Only 2 Full-Size Pickup Trucks Are Recommended by Consumer Reports

Halfway through the year, Consumer Reports has released its ratings for nearly all 2022 pickup trucks. The Ram 1500 was one of CR’s favorites — no surprise there. Consumer Reports testers typically rate this truck highly in several categories, including overall reliability. This year, the Toyota Tundra also joined the ranks of CR Recommended vehicles. What makes these two full-size pickup trucks better than the rest?

Every full-size pickup truck beats the 2022 Ram 1500 Classic

The Ram 1500 Classic is one of the worst pickup trucks for fuel economy, earning only 15 mpg combined city/highway in real-world testing. Consumer Reports also gave this vehicle a poor overall rating because of its bulky dimensions and unreasonably high step-in height. Unlike many other rivals, the Ram 1500 Classic doesn’t have any standard or available steps for the cargo bed.

Even with its flaws, this truck still earned praise from CR. It’s powerful enough for tough towing jobs, and its full-time 4WD makes it a confident off-roader. It has surprisingly secure handling by truck standards, plus a quiet cabin filled with intuitive technology.

Consumer Reports recommends the 2022 Toyota Tundra and 2022 Ram 1500

2022 Toyota Tundra 2022 Ram 1500 pickup trucks consumer reports
2022 Toyota Tundra Platinum Blueprint | Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.

Thanks to an available turbodiesel engine, the 2022 Ram 1500 with this powertrain is rated for 26 mpg combined. However, Consumer Reports actually recommends getting the V8 if you want the best performance (which can also be optioned with eTorque). It has 395 hp and 410 lb-ft of torque on tap, paired with a responsive eight-speed transmission. 

Even the V8 models equipped with eTorque have impressive towing and payload capacities (11,610 pounds and 1,970 pounds, respectively). CR says this truck offers a smooth ride, complemented by a quiet and roomy interior. It also has user-friendly controls, though some of them are a bit hard to reach.

The Toyota Tundra fell into Consumer Reports’ good graces this year thanks to its above-average acceleration (6.3 seconds to 60 mph). This truck also comes with a composite cargo bed and offers one of the most comfortable (and spacious) crew cabs in its segment. The Tundra is very dependable, as you might expect from a Toyota.

However, CR definitely thinks the Tundra has room to grow. Consumer Reports testers were disappointed with this truck’s low gas mileage, jittery ride, and inconsistent interior quality among trims.

CR’s compact pickup truck recommendations for 2022

If you’re looking for a smaller truck, CR says the Honda Ridgeline is one of the best. It earns an extremely high owner satisfaction rating, primarily because of its upscale cabin and confident handling. Its sole engine is a capable 280-hp V8, paired with standard AWD and a nine-speed automatic transmission.

Though this powertrain doesn’t give the Ridgeline an impressive towing capacity, you’ll save money at the pump. Rated for 18/24 mpg city/highway, it’s more efficient than most other V6-equipped trucks. CR also appreciated the Ridgeline’s standard composite bed, which includes a dual-action tailgate.

The Ford Maverick is another good choice, boasting the highest real-world fuel economy numbers (16/32 mpg city/highway). CR also praised this truck for its quick acceleration, ease of access, and above-average visibility. It’s also quite affordable: Even an Ecoboost model at the highest trim level costs less than $27,000.

The Ford Ranger also made the CR Recommended list, though it definitely has more flaws than the Maverick. Engine noise permeates the cabin, and you’ll likely feel every bump in the road while driving. Its main redeeming quality is its engine, which remains peppy for its class and gets great mileage.

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