Trailer hauling or family hauling, the full-size pickup segment delivers more than you asked for with hot new tech alongside supreme capability.
The full-size pickup truck segment is the most popular in America. With luxury appointments like massaging seats, the latest in tech like semi-autonomous driving, and innovative utility features like multi-function tailgates, the once humble pickup is today’s end-all-be-all vehicle. Whether you’re wanting to tow over 10,000 lbs, pull out a tree stump, or just make the next Home Depot run, these trucks have you covered. With a breadth of trims and heaps of features and options, buyers can find whatever they need in a pickup, whether that’s a bare-bones work truck or the most tricked-out semi-luxury hauler. Below we rank the best half-ton pickups, highlighting their strengths and shortcomings to best inform your next truck-buying decision.
Lots of standard driver aids
Remote climate control
Strong base motor
Few standard creature comforts
Needs a more potent motor option
PRO-4X barely upgrades off-road creds
Feels left behind versus competition
$41,495 - $60,465
BEST FUEL ECONOMY
16 City / 21 Hwy (MPG)
The Nissan Titan is a good truck in a segment of great ones. Limited towing and payload hurt it on utility while a middling interior fails to impress much either, perhaps an overdue update could revitalize one of the segment’s more tired offerings. One of the Titan’s weak points is the lack of powertrain options. The 5.6L V8 is serviceable, with 400 horsepower and 413 lb-ft of torque, but other trucks offer more to choose from. A 9,000-lbs tow rating and just 1,700 lbs for payload has the Titan distinctly behind the competition. Inside, the Titan’s comfortable seats are a highlight while an aging design and abundant hard plastics disappoint. Infotainment is housed in small(ish) screens that max out at nine inches, but that might be the perfect size for many buyers.
The Titan’s extensive list of standard safety features is a highlight and includes blind spot monitoring and front and rear parking sensors, frequent upcharges on other trucks on our list. The Titan S starts at $39,700, higher than other base models, but also offers better features like Apple CarPlay/Android Auto and those standard safety items. The top trim Platinum Reserve tallies to $60,465 and comes with two-tone paint, leather upholstery, and a Fender audio system among its list of features. In the end, the Nissan Titan is a decent enough truck, but that’s not often enough in this competitive segment.
Smoth, peppy powertrain
Composite bed limits dents
Hybrid powertrain option available
Poor fuel economy for a V6 with hybrid option
Should have a trick tailgate like competitors
Not as much towing and payload as competition
Better than the old model, but still needs improvement
$39,915 - $77,940
BEST FUEL ECONOMY
18 City / 24 Hwy (MPG)
A newly revamped Toyota Tundra offers new looks and new powertrains to entice new converts. High on durability and reliability, the Tundra comes in behind competitors when it comes to payload and fancy luxury features. Under the hood is a new turbocharged 3.4L V6 replaced the old V8, making a respectable 348 horsepower. A new hybrid version bumps up to 437 horse and 583 lb-ft of torque. Fuel economy, however, doesn’t improve much with just a slight gain of 2 mpg for 22 combined. The Tundra is rated to tow up to 12,000 lbs, behind the competition but not by much. Payload is more disappointing at just 1,940 lbs.
The Tundra’s new interior ups the material quality, offering some swanky touches at higher trims. Overall, the Tundra’s cabin leans toward rugged durability and breezy functionality over the opulence of other trucks on this list. The Tundra offers a good collection of standard safety features like adaptive cruiser control and lane-departure warnings. The entry-level SR trim starts a bit higher than other base models at $39,915 but is also better equipped as a result. The off-road TRD-Pro is spendy as well at $71,215 but comes loaded with FOX shocks, skid plates, and much more. The Capstone appropriately tops off things with walnut trim, a 10-inch heads-up display, and a $77,940-dollar price tag. The all-new Toyota Tundra improves on its weaknesses and still commands a loyal following but remains behind the segment’s best offerings.
Great engine choices
Poor fuel economy
Lacking safety equipment
A Silverado trim for every buyer
$34,600 - $73,395
BEST FUEL ECONOMY
23 City / 33 Hwy (MPG)
The “less fancy” GM truck, the Chevrolet Silverado has been making gains in that department and the gap between it and the GMC Sierra has closed considerably of late. Its good looks pair well with the Silverado’s impressively broad list of capabilities and amenities. The Silverado offers four powertrain options starting with a 310-horsepower 2.7L turbocharged four-cylinder. There’s also a 5.3L V8 with 355 horsepower, a new and highly efficient 3.0L turbodiesel option and a 6.2L V8 with 420 horsepower. Towing comes in at a stout 13,300 lbs.
The lower trim WT and Custom trims offer spartan interiors, but the quality jumps noticeably at higher trim levels. Recent updates to the infotainment system make it one of the Silverado’s strong points with an intuitive layout and snappy response time. Chevy recently lowered the entry price for the Silverado WT (work truck) which now starts at $34,600. Up a few trims is the LT, at $52,295, where the diesel engine becomes available as well as the larger 13.4-inch infotainment screen. Top of the heap is the ZR2 at $73,395, the most off-road capable iteration of the Silverado with the 6.2L V8, locking differentials, and 18-inch mud tires. The Silverado is a good truck but lacks the dazzle of the RAM 1500 or the near limitless options for configuration of the Ford F-150.
