What's the Best Truck? How to Pick the Best Pickup Truck

March 18, 2013

A guide to the finding the best truck based on different criteria: spacious interiors, highest resale value, handling, power, and more.

Making the right decision as to what is the best truck to buy can be difficult and frustrating at times. There are different manufacturers with very good trucks, all out to get one's attention. A pickup truck is simply a motor vehicle with an open-top area, except for the passenger's seats.

Deciding on the best pickup truck requires considering what it is the pickup truck shopper wants from their vehicle.

Consider Spaciousness: The Chevrolet Silverado and Others

There have been good trucks in the past; however, today's car buyers would prefer the latest truck models because they come with the best technology. The Chevrolet Silverado is spacious enough to provide all the comfort possible in a pickup truck. The crew cab has approximately 42 inches of legroom, 42 inches headroom, 66 inches of shoulder room and 63 inches of space for hip room. The back seats offer 38.7 inches of legroom, 41 inches of headroom, 66 inches for hip room, and 62 inches for shoulder room. The back seat passengers will enjoy more space although there is reduced legroom.

The Chevrolet Silverado, a full-size pickup truck, has enough leg space and room for even the biggest of body sizes. The truck is reliable, and fitted with the latest truck safety gadgets. After all, passenger safety is more important than the cost of a car. Aside from the comfortable 4-seat passenger's space, the truck has three engine options (6.0L V8 at 300HP, 6.61L V8 at 360HP and 8.1L V8 at 340HP). The Chevrolet Silverado 3500HD is the best and most expensive followed by the Silverado 3500HD, and the least and most economical of them all is the Silverado 1500.

Dodge Ram
The Dodge Ram 1500 has the second most comfortable space any pickup truck can provide. To put it shortly, when looking for passenger space the Dodge Ram is one of the very few pickup trucks to trust. The current Dodge Ram has better interior when compared to the earlier Dodge models. The Dodge Ram has many interior storage options as well as comfortable seats.

Find the Truck for You! Start Your Search Here

GMC Sierra
The GMC Sierra provides good legroom, and an ideal space for any passenger's comfort. There is a luxury-inspired interior and a pickup exterior. However, the bucket, and bench seats lack side supports. It also has extended crew cabs that provide better backstreet room.

Toyota Tundra

When the Toyota Tundra first hit the American market, it was regarded as the first full-sized pickup truck of three bed lengths and a choice of three engines to compete with the US big three. The Toyota Tundra has a specious interior, however, it is nothing compared to the likes of the Chevrolet Silverado. The Toyota Tundra, unlike other pickup trucks has only two seats and no rear seat. This allows the pickup truck to be supportive, comfortable and wide.

Consider the Best Truck to Buy for High Resale Value

When you are in the market for the best pickup truck to buy, it can be important to consider resale value, especially if you plan to trade your vehicle in at some point. Fortunately, the increasing quality of light-duty pickup trucks means that finding a truck with high resale value is becoming increasingly easy. Choosing a truck with a high resale value can save money in the long run by putting you a better equity position when you trade your truck in or sell it to a private party. When you are shopping for a truck with high resale value, be sure to take advantage of the tools available on CarsDirect. This guide highlights four pickup trucks that are known for their high resale value.

GMC Sierra
The GMC Sierra is considered to be the light-duty pickup truck most aimed at the contracting and professional market. Considering this, new GMC trucks often sell at a great price premium when compared to offerings from other manufacturers. Thankfully, GMC customers are extremely loyal to the brand whether they purchase their trucks new or used. This means that GMC customers are willing to pay for the exclusivity of the GMC brand. GMC Sierras also retain their high resale value through the use of higher quality and more durable parts than other models. The Duramax diesel and available Eaton locking rear differential provide professional performance that buyers are willing to pay extra for.

