01

Rugged rides for your toughest jobs.

Best Pickup Trucks | CarMax

Whether it's tackling your weekend chores or keeping up with your daily grind, pickup trucks offer the versatility and strength you need to stay productive both around home and at the job site. With midsize, full-size, and heavy-duty options available, you can choose your cab size and bed length to suit your crew and typical load. Add a healthy spread of trim levels that range from practical to all-out luxury and you're sure to find something tailored to your needs.

Looking for some help exploring your options? You've come to the right place—we've compiled a list of the 12 best pickup trucks for 2020 shoppers, based on CarMax vehicle and sales data from August 1, 2019, through January 31, 2020, to jump-start your search.

  1. Dodge Ram 1500 Classic
  2. Dodge Ram 2500
  3. Nissan Titan
  4. Ford F-250
  5. Chevrolet Colorado
  6. Toyota Tundra
  7. Nissan Frontier
  8. GMC Sierra 1500
  9. Toyota Tacoma
  10. Chevrolet Silverado 1500
  11. Ford F-150
  12. Dodge Ram 1500

12

Dodge Ram 1500 Classic

Best Pickup Trucks: Dodge Ram 1500 Classic | CarMax

If you're looking for an everyday work truck, the Dodge Ram 1500 Classic might be the workhorse you need. Debuted in 2019 as a replacement for the outgoing Ram 1500, which was fully redesigned the same year, the Classic has a no-frills attitude with a solid work ethic and a can-do readiness to carry your tools and materials. Under the hood, a 305-hp 3.6L V6 comes standard on the 2019 Ram 1500 Classic or you can choose the available 5.7L V8 which can tow an estimated 10,710 lbs. when properly equipped (regular cab models with 4x2).1 With a trio of cab styles and box lengths on 2019 models, you'll have plenty of options to fit your crew and equipment.

You can also expect plenty of standard features on the 2019 Express trim, like:

  • 17-inch aluminum wheels
  • Fog lamps
  • Locking tailgate
  • Spray-in bedliner
  • Six-speaker audio system

11

Dodge Ram 2500

Best Pickup Trucks: Dodge Ram 2500 | CarMax

If you're looking for a truck with some serious pulling power, consider the Dodge Ram 2500. The 2019 Dodge Ram 2500 was completely redesigned for its fifth generation (2019 to present) and sports a lighter-weight frame and a range of upgraded powertrains for stronger performance. A 410-hp 6.4L V8 comes standard on the 2019 truck or there's an available turbocharged 370-hp 6.7L V6 diesel that can tow an estimated 19,780 lbs. when properly equipped.1 Or you can keep an eye out for 2017–2018 Ram 2500 models which come standard with a 383-hp 5.7L V8 that can tow a fifth-wheel trailer with its estimated 13,880-lb. towing capacity when properly equipped.1

Whether you choose a 2017, 2018, or 2019 model, all Tradesman trims include these standard features:

  • 17-inch steel painted wheels
  • Quad halogen headlamps
  • Manual air conditioning
  • 3.5-inch driver information display
  • Six-speaker sound system

10

Nissan Titan

Best Pickup Trucks: Nissan Titan | CarMax

Need a truck that will quench your thirst for adventure? The Nissan Titan PRO-4X's off-road chops will get your adrenaline pumping. This back-road-oriented trim of the already capable Nissan Titan is available exclusively with 4x4 capabilities, as well as hill descent control and Bilstein® mono-tube off-road shocks (2017–2019 models). With the PRO-4X you can expect more confidence behind the wheel when crawling over rugged terrain and steep grades. And regardless of the trim, all 20172019 Nissan Titans get their power from a 5.6L V8 that puts out 390 hp and 394 lb-ft of torque.

Other standard features on the PRO-4X from 2017–2019 include the following:

  • 18-inch aluminum-alloy wheels with a painted finish
  • Electronic locking rear differential
  • Lower radiator skid plate
  • Trailer harness with four- and seven-pin connectors
  • Receiver hitch and hitch member

09

Ford F-250

Best Pickup Trucks: Ford F250 | CarMax

The third-generation Ford F-250 (2017 to present) is a full-size truck that's ideal if you do a lot of heavy-duty hauling, like pulling machinery. 2017–2019 models boast a fully-boxed ladder frame made of 95% high-strength steel that provides a tough-as-nails foundation. When equipped with the available 6.7L Power Stroke® V8 Turbo Diesel, 2018–2019 F-250s can tow an estimated 18,500 lbs. when properly equipped (2017 models max out at 18,600 lbs. with the 6.7L engine when properly equipped).1

