The Best Pickup Trucks Of 2022

The pickup truck began its American success story in 1925 when Henry Ford designed and built the first civilian pickup, based on the mass-produced Model T (via Car and Driver). The factory-built Ford Model T Runabout rapidly became the world's most popular delivery vehicle. Since its introduction, the pickup has been an indispensable workhorse for uses including hauling any type of cargo, supporting a camper shell, delivering ice cream to neighborhood kids, and even as a plastic-lined water-filled portable pool.

Pickup trucks appeal to people from all walks of life for their usefulness and their sheer driving pleasure. In recent years, the pickup has evolved beyond a strictly utilitarian vehicle. Manufacturers now offer models with driver and passenger comfort in mind, some with leather interiors, state-of-the-art infotainment systems, and other features.

As a result, pickup trucks now serve as daily transportation for millions of Americans. According to Kelley Blue Book, in 2021, for the 44th consecutive year, Ford's F-Series pickup truck was the number-one-selling vehicle in the U.S. selling 726,004 units. In second and third place on the list are the Ram 1500 and Chevy Silverado with 569,388 and 519,774 units sold, respectively. Here are the best pickup trucks of 2022 based on capabilities including payload capacity and towing strength, power, passenger comfort, and value.

Ford Maverick

American manufacturers have recently steered away from producing small pickup trucks. Instead, powerful vehicles fitted with big V8 engines and four-wheel drive demonstrate impressive hauling capabilities and exceptional off-road features. Pickups such as the Ford F-150 Raptor generating 450 hp or the Ram 1500 TRX boasting a whopping 702 hp, have gained favor. For 2022, Ford has filled the gap by offering the Maverick, the first hybrid pickup truck, a unibody crossover-based pickup built on the Escape and Bronco Sport platform.

Ford offers the truck in two powertrain options. The standard equipment version features a gas-electric hybrid with a four-cylinder 2.5-liter engine generating 191 horsepower and 155 lb-ft of torque and an e-CVT drivetrain that sends more than ample power to the front wheels for most applications (via) Motor Trend). The hybrid version has an EPA-estimated 42 mpg (city) and a range of 500 miles on a tank of gas (via Ford).

An optional turbocharged four-cylinder 2.0-liter EcoBoost engine generating 250 horsepower and 277 lb-ft of torque connected to an eight-speed automatic is available with either front- or all-wheel drive. Either powertrain will haul up to 1,500 pounds of cargo, but Ford offers a Tow Package with the EcoBoost engine that provides towing up to 4,000 pounds. The Maverick provides a comfortable ride with the handling of a typical SUV and the simple cabin sans any luxury adornments helps keep the selling price near $20,000.

Chevrolet Colorado

The Chevrolet Colorado is one of the best mid-size pickup trucks available, offering the buyer an impressive 49.9 cu. ft. of cargo space. Chevrolet sells the Colorado with three engine options. The standard is a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder producing 200 horsepower and 191 lb-ft of torque, capable of towing 3,500 pounds. The pickup gets an EPA-estimated 19 mpg city/25 highway. The more powerful 3.6-liter DOHC V6 mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission generates 308 horsepower and a maximum torque of 275 lb-ft providing up to 7,000 pounds of towing capability. The fuel efficiency is rated at an EPA-estimated 18 mpg city/25 highway. For heavy loads, the Duramax 2.8-liter turbodiesel produces 181 horsepower and 369 lb-ft of torque, with 7,700 pounds of towing capability and an EPA-estimated 20 mpg city/30 mpg highway (2WD) (via Chevrolet).

For the off-road enthusiast, the formidable ZR2 is a high-performance machine fitted with either the V6 or turbodiesel and built to tackle the most challenging winding roads, rock-adorned hills, and muddy terrain. Chevy's suspension adjustments featuring the Multimatic spool-valve shocks flatten out bumps with ease even at speed. Skid plates and rock sliders protect the undercarriage if the 48 mm factory-installed lift is not sufficient to keep obstacles at bay. Despite an interior that lacks the latest in tech and luxury, the Colorado's excellent ride quality and off-road upgrades made it Motor Trend's top pick in 2022's midsize truck class.

Ram 1500

When Dodge redesigned the Ram 1500 in 2019, it won the MotorTrend Truck of the Year award and for 2022 it continues the tradition as an exceptional full-size pickup. The Ram 1500 seats six and offers a broad lineup of trim levels from the basic Tradesman and Big Horn to the extravagant Laramie Longhorn and Limited. Perhaps the most luxurious pickups ever made, these are adorned in plush leather and include the Uconnect 5C system that features a massive vertically oriented 12-inch touchscreen with customizable features.

