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3 Best Working Trucks

Published April 2, 2018

Pick-up trucks are intrinsically linked to work; for over a century people have been using pick-ups to carry goods, equipment, and tools. Yet as society has developed and changed the love affair with these vehicles has never wavered, just the way they are utilized has evolved to be also considered a vehicle to suit a lifestyle. Anyone with even half an idea about motoring will be aware the best-selling vehicle in the USA is the Ford F-Series (since 1981 if you were wondering), and trucks are as common a sight on the road as a fast-food restaurant in a shopping mall. Americans just can't get enough of them. However, with such a wide range of choices on the market, which truck is the best for the man or woman relying on it for work?
1. Ford F-150

It comes as no surprise that the most popular model of the most popular pick-up sold in North America comes with strong appeal. With constant improvement over the years the F-150 is a modern vehicle loaded with safety features and tech, while still happily beating the competition with the highest payload and towing capability. The F-150 has a variety of cab and box choices to suit any role it might be called to fill, and models from bargain-basement work-yard dogs to the ultimate, fully loaded weekend warriors in Raptor or Limited guise. 2WD or 4WD, with a range of engines from a 290HP 3.3L V6 up to a torquey 3.5L EcoBoost V6 and, with all models but the base truck getting a 10sp automatic, fuel economy has never been better, and while 25MPG may not sound impressive, this is still a heavy-duty truck that can carry over 3,000lb. If you like your trucks just a little bit crazy, then the 450HP Raptor is probably the one you should look at.

2. Chevrolet Colorado

Less is more, or so they say, and so Chevy hopes to prove with its excellent mid-size truck. In fairness it gives away just a little in terms of cargo tray space, being around half a foot narrower than the full-size trucks and less than a foot shorter than the short-box options on the big boys. The payload is quite a bit off but over 1,400 is enough for most people. Three engines are available with either two- or four-wheel-drive; a 2.5L 200HP four-cylinder, a strong 308HP V6 or the 181HP, 369lb-ft 2.8L Turbo-diesel (that can get an excellent 30MPG). Stump up for the 8sp auto and you’ve got a reasonably car-like, but still usefully large, truck that will get any job done without fuss. What’s more, you’ll be able to park it almost anywhere with a maximum length still a half-foot shorter than even the shortest full-size truck. With two cab options to go with a short or long tray, most needs will be met and all tastes should be satisfied with the nice interior that is filled with plenty of driving aids, along with sharp driving dynamics.

3. GMC Sierra

Need a full-size truck, but want a bit more class? The General hopes its dressed-up Sierra 1500 will impress you, and on the face of it, it does a good job. More Tommy Hilfiger than the Chevy Silverado’s Levis, with modern looks that can be highlighted with LED lighting all-around, the Sierra also has a cabin that is thoughtfully presented and 21st-Century fresh. All models now benefit from a color touchscreen, in a well-appointed cab that is the biggest in the class. A 4.3L V6 is available but the picks of the litter are either the 5.3L V8 with eAssist light-hybrid tech or the 420HP 6.2L V8 with an earth-turning 460lb-ft of torque. The 6sp and 8sp autos aren’t as polished as the 10sp in the F-150, but they do a good job in a truck that is well-equipped from the base model up to the all-singing, all-dancing Denali.

Honorable Mention

Honda’s Ridgeline is into its second generation now, and the Pilot-based light truck is a left-field choice but it checks a lot of boxes the true truck-based pick-ups will never be able to. The handling is great thanks to independent suspension front and rear, performance is strong from the 3.5L V6, plus a spacious cab and long tray which has a clever storage cubby under the bed help to make living with the Ridgeline an easy proposition. Offered with all-wheel-drive or (whisper it) front-drive, the most car-like pick-up on the market deserves a look if huge payloads aren’t a priority.
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