In a market that’s oversaturated with pickups, SUVs and crossovers, it’s kind of difficult to pick one such vehicle and say, "here, this one isn’t good." While it might have been easier for an SUV and crossovers—as there are some truly unacceptable ones out there—it’s very difficult to say the same for a pickup. In this Land of Freedom, in this day and age, it’s nearly impossible to find a pickup that’s truly bad. Not that they don’t exist, but we have been so deeply in love with them that any harsh thought about them gets rejected by the brain the moment it originates.
But here, it is somewhat easy because the main character is the Ram. As you might have already known, the Ram is not exactly the best thing on the market. Chrysler is not what it used to be, and it’s going through changes. And these changes are trying times, really. It doesn’t have what a lot of other manufacturers have (businessinsider.com). One bad decision after another has led it in debt in the past, and as you know, if you start heading down that route, it’s insanely difficult to come back, be that at the individual level or corporate level. We all have been down some road that we don’t ever want to visit again.
While we may have options, Chrysler is running out of them. Back in 2016, GM rebuffed it for trying to come under its wings and in 2018, it is at that point where it’s going to have to let go of the slow sellers and seriously consider its future.
20 BEATS RAM: CHEVY SILVERADO 1500
The Silverado is, not surprisingly, a good truck. Right from the get-go, it looks neat and rugged; the front grille looks clean. You have the option of having engines that range from mild to wild. The V8 is strong and refined, meaning the ride is never compromised from that point of view, although the seats are a little hard. The cabin looks good and the infotainment system is intuitive. This car is a fierce rival of the F-150, so that means it has a good build. No Ram is a match for this guy right here. It’s a solid truck through and through, according to JD Power.
19 BEATS RAM: FORD F-150
Ask any kid in this country which pickup s/he would like, and the answer will be “F-150.” Or it might be “The Raptor,” actually because these things are just famous. The look is classic. Ford has been building these trucks since forever and they've been pretty perfect since forever too.
Whether it’s the perfect chassis, excellent reliability, or the awesome MSRP, it’s a good pickup through and through.
You can check out any website, the heart of any car enthusiast in the country, current magazines and what have you, and you’ll find the Ford to be listed at the very top.
18 BEATS RAM: TOYOTA TUNDRA
It’s not the best truck on the market because rivals offer more for the same price, but it’s still more reliable than a Ram. That’s just the nature of a Toyota. The interior is roomy and the standard safety features replete; even the powertrains are in the V8 territory. Yet, the ride is all bumpy and stiff, and the steering wheel requires constant attention on a straightway. The fuel economy is in the sewer and the tech in Tundra hasn’t kept up with modernity. It’s not the best, but it’s doable because of its durability.
17 BEATS RAM: PORSCHE CAYENNE
Here’s another truck that’ll definitely last longer than a Ram, although sometimes I think the comparison becomes a little unfair when we go ahead and compare a luxury, performance SUV with a truck manufacturer that isn’t quite at that level.
All said, Porsche has always done a fantastic job with its products, including the Cayenne.
The exterior styling of the car is solid, the cabin is handsome, and the engine is powerful too. While the fuel economy is not where we’d have wanted it, its reliability is off the charts; it’s a Ram-beating truck.
16 BEATS RAM: TOYOTA TACOMA
This is one of those trucks that look exceptional. Plenty of trucks look good, but the grille of this one is fascinating. Maybe it’s just me, but the hexagonal grille is pretty rugged and fits nicely with the rest of the exterior items, especially the little vent.
Various cab models are available, and the average price is $25K. The rugged beast also has nice off-road capabilities, although that does lead to a tall step-up height.
The infotainment system on this one is easily understood, which is always appreciated by the drivers. As far as the reliability is concerned, it’s a Toyota. Need we say more?
15 BEATS RAM: NISSAN FRONTIER
This is one decent stallion in the mid-size pickup stable. The exterior looks pretty good, as far as looks are concerned. It’s a good tool for the normal stuff, but as C/D mentions, it does lack what some of the big fish offer. The truck is affordable with a sticker price of less than $20K, is available in various configurations and has decent driving dynamics.