Chevrolet Silverado
Although the Chevrolet Silverado is mechanically similar to the GMC Sierra, the Silverado sells at a lower price point than the GMC and, in turn, it does not hold its value as well. However, the lower price of Silverado means you can get more equipment for a lower price. Additionally, the Silverado is known for its long-term reliability and its ability to last under severe operating conditions. Use CarsDirect to approximate the resale value of a Silverado in your area.

Ford F-150
The Ford F-150 is the best-selling vehicle in the United States for good reason. It offers a wide array of trim levels from basic regular cab work truck models to nicely-appointed crew cabs with the Ford SYNC system. However, resale values of the F-150 have been hurt by the heavy discounting that occurs at the end of each model year. Despite this, the F-150 offers a wide array of options and the optional Power Stroke diesel available in heavy-duty models has a large fan base and great resale value.

Dodge Ram
Although the Dodge Ram has the lowest resale value of the domestic pickup trucks, continual updates to the truck have helped increase its resale value. With a continually-improving interior and engine options, you should feel comfortable in the resale value of a Dodge Ram when shopping for a new pickup.

As you search for a pickup truck with a high resale value, be sure to consider all of these options, as you may find that one truck is better than the others for your needs. In this case, resale value is of little importance if the truck with the best resale value is too expensive for your budget or it cannot tow the loads that you regularly haul. If you have any questions about the capabilities of a pickup truck or individual options, you can request information from a dealership by making use of CarsDirect.

Consider the Best Truck to Buy for Biodiesel Conversion

Many people who are interested in owning trucks are looking for the best truck to buy for biodiesel conversion. Of course, the more obvious option would just be to buy a hybrid vehicle, and there are a number of fine hybrid trucks and SUVs on the market. However, these vehicles are typically some of the latest models of most manufacturers, and they can get a bit pricey for buyers on a budget. A cheaper option for truck drivers who want to go green is to buy a standard diesel-engine truck and convert it to run on biodiesel. But what is the best truck to buy if you want to drive green? This article will answer just that.

Biodiesel and Straight Vegetable Oil
Many people tend to think of biodiesel and straight vegetable oil as one and the same thing. However, there is a significant difference, and answering it will tell you whether or not you will need to do anything to your truck's diesel engine. Biodiesel is made up of animal fat or vegetable oil that's been reacted with alcohol, whereas straight vegetable oil, as the name implies, is simply refined vegetable oil with reduced viscosity. Biodiesel can basically be used in any diesel engine with no significant modifications, and any modifications may only have to be made after running the truck on biodiesel for some time. Straight vegetable oil, on the other hand, will require some minor modifications to your truck's engine, depending on the specific model.

Consider the Best Trucks to Buy for Straight Vegetable Oil Conversion

The 1994-1998 .5 Dodge Cummins 5.9l second generation 12 valve is considered to be the best truck for conversion to straight vegetable oil. Other great models are the 1989-1993 Dodge Cummins first generation and pre-Powerstroke Ford International models. Twelve-valve, second-generation Dodge Cummins models come with the Bosch inline P7100 injection pump, and the first-generation Dodge Cummins and Ford International models come with the Bosch VE rotary pump and Stanadyne injection pumps, respectively. Any of these trucks will only require minimal modifications to run on straight vegetable oil.

When it comes to the question of the best truck to buy for green fuel conversion, keep in mind that it's all in the fuel pump. The right choice will ensure that fewer modifications will be necessary to get your truck running as green as possible.

Consider the Best Truck to Buy for Good Handling

Let's look at some of the top performers with respect to handling and help choose the best pickup truck to buy. If you use your vehicle for varied purposes through different types of terrain, we recommend buying a truck with superior handling instead of putting a car through undue ordeal. This ensures that not only do you get the job done as quickly as possible, you do so without causing significant wear and tear in your vehicle and with minimal safety concerns. Safe driving as well as the good handling efficiency that you desire can be obtained only with specialized vehicles.

