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Tough trucks for shoppers and errands

The bestselling vehicle in the United States is the Ford F-150.
But according to surveys done of Ford F-150 drivers over the last ten years, they use their trucks primarily, and oftentimes exclusively, for shopping, errands, pleasure driving, and commuting.
But if this is the case, there are far more practical, fuel-efficient vehicles on the market for these activities, including SUVs and minivans. Why not purchase a more fuel-efficient, practical vehicle for their lifestyle?

The answer, at least according to market research, lies in consumers’ self-image.

“Today, personality and imagery are playing an even more important role in how consumers choose which truck is right for them,” Strategic Vision researcher Alexander Edwards reports.

The firm surveys vehicle owners each year about the character traits they associate with their vehicles.

Two words set F-150 owners apart:

“Powerful” and “Rugged”

These adjectives may describe the Ford F-150 well, but they are hardly required – nor are they traditionally associated – with activities like commuting to work, shepherding children to school, shopping for groceries, dropping off the dry cleaning, and picking up cupcakes for book club.

It turns out that when it comes to the vehicle we choose to own, many of us haven’t changed very much since our high school days:

We want to drive vehicles that make us look and feel cool, even if they are costing us more in fuel, contributing unnecessarily to climate change, and are less practical than many alternatives on the market.

I hardly blame Ford F-150 owners. Back in high school, I desperately wanted a Toyota SR5 with roll bars and halogen lamps.

Marty McFly’s truck.

Instead, I drive a minivan today because it’s a far more practical choice for our family.

Also, I stopped needing a cool car or desiring luxury name brands a long time ago.

But not everyone is as self-actualized as me.

Then again, I become petulant over dress codes, enjoy verbally sparring with strangers in public, and can’t not eat an entire box of Pop-Tarts in a single day, so maybe I have my own issues.