Pickup trucks, undoubtedly, have always been one of the most appealing vehicle types in the nation. And why shouldn’t they be? They are ramped up with huge engines, along with a lot of space for people as well as to carry cargo and mind-boggling towing capabilities. Upon that, this class of vehicles has a great and interesting decade-long past related to it, almost like the industrial revolution.
However, they weren’t even half as powerful or capable as they are today but that is another way to look at how fascinating the segment of pickup trucks has turned out to be over the years. Moreover, most of the trucks today come with an off-road version which is not only sexy to look at but also to drive.
Take, for instance, the 2021 Ford F-150, Not only does it look meaner and better, but it’s got a great off-road pedigree as well. And no, we are not talking about the Raptor yet! And wait until we talk about the 2021 RAM 1500. People will call it old wine in a new bottle (which frankly, is true), however, the TRX can eat the Raptor, all thanks to the Hellcat motor underneath, and the tremendous off-road ability of the truck.
Talking more about pickup trucks, they have been quite a good product in the American market as the segment ranks third in the most-selling vehicles category after crossover SUVs and sedans. In the population of the car world, pickup trucks alone are 20% of them and as of the new cars registered in the first quarter of 2019, 16.5% of them are pickup trucks. Moreover, we are in an era where some of these trucks have even crossed over ten generations.
This hints that the market is probably very large for these hulk-like rovers but the question of which one among them is the best pickup truck still stands. This is probably because there are not quite a lot of them that exist today, unlike any other segment, or because most of the well-known truck manufacturers have been in the industry since the birth of this segment and know the level of competition for several years to come.
To make your worries less, here is a list of some of the top pickup trucks that explain how and why they deserve to be there at the top.
Now the F-150 might not have been very distinct in the last few years but the 2021 model has surely redefined the interiors and technology in a modern-day pickup truck. Besides its world-famous V8 and V6 engines, Ford is now moving towards sustainable solutions like a hybrid powertrain put as standard on its lesser-capacity engines. This smart move not only boosts the fuel economy but also gives additional torque that makes the truck do some unimaginable towing whereas the varying bed sizes give a massive payload capacity as well.
The F-150 has a wide range of trims to select from and each suits different aspects of being a pickup truck. The base trims are affordable and very much suited as a work truck while the mid-level trims are perfect for daily use or for a family that is adventurous whereas if hiking and camping is something that one likes then there are off-road trims available as well.
While the truck might not look any different than some of its recent year models, there are significant changes on the inside. The front seats can now be reclined into a single bed, there is almost a dining table that you could unfold the center console into, and Ford has given probably the best infotainment system that the F-150 could ever get.
Besides this, according to the owner’s manual, the bed has been designed as a work utility environment as there are ample tailgate enhancements like an embossed ruler, provisions to hold anything from stationery to C-clamps are given whereas the truck can actually be converted into a generator to use heavy tools, all of this might seem crazy but just wait until it helps you out.
Moreover, the F-150 is available with many advanced driver-assistance features that improve safety whereas the truck is very customizable with thousands of optional packages that make it possible to switch between a work truck that is also able to provide great luxury and comfort at the very same time.
Next in line is the RAM 1500, a truck that seems to be the Rolls-Royce in its segment and the only best selling vehicle of the FCA currently. The RAM 1500 definitely looks better than other alien-looking trucks with decent exterior styling whereas when you enter the cabin, it certainly does not seem like a cabin that belongs to a pickup truck.
Moreover, most of the trims are powered by the V6 whereas the top-trims get a powerful V8 whereas the off-road is the most powerful pickup truck in the segment. However, some reason why the truck stands second is because of lower fuel economy, lesser towing and payload capacities.
On the other hand, the interiors are slightly better than the Ford where the major attraction is the huge dual-screen touch infotainment system which makes the occupants feel like they are in a Tesla. Additionally, there are more premium materials used in the cabin while the comfort provided is also good. Another advantage of having a RAM 1500 is an enormous center console storage along with numerous other storage spaces around the cabin and under the rear seats.
The RAM 1500 has a lineup just like the F-150, but the only difference is that the base trim is slightly overpriced. It is the second-best at payload capacities as there are limited bed sizes and cab configurations than the Ford. Also, there is an optional mild-hybrid system but it is not mandatory for its lower trims, unlike the F-150’s powertrain.
