Buy/Drive/Burn: Expensive Trucks You Won't Use for Truck Things

Corey Lewis
by Corey Lewis
buy drive burn expensive trucks you won t use for truck things

Today’s truck trio includes three very expensive rigs that aren’t likely be used for hauling duties or any other truck-type responsibilities. And that’s a good thing, because they’re loaded up on equipment and leather, and covered in nice metallic paint. Which nice truck gets used as kindling? Let’s find out.

Today we proceed in order of displacement.

GMC Sierra Denali

The top of the regular duty truck pyramid at GMC is the Sierra Denali. In crew cab and short box configuration (the one people buy), asking price reads $60,495. For that cash, there will be a tried-and-true 6.2-liter V8 under the hood. With 420 horsepower and 460 lb-ft of torque routed through the 10-speed automatic, towing capacity rests at 9,400 pounds. You won’t reach the estimated 20 mpg highway with that sort of weight at the back, but you won’t really be towing anyway. Enjoy the real wood trim while you wait to pick the kids up from school.

Ram 1500 Limited

The most expensive Ram 1500 consumers can buy is the Limited trim, which sits above the Tradesman, Laramie, Big Horn, and Rebel in the truly vast trim tree offered by the good people at FCA. For $59,385, Ram hooks up a hybrid system to the beefy 5.7-liter Hemi V8. Combined output is 395 horsepower and 410 lb-ft of torque, netting a highway rating of 22 mpg. Owners can tow a whopping 12,750 pounds, and the tree decorating the dash is real.

Jeep Gladiator Rubicon

The most unique expensive truck offering in our trio is the brand new Jeep Gladiator, in Rubicon trim. A Wrangler with a bit at the back and a removable roof, Gladiator has the familiar 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 at the front. 285 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque are there for the taking, and Gladiator can tow 4,500 pounds. I know you’re shook right now, screaming at your screen “The Gladiator Rubicon is only $45,500!” And you’d be right, but the Rubicon is currently retailing at $60,000 because of that fun additional dealer markup. It plays with these other two for now.

Which one gets a Burn, and which would you actually Buy?

[Images: Steph Willems / TTAC, RAM, Jeep]

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6 of 85 comments
  • SoCalMikester SoCalMikester on May 02, 2019

    ill take a used JK sport X and get that $5k pickup kit burn all 3.

  • Gearhead77 Gearhead77 on May 03, 2019

    Burn the GMC. I've never liked GM trucks, though with a gun to my head, a GMC over a Chevy. The next two, in context, are a challenge. Buy- RAM- My brother has a '16 4x4 with the V6 that towed my Mustang 250 miles with little complaint. It was comfortable and smooth. The new truck is even nicer. The downside (and a possible "Drive" rating) is the usual caveat: FCA long term reliability and durability and depreciation. Here in the rust belt, 6-10 year old Rams are quite rusty compared to the others, they don't hold their value like Ford or GM trucks. Buy- Gladiator. It's a novelty and there's pent-up demand among diehard Jeep folks. You ever price a used Wrangler? Stupid money new, stupid money used. I read an opinion, I believe on TTAC at some point, that Jeep is to be viewed like the Land Rover/Range Rover of America. Kind of novel, national treasure,etc. and a premium is paid, even if they aren't the best. But unlike the Brits, Jeeps maintain value. With a soft top and minimal options, it's a truck and convertible. It can do lot of things and I dig the looks. The downside (and possible Drive not buy) is it's a Wrangler. I had one as rental, a long time ago. 4.0 inline six time ago but still a TJ series. It was fun for a few days, but the bouncy ride, noise and everything else that makes it suck as a vehicle made it kind of wearying to drive. I know the new ones are better vehicles, but still it's that kind of money for a jack of all trades, master of none vehicle. The pickup bed adds utility though. Meh. YOLO. The Gladiator to buy, the Ram to lease (drive). I'll get my money out of that Gladiator. But I'm not buying during this initial frenzy, even in hypothetical terms.

    • See 3 previous
    • Scoutdude Scoutdude on May 03, 2019

      The kid that adopted me as his "dad" bought a new Wrangler (2dr) and while it is miles ahead of the older versions in the ride dept, I don't think it is something I could live with on a daily driver. The much longer wheelbase of the Gladiator would seem to only improve the ride quality, but at the sacrifice of one of the qualities I really appreciated in driving his, the easy parking and maneuverability in tight spots that I definitely appreciated about driving the 2dr.

  • Tassos Neons, new, used, or junk like this one, were the right car to own if you wanted it advertised what a lame loser you were.
  • Damage My mother had a 78 with the FI motor. If you wound it out in first (not that she ever did) it would reward you with just a little tickle of torque steer. It was pretty reliable until water leaks from below the windshield found the fuse block. Once that was fixed, it was good for several more years. Eventually it got rusty and was sideswiped by a snowplow, and she sold it to my coworker who got several more years out of it. She traded it for a Mk2 Jetta, which was a fun little car. I don't miss the Rabbit but I'd love to find a clean Jetta again.
  • Tassos in the same league as Tim's so-called "used deathtrap of the day" today.Both emiently junkworthy,
  • 3SpeedAutomatic IIRC, the Deutschmark has appreciated significantly against the US dollar in the mid 70’s due to Nixon taking the US off the gold standard. VW was looking at any angle to reduce costs (cheap interior, broken door cranks, crappy carburetors) to hold the prices in line. That’s why it opened the US assembly plant. Yet, it alienated its clientele by Americanizing the Rabbit. To me, it never recovered in the US from the cost cutting and Americanized vehicles. I have never entertained the notion of buying a VW since.
  • Tassos worthless pile of crap econobox. THe bottom of the barrel, and 20 years old.I'd take $100 to drive it to the junkyard.Tim goes back to his old ways...