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What is the best truck? – 8 Best Trucks for 2019

2019 Top Trucks

Whether it’s tackling your weekend chores or keeping up with your daily grind, pickup trucks offer the versatility and strength you need to stay productive both around the home and at the job site. With midsize, full-size, and heavy-duty options available, you can choose your cab size and bed length to suit your crew and typical load. Add a healthy spread of trim levels that range from practical to all-out luxury, and you’re sure to find something tailored to your needs.

Full-size pickup trucks are extremely well-rounded workhorses, offering an incredible utility that’ll let you haul supplies and even go off-road. With seemingly endless powertrain options, cab styles, and short and long bed lengths, full-size trucks are some of the most versatile vehicles for both works and play.

Blending style and substance, pickup trucks are among the best-selling vehicles in America. With unrivalled configurations and unmatched capabilities, the pickup is one of the best transportation tools on the market. 

When it comes time to buy a new pickup truck, it’s wise to consider each vehicle on your list in terms of its overall combination of quality and value. This is not an easy task as it requires extensive research to get a solid grasp of this information.

A truck with a low sticker price is not always the best choice. At the same time, paying too much for a truck just because it’s highly rated is not the answer. It’s important to assure that you acquire a truck that offers the performance, features, and dependability you expect while fitting within your budget. To do this, you need to know each competitor’s standard and available features, safety and reliability scores, average transaction prices, and overall costs of ownership.

To save you time and help you make an educated buying decision, we use U.S. News’ Best Cars for the Money methodology to rank each vehicle based on its overall combination of quality and value. Our quality measurement is derived from U.S. News scoring data, which factors in expert reviews from the automotive press, safety scores, and predicted reliability ratings. To assess each car’s value, we rely on TrueCar average transaction prices, as well as Vincentric five-year total cost of ownership data.

Let’s see how these pickup trucks stack up when it comes to their overall combination of value and quality.

The SUV maybe today’s most popular vehicle overall, but there’s no denying the allure of American-as-apple-pie pickup trucks. Thanks to their inherent toughness and versatility, as well as their increasingly family-friendly nature, the top pickups continue to be best-sellers year after year.

Though only a few manufacturers actually make pickups, the models they produce cover a wide range of sizes and capabilities, from basic midsize work trucks to heavy-duty behemoths loaded with luxury features. Identifying the best pickup for your needs can be difficult, even for those well-versed in axle ratios, payload limits, and the difference between conventional and fifth-wheel towing.

That’s why the Edmunds experts rate and review every pickup on the market. Based on our hands-on vehicle testing, we’ve put together this guide to help you narrow your search for the best pickup truck. Please note that, because of the complexity of optioning pickup trucks, the maximum ratings cited below may only be available in highly specific builds rather than across the range.

Full-size pickups exist at the intersection of functionality, speed, technology, and fashion. Today’s trucks are as quick as some sport sedans, can practically tow your house, and offer cutting-edge convenience and safety technologies. In this market, which is contested by only six manufacturers, most buyers are predisposed to a certain brand (the domestic Big Three, in particular, carry cult followings) and it’s a close fight among top competitors. That said, every one of these trucks can handle classic pickup needs without trouble, and if you haven’t already sorted yourself into the Ram, Chevy, or Ford camps, we’ve ranked the segment players from worst to best to help you in your full-size truck search.

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Here are our picks for the best pickup trucks for 2019: 

Honda Ridgeline

The Honda Ridgeline bucks traditional pickup trends such as butch styling and off-road capability in favour of comfortable accommodations and everyday practicality. Despite these atypical characteristics, the Ridgeline’s innovative features and refined road manners helped it land on our 10Best Trucks and SUVs list as the best midsize truck for 2019. The Honda pickup also provides a fuel-efficient V-6 engine and optional all-wheel drive (front-wheel drive is standard). While its minivan roots limit maximum towing to 5000 pounds and off-road adventures to mainly graded trails, its spacious back seat and clever features such as an ingenious in-bed trunk and useful dual-action tailgate make the Honda Ridgeline the best truck for the common folk.

