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The SUV may be today's most popular vehicle overall, but there's no denying the allure of old-fashioned, American-as-apple-pie pickup trucks. Thanks to their inherent toughness and versatility, as well as their increasingly family-friendly nature, the top pickups continue to be best-sellers year after year.

Best Pickup Trucks for 2018

Though only a few manufacturers actually make pickups, the models they produce cover a wide range of sizes and capabilities, from basic midsize work trucks to heavy-duty luxury behemoths. Identifying the best pickup for your needs can be difficult, even for those well-versed in axle ratios, payload limits, and the difference between conventional and fifth-wheel towing. That's why the Edmunds experts rate and review every pickup on the market. Based on our own vehicle testing, we've put together this guide to help you narrow your search for the best pickup truck.

Best Midsize Trucks

As the name suggests, midsize pickups are smaller than their full-size counterparts and have lower payload and towing limits. They are also much easier to maneuver around crowded urban centers and parking lots, and they tend to be cheaper, too. For those who just like the aesthetics of a truck or need a light weekend hauler, or for business owners who don't need the prodigious capabilities of a big truck, a small pickup makes a lot of sense. Here are our current favorites.

2018 Honda Ridgeline

Edmunds Rating: 8.6 out of 10

Purists may scoff at the 2018 Honda Ridgeline's carlike unibody (rather than body-on-frame) construction since it ultimately hinders maximum towing capacity. But on the flipside, the Ridgeline rides more comfortably than its rivals, while its spacious cabin has plenty of room for four adults. Unique storage solutions include a dual-action tailgate that opens down or to the side and a lockable, under-bed trunk that's ideal for stowing valuables or using as a makeshift beverage cooler. Unless you need to tow more than 5,000 pounds or plan to do some serious rock-crawling, the Ridgeline could be just right. Read Full Review

Starting price (including destination fee): $30,705
Fuel economy: 21-22 combined mpg
Maximum towing capacity: 5,000 pounds
Maximum payload capacity: 1,569 pounds
Horsepower: 280
Truck bed length: 5.3 feet

Read Edmunds' long-term test of the Honda Ridgeline

2018 Honda Ridgeline Overview and Pricing

2018 Toyota Tacoma

Edmunds Rating: 8.2 out of 10

Off-roading enthusiasts have long been smitten with the Toyota Tacoma for its trail-tackling performance, but these days Toyota's midsizer is nearly as rewarding for those who never leave the asphalt. Even in its most basic trim, the 2018 Toyota Tacoma is loaded with features that cost extra on other midsize pickup trucks, including adaptive cruise control and automatic emergency braking that activates if a front collision is deemed imminent. The Tacoma also offers the unusual pairing of a manual transmission and a powerful V6 engine. Solid handling, satisfying steering feel, a reasonably comfortable ride and an easy-to-use touchscreen interface round out this Toyota's strengths. Read Full Review

Starting price (including destination fee): $26,195
Fuel economy: 18-21 combined mpg
Maximum towing capacity: 3,500 pounds (2.7L inline-four) to 6,800 pounds (3.5L V6)
Maximum payload capacity: 1,620 pounds
Horsepower: 159-278
Truck bed length: 5 feet-6.1 feet

Read Edmunds' long-term test of the Toyota Tacoma

2018 Toyota Tacoma Overview and Pricing

2018 Chevrolet Colorado

Edmunds Rating: 7.3 out of 10

The current Chevrolet Colorado took a major step forward from its predecessor when it debuted for the 2015 model year. A few years have passed since then, but we still think the 2018 Colorado is one of the best in its class. Highlights include a decent ride, a strong V6 engine, and standard Apple CarPlay/Android Auto integration. If you're into rock-crawling, the off-road-oriented ZR2 is more than up to the task. And if you just need an affordable toy-hauler, the Colorado (along with the mechanically identical GMC Canyon) boasts the segment's only diesel engine, which yields a class-leading 7,700-pound towing capacity. Read Full Review

Starting price (including destination fee): $21,195
Fuel economy: 17-25 combined mpg
Maximum towing capacity: 3,500 pounds (2.5L inline-four) to 7,700 pounds (2.8L inline-four)
Maximum payload capacity: 1,574 pounds
Horsepower: 181-308
Truck bed length: 5.1 feet-6.2 feet

