more luxury.
Have we gone too far?
No longer the spartan conveyances of yesteryear, pickups have reached the point where a Ram 1500 Limited is just too limited in its cushiness. Hence the need to tack more dollars onto the MSRP so buyers can get a full suede headliner in the Ram 1500 Tungsten Edition.
Over at Ford, there’s two trim levels left to go after reaching the leather-and-wood-festooned interior of the F-150 King Ranch. All of this luxury, plus buyers’ willingness to fork over the necessary dough, means ever-higher average transaction prices. Currently, average transaction prices for Ram 1500 and Chevrolet Silverado sit in the low $40K range, while F-150’s ATP recently soared past $45K.
Okay, so what, you ask? If buyers want to mortgage their kid’s future for a luxobarge built on cheaper bones, why shouldn’t automakers step up to skim off all that gravy? The high end isn’t the concern here, at least not in my mind. It’s not just top-flight trims inflating the ATP.
On what should be the low end of the market, Honda’s unibody Ridgeline just canned its lowest all-wheel-drive trim, meaning a nearly $3,700 price jump for the cheapest AWD Ridgeline. That’s a $36,010 price tag.
Want four-wheel drive in a Chevrolet Colorado? Your MSRP, minus delivery, just jumped from $20,995 to $28,995. In its rival midsize, the Toyota Tacoma, four-wheel-drive powers the price from $24,320 in the Tacoma SR to the $29,480 in the Tacoma SR5 4×4. Compare that to the pre-delivery prices of the lowest-trimmed 4×4 variants of the Ford F-150 ($32,000-plus), Silverado ($31,725), and Ram 1500 ($31,095). The cheapest Toyota Tundra and Nissan Titan 4x4s both sit in the high $32K range.
These are all base engine offerings, with the least amount of interior room.
The market seems fine with the price of pickups â€” automakers certainly aren’t complaining, but are you? How about it, Best & Brightest â€” is getting into a truck with the basic features you want becoming too steep of a climb? Is the price floor risingÂ too high? Or have incentives and promotions made the pill easier to swallow?
[Image: Ford Motor Company]
via The Truth About Cars http://ift.tt/Jh8LjA
July 25, 2017 at 11:56AM