A black 2020 Nissan Titan is shown towing a boat past a body of water.

The Top Used Full-Size Trucks to Buy

You don’t want to be Goldilocks when shopping for a truck. Yes, some trucks are too small, some are too big, and some may feel just right. However, you’re here because you want something bigger and more powerful than those smaller mid-size entry-level pickup trucks. Used truck dealerships can help you acquire a full-size beast of a machine that isn’t too big to handle. But, before you take a visit, sit back and have a beverage while we list off several full-size pickup trucks that are known for their influence and performance.

First up, we’ve got the Ford F-150, also known as the best-selling pickup truck, not only by Ford but out of any manufacturer in America. It’s famously known that the F-Series of trucks has been the best-selling line of pickup trucks in America for 44 years as of January 2021. Next is the Chevy Silverado 1500, a reliant full-size pickup truck produced by yet another legendary manufacturer. We’ve also got info about the Nissan Titan and the Ram 1500, which are two heavy-hitters, so let’s get started because there’s a lot to talk about.

A blue 2020 Ford F-150 is shown parked in a desert area near UTVs.

Ford F-150

There’s a reason why the F-150 has been America’s favorite truck for over four decades. One of the primary reasons has to do with the quality that is associated with Ford vehicles. It’s not all talk, however, and with a motto that goes “Built Ford Tough,” they take many measures to turn this claim into a reality. The F-series of pickup trucks have been around since the 1940s, before we would even have color televisions in our homes. When shopping for a used F-150, you’ll have no shortage of model years to select from, but our recommendation is to start with the 2015 model year and work your way up from there.

Even with the 2015 model, you can expect a fantastic level of performance with a total of four available powertrains. Standard is a V6 engine, and this can be swapped out for one of two turbocharged V6 engines – a 2.7L or a 3.5L. Or, if you want to go all-in on horsepower, then there’s a 5.0L V8 engine that creates 385 hp and 387 lb-ft of torque.

Things would only be improved upon with later models, such as with the 2020 F-150, which offers an impressive six powertrains. A 3.3L V6 engine comes standard, but for the greatest horsepower and torque, you’ll want the twin-turbocharged 3.5L V6 that creates a whopping 450 hp and 510 lb-ft of torque. However, for the best towing, the Ecoboost 3.5L V6 engine offers a maximum capacity of 13,200 lbs.

Aside from performance, with the F-150 being Ford’s most popular truck, it’s always quick to gain new features. An example of this is infotainment centers, which can be found on F-150 trucks dating back to the 2015 model, along with a host of advanced safety features if you do your shopping correctly. All of this comes wrapped in a truck that is built with quality at the forefront, earning it a reputation for reliability and durability from drivers all across the country. After all, this is the number one truck for a reason.

A black 2018 Chevy Silverado 1500 is shown driving through a dry grassy field after visiting a used truck dealership.

Chevy Silverado 1500

What is there to say about the Chevy Silverado that hasn’t been mentioned before? It’s one of the most popular pickup trucks in the vast Chevy scene. The latest models that you can buy brand new are within the fourth generation. If you have the means to, we recommend purchasing a Silverado within this generation, which for reference, began with the 2019 model year. The third-generation of Silverado pickup trucks are still well worth your time, however, as they can garner fantastic performance at an even lower cost.

Going for an older model such as the 2014 Silverado, this model year is an example of how much performance can be achieved with older trucks. Thanks to an available 6.2L V8 engine, the 2014 Silverado can get 420 hp and 460 lb-ft of torque, reaching a maximum towing capacity of 12,000 lbs with the proper trailering package. This V6 is still available within the lineup today, including the 2020 Silverado, in which this V6 engine comes linked to a 10-speed automatic transmission instead of a 6-speed. Later models would revamp the technology considerably with a Bose premium audio system and a wide range of tech including features for both entertainment and safety.

Nissan Titan

The Nissan Titan keeps things simple. Do you want a performant full-size pickup truck with none of the extra fluff that manufacturers try to sell you on? If so, then this is for you. If you’re going to be shopping for a Nissan Titan, we recommend going for any model made after 2016 to ensure it’s within the same generation as the most current models. However, it’s worth noting that a mid-generational refresh occurred in 2020, introducing a few upgrades such as a slightly improved powertrain and a host of safety features that would now come standard moving forward. Should you get a Titan released before the mid-generational refresh, such as the 2017 Titan, for example, you can still expect 390 hp and 394 lb-ft of torque with a 5.7L V6 and its accompanying 7-speed automatic transmission.

Moving up to the aforementioned 2020 model, this V8 engine of the same size has seen a slight performance bump that now results in 400 hp to complement its new 413 lb-ft of torque. Nissan Titan models equipped with this powertrain will have a maximum towing capacity of 9,370 lbs. Although the Titan may not exceed the towing capabilities of some other flagship full-size pickup trucks from other manufacturers, it makes up for it in several ways, whether it’s interior amenities or tech features. Later models that can be found on the used market will come with Safety Shield 360 standard, and as we all know, you can’t go wrong with standard safety features because more is better.

A red 2019 Ram 1500 Rebel is shown driving on a trail through the woods after leaving a used truck dealership.

Ram 1500

The Ram 1500 is an interesting case to look at on the used market. If you want something more reminiscent of the latest models, you’ll want to purchase a model that came out in 2019 or later. However, the generation that served as a precursor to the latest models was longer than your average generational cycle for any automobile. There are ten years of Ram 1500 models that all fall into the same category of its fourth generation.

Because there are ten years of models within one generation, there’s plenty of variation here. If you go with an older example such as a 2013 Ram 1500, a HEMI 5.7L V8 can get you 395 hp and 407 lb-ft of torque. Because the vehicle came out well over five years ago, you can find a Ram 1500 with this kind of performance at a great value. It’s not too different than the 2019 Ram 1500, which also utilizes a 5.7L V8 with 395 hp, and a very slightly altered 410 lb-ft of torque.

Ultimately, towing will be a breeze for personal usage, thanks to a maximum towing capacity of 12,750 lbs. With a larger towing capacity than the Nissan Titan, it’s easy to recommend to people looking for a respectable amount of performance from a full-size pickup truck. Ram fans are very passionate about the brand, and there’s plenty of credibility to their commitment to these trucks.

Lots of Choices

The way we see it, each full-size truck that we’ve discussed are fantastic in their respective ways and are also highly popular to boot. It’s hard to go wrong with any of these used trucks, but we still recommend taking your time to peruse your options before committing. You never know which of these trucks will feel too small, too big, or just right for you.