Read Edmunds' long-term test of the Chevrolet Colorado

2018 Chevrolet Colorado Overview and Pricing

Compare the Best Midsize Trucks

Small Trucks vs. Midsize Trucks

Shoppers looking for a genuinely small pickup truck may be disappointed to learn that traditional compact pickups have disappeared from the marketplace. If you want a small truck, you'll have to go back many years and look for used models. Compact trucks with low ride heights and similarly low price tags have long since given way to taller and larger pickups with a greater emphasis on both capability and comfort. Midsize pickups can still be considerably less expensive than their full-size counterparts, but it's nearly impossible to break into the new truck market without spending at least $20,000. Moreover, midsize crew-cab trucks may feel large enough to blur the boundaries between midsize and full-size pickups, but no new midsize truck can match the compact dimensions of yesteryear's truly small pickup trucks.

Best Full-Size Trucks

For many, the conversation about which pickup truck to buy starts and ends with the full-size segment. Balancing utility and practicality with ease, these pickups have greater towing and hauling capacities than midsize pickups, while they're generally both more comfortable and less expensive than heavy-duty workhorses. With seemingly infinite trim, powertrain and feature configurations, these are some of the most versatile vehicles on the market. Here are three standouts.

2018 Ram 1500

Edmunds Rating: 8.4 out of 10

It may have debuted all the way back in 2009, but the current Ram 1500 still feels like a revelation on rough roads. Instead of a traditional leaf-spring suspension in the rear, the Ram uses coil springs that yield an exceptionally comfortable ride. This setup also allows for an optional air suspension that not only makes the ride even cushier but also levels the truck out while towing or when the bed is weighed down. A replacement is due soon for the 2019 model year, but the current Ram 1500 is still fully competitive in its class. Read Full Review

Starting price (including destination fee): $28,490
Fuel economy: 14-23 combined mpg
Maximum towing capacity: 7,600 pounds (3.6L V6) to 10,620 pounds (5.7L V8)
Maximum payload capacity: 1,880 pounds
Horsepower: 240-395
Truck bed length: 5.6 feet-8.2 feet

Read Edmunds' long-term test of the Ram 1500

2018 Ram 1500 Overview and Pricing

2018 Ford F-150

Edmunds Rating: 8.1 out of 10

It doesn't have the Ram's exceptional ride quality, but the Ford F-150 has its own unique selling point: The bed and body panels are made of high-strength aluminum, resulting in a much lower weight than the segment norm. Not only does this advantage help give the F-150 class-leading tow ratings, it also pushes the maximum payload capacity well past 3,000 pounds. But the F-150 isn't just about workaday versatility. Both twin-turbo V6 engines offer great performance and solid fuel economy, while the Raptor's 450-horsepower motor is truly awesome. The clear differentiation between trim levels ensures that there's something for everyone in the F-150 range. Read Full Review

Starting price (including destination fee): $29,100
Fuel economy: 16-22 combined mpg
Maximum towing capacity: 7,700 pounds (3.3L V6) to 13,200 pounds (3.5L V6)
Maximum payload capacity: 3,270 pounds
Horsepower: 290-450
Truck bed length: 5.5 feet-8 feet

Read Edmunds' long-term test of the Ford F-150

2018 Ford F-150 Overview and Pricing

2018 Chevrolet Silverado 1500

Edmunds Rating: 7.2 out of 10

As with the Ram, there's a new Chevrolet Silverado 1500 just around the corner, but don't let that prevent you from checking out one of the best pickups on sale today. The 2018 model year is especially notable since a few desirable features — including a rearview camera, a touchscreen interface and Apple CarPlay/Android Auto functionality — are now standard across the board. Combine those items with an available 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot and it's clear that this burly truck can do more than just haul bales of hay, although it's also plenty good at that. Read Full Review