Ford Lightning
The Ford Lightning by the Ford Motor Company is widely considered by experts the world over to be the best truck to buy for good handling. The Ford Lightning falls into the category of sports vehicles and crossover performance trucks and is a modified version of the F-150 pickup truck which is another jewel by the Ford Motor Company. The Ford Lightning is a two door truck that has been in the market for over a decade now, with adaptations and modifications to the original models. Known for its aggressive acceleration and smooth ride on even rough terrain along with great handling, the Ford Lightning makes for an excellent pickup truck for personal use. The year 1993 saw the first ever model of the Ford Lightning. The truck was based on the prototype of the F-150 but had a number of technological changes that were introduced to give a stronger structure and form to the truck. This included a heightened degree of rigidity, and a higher degree of responsiveness.

Chevrolet Colorado
The 2009 Chevrolet Colorado is another vehicle that is often touted as the best truck to buy when looking for superior handling. Consumer reviews and mark ratings have rated the 2009 Chevrolet Colorado as top notch on a number of counts ranging from reliability, money's worth and interior design to performance, styling, features, and above all else- handling. The 2009 Chevrolet Colorado is a strong pickup truck known for its compact body and unparalleled cargo space. The truck comes with a number of additional features that you can opt for such as a sun roof, leather upholstery for the interiors, traction control systems, skidding prevention systems, off road suspension systems and side air bags.

Chevrolet S-10
The Chevrolet S-10 is yet another compact pickup truck that finds favor with a large number of users across the globe. The Chevrolet S-10 was initially produced from 1982 to 2005 and was once again introduced into the market in the year 2005, under different banners. Produced by world famous motor vehicles manufacturer General Motors, the Chevrolet S-10 in its second generation version is also often referred to as the GMC Sonoma. The successors of this famous model called the GMC Canyon and Chevrolet Colorado are noted for their superior handling and suspension and are one of the highest selling SUV units over the last few years.

Consider the Best Truck to Buy for a Good Warranty
Aside from the truck specifications, the best truck to buy is the one which comes with a good warranty. Warranties come in handy for drivers, particularly for covering truck expenses. Truck expenses may arise when they are least expected from unfortunate incidents and general mechanical failure. This is the reason why the best truck to buy should also have a good warranty. There are several brands of trucks which offer the best coverage plans today.

GMC Truck Warranty
All truck purchases from GMC have full GMC warranties. What is good about GMC trucks, is that the buyer does not need to apply for any special enrollment when getting the warranty. Individuals who purchases or lease a GMC truck will automatically qualify for GMC warranty coverage. GMC truck models from the years 2007, 2008, 2009 and at present have a warranty coverage of five years. Trucks with 100,000 miles/160,000 kms also qualify for a coverage plan without deductions. The conditions depend on which comes first. This is determined from the service date of the truck. The coverage plan warrants repairs for materials and components that have defects. The following details summarize the coverage plan for GMC trucks:

  • The engine. The following parts are covered in a GMC truck warranty: engine block, cylinder head, timing gears, timing cover, oil pan, timing chain, OHC carriers, gaskets, oil pump/oil pump housing, valve covers, turbocharger, seals, and supercharger. Internal lubricated parts are also included in the GMC truck warranty. Additional parts such as the flywheel, manifolds, harmonic balancer, water pump, as well as engine mount are part of the coverage plan.
  • A Courtesy Transportation Program. If the GMC truck needs to be repaired, the company also offers an alternative transportation. If another vehicle is not possible, transportation expenses are reimbursed instead. For more information, buyers can check the GMC website.

Chevrolet Truck Warranty
In the same manner, Chevrolet Trucks also have automatic coverage plans upon purchase or lease. The truck warranty of five years is also applicable for truck models from years 2007 to 2010. The engine parts enumerated for GMC truck warranty are also part of the Chevrolet truck warranty. As commendable as the GMC warranty is, the same goes for the Chevrolet as the company also offers a Courtesy Transportation Program. The following details provide more information on Chevrolet truck warranty:

  • Coverage for three years / 36,000 miles. The truck is entitled for coverage on repairs. This warranty pays for the labor and parts to correct defected parts or functions.
  • Coverage for six years / 100,000 miles. This type of warranty is specifically for corrosion protection. Since a Chevrolet truck is engineered to withstand corrosion, the company will make the necessary amendments if necessary. For more information on the different coverage plans, check Chevrolet's website.

