Automotive trends may come and go, but pickup trucks will always be there no matter what. If you are a true car enthusiast, you know that trucks stand out from the rest for very good reasons.
For starters, a truck almost always has good off-road capability. That means it can readily rough it as much as it can cruise around the city. At the same time, pickup trucks are always designed with a hefty engine, something that is capable of churning out pretty impressive horsepower and torque. Because of this, you can certainly expect a truck to be capable of towing a lot. In fact, in some cases, it can effortlessly pull a boat or an entire trailer. Meanwhile, all that space in the cargo bed means you can fit just about anything. And if you want, you can even throw your own tailgate party in the back.
Aside from these, trucks also carry a certain appeal. It doesn’t matter how old you are or what your profession is. Having a truck tells the world that you mean business. Driving a truck tells everyone it’s best not to mess with you.
For all these reasons and more, trucks are certainly here to stay in the market. Not only that, the demand for truck continues to grow. In fact, a recent report from Seeking Alpha revealed that the truck market in the U.S. grew by as much as four percent during the first nine months of 2018. Meanwhile, the market for midsize trucks grew by an impressive 18 percent.
Convinced you need to own a pickup truck yourself? Well, we’ve listed down 10 models you should consider along with another 10 that you should avoid in 2018.
20 Best: Toyota Tacoma
The Toyota Tacoma is recognized as one of the most reliable trucks around today. This is probably why it became Toyota’s best-selling truck for 2017, according to a report from the website Carmax.
The 2018 Tacoma is available with two engine options. The first is a 2.7-liter 16-valve four-cylinder engine that can churn out as much as 159 horsepower at 5,200 rpm and 180 pound-feet of torque at 3,800 rpm. On the other hand, there are also variants that come with a 3.5-liter V6 engine with VVTI that can deliver as much as 278 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 265 pound-feet of torque at 4,600 rpm.
19 Best: Toyota Tundra
The Toyota Tundra is another good truck option if you are looking for something with a relatively low starting price.
For the 2018 Tundra, you get two engine options, depending on the variant that you choose. The first one is a 4.6-liter V8 engine with dual independent VVTI that can readily deliver as much as 310 horsepower at 5,600 rpm and 327 pound-feet of torque at 3,400 rpm. Meanwhile, there is also the more powerful 5.7-liter V8 engine with dual independent VVTI that can deliver 381 horsepower at 5,600 rpm and 401 pound-feet of torque at 3,600 rpm. The 2018 Tundra has a starting price of $31,320.
18 Best: Honda Ridgeline
The Honda Ridgeline is another good option if you are in the market for a midsize pickup truck.
Under the hood of the 2018 model is a 3.5-liter V6 engine that can readily rev up to 280 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and achieve 262 pound-feet of torque at 4,700 rpm. It has an estimated fuel efficiency rating of 19 miles per gallon in the city and 26 miles per gallon on the highway.
Meanwhile, this truck comes with several optional safety features, including front automated emergency braking, automatic high beams, blind spot monitor, forward-collision warning, lane-departure warning, and many others.
The 2018 Ridgeline has a starting price of $30,725, according to a report from Car and Driver.
17 Best: Chevrolet Silverado 1500
As you may have guessed, this list would not be complete without the ever-reliable Chevrolet Silverado 1500. Over the years, it’s proven to be a good truck thanks mainly to its performance capabilities.
For the 2018 Silverado 1500, you get three engine options. First up is the 4.3-liter V6 engine that can deliver as much as 285 horsepower at 5,300 rpm and 305 pound-feet of torque at 3,900 rpm. Aside from this, there is also an option for a 5.3-liter V8 engine that can churn out 355 horsepower at 5,600 rpm and 383 pound-feet of torque at 4,100 rpm. And last but not the east, there is the 6.2-liter V8 engine that can easily produce 420 horsepower at 5,600 rpm and 460 pound-feet of torque at 4,100 rpm.
16 Best: Chevrolet Colorado
Another ever-reliable truck from Chevrolet is the Colorado. It also happens to be the cheapest truck model that the carmaker has to offer.
For the 2018 Colorado, you get two main engine choices. The first one is the 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that could easily produce 200 horsepower at 6,300 rpm and 191 pound-feet of torque at 4,400 rpm. Meanwhile, there is also a 3.6-liter V6 engine that could deliver 308 horsepower at 6,800 rpm and 275 pound-feet of torque at 4,000 rpm. On the other hand, there is also an option for a 2.8-liter turbo diesel engine that can deliver 181 horsepower at 3,400 rpm and 369 pound-feet of torque at 2,000 rpm.
15 Best: Dodge Ram 1500
The Dodge Ram 1500 is an award-winning truck that you should pay more attention to. In fact, it was named the 2018 Luxury Pickup Truck of Texas by the Texas Auto Writers Association. Meanwhile, it has also been a recipient of Consumer Guide’s Best Buy Award for six years in a row.
For the 2018 Ram 1500, you get three engine choices. First up is the 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V6 engine that can deliver 240 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque. Meanwhile, there is also the 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 engine that can produce 305 horsepower and 269 pound-feet of torque. Finally, there is the 5.7-liter HEMI V8 engine that can deliver as much as 395 horsepower and 410 pound-feet of torque.
