In recent times, pickup trucks have gained so much popularity due to their size and all the practical options they offer to people. They’ve always been a huge hit as work vehicles and that remains, however, in today’s market, they have gained a certain level of coolness. Something that you cannot explain tangibly, but most definitely exists.
Some would say how a vehicle looks and the amount of presence it imposes on the road can go towards its coolness, others may argue it’s all the different technology and refinement that you get inside. Whatever the case may be, there’s no doubt that pickup trucks are cool. Unfortunately, this cool factor often comes with a hefty price tag. Often – but not always.
Here we shall show some of the best full-size pickup trucks and some alternatives that are almost as cool but do not cost the earth.
10 Great Full-Size Pickup Truck: Ford F-150 Raptor – $76,775
The F-150 Raptor is near the top end of the more desirable Ford F-150 range, and it is seriously cool. It boasts a 3.5-liter V6 engine that kicks out 450 hp with 510 lb-ft of torque. It may be the heart of the Raptor and as important as it is, it’s one part of the overall package. For example, its styling makes it stand tall and proud, especially with its huge tires.
The massive front grille has something quite menacing about it. Then there are its capabilities of taking on rough terrain. Edmunds describes it as a ‘hugely capable off-road’ vehicle. Not only does it come with all the usual tech that you find in an F-150, but there are extra features like a ‘forward facing camera’ that, when in a particular off-road driving mode, operates without any speed restrictions. Even with its price of $76,775, its coolness is, as some may call it, undeniable.
9 Cheaper Alternative: Nissan Titan – $39,700
The Nissan Titan may not be as cool as other high-end pickup trucks, but it is still cool nonetheless. It’s powered b a 5.6-liter V8 engine that produces 400 hp and 413 lb-ft of torque. Not as much as the Ford F-150 Raptor, but still pretty impressive for holding its own as a full-size pickup truck to consider instead of the F-150.
On the technology side, it’s equipped with all the standard features that you come to expect in pickup trucks as well as driver aids like forward collision warning, blind spot warning, and drifting out of lane warning. It’s not as bold as the Raptor, but it does have a meaty presence on the road. There are some features that some people may find cool like lighting in the pickup bed which makes it easier to use when it’s dark. Coming with a price tag of $39,700, it is a very good alternative that is almost as cool as the Raptor.
8 Great Full Size Pickup Truck: Chevrolet Silverado 2500 – $64,795
The Chevrolet Silverado 2500 is another example of a great pickup truck with lots of power coming from a 6.6-liter V8 engine producing 401 HP. Among all the normal gadgetry that you get in pickups, the Silverado has loads of pulling power, something that you want in a truck.
Some people noted on Edmunds reviews that it is ‘a mammoth of a truck’ and others complimented it on its ability to tow heavy loads in the region of 15,000 lbs or more. With 464 lbs-ft of torque, it’s not hard to see how it can haul that amount. On the outside, it looks like a heavy bruiser with its enormous front grille and bulging fenders. It’s got a brutal charm to it that some may find appealing, among other things of course. All this comes at a price though and that is $64,795.
7 Cheaper Alternative: Toyota Tundra – $35,950
As a machine, the Toyota Tundra is very capable. It doesn’t have the largest of engines, a 3.5-liter V6 with 389 hp, but it is still able to produce 479 lbs-ft of torque. Not far off from the capable off-road pickup, Chevrolet Silverado. Even though the smaller engine has less power, consumers on Edmunds have complimented the performance, one person stating ‘this truck moves and has plenty of power to tow boat/trailer’.
On the technology front, it has pretty much what the big boys have including touchscreen controls and USB ports. In the looks department, the Tundra has attitude. A big bulge in the hood gives, a large front grille and a huge front bumper give it an aggressive posture which is only heightened by the punched-in door panels and fenders. The whole thing has a sort of military seriousness to it. When you consider its price of $35,950, the Toyota Tundra is a serious alternative.
