The Best Trucks on the Road
These 8 pickups each have one characteristic that sets them head and shoulders above the competition.
Americans love their trucks, and each truck buyer has a different reason for needing one. Drivers might need a truck to tow a boat, camper or snowmobile, or as an everyday workhorse on the job site, or simply for the occasional trip to the garbage dump. Traits valued in a pickup may include power, towing capacity, off-road capability or passenger space. Here we bring you the best, most capable pickups in eight categories.
Most Powerful Heavy-Duty Pickup
Ford F-Series Super Duty
Over the past few years, there has been an arms race in the heavy-duty pickup market. Power and torque numbers for diesel engines have grown significantly. Chevrolet and its GMC truck brand have reached 397 horsepower and 765 lb-ft of torque with their 6.6-liter Duramax turbodiesel engine. Dodge Ram's 6.7-liter Cummins V8 turbodiesel has 350 horsepower and up to 800 lb-ft of torque. But the winner is Ford. The Power Stroke 6.7-liter V8 turbodiesel in the 2012 Ford F-Series Super Duty wrings out some nice round numbers: 400 horses and 800 stump-pulling lb-ft of torque. As we'll soon see, though, more power doesn't necessarily mean more hauling capacity.
Best Heavy-Duty Hauler
Chevrolet Silverado / GMC Sierra 3500HD
The 2012 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra heavy-duty pickups may trail their Ford counterparts by 35 lb-ft of torque, but thanks to a beefy ladder frame, they boast the highest towing and payload capacities on the market. General Motors' heavy-duty duo can each tow up to 18,000 pounds on a conventional trailer hitch or 23,000 pounds using a bed-mounted fifth wheel. Payload capacity tops out at 7,215 pounds. The closest competitor is the Ford F-Series Super Duty, which is within 500 pounds for towing and 105 pounds for payload capacity. To aid towing, the GM heavy-duty pickups also offer an integrated trailer brake, an exhaust brake, dual rear wheels and 4-wheel drive.
Best Light Truck
Ford F-150 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6
In most barroom bull sessions, admitting that you have a V6 engine in your full-size truck is like saying you wear a skirt. But not when you're talking about Ford's EcoBoost 3.5-liter V6. It can outperform most V8s, churning out 365 horsepower and 420 lb-ft of torque, while delivering 16 mpg city/22 mpg highway. That's less horsepower than the GM 6.2-liter V8, the Ram 5.7-liter Hemi V8 and Ford's own 6.2-liter V8, but the torque numbers are similar and fuel economy is roughly 3 mpg better. Better yet, the EcoBoost is more responsive on the street, delivering quicker acceleration than any other light-truck engine.
Ford F-150 SVT Raptor
With the SVT Raptor, Ford has put the full extent of its off-road engineering knowledge into a single vehicle. This is more than just a standard pickup with a lift kit. It is a fully realized off-roader in the vein of the pre-runner trucks used to scout courses before off-road races. Ford engineers widened the F-150 by 7 inches, which helped them increase suspension travel. That travel, 11.2 inches up front and 13.4 inches in the rear, lets the Raptor clear extreme obstacles while maintaining traction. Fox Racing shocks handle hard off-road impacts, and the stability control system is tuned for off-road demands.
Must-See on MSN
MAN WITH A BOOK
SO the toyota has a more heavy duty suspension than a ford
good to know because i use a truck for WORK
For everyone slamming trucks saying there not needed with all the bells and whistles, shut up and go back to your desk job. For those of us that have jobs that require having a truck this was a good article. As a small business owner I like my 2500HD silverado crew cab. I need to be able to haul my employees and equipment and I can get it all in ONE truck. A much better option than 2-3 smaller trucks with several payments and 3x the gas and insurance payments. It also doubles as an office since I don't want people in my home disturbing my family at 6 am and I don't need to rent a building. For those of us that use our trucks as mobile job sites this article went into all the research I did before choosing my truck. It serves my business well and I save money in the long run.
Nice Ford commercial! They must pay alot in advertising to MSN. It's always funny to me how one sided you guy's are.
I have owned numerous Ford's, Chevy's and Toyota's. All of my Toyota's were built in America, most of my Ford's are built in Mexico, so don't believe the built in America bull from the blue oval.
The Ford's are piles that the company won't stand by, nothing but problems, look up the 3.6 diesel and all it's know problems from everyone except Ford.
The Chevy's were pretty solid, no big problems, great ride but a the interior's fell apart a bit prematurely.
The Toyota's are still by far the least problematic, rarely there was an issue but the ride was not a plush as the Chevy's.
If I were to buy for reliability, it's the Toyota hands down.
If I were to buy for ride, it's the Chevy.
If I were to buy to waste money, it Ford.
Toyota Tundra built in Texas and 6 years runningJD powers America most reliable truck. ABC built in America says over 80%, compare anyone of these to that....
Chevy built in Canada
Dodge built in Mexico
Ford built in Mexico