Pickup trucks can be used as flexible vehicles. Pickup trucks can haul your family and tow your toys, as well as carry your gear. Some are street queens while others are adventure-oriented pickups. It can be difficult to decide which pickup truck is best for you, given the variety of trucks on the market.
We are here to help. All of them, from the iconic Ford F-150 to all-electric Rivian R1T, have been driven by us. Take a look at our suggestions for pickup trucks that will suit your needs and lifestyle if you are having trouble making a decision.
2022 Ford F-150
Best truck overall/Best truck full-size
The Ford F-150 is America’s bestselling truck. There are three cab options and three bed lengths. You can also choose from four gasoline engines, a hybrid version, or an electric powertrain. You can also choose from eight trim levels and two- or four-wheel drive options.
There are some unique features in the Ford that you won’t find elsewhere on the market. The onboard generator can produce up to 7.2kW of power. You can also get four 120-volt outlets (20-amp) and one 240V, 30-amp plug. Ford claims that this amount of juice could power a mobile welding shop. You can fold the gear selector flat to make way for a work surface. The seats can also recline almost 180 degrees for a quick nap.
You can tow up 14,000 pounds and tow 3,325 pounds depending on the configuration. This is higher than the maximum numbers for the Chevrolet Silverado and Ram 1500, and the Toyota Tundra.
The F-150 has all the tech you need, including Active Drive Assist. The F-150 allows drivers to use certain mapped or divided highways. However, a driver-facing camera ensures your eyes stay on the road. The F-150 is available for $31,685 plus $1,695 destination.
2022 Toyota Tundra
Best truck overall runner-up
Although it’s been a while since we last featured the Tundra on our best-of lists, the new 2022 model is worthy of praise. The Tundra doesn’t offer as many engine options as the F-150. Instead, it relies on a 3.5-liter twin turbo V6 that produces 389 horsepower and 479 pound-feet on SR5 and higher trims. The iForce Max powerplant with electric assist produces 437 horsepower and 583 poundfeet of torque.
Tundra’s rear coil springs are now set up with self-leveling rear suspension and adaptive dampers. Tundra is much more comfortable to drive on pavement. The maximum payload is 1,940 and towing weights in at 12,000 lbs. The new straight path assist feature ensures that the trailer can be steered exactly to the truck’s exact location while backing up without the driver having to give any input.
Although the Tundra was tech-free in its old form, this new full-size truck features a 12.3-inch reconfigurable gauge cluster as well as an optional 14-inch touchscreen that houses an all-new infotainment platform. This major upgrade includes Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, pinch-to zoom capability and natural speech recognition.
The 2022 Toyota Tundra starts from $37,645 and includes $1,695 destination.
2022 Ford Ranger
Best midsize truck
After an eight-year hiatus, Ford Ranger returns for 2019 with a new model year. The Ford Ranger is equipped with a powerful 2.3-liter turbocharged I4 engine that produces 270 horsepower and 310 poundfeet of torque. Power is transmitted via a 10-speed automatic transmission. It’s easier to get the Ranger to speed on the highway thanks to the extra torque than the competition. The 10-speed automatic transmission is equally impressive, never searching for a gear. The Tremor package includes all sorts of off-road goodies for those who like to get off the beaten path.
No matter what configuration, the Ranger can tow 7,500 pounds. Two-wheel drive Rangers can tow 1,905 pounds of payload, which is more than the Toyota Tacoma and GM’s Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon twins. A 4×4 Ranger can carry a bit less: 1,696 pounds.
An 8-inch touchscreen with Sync3 and Android Auto running on it is available with plenty of tech. It is easier to move stuff around the city with a standard blind-spot monitor system that spans the length of a trailer. Lane keeping assist and adaptive cruise control are both standard features. You can expect to pay $27,440, which includes $1,295 destination fee and $645 acquisition fees.