Value: The Honda Ridgeline is the most expensive truck in our compact pickup truck rankings by a wide margin. In fact, it has a higher starting price than a few full-size pickup trucks. Aside from the Toyota Tundra, the Ridgeline will cost you more to own than any other contender on our list.

Quality: The Ridgeline tops our compact pickup truck rankings because of its incredibly coddling ride, luxury-grade cabin, and healthy feature list. It earns terrific safety scores and an above-average predicted reliability rating. The Ridgeline provides versatile bed features, like a household power outlet, an in-bed sound system, and a trunk with a drain plug that you can use as a cooler. This Honda boasts a powerful and fuel-efficient V6 engine, but it can’t tow nearly as much as most competing trucks.

Purists may scoff at the 2019 Honda Ridgeline’s car-like unibody (rather than body-on-frame) construction because it ultimately hinders maximum towing capacity. But on the flip side, the Ridgeline rides more comfortably than its rivals, while its spacious cabin has plenty of room for four adults. Unique storage solutions include a dual-action tailgate that opens down or to the side and a lockable, under-bed trunk with a built-in drain that’s ideal for stowing valuables or using as a makeshift beverage cooler. Unless you need to tow more than 5,000 pounds or plan to do some serious rock-crawling, the Ridgeline will meet all your needs and then some.

The Ridgeline is different from most other trucks on the market. It’s basically a Honda Pilot (or Passport) crossover with a pickup bed, so it uses car-like unibody construction instead of the body-on-frame construction of most trucks. That means the body is more rigid, which makes for better ride quality, with less shuddering and vibration. It’s also a little bit easier to drive and park

The Ridgeline also features car-like suspension, so it handles better on the pavement, where drivers spend most of their time. Also, aiding on-road handling is the same all-wheel-drive system used on the Pilot, which includes Honda’s i-VTM4 torque-vectoring feature. This shunts torque side to side, which helps turn the Ridgeline in corners. This setup does sacrifice off-road ability, but it’s a good fit for drivers coming from cars or crossovers.

The Ridgeline hasn’t received a major update for several years, but Honda did make Apple CarPlay and Android Auto standard on all trim levels for the 2020 model year, along with a nine-speed automatic transmission.

Most trucks are short on secure storage space, but the Ridgeline features a lockable in-bed trunk for items too valuable to leave exposed in the bed itself. The tailgate can also open either down or sideways, for added flexibility when loading and unloading. Honda even offers an in-bed audio system which, should be a hit at tailgate parties.

Chevrolet Colorado

The Chevy Colorado doesn’t shy away from its purpose as a pickup by offering premier towing ability and a badass off-road variant. The midsize Chevy pickup truck has three distinct engine choices, including a speedy V-6 and a fuel-efficient diesel four-cylinder that can pull up to 7700 pounds. While Colorado offers a feature-laden infotainment system and great interior cubby storage, it lacks contemporary driver-assistance technology, and even the crew cab’s back seat feels cramped. Still, it’s available with extensive off-road options that culminate on the lifted and widened ZR2 model. All this makes the Chevy Colorado the best truck for work duty and weekend fun.

The Chevrolet Colorado was the winner of U.S. News’ Best Compact Pickup Truck for the Money award for 2015, 2016, and 2017. While we’ve stopped including trucks in our official award listing, Colorado is our top choice when it comes to offering the best overall combination of value and quality.

Value: Colorado’s starting price is the second-lowest among all pickup trucks in our rankings. Moreover, its total cost of ownership undercuts all contenders by a respectable margin.

Quality: Colorado’s most compelling attributes include its coddling ride, class-leading towing capacity, and variety of strong and fuel-efficient engines. It features an attractive cabin with reasonably comfortable seats and a responsive touchscreen interface with smartphone capability. Colorado includes Teen Driver as standard, and a few active safety aids are available. Some competing pickup trucks provide roomier seats and greater bed versatility.

The current Chevrolet Colorado took a major step forward from its predecessor when it debuted for the 2015 model year. A few years have passed since then, but we still think Colorado is one of the best in its class. Highlights include a decent ride, a strong V6 engine and standard Apple CarPlay/Android Auto integration. If you’re into rock-crawling, the off-road-oriented ZR2 is more than up to the task. And if you just need an affordable toy-hauler, Colorado (along with the mechanically identical GMC Canyon) boasts the segment’s only diesel engine, which yields a class-leading 7,700-pound towing capacity.