A mild-hybrid drivetrain featuring a 3.6-liter V6 and Ram's 48-volt eTorque system is standard. The electric motor boosts acceleration from a stop and augments the automatic stop/start system performance while improving fuel economy. Output is 305 horsepower and 269 lb-ft of torque (via Ram). Dodge offers two versions of the optional 5.7-liter Hemi V8, both producing 395 horsepower, 410 lb-ft of torque, and an 11,610-pound towing capacity. The eTorque-equipped powertrain achieves better gas mileage and the penalty for 4WD is negligible. The Ram 1500 is also available with a 3.0-liter V6 generating 260 horsepower and 480 lb-ft of torque, the best in the full-size truck diesel category. At the high end, the 6.2-liter supercharged Hemi V8 in the Ram TRX produces 702 horsepower and 650 lb-ft of torque.

Ram 1500 TRX

Although the TRX is a trim level of the Ram 1500 series, the high-performance pickup is in a separate class along with the Ford F-150 Raptor, distinguished on the exterior by its significantly wider body and taller stance. The twin-screw supercharged 6.2-liter Hemi V8 produces a whopping 702 horsepower and 650 lb-ft of torque. It accelerates from 0 to 60 mph in 4.5 seconds although some independent tests (via Car and Driver) claim 3.7 seconds.

Despite its fierce appearance, substantial gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of 7,800 pounds, and massive footprint, the TRX is refined and easy to handle on paved roads and will tow a payload of 7,800 pounds. Off-road, the TRX is equipped to handle mud, rocks, and the most challenging terrain. A reinforced steel frame supports a robust suspension designed to flex more than 13 inches. A Bilstein Black Hawk e2 shock system, electronic-locking rear differential, and huge 15.0-inch front brakes enhance performance, while a set of immense 35-inch all-terrain tires mounted on 18-inch wheels help the truck achieve 11.8 inches of ground clearance (via Ram). The base model TRX is fitted with cloth upholstery and the same standard equipment found in the Ram 1500 Rebel. Dodge offers TR1 and TR2 upgrade packages featuring leather-covered surfaces and accents of microsuede and carbon fiber that give the interior a luxurious feel.

Ram 2500 HD

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) designed its Ram 2500 HD (and 3500 HD) pickup truck for customers demanding exceptional towing and hauling capabilities. With the appropriate equipment, the 3500 has a towing capacity of more than 37,000 pounds. The 2500 seats six and offers seven trim levels from the base model Tradesman to the luxurious Limited, all with a choice of two engines. The standard naturally aspirated 6.4-liter V8 generates 410 horsepower and 429 lb-ft of torque with an eight-speed automatic transmission. The optional Cummins turbodiesel 6.7-liter inline-six produces 370 hp and 850 lb-ft of torque. In the Ram 3500, the diesel engine can make up to 1,075 lb-ft of torque. Rear-wheel drive is standard, and four-wheel drive is optional (all via Ram).

A 12.0-inch Uconnect 5 infotainment screen is standard on all Ram 2500 models at the Big Horn trim level and above (not included with the Tradesman or Lone Star trims). Uconnect 5 employs an Android operating system that supports up to eight devices with 4G LTE Wi-Fi, voice recognition, and Amazon Alexa capabilities. It connects to mobile apps via wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. A 17-speaker system is available on the higher trim levels. The Ram 2500 offers other tech features such as tow-specific navigation and a 360-degree camera. The system provides a view behind a trailer using the rearview camera mirror (via Cars).

Ford F-150

Ford offers the F-150 series pickup trucks in several trims, body styles, and with a host of features that placed it on Car and Driver's Editors' Choice list for 2022. The F-150 comes with several engines options from the naturally aspirated 3.3-liter V-6 that produces 290 horsepower and 265 lb-ft of torque to the 3.5-liter twin-turbo V-6 generating 400 horsepower and 500 lb-ft of torque and the 3.5-liter twin-turbo V-6 (Raptor) producing 450 horsepower and 510 lb-ft of torque (via Motor Trend). All engines come mated to a 10-speed automatic. Ford also features the F-150 Lightning for 2022, the first full-size AWD electric pickup truck from a major automaker.

