Pickup truck sales are the hottest they’ve been in a decade, and it’s no wonder: Driving one is no longer a bumpy, jarring experience that you have to endure.
According to Consumer Reports, truck makers today are building pickups with broader appeal, with a softer ride and more safety, convenience, and comfort features.
As a result, pickups are now attracting more buyers, including those who like the addition of backseats and more cab space and don’t seem to mind sacrificing some truck bed length for the extra room inside.
Although the pickup market remains overwhelmingly dominated by male buyers, the number of women who registered full-sized pickups increased 67% from 2008 to 2016 (reaching more than 470,000 trucks in 2016), based on data from IHS Markit. “Family trucks are 40% to 50% of our mix,” says David Elshoff, Ram brand spokesman. In the industry, a family truck is one with four full-sized doors in a midlevel or higher trim.
Additional seating has been a trend over the last 10 years, and those bigger cabs mean more space for adults as well as kids, says Jen Stockburger, director of operations at Consumer Reports’ Auto Test Center in Connecticut. “In our tests, crew-cab pickups typically offer generous rear-seat room to install child seats,” she says.
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