Editor's Choice: Best Pickups in America
The pickup truck is the quintessential American vehicle. To some, they are gas guzzler. T others, they are a livelihood.
A recent Ram truck ad had a great line from the hard working husband: "Where there's a truck, there's a job."
And while Asian imports Toyota, Nissan and Honda have all have tried to make a mark in the full-size pickup market, it remains the one category where Detroit seems to be in a comfortable place to dominate for years to come.
We reviewed all the pickups and configurations available to consumers--hundreds--and boiled it down to five favorites--including one from an Asian automaker--and named our absolute favorite pickup. Check out the gallery here to see if you agree.
We've loved this truck since late 2009, actually, when Ford unleashed the first version of the F-150 SVT Raptor on an unsuspecting public. Unlike all previous products from Ford's Specialty Vehicle Team, including the F-150-based SVT Lightning, this truck does its best work once the pavement ends and the really nasty stuff begins.
We love the solidity of the fully boxed ladder frame, which is a full seven inches wider than the standard F-150, as well as the 17-inch wheels with specially-crafted BF Goodrich All Terrain tires.
You'll find knobs inside the Raptor 6.2 to switch between two-wheel drive, four-wheel drive high and four-wheel drive low. When the going gets really tough, the tough can get going by locking the rear end and engaging Off Road Mode, which uses electronic wizardry to change throttle and transmission shift maps along with the thresholds of the standard stability, traction and ABS brake controls. Finally, there is a handy-dandy Hill Descent Control function that will keep you from shooting up or down steep inclines too quickly.
The final off-road tidbit we learned during our visit to the track is that the 6.2-liter engine is a much more willing and able partner than the previous 310-horsepower 5.4-liter Triton V8. Perhaps that goes without saying, but the fact of the matter is that the Raptor easily handles every one of the 411 horsepower and 434 pound-feet of torque the new engine is capable of dishing out.
Research the Ford F-150 SVT Raptor
MSRP: $23,500 - $25,055
Invoice: $22,031 - $23,489
Fuel Economy: 18 mpg city, 20 mpg highway
The Tacoma is Toyota's compact pick-up truck offering just the right size for all but the most serious contractor. It is the best of the compact trucks left on the market as a few have disappeared for the time being. It also has tremendous resale value. The price of buying a used one will surprise you.
Toyota Tacoma is available in Regular Cab, Access Cab (extended cab) and Double Cab (crew cab) body styles, in either two or four wheel drive. Regular and Extra Cabs come with six-foot beds; Double Cabs have the choice of a shorter five-foot bed or a standard-size six-footer. The base engine is a 2.7-liter, 159-hp inline-four mated to a five-speed manual transmission; a four-speed automatic is optional. A 236-hp 4.0-liter V6 is standard on all Double Cabs and optional on 4WD Access Cabs.
The V6 is paired with a six-speed manual or five-speed automatic. Standard safety features include four-wheel anti-lock brakes with electronic brake-force distribution and brake assist, vehicle stability control, traction control, side-impact/side curtain airbags, and active headrests.
Research the Toyota Tacoma
MSRP: $33,855 - $38,145
Invoice: $31,485 - $35,475
Fuel Economy: N/A
The Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD's exterior had minor changes in the previous model year, and most of the mechanical and structural components (including frame, engines, transmissions, suspension, and brakes) were redesigned, strengthened or improved. Like all Silverados, the 2500HD is available in a wide array of bed sizes, wheelbases, drive types and cab sizes, as well as a variety of trim levels.
The standard 6.0-liter Vortec V8 engine produces 360-horsepower and the optional 397-hp/765 lb-ft of torque (335-hp/685 lb-ft of torque with Box Delete option) B20 biodiesel-capable Duramax 6.6-liter diesel is mated to an Allison 1000 transmission. Stability control, hill start assist and a trailer sway control system are standard. Available features include mobile WiFi, USB connectivity, rear back-up camera, Bluetooth connectivity, satellite radio, OnStar and a navigation system.
This is our favorite Silverado.
Research the Chevy Silverado 2500
MSRP: $37,100 - $40,745
Invoice: $34,279 - $37,614
Fuel Economy: N/A
This is what we call a big-dog truck, though maybe we should call it our favorite "big horn" Ram.
The Ram already has what we concede is the sweetest interior in the pickup category, and the best styling. Put those together with this brawny, beautiful 6.7 liter Cummins diesel, and you have a truck that would make any truck lover weep with admiration and love.
This truck produces a whopping 800 pound-feet of torque at 1,500 rpm and 350 horsepower at 3,000 rpm. In 3500 trim, the combo offers a towing capacity of up to 22,750 pounds when equipped with an optional Max Tow package. Even more impressive, the Cummins oil burner manages to meet EPA emissions standards without the aggravation of having to use Diesel Exhaust Fluid.
Research the Ram 2500
MSRP: $30,555 - $33,035
Invoice: $27,876 - $30,069
Fuel Economy: 16 mpg city, 22 mpg highway
Ford F150 is the leading truck brand in the U.S. and for good reason. It has history and reliability with its owners who remain fiercely loyal.
There are dozens of configurations of F Series trucks, starting in the low $20,000's and going all the way up to Mercedes E Class pricing if you want to cram your truck with leather, special wheels and chrome bits and bobs, towing packages and dual rear wheels.
But our editors chose this particular version of the F Series for its best performer/best value status with us.
For a price tag that will land you in the mid $30,000's when it is optioned out you will get a serious workhorse truck, nicely equipped and appointed, four doors and Ford's EcoBoost engine, which has a lot of pep on the road without costing you extra dollars at the pump.
The twin-turbo, direct-injection engine will deliver 365 hp and 420 pound-feet of torque. The EcoBoost’s torque is a god-send when doing pickup-type stuff like hauling or towing. The horsepower is comparable to the 8-cylinder Ford and has even more torque.
All in all, we rate this F Series the best pickup truck you can buy today when you balance the need for fuel economy, working capability and value.
Research the Ford F-150
Latest Auto News
- Video: Is your brain predisposed to make you love Rolls-Royce?
- Official: PGO launches Cévennes Speedster in Europe
- Sunswift Eve is a solar car for everyone, maybe [w/video]
- Spy Shots: Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG spied with minor changes
- Read This: PickupTrucks.com's latest test results in a familiar winner [w/video]
- Official: Aston Martin unveils new Gulf livery for Le Mans
- Study: New J.D. Power Initial Quality Study puts Porsche, GM in spotlight
Take AOL Autos With You
Introducing our New iPhone App.View the App
Research A New Car
- Aston Martin
- Land Rover