14 Best: Ford F-250
The Ford F-250 is a super duty pickup truck that has consistently received good ratings and reviews.
Under the hood of the 2018 Ford F-250 is a 6.7-liter Power Stroke V8 turbo diesel engine that can easily deliver 450 horsepower at 2,800 rpm and 935 pound-feet of torque at 1,800 rpm. It also has a maximum conventional towing capacity of 21,000 pounds, a maximum fifth-wheel towing capacity of 27,500 pounds and a maximum gooseneck towing capacity of 34,000 pounds. Meanwhile, it has a maximum payload capacity of 7,630 pounds.
Of the variants, the 2018 F-250 XL comes with the lowest starting price of $33,150.
13 Best: Ford F-350
If you are looking for something that’s slightly bigger than the Ford F-250, then the F-350 can be a good choice.
Of the available variants, the 2018 F-350 XL is the cheapest with a starting price of $37,120. Under its hood is a 6.7-liter Power Stroke V8 turbo diesel engine that could readily produce as much as 450 horsepower at 2,800 rpm and 935 pound-feet of torque at 1,800 rpm.
Meanwhile, 2018 F-350 XL is also equipped with AdvanceTrac with roll stability control and trailer sway control features. There is also an option to get a remote start system, cruise control, rearview camera, and trailer reverse guidance system for the truck.
12 Best: Ford F-450
If the size of the F-350 is still not enough for you, then perhaps you should consider its much bigger brother, the Ford F-450.
For the 2018 models, the variant available with the lowest price is the F-450 XL. This comes with a starting price of $54,560. Under its hood is a 6.7-liter V8 turbo diesel engine that can deliver 450 horsepower at 2,800 rpm and 935 pound-feet of torque at 1,800 rpm.
Some of the 2018 F-450 XL features include tailgate assist, Belt-Minder, AdvanceTrac with roll stability control, SOS Post Crash Alert System, integrated trailer brake controller and more.
11 Best: Hennessey VelociRaptor 6X6
It’s safe to say that the Hennessey VelociRaptor 6X6 is the much better version of the Ford F-150. According to Hennessey, this is a concept that would remain available for 2017 to 2019 models. When you avail of this, you get “the VelociRaptor 600 twin turbo upgrade for the 6X6 for more power and performance.”
Furthermore, the company also remarked, “Our VelociRaptor 6X6 is pure aggression on wheels – all six of them. The new Ford Raptor is going to be one of the best all-around trucks ever built. We are excited to help take it to the next level both in terms of performance and exclusivity.”
In case you’re interested, the starting price for the Hennessey VelociRaptor 6X6 is $349,000.
10 Worst: Nissan Frontier
The Nissan Frontier is a midsize truck that is available in two body styles. It is powered by a 4.6-liter V6 engine that could deliver 261 horsepower at 5,600 rpm. Unfortunately, there are many who feel that this truck is rather unimpressive.
As one reviewer on Edmunds had said, “Everything about the Frontier just felt average at best.” Meanwhile, there is also a complaint regarding the transmission of the 2018 Frontier. A car owner wrote on Consumer Affairs, “Going up hills, the transmission would go into passing gear and bog passing gear bog. Something wasn't shifting correctly.” On the other hand, another 2018 Frontier owner reported a drivetrain issue saying, “I bought a brand new 2018 Frontier SV 4x4 4.0l and noticed a noise when decelerating from 20-15 mph. Brought it in to get looked at and was told it was "normal"????”
9 Worst: Nissan Titan
Don’t get us wrong. The Nissan Titan is a pretty decent truck. However, this is probably not the best choice if you are looking for something that can deliver more of everything.
The Nissan Titan is marketed as a full-size pickup truck. The 2018 model comes with a starting price of $30,030. Under its hood is a 5.6-liter V8 Endurance engine that could produce 390 horsepower at 5,800 rpm and 394 pound-feet of torque at 4,000 rpm.
The specs may seem fine but when compared against other trucks in its class, the Titan seems to fall behind. This becomes more obvious when you look at the Titan’s towing capacity. In fact, its maximum is an unimpressive 9,400 pounds.
8 Worst: GMC Canyon
Unfortunately, 2018 is simply not a good year for the GMC Canyon. In fact, according to a report from Cheat Sheet, this truck has “the poorest reliability ratings a pickup could get.” This is because, in recent years, there have been problems reported regarding the truck’s cabin electronics, fuel system, and transmission.
It also doesn’t help that a recall was issued by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for the 2018 Canyon due to a damaged fuel line that can increase the risk of a fire. According to the recall, “The high-pressure fuel pump may detach from its mounting flange, possibly resulting in the pump damaging the high-pressure fuel line.”
7 Worst: GMC Sierra 1500
The 2018 Sierra 1500 is a pretty straightforward truck. It has a standard 5.3-liter EcoTec3 V6 engine that can produce 355 horsepower at 5,600 rpm and 383 pound-feet of torque at 4,100 rpm. Meanwhile, there is also an available option for a 5.3-liter EcoTec3 V8 eAssist engine and a 6.2-liter EcoTec3 V8 engine.