AT4X is supreme off-road
Limited SuperCruise availability
Needs more safety aids
$38,995 - $83,595
BEST FUEL ECONOMY
24 City / 29 Hwy (MPG)
Third is a great place to be in the competitive full-size pickup segment. In reality, there is extraordinarily little daylight between the top three trucks and the GMC Sierra 1500 certainly doesn’t disappoint. Even as the Silverado continues to creep up in quality, the Sierra continues to be GM’s upscale option with luxury features like adaptive suspension and SuperCruise semi-autonomous driving. The Sierra does not have its TRX/Raptor equivalent, but it does have the impressive AT4X, their high-end off-road oriented trim. The Sierra offers the option of four different powertrains (the same as the Silverado). The base is a surprisingly powerful 2.7L turbocharged four-cylinder making 310 horsepower and 348 lb-ft of torque. For most buyers, the default will be the 5.3L V8 with 355 horsepower. A 3.0L turbodiesel is also available offering 480 lb-ft of torque and 26 combined mpg. The top-of-the-line engine is a 6.2L V8 with 420 horsepower. Towing comes in at a stout 13,200 lbs.
The GMC Sierra makes a good case for the best-looking interior of any pickup truck. Comfort and style blend perfectly without any sacrifice to functionality. The optional 13.4-inch touchscreen is the largest in the segment. Standard safety features are generous, but GM’s advanced SuperCruise semi-autonomous driving feature is relegated to the Denali Ultimate trim only. Trims start out with the Sierra Pro at $38,995 which is one of the better equipped base models in the segment. At the opposite end of the spectrum is the Denali Ultimate, at $82,495, which is packed with the latest tech and luxury features. The excellent entry-level Pro trim and the Denali Ultimate and a swath of trims between mean the Sierra can be the best option for either the frugal or the frivolous truck buyer.
Existence of the TRX
Smooth-riding air suspension
Few standard driver aids
Pathetic TRX fuel economy
Everything is extra
Simply an excellent truck
$39,305 - $86,250
BEST FUEL ECONOMY
14 City / 22 Hwy (MPG)
The RAM 1500 comes in a close second place among full-size trucks this year. With plentiful powertrains, a fantastic interior, and the smoothest ride of any full-size pickup, the RAM 1500 easily distinguishes itself from the crowd. Those powertrain options start off with a pair of mild-hybrid assisted engines (eTorque): a 3.6L V6 good for 305 horsepower and a 5.7L V8 with 395 horsepower. RAM says 2023 will be the final year for the highly efficient 3.0L turbodiesel. The apex-predator TRX gets its very own 6.2L V8 with 702 horses. The Ram 1500’s 12,750-lbs of towing capacity is slightly less than the GM and Ford trucks but is still impressive. The diesel engine provides the best fuel economy at 21 city and 29 highway while the TRX offers a laughable but predictable 12 mpg combined.
The RAM 1500s cabin abuts luxury offerings with a stellar interior full of creature comforts and conveniences. Impressive material quality, smart and attractive designs, and tons of space and storage options make the RAM 1500 a superior daily driver. Infotainment is housed in either a 5-, 8.4-, or 12-inch touchscreen. The operating system here is not as responsive or as intuitive as those from GM and Ford, but available Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compensate. The RAM 1500 skips on standard safety features (just a mandatory rearview camera for their work truck), leaving a host of advanced safety features like lane-keep assist and adaptive cruise control as add-ons. Trims start with the Tradesman work truck at $39,305, rise to trims like the off-road Rebel at $55,285, the high-end Limited at $65,695, and the supercharged silliness of the TRX at $86,250. The RAM 1500 is a fantastic truck offering potent powertrains, an impressive interior, and class-leading ride quality.
Efficient hybrid powertrain
Still has a regular cab
Big price spikes this year
The good stuff is expensive
Time to ditch the leaf springs
The Alpha pickup truck
$35,590 - $86,805
BEST FUEL ECONOMY
19 City / 24 Hwy (MPG)
For the one pickup to rule them all, there’s the best-selling-for-a-reason Ford F-150. Whether you’re looking for a bare-bones work truck or a semi-luxury hauler or a fire-breathing baja truck, the F-150 has an option for you. The F-150s configurability begins with seven different powertrain options ranging from the base 290 horsepower 3.3L V6 to the 430-horsepower hybrid to the twin-turbo 3.5L V6 and its 450 horses. Topping things off is the Raptor R-exclusive supercharged 5.2L V8 good for a thunderous 700 horsepower. Of course, these powertrains are complimented by a selection of utility options that include items like trailer sway control and onboard scales to avoid overloading. Towing capacity is class-leading at a maximum 14,000 lbs when properly outfitted. Fuel economy runs the gamut from the abysmally inefficient Raptor R and its 10-city mpg to the hybrid with its 25 combined mpg.
The F-150’s interior likewise shines, offering an equally capacious and functional cabin featuring high-quality materials and a solid fit and finish. Our favorite detail is the folding gear selector, allowing for a large flat worksurface on-the-go. Ford recently upgraded the F-150’s infotainment system to their latest Sync4 which provides crisp graphics, good response time, and easy navigation. The F-150 offers a good cross-section of standard and available advanced safety features. Most compelling of these is their semi-autonomous driving system, BlueCruise, available on the King Ranch and above trims. Speaking of trims, the F-150 has eight and starts out at $35,590 with the XL trim and ascends to trims like the off-road focused Tremor, the lux-level King Ranch, the wild Raptor, and the pinnacle Limited which starts at $86,805. With eight trims, seven powertrains, three bed sizes, and three cab configurations to choose from, there’s almost certain a Ford F-150 to suit your needs and your budget.