If you need a midsize pickup with easy maneuverability and a comfortable ride, you’re sure to find the Chevrolet Colorado is great for both work and play. 2017–2019 models are available in extended-cab and crew-cab body styles with two-bed lengths, providing a range of options to suit your needs. A 2.5L four-cylinder comes standard on all trims (2017–2019 models) except the off-road ZR2, and two optional engine choices are available on WT and higher trims: a 3.6L V6 or a 2.8L turbocharged four-cylinder diesel.

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GMC Canyon

The GMC Canyon is essentially the Chevy Colorado’s slicker counterpart—minus the outrageous off-road version. The midsize GMC pickup instead offers the upscale Denali model that spruces up the interior and imbues the exterior with some bling. Otherwise, the Canyon has the same three engine options as its Chevrolet counterpart, including a potent V-6 and diesel four-cylinder that can tow up to 7700 pounds. While the optional diesel and deluxe Denali make it unique among rivals, they also contribute to inflated prices and disappointing interior materials. Still, the GMC offers the best compilation of style and substance normally reserved for bigger pickup trucks.

Value: The GMC Canyon has a significantly lower starting price than most of the competition, though a few compact pickup trucks are less expensive. Its overall cost of ownership is impressive as well. If the value is at the top of your list, the Canyon is a solid pick.

Quality: The Canyon is a worthy all-around choice because of its upmarket cabin, high tow rating, good fuel economy, and user-friendly infotainment system. It delivers agile handling and a quiet, relaxed ride. Notable standard features include Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and Teen Driver. The only complaint worth mentioning is that some competitors have more supportive front seats.

The GMC Canyon — joined by the nearly identical Chevrolet Colorado — is the only midsize pickup to offer a diesel engine. With 181 horsepower and 369 lb-ft of torque, the Canyon’s 2.8-litre four-cylinder diesel allows for a tow rating of 7,700 pounds, easily besting the gas-powered V6’s 7,000-pound maximum. As a bonus, according to EPA estimates, the diesel should improve on the gas V6’s fuel economy by 4-5 mpg overall. Unfortunately, the diesel engine is quite expensive and also considerably slower. It’s also worth noting that the diesel is only available in the crew-cab body style on the SLE trim and above.

Jeep Gladiator

 The Jeep Gladiator marks the return of a pickup to the iconic brand’s diverse lineup. With similar trail-rated capability and increased towing capacity, the Jeep pickup capitalizes on the formula popularized by the Jeep Wrangler. The Gladiator is also the only midsize truck with a convertible top and removable doors. While its styling and skills promote an adventurous lifestyle, the Jeep lacks refined road manners on the highway and during long trips. Still, its robust infotainment system and available driver-assistance technology help make the Jeep Gladiator the best truck for those prone to taking the path less travelled.

Fans have been clamouring for a truckified Wrangler for decades, and Jeep has finally obliged. The new 2020 Jeep Gladiator pickup is essentially a Wrangler on the inside, though it rides on a longer wheelbase to accommodate the 5-foot bed at the back. As expected from a vehicle with a seven-slat grille, the Gladiator shines off-road. Four-wheel drive is standard, and true off-roaders can spring for the top-trim Rubicon model, which comes with all-terrain tires, Fox monotube shocks and electronic sway-bar disconnect, among other unique features. Even if you opt for one of the more pedestrian trims, the Gladiator impresses with a roomy and rugged cabin, capable V6 engine and high tow ratings.

Most four-wheel drive trucks are decent off-road, but the Jeep Gladiator is better than the rest because it’s built using the Wrangler’s trail-tested components. Its natural habitat is a dirt trail miles away from the nearest paved road, not a construction site. To that end, it comes exclusively with a four-door cab placed in front of a 60-inch cargo box, and Jeep doesn’t offer a stripped-down, no-frills trim like many of its rivals do

Buyers have three top options to choose from: a soft top, which comes standard, and two different hard tops. The ability to go topless makes the Gladiator unique in the pickup segment. And, since it’s based on the Wrangler, the windshield easily folds down and the doors are removable. No other truck lets you get this close to the great outdoors.

