- After sampling every truck that we could get our hands on for 2023, there were three that stood out.
- Each has its own take on what a truck should be and can do, but only one will take home the trophy.
- Read on to find out why we picked the Hyundai Santa Cruz, Ford F-150 and Honda Ridgeline as our 2023 finalists for Edmunds Top Rated Truck.
Edmunds Top Rated Truck 2023: The Finalists
Three very different approaches to an age-old formula. Who will come out on top?
There has always been more than one way to build a good truck. The Subaru BRAT and Chevrolet El Camino were oddballs in their day, and while they haven't lasted as long as the venerable Ford F-150, they do serve as proof that trucks can come in all shapes and sizes. The story is much the same with our 2023 finalists for the Edmunds Top Rated Truck award. The F-150 found its way into the ring once more, but it was greeted by two less conventional challengers: the Hyundai Santa Cruz and the Honda Ridgeline. Each brings something distinct to the truckin' table, but only one will take home the trophy. Read on to find out why each of these three unique takes on the truck segment made our top three.
2023 Hyundai Santa Cruz
Mini trucks are making a comeback whether you like it or not. Their actual truck credentials will be called into question by the more ardent truck fans out there, but the Hyundai Santa Cruz is an interesting, useful and genuinely fun alternative to the doldrum of SUVs that populate our roads these days. The Santa Cruz is a finalist because of the way it so easily blends the utility of a pickup in a desirable form. Additionally, it's nowhere near as intimidating to drive as a full-size truck, and while that might not stand out to truck aficionados, the Santa Cruz's approachability brings new buyers into the fold. It's also fun to drive, especially for something based on an SUV, and it offers a punchy 2.5-liter turbocharged engine, optional all-wheel drive, and a load of tech features we want. In short, the Santa Cruz is great however you look at it — the fact that it's a compact truck only sweetens the deal.
2023 Honda Ridgeline
Oh, the Honda Ridgeline. Its transformation from butt-of-every-truck-joke to genuinely enticing pickup has been remarkable, and a recent face-lift means it's good enough to have landed itself a spot as a finalist. The Ridgeline offers many of the same attributes as the Santa Cruz, but in a larger package. It's similarly not intimidating to drive, offers decent V6 power, is surprisingly comfortable, and has Honda's reputation for reliability behind it. We also appreciated its abundance of useful features. It has a huge back seat, and its lockable in-bed trunk is a particular highlight. In short, if you want a utility vehicle that isn't as cumbersome as a full-size truck and is comfortable, easy to live with, and full of useful features, take a good, long look at the Ridgeline.
2023 Ford F-150
The F-150 offers something for everyone. Whether it's the down-to-business vibe of the XL models or the high-class interior of the Platinum, there is an F-150 to fit your specific needs. Pro Power Onboard is a class-leading feature that other brands haven't even caught up to, and the hybrid F-150s get strong fuel economy for a truck. But for those who want a V8 rumble, there is an available 5.0-liter Coyote or the completely bananas Raptor R to pick from. The F-150 is, simply put, the standard of the truck world. It's the truck that Ram, Chevy, Nissan, GMC and Toyota all have to beat. That's why it's in contention for an Edmunds Top Rated award for the fourth time. Quite the accomplishment from Ford — let's see if the F-150 can pull off yet another win.
There's more than one way to do a good truck, and our finalists prove it. But who will get the win? Find out on January 18 when we reveal the Edmunds Top Rated Truck for 2023.