What Is a Full-Size Truck?

Endlessly configurable, the full-size truck can be anything you want it to be, from a workhorse to a luxurious daily driver.


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Full-size trucks come in more configurations than any other type of vehicle, offering buyers an overwhelming array of trims, options, body styles, and drivetrains. They are enormously capable taskmasters that can tow and haul huge loads while also coddling passengers in comfortable, spacious cabins. The segment includes light-duty trucks like the Ford F-150, which provides up to 14,000 pounds of towing capacity, as well as heavy-duty pickups like the Ram 3500, which checks in with up to 37,090 pounds of pulling power.


Which Brands Sell Full-Size Trucks?

Each major U.S. automaker sells a popular line of full-size pickup trucks. The Ford F-Series—made up of the F-150 and Super Duty trucks—is the best selling vehicle line in the U.S, followed by Ram’s pickups and the Chevrolet Silverado family. GMC builds the Sierra on the same platform as the Chevy, but sells far fewer trucks. All of these models are available as light- and heavy-duty trucks.

Less popular are the Toyota Tundra and Nissan Titan, which don't stray into the HD segment. Nissan also offers the Titan XD, a “tweener” that features capabilities slightly below a heavy-duty model’s.


How Much Does a Full-Size Truck Cost?

With so many models to choose from, pricing for these trucks runs the gamut. The segment’s lowest base price belongs to the $31,310 Ram 1500 Classic, which uses the previous-generation design and is sold alongside Ram’s newer model. As for current-gen trucks, the single-cab Ford F-150 XL starts at $31,685 with a 3.3-liter V-6 and a no-frills interior. The lowliest Chevrolet Silverado, also in two-door form but with a turbo 2.7-liter four, retails for just a few hundred more.

The Ram 1500, Toyota Tundra, and Nissan Titan don't offer single-cab body styles and, as a result, start a bit higher, with prices between $35,000 and $40,000. And the crew-cab-only Titan XD falls just under $50,000. At the top end, some high-performance and luxury full-size trucks can push up against (and even into) six figures. The Ford F-450 Super Duty Limited, for example, costs $96,260 before options.


How Big Is a Full-Size Truck?

Full-size trucks are enormous, with a few stretching beyond 22 feet long. The class offers single-, extended-, and crew-cab body styles as well as cargo-bed lengths from just under six feet to just over eight. Some heavy-duty models also provide the option of dual rear wheels, which further widen a truck's footprint and boost its tow rating.

Passenger room in these trucks is similar to that of the first two rows in large SUVs, and some four-door full-size pickups offer seating for six people.


What Kind of Fuel Economy Does a Full-Size Truck Get?

Given the vast array of drivetrain choices, body styles, and curb weights, full-size-truck fuel economy is all over the map. The most fuel-efficient models are two-wheel-drive light-duty pickups with turbo-diesel engines; thus equipped, the Ram 1500 returns 26 mpg in combined driving, for example. Most others fall into the 18-mpg to 20-mpg range, and high-performance vehicles such as the V-8-powered Ram 1500 TRX drop to a dismal 12 mpg. The EPA doesn’t report fuel-economy numbers for heavy-duty pickups.

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Benjamin Hunting
Benjamin Hunting is a writer and podcast host who contributes to a number of newspapers, automotive magazines, and online publications. More than a decade into his career, he enjoys keeping the shiny side up during track days and always has one too many classic vehicle projects partially disassembled in his garage at any given time. Remember, if it's not leaking, it's probably empty.