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Pickup trucks priced like luxury cars out of reach for many buyers

Consumers are spending far more for new trucks than they expected

As the truck wars intensify and consumer gravitate to bigger and bigger vehicles, average transaction prices for full-size pickups like the Ford F-150 or the Ram 1500 have risen faster than any other vehicle category. They're now pushing into luxury-vehicle territory, with some well-appointed models nudging past $100,000.

That's leaving average consumers behind and many truck buyers are now paying far more for a new truck than what they expected, the Detroit Free Press reports.

Data from Cox Automotive show that most buyers expect to pay $26,699 for a new midsize pickup like the Toyota Tacoma or Chevrolet Colorado. But the average transaction price in August was much higher, at $33,275. For full-size pickups, the respective gulf was wider: $38,529 versus average transactions of $47,987 — in the same ballpark as the Porsche Macan or even the current, well-appointed versions of the Tesla Model 3 electric sedan. In the last decade through September, according to Edmunds data, prices for full-size pickups rose 48 percent to $48,377.

Much of the sticker inflation is down to added technology and more sumptuous trim options. Low gas prices have also fueled growth in truck sales, as more and more consumers turn to pickups as their family haulers, as opposed to using them strictly for work.

The paper profiles two truck buyers — one, an 80-year-old GM retiree from Pontiac, Mich. who bought a 2019 Chevrolet Silverado Z71 for nearly $60,000; the other a 65-year-old entrepreneur and real estate investor from Durant, Okla. who sold his 2017 BMW X6 coupe and bought a 2019 GMC Sierra Denali for $70,000. "I wanted it because it's got a sweet-looking body and has every feature imaginable," Mike Herron told the Freep. "It's luxurious on the inside and drives like a German luxury car. The technology on this truck does more than the BMW technology does." He also believes the truck will hold its resale value better than his BMW did.

Read the Free Press story here.

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