The payload capacities of the Ford F-150 range from 1840 to 3,325 pounds varying with the powertrain, body style, cab, and options. The RWD trim fitted with the regular cab, an 8.0-foot bed, the 5.0-liter V8, and the heavy-duty payload package offers the highest payload capacity rated up to 3,325 pounds. The SuperCab, RWD trim with 8.0-foot bed, twin-turbo 3.5-liter V6 powertrain, and the max trailer towing package pulls 14,000 pounds (via Ford).

On high-end F-150 trims, the interior is packed with deluxe appointments and offers features for use as a mobile workspace. The gear shift lever folds flat with the center console to create a large, flat work area. Perhaps the most impressive feature is the optional onboard generator mounted in the bed that provides up to 7.2-kW of power.

Ford F-150 Raptor

The Raptor version of the Ford F-150 boasts significant upgrades that make it a formidable off-road vehicle in a class by itself, distinguished from the other F-150 models. Fitted with a 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 diesel engine mated to a 10-speed auto transmission, the pickup offers remarkable performance and traction in the lower gears while hauling a heavy load. The Raptor's twin-turbo 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6 produces an impressive 450 horsepower and 510 lb-ft of torque (via Ford). The engine mates with a paddle-shifted 10-speed automatic transmission that sends power to all four wheels via a standard all-wheel-drive system. For 2022, Ford implemented a new 3.0-inch exhaust system that boosts power output and enhances the pickup truck's exhaust note.

While the powerplant is more than adequate to challenge most off-road obstacles, Ford announced the release of the Raptor R equipped with a new 5.2-liter supercharged V-8 generating 700 horsepower and 640 lb.-ft. of torque to compete with the Ram TRX's 702 horsepower (via Ford). The Raptor rides on a sophisticated suspension that includes front and rear internal bypass shocks with electronic control technology and a five-link rear coil-spring setup that give the pickup exceptional traction and ride quality on even the most hazardous terrain. The Raptor can also be fitted with a set of 37-inch BF Goodrich all-terrain tires to improve the approach, departure, and break-over angles, raising ground clearance from 12.0 to 13.1 inches.

Jeep Gladiator

Jeep has a long history of making rugged vehicles with first-class off-road features. In recent years the complete lineup of full, midsize, and small SUVs such as the Grand Wagoneer, the Grand Cherokee, and the Compass that offer features for both off-road and city driving have gained popularity. Although the Gladiator shares the same Jeep characteristic appearance, it has capabilities not found in the other models. Jeep offers the pickup in several trims specifically designed for driving off the pavement, the most popular being the Gladiator Rubicon and Mojave, specializing in all-terrain crawling and plowing through the desert sand respectively (via High Country Off-Road).

Off-road enthusiasts applaud the pickup's off-road equipment which includes the legendary Jeep 4×4 system, and low-range transfer case suitable for tackling any terrain. The system is ideal for all weather conditions and enables adventurers to escape from thick mud or deep snow. The addition of numerous skid plates, ample ground clearance with generous approach and departure angles, and rock-crawling axle ratios encourages drivers to ford creeks and streams up to 31.5 inches deep (via Jeep). The Gladiator comes standard with a 3.6-liter V-6 that develops 285 horsepower and 260 lb-ft. of torque with Stop/Start mated to a standard six-speed manual transmission or an optional eight-speed automatic.

Honda Ridgeline

The Honda Ridgeline is a midsize truck with unibody construction that offers buyers on-road comfort and fuel efficiency. The powertrain is a 3.5-liter V-6 that makes 280 horsepower at 6000 rpm and 262 lb-ft of torque at 4700 rpm mated to a nine-speed automatic transmission and standard all-wheel drive (via Honda). The pickup accelerates to 60 mph in a respectable 6.2 seconds and reaches the quarter mile in 15 seconds at 93 mph.

The MacPherson Strut front suspension and coil-sprung independent multi-link rear setup contribute to a comfortable ride not found with the leaf-sprung, solid-axle suspensions employed by the competition. The result is remarkable handling with minimal lean through the corners and barely noticeable small bumps. Although the Ridgeline offers an Intelligent Traction Management system for Snow/Sand/Mud its off-road prowess is lacking compared to the competition. Its braking system falls short of other pickups with a 70-0 mph stopping distance of 186 feet and a towing capacity of 5,000 pounds.

Wearing a more aggressive look than previous year's models, the 2022 Ridgeline offers active and passive safety systems and driver-assistive technology such as the Lane Keeping Assist System, Adaptive Cruise Control, and Blind Spot Information System with Cross Traffic Monitor. Despite its off-road limitations, the Ridgeline combines some of the best attributes of mid-size pickup trucks and crossovers including a comfortable and quiet interior earning a place on the Car and Driver Editor's Choice list.

