The pickup truck sector has always been competitive. With some models being refreshed and some new models coming on to the market, we thought a list of the best would be in order. So, brace yourself for the best pickup trucks that money can buy.
The F-150 is probably the go-to pickup truck, the one you might think of first. The F-series has been produced for over 65 years, meaning it’s one of the world’s most recognizable vehicles.
It’s the safest pickup currently on sale, getting five stars from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The truck is built from military-grade aluminum so it’s relatively light, which of course is good for gas mileage.
Engine options range from a twin-turbo 2.7-liter V6 Ecoboost through to a mighty 5.0-liter V8. It’s worth bearing in mind that there is only a 60hp difference between these two engines, and the difference in torque is negligible.
Undoubtedly one of the best pickup trucks on the market.
Chevrolet bill these as the “most dependable, longest-lasting full-size pickups on the road”. The Silverado boasts the most powerful V8 engine in its class: the 6.2-liter motor produces 420hp.
Chevrolet claim class-leading V8 towing (12,000lbs) and class-leading V8 fuel efficiency (23mpg on the highway).
Now into its third generation, the Silverado had a cosmetic refresh in 2016 – including a much more purposeful and modern-looking front grille.
Chevy make a big deal of the fact that the Silverado has won a number of JD Power awards, marketing the full-size pickup on the strength of its reliability.
If you’re after a pickup that’s dependable and stylish, the Silverado is worth a look.
At the time of writing, Ram are offering 0% finance for 72 months on the 1500 (as are Ford on the F-150), along with a package value discount. This alone may be enough to tempt you into signing on the dotted line.
Ram will give you a 5-year/100,000-mile warranty on a diesel 1500 (a 3-liter V6 making a useful 420lb-ft of torque). Petrol engines come in the form of a 305hp 3.6-liter V6 and a 395hp 5.7-liter V8 Hemi.
Towing capability is 10,640lbs, so slightly down on the F-150 and Silverado.
“An off-roader that goes as well as it tows”, so Toyota tells us. The Tundra has racing heritage and the folks at Toyota Racing Development USA know how to build a mean, fast truck.
V8 gas engines are on the menu – choose from a 4.6-liter or a 5.7-liter. The Tundra is available with three different bed lengths (5.5 to 8.1ft), giving you more flexibility when specifying the truck to your needs.
Toyota seem to market the Tundra more as a family/lifestyle truck, rather than as a workhorse, so it’s perhaps unsurprising that towing is not its strongest suit; the maximum is around 10,000lbs. But it’s still one of the best pickup trucks around.
The Tundra has a handy 4WD traction control system which can control power to the front and rear wheels without reducing throttle input.
The new Cummins turbodiesel in the Titan is an awesome motor, producing 310hp and a massive 555lb-ft of torque. If you prefer gas, you’re looking at the 5.6-liter V8, giving you 390hp and 401lb-ft of torque.
You can tow up to 11,200lbs in a Titan, and there’s a degree of flexibility in the form of the oddly named “sliding bed extender”.
This, on closer inspection, turns out to be a clever package that allows you to carry slightly longer loads by lowering the tailgate and still keeping the load secure.
There’s also a gooseneck hitch that’s built in to the frame of the truck. You can flip it over to create a flat bed whenever you need.
Not your traditional pickup truck, the Ridgeline represents a move away from typical truck design.
The Ridgeline is a smaller, lighter pickup than the F-150, Silverado etc, and boasts better economy over the previous model. Improvements to the Honda’s design mean it’s also now easier to load the truck bed from the side.
The Ridgeline can’t tow much compared to the trucks above, managing 5,000lbs in 4WD form and only 3,500lbs in 2WD guise.
With a 3.5-liter V6 producing 280hp and 262lb-ft of torque, progress will certainly be swift. The Honda has an adaptable 4WD system, making it easier to get the power down in slippery conditions.
Its unit-body construction also means it’s stiffer and lighter than its predecessor.
The Honda has a fairly car-like interior, making other trucks look dated. This mid-size pickup also has a few neat features elsewhere, such as a set of speakers and a power outlet in the bed.
The Canyon is in the same class as the Ridgeline. For 2016, GMC has added a Duramax diesel engine to the range – the first of its kind in a mid-size pickup truck.
At 31mpg on the highway, this is the most fuel-efficient pickup on offer at the time of writing.
Gas engines are the 2.5-liter 4-cylinder and 3.0-liter V6, rated at 200 and 305hp respectively.
The Canyon is a functional machine with a fairly unimaginative interior. If you’re after a more premium product, you might want to wait until 2017’s Canyon Denali hits the dealerships — which will easily make it one of the best pickup trucks around.
GMC price the base-model Canyon at around $22,000, which is a significant saving compared to the equivalent Ridgeline (in the region of $30,000), although top-spec models come in at around $39,000 versus $43,000 for the Ridgeline.
It’s worth working out what your ideal spec is before comparing prices.
The best pickup trucks: In summary
So there we have our top pickup trucks. We hope this list will help you to make an informed decision.
All these models are good vehicles, but some are stronger in different areas to others.
Maybe you’ve bought something that’s not on our list and want to let us know how good (or bad!) it is.
If so, please get in touch and tell us your story!