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If you’re in the market for a new truck, you’re probably asking yourself, “What’s the best pickup truck to buy?” Here at Orange Coast Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram FIAT, we run our business on honesty and integrity, which is why we’ll tell you that the best pickup truck to buy depends on your needs. As both a new and used pickup dealership, we know a lot about trucks, and we know what questions to ask to help you determine the best truck for your needs. After all, it’s our job.
Trucks usually fall into two categories, full-size or mid-size, and two classifications, light-duty or heavy-duty. Each configuration brings its own unique set of advantages and disadvantages, one of which typically outweighs the other to best suit your driving and lifestyle needs. For example, mid-size trucks typically have smaller cabs and beds that make them more nimble to maneuver in tight areas but less ideal for hauling heavy loads. On the other hand, full-size trucks are great if you need a capable workhorse that can handle everything from highway driving to towing heavy loads.
Which size of truck is right for you, and what brand will you choose? As your used pickup dealer, we’re here to help you narrow down your choices by highlighting the best full-size, mid-size, and heavy-duty trucks on the market. We’ll discuss their versatility and what sets them apart from others on the road. Let’s get started.
Full-size trucks are incredibly versatile because you can tailor them to meet your needs by opting for light-duty models like the Chevy Silverado 1500 or heavy-duty models that offer more power and capability like the Silverado 2500 HD. So, which full-size pickup trucks are the best on the road? Here’s a snapshot of the big three half-tons we love - the Ram 1500, Ford F-150, and Chevy Silverado.
The fifth-generation Ram 1500 made its debut in 2019 and continues to build on Ram’s reputation for building exceptional trucks. The Ram 1500 has earned numerous awards, including 13 consecutive years as Consumer Guide’s Best Buy and a Top Safety Pick from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. These honors are well earned with the fifth-generation Ram 1500 boasting an all-new design and interior as well as a suite of innovative technology and safety features that give drivers more confidence behind the wheel.
The Chevy Silverado is America’s fastest-growing brand of trucks and is an icon on American roads. The fourth-generation Silverado is a great full-size option because of its complete redesign that offers a more modern aesthetic both inside and out. For this generation, Chevy reduced the Silverado’s weight by nearly 500 pounds with a new mix of aluminum and steel in the frame. The automaker also stretched the truck to give drivers and passengers more room and cargo space. Considering the truck is also available in eight trims and tons of other configuration options, there’s no question that the Silverado is a dependable workhorse.
Another icon on the road is the Ford F-150. We especially like the eighth generation F-150 because Ford used aluminum body panels to reduce the weight of the truck, which also improved its fuel economy. Also, making the F-150 larger than previous generations, Ford gives drivers several powertrain options as well as plenty of configurations between the regular, crew, and super cab options. Add in the long list of available safety, tech, and convenience upgrades, and it’s easy to see why the F-150 is one of the best and most valuable full-size trucks on the road.
While full-size trucks are bigger and often more powerful, mid-size trucks are smaller workhorses that offer easier maneuverability. Mid-size trucks are great for in-town driving where you have to navigate tight parking areas or busy city streets. They’re also ideal for drivers who don’t need a huge cabin, truck bed, or the capability to haul extremely heavy loads. Because of this and their smaller size, they’re more fuel-efficient and are often more modestly priced. So, which two trucks do we like the best in the mid-size market?
We can’t talk about mid-size trucks without including the Ford Ranger, which is one of the most popular trucks in North America. Briefly discontinued in the mid-2000s, the fourth generation Ranger is back on the road and boasts an all-new front grille and steel bumper that give it an aggressive look. Ford also gives drivers several cab options as well as a five-foot or six-foot bed. Additional features include two-wheel and four-wheel-drive that give drivers the best capability for their needs.
The second-generation Chevy Colorado is our next pick in the mid-size truck class. Replacing the S-10 in 2004, the Colorado holds a special place in the Chevy lineup and is a direct competitor to the Ford Ranger. The second-generation Colorado is a favorite because Chevy completely redesigned the truck across all three trim levels. The more modern design ushered in a sleeker exterior, a more comfortable and feature-packed interior, a larger cabin, and a new off-road package that outfits the Colorado for adventures on the trail.
If your driving needs extend beyond what a full-size truck like the Ram 1500 can offer, then you’ll want to consider heavy-duty pickup trucks. Heavy-duty models like the Ram 2500 HD, Ford F-250 Super Duty, and the Chevy Silverado 3500 HD are known for offering exceptional power, performance, and capability. Of course, this sometimes comes at the cost of a smoother and quieter ride, but even that’s a small price to pay for an incredible workhorse.
The fourth-generation Ford F-250 Super Duty is one of the most powerful heavy-duty trucks on the road, thanks to Ford redesigning its frame to reduce its weight by nearly 800 pounds to deliver better performance and fuel economy. This generation of Super Duty models also sees several improvements to the powertrain lineup as well as a variety of safety and driver-assist features that are designed to increase visibility and minimize the potential for collision, both of which are vital when towing heavy loads. Another thing we love about this generation of the F-250 is that Ford gives drivers plenty of options with trims like the XL, XLT, Lariat, King Ranch, Platinum, and Limited, all of which are available in two-wheel and four-wheel drive.
It’s only fitting to wrap up our list the same way we started it...with Ram. The latest generation Ram 2500 is an excellent purchase if you’re looking for a sturdy and spacious truck that can effortlessly navigate a busy city street or cruise down the highway with a heavy load without breaking a sweat. This capability extends across the 2500’s trims from the base model to the luxurious Laramie Limited, all of which boast a more modern exterior beginning with a new grille and lighting. You also get a plush interior that gives drivers plenty of comfort and convenience, from its spacious seating to its suite of connectivity features that keep drivers connected to their busy lives beyond the road.