Sometimes, a regular sedan simply won’t do. If you have a lot of stuff to haul around, you need a pickup truck, and there are plenty of choices. The pickup truck segment is one of the most competitive in the auto industry, with some of the most demanding customers. That drives automakers to design higher-quality trucks, and we’ve rounded up the best from a variety of disciplines here.
Why should you buy this: It does everything well
Who’s it for: Just about anyone who needs a full-size pickup truck
How much will it cost: $26,540+
Why we picked the Ford F-150: Because it has the fundamentals down
The Ford F-150 has been the bestselling vehicle in the U.S. for decades, and it’s easy to see why legions of truck buyers flock to it every year. The F-150 doesn’t dominate any particular category, but it covers all of the bases with solid performance, impressive refinement, and stylish and thoughtful design features.
Under the hood, the available 3.5-liter twin-turbocharged EcoBoost V6 offers plenty of torque and very quick throttle response, making it a good choice whether you want to tow a boat or just pull away from the lights in a hurry. Ford also offers a more traditional 5.0-liter V8, and two other V6 options. The truck itself features an aluminum body that Ford claims saves over 700 pounds compared to a conventional steel body. While the F-150 has fairly basic suspension, the ride is impressively smooth and comfortable. The styling is also a nice departure from traditional truck boxiness.
Ford has also taken the lead in adding tech features to trucks. The F-150 is available with the same Sync 3 infotainment system available in most of Ford’s car models. It’s a solid system with fairly straightforward menu and a responsive touchscreen display. The layout of the dashboard makes it easy to use both the screen and analog controls. Other notable tech toys include a surround-view camera system and Pro Trailer Backup Assist, which allows the truck to take over steering when backing up a trailer. Even if you don’t opt for these features, the F-150’s ride quality, power, and design should prove satisfying.