I've had the great fortune to drive most new pickup trucks that come onto the market, so people ask me for buying advice all of the time. But it finally dawned on me that I've never written a buying guide for pickup trucks -- until now.
Of course, pickup trucks come in very different sizes, with three main classes available in the U.S. market:
Despite their name, these are actually the industry's "small" pickup trucks, including such models as the Ranger from Ford (F) - Get Report , the Ridgeline from Honda (HMC) - Get Report , the Frontier from Nissan (NSANY) and the Tacoma from Toyota (TM) - Get Report . But thanks to "size inflation," midsize pickups are about the same dimensions as full-sized trucks were two decades ago.
Toyota has dominated this segment for a decade, but all the other truck makers are coming on strong with recent offerings. I'll address my favorite midsize trucks in a future column.
Full-Size Trucks (Sometimes Called 'Half-Ton' Trucks)
These are the U.S. truck industry's bestsellers. With their large size, they can typically accommodate up to six large adults, around 2,000 pounds of payload and 7,000 to 12,000 pounds of towing capacity.
These are largely the same physical size as full-size trucks, but are beefed up with larger components that allow them to haul and tow much more cargo.
They can typically handle many thousands of pounds of extra weight in their cargo beds, and can also tow approximately 35,000 pounds of stuff. However, many states will require you to have a commercial driver's license to run these.
My Take on the Best and Worst Full-Size Pickups
I'll focus in this column on full-size pickup trucks, as those are what sells best in America. They also tend to grab the headlines, led by the Ford F-150, which has been the bestselling nameplate in the U.S. market for several decades in a row now.
Keep reading for a look in alphabetical order at the models that play in this segment, along with the pros and cons that I've seen in test-driving them all. Base prices refer to manufacturer's suggested retail prices as of July 3 on entry-level 2019 versions of the models listed.
At the time of publication, Wahlman held no positions in the stocks mentioned. However, he regularly attends press conferences, new vehicle launches and equivalent hosted by most major automakers.