The world of pickup trucks has come an incredibly long way. It has also evolved into many categories from single cab and double cab to mid-sized. Even luxury pickup trucks are a thing now. It is not all rainbows and sunshine though since not everything these car manufacturers come up with is a gift from the heavens. Being the intelligent creatures we are, enthusiasts such as ourselves tend to nitpick every single aspect of the vehicle.
Despite all the progress we've achieved through years of trial and error, there are still some pickup trucks that we are not particularly proud of stylistically or otherwise. We have seen many awful truck modifications such as rolling coal, fake snorkels, massive chrome rims, and a lot more but this list contains pickup trucks that come straight from the factory, with a styling mess. The people behind these should at least feel the slightest pang of shame. Some of these will probably leave you scratching for an itch you can't find. What’s even worse is that some of the companies in this list are well renown for making amazing pickup trucks.
Granted, some of the trucks in this list are pure performance machines. But that grunt came with a major loss of aesthetic value. But does that really matter? That’s left for you to judge – right after you are through with this list.
18 Isuzu D-Max compact
We all probably know very well how Japan can get really functional (borderline tasteless) with their cars, especially the mundane ones. The Isuzu D-Max is a work truck by blood, but it was never meant to woo anyone and it certainly was not designed to be a head turner. Nevertheless, the nifty people in the land of the rising sun could have done a lot better giving the D-max some personality. It is noteworthy that this truck shares the same platform as some of the mid-sized pickup trucks in General Motors' (GM) lineup. Probably the only edge this truck has over its competition is its price.
17 Daihatsu Hijet
All the way to the other side of the world, these little, practical, genuinely ugly cars exist. Now, there are many brands who offer this kind of truck. The use of the Daihatsu Hijet and other similar vehicles is solely functional without the slightest thought into aesthetics and aerodynamics (not that some aero would be effective at the speeds this “truck” is capable of). Most of these that were shipped outside of Japan were cut in half and welded back into shape then sold as cheap as they could get. This makes them extremely affordable for the working class in the third world economies around neighboring countries.
16 Honda Ridgeline
When you think of Honda, you think of 9,000 rpm red line, you think of the K20A and B Series engines, you think of lightweight, front wheel drive, naturally aspirated, fun little cars. Never will the Ridgeline come to mind. First of all, styling is sort of confusing at best and absolutely mediocre at worst. Fine, we will give credit where it is due. It is ranked first among many lists for the best compact pickup truck, but it is because of things other than looks. If you are the type of person to roll in your satisfactory truck then be our guest.
15 Mitsubishi Triton
The Mitsubishi Triton (otherwise known as the Strada in some areas), is selling just fine being the only pickup truck in Mitsubishi’s lineup. Despite this, people have mixed reactions about how it looks. Some say it comes off as trying hard while others say that the Triton is just following the path in which the industry is slowly leaning towards. No matter which side of the argument you are with, we can all agree that the previous generation of the Triton probably looked a tad better. We just hope they won’t remake the legendary Lancer Evolution into a pickup truck.
14 Nissan Frontier
What is up with that front grille? Some owners absolutely love the front look of the Nissan Frontier but many of us beg to differ. It is simply not our cup of tea. Among the compact pickup trucks sold in North America, the Frontier is probably the one which has undergone the least amount of updates. If you ask anyone on the street what they think about the overall look of it, they will probably say it was designed in the early 2000s. Even the GTR needs a little update – it has been looking like the same old Godzilla from more than a decade ago.
13 Toyota Hilux
Toyota is known around the world for building some of the most reliable and functional cars out there. Too bad this list is not for those attributes. One might argue that the Toyota Hilux is the subtlest looking pickup truck from its segment. It appears simple and plain but that is just about it. There is no wow factor to it or a major selling point in its façade whatsoever. Aside from the mildly disappointing looks, it seems the engineers at Toyota have yet to fix whatever was wrong with all units of the Hilux that makes this truck fail in the moose test.
12 Fiat Fullback
Italian cars should always be flamboyant and bombastic. Unfortunately, Fiat neither has the guts nor the resources to pull off such an undertaking. This led to the creation of the Fiat Fullback. But we backtrack again to Fiat’s inadequate assets which is the reason why it shares the same platform as the Mitsubishi Triton. There is nothing brutally wrong with the Fullback except that it does not offer anything in the way of inspiration. Pair this with the fact that they even copied a Japanese pickup truck, then you have one disappointing vehicle. We just wish Fiat would have added a little more enthusiasm into the mix.
11 GMC Canyon
In recent years, the demand for compact pickup trucks has been steadily on the rise and every single car maker has been looking to get their own piece of the pie. The GMC Canyon is one such creation to fill in the segment. However, it wasn't quite well received by critics much to the dismay of the stakeholders of GMC given their financial conundrum as they badly needed a boost in revenue. Sad to say there isn't much flavor to the 2019 Canyon's exterior but many positive aspects of the truck kind of puts the ball back in GMC's court. It has good gas mileage too which is always a plus.