Ford Trucks
What is striking about buying Ford trucks is that aside from gaining the basic warranty, the company offers owners the option to extend their coverage plans. For instance, a truck is warranted for five years only, Ford will grant extension to owners who apply for and satisfy the requirements. This is a good deal for all drivers. A more detailed option is available at Ford's website.

Navigate through Carsdirect.com to see more truck options.

Consider the Best Truck to Buy for Driver Comfort

While many truck manufacturers are taking luxury and comfort more into account during the design of their vehicles, one model stands out above in terms of being the best truck to buy for driver comfort: the Toyota Tundra. The other two models which closely follow the Tundra are the Dodge Ram and GMC Sierra.

The Tundra was initially introduced in 2000 to replace Toyota's T100 model in the full-size pickup market. While the Tundra underwent various model changes since its inception, it remained more of a recreational truck than one for everyday heavy work until the 2007 model year. Today, the Tundra is widely considered as one of the top commercial pickups on the market, in direct competition with models from more traditionally accepted heavy-duty truck makers like Dodge and Ford. And yet, for many, the Tundra's level of driver comfort rivals or even exceeds that of rival models. Here are some of the Tundra's design aspects that make it the best truck to buy in terms of driver comfort.

Body Design and Powertrain
The Tundra's massive size (it weighs in at half a ton and is more than 19 feet long) and sturdy construction ensures its stability on any road surface. This combined with the coil over shocks of the truck's front suspension system delivers a comfortably smooth ride. Despite its size, the truck is exceptionally easy to drive, thanks to a light steering mechanism.

The Tundra's body comes in three styles: Regular Cab, Double Cab and CrewMax. The first two come with either 6.5- or 8-foot beds, while CrewMax models only have a 5.5-foot bed. The truck also comes in two trim levels: Grade and Limited. The Regular Cab body, however, only comes with Grade trim.

A popular option for the Tundra is the massive 5.7-l, 381-horsepower, V8 engine. With this option, the Tundra is one of the quickest full-sized trucks out there. All this power comes in handy when towing heavy loads, and when coupled with the V8, the Tundra easily maintains its speed on the steepest of roads. The truck's automatic transmission shifts smoothly and promptly between its six speeds. In manual mode, the shifter's action is precise, making tackling steep grades and rough roads a simple task.

Luxury Accessories
The standard Tundra, or Regular Cab, model, with Grade trim, comes with steel wheels, rubber flooring, manual climate control, a tilt steering wheel and a stereo sound system with a CD player and an audio input jack. Double Cab and CrewMax models include all of these features and add fully powered accessories, foldable rear seats, a power-sliding rear window, cruise control and carpeted flooring. The optional Bucket Seat Package adds a console shifter, a tilt-telescoping wheel and, as the name implies, bucket seats.

For the highest level of luxury, the Limited trim Tundra comes with all of these accessories, plus:

  • a cargo rail system
  • automatic climate control
  • alloy wheels
  • parking sensors
  • leather seats
  • console and overhead storage

If all that isn't enough, Limited trim also features an improved audio system with a CD changer, Bluetooth, iPod-compatible connector and satellite radio, topped off with controls in the steering wheel.

While driver comfort is a matter of personal taste and preference, the Toyota Tundra will meet the necessary comfort qualifications of many drivers.

Consider the Best Truck to Buy for Fast Acceleration

When you're looking for the best truck to buy, fast acceleration is one of the many factors that you will take into consideration before making your decision. There are three different types of trucks available, the light or medium duty, the heavy duty and the super duty or diesel truck. Below you will be presented with the best truck in each of these three market segments.