And while all these may sound good, this truck, unfortunately, also suffers from issues. There is even a reported transmission problem for the 2018 model. According to the review on Edmunds, “Transmission issues from day one and they still can not fix this awful 8 speed. Lifters on the right bank were replaced after one bent at 6k miles. This truck is nothing short of junk..”
6 Worst: GMC Sierra 2500HD
Another GMC truck that takes a hit with low reliability rating is the Sierra 2500 HD. And with a starting price of $34,940, it’s easy to assume that car buyers simply believe they deserve better.
The 2018 Sierra 2500HD comes with a standard 6.0-liter Vortec C8 SFI engine that can deliver as much as 360 horsepower at 5,400 rpm and 380 pound-feet of torque at 4,200 rpm. It also has a maximum conventional trailering capacity of 14,500 pounds and a maximum payload of 3,534 pounds.
All these specs may sound good, but the Sierra 2500 HD has been experiencing problems. According to Repair Pal, this truck has had engine, electrical, drive train, brake, heating, and air conditioning issues over the years.
5 Worst: Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD
The Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD has been a popular truck for years. For its 2018 model, the truck has been fitted with a standard 6.0-liter Vortec V8 SFI engine. It can deliver as much as 360 horsepower at 5,400 rpm and 380 pound-feet of torque at 4,200 rpm. On the other hand, there is also an available 6.6-liter Duramax turbo-diesel V8 engine. This one can produce as much as 445 horsepower at 2,800 rpm and an impressive 910 pound-feet of torque at 1,600 rpm.
Unfortunately, the Silverado 2500HD currently ranks low as far as reliability is concerned. This is because of several reported issues. According to a report from Auto Influence, driver visibility is currently a critical concern for anyone who drives this truck. Meanwhile, you may also encounter some issues when it comes to steering and braking.
4 Worst: Ford F-150
Initially, the 2018 Ford F150 sounds pretty promising.
For starters, it comes with several engine options. These include the standard 3.3-liter Ti-VCT V6 engine that could deliver as much as 290 horsepower and 265 pound-feet of torque. Beyond that, you’ve got options for a 2.7-liter EcoBoost V6 engine and 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 engine and a 5.0-liter V8 engine. Meanwhile, the 2018 F-150 also comes with a reasonable starting price of $27,705.
The problem, however, is that there has been a lot of problems associated with the 2018 F-150. In fact, according to the website CarComplaints.com, there have been four reported transmission problems along with two engine problems, one electrical problem, and one steering problem. Not only that, but there are also reported problems regarding the exterior accessories, interior accessories and wheels/hubs.
3 Worst: Dodge Ram 2500
The Dodge Ram 2500 is a truck that is intended for heavy-duty use. Its 2018 comes with several engine options. First up is the 5.7-liter HEMI VVT V8 engine that can produce 383 horsepower and 400 pound-feet of torque. Meanwhile, there is also the 6.4-liter HEMI V8 heavy-duty engine that can crank out 410 horsepower and 429 pound-feet of torque. And finally, there is the 6.7-liter I6 turbo diesel Cummins engine that can deliver 370 horsepower and 800 pound-feet of torque.
While the Ram 2500 truck seems really promising, keep in mind that it has suffered from some issue recently. According to the website CarComplaints.com, there have been reported complaints regarding the fuel system, drivetrain, and brakes for the 2018 model.
2 Worst: Dodge Ram 3500
The Dodge Ram 3500 offers three engine options for its 2018 model. The standard is a 5.7-liter HEMI VVT engine while you have an option to go for a 6.4-liter heavy-duty HEMI V8 engine or a 6.7-liter I6 Cummins turbo diesel engine. Meanwhile, it has a maximum fifth wheel towing capacity of 30,000 pounds and a towing capability of up to 31,210 pounds.
Today, the Ram 3500 has the unfortunate distinction of being one of the least reliable trucks around in the market. Perhaps, this is due to a number of reported problems about the truck by its owners. In fact, these include issues with the transmission, fuel system, suspension, and steering. Meanwhile, many also don’t particularly appreciate the truck’s body integrity.
1 Worst: Mercedes-Benz X-Class
In case you haven’t heard, the luxury automotive brand Mercedes-Benz has also decided to enter the pickup truck market. And so, they introduced the X-Class, a truck that seems to be having trouble with gaining acceptance.
If you must know, the carmaker is pretty excited about this. In fact, Mercedes-Benz Vans head Volker Mornhinweg remarked, “Our future X-Class will be a pickup that knows no compromise. Ladder-type frame, high-torque six-cylinder engine, and permanent all-wheel drive are compulsory for us. As an added value, we bring safety, comfort, agility, and expressive design – in other words, everything that distinguishes vehicles bearing the Mercedes star.”
Unfortunately, it has less power than most trucks. Its 2.3-liter diesel engine can only crank out 187 horsepower and 332 pound-feet of torque.
We know what you’re thinking. Why did Mercedes-Benz ever come up with a truck?
Source: Seeking Alpha, Carmax, Car and Driver, CarComplaints, Auto Influence