People have long used their pickups as all-purpose transportation, and the truck market has grown to accommodate a wide range of buyers. Most brands offer everything from a stripped-down work truck to leather- and woodgrain-trimmed rolling luxury suites with advanced safety and entertainment tech.
All of that can make it hard to decide on which truck is best for your needs. The days of being a one-brand buyer are (or should be) long gone. It’s hard to buy a bad truck from any manufacturer, but some are more recently updated and more advanced than others.
Here’s how we rank them:
Ram’s redesign of the 1500 for the 2019 model year is one for the ages. The Ram has the best interior, the most forward-looking tech, and the most tolerable daily-driving characteristics of any truck on our list.
You should buy if: You use your truck as an “only vehicle” and want serious creature comforts.
Ford’s F-150 runs a close second to the Ram. Despite outselling every other truck on our list (and every other vehicle in general), the F-150 just misses on tech and comfort features. The available 3.0-liter Powerstroke engine is a true gem, though, and is easily the most refined diesel truck engine on the market today.
You should buy if: You want a high level of customization in your truck and value the Ford nameplate.
The Sierra edges out its Chevy counterpart here for a few reasons: The MultiPro tailgate makes the bed much more usable for different kinds of cargo, the available carbon fiber box is one of the most innovative in the segment, and the Sierra’s grille is more friendly to the eye.
You should buy if: You’re ready to graduate from a more basic Chevrolet or GMC truck and want a future-ready workhorse.
There are lots of things to like about the Chevy’s redesign, but the rough ride and busy grille won’t be for everyone. Don’t shy away from the four-cylinder engine because you might think it doesn’t offer enough power – it’s quite capable.
You should buy if: You want a basic work truck or a larger bed without buying a huge pickup to go with it.
There’s nothing objectively wrong with the Titan, but it’s lacking the innovative features that Ram, Ford, and GM have jammed into their newest trucks. In comparison to its Japanese counterpart he Titan has more standard features and more modern tech than the Toyota, though, with things like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto in every truck.
You should buy if: You value a long warranty and want a base model truck with at least a few upscale features.
The Tundra beats the Titan on predicted reliability only. Both trucks are in serious need of an update to bring them anywhere near the domestic trucks’ technology, comfort features, and capabilities.
You should buy if: You trust the Toyota name over all else, or if you want a Tacoma but need a bigger truck.
The Ram 1500 is all-new for 2019 and has earned mountains of praise from critics and buyers alike. The new truck has a seriously luxurious interior, improved handling, and innovative powertrain options that conserve fuel while maintaining the truck-like capability buyers expect. The Ram is available with new eTorque engines, which combine a mild hybrid with either the standard V6 or optional Hemi V8 to increase fuel economy. At the top end of the Ram lineup, the Limited trim comes equipped with a 12-inch infotainment screen, a panoramic roof, and an interior that rivals many European luxury sedans. Depending on the powertrain configuration, the Ram 1500 can two up to 12,750 pounds – one of the best on our list.
Ford’s F-150 is the country’s best-seller for a reason: It’s one of the best vehicles of any type available for purchase today. It’s also available in a wide variety of powertrain and trim combinations to appeal to buyers of all kinds. This high level of customization, coupled with the F-150’s innovative all-aluminum bed and fuel-efficient turbocharged engines, has helped keep Ford on top of the truck game. The F-150 also comes in a dune-destroying Raptor model that has a high-output EcoBoost V6 and performance suspension parts.
The GMC Sierra is a corporate cousin to Chevy’s Silverado and has also gotten a redesign for the 2019 model year. The Sierra has long been regarded as just a fancier version of its Chevrolet counterpart, but the new truck has some new tricks that are all its own. The Sierra can now be ordered with a carbon fiber cargo box, adaptive dampers, and a larger new grille that is much different than the Silverado’s busy “stacked” grille. Where Chevrolet replaced the 285-horsepower 4.3-liter V6 with a surprisingly capable four-cylinder, GMC stuck to its guns with the larger engine. As with the Silverado, the Sierra is available with the 5.3-liter V8 and cylinder deactivation via GM’s Dynamic Fuel Management system. An off-road package is available here as well, called the AT4, which includes a mild lift, darkened exterior trim, a two-speed transfer case, and standard 18-inch wheels.
The Chevrolet Silverado was completely redesigned for 2019 to be bigger and lighter, though the new look has been polarizing. The Silverado’s bed has been updated as well and is wider than previous models with high-strength steel and an optional power tailgate. The truck is available with two new gas V8 engines that are equipped with cylinder deactivation to increase fuel economy and can also be ordered with a 310-horsepower turbocharged 2.7-liter four-cylinder engine. Like the F-150, the Silverado comes in off-road-ready models called the Trailboss, which adds a 2-inch lift and the Z71 Off Road package that includes a locking rear differential, upgraded shocks, and 18-inch wheels with Goodyear DuraTrac tires.
The Nissan Titan has had a difficult time finding traction in the pickup market, despite offering many of the same features that its bigger-name rivals have built their reputations on. The Titan comes standard with a 5.6-liter V8 that has 390 horsepower, and while its max towing capacity of 9,660 pounds is the lowest on our list, it’s more than many owners will ever use. Nissan offers a Titan XD, which is more capable, but not quite heavy-duty enough to compete with the Ford SuperDuty or Chevrolet Silverado HD trucks on towing and payload. To compete with off-road capable offerings from other brands, the Titan is also available in a Pro-4X version that includes upgraded shocks and body components. The Nissan comes standard with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capabilities, comfortable Zero-Gravity seats, and a roomy interior.
The Toyota Tundra built its name on reliability and capability, and not much has changed since the truck was last redesigned for the 2014 model year. Toyota added its Safety Sense-P features to the truck for 2018, which included forward collision warnings and automatic high beams. The most noteworthy update for 2019 is the return of a TRD Pro Off-Road model, which has Fox shocks, 18-inch BBS wheels with all-terrain tires, a TRD exhaust, and other appearance changes. The Tundra line has only two available engine choices: a 310-horsepower 4.6-liter V8 and a 381-horsepower 5.7-liter V8. Both engines come with a six-speed automatic transmission and provide between 6,800 and 10,500 pounds of towing capability.