Standard features on the 2017–2019 Lariat include:

  • Power sliding rear window
  • Leather upholstery
  • Dual-zone automatic climate control
  • SYNC® 3 infotainment system with eight-inch display
  • 10-speaker audio system with two USB charging ports

08

Chevrolet Colorado

Best Pickup Trucks: Chevrolet Colorado | CarMax

If you need a midsize pickup with easy maneuverability and a comfortable ride, you're sure to find the Chevrolet Colorado is great for both work and play. 2017–2019 models are available in extended-cab and crew-cab body styles with two bed lengths, providing a range of options to suit your needs. A 2.5L four-cylinder comes standard on all trims (2017–2019 models) except the off-road ZR2, and two optional engine choices are available on WT and higher trims: a 3.6L V6 or a 2.8L turbocharged four-cylinder diesel.

The LT trim comes standard with the following features on 2017–2019 models:

  • 17-inch metallic-painted cast-aluminum wheels
  • Leather-wrapped steering wheel with mounted audio controls
  • Cruise control
  • Eight-inch touchscreen display
  • Outside power-adjustable manual-folding body-color mirrors

07

Toyota Tundra

Best Pickup Trucks: Toyota Tundra | CarMax

If you're after a full-size pickup with an equally full-size attitude, take the Toyota Tundra out for a test drive. 2017–2019 models boast a line-up of V8-only powertrains, delivering incredible power to pull your trailer and heavy loads. SR and SR5 trims are anchored by a 4.6L V8 outputting 310 hp and 327 lb-ft of torque, while Limited, Platinum, 1794 Edition, and TRD Pro trims use a 5.7L V8 producing 381 hp and 401 lb-ft of torque (2017–2019 models). If you're driving around a big crew that's in need of some extra space, 2017–2019 Tundra CrewMax cabs offer 42.3 inches of legroom in the rear row.

You'll also find these standard features on the 2017–2019 Tundra SR5:

  • 18-inch styled steel wheels
  • Halogen fog lights (2018–2019 models)
  • Rear under-seat storage tray (2017–2018 Double Cab models)
  • Entune™Audio Plus with seven-inch touchscreen
  • Integrated backup camera

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06

Nissan Frontier

Best Pickup Trucks: Nissan Frontier | CarMax

Available as a four-door crew cab or extended cab with five-foot and 6.1-foot bed lengths (2017–2019 models), the Nissan Frontier is a versatile midsize truck for when you're at the job site or driving on muddy trails. All 2017–2019 models feature an all-steel double-wishbone front suspension and solid-axle rear suspension with overslung leaf springs and a long suspension stroke for enhanced performance over rugged terrain. 2017–2019 Frontier PRO-4X and Desert Runner models also add Bilstein high-pressure shock absorbers for when you want to do some serious off-roading.

Standard features on the 2017–2019 Frontier SV trim include:

  • 16-inch alloy wheels
  • Manual sliding rear window
  • Power windows with driver auto-down
  • Bluetooth® connectivity
  • Bed tie-down hooks

05

GMC Sierra 1500

Best Pickup Trucks: GMC Sierra 1500 | CarMax

The 2019 GMC Sierra 1500 was fully redesigned for its fourth generation, offering six trims and six powertrain configurations as well as a lighter body with a fully-boxed steel frame and mixed-material construction. The base 2019 Sierra 1500 uses a 4.3L V6 making 285 hp and 305 lb-ft of torque, which is the same standard engine option found on base 2017–2018 models. But, if you need an engine with a bit more power to pull a fifth-wheel trailer, the 2019 GMC Sierra 1500's revamped optional 6.2L V8 can tow an estimated 12,200 lbs. when properly equipped (Double Cab models only).1

You'll also enjoy these standard features on 2017 and newer SLE trims:

  • 17-inch painted aluminum wheels
  • Infotainment system with eight-inch touchscreen display
  • Leather-wrapped steering wheel
  • Cloth upholstery
  • Available heated front seats

04

Toyota Tacoma

Best Pickup Trucks: Toyota Tacoma | CarMax

If you're looking for a truck with trail-blazing capabilities, the Toyota Tacoma is a midsize option that likes to get dirty. Most 2017–2019 models use a 2.7L four-cylinder making 159 hp and 180 lb-ft of torque, or you can opt for a 278-hp 3.5L V6 making 265 lb-ft of torque which comes standard on Limited and TRD Pro trims. A double-wishbone coil-spring front suspension and a leaf-spring rear suspension with staggered outboard-mounted gas shocks deliver a steady ride on all 2017 and newer models, making this truck a great choice for driving over pavement or off the beaten path.

