4 Important Factors Consumer Reports Recommends Considering When Choosing Your Pickup Truck

It has evolved from single-cab-only work vehicles to some of the most useful family vehicles around. If you are not sure what to look for in the available pickup trucks, there are a few items you should consider before you drive away.

Consumer Reports tells us that size matters

Four different size classes of pickup trucks are available for you. This is a heavy-duty, full-size, mid-size, and compact. Midsize and compact trucks are often put together in one category. Before moving on to the right new or used trucks, you need to decide which pickup truck is right for you.

. These pickup trucks are the models in this segment and offer models that start as work trucks all the way up to high class luxury models.

Trucks in this category include:

  • Chevrolet Silverado 1500
  • GMC Sierra 1500
  • Ford F-150
  • Nissan Titan
  • Ram 150
  • Toyota Tundra

The half-ton full-size segment continues to expand as new electric trucks enter the market. These new electric models include the Ford F-150 Lightning, GMC Hummer EV, and Rivian R1T. Other new models entering the market in 2023 expand this category.

Heavy trucks

2023 Ford F-350 Super Duty Doubles | stronghold

Heavy Duty Trucks offers massive towing and payload options and gives you some of the largest and most powerful pickup trucks on the market. These trucks are popular for hauling fifth wheel trailers and using the bulk of them to haul heavy loads.

Trucks in the Heavy Duty category include:

  • Chevrolet Silverado HD 2500/3500
  • GMC Sierra HD 2500/3500
  • Ram HD 2500/3500

All heavy-duty trucks offer an available diesel engine, which adds more low-end torque to make these trucks more capable of hauling heavy loads.

Once you’ve determined the right-sized pickup truck, consider these factors Consumer Reports says are important in your decision.

1. What is the right engine for the pickup truck you are driving?

2023 Ram 2500 diesel engine
2023 Ram 2500 6.7L Cummins Turbo Diesel I6 Engine | RAM

Some trucks are now offered with only one engine, while others have several options. This should be your starting point when finding the right truck. Do you want a truck with an electric motor? Are you looking for a hybrid truck? Would you choose a diesel engine? The answers to these questions will guide your research.

2. How often will you tow a trailer with your truck?

Advertising image of a 2023 Toyota Tundra pulling an Airstream travel trailer on a highway, a green hillside visible in the background.
2023 Toyota Tundra Platinum | Toyota

If you’re swapping in a truck for a new model, you may already have a boat or trailer that you’d love to take on the road. On the other hand, when you chose your first pickup truck, you may have never experienced the thrill of towing a trailer. Either way, diameter can be an important factor that Consumer Reports says you need to consider.

3. Consider riding and handling pickup trucks in your chosen class

Red corner front view of the 2023 Honda Ridgeline Consumer Reports only recommended mid-size pickup due to reliability
2023 Honda Ridgeline | Honda

Are you looking for a truck that doesn’t drive like a traditional pickup? If so, the midsize segment offers a few unibody models that look more like crossover SUVs. On the other hand, if you are used to truck-like driving and need more capabilities, the Heavy Duty Truck category may be for you. Of course, the full-size category offers a middle ground between these two. This is where test drives come in and make all the difference in the truck you take home.

4. Consumer Reports suggests you consider safety and driver assistance features

Chevy dashboard with Super Cruise
Chevy dashboard with Super Cruise | Chevrolet

Most new pickup trucks include modern electronics with active safety and driver assistance features. As you move up to the higher trims, you’ll find more features designed to keep you safe. If you are looking for the benefits of a Ford Blue Cruise, or you will find these features in the highest trim levels. Review the safety features before making your final decision.

Use these four factors to help you choose the Consumer Reports highly rated pickup truck and pickup truck that’s right for you to drive and enjoy.

Then, check out some of them or learn more about some of the best pickup trucks on offer by watching this video below:

Surprising omissions in the 5 highest resale value trucks

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