But as far as the interior is concerned, it can definitely use an upgrade. Some parts are just obsolete. All that said, the reliability of the truck is top-notch. Indeed, J.D. Power gave it a 5/5.
14 BEATS RAM: BMW X3
When technology gets to the level where a car may have as many as 50 microprocessors, electrical problems are bound to happen, and rather frequently. But somehow, BMW X3 manages to overcome that. This compact luxury SUV is brimming with some of the latest tech features, has an athletic handling and a quick acceleration.
And of course, it looks good, no question there. The ride is as comfortable as the exterior suggests, and the cabin is quite comfortable and easy to use too. US News gave it a whopping 5/5 rating several years ago. The car is going to last for a while, Ram.
13 BEATS RAM: FORD SVT LIGHTNING
Here’s another beast that can beat a Ram in no time and will last longer than a Ram. These things were just magic back in the day. It was a high-performance truck by Ford’s in-house tuner company and was a direct competitor to another legend, the Chevy 454SS.
It had a good amount of power coming out of that V8 and was very capable enough to haul things.
Today, most of them are around $12K with an average of 110K miles. There you go, these trucks not only will last longer than a Ram, but have already been doing so.
12 BEATS RAM: FORD RAPTOR
Here’s another variant of the F-150, the Raptor. It’s a supreme machine, that’s for sure. Check out how mean it looks. It means some serious business for humans and the weather alike. Those tires laugh at winter. Seriously, they crush snow like a road roller crushes… well, anything.
Plus the truck has like 450 horses, which gives it the much-needed speed. Some problems might be the inability to find a garage big enough to fit this, but besides that, it’s a wonderful, durable, Ram-beating truck.
11 BEATS RAM: CHEVY AVALANCHE
Here’s another nice truck, the Avalanche. This one broke the tradition of not being offered by counterpart GM. If you check out the exterior styling of the truck, it looks great. The beauty of these things lies in the ability of the rear wall being docile enough to be folded.
So should your heart desire more space—or more aptly, should your work require more space—you can rest assured it will be there.
That “mid-gate,” as they call it, has various configurations. Plus, the ride is very civilized in the Avalanche, despite the name. It’ll beat a Ram any day.
10 BEATS RAM: LEXUS GX
This one right here is a sweet off-road luxury vehicle. The body of the car looks stunning; rugged too, but with a touch of comeliness. The Spindle grille looks fine, although some of the other vehicles get the other variant of the Spindle grille (talking about the Lexus LC), which does look even more mind-blowing.
Trivialities aside, the GX is a four-wheel drive that behaves best when off the pavement. The price might be a little high at $51K, but the ride is equipped with luxury goodies inside. Being a Lexus, US News had no hesitation giving it a 4.5/5 reliability rating.
9 BEATS RAM: CHEVY COLORADO
The grille of these things looks pretty neat; the rest of the front fascia and the sides are more rugged than ever. Some variants look even more stylish, particularly those that have a hood scoop and a lifted chassis. When you get to the inside of the car, you’ll realize the interior is every bit as smooth as the exterior was. There’s not a single thing you can reasonably complain about.
The seats are good-looking, the infotainment system is responsive, and the cabin layout is striking. The sticker price is also good at just a little north of $20K. Yes, it definitely beats a Ram.
8 BEATS RAM: GMC CANYON
Here’s the corporate cousin of the Chevy Colorado. As far as the exterior is concerned, it looks a little different from that of the Colorado. The grille of the Canyon is a bit wider and has more vertical slits. But besides that, they look about the same.
The charisma of the Canyon comes from its ability to provide potential customers with various features and options.
There are two drivetrain options, several trims and various deluxe optional features, like forward-collision warning and lane-departure warning. The interior is always a bit nicer, which will appeal to few. Of course, price is notably higher too.
