Unless you’re a staunch brand loyalist (which many of us are) there is an inherent challenge in researching Trucks For Sale in order to determine which one is best for you. The iconic nature of the ‘big 3’ compels many prospective buyers to default to the likes of Ford, GM, and RAM but enticing upstarts offered by Toyota, Nissan and even Honda in recent years has introduced countless ‘x’ factors into the conversation.
Transitioning from the utilitarian demands of laborers, farmers and commercial trucking to the growing demands of do-it-yourself homeowners and active outdoor enthusiasts seem natural. After all, trucks have always been designed to get jobs done. As those jobs evolve, so must trucks. And while some are designed with classic truck styling in mind, others find themselves taking design cues from family-friendly SUVs.
Regardless of your preference falls…with one, the other (or somewhere in between) there is a perfect truck out there for you. But wait. Before you jump down the rabbit hole of make, model, year, trim level, and configurations of cab, bed, powertrain, and drivetrain it’s important that you know what each automaker’s offerings excel at. Only in recognizing strengths and weaknesses can you determine the truck that will best suit the unique demands of your lifestyle.
It’s no secret that the iconic F-Series has a strong-hold on the truck segment, considering that its the proverbial forefather of everything that came after it.
With the latest generation F-150, a reduction in weight is complemented by redesigned powertrains that helps Ford’s light-duty offering to pack more of a punch than ever. Further complemented by a wealth of cab, bed and engine configurations the F-150 offers several trim options, making certain that there’s an F-150 for nearly everyone.
Each of Ford’s SuperDuty models is just as diverse, from the F-250 to the F-450. As important as brand loyalty is, Ford’s continued success has far more to do with their continual innovation in offering some of the best trucks on the road and the intelligent manner in which they tier those options.
Bottom-line: the F-Series crushes any competition, and does so without any kind of prejudice. Up nearly 10% year-to-date (over 2016) with over a quarter-of-a-million more units over it’s nearest competitor (the Silverado).
By comparison, YTD sales for the Silverado are fairly steady (if not slightly lower) while the Colorado sits atop the bottom half of our list, enjoying fractional growth overall.
Focusing on the former, the Silverado rakes in more than a few Best in Class standings including Horsepower ratings, Fuel Economy and Towing Capacity (based on the V8 engine). As well as being named ‘Most Dependable Large Heavy Duty Pick-up’ three years in a row by J.D. Power and Associates, the Silverado has been recognized by Kelley Blue Book for its 5-Year Cost to Own Value, as well as its Resale Value.
Not that the Colorado is any slouch in terms of accolades. Named a ‘Most Wanted’ by Edmunds and Autobytel, it was also recognized as ‘Best Compact Truck for the Money’ by U.S. News & World Report.
RAM trucks continue to enjoy growth while maintaining a firm grasp 3rd place spot at the table. Set apart with their distinctive big-rig styling, FCA’s RAM trucks serve up a master class in innovative design. In our opinion, only the Nissan Titan approaches RAM offerings in terms of iconic styling.
From the RAM1500 to the 3500, RAM trucks record growth is further encouraged by recognition by such trusted resources as Motor Trend and US News & World Report.
To put into context the lead enjoyed by the three front-runners, the GMC Sierra trails RAM significantly having sold less than half of their total units YTD. As we move down the list the gaps narrow significantly ending with the minimal impact of the GMC Canyon.
That said, GMC’s enduring presence should never be overlooked, for more flashy designs and marketing campaigns. If anything, GMC’s consistency is praiseworthy as applauded by Kelley Blue Book who awarded GMC as their ‘Most Refined Brand’ for its fourth year in a row.
Hot on the heels of the Sierra is the Toyota Tacoma, which has enjoyed modest yet consistent growth in market share since its introduction in 1995. In fact, the Tacoma stands as the elder statesman of the upstart offerings, having paved the way for the Tundra (which succeeded it in 2000) and the rest of our list.
Despite its longevity, the Toyota stands as the industry’s Best-Selling Compact and Midsize Truck, as well as ranking among the vehicles offering the Best Resale Value.
Released in 1997, the Nissan Frontier was eclipsed almost immediately by the Titan, which was introduced seven years later. While the former has shown a steady decrease in sales (now reflecting the highest YTD decrease, at -18.9%) the latter continues to embrace its exponential growth, at almost +275% YTD.
Standing as our favorite offering outside of the ‘Big 3’ the Titan has earned the support of far more revered critics. Named as 2017’s ‘Pickup Truck of the Year’ by both TruckTrend and MotorWeek it was also named by J.D. Power and Associates as having the ‘Highest Ranked Vehicle Appeal Among Large Light Duty Pickups’.
With a strong aesthetic and plenty of power, Nissan deserves celebration for its standing as the Fastest Growing Truck Brand.
Only managing to edge out the GMC Canyon by a few thousand units, the Honda Ridgeline might as well be in the bottom list. To its credit, however, it has enjoyed the second highest growth rate YTD at over +150%.
As with any major investment, choosing the right truck comes down to what’s right for you. Whether your search is focused on performance, comfort or utility your final decision should be driven by the demands of your lifestyle. At the end of the day, there is no wrong answer.