Starting price (including destination fee): $29,695
Fuel economy: 17-20 combined mpg
Maximum conventional towing capacity: 7,600 pounds (4.3L V6) to 12,500 pounds (6.2L V8)
Maximum fifth-wheel towing capacity: 7,500 pounds (4.3L V6) to 11,600 pounds (6.2L V8)
Maximum payload capacity: 2,250 pounds
Horsepower: 285-420
Truck bed length: 5.7 feet-8 feet

Read Edmunds' long-term test of the Chevrolet Silverado 1500

2018 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Overview and Pricing

Compare the Best Full-Size Trucks

Full-Size Trucks vs. Heavy-Duty Trucks

Full-size pickups are great all-arounders, but their towing or hauling limits might be too low for serious work or recreational needs. If we're echoing your concerns, you might be ready to upgrade to a heavy-duty truck. Notably, these vehicles aren't ideal for everyone because they're larger, more expensive and harder to park than the 1500 series trucks. Due to their EPA classification, they aren't required to post fuel economy estimates either.

But for some buyers, these colossuses are clearly the best way to pull a large luxury trailer on a road trip, or move a piece of heavy equipment from one side of the farm to the other. And, although they prioritize capability over comfort, heavy-duty pickups don't ride as harshly as you might expect. Most heavy-duty pickups share trim offerings with full-size models, so you can still get the brawny luxury cruiser you always wanted — just one size up.

Best Heavy-Duty Trucks

With greater towing and payload limits than so-called light-duty pickups, heavy-duty trucks can confidently transport heavy materials over long distances. At the same time, these aren't dedicated commercial vehicles, so they're also able to ferry passengers in relative comfort. These top-rated pickup trucks make both tasks seem effortless. Here are our picks for the best heavy-duty pickup trucks.

2018 Ram 2500

Edmunds Rating: 8.3 out of 10

Like the light-duty 1500, the Ram 2500's standout feature is a rear coil-spring suspension that provides better ride comfort than other pickups. Again, an air suspension is available to keep this workhorse level while towing or hauling heavy cargo. Unlike other heavy-duty trucks, the Ram 2500 does not offer an extended-cab variant. Rather, the Mega Cab model provides even more room than the crew cab. A little extra space behind the rear seats allows them to recline for the ultimate in passenger comfort. The super-cool, trail-ready Power Wagon is just icing on the cake. Read Full Review

Starting price (including destination fee): $33,940
Maximum towing capacity: 13,880 pounds (5.7L V8) to 17,980 pounds (6.7L inline-six)
Maximum payload capacity: 3,890 pounds
Horsepower: 350-410
Truck bed length: 6.3 feet-8.2 feet

2018 Ram 2500 Overview and Pricing

2018 Ford F-250 Super Duty

Edmunds Rating: 8.0 out of 10

Though it doesn't feature the Ram 2500's trick rear suspension, the F-250 Super Duty's ride is just about as agreeable. As with the F-150, aluminum is used extensively, giving the F-250 slightly higher payload and tow ratings than its rivals. The lower weight should also correspond to lower fuel consumption, though it's impossible to tell without published EPA estimates. It's easy to recommend the F-250 thanks to a high-quality interior, an emphasis on passenger comfort, and excellent power delivery from the massively capable diesel V8. Read Full Review

Starting price (including destination fee): $34,280
Maximum conventional towing capacity: 15,000 pounds (6.2L V8) to 18,000 pounds (6.7L V8)
Maximum fifth-wheel towing capacity: 15,700 pounds (6.2L V8) to 18,000 pounds (6.7L V8)
Maximum payload capacity: 4,250 pounds
Horsepower: 385-450
Truck bed length: 6.8 feet-8.2 feet

2018 Ford F-250 Super Duty Overview and Pricing

2018 Nissan Titan XD

Edmunds Rating: 7.6 out of 10

With lower tow and payload ratings than true heavy-duty trucks, the Nissan Titan XD slots between those beasts and everyday light-duty pickups. The Titan XD makes up for its lack of maximum capabilities with top-notch build quality, good braking performance, and a thoughtful five-rail cargo tie-down system. The optional diesel engine is also much less expensive than competing oil-burners, and unlike some rivals, the Titan XD can be had with diesel power in an off-road-oriented trim, the Pro-4X. If cruising around in luxury is more your style, the deluxe Platinum Reserve costs less than other top-trim trucks but arguably feels more upscale. Read Full Review

