Full-Size or Mid-Size? Which Used Pickup is Right for You?

If you’ve been seeking a used vehicle, you may be inclined to pursue a pre-owned pickup truck. Once you’ve started shopping, you’ll realize that you have an important decision that goes beyond, say, the brand or color of the ride. You’ll have to determine whether you want to shop for a full-sized pickup truck or a mid-sized pickup truck.

In a bubble, the major difference is size. However, the different dimensions can play a huge role in these trucks’ offerings and capabilities. For example, one of these options is the proper choice for those seeking power, while the other appeals to those seeking fuel efficiency. They both have their own advantages and disadvantages, so it’s important to understand which of these used trucks you’re pursuing early on in the car-buying process.

Before you begin shopping for used trucks in Albany, New York, take a look at the biggest differences between full-size pickups and mid-size pickups…


We’re used to assuming that bigger objects automatically produce more power, and this logic can certainly be applied to used trucks. Full-size trucks will predictably offer more power than their mid-size counterparts. Not only is there additional room for a bigger engine, but the larger body also allows for larger tires, better aerodynamics, and more space for power-related mechanics.

Of course, for those seeking power from their used trucks, it’s important to remember that mid-size pickups shouldn’t be completely disregarded. Some brands include the same engine in all of their trucks, so the size of the vehicle won’t impact the horsepower or torque. Furthermore, while full-size trucks may offer more impressive power numbers, these mid-size alternatives can still pump out impressive specs, especially when you compare them to your standard sedan. For instance, while a full-size Chevy Silverado can produce more than 400 horsepower, a mid-sized Chevy Colorado is still capable of pumping out 300-plus horses.

It’s important to remember that used trucks will surely offer less power following several years on the road. While online resources may give you an idea of the differences between multiple models’ power and performance, they don’t give the full story of a specific pickup. The best way to assess a used pickup’s power will be taking the vehicle on a necessary test drive.


Surprisingly, while there may be a discrepancy in a full-size and mid-size pickup’s power, the towing capabilities are actually rather comparable. The majority of pickups will offer some of the best towing specs in the industry, as drivers can generally expect at least a 7,000-pound capacity.

Of course, these numbers are partly dependent on the power. In other words, an incredible horsepower and torque may result in a towing capacity that exceeds 10,000 pounds. However, in most cases, you won’t notice a dramatic difference in the pickup’s capabilities. Either way, most potential buyers won’t rely solely on their used truck for towing, anyway, so the standard capacity should be more than adequate.

This logic also applies to the truck’s payload. While you obviously can’t fit as much cargo in a mid-size truck bed as a full-size truck bed, you should still expect the truck to be able to haul a respectable amount. You’ll likely find around a 100-pound difference in the truck’s payload. While the engine and power will have a similar influence over these numbers, the difference in that payload spec will surely be minimal.

Fuel Economy

A pickup truck’s fuel economy will certainly be impacted by the size of the vehicle. When you think about it, it makes plenty of sense: the less weight the truck has to haul, the less stress it puts on the mechanics. With less stress on the mechanics, the pickup won’t have to rely as heavily on the gas. With a mid-size pickup, there’s simply less truck, and that added body weight impacts the fuel economy. While larger trucks may have better aerodynamics, those exterior designs will have a bigger impact on performance than on efficiency.

Of course, if you’re pursuing any type of truck (much less a used truck) fuel economy probably isn’t on your list of desired traits. Pickups generally have worse fuel economy than sedans, so if you’re looking for a cost-efficient commuter, a pickup truck may not be the best choice.

Interior Room

Speaking of commuters, if you’re going to rely on your pickup to drive your children to and from school, you may be looking for a roomier interior. In this case, a full-size pickup may be the logical choice. Thanks to the longer and roomier cab, passengers will have significantly more room to spread out. This can be especially useful to those with children, as the extra bit of space will prevent the younger passengers from breathing down each other’s necks.

It’s important to remember that truck beds don’t generally offer the best interior space, so if you’re seeking a vehicle where you can stretch your legs, you may want to look elsewhere. However, if you’re just seeking those extra couple of inches, a full-size pickup is the right option.

Fortunately, spaciousness is pretty much the only difference between the interiors of mid-size and full-size pickups. Both of these trucks offer the same number of amenities, and your passengers’ riding experience certainly won’t be altered in anyway.


Ultimately, the value of a used pickup won’t necessarily reflect its original price. Mileage certainly plays a role in the value of a used pickup, as will the vehicle’s overall condition. These prices are also unlikely to be consistent.

However, considering all of the advantages that usually accompany a full-size truck, you should expect these pickups to be a bit pricier than their mid-size counterparts.

While many of these factors tend to favor full-size pickups, it’s important to remember that mid-size trucks have evolved enormously over the past decade. While these previously-mentioned differences were particularly glairing during the early 2000s, mid-size trucks have truly caught up to their full-size siblings in many of these attributes.

Regardless of whether you’re shopping for a used full-size or mid-size truck, the best place to purchase that pickup is at DePaula Chevrolet.