With the lion’s share of the US market share controlled by pickup trucks, it is a no-brainer to look for the best truck brand. But is the best truck brand American? Or do the foreign manufacturers have enough to take on heavyweights like Ford?
In this article, we will help you go through some of the best brands for pickup trucks in the market right now. You can choose from these when you are getting your own pickup. But before purchasing a truck, a few factors can influence your decision along with this article. So, read on for information about truck brands and more below.
Factors that make a great truck brand
Back in the old days, pickups were just supposed to perform. Comfort and interior features were not a parameter for judging the best truck back then. But now, pickup trucks in the US have evolved from just being a work machines and are now more of a family car. So interior features like seats, quality, and a little style are important.
Engine and powertrain
The heart of any best truck brand lies under the trunk. Both engine and powertrain make a truck suitable for the tasks it is supposed to perform. For instance, a full-size pickup truck requires a powerful engine to haul heavier loads than a compact truck. Similarly, even though AWD trucks are plenty in the market, a few models, like the 2022 Ford Maverick, have FWD variants.
Handling, Comfort, and Ride
Nobody wants a truck that cannot handle the hefty tasks it is supposed to do. From being responsive to driver inputs to proper traction in off-road conditions, the truck should hold strong despite jerks and potholes. Similarly, the truck should hold strong and make sure the passengers are comfortable even while driving through uneven surfaces and even snow.
As you saw earlier, trucks are not just sidelined to the workplace. Many truck brands cater to a family by releasing compact and fuel-efficient trucks that are capable of good performance. If you can get a pickup with decent fuel economy, a family road trip and a work drive can be affordable.
The price point seems to grow, considering the level of technological advancement in truck brands. You can get modern safety features, driver assistance, and many other features on a truck these days. Make sure you study the market before deciding to buy one.
Apart from these, each truck brand must have a decent driver experience during lane changing, loading, and parking. In addition, the cargo space is also a key factor in making a truck the best. Similarly, exterior, build quality, and reliability are also major parameters in choosing the best truck brand.
Also read: What is the most reliable truck?
Best Truck Brands
Ford: Best truck brand ever?
Ford has always been one of the best truck brands not only in the US but all over the globe. Models including Ford Maverick, F-150 Hybrid, F-150, F-150 Lightning, and Ford Ranger have gained immense popularity among pickup fans. Ford F-series trucks are still the top-selling trucks in the country for 46 years and counting.
Besides their performance capabilities, the Ford pickups are known for their reliability. Ford full-size pickups have best-in-class towing and payload capacity. In addition, all Ford trucks come with driver assistance and safety features that make life easy for the driver.
Yet another reason to choose Ford as the best truck brand is fuel economy. For instance, the Ford Maverick, which is a hybrid, can give you 42 mpg in cities and 33 mpg on highways.
An electric truck on this list? What blasphemy is this? Yes. Rivian has made an impact in the US market, which has sent shivers down the spine of even Tesla. The electric R1T has taken the country by storm, beating models in cargo space and range(fuel economy).
The R1T is available in three drivetrain variants, each varying in performance and range. The Dual-motor AWD can give you a maximum range of 400 miles on a machine that produces 600 hp. The mid-range variant is a performance dual-motor AWD which produces 700 hp power and powers the truck from 0 to 60 miles in 3.5 seconds.
But if you want the best performance, go for the Quad-motor AWD options, which can give you a whopping 835 hp and 908 ft lbs torque. The R1T can also conquer any off-road surface, including dirt, mud, or snow. Overall, the Rivian brand is quickly turning out to be a close competitor for Tesla.
Ram gives close competition to Ford for the title of best truck brand. The main competition between them is in the full-size trucks, where the 2023 Ram 1500 and 2023 Ford F-150 go head-to-head. Despite having a lower towing capacity compared to the F-150, the Ram 1500 offers a great interior with spacious second-row seating. In addition, it can also be a great family car at the same time.
In addition, Ram comes with decent fuel economy on both the city and highway. Powerful engines and well-balanced ride and handling are other features of Ram trucks. It is an American truck brand with some of the best infotainment systems, including USB and Bluetooth connectivity.
You can choose from V6 or V8 options, including a supercharged V8 producing more than 700 hp. The higher-end models come at a price of over $80,000.
The Japanese brand has been churning out some of the best trucks recently. They have captured the market as well as fans of pickups in the US. Sales of some of the Toyota truck models have boomed thanks to affordability.
Besides lower prices, fuel economy is a major advantage for people considering a multitasking vehicle. Two of the most popular models of the Japanese manufacturer include the Tundra and Tacoma.
The Toyota Tundra boats a powerful twin-turbo V6 and different powertrain choices. Despite being a bulky full-size truck, it has great handling compared to other competitors.
Similarly, the Tacoma is a great compact truck to get now. It has decent towing capacity and standard safety features. In addition, a comfortable cabin and multiple driver assistance features make it a good overall truck. But what makes it stand out is the off-road performance.
Toyota might emerge with many new truck models in the near future, along with design changes to their existing models.
Chevrolet has been in truck wars for so long. Thanks to the Silverado, they have a good model to show in recent years. Besides the Silverado in the full-size truck market, Chevy also has the ‘Colorado,’ a decent compact/midsize truck.
The big, burly Silverado comes in multiple trims. While some focus on performance, others are more of work trucks. The Chevy truck brand offers great customization for the owner, and it comes in Rear Wheel Drive and Four Wheel Drive variants. In engines, you can go for the automatic turbocharged gas I4 engine or the Gas V8.
It is the performance of the trucks that make Chevy stand out from the rest. The engines are reliable and durable, even though the interior is disappointing. You can’t have everything in a truck! Can you?
Honda has hit it out of the park when it comes to the best compact truck brand. In any truck segment, there is only one Honda choice you can make, and it is the Honda Ridgeline. The 2023 Honda Ridgeline is not the off-road beast you may be looking for. But compared to its competitors, this pickup has comfortable interiors, smooth handling, and on-road ride.
It can seat up to 5 passengers, and the fuel economy is decent. Similarly, the V6 engine and AWD drivetrain offer a maximum power of 280 hp. It comes in four trims; all come with AWD and automatic transmission. But the interior, including the cabin, is the highlight of the model. With just one entry Honda has proved to be a worthy contender for being the best truck brand in the compact class.
Besides these, there are Hyundai, GMC, Nissan, and Jeep, which can be classified as some of the best truck brands in the US market.
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