The original, Wagoneer-based Gladiator introduced in 1963 was about as refined as a John Deere tractor inside. Times change; the modern-day Gladiator is available with a touchscreen-based Uconnect infotainment system that’s compatible with both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. It also offers creature comforts like A/C and heated seats, and electronic driving aids such as adaptive cruise control, a blind spot monitoring system, and forward collision warning technology. Rubicon models even come with a forward-facing camera that gives the driver an unobstructed view of what’s ahead of the truck.

The only engine available at launch is a 3.6-liter V6 rated at 285 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque that shifts through a standard six-speed manual transmission or an optional eight-speed automatic. Jeep will add a 3.0-liter turbodiesel V6 to the lineup in 2020. It’s rated at 260 horsepower and a volcano-awakening 442 pound-feet of torque, but it will only be offered with the eight-speed automatic. Four-wheel drive comes standard regardless of the type of engine under the hood.

Ford Ranger

The Ford Ranger comes out of retirement to supplement the Blue Oval’s already dominant truck sales. While the midsize Ford pickup has fewer configurations than the Ford F-150, its smaller dimensions are more user-friendly, and it can still tow up to 7500 pounds. It also offers high-tech driver assists such as automated emergency braking and lane-keeping assist. SuperCrew models have four full-size doors and a bed just over five feet long, while SuperCabs have smaller rear half doors and a 6.75-foot bed. Every Ranger runs a smooth four-cylinder powertrain that can be paired with off-road equipment and selectable drive modes. Downsides include inferior build quality and poor braking capability.

Value: The all-new 2019 Ford Ranger carries a starting price that’s only exceeded by the Honda Ridgeline and Toyota Tacoma in our compact pickup truck rankings. However, it’s less expensive to own over five years than most pickup trucks.

Quality: The Ranger’s only available engine is an eager turbocharged four-cylinder that returns best-in-class fuel economy, according to EPA estimates. It also has a higher payload capacity than all other compact pickup trucks and can tow more than most. The Ranger provides user-friendly tech features, though its cabin seems dated compared to rivals’. In its standard configuration, its rear seats are tiny, but you can upgrade to the SuperCab for much more sizable accommodations. The Ranger provides a few standard features that aren’t common in the class, including a Wi-Fi hot spot and automatic emergency braking.

Ram 1500

The Ram 1500 ascends the cutthroat full-size-pickup segment with its extensive capability and comprehensive versatility. The completely redesigned Ram truck offers a luxury-grade interior and multiple engines, including a hybridized V-8 powertrain that can tow up to 12,750 pounds. Its unconventional rear suspension and optional air springs deliver unmatched ride quality versus rivals. The Ram 1500 also offers the Rebel, a dedicated off-road version. A host of driver-assistance technologies and preeminent infotainment systems positioned it above Chevrolet and Ford pickup trucks and helped it earn a spot on our 10Best Trucks and SUVs list as the best full-size pickup truck for 2019.

Value: The completely redesigned 2019 Ram 1500 has the lowest starting price among full-size pickup trucks on the market today. Its cost of ownership is also impressive for the class, thanks to its high predicted reliability rating and good fuel economy estimates. Nonetheless, the Ram will cost you about $3,000 more than the Ford F-150 over five years of ownership.

Quality: The Ram 1500’s exceptionally cushioned ride sets it apart from all other trucks in the segment. In the past, this meant that it couldn’t stack up to some rivals’ towing capacities. Ram addressed this concern with the truck’s redesign. Now, its towing and hauling capacities are among the highest in the class. Also, the Ram has arguably the nicest cabin in our full-size truck rankings, with incredibly spacious and supportive seats.

Ram doesn’t stop there, it boasts an admirable list of standard and available features. According to our methodology, it provides the best overall combination of value and quality among full-size trucks.