Light or Medium Duty Trucks
The Toyota Tundra and Tacoma are both examples of light and medium duty trucks with excellent acceleration. The Tacoma is classified as a light duty truck, while the Tacoma full size truck is considered a medium duty. Both the Tundra and Tacoma have been made with engines that provide for fairly fast acceleration. As long as routine maintenance is provided, Toyota engines are extremely reliable and have been known to last for more than 300,000 miles. Due to their smaller size, Toyota trucks will also obtain better mileage than most other trucks. The 4.6 Liter engine available in the Tundra delivers fuel economy of around 19 miles per gallon and is also rated by the EPA as an Ultra Low Emissions Vehicle engine.

Heavy Duty Trucks
When looking for a heavy duty truck with fast acceleration, you will want to look closely at Dodge Ram trucks with the Hemi engine. Chrysler's Hemi engine has been a staple of automotive enthusiasts for almost 60 years because of the massive amounts of horsepower and torque that they produce. This excess of horsepower and torque translates into extremely satisfying amounts of fast acceleration. These Hemi engines produce in excess of 350 to 400 horsepower. These high horsepower numbers come at a price in fuel mileage, though. The Dodge Ram 1500 with the V8 Hemi engine will obtain an average of 19 miles per gallon unloaded.

Super Duty Trucks
When looking for a super duty truck with fast acceleration, you're looking for a Dodge Ram Super Duty with a Cummins Turbo Diesel engine. Most Super Duty trucks come with four rear wheels, known as dualies, to give them high traction. In independent testing, the Dodge Ram 3500 turned in very impressive numbers for acceleration, with zero to 30 times of 3.24 seconds, and zero to 60 times of 10.36 seconds. This is better than many passenger cars. Quarter mile times were just as impressive at 17.47 seconds at just over 73 miles per hour. Acceleration while already moving, from 40 to 70 miles per hour, is also just as impressive, with the acceleration time being 8.15 seconds. Fuel economy with the Dodge Ram 3500 is a not-very-impressive 13 miles per gallon unloaded, and around 8 miles per gallon towing a 9,000 pound load.

When looking for a truck, if you plan on hauling, you need to know what the maximum load that you can haul or tow will be, in order to help you make an informed choice. When it comes to trucks with fast acceleration, the choices above are your top options in each class.

Consider the Best Truck to Buy for Durability

The best truck to buy is an automobile that is both durable and efficient. Generally, the quality and durability of the truck is determined through its specifications. Simply put, a truck in top quality works efficiently, is reliable, has good work output and offers a good warranty. There are several notable truck manufacturers and websites that offer these durable and high quality trucks. The following trucks have been highly commended for their durability and overall package.

Silverado 1500
The starting price of the new Silverado 1500 is around $20,000. This is one of Chevrolet's best offerings yet. It is considered one most reliable, durable full size pickup trucks from the company. The following specifications make the Silverado 1500 a wise option:

  • The Silverado 1500 is available in several editions such as: Work Truck (WT), LT, LS, XFE and LTZ models.
  • Compared to the Toyota Tundra, Ford F-10 and the Dodge Ram, the Silverado 1500 is more fuel efficient. It is considered as the best among full size pickup trucks in the United States.
  • The new Chevrolet Silverado 1500 has standard Vortec power.

Silverado 1500 units still have limited production. It is considered as one of United States' first Two-Mode Hybrid full-size pickups. The Silverado series also has two other editions.

Silverado HD
With a market value around $27,000, the Silverado HD is also considered as one of the reliable diesel trucks in the world. Silverado HD is a durable truck equipped with a Duramax 6.6L Turbo-Diesel engine. It has a six-speed automatic transmission. Drivers can choose from Regular, Extended and even Crew Cab specifications. For more details on the new Chevrolet Silverado collection, check out their website.

Dodge Ram
The Dodge Ram series launched its fourth generation collection 2008 during the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. The newest series of the Dodge Ram is the 2009 Dodge Ram 1500, and it's been available since autumn of 2008. The Dodge Ram series also has a light-duty diesel version. The durability of the new Dodge Ram series is observed with the major innovations and enhancements in the truck. The restructured and redesigned edition of the Dodge Ram makes it a competitor for other highly durable trucks like the F-150 and even the Chevrolet Silverado series.