Hyundai Santa Cruz

The Hyundai Santa Cruz is a compact pickup truck with unconventional looks that offers a comfortable ride, a turbocharged engine option, and agile handling. Hyundai claims the Santa Cruz has "the modern convenience and space of an SUV, and the open bed of a pickup truck, to bring you uncommon flexibility and freedom." (via Hyundai)

The automaker offers the Santa Cruz in three trim levels: SEL, SEL Premium, and Limited. The naturally aspirated 2.5-liter four-cylinder powertrain found in the base model SEL produces 191 hp and 181 lb-ft of torque and mates to a conventional eight-speed automatic. Both the SEL Premium and Limited are equipped with the more powerful turbocharged 2.5-liter four-cylinder producing 282 hp and 311 lb-ft of torque mated to an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission (via Hyundai USA). During Motor Trend testing, the Santa Cruz Limited accelerated to 60 mph in a respectable 6.3 seconds. In the figure-eight tests which evaluate acceleration, handling, braking, and grip, the brakes showed just average performance and the steering was less than precise. However, the test time of 26.7 seconds, beat the 2021 Honda Ridgeline Sport AWD HPD by 0.1 seconds.

Although it's more expensive than its closest competitor, the Ford Maverick, the Santa Cruz boasts a 10.25 touchscreen navigation, premium LED daytime running lights, Surround View Monitor (SVM), Blind-Spot View Monitor (BVM), Smart Cruise Control (SCC) with Stop and Go, and Highway Driving Assist (HDA) among others.

Rivian R1T

The distinct 2022 Rivian R1T all-electric truck won the Car and Driver Editors' Choice award for its impressive acceleration and 300-mile range, but also for its availability. While many manufacturers have models on the drawing board, the R1T was the first pickup EV to go into production.

While dual motor configurations are common among EVs, Rivian's Quad-Motor AWD is built with two Dual-Motor drive units, one for each axle, front and rear, making it a true four-wheel-drive. Rivian notes its 4-wheel torque vectoring, where each wheel helps accelerate, decelerate, and turn the vehicle.

A 415 horsepower unit with 413 lb-ft of torque powers the front axle while the 420 horsepower and 495 lb-ft of torque system powers the rear. The total output of 835 horsepower and 908 lb-ft of torque produces a 0-to-60 mph time of 3 seconds while providing outstanding efficiency and immediate adjustability for any condition, including off-road challenges. The R1T features a four-door crew cab and 4.5-foot bed and independent air suspension allowing a vertical adjustment of six inches in the vehicle ride height. The system provides improved handling, stability, aerodynamics, and comfort with any payload. Active dampers help minimize body roll in the turns and off-road drive modes allow increasing the ground clearance up 14.9 inches. Self-leveling keeps the truck stable while hauling or towing up to 11,000 lbs.

Toyota Tacoma

The Tacoma is an excellent choice for the buyer seeking a mid-size, off-road-optimized pickup without the excessive powerplants characteristic of its competitors. The Toyota delivers a flexible suspension and rugged equipment that helped it gain notoriety as a superior performer on mud and trails. Toyota equips the Tacoma with two engine options: A 2.7-liter DOHC 16-valve 4-cylinder that produces 159 horsepower at 5200 rpm and 180 lb.-ft. of torque at 3800 rpm, and a 3.5-liter V-6 direct-injection Atkinson-cycle engine generating 278 horsepower at 6000 rpm and 265 lb-ft of torque at 4600 rpm (via Toyota).

Toyota offers the 2022 Toyota Tacoma in six trim Levels from the base model SR to the luxury Limited trim. The SR offers few amenities, but it is outfitted with several active safety features, including adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, and automated emergency braking. The TRD Sport and TRD Off-Road trims include several cabin upgrades and features that improve both on- and off-road performance. The Sport trim is fitted with shock absorbers tuned for street use while the Off-Road trim comes with calibrated Bilstein shocks, an electronically controlled locking rear differential, rock crawl control active traction control, and hill start assist control.

The TRD Off-Road equipped with an automatic transmission and 4WD allows the driver to select drive modes suitable for different conditions, such as mud, sand, or loose rock, to achieve the best traction possible. The Limited trim eliminates some off-road features in favor of more luxury (via Motor Trend).