Starting price (including destination fee): $33,335
Maximum towing capacity: 11,600 pounds (5.6L V8) to 12,640 pounds (5.0L V8)
Maximum payload capacity: 2,910 pounds
Horsepower: 310-390
Truck bed length: 6.5 feet-8.2 feet

Read Edmunds' long-term test of the Nissan Titan XD

2018 Nissan Titan XD Overview and Pricing

Compare the Best Heavy-Duty Trucks

Best Diesel Trucks

Every truck class has at least one model available with a diesel motor. Diesels offer superior towing ability and torque compared to similar gasoline engines. Diesel pickups get better fuel economy than gas trucks, too. The downside is slower, though generally still rewarding, acceleration and a substantially higher price tag. Still, there's no substitute for a torque-rich diesel if serious towing is in your future. Here are the best diesel trucks for the midsize, full-size and heavy-duty categories.

2018 GMC Canyon Diesel

Edmunds Rating: 7.6 out of 10

The GMC Canyon (joined by the nearly identical Chevrolet Colorado) is the only midsize pickup to offer a diesel engine. With 181 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque, the Canyon's 2.8-liter four-cylinder diesel enables a tow rating of 7,700 pounds, easily besting the gas-powered V6's 7,000-pound maximum. And as a bonus, according to EPA fuel economy estimates, the diesel should be 4-5 mpg better overall than the V6. Unfortunately, the diesel engine is quite expensive and also considerably slower. Note that the diesel is only available in the crew-cab body style on the SLE trim and above. Read Full Review

Starting price (including destination fee): $37,905
Fuel economy: 23-25 combined mpg
Maximum towing capacity: 7,700 pounds
Maximum payload capacity: 1,605 pounds
Horsepower: 181
Truck bed length: 5.1 feet-6.2 feet

2018 GMC Canyon Overview and Pricing

2018 Ram 1500 Diesel

Edmunds Rating: 8.4 out of 10

Like the Canyon, the full-size 2018 Ram 1500 is the only truck in its class with a diesel engine. That will change soon, with Ford looking to get into the diesel game later in the 2018 model year and with a diesel on deck for the redesigned 2019 Chevrolet Silverado 1500. But for now, the Ram's 3.0-liter V6 is the only diesel you can get in a full-size truck, and it's a good one at that. Boasting 240 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque, it allows the Ram 1500 to tow up to 9,210 pounds. That's actually less than the gasoline V8's 10,620 pounds, but the diesel is much more fuel-efficient, returning an EPA-estimated 23 mpg combined versus 17 mpg combined for the V8. Read Full Review

Starting price (including destination fee): TBD
Fuel economy: 22-23 combined mpg
Maximum towing capacity: 9,210 pounds
Maximum payload capacity: 1,600 pounds
Horsepower: 240
Truck bed length: 5.6 feet-8.2 feet

Read Edmunds' long-term test of the Ram 1500

2018 Ram 1500 Overview and Pricing

2018 Ram 2500 Diesel

Edmunds Rating: 8.3 out of 10

The 2018 Ram 2500 offers an inline-six diesel rather than the more common diesel V8. However, towing capacity is right up there with that of the other heavy-duty pickups, and fuel economy is likely better. (The EPA doesn't require manufacturers to publish ratings on heavy-duty trucks.) The Ram 2500 is also the only HD pickup with an available manual transmission, though the manual-equipped model can't tow as much as versions with the six-speed automatic. While you can't opt for the diesel engine in the trail-busting Power Wagon, the available Off-Road package adds some of the Power Wagon's features to the diesel Ram 2500, including Bilstein shocks and a protective skid plate for the transfer case. Read Full Review

Starting price (including destination fee): $43,140
Maximum towing capacity: 17,980 pounds
Maximum payload capacity: 3,160 pounds
Horsepower: 350-370
Truck bed length: 6.3 feet-8.2 feet

