Today, people use their trucks for everything from taking the kids to school to hauling concrete. Notably, 78% of full-size trucks sold in 2019 were in the versatile crew-cab configuration, according to Edmunds data. There are also more pickup models on sale than ever before.
This wide range of choice can add confusion for shoppers looking to purchase or lease a new truck. To help out, Edmunds has identified five common uses and provided suggestions for the right size truck to meet truck shoppers' needs.
Best truck for the daily commute: 2020 Chevrolet Colorado
If you're carpooling with a crowd, a full-size pickup with plenty of legroom in the back seat might work best for you. But a midsize truck will be a better choice for navigating congested city streets and keeping your monthly payments and fuel bills low.
The 2020 Chevrolet Colorado is a popular choice for a midsize pickup. Edmunds editors praise the Colorado for its powerful V6 engine, smooth ride quality and easy-to-operate cabin controls, all of which make it a sensible daily driver. The Colorado, along with its twin, the GMC Canyon, is the only midsize pickup that offers a diesel engine as an option.
Best truck for recreational activities: 2020 Ford F-150
If you're the adventurous type who likes to ride a dirt bike or tow a large camper, a full-size pickup will deliver the most versatility in terms of utility, cargo capacity and comfort.
The 2020 Ford F-150's aluminum bed and body panels weigh less than traditional steel construction, giving it excellent cargo and towing capacities. Properly equipped, the full-size Ford boasts a maximum payload of more than 3,000 pounds and towing capacity of up to 13,200 pounds. You'll be able to load the F-150 up with camping gear and tow your trailer with ease.
Best truck for tailgating: 2020 Honda Ridgeline
Tailgating before sporting events and concerts has become more than a casual pastime; for many enthusiasts, it's a serious ritual. And while a sedan might work in a pinch, a pickup truck can be a better choice for diehard fans.
One good option is the midsize 2020 Honda Ridgeline. The Ridgeline has a lockable underbed storage compartment with a drain plug so it can be used as an ice chest. It also sports a nifty dual-action tailgate that can open down or swing to the side. Hardcore truck owners might disparage the Ridgeline's 1,580-pound maximum payload capacity, but this pickup isn't meant to haul scrap iron. It's designed to provide maximum comfort and interior amenities alongside decent cargo room.
Best truck for off-roading: 2020 Jeep Gladiator
People take their trucks off-road for a variety of purposes, such as camping, hunting, fishing or just for fun. And pickups have evolved to the point where most of them can be equipped for playing in the dirt. But when it comes to serious off-roading, some are more equal than others.
For many consumers, the Jeep brand is synonymous with off-pavement adventure, and the 2020 Jeep Gladiator carries on that tradition with the toughness and rugged looks buyers expect. The midsize Gladiator comes with standard four-wheel drive, heavy-duty suspension, and available off-road upgrades. It's also the only truck with a removable roof and doors.
Best work truck for heavy cargo: 2020 Ram 2500
If your business requires serious cartage or towing, only a heavy-duty pickup will fit the bill.
hese models have beefier frames and stronger suspension systems designed to tow big trailers and haul heavy cargo.
With its smooth-riding coil-spring rear suspension and excellent towing and carrying capacities, the 2020 Ram 2500 combines comfort and utility. For hauling really big loads, some shoppers might opt for the Ram 3500, but its leaf-spring rear suspension means sacrificing a bit of comfort. The Ram 2500 will meet the needs of most buyers, even if they're towing up to 19,780 pounds and carrying as much as 4,050 pounds.
EDMUNDS SAYS: Whether you're looking for a daily driver, a work truck or a recreational vehicle, there is a pickup out there for you. Today's market offers many choices, so make sure to test drive a few models before deciding.