Standard features on 2017–2019 Tacoma TRD Pro trims include:

  • TRD Pro front skid plate
  • Electronically-controlled locking rear differential
  • Off-road suspension with 2.5-inch FOX Internal Bypass coil-overs and rear remote reservoir shocks
  • 16-inch TRD Pro black alloy wheels

03

Chevrolet Silverado 1500

Best Pickup Trucks: Chevrolet Silverado 1500 | CarMax

Whether you are searching for a bare-bones work truck or something more luxurious, you'll find what you want in the Chevrolet Silverado 1500 line-up. 2017 and newer models offer three cab styles to fit you and your passengers' needs: a two-door regular cab, a four-door extended cab, and a crew cab, as well as three bed lengths depending on the cab you choose. You can also have your pick of six trim levels on 2017–2018 models or eight on the redesigned 2019 Silverado 1500, which also boasts an expanded range of six engine and transmission choices with four-cylinder, V6, and V8 options. The 2019 Silverado's 1500 5.3L V8 can tow an estimated 12,200 lbs. when properly equipped; that'll help you pull your boat or machinery when needed.1

2017 and newer WT trims include standard features, like:

  • Six-speed automatic transmission
  • 17-inch painted steel wheels
  • Air conditioning
  • Tilt-only steering column
  • Outside manual-adjustable mirrors

02

Ford F-150

Best Pickup Trucks: Ford F-150 | CarMax

Need a truck with a roomy cabin for your crew or family? The Ford F-150 offers a range of cab styles, like the SuperCrew, which features 43.6 inches of rear-seat legroom in 2017–2019 models. 2017 and newer F-150's also offer three box lengths that range from 5.5-feet to eight-feet long to carry your tools or camping gear. With all this travel, you'll want to check out the 3.0L Power Stroke® V6 Turbo Diesel, which returns an EPA-estimated 30 mpg on the highway when equipped with 4x2 (2018–2019 models).2 This fuel-sipping powerplant is optional on 2018–2019 XLT, Lariat, King Ranch, and Platinum trims.

For a good mix of comfort and convenience, the F-150 Limited also offers these standard features on 2017 and newer models:

  • 22-inch polished aluminum wheels
  • Power-deployable running boards
  • Leather-trimmed seats
  • Heated and ventilated 10-way power front seats
  • Twin-panel moonroof

01

Dodge Ram 1500

Best Pickup Trucks: Dodge Ram 1500 | CarMax

Known for its smooth ride and on-road comfort, the Dodge Ram 1500 makes long workdays that much nicer. 2017–2019 models come standard with a five-link coil-spring rear suspension system with twin-tube shocks and an optional air suspension system, both of which enhance the truck's off-road prowess and load-leveling capabilities. This ride comfort is matched with plenty of power from the standard 305-hp 3.6L V6 on all 2017–2019 models. Redesigned in 2019, you can also find Ram 1500s with an eTorque mild hybrid system on V6 and V8 configurations. This pairs a belt-drive motor generator unit with a 48-volt battery pack for improved gas mileage and performance.

If you're looking for a basic work truck, the 2019 Ram 1500 Tradesman includes these standard features:

  • 18-inch steel wheels
  • Vinyl flooring and upholstery
  • Uconnect® infotainment system with a five-inch touchscreen display
  • Locking tailgate
  • Rearview camera

Looking for more information to help you choose the best pickup truck? Check out these related articles for:

1Various factors may impact towing capacity, including weight of passengers, cargo, and options/accessories.
2Fuel economy figures are based on EPA estimates for when vehicle sold as new. Fuel economy may vary for reasons like driving conditions and vehicle history. Unless specified, figures are for vehicles equipped with an automatic transmission. See fueleconomy.gov.
Unless otherwise noted, information related to these featured vehicles comes from third-party sources, including manufacturer information. Product and company names may be trademarks™ or registered® trademarks of third-party entities. Use of them does not imply any affiliation with or endorsement by these entities.


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