Besides this, the Harman-Kardon sound system and the Mopar warranty offered is claimed to be the best that is to be offered on the RAM 1500. Moreover, with equally capable driver-assistance and safety features available on most of the trims, there are a few optional packages to choose from and that makes the RAM 1500 a tough contender for the F-150.
General Motors is another brand that has been in the truck business ever since with its Silverado lasting for decades, just like the Ford. However, Chevrolet could not match the rapid updates and facelifts that were given to the F-150 but it surely did manage to keep itself in the game.
Starting with the exteriors which make the truck look very bold and muscular, the engine options offered are also very vast but neither of them is as efficient as the top two because of the absence of a hybrid system in the powertrain. Nevertheless, these engines offer good power and great torque because of which the maximum towing capacity is slightly better than the RAM but the fuel efficiency is not good enough.
The interiors might not be as shockingly up to date for the Silverado as for its rivals because the infotainment system remains the same old. Similarly, the seats are just plain, simple, and quite comfortable whereas there are a few more cubby and storage spaces when compared to the F-150 giving it a little more cargo-carrying capacity but not as much as the RAM.
When it comes to the trims offered, there are about 8 of them while the cab configurations and bed sizes are available in many permutations and combinations to choose from. The starting price is also comparatively low and the Silverado has more trailering capacity than the RAM but it is the least when the payload is considered.
Just like Ford, Chevrolet has also tried to make their full-size pickup truck as much customizable as they could with a lot of optional and available packages. Moreover, there are quite a few safety features available on the Silverado but they are not as sophisticated as the ones of its rivals.
GMC Sierra 1500
The twin of Silverado, the GMC Sierra 1500 stands just after it. Although there might not be any notable differences on the inside, the exterior styling is far better than the Chevy.
The Sierra 1500 also shares the same engine options as that of the Silverado with the power and torque figures remaining just the same. However, with some mechanical modifications, the GMC gets its towing and payload capacities are almost the same as that of the Ford and so is its price.
The dashboard, center console, cubby spaces, and seats are just the same as in a Silverado and so the room and comfort levels offered are also the same. However, there is an optional sunroof available on the Sierra 1500 whereas a more luxurious Denali option makes the interiors as appealing as that of the RAM or Ford.
Moving on to the exterior styling, there are a lot of large GMC badges around the Sierra 1500 whereas the lights are pretty much shaped like that of the Ford. However, from the outside, it does not look anything like the Chevrolet but a proper and decently styled full-size pickup truck.
In terms of safety and infotainment features, the GMC Sierra 1500 does seem to be a bit ahead of its twin however, most of the features are available and not standard on the Sierra as well.
Though the Sierra tends to be more perfect than the Silverado, it is a well-known fact that GMC always costs more and is tough to maintain than Chevrolet.
This is a foreign pickup truck that immediately takes the place after all of its American counterparts are done and Nissan has really stepped up their game with its new Titan. Although the exteriors might not have been redesigned, the interiors are much better than before.
One of the drawbacks to starting with is the standard engine that is offered throughout its lineup, although the power and torque figures that come along with it are pretty good and very competitive to other trucks. With this, the towing capacities are very nearly the same as the top trucks in the list but the payload is not up to that mark. Another drawback is the limited gas mileage which is also less than all of its competitors.
The interiors are well-decorated and give just as much feel and comfort as a Chevrolet or GMC. The seats all around the cabin are comfortable whereas there is a good amount of room both in the front and back seats. Moreover, the insides have enough cubby spaces and there is probably the largest bin than any other trucks have underneath the front center armrest. From the outside, the truck is just as simple and decently designed as the GMC Sierra 1500 or the RAM 1500.
Just like the Ford or Chevy, the Nissan Titan also gets a good bunch of accessories which makes it just as much customizable as the leading trucks in the segment. Besides all of this, the Nissan stands out more than the rest as there are a lot of standard safety features even on the base trim.
Moreover, Asian cars are known for their reliability and the Titan would just have that advantage over all other pickup trucks. However, this increases the starting price of this mighty Japanese full-size pickup truck and in the end, that is what matters.
To sum it up, this is the list that we think might be the best; looking at all aspects that a buyer generally considers before purchasing a truck. There might be a few easter eggs that some might prefer or like more than that in the other truck but that is completely independent of one’s perspective.