Are you facing the dilemma of choosing between buying a truck or a sports car? I want to help you come to the right decision. These two vehicle types have wildly divergent applications, and aspects such as resale value, maintenance cost, and insurance cost will impact your decision.
The on-demand capability of a pickup truck is by far superior to the limited applications in which a sports car can be used. Vehicle sales numbers in the U.S. confirm this assertion.
Comparing segment development in 2020 vs. 2021, automotive industry sales by segment depict an obvious trend. The Crossover segment has grown from 40% to 46%, and the Pickup segment has grown from 16.4% to 17.6%, the small car segment has retracted to below 10%, and the SUV segment is flat at 9%. Midsize cars and Luxury cars have retracted to 8.4% and 4.5%, respectively.
Crossovers and pickup trucks are the clear choices for more than 60% of new vehicles sold in the U.S. today. Why are space and functionality beating the luxury and sports segments into relative obscurity? Let’s take a closer look.
Why Buying A Truck Makes More Sense Than A Sports Car?
If you are faced with choosing to buy a pickup truck or a sports car, what would make the most sense? Although trucks are more expensive, they do offer much more value for money in the long run.
Comparing the two choices, one has to ask two questions. What can I do in a truck that I cannot do in a sports car? What can I do in a sports car that I cannot do in a truck? The list of activities and applications for a truck is comprehensive. The truck is the better choice when comparing space, load capacity, comfort, safety, resale value, and demand.
Space & Comfort – Truck Vs. Sports Car
Sports cars are by design smaller and lighter to optimize performance. Even a four-seater sports car has mainly two doors, making getting in and out of the back seats uncomfortable. Legroom in the backseats of a sports car is designed for children at best. The low stance of the sports car makes getting in and out of the car tough for the tall and less agile.
The seats in sports cars are designed to provide a snug fit to counter lateral movement when cornering. These bucket-style sports seats are not designed to fit all body shapes.
Trucks come in two-door and four-door variants with seating options ranging from three to six people. The higher stance of pickups makes them easier to get in and out of for most adults. The additional cabin width allows for more hip and shoulder room. The seating design is more comfortable and soft, allowing all body shapes a comfortable ride.
Load Capacity – Truck Vs. Sports Car
Sports cars have minimal load capacity and are capable of handling some weekend luggage or light shopping. They are most comfortable with just two people in the car and not suited for golf bags. Two tennis racquets and a change in clothing are more likely.
Pickup trucks can enable any lifestyle. Besides transporting a quad bike or two motorbikes and the camping equipment and bicycles for a weekend adventure, the vehicle can still accommodate five adults with ease. The utility box can transport goods from the hardware store or dispose of garden refuse on weekends. During the workweek, the load capacity can be used for a ton of tools and materials.
Performance – Truck Vs. Sports Car
The power to weight ratio of a sports car is designed to be optimal. High-performance gasoline engines and sporty gear ratios make for exciting driving. The stiff suspension setup and low-profile tires of a sports car allow the car to hug the road during high-speed cornering. A low center of gravity provides high-speed stability and adrenaline filed maneuverability.
Trucks are also fitted with powerful diesel and gasoline engines, but the gearing is longer to carry the load and maintain a decent speed. The suspension setup is designed to carry a load and provide comfort and stability. This content is owned by moc.sotuaytsur. Higher profile tires and lifted suspension provide the truck with good ground clearance and a high center of gravity. Cornering and braking in pickup trucks have to be done slower than in a sports car.
Safety – Truck Vs. Sports Car
Sports cars are small and light and do not offer the rugged protection of a much larger pickup truck. Sports cars are designed with better handling, braking, and accident avoidance agility than trucks. A pickup truck’s high center of gravity and heavy body makes emergency lane changes and braking very challenging.
The Moose-test is designed to test emergency lane changes and has become a standard test to assess vehicle safety. Sports cars pass this test with flying colors, whereas pickup trucks have a hard time doing well.
Driving a pickup truck requires a more sedate driving style, more conducive to passenger safety. The perceived safety of a 2-ton pickup truck is higher than a sports car.
Resale Value – Truck Vs. Sports Car
The demand for pre-owned trucks is terrific, and you will have no problem selling a well-maintained pick-up without too much loss against the original purchase price. Performance car enthusiasts buy sports cars, and it can be expected that they are driven harder by their first owners.
Sports cars are also more expensive to maintain and repair. Most sports car owners also modify their vehicles to enhance performance and styling. Pre-owned vehicle assessors do not value these modifications and the resale values of sports cars are not good.
The rational decision between a pickup truck and a sports car has to be heavily favored towards buying a truck. The sports car enthusiast is not motivated by rational reasons. The thrill of the open road and unlimited power and speed of a sports car still gives momentum to this segment.
Discuss your decision with a trusted mentor or advisor. If the reasons for wanting to buy a sports car are mostly to experience the thrill and excitement, then instead consider renting a sports car for a week. Assess how the vehicle enables your lifestyle. If you still feel strongly about owning a sports car instead of a more sensible vehicle, then indulge yourself.
Before buying a used Pickup or sports car, or any used vehicle, it’s always worth investing just a few dollars to check the VIN number against the vehicle database. An audit with a company like VinAudit (links to VinAudit) will guard against Mileage fraud, Salvage rebuilds, Title washing, Vin cloning, and a ton of other uglies.
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John Cunningham is an Automotive Technician and writer on Rustyautos.com. He’s been a mechanic for over twenty-five years and has worked for GM, Volvo, Volkswagen, Land Rover, and Jaguar dealerships.
John uses his know-how and experience to write fluff-free articles that help fellow gearheads with all aspects of vehicle ownership, including maintenance, repair, and troubleshooting.