Rant: For those who loathe pickups…

“Alvaro martínez” is a freelance writer who writes articles in his spare time and works making automotive reviews and many many more things


As we all know, cars have their shapes defined by their intended purpose to fulfill. Some can be fast and aerodynamic, others can be used to both haul a five man crew and their working equipment through dirt roads, and others are utilitarians designed to fit on small spaces, haul groceries and be fuel efficient. And that’s how it works right? Well, some people don’t seem to understand this simple reasoning and think the entire world should use ONE type of car to commute around.

Like always, it is environmental activists touting Europe as an example for America to follow when it comes to what their inhabitants should drive. To antagonize whoever drives an SUV to school, or the honest farmer who hauls wood on the pickup bed and tows a horse trailer behind it.

The real question is… can we actually explain why they’re wrong to demonize pickups?

Why the area influences the vehicle choice?. 

In the USA I do see that most drivers prefer pickup trucks or SUVs, And I don’t blame them. they can haul lots of stuff, comfortably carry the family back and from work or school. Not to mention that if needed they can go off-road in an emergency, in a way this choice does make sense since America has wide streets that can accommodate huge vehicles with no trouble, and as well it has a fair share of countryside roads that justifies the usage of pickups and SUVs.

I’ve asked lots of truck owners, some drive them because they work on rural areas and dirt roads, another one told me that they occasionally need to haul stuff and tow trailers. And that’s ok, the vehicle here fulfills their intended purpose it was built for. It isn’t built to save gas but to haul stuff and commute around the cities if it needs to.

In Europe however, we have narrow streets and our cities are older compared to American cities. They weren’t designed to accommodate cars but originallly horse carriages and people transit… So we would logically use small utilitarian hatchbacks or sedans that can carry groceries and people. And since gas/diesel is not cheap in Europe we look into fuel efficiency. If we need to haul or tow anything we can rent a van or a small trailer and do whatever we need to do with them.

This does make sense, because if we used a huge pickup truck we would have difficulties maneuvering through most side streets or being unable to use most underground/surface parking garage spaces. Much less we would have a healthy credit score at the end of the month with the fuel expenses. 

So what we really should oppose for the sake of the environment and our commuting?

What we should oppose instead? 

As I stated before on this rant “every car has a shape for the purpose its designed to fulfill” And we have to take in mind that most manufacturers in Europe, have taken a page from the US domestic market… not making the cars more useful and practical, but instead making them become bigger than they actually need to be for their purpose.

Crossovers are a great example of this, cars that are supposed to be utilitarian vehicles with the body of a 4×4 but cannot be as good off-road like a 4×4 or good at being fuel efficient. That is what I would consider a “useless” vehicle sold through clever marketing strategies and not through demonstration of practicality or utility compared to other available products.

As drivers and consumers, we shouldn’t oppose the manufacturing of useful vehicles like pickup trucks that haul stuff and can help us out of a ditch if we are stuck, but instead we should oppose the growing trend of crossovers. Which fulfill no practical purpose, but the one of being bad at either off-road or fuel efficiency… (well, at least they do a fine job to bully other road users with their size) 

Safe to say… Frogs will grow hair before anyone realizes that the trucks aren’t the devil itself. 


Published in All Rants

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David Olsen-Fabian
1 year ago

I loathe pickups!!!!! Can’t stand them. Especially the current trend of jacking them up to ever more ridiculous heights. My dad asked the execs and designers at the big three, “WHY”? Here’s is the official response from inside the big three and they all said the same thing … one up the competition. WHY? You need a ladder to get into the bed!!! There is a guy here with a GM 2500 HD. Great truck. He had to install a swing out step on his bed to he could step up to see in the damn thing!!!!!! That’s just stupid. You just ruined the usability. Give me an old truck that is usable. Half the ride height of current monstrosities and even then it’s gonna sit until I need it. I prefer the longroof, estate, wagon, etc. High powered. SLEEPER!!!!!! My Volvo 850 could do 9/10th of what any pickup could do. Front passenger seat folds totally flat. You can run a 12 foot two by four in there just fine. Sheets of plywood on the roof. Whatever you got, the 850 swallowed that stuff whole and STILL got 28 MPG at 75 mph!!! For over six hours on one tank of gas btw. Now, THAT is “usability”. Practicality. Plus you can see over and around a wagon. You can’t see around or over today’s trucks. Hazardous. Not to mention a pedestrian hazard!! They can’t see walkers from up there.

David Olsen-Fabian
1 year ago

CUV’s too. Don’t like em. Why? So women can have an elevated seated position. FULL STOP.

David Olsen-Fabian
1 year ago

Totally agree. Where do I sign and can I be first?

David Olsen-Fabian
1 year ago

I’ve always had “sporty” cars for the same reason you described. But, I have to and will admit that my right foot tends to get pretty heavy. Runs in the family – for real = dad’s side. I blame it on ADD/ADHD and the speed limits being too slow. NOW, I drive a Camry. It telepathically goes the posted speed limits – almost as if it were designed and geared specifically for US roads (it was). Keeps me out of trouble. It’s not the ‘funnest’ car I have ever owned. I will say it handles better than it has any right to. I’ve hussled it through some wicked twisty backroads around here and had all four tires talkin while still firmly in control. Not an easy task but the 03 Camry takes it pretty well. Kumho tires work well enough.
Raptor: my dad designed the coolant bottle for that vehicle. Did a write up about it in DriveTribe. He got seven patents from that one. The Raptor is stupid, frankly. It has zero business being on city streets. It’s pure off-road fun!!! I’d LOVE to rock one out in Glamis (desert in SoCal). It would be the SHIZNIT. Perfect for such antics. In the snow? Nah. Ice? Nope. Quattro for that stuff. Water? Nah. Boat. Sand and rock? Oh HELL YES. But if people want to get 7 gallons to the mile while being a road hazard then that’s all them. You do you. Or as Sir Paul put it, “Live and Let Die”.

David Olsen-Fabian
1 year ago

I agree. People should be able to drive what they want. I agree on the utility part of trucks. Hell, I owned one!
I get verbose and sidetracked easily.

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