2018 Ram 2500 Overview and Pricing

2018 Ford F-250 Super Duty Diesel

Edmunds Rating: 8.0 out of 10

The 2018 Ford F-250's 6.2-liter gasoline V8 makes 385 horsepower and 430 pound-feet of torque, yielding a maximum tow rating of 15,700 pounds. That's mighty impressive, but the 6.7-liter diesel V8 (450 hp, 935 lb-ft) can out-tow the gas V8 by more than a ton. The F-250 diesel also beats its chief rival, the Silverado 2500HD, by thousands of pounds in conventional towing, although the two trucks are neck and neck while using a fifth wheel. With the F-250's compliant ride, quiet interior and smooth-shifting six-speed automatic, you might forget you're driving one of the most capable heavy-duty pickups on the road. Read Full Review

Starting price (including destination fee): $43,275
Maximum conventional towing capacity: 18,000 pounds
Maximum fifth-wheel towing capacity: 18,000 pounds
Maximum payload capacity: 4,250 pounds
Horsepower: 450
Truck bed length: 6.8 feet-8.2 feet

2018 Ram 2500 Overview and Pricing

Compare the Best Diesel Trucks

Diesel Trucks Vs. Gasoline Trucks

In a nutshell, diesel-powered trucks can tow more while consuming less fuel than comparable gasoline-powered pickups. The primary trade-off is cost, since diesel engines run thousands of dollars more than their gasoline counterparts. In some cases, the price difference can breach the five-figure mark. Also, a given diesel engine will likely not be available with every bed/cab/trim configuration. The question of which engine is right for you typically boils down to what your towing needs are — and how much importance you place on fuel economy.

Best Trucks for Towing

When choosing a truck for towing, know that a higher tow limit generally correlates with a higher cost. Most midsize trucks max out above 3 tons, though acceleration can be anemic when you're approaching the limit. Full-size trucks will cost a bit more but tend to top out above 10,000 pounds. Heavy-duty pickups aim for stratospheric towing capability, and their torque-rich diesel engines should make towing up mountain passes a breeze. Go up one more grade to 3500 series trucks for a dual rear-wheel option that provides a more stable towing experience. Properly equipped, these trucks can tow more than 20,000 pounds, even reaching 30,000 pounds in some cases.

Top Features for Trucks

As of 2018, every new pickup comes standard with a rearview camera display, a previously optional feature that takes a lot of the guesswork out of navigating tight spots. Surround-view monitors are even better, giving a 360-degree view of the area immediately surrounding the truck. Tall hoods can make it difficult to surmise exactly where the front of the pickup is, so front parking sensors are another nifty feature. Additionally, trucks are pretty wide, so it's nice to have a lane departure warning system that alerts you before the truck drifts too far.

Outside of advanced driving aids, there are a few truck-specific features to look out for. Tie-down cleats help you secure everything in the bed, while cargo bed lights can help you find your gear in the dark. Tow mirrors are wide and have multiple pieces of mirrored glass so you can keep track of your trailer. As long as you're not looking for the best off-road truck, ground-clearance-reducing side steps are a handy and attractive way to make sure everyone can easily enter and exit the cab.

Choosing the Best Pickup Truck for You

If you just like the look and feel of a truck, a midsize pickup is an inexpensive way to break into the market. It's also bound to be easier to park and drive in the city. A full-size truck is ideal for those who need more room in the cab, want a larger bed, will occasionally tow large items, or simply prefer additional luxury and safety features. Heavy-duty trucks make the most sense for those who frequently tow seriously heavy equipment. Each class offers something unique for those looking for the best off-road truck, from the midsize Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 to the full-size Ford F-150 Raptor and the heavy-duty Ram Power Wagon.

Next Steps

While the number of different pickup models is fairly small, there's a great deal of differentiation within each model range. The nearly limitless customization options can make it difficult to sift through dealer inventory to find the perfect vehicle. To start, check out our 7 Steps to Buying a Pickup Truck guide for a good overview. Then visit our Truck Center and read our Buying Guide to understand each model's strengths and weaknesses. Our in-depth vehicle reviews provide a detailed analysis and trim breakdown of every new truck on the market. Once a model catches your eye, find a specific truck in your area by clicking on its inventory page. No matter where you are in the research and buying process, Edmunds has tools to help you find your perfect pickup.

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