Ask TFL: What Should This Reader Buy For His First-Ever Pickup?

2016 gmc sierra denali ultimate
2016 GMC Sierra Denali Ultimate

Okay TFL readers, it’s your time to shine. We recently received the following email inquiring about buying a first pickup truck (after many, many, many cars).

Hi Roman and team,

I have been a big fan of both TFLcar and TFLtruck for many years.

A little back ground on me, I have owned many european or high end sports cars and sedans. 17 cars in the last 10 years.  A few examples of what I have owned so you can get a feel. 2001 BMW M Roadster, 2003 Infiniti G35 Coupe 6 speed with Sport Pkg, 2004 CTS-V with 6 speed, 2008 Audi S5 4.2 V8 6speed manual, 2008 Audi R8 4.2, 2012 Lotus Evora, 2013 Audi TTRS, and 2013 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray z51 to name a few. I love driving down the road knowing I won’t see my car driving next to me.

I am ready to make a change and buy my first pickup truck. I would prefer to stay under $65k.  My intent is to buy or lease a quad cab, 4×4 and I typically buy all of my cars with every option available. Weather is not an issue as I live in San Diego and I will most likely not be towing. I have small kiddos. I seek your advice if you can provide it. Below are trucks I am considering. I like all of them for different reasons but need some guidance. The list in no particular order.

  • Ram 1500 5.7 Hemi or 3.0 Diesel – Either LongHorn or Limited
  • Ford F150 3.5 V6 – King Ranch or Limited
  • GMC Sierra Denali Ultimate – 6.2 
  • Chevy Silverado High Country 6.2

I’m not considering the Toyota Tundra or the new Nissan Titan. The GM twins and the Ram price out a bit better than the Ford especially when leasing. Any help you can provide would be much appreciated.

Oh, I am also considering buying a Chevy SS manual as an additional car. I know you tested an automatic 2014. Do you recommend??? Thank you for the continued great job you guys do. Auto enthusiasts like me truly appreciate it.



So, based on his previous cars Devin likes performance vehicles. He doesn’t plan to tow and he has kids. Assuming he’s referring to the 3.5L EcoBoost in the Ford, all of these trucks have something to offer. Can you help point this guy in the right direction?

Hey Devin – maybe one of these trucks would fit the bill?

Brian is an engineer by trade but his true passion is anything automotive. He wakes up every morning to search the web for the latest industry news. He enjoys taking his Tacoma 4×4 off-road in the mountains of Colorado where he spends his free time hiking, biking, and snowboarding with his wife and dogs near their Rocky Mountain home.