7 BEATS RAM: FORD EXPLORER
Here’s another beast that’s still a good contender. This is actually the beast that started this whole craze, although if we are being particular, it should be noted that the SUV craze has slowed down; it’s the crossover craze that’s still running about as high as a fever in the danger zone. The exterior looks pretty well done, and it wouldn’t be wrong to say it’s somewhat luxurious. The interior is done well and, when it comes to the powertrain, there are various options to choose from.
While the story of the first generation Explorer is different, the current generation definitely beats a Ram in reliability.
6 BEATS RAM: TOYOTA HILUX
What’s there not to like about a pickup that you can’t have here in the US? This thing was a beast and is still a beast. It’s the most popular pickup in Europe and, thanks to Jeremy Clarkson, is one of the most iconic pickups in the world.
If you’re unfamiliar with the story, let me clue you in. Clarkson tested out its durability in one of the episodes of Top Gear, and it wasn’t until he lit the thing on fire that it kind of stopped working. But everything short of fire didn't phase it: water, sand, bangs, massive dents, assaults, etc.
5 BEATEN BY RAM: RANGE ROVER SPORT
This thing looks fabulous, all majestic. The way it’s designed is just one piece of art. The beauty shines through and through, particularly if you get one in contrasting colors. The way the upper half is designed is just amazing and looks all sporty.
However, the price is just way out of this world too. A whopping $87K, that’s what it costs to get a 2018 Land Rover Range Rover Sport.
While the performance is nice with a good engine, JD Power would argue otherwise for the reliability. Worse yet, Consumer Reports didn’t hesitate to give it a dismissive 1/5 stars. It’s an ongoing issue that the car manufacturer needs to deal with.
4 BEATEN BY RAM: CHEVY SSR
While it may not look the part, it certainly was classified as a pickup truck. Built from 2003-2006, the car—ahem—pickup didn’t exactly put a smile on our faces. The early years saw the 5.3L, 300-HP V8 with a decent performance, while the later years saw even more horses with an LS2 (Corvette) V8. A manual transmission was offered. It certainly didn’t meet the expectations. While the manufacturer thought it could pull off selling a decent number of these, sales fell below expectations. The price was heavy; the time was not right. A Ram definitely lasts longer than this.
3 BEATEN BY RAM: HUMMER H2 SUT
Ah, here comes the Hummer, the H2 SUT, more specifically. I saw one of these on the highway. Well, it wasn’t exactly a Hummer as much as the actual regular-cab Humvee. It didn’t have any license plates or anything like that, and I was near a military base, so it was likely a military vehicle. Indeed, the color of the vehicle looked the part.
Anyway, while the first-gen Hummers were beasts and consequently sold like beasts, the second-gen was just a little too soft in capabilities despite the rock-hard exterior. It might physically look sturdier than a Ram, but it won’t work longer than a Ram.
2 BEATEN BY RAM: VOLVO XC90
This is one handsome vehicle. I was always fascinated by the grille of this car, which with the headlights, looked totally boss. The rest of the exterior was nicely designed too. As smooth as the exterior looks, equally suave is the interior, brimming with posh items. It even has a list of safety features and earns good safety scores.
So what’s the problem? Well, it’s all electric. While BMW managed to pull it off decently well, the XC90 lineup of Volvo didn’t. USA Today cites various concerns over the electronics, power equipment and electrical system. It won’t last a long time.
1 BEATEN BY RAM: 2004-2006 NISSAN TITAN
While Nissan has been in the game for a long time now, some model years did trouble Nissan. The 2004-2006 Titans had some issues which, although not recall-worthy, were still a persistent issue for the owners. The problem with these trucks was in the loose sealing, which caused oil leaks, and that’s never a good thing in any car, period.
It’s really hard to get beaten by the Ram, but the Titan managed to do it.
Because of the old age, outdated technology and old looks, the Titan is out of fashion. If you’re entertaining the idea of buying this, consider again.
Sources: cars.usnews.com, jdpower.com, motor-junkie.com