Car Life Nation

When Driving is about Lifestyle, Car Life Nation is the Answer

When Driving is about Lifestyle, Car Life Nation is the Answer

A silver 2021 Chevy Silverado TrailBoss is covered in mud and parked in a field with yellow grass.

What Makes a Truck: Pickup Truck Models to Look For

Trucks are one of the oldest parts of the automotive industry, existing nearly as long as a motor has been placed on four wheels. That said, there are many different types of trucks to choose from, so being in the mindset that all trucks are the same is a grave mistake. Every brand offers something different when it comes to trucks, and every model only increases these differences. So before you visit your local truck dealer, make sure to read up on what every truck brand and model has to offer.

How Does Brand Influence Us?

As we mentioned before, trucks have grown to be a massive industry. It wouldn’t be wrong to separate trucks from cars because they’re both so prevalent, and many automotive brands have created portions of their company solely focused on designing truck models. For example, GMC, Ford, Ram, and a wide variety of other brands have made a name just for their selection of trucks. However, trucks are more complex than they often appear at first glance, with brands specializing in terrain performance, efficiency, safety, comfort, and any other quality you could think of.

Over the years, while some companies have been rather well-rounded in their view of an ideal pickup truck, there are definitely trends in the industry that tend to stand out. For example, Ford and GMC have made a long legacy of high performance in their truck selection. On the other hand, companies like Toyota and Honda have tended to be more focused on reliability and practicality, making their vehicles only include the bare necessities while increasing comfort in a more subtle way. Nonetheless, a pickup truck is a very complex vehicle, and while there are trends as far as company designs, paying attention too closely to these generalizations may be the reason why so many pickup trucks tend to surprise us.

Then What Is a Truck?

There are a lot of different trucks that have come and gone throughout the years, so choosing a few different models to choose from is definitely a very difficult task. However, if you’re looking for a new or used truck, we took the liberty of analyzing and recommending some of the best truck models on the market that are easy to find in any area. We analyzed several different brands, from Ram to Chevy, so this is one of the most well-rounded recommendation lists.

A light gray 2021 GMC Sierra Denali with a dirtbike in the bed is kicking up dirt on a dirt road in front of a lake.

Chevy Silverado

As a model, the Chevy Silverado is perhaps one of the highest performing pickup trucks on this list. With a very high powered engine for its size, the Chevy Silverado is capable of boasting top-quality speed and towing capacity. While these are among its most desirable qualities, the Chevy Silverado is also a pickup truck that excels in customization with a wide variety of comfort features available in most model years. It also includes a good usage of technology as time goes on with comprehensive trailer assistance technology in the new 2021 model. While leaving a little to be desired in comfort and style compared to the competition, the unique capabilities and affordability of the Chevy Silverado contribute to it being one of the most common pickup trucks on the road.

Ram 1500

Compared to the Chevy Silverado, the Ram 1500 is a much more luxurious and smoother pickup truck. As far as power is concerned, the V-6 engine that is standard in the Ram 1500 is quite powerful, with the 2021 addition being able to provide more overall torque than most of the trucks on this list. In short, the Ram 1500 is incredibly capable when compared to other vehicles in its class, with the new off-road TRX trim being the most powerful production truck in history. However, the most appealing quality about the Ram 1500 is that the vehicle has been increasingly improving its comfort features, with heavily increased cargo capacity and hidden cubby spaces, and premium leather surfaces in some versions. All together with the smooth drive derived from the design of the vehicle, the Ram 1500 is an ideal truck for those who want a luxury vehicle rather than a rugged pickup truck.

GMC Sierra

While perhaps not as luxurious as the performance seen from the Ram 1500, the GMC Sierra makes for a pickup truck that excels in convenience and functionality. In a way, the GMC Sierra is the ultimate model for the working man, given that it is constantly paving the way in convenience technology and a diverse selection of engine systems to suit your own pace. For example, one of the biggest distinguishing features in the GMC Sierra in recent years has been its inclusion of a multi-function tailgate, one of the best in fact, that all but revolutionized how easily the bed of a truck can be used. The truck is also not a stranger to performance, with a number of available V8 and turbodiesel engines for maximum performance. In the end, the GMC Sierra is a model that is founded on working versatility, with the strong power and convenience to get any job done as quickly as possible.

Toyota Tacoma

The Toyota Tacoma is a model of pickup truck that is not often seen on these kinds of lists, which is a shame because the Toyota Tacoma is designed in such a way that is not seen in other models on this list. Rather than focusing on the most powerful or most luxurious design possible, the Toyota Tacoma chooses to do things using more humble methods. Ultimately, what driving experience you receive depends largely on the trim that you choose to purchase: the TRD Sport is geared towards city driving, while the TRD Off-Road focuses on heavily improving the capabilities of trail driving. While neither excel in overall towing or hauling, the Toyota Tacoma is incredibly proficient at off-roading, far more than any of the other vehicles on this list. Bottom line, while the Toyota Tacoma is only average in city driving, if you find yourself visiting or living in a rural area, then the Toyota Tacoma is the obvious choice for you, with the benefit of being among the most affordable vehicles in this list.

A silver 2021 Ford F-150 is parked at a job site with construction workers carrying lumber.

Ford F-150

The Ford F-150 is arguably the most well-rounded vehicle on this list, with a wide selection of both comfort features and performance features. While the 2021 addition will be fitted with a wide selection of different engines, including a new hybrid powertrain, even older F-150 models have a very high amount of standard power. The Ford F-150 has long reigned supreme as far as performance goes; a pickup truck that can easily pull its weight on any road, regardless of terrain conditions. For even greater performance, there are, of course, the larger F-250 and F-350 models to consider as well.

Furthermore, Ford took notes this time around from the Ram 1500, in that the cargo capacity and comfort selection of the vehicle was heavily increased. Hidden cubbies to increase overall storage in the vehicle and space within the vehicle was made much bigger for passenger comfort convenience, adding more than enough room to stretch feet and even enough to sleep comfortably in the cab if needed during a long road trip. The 2021 Ford F-150 also seems to have taken notes as far as convenience is concerned, with foldable seating to increase ease of storage, a folding shift lever to make a flat workspace for those who need to work on the go, and even an optional generator to power tools and other gear. All in all, the Ford F-150 has become a vehicle capable of competing with most pickup trucks in the industry.

Which Will You Buy?

As can be seen, trucks are a complex vehicle type that derives their benefit from a wide variety of different features. From enhanced terrain performance for better versatility to enhanced comfort technology for a more luxury feel, there is something that makes each truck unique. Of course, each brand will also design its truck driving experience with something different in mind, like off-roading in the Toyota Tacoma to convenience in the GMC Sierra to a little bit of everything in the Ford F-150. Nonetheless, there has never been a better time to buy a truck than the present, so pay a visit to a truck dealer near you to find your next vehicle.

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