The pickup truck has been a tool for consumers for decades. From farming to moving out of your urban apartment, a pickup truck is a handy thing to have around.
Trucks have come a long way from the early days of rough riding suspensions and harsh interiors. Nowadays, a truck can be just as luxurious as your neighbor's Lexus. There have been a lot of different pickup truck models to hit the market in the last few decades. Some have been great in terms of design and popularity, while others have fallen into obscurity. The Isuzu I-Series, for instance, is a pickup truck that the general public probably doesn’t even remember.
When it comes time to choose a pickup truck there are a few different things that you’ll want to look for, such as reliability. In addition to reliability, off-road capability is another big factor when choosing a pickup truck.
Read on below as we take a look at 15 pickups every American should buy and five that you’ll want to avoid at all costs.
20 Mitsubishi Raider
The Raider was the right truck that arrived at the wrong time. Based on the Dodge Dakota, the Raider featured a much more refined interior and a handsome exterior.
You can find the Raider on the used car market for a great price with ample features and an optional Magnum V8 engine.
19 Suzuki Equator
Remember the Equator? Probably not. The truck was a marvel idea that was based on the Nissan Frontier, but the truck came out during the recession.
The idea behind the Equator was to market it toward the Powersports customers who frequent Suzuki motorcycle dealerships. Sadly, the Equator is a wonderful truck that fell into obscurity.
18 Honda Ridgeline (1st Generation)
Honda is still a company that's fairly new to the pickup truck market, but the first generation Ridgeline was a decent try.
The truck featured a wonderfully appointed interior and notable features such as a lighted truck bed. The Ridgeline is still a great truck to this day even if you grab a used one.
17 Dodge Dakota
The Dakota doesn’t get the credit that it deserves for creating the mid-size truck segment that we see today. The Dakota was the very first mid-size truck, and it was also the first truck in this class that offered a full V8 engine - a feature that mid-size trucks still don’t offer to this day.
A used Dakota can make for a comfortable and well-equipped pickup truck.
16 Ford Ranger 1993-2016
The Ranger has a reputation for quality and reliability. You see these little pickup trucks just about everywhere on the road and that's a good thing. The Ranger came in a variety of options and the final years for this generation became more refined and offered more unique features to choose from.
15 Ford Ranger - Current Generation
The current generation of Ford Ranger brought the company back into the limelight once again. The truck is based on a model that's sold in the overseas market. Naturally though, Ford added a few domestic twists to the truck, such as the Raptor edition.
If you've been looking for a refined modern mid-size truck, the Ranger is it.
14 Ford F-150 Raptor
When it comes to a cool modern performance truck, the Raptor is more than just a beefier engine. The Raptor was designed to take drivers off-road just about anywhere and the package has been a hot seller for Ford.
You can find a previous generation Raptor with the 6.0L V8 engine or a current model that is twin-turbocharged.
13 Ford F-150 Roush
Roush is a company that's known for customizing the Mustang line for Ford over the past few decades. But the company also created a performance package for the F-150. The Roush edition of the truck is wicked fast, and you can expect to get some looks at the stoplight when you’re spotted driving this powerful performance truck.
12 Dodge Ram SRT-10
What happens when you cram a Dodge Viper engine into a Ram pickup truck? Well, you get the fire breathing Dodge Ram SRT-10.
This truck was known for being one of the fastest production trucks on the road. And to this day the SRT-10 is still a wickedly fast truck that offers up some exhilarating performance.
11 Ford F-150 Harley Davidson
Harley Davidson has been associated with the Ford brand for years, and as such, the company was part of the development for the Ford F-150 Harley Davidson.
This edition of the F-150 featured a supercharged engine and a unique two-tone interior that makes the truck stand out from the average F-150.
10 Silverado SS
The Silverado has always been fun truck to drive right out of the factory. But after the 454 SS left the market, there was a void. The Silverado SS tried to fill this void with a supercharged all-wheel-drive pickup truck.
The Silverado SS proved to be one of the most popular versions of the Silverado and these trucks still hold their value.
9 Silverado 454 SS
The original 454 SS was a step outside of the box for GM. The company created its first full-sized performance truck and it was a blast to drive. The truck was barebones and known for its signature black paint scheme.
You can still expect to pay a pretty penny for a 454 SS because the truck is such a rarity.
8 Ford F-150 Lightning (1st Generation)
The first generation of the Ford F-150 Lightning hit the market in response to the 454 SS. The truck was known for being lightweight and a blast to drive. There were only three colors that were available on the Ford F-150 Lightning and you could only order the truck in a single cab configuration.
7 Ford F-150 Lightning (2nd Generation)
The 2nd generation of the Ford F-150 Lightning was a modern take on an instant classic. The second-generation truck featured a much more refined engine as well as a two-tone interior. As the years went on, power increased for the Ford F-150 Lightning and the final version of the truck was a special edition.
6 Nissan Titan XD
The original Titan was a truck that was meant to be different. And it was, in terms of design and optional features. The second time around Nissan wanted to develop a truck that would appeal to the commercial consumer as well. Thus, you have the diesel-powered Nissan Titan XD. This off-road beast will work on the construction yard or off-road for the weekend.
5 Avoid: Chevrolet S10
Where do we start with the S10? The little Chevy truck had been on the market for decades in one form or another. But the S10 is plagued with reliability issues such as fuel injectors that get clogged up. At this point, the S10 is a compact truck that's best left avoided.
4 Avoid: Dodge Ram 4.7L Magnum V8
The Dodge Ram is a great full-size pickup truck, but with the Magnum V8 under the hood, it had its fair share of issues. The Magnum V8 was known for engine sludging, as well as performance issues later on in life. Most modern car shoppers would be best served to avoid the Magnum V8 at all costs.
3 Avoid: Nissan Frontier
The Frontier is old – so old that the truck has made it through three presidential administrations, a recession, and the birth of the iPhone. The current Frontier has been in production since 2005, and in car years, that's a long time. You're better off getting something a bit more modern than the Frontier.
2 Avoid: Mitsubishi Mighty Max
Mitsubishi tried. The company has always developed cars and trucks that people will enjoy driving. Unfortunately, the Mighty Max was a truck that was best left avoided thanks to a lackluster design and a lack of power steering on the base models, which made the little truck a difficult proposition to steer.
1 Avoid: Isuzu I-Series
Towards the end of the company's lifespan, Isuzu was a mere shadow of what it used to be. The Isuzu I-Series was a truck that was so unimaginative, that the general pickup truck buyer didn’t even realize it was on the market. Such a small number of these trucks were sold that you might not even realize it existed.
Sources: Vocal Media, US News