One of the major innovations that Dodge Ram manufacturers did is the introduction of a new four-door cab style model. The fourth generation of the Dodge Ram series has a completely new rear-suspension system. The truck's engine is highly commended, the HEMI Eagle 5.7 L (345 cu in) V8. The truck is equipped with the "RamBox" storage system. This system allows a safe storage space within the bed walls of the truck. Other specifications include:

  • HEMI V8's output was brought up from 350 hp to 390 hp.
  • The truck is also 4% more fuel efficient than previous models.

The durability of the truck comes with its coil spring rear suspension which replaced the leaf-springs. This development helped enhance the quality of the ride and the handling. More details are available at the manufacturer's website.

Consider the Best Truck to Buy for Low Insurance

In terms of insurance coverage options, buying a truck can often prove to be very expensive as most trucks come with steeply priced insurance coverage options. Apart from seeking trucks with low insurance premiums, it is also recommended to shop around with multiple dealers for the best quotes.

Why Is Insurance for Trucks Generally So Expensive?
There are some common factors that usually contribute towards insurance coverage options being steeply priced. These include the following:

  • Trucks are on the average more expensive than regular personal use vehicles. As a result of this, in the event of theft, accidents or any other damage when the insurance company is required to replace your truck, they will be undertaking a greater expense than they would with other cars.
  • In the event of an accident a truck will cause more damage to the other vehicle and hence if you are at fault and the insurance company is liable to pay damages, the expenses incurred will be more.
  • Trucks tend to have greater wear and tear of parts due to the heavy usage they are put through and hence have a shorter life span.

Trucks with Low Insurance Premiums
Some popular and excellent performance trucks that you can buy and get low insurance prices for are:

  • Toyota Land Cruiser 200 Series
  • Ford Ranger pickup trucks
  • Nissan Frontier Toyota Land Cruiser 200 Series

The Toyota Land Cruiser 200 Series is said to be the best truck to buy in terms of getting a low priced insurance coverage without compromising on quality and safety. Produced by the Japanese automobile giant the Toyota Motor Corporation, the Toyota Land Cruiser 200 Series is the 2008 version of the standard Land Cruised. The new revamped version of the personal use truck was released at the International Motor Show held in Sydney, Australia in 2007. With climate control systems, a push-button ignition, 10 airbags, light yet more powerful body frame and enhanced off-road driving the Land Cruiser 200 Series is a safer and stronger model that most insurance companies are willing to offer discounts on.

Ford Ranger Pickup Trucks
Ford Ranger pickup trucks include two specific lines of compact trucks for personal use that have been designed by the Ford Motor Company. This specific series of trucks has been created in collaboration with Mazda and is known for its efficiency, strength and durability- factors that combine to make this an ideal vehicle for personal use. The increased strength and safety features of this truck such as side curtain air bags, frontal crash tested strength levels, an admiral degree of resistance to damages in side-impact crashes and rollover collisions, trailer hitch system and rear disc brakes have come together to make the truck an excellent investment that most insurance companies have little hesitation in covering.

Nissan Frontier
The Nissan Frontier is one of the best trucks for new drivers due to its powerful engine and stable handling in virtually all tested conditions. Though it lacks in interior design, it is functional at the minimum and the exterior is rugged and stylish. This car scores well on the low insurance meter because of it's long life and safety features which received 4 out of 5 stars on frontal impacts and a perfect rating of 5 of 5 stars for side impacts making it a truck with one of the lowest insurance rates.

Consider the Best Truck to Buy for Low Fuel Emissions

Many diesel engines often emit various noxious and toxic fumes, and the best truck to buy to avoid polluting the air further would be those that that have low fuel emissions. Studies have also shown that there is a good correlation between low fuel emissions and fuel economy. In other words, buying a truck that has low fuel emissions usually means you will save on gas expenses in the long run.