6 Great Full-Size Pickup Truck: Ram 1500 TRX – $79,355
The Ram 1500 TRX is one hell of a beast. For those that are fans of the big engine, this 6.2-liter V8 doesn’t disappoint. But that’s not the good part. This V8 chucks out 702 HP and 650 lb-ft of torque. That is nothing to sneer at and makes this a very fast pickup indeed laying down a 0-60 MPH in 3.8 seconds. As amazing as that is, the TRX also has great off-road speeds too, and an Edmunds review quoted it as a ‘luxuriously equipped pickup truck capable of triple-digit off-road speeds’. Not only that, there are little design features that some may call cool like the little lights in the bulge in the hood or the oddly shaped border around the front grille. All this comes at a costly price though of $79,355.
5 Cheaper Alternative: Ford F-250 Super Duty – $44,830
Coming from the F-Series family from Ford, the F-250 Super Duty has the power and toughness to give it a very butch demeanor that is just right for a pickup truck. No matter which way you look at it, it looks heavy-duty and built for a purpose. This is a truck that knows exactly what it is and makes no bones about stating that. It’s fitted with a 6.2-liter V8 engine that produces 385 HP and 430 lbs-ft of torque, which enables it to haul up to 20,000 lbs. On top of that it can handle carrying heavy loads just like all the other full-size pickup trucks. It’s also loaded with pretty much all the same tech. That’s not a bad alternative for something that costs $44,830.
4 Great Full-Size Pickup Truck: GMC Sierra 1500 – $64,295
The GMC Sierra is another fine example of a great full-size pickup truck. Its party piece is a diesel 3.0-liter straight-six engine. It only produces 277 HP, but it throws out massive amounts of torque, 460 lbs-ft in fact. Enough to keep up with others in its class like the Ford F-150 or Chevy Silverado. This AT4 version comes fully equipped with lots of features as you would expect, but it also has a larger touchscreen than most other pickups and a very cool head-up display. Regarding the styling, the revamped front grille and headlamps give it an imposing stare. It’s got a tough demeanor that asserts itself without reservation. The Sierra 1500 AT4 package will set you back $64,295 though, so it is costly, but then again it is very cool.
3 Cheaper Alternative: Ford F-350 Super Duty – $46,355
As a cheaper alternative, the massive Ford F-350 Super Duty is a good option. It brags a 6.2-liter V8 engine that delivers 385 hp and gives 430 lb-ft of torque. It’s an engine that is capable of hauling up to 20,000 lbs. As a workhorse, this is a very good truck. Previous owners on Edmunds have positively commented on the F-350 Super Duty hauling capacity as well as the levels of comfort and refinement that it has. The tech is what anyone would expect with things like blind spot warnings, forward collision warnings, Wi-Fi connectivity, USB ports, and so on. As for the styling, this thing looks like it means business with its huge tires and extended rear wheel arches. Its design has, what some might call, raw simplistic animal magnetism. Considering what the F-350 is capable of, the price of $46,355 makes it an affordable alternative.
2 Great Full-Size Pickup Truck: Ram 2500 Laramie – $64,510
The Ram 2500 is another purpose-built, heavy-duty pickup truck, and it’s a very capable one at that. It’s able to tow up to 20,000 lbs courtesy of a 6.4-liter V8 engine that kicks out 410 hp and 429 lb-ft of torque. Inside the cabin, there is plenty of high-tech equipment including things like a rearview camera, USB ports, and a compass. This is a truck that, much like others in its class, does the job it’s made to do and does it in comfort and refinement. It can hold its own against the likes of Ford or Chevrolet in the full-size pickup segment. A Ram 2500 with the Laramie trim will set you back some $64,510, so it’s not what you would call cheap.
1 Cheaper Alternative: Ram 1500 Classic – $38,105
As an alternative, the Ram 1500 Classic makes a good option. It’s a plain and simple workhorse. There aren’t as many of the gadgets that you find in the upper models, but it still has everything that’s needed like stability control, traction control, and 4 wheel ABS as well as USB connections, rearview camera, and cruise control. The engine may only be a 3.6-liter V6 producing 305 HP, but it can tow a little over 10,000 lbs. Not bad for an engine that puts out 269 lbs-ft of torque. As one reviewer on Edmunds put it ‘I have used this truck to tow my trailer camper (6400 pounds, 23ft long)’ and ‘it handled it like a champ’. It may not look as cool as higher-end models, but some may say it’s got a certain retro charm to it. As a cheaper alternative at $38,105, it may be worth a second look.