A new brace of trucks gets a workout in the configurator.
Back in 2019, and before COVID-19 unleashed its hell on the world, we spent some time optioning out trucks on configurator websites to determine how much you could pay on a single purchase.
Since then, we've seen new trim levels, new packages, and an overall increase in the price of new vehicles. Three years and a lifetime ago, our list of trucks topped out with the Ford Super Duty at $101,860 with a Crew Cab, eight-inch box, the 176-inch wheelbase option, and in Limited trim.
In the spirit of curiosity, we're revisiting the subject, and we're prepared to see that number get a lot bigger for 2022.
Trucks aren't just getting bigger; they're finally getting smaller again. The Ford Maverick broadens the brand's truck range and decreases the price by shedding the persistent idea that a truck needs to be body-on-frame to be considered a "real" truck.
The most expensive Maverick is the Lariat model with the 2.0-liter EcoBoost engine, rather than the hybrid option. Our account opened at $26,945. We added the First Edition Package, the Lariat Luxury Package, and a bunch of bed options, including a bed cap and several exterior aesthetic options, to crank the price up to $44,630.
The most expensive Tacoma is TRD Pro, starting at $46,585. You're locked into a double cab with a five-foot bed and the 3.5-liter V6 engine with part-time four-wheel drive for that price. There are no packages, but you can add accessories, including an outside camera mount for your GoPro, additional exterior lighting, and embellishments like tube steps, a remote tailgate, a roof rack, and the ubiquitous bed cover.
We also went for the lift kit, despite the $1,450 not including installation, and a bunch of TRD badged accessories like a fuel cap, oil filter, and radiator cap that also don't include installation. By the time we were bored clicking our way through Toyota's accessory list, we had spent $59,531. It's worth noting that accessories don't come pre-installed, so you can also order multiple versions of the same thing.
The Jeep Gladiator is a proper off-road truck, even in base trim. And then you add to that off-road ability by climbing up the available trim levels.
At the top sits the High Altitude model, retailing for $53,765. Throw on all the options and it'll crest $65k, but that's not the most expensive model. The Mojave may start at a lower price, but you can add far more to it, like premium paint ($495), new wheels ($1,095), the body-color Freedom Top ($2,695), Dual-Material doors with premium uppers ($4,990), Mopar heavy-duty rock sliders ($1,050), a TrailCam ($695), body-color fender flares ($795), and leather-trimmed seats ($1,895).
Then there are various packages, the Cold Weather Group ($1,145) with heated seats, the Active Safety Group ($1,095), Premium LED Lighting ($1,595), and the Trailer-Tow Package among others at $645. An automatic transmission costs $2,000 and Selec-Trac 4WD costs $695. Throw everything at it and it'll cost you $78,695.
The most expensive model to start from in the Ford F-150 lineup is the luxurious Limited at $76,595. Going full hybrid immediately added $1,900, and Star White Metallic Tri-Coat for $795 made for a good start. Going with the Limited trim added a lot of bells and whistles before we started, but when it comes to options, Porsche could learn a few lessons about selling up. Adding things, amongst others, like a hard retractable tonneau/bed cover, a dashcam, fender flares, exterior trim by Bushwacker, a ton of storage options, some Yakima racks and carriers, and a portable refrigerator quickly cranked the price. We got the 2022 model year F-150 up to $97,093, which is a whopping great $25,064 more than we managed to spend on the same truck in 2019.
The new headliner of the RAM 1500 range is the off-road TRX super-truck. Its initial price of $77,880 includes Stellantis/FCA/Mopar's now-legendary 6.2-liter supercharged V8 making 702 horsepower and 650 lb-ft of torque. The cheapest package we added was the Advanced Safety Group featuring technology like lane-keep assist. The most expensive was the TRX Ignition Package and its assortment of interior and exterior embellishments like a dual-pane sunroof and assistance tech like adaptive cruise control. The Ram bar and interior red TRX accents added about $3,000, and by the time we had ticked some smaller options, we had spent $107,480.
If you want a premium truck, the range-topper for the GMC Sierra 1500 is the luxurious Denali trim. If you tick the crew cab with the short box option, then Denali Ultimate trim with the 6.2-liter V8 engine, you've already spent $83,695. Your Cowboy Cadillac needs a $1,095 upgrade to White Frost Tricoat paint, the cargo convenience package for extra storage options, a console-mounted safe, a cat-back exhaust, wheel-colored arch molding, and a bed cover, then a few interior embellishments. The Denali Ultimate is already loaded, so the bulk of options are dealer-installed accessories, and there are many. By the time we were done, our Sierra 1500 Denali Ultimate had cost $110,565.
Ford has managed to get the base price of the all-electric F-150 lightning down, but its top trim starts at a whopping $90,874. Like other trucks, the fancy white paint is the expensive option, but you're already getting the extended-range battery, the top tow packages, premium wheels and tires, and so on. We then added individual trailer tire monitoring and as many bed options as possible to end up with a luxury electric truck for $97,009.
Electric trucks are here, and they aren't as expensive as we expected in the grand scheme of things. The R1T is a dedicated lifestyle truck compared to the more work-oriented F-150 Lightning, so with the adventure package and quad-motor AWD added, we've already brought the price up to $85,000. The Max pack to increase the R1T's range to 400+ miles is another $16,000, and with a set of wheels and tires and a paint option, we're over the $100k mark. With a skid plate, a slick interior, a motorized retractable bed cover, some exterior storage, a wall-mounted charger, and a few more accessories, we had reached $112,970.
The last time we did this, we had to go nuts on a Super Duty truck on Ford to get over the $100,000 mark. This time, we were only three or so grand from that with an F-150. In 2019, a Ford F-250 XL started at $33,150 and this year it's $37,895. An F-450 Limited started at $86,505, and this year it starts at $95,265. By the time we cranked it, we had ticked all the remaining boxes, but we were only at $102,150 - only tens of dollars more than in 2019. What is incredible is the gulf between a model's starting price and the highest price; something like the GMC Sierra 1500, for example, starts at $37,195, and we topped it out at $110,565.
A pleasant confirmation to us through this exercise was that you can top out a GMC Sierra 1500 to maximum luxury spec, or for another couple of grand and top out the Rivian electric truck. Mostly, though, we are rethinking the Porsche stereotype of driving up purchase prices with options when truck manufacturers are hammering the same business model. Maybe the truck makers are doing it better, but that's a conversation for another day.