Based on our testing, the Ram 1500 is the full-size truck to beat. Part of the Ram’s magic lies in the continued use of coil springs in the rear suspension, yielding an exceptionally comfortable ride while allowing for an optional air suspension that keeps the truck level while towing or hauling a heavy payload. Inside the cabin, the Ram 1500 combines a rugged aesthetic with lots of thoughtful, practical touches and surprisingly nice materials. It’s clear that Ram places emphasis on technology with the available 12-inch tablet-style touchscreen that’s both eye-catching and easy to use. Rear-seat occupants are also in luck — the crew cab features reclining seats so that you can relax in comfort on long drives. If you like big torque without big fuel bills, by the way, check out the impressive EcoDiesel V6.

Dodge redesigned the Ram 1500 in 2019, but rather than scrap the previous model altogether, it was released alongside the newer model and renamed the Ram 1500 Classic. Available in regular cab, quad cab, and crew cab body styles, the 2019 1500 Classic offers a choice of three box lengths (five-feet-seven-inches, six-feet-four-inches, and eight-feet). A 305-hp 3.6L V6 comes standard on 2019 models or you can upgrade to the optional 395-hp 5.7L V8, which can tow an estimated 10,710 lbs. when properly equipped (2019 regular cab models with 4×2).1 Both engines also connect to an eight-speed automatic transmission with rear- or four-wheel drive.

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Ford F-150

Value: The Ford F-150 has one of the lowest starting prices among all full-size pickup trucks. Only the Ram 1500 undercuts the Ford’s base MSRP. The F-150’s total ownership costs are significantly less than Ram’s, as well as all other classmates. This is due in part to Ford’s good gas mileage estimates. If you’re looking for a full-size truck that will be easy on the pocketbook, the F-150 is a top choice.

Quality: The F-150 lands in the No. 2 position in our full-size pickup truck rankings. It’s arguably the most capable vehicle in the class and it receives an exceptional safety score. Additionally, it comes standard with advanced driver assistance aids, such as automatic high beams, pedestrian detection, and automatic emergency braking. To top it off, the F-150 features roomy, well-cushioned seats and intuitive available infotainment technologies. While the Ford’s cabin is well-built, it’s not as upscale as some competitors’ and it’s light on standard features.

The Ford F-150 has its own unique selling point: The bed and body panels are made of high-strength aluminum, resulting in a much lighter vehicle than the segment norm. Not only does this help the F-150 post class-leading tow ratings, but it also pushes the maximum payload capacity well past 3,000 pounds. But the F-150 isn’t just about workaday versatility. Both twin-turbo gasoline V6 engines offer great performance and solid fuel economy, while the clear differentiation between trim levels ensures that there’s something for everyone in the F-150 range. If you’re looking for diesel power, yeah, the F-150’s got that too.

If you are looking for a truck that packs a punch on the road and at the gas pump, the Ford F-150’s 3.5L EcoBoost® is the way to go. Standard on the 2017–2018 F-150 Limited (and optional on the 2019 XL, XLT, Lariat, King Ranch, and Platinum trims), this powerplant generates 375 hp and 470 lb-ft of torque. Paired to a 10-speed automatic transmission with SelectShift® capability, engine torque is readily available across the speed range for fast acceleration. This powerplant can also tow an estimated 13,200 lbs. when properly equipped (2018–2019 models).1 Fuel economy is an EPA-estimated 18 mpg city and 25 mpg highway with the 2019 3.5L EcoBoost and 2WD. 

Need a truck with a roomy cabin for your crew or family? The Ford F-150 offers a range of cab styles, like the SuperCrew, which features 43.6 inches of rear-seat legroom in 2017–2019 models. 2017 and newer F-150’s also offer three box lengths that range from 5.5-feet to eight-feet long to carry your tools or camping gear. With all this travel, you’ll want to check out the 3.0L Power Stroke® V6 Turbo Diesel, which returns an EPA-estimated 30 mpg on the highway when equipped with 4×2 (2018–2019 models).2 This fuel-sipping powerplant is optional on 2018–2019 XLT, Lariat, King Ranch, and Platinum trims.

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2019 Nissan Titan

Value: The Nissan Titan has a starting price that’s about $1,000 less than the Tundra’s, but a few competing models have a lower base MSRP. The Titan lands in the middle of the pack among full-size pickup trucks in terms of total cost of ownership.