2022 Toyota Tacoma
Best midsize truck runner-up
Toyota Tacoma is the midsize pickup truck king based on sales figures. But there’s more to a truck that just numbers. The reliability and high resale values of the Tacoma are what we love most. The standard engine is a four-cylinder, but you can opt for the 3.5-liter V6 with the six-speed manual transmission. However, the best fuel economy from a four-wheel-drive Taco is only 20 MPG.
It is the best dog in its class. It has less hauling and towing capabilities than the Ranger, with a maximum towing weight of 6,800 pounds and a maximum bed weight of 1,685 pounds. Six-speed automatic transmissions are finicky. They love to shift quickly, and the throttle response can be slow. The interior is also cramped and uncomfortable. Even though it has Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, the infotainment is slower than the Ranger’s in graphics and processing speed.
The Toyota Tacoma starts from $27,715 and includes $1,215 destination.
2022 Ram 2500 & 3500
The best heavy-duty truck
Your Ram heavy-duty can be ordered in two or three versions: a 2500 or 3500 model with a single rear wheel or dual rear wheels with a either a 6.8-liter V8, a Cummins diesel, or a 6.7 liter high-output Cummins engine. You can choose between a regular cab or crew cab that has a large 8-foot bed. Or, you can opt for the megacab with a substantial 6-8-foot, 4-inch bed.
For a few reasons, we’ve chosen the Ram over the Ford. The Ram’s 6.7-liter engine produces 420 horsepower, while the Ford is beaten by 1,075 pound-feet. The Ram can tow 37,090 pounds using a gooseneck trailer. You should be aware that not all drivers can tow this weight in some states. Check your local regulations before you attempt to tow the equivalent to nine elephants.
The maximum payload is 7,680 pounds, but the most enjoyable part of driving is the experience. You can choose between a five-link coil suspension and an air suspension for the Ram 2500. We also love Ram’s Uconnect infotainment system with its 12-inch touchscreen and tow-specific navigation.
The 2022 Ram Heavy Duty starts from $39,545 and includes $1,795 destination.
2022 Ford F-Series Super Duty
The best heavy-duty truck runner up
F-Series Super Duty trucks are available in F-250, F-350, and F-450 models. You can choose from a 6.2-liter or 7.3-liter V8, or a Power Stroke diesel V8. This diesel can produce 475 horsepower and 1,050 pounds-feet torque. The Super Duty starts at $38,190, with $1,695 destination.
The Super Duty can tow up to 37,000 pounds with the gooseneck trailer or 32,500 with a standard trailer. It can also carry 7,850 pounds of payload inside its bed, depending on how it is configured. To tow this weight, as with the Ram, a commercial license may be required.
The Tremor off-road package, which includes 35-inch tires, drive modes with rock crawl mode, and suspension tuning for dirt conditions is what sets the Ford apart. You may not be able to drive your pickup truck off-road, but it’s nice to know that you can.
2022 Chevrolet Silverado 1500
The best truck for a novice tower
It can be daunting to tow a trailer. Visibility can be difficult, backing up is challenging and people can feel nervous behind the wheel. To put your worries at ease, the Silverado 1500 has up to 15 camera views.
Transparent trailer technology gives drivers a great view of the behind-the-cargo. The rear side view gives drivers a visual indication of the trailer’s length and shows vehicles on the trailer’s lane change path. The rear trailer view shows guidelines for backing up, and allows you to see inside the trailer to check on your livestock. There are four hitch view angles to help you hook up your trailer. You’ll also get a jack knives alert and a bed cam with zoom functionality. SuperCruise is the final piece of tech. It calibrates for drag, increased braking distances, and allows drivers to use their eyes-free on 200,000 miles worth of mapped highways.
Silverado also comes with an on-screen checklist to ensure you have everything done when hooking up, temperature monitoring and trailer tire pressure monitoring. There are also trailer lighting checks that you can use to ensure you don’t drive down the road with just one taillight.
The Silverado can haul anywhere from 8,900 to 13,300 pounds depending on its configuration. The Chevrolet Silverado 1500 is priced at $33,595 with $1,695 destination.