The US Department of Energy produces a website that collects, collates and analyzes information on various trucks and vehicles. You can find out which models have the best and worst fuel efficiencies and standard emission rates, as well as information on which fuels are best to reduce fuel emissions.

Dodge Ram from Chrysler
The Dodge Ram from Chrysler will feature a new hybrid-electric engine that combines a normal diesel or gasoline engine and an electric motor. During engine startup and initial acceleration, the gas engine does most of the work in turning the motor; when the truck reaches cruising speeds (for example, on a flat surface like the highway) the electric engine kicks in. Being electric, the Dodge Ram's engines produce little to no emissions at all.

Chevrolet Silverado from GM
Another model mentioned in the US Department of Energy report is of GM's Chevrolet Silverado line. They will be featuring hybrid-electric engines as well. Just like the Dodge Ram, the Chevrolet Silverado produces little to no emissions, owing to its hybrid-electric engine.

Not only that, the Chevrolet Silverado will also save you a lot of money in the long run. In fact, the US Department of Energy ranks this truck as the most efficient standard pickup truck in 2010. It has 21 MPG in the city, and 22 MPG on the highway. This is perfect for both your daily commute and weekend trips.

Ranger Pickup from Ford
You should also watch out for the Ranger from Ford. Not only is it one of the best hybrid-electric truck models, it also is a lot safer than other trucks, having additional side curtain airbags for improved passenger protection. In fact, the Ford Ranger was one of the first small pickups that had dual airbags for extra driver safety in the event of crashes.

Boasting the rank of first in the US Department of Energy website, the Ford Ranger is cited as the most efficient small pickup truck in 2010. Its MPG in the city is 22, while its MPG on the highway is a whopping 27. It has a manual transmission system too, so you have a finer control over the vehicle.

The Dodge Ram, Chevrolet Silverado and Ford Ranger are the three top choices when looking for the best truck to buy when it comes to low fuel emission.

Consider the Best Truck to Buy for a New Driver

Trucks used to be fairly basic in the past, but nowadays drivers have a wide range to choose from when selecting the best truck to buy. Earlier there weren't that many options to choose from. Whether it was in terms of appearances or functions to be served, most trucks had some standard features in common. Today, there are numerous trucks on the market to choose from and an overwhelming number of categories, all based on individual factors. Basic work trucks are accompanied by option-filled trucks that are synonymous with luxury. It is very important to choose the right truck that suits your wants and needs. The best way to start is by analyzing the available options on the market.

Types of Pickup trucks
There are various types of trucks available on the market. Depending upon your need and preference, you can go in for the best buy that there is. The various types of trucks are:

  • full size
  • compact
  • mid-size
  • muscle trucks
  • pick-up cabs (standard cab, crew cab, extended cab, cab forward)
  • pick-up bed style (very short bed, short bed, long bed, flat bed, step-side, drop side and cab chassis)

Compact Truck
For a new driver, a compact truck should be the first choice. It is the most widely used truck in the world. These trucks are smaller in scale than the full size trucks and can usually tow up to 6,000 pounds. These trucks are capable of light to medium-duty labor and loads, and their smaller stature allows for more maneuverability. A compact truck is definitely the best truck to buy for a new driver. Moreover, smaller engines usually allow for better overall fuel economy.

The Best Truck for a New Driver: The Nissan Frontier
The 2010 Nissan Frontier is possibly the best buy for a new driver and comes with two wheel and four-wheel drive, retailing between $18,000 and $27,600 depending on the features. It is available with a 2.5L 4-cylinder 152-HP engine, or a 4.0L V6 25- HP engine along with a four or five-gear automatic/manual transmission. The 4.0L version is more popular though and gives a healthy 20 miles to the gallon. The handling has also been rated top notch by industry analysts, especially with respect to off-roading.

