The 4 Most Popular Truck Brands

June 25, 2014

Learn more about the top truck brands in the US in terms of popularity, as well as the top Japanese truck import options.

Truck In Winter

The market is full of truck brands available for purchase, and it seems like everyone is getting into the truck market these days. With all of the available models, which ones are the best? Here are the four most popular truck brands for sale today.

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Toyota
With their exceptional quality, it's no surprise that Toyota is one of the best selling brands out there. With the recent redesign of the full size Tacoma, Toyota is able to offer a truck with more towing capacity than its domestic rivals (in half-ton form). The mid-size Tundra is known for its unmatched reliability with more than one reported to have been driven for more than 1 million miles. The only downside is that they don't offer anything more than a half-ton version. If Toyota produced a ¾-ton or 1-ton model, equipped with an optional diesel motor, they would be a force to be reckoned with. The Toyota Tacoma is consistently in the top 20 vehicles sold year after year.

Dodge
Dodge doesn't sell as much as the others, but constantly makes it in to the top ten vehicles sold year after year. The biggest seller for Dodge is the 1500 Ram, but the Cummins equipped ¾-tons and 1-tons sell very well also. Dodge is constantly redesigning their trucks to keep them fresh, and that helps to boost the sales numbers. The Cummins has a very loyal following, because of the durability of engine, but they've had problems with their transmissions in the past. They have been able to overcome these shortcomings recently. With the great engineering coming out of Auburn Hills, they're poised to offer a great truck for many years to come.

Chevrolet
The Chevrolet Silverado sells enough trucks annually to achieve a position in the top 5 year after year. This is accomplished by offering trucks designed to satisfy a variety of needs. In the half-ton segment, it's hard to beat the creature comforts available in the Silverado. On the other end of the spectrum is the powerful Duramax diesel engine, coupled to an Allison automatic transmission. It can be argued that the Allison is the best light duty automatic transmission offered by any automaker, and Chevrolet has been able to use this to their advantage. The Silverado is a very capable work truck and that's one of the reasons it sells so well.

Ford
It can be argued all day whether or not the F-series is the best truck on the market, but it's hard to ignore the sales figures. The F-150 has been the best selling vehicle in America for more than 25 years in a row. Americans like their trucks, and Ford sits at the top of that list. There is a rich history of ruggedness from Ford motor Company, and it's a tradition that they continue to promote to this day. There are many different truck models offered by Ford, starting with the half-ton F-150 and progressing to the F-450 Super Duty. Possessing such a diverse portfolio of products almost guarantees that the reign of the F-series will continue for many years the come.

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3 Japanese Truck Import Options

If you want to buy a Japanese truck brand and import it into the United States, you should consider that some have a nearly identical counterpart that is already being sold here. However, there are some exceptions. and many popular models that are sold in the United States market are not available at all in Japan.

For example, you can't buy an import Tundra from Toyota as they are all made in the United States. On the other hand, you can purchase an import Tacoma under the name it uses in Japan: the Toyota Hilux. So if you're interested in importing a Japanese truck, here are some of the most popular models being imported by private buyers in Canada and the US.

Toyota Hilux
Powered by Toyota's highly praised 1KZ-TE 3.0 liter diesel engine, the Hilux is the American equivalent Tacoma which usually ships with a gasoline engine in most cases. The fuel efficiency and reliability of the 1KZ-TE has helped establish the Hilux as one of the most dependable small pickup trucks in the world.

Because of the rugged build quality of the truck and the money it saves drivers at the pump, the Hilux is always in demand and is one of the most popular trucks in terms of direct imports by individual buyers in the US and Canada. A Hilux usually comes with a hefty price tag. You can expect to pay $4000-$6000 more than you would for a same year model Tacoma with a gas engine.

Daihatsu HiJet
The Daihatsu HiJet is among a growing number of popular Japanese mini trucks that are currently being imported into the United States and Canada. The mini trucks, also known as Samurai trucks are very small when compared to trucks in the United States. The Daihatsu HiJet is like many other mini trucks from Japan in that it has a very small passenger cabin and a flatbed.

The HiJet ships with several engine sizes that include 660cc, 1000cc or 1500cc versions. The HiJet is extremely fuel efficient, carries an adequate amount of cargo and is suitable for small delivery jobs or other light duty hauling. For models of the vehicle produced between 1990 and 2000, you can expect to pay between $3000-$7500. In this price range, the Daihatsu HiJet even comes with four wheel drive.

Suzuki Carry DD51T Pick Up
The Suzuki Carry weighs only about 1500 pounds, comes standard with four-wheel drive, can carry up to 1000 pounds of cargo and has a 660cc engine that allows it to get up to 40 miles per gallon in many cases. Another very popular Samurai truck, the Suzuki Carry is currently being imported into the United States and Canada by many private buyers.

The vehicle is very reliable, replacement parts are cheap and readily available and the small truck is suitable for many small business purposes as well as for a truck for the handyman. Of all the Japanese mini trucks, the Suzuki Carry is probably the best selling truck of its kind outside of Japan. You can find 10 year-old Suzuki Carry mini trucks for about $5000-$8000.

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