Did you know that pickup trucks are the best-selling vehicles in the US and that it has been like this for decades? Right of the bat, you might think most drivers use them out of mere necessity, as a tool of the trade. However, with so many buyers choosing pickup trucks when buying a new vehicle, there must be something more that makes them so appealing. If you think about it, many people also see pickup trucks as an icon that represents a certain way of life. But with so many different trucks out there, it might sometimes be complicated to choose only one. Luckily, we have created this complete buying guide to help you find and choose the right one for you.
Why are pickup trucks so popular?
First things first. Before deciding to buy a pickup truck for yourself, you might be asking why you’d want one in the first place. Although many still associate them with farms and construction sites, modern pickup trucks are much more than utilitarian workhorses. One of their biggest upsides is the interior that offers lots of room and comfortable seats, which makes them great for long journeys. Depending on the trim-level, they even come loaded with equipment that can give the most premium cars a run for their money. Unlike most upscale vehicles, pickup trucks even offer durable and rugged underpinnings, which makes them reliable and easy to maintain.
One of the biggest trade-offs with pickup trucks comes from their sturdy suspension and steering systems that affect ride comfort. Although some of them are better than others, pickup trucks simply cannot match cars in terms of handling or absorbing bumps. There is also a question of size and maneuvering capabilities, which makes them less suitable for crowded city streets. And because of their formidable weight, pickup trucks can offer a moderate gas mileage, at best. However, if you are concerned about fuel-efficiency, be aware that electric pickup trucks are just around the corner!
What kind of pickup trucks are there?
At first sight, all pickup trucks look similar, and you may think there are no major differences between various models. Other than different cab sizes or drive options, most of them share the same overall concept. There is an engine at the front, a cabin in the middle, and an open trunk in the rear. It is only after you take a closer look that some differences become obvious, as all pickup trucks fall into several categories.
At the lower end is a class of compact or midsize trucks, in which Japanese manufacturers play a significant role. They are a great choice for drivers who like the concept but think full-size variants are too big or uneconomical. Being smaller and lighter enables them to use four-cylinder engines, turbochargers or another cylinder deactivation technology, which increases fuel-efficiency at the expense of load capacities.
One step up in the pickup truck department are full-size rigs, which are the most widespread among all variants in this market segment. They offer an optimal blend of performance, practicality and load capabilities, which makes them perfect all-rounders. Because of their weight and versatile use, trucks in this segment usually come with powerful engines mated to an automatic transmission.
Heavy-duty pickup trucks close this lineup, as they offer superior towing and hauling capabilities coupled with powerful drivetrains. As this makes them far more orientated on professional applications, they are common within transportation or farming businesses. These trucks have the biggest engines, durable drivetrains, and stronger chassis. Unlike other categories, this one is almost only covered by domestic manufacturers.
What is the best midsize pickup truck for 2019?
In the segment of midsize trucks, you can never go wrong with the Toyota Tacoma, which is almost a traditional winner. We can say that Toyota’s interpretation for this market segment is a quintessential pickup truck, as it has everything covered. It comes with formidable towing and off-road capacities, combined with Toyota’s legendary reliability to which we are now used with these trucks. However, Toyota is also well-know for producing slightly gas-guzzling trucks when compared to other pickups of the same size.
Runner-up in this segment is the Ford Ranger, a big name that returns to the market after an eight-year hiatus. It features a sleek outer design and a comfortable interior to help it cope with the strong competition. Although it comes with only one engine option, this new unit is certainly something that will get the party started. This award-winning turbocharged four-cylinder produces 270 horsepower, which ensures both quick acceleration and reassuring towing capabilities while keeping the gas cost as low as possible.
What is the top-rated full-size pickup truck for 2019?
Battling neck-to-neck with the F-150 for the highest position in this category, the new Ram comes up on top. It picks up where its predecessor left, using major strong points like a coil spring rear suspension that ensures a smooth ride. Still, this does not affect towing or off-road capabilities, as the new Ram also beats the competition in these fields. And thanks to a lighter body and a mild hybrid engine assistance technology, it even offers great fuel efficiency.
Another notable entry in the full-size pickup segment is the Silverado, which Chevrolet has reworked from the ground up. While the interior shares the overall shape with the old model, the outer design is a whole different story. Boldly designed headlights and a prominent front grille give it a unique appearance that makes it stand out from the crowd. Both engine ranges and trim options are numerous, so you can configure one that exactly meets your needs with ease.
What is the best 3/4 ton truck for 2019?
When it comes to 3/4 ton pickup trucks, also called heavy-duty trucks, there can be only one winner. The Super-duty series from Ford combines all virtues of their smaller F-150 best-sellers with a rugged capability that comes with big rigs. With a massive tow rating, lots of equipment and a comfortable cabin, this truck offers an appealing combination of capability and everyday usability.
If you are focusing on towing capabilities, it is hard to beat the Ram in its heavy-duty iteration. Although not that bigger than a normal version, it comes with a monster of an engine under the hood. With a Cummins straight-six that delivers a jaw-dropping 1,050 lb-ft of torque, this truck pulls like a freight train.
As you have seen in this article, we can divide all pickup trucks into three categories. Every one of them has their upsides and downsides, and trucks that offer the best combination within their segment. While full-size trucks are the most versatile of the bunch, compact ones are more efficient and nimble. On the other hand, heavy-duty rigs are work-oriented vehicles that combine impressive utility with everyday usability. With so many vehicles available, you are sure to be able to find one that suits your needs and budget. Simply make sure to use our guide the next time you go shopping for a truck to ensure that you buy one of the best pickup trucks of 2019.