If you had to guess America’s new favorite family vehicle, what would it be? Is it the minivan? What about the mid- or full-size SUV? Or is the crossover the vehicle of choice? Well, what if we told you pickup trucks are the next big thing for families? Models such as the 2020 Ram 1500 are built tough but also for comfort.
Reports have been pointing toward this trend for years. And a recent one comes from U.S. News in “The 13 Most Comfortable Trucks for 2021.”
The 2020 Ram 1500 is supremely comfortable and luxurious
U.S. News points out that “even the most basic modern pickup truck comes with standard features to make long drives more comfortable, as well as convenience features to help accomplish every type of task.” Buyers aren’t concerned with only how much weight it can pull or how much cargo it can haul; they’re also asking whether the pickup has enough USB outlets, what type of rear passenger entertainment options are available, and if it has onboard Wi-Fi.
Most important, how much legroom do passengers have in the second row in extended-cab pickups? Legroom in pickup trucks is just as important as it is in minivans and SUVs.
U.S. News gave the 2020 Ram 1500 an excellent overall score of 9.4/10. “In these comparisons, the winner is often chosen by the narrowest margin, and sometimes more than one vehicle ties for first place. Not so with the Ram 1500 — this full-size truck easily pulls ahead of even the Ford F-150 when it comes to cabin comfort, interior style, and material quality,” the reviewers wrote.
One major thing the Ram 1500 has going for it is an available four-corner air suspension. It also boasts an optional 12-inch touchscreen, leather seats, and genuine wood and metal trim.
You can get into a base model for about $32,000, but the more luxurious trim levels reach upward of $57,000.
The 2020 Ford F-150 offers comfort on a budget
The second model on U.S. News’ list is the 2020 Ford F-150, with an overall score of 9.1/10. Starting at $29,000, a full $3,000 cheaper than the Ram 1500, the F-150 is one of the most affordable pickup trucks.
Though U.S. News says the Ford F-150 hasn’t been the best-selling pickup for a while thanks to its skimpy interior, the Limited and Raptor versions offer a 450-hp twin-turbo V6. The F-150 also offers several optional perks that make it a perfect pickup for families.
Amenities include massaging front seats, heated and ventilated front and rear seats, a twin-panel moonroof, power-deployable running boards, a Bang & Olufsen sound system, rain-sensing windshield wipers, wood trim, and a spacious SuperCrew cabin.
The 2020 Honda Ridgeline is refined like a car
Though U.S. News lists the 2020 Jeep Gladiator third on its list, we chose the 2020 Honda Ridgeline for this roundup because we dedicated an entire article to the Gladiator’s supreme comfort (more on that below). And when it comes to the Ridgeline, it’s a great pickup for those not concerned with towing or hauling and prefer a truck that drives and handles like a car. “From behind the wheel, the Ridgeline is extremely composed and refined — nearly to the point where you sometimes have to remind yourself this is a pickup truck,” U.S. News reports.
With a starting MSRP of around $34,000, it offers a sophisticated feel accentuated by a 280-hp V6 paired with a nine-speed automatic transmission. The Ram 1500 and Ford F-150 can out-tow and out-haul the Honda Ridgeline, but they have a tough time stacking up against its standard comforts and safety features. They include tri-zone climate control, an 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration, adaptive cruise control, and lane departure warning.
Bonus: The 2020 Jeep Gladiator is shockingly comfortable
But back to the 2020 Jeep Gladiator. It’s surprisingly more comfortable than most pickup trucks and priced about the same as the Ridgeline. We even devoted an entire article to the Gladiator because it “might just be both the most capable and most comfortable truck in the segment.”
So, if you’re looking for a new family vehicle, you might consider any of the above pickup trucks.