Quality: The Titan provides a smooth ride and has a quiet, comfortable, high-quality cabin. It offers unique bed features that make it a versatile truck for work and tailgating. Additionally, the Titan fares well in crash tests. Despite its strengths, it lags behind classmates for towing and hauling. While the Titan comes standard with a touchscreen infotainment system with smartphone app integration, it feels dated and can prove tedious to operate.

Want a full-size truck that can let loose on back-road trails? The Nissan Titan PRO-4X has all the adventurous spirit and off-roading equipment that you need. Sitting at the top of the Titan’s five trim levels, the PRO-4X boasts all-terrain off-road tires and Bilstein® off-road shock absorbers that climb over rugged terrain with confidence (2017–2019 PRO-4X models). An electronic locking rear differential also comes standard for enhanced traction, while the hill descent control system maintains a constant speed when navigating steep grades (2017–2019 PRO-4X models).

Power flows from a 5.6L V8 that produces 390 hp and 394 lb-ft of torque on 2017–2019 PRO-4X models with four-wheel drive. 

Need a truck that will quench your thirst for adventure? The Nissan Titan PRO-4X’s off-road chops will get your adrenaline pumping. This back-road-oriented trim of the already capable Nissan Titan is available exclusively with 4×4 capabilities, as well as hill descent control and Bilstein® mono-tube off-road shocks (2017–2019 models). With the PRO-4X you can expect more confidence behind the wheel when crawling over rugged terrain and steep grades. And regardless of the trim, all 2017–2019 Nissan Titans get their power from a 5.6L V8 that puts out 390 hp and 394 lb-ft of torque.

Toyota Tundra

Another off-roading superstar is the Toyota Tundra TRD Pro. Redesigned for the 2019 model year, this truck combines powerful V8 performance with new 2.5-inch FOX® Internal Bypass shocks for superior domination on rugged terrain. There are also two additional inches of front lift (compared to the 2019 base model) for more ground clearance and upgraded LED foglights for visibility. A dual TRD Pro exhaust with black chrome tips emits a ferocious growl, plus a quarter-inch skid plate with red Toyota lettering anchors the front end.

If you’re after a full-size pickup with an equally full-size attitude, take the Toyota Tundra out for a test drive. 2017–2019 models boast a lineup of V8-only powertrains, delivering incredible power to pull your trailer and heavy loads. SR and SR5 trims are anchored by a 4.6L V8 outputting 310 hp and 327 lb-ft of torque, while Limited, Platinum, 1794 Edition, and TRD Pro trims use a 5.7L V8 producing 381 hp and 401 lb-ft of torque (2017–2019 models). If you’re driving around a big crew that’s in need of some extra space, 2017–2019 Tundra CrewMax cabs offer 42.3 inches of legroom in the rear row.

Toyotas have a well-deserved reputation for reliability and, as famously demonstrated on Top Gear, the Japanese automaker’s trucks have proven particularly bulletproof. That’s still the case with the Tundra, Toyota’s take on the American-as-apple-pie full-size pickup.

Many automakers say their trucks are tough, but Toyota has some pretty compelling evidence to prove it. In 2016, Toyota bought back a 2007 Tundra from a customer who had driven it one million miles. The truck still had its original engine, transmission, and paint job.

Like its counterparts from Ford, General Motors, and Ram, the Tundra is available in a wide variety of cab, bed, and trim level configurations to suit buyer needs. From the base SR to the luxurious 1794 Edition, Toyota has all of the bases covered. For 2020, all Tundra models get the same 5.7-liter V8, which makes 381 hp and 401 lb.-ft. of torque. That’s not as much as some competitors offer, but still enough for a robust 10,200-pound maximum towing capacity. The TRD Pro model brings serious off-road capability and an exhaust note straight out of NASCAR.

The Tundra also gets the same standard Toyota Safety Sense-P suite of safety equipment as other Toyota models, bundling a pre-collision system with autonomous emergency braking, lane departure alert, adaptive cruise control, and automatic high beams. On the infotainment front, Toyota offers a 7.0-inch touchscreen display with navigation and, at long last, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility for the 2020 model year.

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