10 Chevrolet Colorado
Chevrolet's take on the compact pickup truck comes in the form of the Colorado. Although popular in many parts of the globe where it is sold, the Colorado has a really safe and compromising approach to style. It is neither ugly nor good looking which might float the boat of some people who do not give a flying squirrel about how their vehicles look. But that will not be alright for the majority in the car community. We prefer our pickup trucks with a little spice and character. We are sorry Chevrolet, but better luck next time when you update the Colorado.
9 Nissan Titan
The Nissan Titan is one decent looking pickup truck so why do we have it on this list, you ask? Well, it is because it has followed in the footsteps of its competitors in the segment, which has saturated the full-sized pickup truck market into everything having exactly the same quirks and features but with different badges. It simply does not stand out, not even a bit. Nissan was on a bit of a roll in their truck building game and it would have been great if the Nissan Titan got more of an edge over its rivals such as the GMC Sierra, and the Toyota Tacoma to name a couple.
8 Mazda BT-50
The latest generations of the Mazda 3, Mazda 6, CX 7, and everything else in the Mazda lineup including the beloved Miata have an analogous design language. All of them actually look great and the proportions are spot on. However, the same aesthetic cues on a pickup truck might not be the best of ideas. Pair this analogy with the fact that all of the BT-50’s competitors are selling at a much higher rate than this humble Mazda you will eventually come to the conclusion that things are looking dim for the BT-50. Let’s just remain hopeful though and believe that this new demeanor will click among pickup truck shoppers.
7 Dodge RAM 1500
Full-sized pickup trucks have been the backbone of the United States of America's agriculture industry – from hauling crops to transporting other goods to far-away lands. With that said, the Ram 1500 can definitely tow and haul more than its competitors of the same category. There is not much to say about the Ram 1500 except that it does its job well void of any sense of fun or any excitement. It is simply just another pickup truck that nobody would ever do a double take on and that, my friends, is a sin in and of its own.
6 Holden Ute
We can’t possibly imagine what was going on in the brains of the people who made the Holden Ute possible. Sure, it looks like a more modern Chevrolet El Camino (and we are about 99% sure that the El Camino had a major influence on this one) but it lacks a very important trait that made the old Chevy a huge hit in the car community – charm. The Holden Ute is simply trying to replicate something rather poorly we might add. It is relatively fast, we will give it that, but does it really entice you after one glance and give you excitement?
5 GMC Sierra
Looks like the trip to financial ruin and back did not knock the sense into the GMC executives. The GMC Sierra still looks like a bland pickup truck with modern design cues. What is up with these trucks sold in the land of the free? Many of them sport these massive grilles that have an enormous brand logo on it, it makes the trucks look like they are carrying billboards on the front. It is important to note that the Sierra is no longer a more expensive version of the Chevrolet Silverado – which is nice. At least it has something going on for it.
4 Mercedes-Benz X-Class
A pickup truck is not exactly something that would be a status symbol. Even a truck with a Mercedes-Benz badge will not imbue you with the feeling of opulence and luxury – despite it being a double cab truck. We just think that maybe the German giant might be a little in over their heads here as they could not really endow the X-Class with the essence of a true Mercedes. A trip to Brabus might be in store, and it would drastically improve the styling and the overall performance of this pickup truck. We sure hope that this seemingly irredeemable vehicle will be brought into the light.
3 Chevrolet Avalanche
Although the Chevrolet Avalanche has long since been discontinued, it is still selling well in used car lots all around. Its interchangeable platform design between a pickup truck and an SUV was more suited to an SUV, which made the Avalanche sort of awkward as a double cab pickup truck. There were rumors that the Avalanche would make a comeback in the near future. We do not know what this would mean for the other pickup trucks in Chevy’s list of vehicles but we sure hope the updated Avalanche will look a lot better than the old one whose production ended in 2013.
2 Dodge Dakota
Just like the Chevrolet Avalanche, the Dodge Dakota is still selling like ice cream on a hot day in used car dealerships today. Even though the last Dakota that rolled off the production line was way back in 2011, Dodge has since announced that they would bring it back. Objectively, that Dakota is the personification of early-2000s design language when Fast and Furious were still making excellent movies (rest in peace, Paul Walker, you legend). Take that information as you wish but keep in mind that pickup trucks from that era were kind of disordered and the designers were still finding their rhythm.
1 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Hybrid
Yes, we are all for being eco-friendly and taking care of the environment and what not, but this is a pickup truck for Pete’s sake! Generally, hybrids and electric cars are frowned upon in the car community but they get thumbs up from tree huggers and hippies alike – save for Teslas which are at a different pedigree. On a more serious note, kudos to these automobile engineers who are pushing the boundaries of technology to the betterment of the human race. Exterior-wise, the Chevrolet Silverado is a decent looking truck that is in line with the industry standard of how a modern pickup truck should appear. But it’s not at its best as most of us know it to be.
Sources: Autoinfo, Business Insider, Driving.ca, Autoexpress, Autowise