Though the Frontier has been criticized for cheap building materials, the interiors are functional and have comfortable, well padded bucket seats for the passenger as well as the driver. The exterior bears a highly rugged experience, not unlike the bigger version of the Frontier called the Titan, appreciated by many reviewers. A spray on bed liner protects the body from bumps and scratches which occur in everyday use.

The Frontier scores high on the safety barometer as well, with 4 out of 5 stars in federal front impact crash test for the driver and front passenger and 5 stars for protection in side impact crash tests. Overall, the Frontier is the best option for the new driver and combines affordability with a sense of style and ruggedness, rarely found amongst its competitors like the Ford Colorado.

Related Questions and Answers

Is a Heavy Duty Truck Battery Different than an SUVs or Sedan's?

Yes, the heavy duty truck battery is larger and has higher capacity than the sedan or SUV. A car will likely use a 45 or so crank amp per hour battery, which is more than good enough in most parts of the country. An SUV may use a 65 crank amp per hour battery because the SUV is actually a half-ton truck underneath. A heavy duty truck battery may be, at a minimum 150 or so crank amp hours (a measure of the storage capacity of the battery at 0). It will also need a heavy duty high-output alternator to keep it fully charged.

What Are the Most Popular Heavy Duty Truck Engines?

The most popular heavy duty truck engines are Ford's Powerstroke 6.7-liter, GMC's Duramax 6.7-liter and Dodge's 6.7-liter Cummings diesel. The engines are featured in these popular three-quarter ton pickups, the Ford F-250, the GMC 2500 and the Dodge 2500. Interestingly, all three engines are not only roughly the same size, but they also put out the same power, 390 to 400 horsepower. While the horsepower output is the same, the amount of specific work each truck can do varies. The Ford and GMC engines are the workhorses of this group. The GMC offers 765 pounds-feet of torque, while the Ford Powerstroke offers 735 pounds-feet, meaning each engine is flexible and can handle a variety of heavy work. While the surprising Dodge only offers 650 pounds-feet of torque, making it the least flexible engine of the group. All three trucks can handle standard work tasks, towing and carrying, but the Ford and GMC are better snow fighters.

What's the Difference between a Super and Heavy Duty Pickup Truck?

The actual difference between the super duty and heavy duty pickup truck is in the engine choice. A super duty—a full-sized body pickup capable of seating five to six on two benches—can be a half-ton truck, and can use an engine as small as a 5.4-liter V-8. It is definitely not for heavy duty work. A heavy duty pickup may have the same body configuration - full-sized cab and dual bench seats with power windows and a host of other power toys - but it is also a real work truck and boasts an oversized oil intercooler, engine intercooler, skid plates, full towing and plowing setup. Also, it will be a three-quarter-ton model, such as the GMC 2500. The GMC 1500, on the other hand, is the standard version.

Is It a Problem If a Truck Engine Idles Low?

If an engine idles low, it may be meant to operate in this manner. For example, a diesel engine will typically idle in the 800 to 1,200 rpm range, which is low by today's engine standards. However, it is the range in which this engine is meant to idle. If, on the other hand, a standard engine such as a 5.4-liter Vortec V-8 were to idle too low, it would indicate that there is likely a problem with the Electronic Control Module (ECU or computer). These gasoline engines are typically meant to idle between 1,200 and 1,500 rpm. If they idle at lower speeds, then they perform poorly and may indicate something more serious such as a fuel filter problem or pinched fuel feed line.

Are there Any Acceleration Tests I Can Do to Measure My Vehicles Performance?

Specifically, there are two acceleration tests that will measure your vehicle's performance. The first is the 0 to 60 run. It should remain consistent over a longer period. If it doesn't, then it could indicate an ignition or drivetrain problem that must be checked. The second test involves a chassis dynamometer or whirling drum that simulates the roadway, and is usually available at your dealership. You may not know it, but one of the initial tests your technician may perform is the dyno test to see if there are any changes in it. If your dyno test falls off, it could indicate a problem in the ignition or in the drivetrain that must be tracked down.

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