Deals and no deal in the pickup market

Updated Jan 30, 2024
Ram 1500 with RamBox Cargo Management SystemRam 1500 with RamBox Cargo Management System

Perusing the industry PR swarm, we find some hits and misses in the U.S. pickup marketplace. We here at Hard Working Trucks are glad to pass the savings on to you but, please, no wagering. As always, your mileage may vary.

 • The Ram 1500 Big Horn, with a 15.2 percent savings off MSRP, currently tops the list of the best deals on new vehicles, according to, the negotiation-free car buying platform. Published monthly, “TrueDeals” analyzes recent transaction prices and identifies opportunities for consumer savings.

“Automakers are likely to be more aggressive with incentives on popular models, trying to entice consumers even in the midst of the polar vortex,” saysTrueCar Executive Vice President Larry Dominique. “Consumers willing to brave extreme weather conditions will be the beneficiaries of swelling dealer inventories.”

RELATED: Ram Trucks Get America’s Vote As ‘Most Loved’

Here’s the TrueCar box score for the 2014 Ram 1500, Big Horn, Crew Cab 4X2 Short Bed:

MSRP – $37,145

Market average – $31,504

Savings/ percent – $5,641/15.2%

Estimated monthly payment: $452.87

MPG (city/highway/combined) – 18/25/21.3

• Maybe Cadillac didn’t cut many money deals, or maybe buyers just weren’t interested – I’m betting it was a lot of both. Or maybe the luxury brand planned it this way, to keep their pickup “elite.”

Anyway, a roundup of the 10 Worst Selling Cars of 2013 includes one truck: the Cadillac Escalade EXT – not that it qualifies for much discussion here on HWT. Still, I wouldn’t kick it out of the garage for being impractical.

Here’s what Forbes said:

This part luxury SUV/part pickup always seemed like a dubious idea for a variety of reasons. Even with top versions of conventional pickups now crossing the $60,000 mark, this blinged-out would-be hauler seems out of its element.

MSRP: $63,060-$73,910; 2013 sales: 1,972.


 •  Of course, there’s MSRP and cutting a deal up front, then there’s the latest big buzzword/acronym: TCO, or total cost of ownership. And dependability is a big part that equation. So the J.D. Power 2014 U.S. Vehicle Dependability Study has named GMC Sierra HD the top-ranked truck in the Large Heavy-Duty Pickup class, with its sibling, the Chevrolet Silverado HD ranking second. No other model in the segment performed above the segment average, according to the report.

RELATED: 12.5 Million Mile Torture Test: 2014 Silverado

In the Large Light-Duty Pickup class the GMC Sierra LD ranks highest, followed by the Toyota Tundra and Chevrolet Avalanche.

The study, now in its 25th year, examines problems experienced during the past 12 months by original owners of 2011 model-year vehicles. Overall dependability is determined by the number of problems experienced per 100 vehicles (PP100), with a lower score reflecting higher quality.

Silverado durability testing demonstration (Click for video)Silverado durability testing demonstration (Click for video)

The study finds that overall vehicle dependability averages 133 PP100, a 6 percent increase in problems from 126 PP100 in 2013. This marks the first time since the 1998 study that the average number of problems has increased.

“Until this year, we have seen a continuous improvement in vehicle dependability,” says David Sargent, vice president of global automotive at J.D. Power. “However, some of the changes that automakers implemented for the 2011 model year have led to a noticeable increase in problems reported.”

Not surprisingly, J.D. Power finds that the fewer problems owners experience with their vehicle, the greater their loyalty to the brand.